Ah, have you had yourself a little blast thus far? Who doesn’t want to enjoy Free Week? Wednesday, in my mind, seems a little slower than the rest of the nights, perhaps giving you a breather before a most excellent weekend line-up. Still, there are definitely some acts that you need to check out, if you know what’s good for you!
Residual Kid (8 PM) @ Antones — This is one of the youngest and most talented acts in town, so you definitely need to be there as these guys make the town proud. And, if you stick around, you can catch the Rocketboys.
Literature @ 29th Street Ballroom — Literature is perhaps one of the best up-and-coming bands, and you’ll be hearing more from us in regards to these guys in the next few weeks, as we’re working on editing an awesome video of the band. Oh, and there’s some other great groups like No Mas Bodas and Milk Thistle.
Download: Literature – Grifted [MP3]
As we slowly move into 2012, there’s a lot of interesting music beginning to trickle out our way. One of the first acts to catch my attention is Dinowalrus, a band with some ties to Titus Andronicus — just don’t expect to hear the same post-rock storytelling. This track begins with a bit of a dreamy state, and while the vocals maintain that effect, you’ll get a bit more of a trance-induced swing pushed on by cascading guitar lines. If, like me, you’re digging what you hear, you can get the band’s newest effort, Best Behavior on March 6th via Old Flame Records.
Download: Dinowalrus – What Now [MP3]
So, by this point in time, Free Week in Austin is upon us, and I hope you’re all out there enjoying the great local music our fair city has to offer. There’s too many great shows and great bands to hit up, so I’m going to try and help out by suggesting the big hitters every day. The following list is for tomorrow night, that way you can plan accordingly:
The Midgetmen (10:30) @ Red 7 — Good old rock n’ roll from a band who’ve been banging it out for years–plus they gave me $5 to put them on this list.
Guns of Navarone (Show Starts @ 6:30) @ The Mohawk — RayRay swears by this band’s alt-country sound–says they’re the best in town.
Frank Smith @ The Mohawk — We’ve talked to you about Frank Smith before, so we’re not going to go on and on about this band, but if you haven’t heard em’, go see em.
Leatherbag @ Skinny’s Ballroom — They’re one of Austin’s hardest working acts, and their album in 2011 made our Best of Texas List.
Check out the following tracks by Guns of Navarone, Leatherbag and Frank Smith.
It’s been a great year for the Oceanic music to break big all over the world, from Twerps to Geoffrey O’ Connor and now to Opposite Sex. Their self-titled album is something that should definitely make it into your weekly playlist, otherwise you’re going to be missing some special goodness. In my mind, the first run through, I thought of a cleaner, more playful version of Love Is All, which is one of my favorite acts. It’s got a little bit of an off-kilter stutter to it, and that definitely provides the playfulness that I hear when it comes through my speakers. Singer Lucy definitely has my attention, but the solid backing of the rest of the group is what makes this listen really fulfilling.
Download: Opposite Sex – La Rat [MP3]
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
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]
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]