Given the set up and venue, professional coverage of an event like Lissie opening for City & Colour at the Central Presbyterian Church can be a bit difficult. Not that the venue isn’t great (it is pretty sweet), it’s just that giving such an event proper coverage can be tricky. No professional photography, limited set times, etc. can all be problems. Regardless, the highlight of the evening for me was easily the voice of folk singer Lissie resonating throughout a crowded church house with incredible acoustics. Follow the jump to read more.
There are few song subjects that lend themselves to expressions of pure happiness. Songs about automobiles seem to be an exception. The sense of freedom that comes from driving a car always seems be a joyful experience in songs. Whether you’re talking about The Beach Boys or The Geto Boys, exalting the virtues of the automobile seems to be a peculiarly American phenomenon. Most songs seem to be about American cars too as, to my knowledge, no one yet has written a great pop song about a Honda Civic. Maybe some day. In the mean time, follow the jump for five great songs about (American) cars.
|Tickets||$20 from Frontgate|
Remember that Aesop Rock show that was cancelled back in December? Well Mohawk and the hip hop great got together and re-scheduled the show for this Saturday night. Opening support will be provided by C-Ray Walz, Starving Martyrs, and Glitterbillies.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Daylight.mp3]
Download: Aesop Rock – Daylight [MP3]
Finally! What a nice surprise to get up this morning and find a much anticipated new track from super duo She & Him. This new track “In the Sun” will appear on the sophomore LP Volume Two which is due out March 23rd on Merge. The new track also features some guest vocals from Tilly & The Wall. Nice.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/She-Him-In-the-Sun.mp3]
Download: She & Him – In the Sun [MP3]
As the year goes on and on, it seems like everybody is getting in on the releasing of albums. Turin Brakes is the next group we’re excited about hearing from, especially because of this new acoustic pop number “Apocolips.” It’s more tried and tested tunes performed and written by the duo. You can find this album on their new album Outbursts, which comes out March 30th via Cooking Vinyl.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Apocolips1.mp3]
Download: Turin Brakes – Apocolips [MP3]
A From the Closet featuring the great Sly & The Family Stone band seems appropriate this week since ATH took the day off on Monday for the great MLK Jr. Sly and his band, while doing it a bit more aggressively than the late Dr. King, also promoted the ideals of a world without racism and discrimination. I mean this band was integrated wayyyy before being integrated was cool. White boys in a funk band? No way! Don’t tell that to Sly Stone. With such a huge discography of music a choice could be hard, but not when a band has such a huge hit like “Everyday People”. Appearing on the groups biggest album Stand! of 1968, this hit sums up the style of Sly: heavy psych-funk beats with a simple message of peace. I’ve also got to admit that this was one of the first songs I ever really fell head over heals for. My mom had the Sly & The Family Stone greatest hits on vinyl and I jammed the shit out of this song on my Fisher Price record player. This is easily one of my top 10 songs of all time.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/EverydayPeople.mp3]
|Tickets||$18 from Frontgate|
English veteran rockers The Cribs are stopping into town at The Parish on Saturday night. Locals are solid as well with Adam Green and The Dead Trees getting in on the fun. This is hands down your best option for music on Saturday.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/03-we-share-the-same-skies-1.mp3]
Download: The Cribs – We Share the Same Skies [MP3]
Another local band on Daytrotter this week!? Touchdown! We generally stay away from posting about Daytrotter twice in a week, but we couldn’t resist when we saw a session with Austin boys Brazos posted today. The set features 3 old tunes and one previously unreleased track which you can find below. Apparently the track is an older one that never got laid down to tape.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/brazos-interlocking.mp3]
Download: Brazos – Interlocking [MP3]
While surfing the interwebs today, we found this crazy Band Camp site featuring a DJ/Producer who decided to mix some Wu-Tang Clan with a few Beatles samples. Sounds crazy huh? Well if nothing else you should at least get a good laugh out of the project. The idea apparently came from Tom Caruana who owns and runs a record label called Tea Sea Records. Tom definitely believes in bigger is better as the compilation features 27 free to download mash-up tracks. Sure the Grey Album may have been better produced and more relevant, but this thing is worth the download time. Funny stuff. Thanks to LHB for the heads up. I’ll hold off on posting any MP3 tracks as I could easily see legal issues coming this guy’s way just like they did for Danger Mouse.
It seems like not too long ago that we last heard from Eels, which is correct, as Hombre Loco came out in 2009, but we find E here on this album a far different man than where we encountered him. End Times, as the cover art suggests, shows a worn man living in isolation; he’s a man broken by love, or at least we can assume it is he, as E’s always been honest with us in his writing.
When the album opens with “In My Younger Days” you find a stripped down Everett, naked in front of his listener. He paints a picture of the difficulties he’s encountered overcoming loneliness in old age, something he found far easier in his “younger days.” The sparse instrumentation here is one huge difference from Hombre Loco, as you barely find a percussive element in the songwriting, except for the full-on country rocker, “Gone Man,” which aside from the lyrics, is one of the weaker songs on the record.
It’s clear throughout that E is reminiscing with us, as if he’s casually telling the story of love lost; it’s a story many listeners will soon turn to in their time of loneliness and strife. “In the Beginning” tells of the honeymoon phase, where problems seem trivial, as you’re consumed by the romance of it all. Unfortunately, the gruff vocals force the inevitable upon you, pushing you to see that in End Times things have clearly changed.
During “A Line in the Dirt” you find a couple at their worst moment, both afraid to be alone, yet knowing that the end will bring nothing but that very feeling. It’s clear that neither character wants to be without the other, though they can’t find a way to make it work. The juxtaposition with this song and “End Times” is perfect, as the story line reaches its climactic pinnacle. The album’s title track draws the story to a close, at least the break-up itself, and there is no going back from here.
Throughout the album, you find a narrator who is putting himself on display for his audience, revealing himself during his hardest times. It’s reminiscent of Sea Changes by Beck, where the songwriter meets with disillusionment and solitude, unwilling to accept his fate. Yet, as the album comes to a close, we find E “On His Feet.” He seems to have succumbed to the fact that the cyclical aspect of relationships coming and going is something we all must go through at some time or another. While he may not have been willing to give into it easily, it seems at the end of the record, he’s accepted his faults in the destruction of his relationship, and he’s ready to be back on his feet again; he’s ready “to be alright.”
It’s hard to adequately describe the music in his album, as it comes far behind the role of the lyrical value, which is possibly one of the few faults you’ll find on End Times. The story is one that we can all relate to, which is perhaps why this seems to be an ultimately more personable record than Hombre Loco. Let it be known that regardless of where life finds him, E knows his way around writing heartfelt tunes, and this album is chock full of them.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/EELS-Little-Bird.mp3]
Download: Eels – Little Bird [MP3]