We knew what we were in for. We saw it coming. We ignored the warning signs. I was heading into my third night of shows in a row, fourth in five days. Things were escalating. Lower Dens -> Howard Jones -> Nada Surf -> The Men. After seeing their sets during SxSW, we knew we had to be at Red7 to see The Men. They made the 2012 top albums so far list, what kind of music-writer-types would we be if we passed up seeing one of our favorites?
Cruddy, Creamers and Destruction Unit opened.
I have been chewing on this review in my brain since the show and I think I have boiled down for you. Click through, thoughts and pics after the break…
Third show of the week was at La Zona Rosa. Had to run solo for this one, made it easy to get through the crowd, my stage space locked down by a Lone Star bribe to a group of people in town from all over Texas to see Nada Surf together; no photo pit, but still a three song limit.
We were treated to Austin’s The Zoltars and San Fran’s Waters as openers before Nada Surf played a twenty-three song set.
More after the jump…
The wife was feeling nostalgic when she bought tickets to see Howard Jones perform Human’s Lib and Dream Into Action. Think of all the soundtracks, montages, sing-alongs on 80’s night. “Like To Get To Know You Well” makes me want to restore a Camaro with a French girl.
HoJo was one of the guys pushing Synth Pop. Listen back to these early albums and tell me you don’t pick up on Twin Shadow, Chairlift and others currently pulling these new wave tones back up top. And Human’s Lib, despite it’s happy singles, is a pretty dark album.
I figured I might as well take some pics.
One of our favorite little labels, Soliti Music, just grabbed a hold of this band, and I couldn’t be more excited. Delay Trees will release their new album in the Autumn, but for now they’ve given us this beautiful sprawling track of pop gold. It builds slowly through the first minute or so, but as the pace of the song picks up, you find yourself whisked away by the creativity and dynamics of the group. We’ll keep you posted as more details come our way, but for now, allow yourself a little time to get lost with this song.
Download:Delay Trees – Pause [MP3]
Admittedly, I’ve been feeling the effects of the heat, holing up in my room jamming to some folk tunes for the summer. But, that’s all about to change with this excellent Milk Music track I just got sent in the mail today. This new jam is just a solid rocker from the Washington rockers, but it comes with the announcement that the group’s long time sold out Beyond Living EP is now up on iTunes, so it’s available to you all. The group’s about to embark on a nice little jaunt, and then we expect them to have more music to bowl us over.
Download:Milk Music – Violence Now [MP3]
A show that I billed as a must see this past Tuesday definitely lived up to its expectations. I met up with our photographer Brian Gray, and we jammed it out.
I’m pretty sure you’re all going to love this track; there’s really nothing as strikingly wonderful as this track from Pure Bathing Culture. It’s such a subtle pop track, with the instrumentation turned down low so the vocals can reach perfection by the time they hit your ears. You can find this track on the group’s debut self-titled EP, which just came out via the good people over at Father Daughter Records. Come on, one listen just isn’t enough, you’re going to have to play this song over and over again. I don’t know about you, but that pretty sums the track up as a certified hit.
In late April I brought you one of the tunes off of Arc in Round‘s self-titled album, and since the record just came out this week, we’re going to toss up another gem for you get behind. This tune is called “One-Sided,” and I love the way the guitar discordantly works in the background, fighting for space with the lofty female vocals (which have a unique echo effect). Once again, the group’s used some great texturing to their work, creating a sound that’s definitely pop-centric, but shows the abilities of band’s that can incorporate layer upon layer to create gems such as this.
Download:Arc in Round – One-Sided [MP3]
You can get the S/T album from La Societe Expeditionnaire.
It’s contest time ladies and gents! What does that mean you say? It means we’ve got a sweet prize pack for one lucky fan of veteran indie act Nada Surf. Here are the deets:
Up for grabs: 2 tickets to the Nada Surf show at La Zona Rosa this Friday, plus a CD of the band’s new album The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy.
How to enter: Leave a comment below with your favorite Nada Surf tune and we’ll pick a winner at random
Deadline: Please get all entries in by this Thursday the 28th and we’ll contact you afterwards.
Please don’t forget to leave a valid email address in the comment form so we can get in touch with you. Go!
EDIT: Bumped back up to the front page, enter people!
Download: Nada Surf – When I Was Young MP3
I’ve been really into quieted folk tunes this summer, and this new track from Evening Hymns is one of my favorite jams to cross my path thus far. Early on, the song comes at you as if it was recorded in a room, or a cabin (it was!), giving it a deeply emotional quality. As the song builds, there’s more lush arrangements being added, moving the song along as it sort of gets lost in its own beautiful world. If you’re digging this track, you can grab it and the rest of the tunes from the band’s forthcoming album, Spectral Dusk, when it hits the streets on August 21st.