It’s been a big year for local band My Jerusalem. They just dropped their impeccable album Preachers, have done some light touring, and have been picking up some positive national press. Sunday evening is a chance to get on board and support local music with a show on the Stubbs inside stage featuring the up and coming group. It’s an even better show with ATH approved local songwriter Frank Smith providing the opening support for the evening. Should be a good one.
Download: My Jerusalem – Mono [MP3]
Just a few years ago, Merge Records ran a 3-disc retrospective on the career of Big Dipper…Boston’s nerdy power-poppers. Inspired by the reception, the band went back into the studio to record Big Dipper Crashes on the Platinum Planet. It’s filled with their trademark jangling cum twangy guitars and a bit of nerdom in the lyrical content. You just don’t get better than bands like this, at least if you’re asking me. Oh, and if you needed further proof of their excellence, they’ve got the full support of Robert Pollard…and that guy is a pretty big deal.
Download:Big Dipper – Lord Scrumptious [MP3]
As we get closer to the release date of the upcoming album from Widowspeak more tunes are slowly coming to light. Musically, my first listen to this track made me think the band would be much more forceful, and sonically, I think I’m right. But, Molly Hamilton’s voice still has that sultry hushed tone to it, even while an edgy guitar cuts in and out of the track. I get the feeling that the group is really going to just throw their hands in the air and seek any direction they desire on Almanac. You can get your hands on the record come January 22nd of the New Year.
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The schedule is pending, but the list of artists signed on to do Free Week this year is long and impressive, much like my morning commute.
Created as a way to treat the locals to some locals while the kids were home for the holidays, Free Week continues to expand adding numbers to the venue list and performer count. This year will be pretty big, a Free Week and a half actually, occupying the Transmission locations of The Mohawk, Holy Mountain, Beerland and Red7. Peep the poster of artists for the festivities on Red River, chock full of Austin Town Hall Faves including Tiger Waves, Shivery Shakes, Fleshlights, TV Torso, Orthy and Grape St.
Stay tuned for schedules and be ready to hit the streets.
One event’s schedule I know for sure is Modern Outsider’s Free Week show on 1/4 at Emo’s East featuring Ume, The Calm Blue Sea, The Black and White Years and My Jerusalem. Get details and say you’re going here.
Sometimes you just need to grow your hair out and revel in the industrious glory that was the 90s alternative rock scene; you know, before alternative became a bad word. Bear Ceuse are a band eager to live in that nostalgic period, though with the revitalized careers of Superchunk and Dinosaur Jr, it’s not really a throwback at all. The guitars have just the right amount of distortion, especially during the screaming guitar solo, and the vocals are calm and collected. It’s the perfect way to introduce you to the group that will be putting out Don Domestique via Medical Records on February 26th of next year.
Download:Bear Ceuse – Entertain Me [MP3]
Those of you looking for a sprawling bit of carefully orchestrated pop are going to fawn over Academy Songs, Volume 1, the newest record from Florida’s Holopaw. On their latest single, the vocals are what seem to draw me in, going back and forth between a careful whisper and a rising bit of force. This is one of the more gentle tunes on the record, which will see a release from Misra on January 15th. The band carefully builds the sound, with lightly rolling drums filling in the negative space with perfect precision. It’s slow opening only makes the emphatic release of tension more special as the song continues to unfold. This release can’t come soon enough.
||Friday, December 14th
||$8 from Mohawk
We’re drawing to the very end of what has been a great season of rock n’ roll, and what better way to wrap things up with a visit from The Babies. The part Vivian Girls, part Woods, super group blasts into town fresh off the release of their very excellent Our House on the Hill. Their music alone would be reason to go to this show, but we’ve also got the benefit of some incredible openers, namely Deep Time and Gal Pals.
Interested parties can enter our contest for a ticket with accompanying +1. Simply leave a comment about anything you want, and we’ll pick a winner the morning of the show. Good luck!
Download:The Babies – Run Me Over [MP3]
With the release of No Future, Wax Idols quickly made my radar as a band to keep an eye on, and news has finally come out that the group’s second outing is being geared for release on March 26th from Slumblerland Records. Listening to the first single from Discipline & Desire, you can tell that the group has put a darker mood into the record, replacing the anthemic power-punk with a more haunting array of sounds. For one, singer H. Fortune has a more pronounced, albeit more gloomy, vocal presence, while the rest of the band does their best to round out the complete emotional state. This is shaping up to be a nice gem for your March listening pleasure.
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Man, this is possibly my favorite discovery of the week, and it’s only Monday. Sweet Baboo is a Welsh songwriter who has warmed my heart today with his latest single, which will be featured on his upcoming album, Ships–slated to be released by Moshi Moshi in April. When the tune opens, it’s a smooth pop croon, though the accent gives it sort of that oddball Devandra Banhart quality. That’s all well-and-good, but the eruption of horns and vocals during the chorus is quite remarkable. I have a feeling that this tune will find its way to haunt my mind and ears for sometime to come; I hope it does the same for you.
Download:Sweet Baboo – Let’s Go Swimming Wild [MP3]
It seems that we’re in for a whole lot of infectious pop if things continue to go as planned for Cayucas. They are releasing their debut 7″ for Secretly Canadian this month, and this tune is another that wears a bright sunny influence. It’s almost got a tropicalia feel to it, which definitely is something that I enjoy. If you listen closely you can hear the warm backing vocals just barely pushing through, creating an effect that only strengthens the relaxed feel of this song. I’ll have no problem playing this number over and over again.
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