Personally, I think that Redding “Red” Hunter is one of Austin’s best-kept secrets. For me, this is a good thing, as I’m in on the secret, but for a lot of people, it’s horrible as they miss out on a lot of incredibly written songs. Red’s project Peter and the Wolf has a new album out titled Easy Mountain, which you can pick up now. His music has always been intricately personal, soft and all the while supremely inspiring. There’s something about his recording process that gives him an intimate emotional appeal, while he carefully crafts melody with his guitar. You’re not going to find a more enjoyable listening experience this week, I guarantee!
Download: Peter and the Wolf – Rosarito [MP3
||Emos (Red River)
||$12 @ the Door
I know that Quintron and Miss Pussycat get a lot of love, and deservedly so, but for this writer, it’s all about the opening bill at Emos tonight. You’ll first get to hear the Flesh Lights, a band who put out one of our Top Texas Albums in 2011, and then you’ll go on to the Manatees. If that weren’t enough to entice you, and it should be, you’ll then get to witness the incredible Mind Spiders. Rumor has it that they’re set to release the follow-up to their 2011 self-titled debut, which I absolutely played til my vinyl copy warped. All in all, you’re going to love this show, so we’ll see you there! Could be your last time to catch a show at Emo’s Inside.
Download: The Mind Spiders – Dont Let Her Go [MP3]
The Texas punk rock scene is alive and well, especially with the likes of Bad Sports, Video, Mind Spiders, etc making waves, in 2011. But, there’s a well kept secret going on in Houston with the Energy, a band who recently released their album Get Split on Team Science Records. While they’ve got a little bit in common with the likes of Black Flag, they have a steadier drumming section, and seem to have cooled on the ferocity, making their sound much more palpable for every day listeners. It’s good to see Houston bringing on some rock, strengthening the punk rock in the great state of Texas.
Download: The Energy – I Can’t Stand Up [MP3]
||Emos (Red River)
||$5 at Ticketfly
The next couple of weeks in Austin are heating up folks, and I think it’s about time to get yourself back in the spirit of the city; go out and check out an incredible show! First off on my list of great upcoming shows is TONIGHT’S show over at Emos Red River, which features several great acts with Austin/Texas ties. You’ll get OBN IIIs, and believe me when I say that their show is nothing short of pure rock n’ roll. You’ll also get to check out a Texas super-group of sorts, Video, who just recently released their own LP. And opening it all up is Wiccans. My mind has this as one of the best bills of the week, and it’s only five bucks; it’s like old school Emos all over again, so get out and rock.
Download: Video – Red Pills [MP3]
I’ve waited since 2009 for Cats on Fire to introduce me to brand new music. They’re set to return in 2012 with a brand new effort full of new tunes on Soliti Music sometime this coming Spring. My first listen to this brand new track, “My Sense of Pride,” reveals everything that I’ve waited for over the last few years: it’s got elements of light twee, but in a casual way where it avoids the realm of nostalgic kitsch. There’s also a bit of solemnity to the track, which for those who’ve listened closely, has always lurked quietly beneath the surface. I’m going to come out and say it though; this is possibly one of the best bands around, so take heed and enjoy this new offering.
Download: Cats on Fire – My Sense Of Pride [MP3]
Long have I adored the work of Malcolm Middleton, ever since he worked in Arab Strap. Luckily, since it’s raining, I opted to pick up his new LP, which is basically his first album of recordings that never saw the light of day until now. He’s been really busy lately, or so it seems on his site, so I’m happy to pick up A Quarter Past Shite. It’s mostly Malcolm and his guitar, with a real melancholy bent on the lyrical matter. Apparently, the sadness of the songs kept him from publishing it until now, but I’m glad he did, as it makes for a great listen on this dreary day here in Austin.
Download: Malcolm Middleton – New Blue [MP3]
On a day when the announcement of a new Shins record is probably taking lots of attention, there’s news from the former Shins camp that, for me, is just as exciting. Former member Dave Hernandez who made his fame pre-Shins with Scared of Chaka has a new outfit titled Little Cuts. The band is set to release their first 7″, Plastic Disaster, via the excellent Dirtnap Records, and this track we’re premiering is excellent. It’s got this brooding post-hardcore feel to it, but still is able to maintain a great bit of pop sensibility, showing that the band can go any which way; it’s everything you want if you’re an old rocker growing up. I’m pretty excited for this, and I hope you are too!
One of the bands that really excited me in 2011 was Radical Dads, the Brooklyn group that released Mega Rama this year. The group’s just put out their Skateboard Bulldog 7“, which features two new excellent songs. We’ve already tossed up one, and we’ve got the second one to offer you today. On this number you can hear the cacophonous indie pop just blasting straight at you from the minute the song starts. For me, it exemplifies everything great about the band; they’re just out there kicking out good solid rock n’ roll in the name of fun. There’s no tricks, no hidden agenda, just straight up indie pop…of the best sort of course. Pick up the 7” HERE.
Download: Radical Dads – Know It All [MP3]
Just recently we brought you a tune from Tobias Isaksson and his project Azure Blue, and we’ve got another wonderful track to share with you. This number comes from the band’s Rule of Thirds record, which you can purchase right now from Matinee Recordings (one of my favorites). On the track below, there’s this old school New Order feel, at least in the organic construction of the song, but Isaksson’s vocals have a very different quality, almost airy or dreamy. It alters the club-driven soundscape, but carries you into a far off place in your mind nonetheless. Pick up the album at your local store now!
Download: Azure Blue – Little Confusions [MP3]
If you checked out our Top Songs, you probably saw Terry Malts, and hopefully you were all over that jam. But now, as the band promised when we caught up with them at 29th Street Ballroom, they’ve finally got their album, Killing Time, ready for release on Slumberland on February 21st. This track’s a mix of the group’s former project, Magic Bullets, and their own fuzzy pop sensibility that they’ve portrayed in TM. It’s definitely not as quick as “Something About You,” but in its brevity, it almost begs you to play it again, rather than lay it all on the line quick as can be. Still, it’s going to be awesome.
Download: Terry Malts – Tumble Down [MP3]