Okay, this song is all over the internet, with focus on that fact that the “senator wants a blowjob,” but what’s wrong with everyone giving a little press to our hero Stephen Malkmus? His newest record, Mirror Traffic, will be coming out via Matador on August 23rd, and it’s clear that the Beck produced record is going to have a bit of spit and polish to it. This track below has those Malkmus cascading guitar cuts going through it, but you can definitely feel a bit of the gritty edge removed, or at least pushed down in the overall mix. At some point, people have to make changes, and I expect this to be a great one for Stephen and his Jicks.
Download: Stehpen Malkmus and the Jicks – Senator [MP3]
The hit making city has struck again! Brooklyn churns out more than its share of music, and Milagres is one of those bands that has slowly been on the rise; they’re ready to go beyond the city though. They’ve just signed on with Kill Rock Stars who will be releasing their record, Glowing Mouth, at some point in September. The first single, the album’s title track, has this electronic vibe to it, but what really grabs me, and hopefully you as well, is the way the vocals come across; they seem to be manipulated so carefully, showing perfect control in both pitch and tone. I’ve just been replaying this all afternoon, so I figured you folks out there would enjoy it as well.
Download: Milagres – Glowing Mouth [MP3]
For some reason I passed on this song when MOKB ran it, but I guess that was just a bit of laziness on my part, as I love Cut Off Your Hands. Official news came today that the band will be releasing their newest record, Hollow, on August 16th via Frenchkiss Records, the label that put out their previous effort. The press release talks of Nick Johnston sort of hitting a wall, and going back to those records of simple joy, which helped him find his way back to solid footing with his own songwriting. The track below definitely has an Oceania vibe to it, reminiscent of my all time favorite, The Go-Betweens. It does sound a lot less angular and British, which, in my opinion, is going to make this record incredible.
Download: Cut Off Your Hands – You Should Do Better [MP3]
With so many acts in town this weekend, it’s not easy picking out the best, but for Saturday night, I had it easy, as The Beets are going to be here, playing over at Beerland. If you haven’t heard of the band, you’ll probably find that their recent album, Stay Home, off of Captured Tracks is as good a place to start as any. If you’re looking for that lo-fi spirit with a bit of humor, then you’re going to have to be out there having fun with these guys. In my mind, it has a softer spin on what the Dead Milkmen seem to have perfected during their hey-day. There’s twanging guitars, simple hooks, and the band always poke fun at themselves. It’s definitely something that can win people over, and careful listening will probably leave you and your friends to each have your own favorite song, arguing through the night about which was best. It’s simple, they all are, so we’ll see you at Beerland Saturday.
Download: The Beets – Dead [MP3]
Of all the bands playing at Chaos in Tejas, this is one that I recommend for pretty much everyone, not just those that are looking for punk rock goodness. Lower Dens features Austin’s own Jana Hunter, and a solid backing band. It’d be easy to focus on Hunter’s vocals as something beautiful to focus on this Friday at Emos, but the band is so much more than just that. There’s this dense sound filled with guitars, often a bit fuzzy, and minimal drumming; it’s like if you wanted to find a darker version of Beach House. If you haven’t gone and listened to their latest record Twin-Hand Movement, then you’re doing yourself an injustice; you need that record in your collection. So if you’re looking for that one show that is solid, yet not necessarily loud, then you’ll need to find your way to see the group on Friday night.
Download: Lower Dens – Tea Lights [MP3]
The first band in our installment of highlights for the wonderful Chaos in Tejas is The Spits. They’re a Seattle punk group who’ve released four LPs and a slew of compilations and 7 inches. Listening to them, I get this old Misfits feeling, though I’m sure that’s just wishful thinking on my part. They’re known to don costumes on stage, such as in this picture, and you’re guaranteed to get fast, dirty punk rock that’s going to have you bobbing your head, jumping up and down, or at the very least, tapping your toes. The band will be playing their darkness punk at Red 7 on Thursday, along with some great acts ( a few from Austin) like TV Ghost and High Tension Wires. For those with a passion for the harder edge, this is a great night to kick off the festival, so be sure to show up early and get your punk on with the Spits.
Download: The Spits – Tonight [MP3]
Not long ago, our amigo Abram of The Great Nostalgic came to us with this crazy idea of gathering some of Austin’s finest musicians and asking them to write, records, and mix a song in one day. Despite thinking the guy may have lost his mind, we loved the idea and were excited to see if he could actually pull it off. Well now welcome Single Cuts, the project created by Mr. Shook along with some of the finest talents this town has to offer. Already the collaboration project has posted a new song entitled “Jackie” which features members of The Lemurs, Royal Forrest, One Hundred Flowers, vocals from Dana Falconberry, of course Abram from TGC, and engineering from Erik Wofford. For a song written, recorded, and mixed in less than 24 hours, it actually turned out pretty swell. Stay tuned to the Single Cuts website, twitter, and facebook for updates on another upcoming project.
Download: Single Cuts – Jackie [MP3]
Here’s a quick note ladies and gentlemen about an awesome contest currently being run by our new partners over at Groopease. Here are the deets and how to enter:
Prize: Pair of Bonaroo 3 day passes (2 pairs up for grabs)
Contest Time: Closes May 24th
Entry: Sign up for Groopease and like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter
Winners will be announced via email if they win one of the pairs of tickets. More details can be seen on the Bonaroo section of the Groopease site. While you’re at it, check out some of the sweet deals currently being offered on the site.
Mogwai have been making a name for themselve for years, brandishing noisy post-rock in the live setting, pushing your eardrums to their limit. They returned to Austin on a breezy Monday night, bringing their fellow Scots, Errors, along for the ride. Read more
Well as most of you who stayed up late last night already know, the entire Austin City Limits Festival lineup leaked last night around midnight. I’m sure some of you will love it and some of you will hate it, but I have no doubt that we’ll still be seeing many of you there regardless. As always, the middle part of the lineup with acts like The Vaccines, The Walkmen, Secret Cities, Broken Social Scene, etc. are what make this festival continuously great. For you out of towners, you’ll also get some big names that stopped into Austin recently and made a lasting impression like Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, Twin Shadow, Cut Copy, etc. Have I really been going to this thing for 10 years!? Full lineup can be seen over on the ACL website. Let the whining and cheering begin.