The Hold Steady are following the recent trend of bands streaming full albums on their myspace page after the album has leaked everywhere online. Listen to The Hold Steady – Stay Positive on their myspace page before the actual release date on July 17th and tell us what you think about it. Also, the band will be coming to La Zona Rosa in Austin later this summer on August 6th. The Hold Steady are one of the best live rock acts around so I suggest you buy tickets to the show before it sells out. After the success of the critically acclaimed 2006 album Boys and Girls in America the new Hold Steady album should be better than good.
Austin band Shearwater will be doing a free show at Waterloo Records at 5pm this Wednesday (6/11). If you’ve read our recent review of the band’s new album Rook you probably know we are excited about this free in-store. Waterloo doesn’t do much in the way of promoting these things but you can still check out the Waterloo website for more free in stores coming up or if you just want to buy some sweet tunes. Be sure you show up early because the line starts for the free keg beer pretty early. That’s right, I said free keg beer. Do you really need another reason to go? We’ll be posting pictures of the event in the coming days.
When one is confronted with the repeated hype of a band across the Internet word, as we all were with Fleet Foxes Sun Giant EP, you want to find one thing, anything, that proves them wrong. You almost want to hate the album, but I’m sorry, this is not the album.
Personally, I wouldn’t have started the album with “Sun Giant,” since it may have appeared somewhere in the past, but it still sets the mood for this album. By the time “Drops in the River,” the third track, rolls around, this band already had me won over–I actually didn’t like the EP. Sure, its a gentle track from the beginning, but once it gets rolling its hard not to find yourself bobbing your head here. Then they go straight into “White Winter Hymnal,” which definitely is a stand out on the album.
Actually, its not a stand out at all because I am struggling to find the one song on here I can dislike, or at least dismiss. There isn’t one. I double-checked. Not a one.
Each song on this album has carefully crafted instrumentation, and it all fits so perfectly with the harmonies of lead singer Robin Peckfold, who at times is harmonizing with every one else in the band. It is quite an interesting effect–though I admit at times it makes the lyrics somewhat indiscernible. Still, you can’t hide the fact that each arrangement on this album seems to fit perfectly with the rest of the song–with the rest of the album for that matter.
My biggest complaint about this album is the timing of the release. This is just me being selfish, but where was this album during the winter? Everything on here screams perfect winter album to me. I know I know. I could easily enjoy this sitting around a campfire with my best friends, but I don’t have time to go camping right now. Still, it would be perfect for that.
My favorite songs are “White Winter Hymnal,” “Mykonos,” “Quiet Houses,” and “Oliver James.” Now, I could ramble off thousands of comparisons to this band, but I’m sure you could find more adequate ones elsewhere on the Internet. My vote is for The Clientele comparison, but that is just me.
I hope this little review gives you enough insight into this album, but to be honest, its really hard to write about such a solid album. See for yourself.
Fleet Foxes will also be bringing their live act to the Mohawk in Austin on July 2nd. Get your tickets at The Mohawk’s website.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/02-fleet_foxes-white_winter_hymnal.mp3]
Tilly and the Wall have released a new song and accompanying video off their new album o due out June 17th. The song is called “Pot Kettle Black”. Check out the “Pot Kettle Black” video on Sterogum’s website.
Also, don’t miss the band passing through Austin on July 17th at everyone’s favorite venue Emos. Pick up your tickets for Tilly and the Wall at Emo’s before it sells out![audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/tilly-and-the-wall-pot-kettle-black.mp3]
King Khan & The Shrines will be releasing their new album The Supreme Genius of King Khan & The Shrines on June 17th. For now, listen to one of my favorite new songs of the year “Torture”. They are coming to Mohawk July 6th, and we would highly recommend jumping on tickets now. It’ll sell out.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/king_khan-torture.mp3]
Local band Whitman sees a triumphant return to the stage this Friday (June 6th) at Emo’s Lounge in Austin Texas. Whitman will be playing with well known bands Sybris & Unwed Sailor. Prepare to have your faces melted! For tickets Click here. Or just buy one at the door for only $8! Doors open at 9pm, show starts at 10.
Hear “The Drifter” off Whitman’s new album Torch Songs
The Toadies are coming to Stubb’s in Austin on Sep. 3rd. Tickets go on sale this Friday (June 6th) at 10 a.m. Go here to get tickets and party like it’s 1994!
Start your planning! We plan on releasing our recommended shows, so stay tuned.
Immediately, I want to say that this record is probably worth the purchase–albeit one when there isn’t much else out there to buy. Initially, I listened to this album four or five times in a single day, but therein lies the problem–I can’t recall great moments about this one–I can’t recall the shapes of the songs, give or take one or two. Care to explain you ask? I do indeed.
For starters, this album is far too long to listen to in one sitting, and if you do, you will find it does nothing more than blend into the background as you and your buddies make dinner–steaks right? By my count, 8 of the 12 songs go over the 5 minute mark. Sorry, Nick Thorburn, I just don’t have that sort of time these days. Sure, they dabble in length, but not quite like this.
Now, is the music worth it? Yes-but not like you want it–not like your “Rough Gem.” The closest Islands come to replicating that playfulness is on the 4th track “Creeper,” and it doesn’t quite hit its mark. Here is our problem listeners: the affinity for clever, circus-laden melodies is gone. But, on the plus side–so are all those faux hip-hop moments. I miss the former–its always been the attraction for me.
What I do like about this album, especially apparent in the last three tracks, is the new darker side of this band, and I don’t mean that in regards to lyrics–I mean it in reference to the somber mood apparent in these tracks. We all know that Jaime Thompson is no longer a member, and this is really apparent, or at least to me, in these lyrics. I could be off, but, whatever the cause, it makes for some of the more special moments on this record. Like I said–I bought it. I listen to it from time to time, but I can’t tell why. Maybe you can?
Islands is playing Emos Austin on June 23rd. Click here to purchase tickets for da show.
Hear “The Arm” off the brand new album:
Download: Islands – The Arm [MP3]
Be sure to catch the car stereo (wars) “farewell” show at Beauty Bar this Saturday night from 10:00-2:00. Christopher Rose (the brains behind CSW) will be leaving for Europe soon, so this will be the last time in a while to catch him in Austin. Beauty Bar fills up quick, so we would recommend getting there early and staying put.