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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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]
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.
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.
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.
Download: Ume – Captive [MP3]