Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the greatest bands in Austin. All proceeds go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. To make sure every one of these artists gets the attention they deserve, we’re unveiling one song per day.
Song of the day: Pataphysics – “Carrasco”
Spend any time in the Austin music underground and you’re bound to encounter a strain of music that seems to come from an alternate universe in which The Big Bopper was as popular as The Beatles, and where Buddy Holly lived long enough to start a New Wave band. This sub-genre of music is sometimes called zolo, or zonk (zany punk?), and when you see it, it feels like a direct link to the oddball punk legends of Austin history like Big Boys and The Dicks. You kind of laugh at yourself, standing there with your arms folded, and think, “Oh yeah, music can be fun!”
Pataphysics, led by former Zom Zom frontman Pat Healy, is definitely one of these bands. Their contribution to SC2, “Carrasco,” is an addictive synth-pop ode to Tex-Mex “Nuevo Wavo” legend Joe “King” Carrasco, whose fun-loving songs “Party Weekend” and “Man Overboard” Healy used to play back in the day as a dee-jay at KVRX. Healy says “Carrasco” is about a fictitious party thrown by the King. The best detail–“his friend’s Michael Jackson!”–turns out to be true, as the King of Pop himself supposedly sings background vocals on Carrasco’s reggae tune “Don’t Let a Woman (Make a Fool Out of You).”
Recommended for fans of Oingo Boingo, The B-52’s, and the black-out rush of getting off the couch too fast. –Eric Braden
Pre-Order Slack Capital 2 HERE.
Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the coolest bands in Austin. All proceeds go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. To make sure every one of these bands gets the attention they deserve, we’re unveiling one song per day. (Except today, where we reveal two songs!)
Songs of the day: Ian McKinney – “CRIMEWAVE”/ TV Dads – Vertical Sync
Ian McKinney and TV Dads are the same person, but they represent two very different vibes. CRIMEWAVE is a corroded future-punk anthem, a hilarious and addictive account of what it’s like to thrive in a rotten, failing society. A through-line that connects many of the songs on this compilation (and a quality that, arguably, is essential to the “weird” quality of Austin you hear so often about) is a deep sense of irony, and as McKinney repeats the titular word, it feels more like a taunt aimed at the folks in the gleaming towers than a cry of alarm. Meanwhile, McKinney’s contribution here under the TV Dads moniker is more like a salve, a warped and gentle instrumental with alien-sounding birds in the distance. In the song sequence of the comp, it happens to work as a wonderful introduction to the sweet heartbreak of Magia Negra (but you don’t get to hear that track yet). –Eric Braden
Pre-order Slack Capital 2 rightHERE.
And…we’ll be throwing a release show with proceeds going to SafePlace on April 14th @ Barracuda.
How is it possible we’re already through SXSW hangover week? It seems like only yesterday the ATH crew was hanging at Hotel Vegas, with Lone Star in hand, kicking off the week a couple of Sundays ago with the awesome lineup put together by Nathan and our boy Mr. Laird. As always, we move on, reflect on the fun behind us, and plan for the next great lineup or festival. Such is the beauty of living in the live music capital of the world. To look back on the festival, Nathan, Brian, and myself came up with an arbitrary list of awards with each of us picking our choice for the category.
Hit the jump for our awards, final thoughts and a few related pics from a fun, exciting, and draining week.
Perhaps there’s no greater joy for a blogger than to watch a band you love, such as Rat Columns, blossom into something you can tell you’re going to obsess over for years to come. This new single from their album Candle Power is honestly one of the favorite things I’ve stumbled upon this month; it’s got this relaxed indiepop vibe with twinkling bits of bells bouncing through the mix. There’s even a classic rock n’ roll guitar line cutting through in the distance, popping up between verses. Upset the Rhythm release the album on April 1st, and I’m going to love it from that day forth.
Ranting and raving about an artist ins’t particularly my style, but every time I hear H. Hawkline write a new tune, I sort of swoon. His vocal delivery, particularly here, is rather distinctive, and it’s wholly central to my musical attraction. On this song, space is filled by bouncing piano beats and guitar chords that carefully echo through your speakers. Remember when we all fawned over Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley? Well, I’m going out of my way to say that as special as that duo remains, Hawkline’s doing it better. Look for the release of I Romanticize on June 2nd via Heavenly Recordings.
Mr. Wanklord shared a a nice new track from Faze Wave back in January and today I’m pleased to share another new jam from the group entitled “Chemistry”. The song has the wonderful hope about it as it rises and builds into a state of dreaminess and pop delight. Honestly, it’s one of the best tracks I’ve heard in the last few weeks. Enjoy and stay tuned as we hear more from this promising young act.
Tall Juan‘s recently been on my radar, and while I typically don’t run covers, I’ve never actually heard the original from Argentina’s She-Devils. Apparently the band influenced Juan with their fight for LGBTQ and women’s rights, thus he’s dedicating this song to those people in his life who face similar struggles. His forthcoming album Olden Goldies does seem to harken back to the purity of rock n’ roll, when barriers were being broken and trends didn’t hold as much meaning. Any way you shape it, seems like a thoughtful release with catchy songs, so I’m picking it up from BUFU on May 5th.
You know that dreamy guitar sound everyone’s using? Well, here’s more of it from Seeing Hands, though I think the production here differs a bit, allowing for the song to sound somewhat in a shambles while still delivering a tight dreaminess. I love that it doesn’t feel as sparkling clean as the guitar might lead one to believe, carefully stretching out tones and backing vocals throughout. It’s the band’s latest single in what’s becoming a fairly routine hit-making machine, so here I sit awaiting another gem just around the corner.
Today Fauvely releases a brand new EP, centered around the songwriting of singer Sophie Leigh. When listening to this song, there’s really two halves of the track. On one hand, you get this stunning vocal performance, backed by carefully strummed guitar. But, the group flips it up several times, rolling percussion to pack up an increased pacing from the guitar. That chorus spins you around dreamily, leaving you with a memorable take on modern pop. Watch Me Overcomplicate This is filled with six new tracks, drawing on catchy elements of folk and pop that will leave you waiting for Sophie and her friends to drop more delightful tunes. Grab the limited cassette from Midwest Action.
Fishboy have graced these little web pages for some time, and they recently announced the release of their latest LP, Art Guards…out on May 19th via Lauren Records. They’ve always reminded me of the perfect mix between They Might Be Giants and The Weakerthans, filling their songs with hyper-literate lyrics. Musically, they’re blasting out these infectious pop rock licks that circle back in your mind again and again, begging for you to have repeated plays throughout the day. It’s hard to understand why these guys aren’t everyone’s favorite band, but perhaps its better if we keep it as our little secret…for now.