Tunes from An Horse

horseWe caught up with An Horse during SXSW for a quick interview, and now that their album Rearrange Beds has been circling aroudn, we thought we’d offer up more of their festive pop for you today.  Also, this single, “Camp Out,” has just recently got the video treatment, and you should check it out here.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/an-horse-camp-out.mp3]

Download: An Horse – Camp Out [MP3]

White Rabbits – It’s Frightening

whiterabbit

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Brooklyn via Columbia, Missouri six-piece the White Rabbits rose to critical acclaim seemingly out of nowhere with their debut album, Fort Nightly.  This time around, the band has enlisted Spoon frontman (and sometimes Austinite) Britt Daniel for production duties on their latest album, It’s Frightening.  You’ll find his touch on a lot of the songs, but ultimately, this sophomore effort is worthy of your attention on musical merit alone.

One of the runners for song of the year, at least up to this point in time, opens the album. “Percussion Gun” with its dual drumming technique climbs into your ears as the tribal element of the song bombards you.  But, this isn’t the only trick the band has, as the piano work provides a much needed backbone that allows the song to go beyond just a mere rain-dance.

You’ll find the influence of Britt Daniel marking “They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong.” This songs is reminiscent of pre-Gagagagagaga Spoon, with a bouncing bass line accompanied by a meandering piano.  The guitar stutters along the song as the vocals arrive in that croon come falsetto that Britt uses to perfection.  Now, we’re not assuming that this is just a knock-off because the song definitely warrants repeated listens; we’re just stating you can find Britt’s fingerprints on it.

“Comapny I Keep” is the slow summer jam come early.  It’s a mostly acoustic number with light percussion walking along the backbone of the song.  It’s the warmth of they lyrical content here that makes the song ultimately rewarding.  Sure, it might not be the most exciting of this batch of tunes, but you’ll definitely find this as one of the ones worth putting on your summer mixtapes.

One of the things that’s lacking from this album, however, is a little bit of pacing.  It’s not that there is poor pacing in so far as the organization of the songs, rather that the majority of the songs don’t seem to have too much movement to them, often becoming entirely too subdued for their own good.  Oddly, the only songs that have movement seem to rely upon the drum stylings of “Percussion Gun” with just a softer quality to them.

Still, there is something to be said for the quiet presence of this album. It provides for the easy listening experience now that you need to focus on new projects.  It’s an album full of songs constructed precisely for headphones and mellow moments in this time of your life.  A decent effort, though much stronger on the front end.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/03-they-done-wrong-_-we-done-wrong.mp3]

Download: White Rabbits – They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong [MP3]

Crystal Method @ La Zona Rosa (5/19)

the-crystal-methodHope you’re ready for a crazy dance party because that’s what you’ll be getting if you head to La Zona Rosa on Tuesday night for some Crystal Method action.  The show still has some tickets on sale for the small price tag of $23.  The DJ duo will share the stage with openers LA Riot.  Music starts at 8pm.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/the-crystal-method-tweekend-05-name-of-the-game.mp3]

Download: Crystal Method – Name of the Game [MP3]

More New Music From Foreign Born

foreignborn1Not long ago, we dropped a new single your way called “Vacationing People” by L.A. band Foreign Born.  Now we’ve got another new song from the band’s upcoming album entitled “Earl Warnings”.  Both of these new tracks are creating a lot of positive buzz about the new album in the ATH offices.  You can pick up Person to Person June 23rd via Secretly Canadian.   You can also catch a live session by the band in July when they make a stop at Mohawk .  Stay tuned for more deets on that closer to the actual date.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/earlywarnings.mp3]

Download: Foreign Born – Early Warnings [MP3]

Offspring/Alkaline Trio @ Stubbs (5/19)

thumb_alkaline_triowhIf you aren’t making it out to Crystal Method on Tuesday night, make your way over to Stubbs for a sweet little lineup of now veteran punk rockers at Stubbs.  Your lineup includes openers Street Dogs, ATH faves Alkaline Trio, and old schoolers The OffspringTickets can still be bought for this one at a cost of $35.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/alkaline-trio-help-me.mp3]

Download: Alkaline Trio – Help Me.mp3 [MP3]

Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications

furthercomplications

Rating: ★★★★ ·

When legendary producer Steve Albini was rumored to be at the helm of the newest Jarvis Cocker solo outing, Further Complications, many were chomping at the bit, awaiting the arrival of something entirely special.  While the album does have a lot of those elements, it’s difficult to attribute these strictly to the presence of Albini’s magical touch. After all, who can really take control of an piece of work by a man like Jarvis.

