The Black And White Years @ Stubbs

If you’re not gettin’ those dancing shoes on over at Beauty Bar for Car Stereo (Wars) on Saturday night (8/30), head over to the Stubbs indoor stage and catch another great local act, The Black and White Years.  Doors for the show open at 9pm followed by an opening set by Loxsly, also of Austin.  You can purchase tickets right this very second for only $6.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/the_black_and_white_years-power_to_change.mp3]

Download: The Black and White Years – Power to Change [MP3]

Car Stereo (Wars) @ Beauty Bar

The triumphant return of Car Stereo (Wars) to Austin! After being gone for quite some time, our favorite DJ/master of the mash up returns to Austin on Saturday night (8/30) at the Beauty Bar. Things are set to go off around 10pm. This finally gives me an excuse to post the greatest mash up ever created, “Ghostface Observatory”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/car_stereo_wars-ghostface_observatory.mp3]

Download: Car Stereo Wars – Ghostface Observatory [MP3]

New Music from Benoit Pioulard

Since it is a remarkably sunny day here in Austin, I figured I bring some clouds your way with a touch of tuneage from Benoit Pioulard–not that I necessarily wish you a cloudy day.  Pioulard, which is just a moniker, is everything you want in an emotional songwriter; he yanks at your emotions, often with the instruementation alone.  Here is “Brown Bess”. Buen Proveche.

 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/benoit-pioulard-brown-bess.mp3]

Download: Benoit Pioulard – Brown Bess [MP3]

More New Of Montreal

A few weeks ago, we gave you a taste of the newest Of Montreal joint Skeletal Lamping with the song “Id Engager”. Here’s another sample to wrap your greedy little paws around entitled “Nonpareil of Favor”. The Album isnt due out till October, so we hope this tides you over till then.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/of-montreal-nonpareil-of-favor.mp3]

Download: Of Montreal – Nonpareil of Favor [MP3]

Free Ba Da Bing Records Sampler

We have been all about the free music this week so why stop now? Ba Da Bing Records has an entire sampler that you can download for free over on the emusic website. The sampler features such artists as Colossal Yes, Devon Williams, Beirut and a whole slew of other fine acts. Below is standout track “Elephant Gun” from Beirut.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/various_artists__ba_da_bing_ba_da_bing_records_super_fantastic_oh_boy_fun_for_free_sampler_1_elephant_gun__beirut.mp3]

Download: Beirut – Elephant Gun [MP3]

Final Fantasy Goes to “The Butcher”

Legendary, sort of, if you consider the Arcade Fire to be famous, orchestral genius. Owen Pallett has decided to give us a brand new song for our listening enjoyment. “The Butcher” seems a lot more like an old Disney musical score then his previous works, but I’ll let you decide.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/final-fantasy-the-butcher.mp3]

Download: Final Fantasy – The Butcher [MP3]

31Knots – Worried Well

Rating: ★★★★ ·

The Bush years have done a number on the psyche of 31Knots songwriter and guitarist  Joe Haege and it shows in the nervous energy that permeates Worried Well, the latest long player from the Portland/San Francisco trio. Using complicated rhythms, off kilter time changes, and borrowing as much from CAN and Sonic Youth as they do Fugazi, 31Knots manages to maintain and build upon the unique sound first laid out on 2005’s Talk Like Blood.

The album kicks off with a 43 second A capella hand clap session and brief rumination about the corrupting power of your money before kicking into the album proper. On the first full track “Certificate” you get a sense of the angular guitar work of Haege, complex bass lines provided by Jay Winebrenner, and the amazing stop and start drumming style of Jay Pellici. You may also get the notion that Dick Cheney is tapping you phone calls.

Lyrically Haege touches on themes of evil corporate backrooms, a war obsessed oligarchy, and a nation under surviellence. It’s the use of intelligent allegories that keep this commentary from slipping into the pretentious. Much like how Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto can tell you about how Capitalism is killing you in a round about way without inducing an immediate eye roll, Haege possesses this magical power as well.

Describing 31Knots to another person can be a bit problematic and this is why they are often categorized in indie/prog/math rock category, which essentially means these guys have managed to create a truly distinctive sound. Musically the album is filled with irregular guitar pulses, noisy synthesizer elements that build up then collapse, a small tickling of the ivory here and there and even a little Latin drumming. Tracks such as “The Breaks,” “Strange Kicks,” and “Worried But Not Well” are the high points that find 31Knots at the top of their game. On the whole they seem to be refining and perfecting the sound laid out in their two previous albums.

While a few tracks stray from their previous sound, most notably the Duran Duran inspired “Upping the Mandate” most of the album finds them on familiar territory mixing and matching the better elements of their catalog. Unfortunately the album closer, “Between 1&2,” is a bit of a slow Eno influenced toss away, but the rest of the album is strong enough to forgive the filler.

The only problem with the uniqueness of 31Knots sound is that by default they end up aping themselves over the course of a few albums. If you created a Venn diagram of their last three releases the amount of overlap is what keeps this album out of the great category, and into the very good. Pick up a copy of Worried Well, if a band’s dilemma these days is that they have such a distinctive sound that it lends itself to a little repetition, it’s a fine problem to have.

Have a listen to a new track from the album entitled “Compass Commands” :

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/31knots-compass_commands.mp3]

Download: 31Knots – Compass Commands [MP3]

Free Music From The State Bird

One of the few bands I know from Ohio, The State Bird, have a brand new EP out creatively titled 4 New Songs.  You can download this entire new EP from The Record Machine website.  If your one of those people who values their internet download times, check out “The Bright July Night” here on our website.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/01-the-bright-july-night.mp3]

Download: The State Bird – The Bright July Night [MP3]

New Clientele EP

The Clientele just released a new EP entitled That Night, a Forest Grew which is the third in a 3 part series of new EPs for the band. You can download the new tracks for a small fee over on the emusic website or you’ll have to wait a bit longer for your hard copy. We also have track number one from the new EP below called “Retiro Park”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/01-retiro-park.mp3]

Download: The Clientele – Retiro Park [MP3]

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