The IT Department – v1.1

Going to be a quick one, preparations are in full swing for the annual pilgrimage to Town Lake …erm Lady Bird Lake, to listen to music by bands we already like while standing on the Great Lawn. The IT Department brings an exclusivish track from Fujiya & Miyagi, a new one from Toro Y Moi, mellowness from Geotic and pretty chilly track from The Parish of Little Clifton. The IT Department is back from vacation. Hi.

Update: Ok, adding one more track, new stuff from Jonti.

Welcome to the next edititon, welcome to the IT Department V1.1.

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Friday Top 5: ACL Departure Soundtrack

I have a feeling that like most of you out there, the headliners for ACL aren’t the real reason for going to the festival. At first glance, this year may be a bit weak, but even early walk-ins will find excellent acts like Cults, Telekinesis, The Head and the Heart, The Antlers, An Horse, and so on. The middle of the lineup is great with Cut Copy, Kurt Vile, Smith Westerns, The Moondoggies, TV on the Radio, The Walkmen, Broken Social Scene, Empire of the Sun – I could go on. The headliners are left with the task of clearing the venue, the triggers for the long walk back to the car, the soundtrack for a mosey. Here are my Top 5 (anticipated) songs from this year’s Headliners to make me head out.

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Show Review: Handsome Furs @ The Mohawk

Seriously, I am sick of the heat. This has been a brutal summer, but everyone that was at the Mohawk Friday night braved the radiant warmth and put their energy into the show. Handsome Furs’ performance was contagious. Dan and Alexei were giving themselves to the crowd, thanking us fans for allowing them to be on stage, to perform for a living. It was too much almost, but the profuse appreciation for the audience never came across as staged or as pandering. It was genuine.

Austin’s Lean Hounds set the crowd up for the exhausting performance. More notes and some of the favorite pics I’ve taken in a while are after the break.

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Show Pics – The Calm Blue Sea @ Emo’s

It was a four band, all Austin line up that brought a diverse crowd to Emo’s Inside. Each band played a forty-five minute set giving the night a SxSW showcase feel. The show preview covered the when/wheres. The show post-view is that Red Falcon kicked things off, The Clouds Are Ghosts had a record release party, My Education worked out new material and The Calm Blue Sea are back. I enjoyed zoning out behind the camera, catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in a few months and hearing the latest work from all of the bands.

A few thoughts on the bands and plenty of pics after the break.

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The IT Department – v1.0

The trial run went well enough that the IT Department is going into production. Version 1.0 will include some have-to listens, our first repeat guest, some darkwave, a new to me artist and *gasp* a remix or two. People that know me know I hate remixes, so you may not gasp, but I know a few out there will.

Past the break you will tracks from M83, Tunnels, Active Child, Walls (kind of) and more.

So welcome to the next step, welcome to the IT Department V1.0.

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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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