• SXSW 2019 – A Recap

    Yet another SXSW is in the books and it’s time for the ATH crew to reminisce a little and offer some highlight from the week behind us. I think we’ve

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  • SXSW: 6 Bands To Watch

    Well SXSW music is officially here, and as I sit and ponder my existence while at work, I thought it would be fun to share some advice on bands to

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  • RayRay’s Top Songs – 2018

    When it comes to ATH and our areas of expertise, I like to think I’m the go to guy for song lists and bad ass playlists. If you’re doubting me,

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  • Best of Indiepop 2018

    Everyone has their own definition of indiepop; but I tend to ascribe to the original craft where DIY aesthetics and a softer response to punk were all the rage. But,

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  • ATH Top Albums – 2018

      This is our year end list for albums of the year. There’s four of us here, so it’s hard to come to a consensus, but we did our best.

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Adi Fest @ Beauty Bar (2/5)

ADI_FEST_web

Date 2/5/10
Location Beauty Bar
Doors 8pm
Tickets $5 with RSVP

Our good friends Knuckle Rumbler are throwing down on a party tonight at Beauty Bar called Adi Fest.  Who is this Adi person you say?  Well he’s one of the most widely known music journalists in town currently working for the Austinist.  As always with a KR event, expect great things like an Alison Narro photo booth, DJ Prince Klassen spinning in bewteen sets, and of course the complimentary beverages that start at 8pm and end when the free booze is gone.  Music for the night is all tribute bands and includes Stonefree Experience (Jimi Hendrix), Cheap Sunglasses (ZZ Top), and Magnifico (Queen).  This is definitely the place to be on Friday night.  RSVP at Do512 for $5 entry.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/05-Crazy-Little-Thing-Called-Love.mp3]

New Tunes from Snake Rattle Rattle Snake

snakeWe’re happy to tell you about some new friends we’ve made from Denver, Colorado: Snake Rattle Rattle Snake. They’ve just released their self-titled EP, and they’ve already got us wanting more.  We’re offering up one of these tracks to you, which showcases the brooding vocals of Hayley Helmericks.   For some reason, this recalls a really dark version of Pretty Girls Make Graves if they were more post-industrial than post-punk, if that makes sense to anyone but me.  The group is making their way to Austin for SXSW, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on their arrival, along with other various details.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/03-Parallel-Lines-1.mp3]

Download: Snake Rattle Rattle Snake – Parallel Lines [MP3]

The Album Leaf – A Chorus of Storytellers

thealbumleaf

Rating: ★★★ · ·

A Chorus of Storytellers is Jimmy LaValle’s third album for indie label Sub Pop, and at it’s finest moments, it proves that this is the most cohesive Album Leaf record to date.  While it maintains many of the electronic flourishes that existed on past works, the latest piece somehow comes together a little bit tighter, forming stronger collection of songs.

For me, it all starts with the title, and for that part, the cover art.  Artists of this ilk can rely upon these mediums to further their message.  Sure, all artists should do this, but it’s even more important with acts that remain instrumental.  And the title,  A Chorus of Storytellers, should really say it all.  While I’ve lambasted electronic music in the past, it is works such as this that strive to make a coherent story, to create a plot within their music.  Such is the story within this record, as illustrated on the cover.   It just begs you to create your own story of the man ashore while his boat drifts aimlessly away.

Of course, one thing that differentiates this album from purely electronic or post-rock music, if you wish to call it that, is the inclusion of songs which use lyrics.  “Falling From the Sun,” for example, is a pleasant enough tune, and you can easily follow as the melody rises and falls, especially in the vocal performance.  But, moments such as this make things to clear for the listener; this is something that detracts from the overall listening experience.  Lyrics, in this case, push a story upon you when you’d rather just float off into your own world.

You can take a song like “Within Dreams,” which in itself recalls the ability to drift off with your own thoughts.  Slowly, you can feel the song fall asleep on you, as if you too are going into that deep REM sleep.  Then you can hear the faint touches of string instruments, and you’re off an running in a dream of your own.  It is here where LaValle succeeds the most, as he allows you to immerse yourself in the song, and take the song wherever you want to go.  Happily, it’s not constructed of mere loops, and the national progression lends itself to the telling of tales.  “Until the Last” is another such song; it is along the lines of Balmorhea or even a less-dangerous version of Mogwai.

Up until the middle point of the album, the record is really strong.  It has its ups and downs, but it also adds enough diversity for you to be invested wholly into the album.  However, towards the end, there are a bit too many songs with vocals.  This isn’t a disaster by any means, as the songs are actually really good, “Almost There” in particular, but it does break up the flow of the album.  Still, A Chorus of Storytellers provides many listenable moments that prove Jimmy and The Album Leaf still can concoct magic out of their post-rcok potions.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/05-Falling-From-The-Sun.mp3]

Download: The Album Leaf – Falling From The Sun [MP3]

FTC: Dr. Octagon

FTC_droctagonUsually we don’t do a lot of write-ups on hip-hop, but that’s mostly because we don’t know too much about it, but we do know about this guy.  Kool Keith has been all over the place for years, sometimes as KK, sometimes as Black Elvis, but his most prominent persona for me is Dr. Octagon.  His rhmyes are odd, and quite vulgar, but not in a “I just want to cuss a lot way,” more in a disturbed MC sort of way.  I used to listen to the first record, Dr. Octagonecolgyst (the best in my opinion), all the time in college.  For some reason, I just  felt like travleing down memory lane with this record today. Blue Flowers!

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Half-Shark-Alligator-Half-Man.mp3]

New Music From Dinosaur Feathers

dinosaurfeathers_jpg_595x325_crop_upscale_q85Brooklyn band Dinosaur Feathers are prepping the release of their new self-released LP Fantasy Memorial on March 2nd.  To build the hype machine by this relatively unknown band, we’re throwing up this new single from the guys ‘Teenage Whore”.  Funny title, cathcy song.  Baller.  (via MBV)

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/dinosaur-feathers-teenage-whore.mp3]

Download: Dinosaur Feathers – Teenage Whore [MP3]

New Music From Sharon Jones

sharonjonesBrooklyn’s finest funk artist Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings have a new MP3 floating around the internet today.  The song is called I Learned the Hard Way” and is the title track of the group’s new LP.  I Learned the Hard Way will hit stores April 6th on Daptone Records.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/02-I-Learned-The-Hard-Way.mp3]

Download: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – I Learned The Hard Way [MP3]

Alec Ounsworth @ Emo’s (2/5)

Alec+Ounsworth

Date 2/5/10
Location Emos
Doors 9pm
Tickets $10 from Ticketweb

Alec Ounsworth, former lead singer of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and his new band Flashy Python is coming to Emo’s on Friday night.  Ounsworth will be joined on the stage by our very own Michael Kingcaid of What Made Wilwaukee Famous.  Word is the former CYHSY lead singer will perform his own solo material as well as songs from his new band Flashy Python.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/07-Cattles-New-Clothes-1.mp3]

Download: Flashy Python – Cattle’s New Clothes [MP3]

A.A. Bondy On Daytrotter

aabondyWe are going to make our obligatory Daytrotter post this week with a set by the incredible singer/songwriter A.A. Bondy.  The up and coming artist plays 4 songs from his most recent release of 2009 When the Devil’s Loose.  This track “I Can See the Pines Are Dancing” is a highlight of the set just as it was a highlight for us last year.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/aa-bondy-i-can-see-the-pines-are-dancing.mp3]

Download: AA Bondy – I Can See the Pines Are Dancing (live) [MP3]

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