The IT Department – v0.9

I would like to thank the Council for appointing me the head of the IT Department. The IT Department at Austin Town Hall will be the place for the more electronic side of the industry. IT will cover Electro, Dance Pop, straight up Electronica, whatever. IT will be synth driven, but not always purely synthetic.

This is the beta run with v0.9, so I’ll be taking the chance to catch you up on a few of my favorites of the year so far. This post has some big names, a few unknowns and some pure drum and bass. So click through for tracks from the Horrors, Little Dragon and Amon Tobin as well as a couple newcomers.

Edit: Adding one more track from Casiokids…

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Show Review: Arctic Monkeys @ Stubbs

The show preview mentioned the potential to be drenched in sweat. Many were. It was hot. Stubb’s staff was kind enough to throw bottles of water into the crowd that wouldn’t dare give up their spots down front for something as silly as fluids.

Alex Turner and the boys picked a helluva time to play an outside show in Austin, but touring in support of a recently released album sometimes requires scheduling to be less than perfect. It was a frenzied atmosphere, softened slightly by summer. To their credit, I recall the phrase “If you ask us, it’s not hot enough” being used to get the crowd even more worked up. The Arctic Monkeys put on a brilliant performance with openers Young Buffalo earning their deserved buzz.

More details and plenty of pics after the break…

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Newish Music from I Break Horses

I Break Horses keeps showing up on my liked and most played playlists after several introductions around the web as featured new music. So, I decided to share this track.

Out of Stockholm, I Break Horses is Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck. Winter Beats is definitely a slow build, a chilly shoegaze track. I love this stuff this time of year – just enough fuzz teamed with space and synth around vocals and calming layers of noise that are perfect for being lazy on a summer afternoon (indoors).

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/01-Winter-Beats.mp3]

Download: I Break Horses – Winter Beats [MP3]

Friday Top 5: Subscribe

I am not just referring to @austintownhall or facebook.com/austintownhall.

There was big news recently about Spotify bringing their all-you-can-eat music service to America hammering the tech sites and delighting music fans.  Now, this concept is nothing new to me as a long time subscriber and advocate of Microsoft’s Zune Pass.  It has however been a chore to evangelize the merits of renting your music catalog.  Let’s face it, there is a warm fuzzy around “owning” your music, isn’t there.  But let’s go over the Top 5 reasons why you subscribe to a music service, especially as there are now several great multi-platform services to choose from.

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Show Pics: Moonface @ Emo’s

Spencer Krug brought his current project to town to play an inside show at Emo’s on a Tuesday night. Moonface can be familiar and foreign to Wolf parade fans. It borders on percussive Electronica at times, smooth keyboard driven poppiness at others. In all, a group of ardent Krugophiles enjoyed themselves. They were even treated to a Moonface’d version of a Swan Lake song to close things out.

Pics and a few more comments about Moonface and the openers, White Dress and Flow Child, after the break.

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New Music from Ume

Ume opened for Mission of Burma a few days ago, and no doubt, the crowd would have gotten a taste of their latest sounds. With the new track “Captive”, they show a bit of a more polished sound. Not a shock, this band is getting better at being a band. It is a cohesive, pretty and strong track, with addictive guitar hooks to keep you glued. With similar acts like Metric and Joy Formidable gaining momentum, let’s hope Ume can capitalize.

The new album Phantoms will land August 30 on Modern Outsider, a new Austin label started by husband and wife team Chip and Erin Adams (nice people). You can preorder it now.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/03-Captive.mp3]

Download: Ume – Captive [MP3]

Show Pics: The Rumble @ Beerland

The Rumble was back in town featuring three local acts. Hosted ever so graciously by Beerland, ATH joined a Wednesday night crowd for the mystery beer special and The Asteroid Shop, Bali Yaaah, and The Ghost Wolves.

The Ghost Wolves raised brows, putting on a great power duo performance, even covered a Mountain tune. A complete contrast, Bali Yaaah shared their blend of dance, worldbeat and psych. The Asteroid Shop brought big anthems of Indie-Alt.

Don’t be afraid. Pics from the show after the break…

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Show Review: Beirut @ ACL Live

Zach Condon brought Beirut to town after playing Free Press Fest in Houston on the way to Bonaroo. New material is starting to trickle out to the intarwebs, but the older songs show no age as they are timeless. The mix of a little new material with the best of the band’s catalog made for an amazing and sweeping playlist for an artist just twenty-five years of age. Twin Sister came along for this gig at the Moody Theater at ACL Live (what I now call the Bat Cave).

More about the show and plenty of pics after the jump…

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