Chaos n’ Tejas Preview: Nobunny

Sweat, tie-dyed underwear, one heel and a bunny mask–oh yea, and the best garage rock being put out today!  Ladies and gentlemen Nobunny is going to rock your socks all the way off and then impregnate your girlfriend.  I just caught him in Oklahoma City last night and left in a Pabst induced stupor wishing that more bands would leave it all out on the stage like these guys did.  You can catch Nobunny headlining at Beerland Thursday night for $6.  Masks on kids.

Corey.Ayers runs Hulktrhash, and is a sometimes writer for ATH.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/04-I-Am-A-Girlfriend.mp3]

Download: Nobunny – I Am A Girlfriend [MP3]

FT5: Party Ending Albums

0424top5coverIt’s 3:30 in the morning and you’ve had your fair share of oat sodas, not to mention all that Makers Mark, yet the party at your place continues to rage all around you. That asshole that wears a scarf during the summer won’t shut up about the Decemberists and the only ladies left are dating each other, it’s time to put this party out to pasture. Follow the jump for the Top 5 albums that can clear the place out so you can get your ass to bed.

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SXSW Watchlist: Nobunny & Hunx and His Punx

hunx3nobunnyIf you get tired of wading through a sea of pretentious fixed gear kids with backwards hair, stumble on into the Bachelor Records showcase at Trailer Space Records around 7PM on March 19th to get your fill of the lo-fi rock & roll sounds of Nobunny and the queer stylings of Hunx and His Punx. Unfortunately, this Austin Town Hall contributor lays his head in Oklahoma and will be finishing up grad school while you’re out getting loaded and rocking your asses off with Nobunny and Hunx. Just be sure and have eight or nine for me.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/you_dont_like_rock_and_roll.mp3]

Download: Hunx and His Punx – You Don’t Like Rock & Roll [MP3]

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/06_chuck_berry_holiday.mp3]

Download: Nobunny – Chuck Berry Holiday [MP3]

FT5: Gay Dudes That Rock

0306top5coverHomosexuality may not always be the easiest subject matter to broach, but it’s one that people often turn away from when discussing homosexuality in modern rock n’ roll. However, some of the greatest inspirations for modern music all have their gentle touch. So in honor of these brave souls, who bared it all, we give you our Top 5 Gay Dudes That Rock.

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FT5: Pub Rock

0206top5coverWhile it’s true that most early Pub rock was just a bunch of British dudes ripping off The Band, at it’s core it was a roots rock movement reacting to the wankering of Emmerson, Lake and Palmer and other over-the-top progressive rock acts of the early 70’s. You can just imagine a working class kid in England seeing this on the telly. More of a circuit of pubs and music halls than an exact musical genre, Pub rock created an outlet for stripped down roots rock that would eventually pave the way for punk rock in England. Ranging from bluesy country to basic rhythm and blues, if there was one aesthetic that was common to all of the Pub rock scene it was a no frills return to basics. So grab a pint, start calling your friends your mates and your pants your trousers, and check out the Pub rock top five.

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FT5: Egregious Indie Rock Sell Outs

Some poor kid is listening to Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” for the first time today and he wants to like the song, he really does. The problem being that each time he hears Iggy say “I got a lust for Life”  he pictures some nine year old cracker with a goofy smile running down the deck of a cruise liner. Thanks to the marketing gurus at Carnival Cruise Lines that song is most likely ruined for a generation. I know nowadays the kids like to fall all over themselves defending their decision to sell out, and I’m not saying that I wouldn’t punch my grandmother for a little extra bread, but it’s never a pretty sight when you see an artist you respect making a sales pitch for some crappy chain restaurant. Like it or not, when an artist lends their music to a commercial it then loses its creative and artistic merit and is relegated to the status of jingle. So here it is; after the jump is a list of five of the more heinous indie rock sellouts.

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31Knots – Worried Well

Rating: ★★★★ ·

The Bush years have done a number on the psyche of 31Knots songwriter and guitarist  Joe Haege and it shows in the nervous energy that permeates Worried Well, the latest long player from the Portland/San Francisco trio. Using complicated rhythms, off kilter time changes, and borrowing as much from CAN and Sonic Youth as they do Fugazi, 31Knots manages to maintain and build upon the unique sound first laid out on 2005’s Talk Like Blood.

The album kicks off with a 43 second A capella hand clap session and brief rumination about the corrupting power of your money before kicking into the album proper. On the first full track “Certificate” you get a sense of the angular guitar work of Haege, complex bass lines provided by Jay Winebrenner, and the amazing stop and start drumming style of Jay Pellici. You may also get the notion that Dick Cheney is tapping you phone calls.

Lyrically Haege touches on themes of evil corporate backrooms, a war obsessed oligarchy, and a nation under surviellence. It’s the use of intelligent allegories that keep this commentary from slipping into the pretentious. Much like how Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto can tell you about how Capitalism is killing you in a round about way without inducing an immediate eye roll, Haege possesses this magical power as well.

Describing 31Knots to another person can be a bit problematic and this is why they are often categorized in indie/prog/math rock category, which essentially means these guys have managed to create a truly distinctive sound. Musically the album is filled with irregular guitar pulses, noisy synthesizer elements that build up then collapse, a small tickling of the ivory here and there and even a little Latin drumming. Tracks such as “The Breaks,” “Strange Kicks,” and “Worried But Not Well” are the high points that find 31Knots at the top of their game. On the whole they seem to be refining and perfecting the sound laid out in their two previous albums.

While a few tracks stray from their previous sound, most notably the Duran Duran inspired “Upping the Mandate” most of the album finds them on familiar territory mixing and matching the better elements of their catalog. Unfortunately the album closer, “Between 1&2,” is a bit of a slow Eno influenced toss away, but the rest of the album is strong enough to forgive the filler.

The only problem with the uniqueness of 31Knots sound is that by default they end up aping themselves over the course of a few albums. If you created a Venn diagram of their last three releases the amount of overlap is what keeps this album out of the great category, and into the very good. Pick up a copy of Worried Well, if a band’s dilemma these days is that they have such a distinctive sound that it lends itself to a little repetition, it’s a fine problem to have.

Have a listen to a new track from the album entitled “Compass Commands” :

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/31knots-compass_commands.mp3]

Download: 31Knots – Compass Commands [MP3]