Show Review: Willie Nelson @ ACL (11/19)

Willie is the godfather of Austin being weird. Or at least, that is what we are told. A rebel, legendary country artist, yet a through and through hippy, political activist (kind of), he is responsible for giving the world a collection of amazing songs, but away from those songs, he has a legacy of creating legends around him.

His song craft, both writing and interpreting, was on display Monday night at ACL TV. It was his eighteenth taping, but his first in fifteen years with his band, his way, the songs he wants to play. The recent flurry of activity from the octogenarian has raised eyebrows. Is it a new energy or is it finality? Was this the first of many last times?

Read on for more thoughts and some photos from the venerable Scott Newton.

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Smooth Pop Number from Jackson Macintosh

While Jackson Macintosh‘s debut solo effort has been out for a minute, he definitely needs some revisiting with his latest single/video. It’s this sort of slinky, synth-driven pop song where Macintosh can turn his vocals into hook-laden gold. I love the soft electronic chorus, smoothing out the track in the perfect way. The guitar sounds throughout are understated, but they give the listener the perfect chance to kick up those heels in a danceable fashion. It’s the sort of dreamy pop making all the waves with the kids, so why not slide into it; My Dark Side is out now via Sinderlyn.


Promising Pop Number From Fiasco

Sometimes it can be very refreshing to find a new band when you’ve felt like music has been pretty blah over the last week or so. Such is the case with this new single called “b(l)ack” from Paris based artist Fiasco. What starts as a clear bedroom pop number eventually builds into an almost R&B, hip hop track with hot beats and a sick bass line. It’s a true jam and I hope you’ll agree.

As I’m now hooked on the music, I’ll be sure to keep you posted as news some in on the band.

Guru Break Out Heavy Rocker

Admittedly, I’m in the softer side of my listening years, but I still like my guitars nice and loud from time to time. Guru fits perfectly into that, especially with family traveling in…I need a noise escape. Your ears only gets 14 seconds of respite, as the band blasts through it all from start to finish. The guitars have this sharp chug action, while the vocals definitely carry a dangerous growl that’s sure to rile up any old crowd. The Brighton outfit punish your ears like early Ice Age, so if that’s your cup of tea, keep an eye on the act.

Soft Folk from Ian Wayne

Spent the great deal of this morning on the heavier side of shoegaze, so lets pull back a little as the wintry weather creeps in by spending some time with Ian Wayne. Ian’s vibe kind of reminds me of the middle ground between recently popular acts like Twain and Hovvdy; it offers a gentle vision that will appeal to fans of the delicate side of indie rock. It’s the perfect sort of tune for just staring blankly off into space, accepting the world that surrounds you as the notes seep into your skin. This song features on Ian’s new album, A Place Where Nothing Matters, which just dropped last week!

Sonic Jesus Share New Single

Sonic Jesus have two things going for them, at least in my book: One, their were remixed by Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3; Two, they shared a split with our local Austin faves, The Black Angels. That’s a win already, and we haven’t even started the talk of the band’s newest single. It begins with this stabbing electronic note, complimented by a slow rhythmic pulse just beneath. Eventually, guitars come in shadowy forms, haunting the corners of the track, just as the vocals hold this mysterious power amidst that rhythmic electronic stab. This tune will feature on the band’s new album, Memories, dropping on November 30th.

French Shoegaze from An Ocean of Embers

Not in the too distant past, An Ocean of Embers covered Moose‘s “Last Night I Feel Again” (Reprise 1991), and they’ve finally touched it up and added an acoustic version, as well as instrumentals to craft their own single. I love that you get to hear the acoustic version because it really offers up that soft underbelly that so many folks seem to ignore in favor of guitar noise reverberating through their speakers. The latter half of the original cover gets awfully noisy at the end, building perfectly into the acoustic version should you choose to stream it all. Enjoy!

More Heavy Pop from Waves of Dread

Behind the walls of distorted guitars usually lives a pop band, at least that seems to be the case when we’re talking about Waves of Dread. The band open their latest single building that noise wall, but it quickly recedes in favor of these calmly beautiful vocals; they stay steady and sit in the midst of everything around them. It’s almost like they’re building music in the vein of Teenage Fanclub, only with dreams of being on the heavier side of that musical spectrum; I’m pretty sure I love anything this group comes up with. If you grab it HERE, you get a bonus track, but you’ll have to wait until the 10th of December to hear the band’s new EP.

Folksy Perfection From Golden Daze

We’ve been fans of the psych-folk-pop of Golden Daze for a few years now, so I’m stoked to hear/see that they’ve announced a new LP and shared the beautiful “Blue Bell” with us. This go round, it seems that the duo of Ben Schwab and Jacob Loeb have toned down the psych a bit and explored the quiet folk route. There’s this utter wistfulness/nostalgic quality to this song and the video; the two gentlemen of the group sit a-la Simon & Garfunkel with their guitars, their voices just barely whispers. The song builds layer on layer to its end and I’m completely smitten with hearing the track grow. Warning, “Blue Bell” may cause repeated listening.

Golden Daze will release their new LP, Simpatico,on Autumn Tone on February 15 of next year.

Eerie Wanda Blesses You With “Moon”

Eerie Wanda, out of Amsterdam, has a new video for you that’s a lovely treat for this Friday. “Moon” is a gauzy dream, with Marina Tadic’s vocals leading you through the fog and holding your attention for its duration. It’s quite a delicate tune; acoustic guitar subtle synth sounds, and rich vocals are all it takes to ensnare you, and then a drum machine picks up the pace a bit. The song has a bit of a spell-like quality to it. When it’s done, you’re a little confounded and it’s kind of hard to go back to the real world. Spend some time dreaming with this video below.



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