Albini’s production influence is most notable in the first half of the album, especially the first four tracks.  Opener, “Angela” hits harder than anything we’ve heard from Jarvis in all his previous work.  It’s a fuzzed rocker of a tune, but one would be difficult to identify this as a track that exhibits Cocker at his best.  These first four songs all fall to the exact same trap; they succeed in be decent rock tunes, but they fail in the way that they are not your atypical Jarvis piece.  With that in mind, we can always be thankful that Jarvis has his usual literary wit in tow, which definitely helps along those early songs.

“Hold Still” serves as the turning point in this novel, as the tone of the album takes a drastic turn, and for the most part, this is for the best.  The song features Jarvis at his best, with his voice taking on the raspy crooning whisper in your ear, begging you to come hither, which was always his best vocal trick in Pulp. Present hand-claps and backing vocals bring this song back to the orchestrated best moments that broke out on Jarvis.

Of course, there is always that whimsical song that hits home with all listeners when Jarvis is rocking the mic. “I Never Said I Was Deep” is this exact song; Jarvis struts his voice in the verses, with that cocky sexual undertone we all know and love. When the chorus comes in, with the character claiming that he isn’t as deep as his lover requests, you are drawn into the magic of the song.  This is Jarvis at his absolute best.

Bookending the album is “You’re In My Eyes (Discosong),” with the title alluding to the more soulful quality of the instrumentation.  Not only his this the longest song on the album, but it’s one where our old friend Jarvis truly returns.  This song has all the swagger you expect from Mr. Cocker, but with the feel of your favorite lounge singer.  It’s hard not to love a man with such talent.  It exemplifies everything that has made Jarvis Cocker one of the more interesting, and vital, musicians of the last two decades. Further Complications is just another notch on his already quite respectable belt.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/i-never-said-i-was-deep.mp3]

Download: Jarvis Cocker – I Never Said I Was Deep [MP3]

FT5: Worst.Songs.Ever

0501top5cover2You know that song that makes you want to gouge your eardrums out with a rusty butter knife? A song that might make you wish you couldn’t even hear at all? Or maybe one that makes you want to go Bluto Blutarsky on someone? As much as we love the music we write about on a day-to-day basis, we could also write a book about music we hate. So with today’s list we bring you the “Worst.Songs.Ever.” This is not a scientific list. It is simply a personal list of songs that 5 ATH staff writers wish had never existed. Follow the jump for our worst songs ever, and share yours with us when you’re done.

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New Tunes from Twilight Sad

twilightsMy continuing love of Scotland is being furthered as the days go on. I’m sending our writer Corey with his wonderful fiance overseas to research the possibilities of the transatlantic move; this entire idea has been encouraged by the current musical landscape. Twilight Sad is just another incredible band, with another release slated for a September street date. Their walls of distortion are reined in on this new track, but it only raises the high expectations for their upcoming release.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/reflection-of-the-television-1.mp3]

Download: The Twilight Sad – Reflection of the Television [MP3]

Centro-matic @ The Parish (5/15)

centro-matic-460Centro-matic and Will Johnson get all kinds of coverage on this site so we will of course be alerting you every time the Denton, TX band makes it through town.  Friday evening Will and the boys will be making a stop at the Parish downtown along with Monahans and locals Future Cloud and RadarThe Parish should be an ideal venue to see such an underrated and talented band.  Doors are at 8pm/music at 9.  Tickets can be bought online now for $14.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/centromatic_flashes_and_cables.mp3]

Download: Centro-matic – Flashed and Cables [MP3]

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