ACL Preview: Lucero

Our artist to watch really shouldn’t really be an artist to watch, rather a must see artist.  Lucero aren’t a new band, in fact, they have six albums to their name, all full of songs we know you’ll enjoy.  They blend a nice bit of country twang with a punk rock ethos, giving them credibility galore in my book.  Singer Ben Nichols has a throaty vocal, often times seeming like he’s struggling to get his voice out, but that’s just the sort of passion he brings to the table.  Their latest album, 1372 Overton Park, featured some new moves, bringing in loads more horns, and you’re sure to get a glimpse of the more than just a four-piece band on stage, as they definitely will be bringing an entourage to bring the house down.  I can see this as one of those shows that unifies the unkempt rockers with the casual ACL festival goers; the band is simply good enough to bring us all together, especially in the live setting.  So, if you like a little bit of punk rock, you have to be there.  Country is your thing? Still, you gotta be there. We’re all going to throw back a few nice beverages, and fall in love with Lucero.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/11-Hey-Darling-Do-You-Gamble_-1.mp3]

Download: Lucero – Hey Darling Do You Gamble [MP3]

Show Preview: Ty Segall @ the Mohawk (10/1)

Date Friday, October 1st
Location Mohawk – Inside
Doors 1000 pm
Tickets $8 at the Door

In case you haven’t been able to make some of the super-memorable shows this week, a la Pavement or GBV, you have a chance to make up for that by attending Ty Segall on Friday night.  I caught the dude a few months back, and I’m super excited he’s coming back through town.  His new record Melted is a huge progression, and it definitely has me loving his every move.  You’ll want to go check him out, and you’ll also get a chance to see The Golden Boys and Pure Ecstacy in the mix on the evening too. Don’t miss it; you’ll be glad you went.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Caesar.mp3]

Download: Ty Segall – Caesar [MP3]


New Music from Club 8

If you weren’t on your game, you might have missed the eclectic pop release from Club 8 titled The People’s Record. It was filled with a glimpse at a band who add various instruments to their recordings, those not typically geared towards your typical bedroom pop group.  Now that you know a bit about the band, take a listen to their new single, which comes out at the end of November on Labrador.  You have to admire the way these two are incorporating tribal and tropicalia rhythms into such a smooth blend of jubilation.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Club-8-Closer-Now.mp3]

Download: Club 8 – Closer Now [MP3]

New Music from Woozy Viper

I’ve been jamming to this sweet new track from NYC group Woozy Viper.  The band is self-releasing their latest batch of hits, titled Rock n’ Roll, which you can still grab for free from their web site, but we encourage the usual donation.  They’ve got this Cramps feel, but with a little bit less of a horror approach, exchanging it for a nice little modern spin, making it catchy enough for everyone to enjoy.  We dig it, and we hope you do too.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/WV2_03_Dirty.mp3]

Download: Woozy Viper – Dirty

New Music from Frank Smith

Apparently we’re supposed to inform you that Frank Smith is actually a real band, not just the name of the singer, who is actually Aaron Sinclair.  What’s more important is that you realized that there’s a powerful sound behind the Americana-ish group, with a little bit more melodrama than your usual.  It sort of has the sound of a more fleshed out Clem Snide, but with expressive lyrics.  The group has worked hard on their new album, Nineteen, which you can get your hands on October 16th when the band play their CD release at Mohawk. Enjoy, but remember, its a band, not a man.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/01-Nineteen.mp3]

Download: Frank Smith – Nineteen [MP3]

Show Preview: Field Music @ Emos (9/29)

Date Wednesday, September 29th
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $10 from Ticketweb

Field Music is a band from England who’ve been putting out some significantly creative music over the last several years.  Their first album, Tones of Town, has a little bit more of a pronounced sharp edge, but they completely went off into the realms of exploratory post-punk with their latest record, Measure.  Honestly, had they not been smack in the middle of the Pavement and GBV shows, then this would have been the show of the week, but it very well could still be–these cats are that good. You will also be able to see Zorch and Gentlemen Rogues; each no slouch in their own right.  So, if you can’t make it to other shows this week, sell your 30 Seconds to Mars tickets and go see these bands!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Measure.mp3]

Download: Field Music – Measure [MP3]


New Music from Shimmering Stars

Would you look at these lads? Don’t they look fetch? Well, since Monday was a bit of a slow one in the music biz, I was happy in the afternoon when I ran across this new track from Canadian group Shimmering Stars.  The band made waves back in the summer with their song “Im Gonna Try,” and now they’ve got another blissful pop jam to toss your way (via P4K).  Seems like something we’d all be into right? Indeed, so happy Tuesday.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Shimmering-Stars-Suns-Going-Down.mp3]

Download: Shimmering Stars – Sun’s Going Down [MP3]

Twin Shadow – Forget

Rating: ★★★★ ·

It seems like nowadays, you throw a label on a band, give them a bit of hype, and sure enough, it usually works out for the band, deserving or not.  Finally, we’ve come to a band in 2010 who deserve this adoration, Twin Shadow.  While a great bit of Forget is dominated by electronic textures, there’s this underlying attention to details that equips the album with layer after layer of pure beauty.  Even when things don’t seem to fit altogether, somehow it’s tied in neatly, crafting one hell of a debut.

You walk right into a hint of synthesized darkness, mild beats, creating something of a somber sensation, just as George Lewis Jr. makes his first appearance.  Hidden behind the instrumentation, or barely intruding, Lewis’ vocals evoke that Murray Lightburn feel, warm and affecting. There’s all these odd touches of instrumentation, crafting something wonderfully unique, all as the song works its way towards a bliss-filled ending.

Everything about the way Lewis and Grizz Bear chap Chris Taylor built Forget makes it one of the most rewarding listens on this side of pop music.  “Shooting Holes at the Moon” jumps off with this groovy little work on the drums, then there’s some throbbing bass rhythm added in, along with all sorts of hints of string work in the background.  It’s all about the funk, yet as Lewis jumps in to join the party, he brings a suave element, giving the song a bit of a house party feeling, if that party was full of sweet tunes.  Those little guitar short shots in the background just make the element of electronics just rise above your typical cliched laptop band.  This is precisely where these sorts of bands should live; they should aspire to be Twin Shadow.

Seriously, “Yellow Balloon” recalls those late nights spent in dingy dancehalls with your friends, while whiskey poured from the bar.  And yet Lewis still wants you to do your thing, he just wants to add a touch of class, which usually comes by way of his soulful voice and the various textures.  Easily this could disappear as just another chillwaved track, but the fact that you can decipher the real instruments, brings this jam into the forefront.  Don’t forget the delivery of Lewis when he coos “the secret handshakes/the swimming hole/keep awake.” So right on.  Twin Shadow easily could border on the line cheesy, yet you have to return time and time again to the craft of the songwriting.  “Slow” has this Edge-influenced guitar line that runs in the background, which definitely harkens back to an era of innocent electronic music, but instead of sticking with his clean polished vocals, George decides to throw an echo-y yell in the background of the chorus. He’s challenging our conceptions, or rather challenging us to go back to the days of refreshing club hits.

Forget had the potential to fall flat on its face, a victim of its own hype.  But, George Lewis Jr. wasn’t going to let that happen, choosing to create music that he thought was both beautiful and fun.  In his pursuit, he created an album that rises above the doldrums of your everyday electronic music, providing us with our first vision of what Twin Shadow is really all about. After listening to this record, we’re all about what ever Lewis and company are all about, especially if sounds this ridiculously good.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Twin-Shadow-Yellow-Balloon.mp3]

Download: Twin Shadow – Yellow Balloon [MP3]

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