Rose Hill Drive @ Stubbs (10/29)

Boulder rock band, Rose Hill Drive, will be playing the indoor stage at Stubbs on Wednesday night.  In even better news, Colour Revolt (who we did a little feature on before ACL), will be opening things up for the Boulder boys.  Doors for this show are at 10:30 and tickets can be bought for $12 from front gate tickets.  We’ve also got a tune from Rose Hill Drive below called “Trans Am”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/werksman-rose_hill_drive_-_trans-am.mp3]

Download: Rose Hill Drive – Trans Am [MP3]

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals – Cardinology

Rating: ★★ · · ·

Dear Ryan Adams,

Back in the day you put together an amazing album Heartbreaker. In all honesty, that record is going to be remembered for years to come; it really is that good. But, now you come back at your fans with Cardinology!

First off, what on earth is going on with the album artwork? Is this one of the remaining pieces of the set from Roadhouse? Maybe that’s where you found the sound for this album. Perhaps it’s your attempt at establishing yourself as the artist formerly known as Ryan Adams, which would be understandable, as you bare no resemblance to the man who stepped out of the shadows of Whiskeytown.

This new record, Cardinology, well, it just doesn’t make any sense at all. Sure, many of those will remember some of the scattered breakthrough moments you shared with your old band, but your best efforts always seem to come from areas when you step aside from the full on band approach. Here, we find you overshadowed by the entire band, and often, you don’t even sound like yourself anymore.

For the most part, the opening to this album sounds like you wanted to take a pop approach to writing country songs, but you end up sounding like the Gin Blossoms or Third Eye Blind covering Americana songs. It feels overly contrived, as if you lost that magical touch that drew so many people to you in the first place. Listening to this album makes you seems as if you drifted further away from yourself; we were all sad to see you go.

As listeners, we appreciate some of the strong songs that do make their way through, such as “Let Us Down Easy” or “Crossed Out Name.” Each of those seems to exist in that distant place where you lived for so long, yet rarely visit these days. It has so much personality in the song, especially lyrically. You could go so far as to say that “Evergreen” can also be lumped in with the same batch of songs; they are all personal, making them more personal for the audience listening to your records.

Then again, as you make headway, you add a song like “Stop.” If anyone decided to rip off Neil Young playing the piano, it had to be you. There is no passion here, and the lyrics seem so ridiculous. Did you really write “you are not alone,” and throw it into a song? Way to be original. You know what would be original? A Ryan Adams record without the Cardinals that broke our hearts; a record that made us believe; a record we all really need.

Earlimart On Daytrotter

Cali band, Earlimart, just did a a short performance for the Daytrotter website.  You can stream all the songs or download each one now.  You can also check out one of the live tracks below called “God Loves You the Best” which appears on the band’s latest effort Hymn & Her.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/earlimart_daytrottersession_2.mp3]

Download: Earlimart – God Loves you the Best [MP3]

Adult Swim’s African Swim

The good folks at Adult Swim, who usually bring us stuff like Robot Chicken and Family Guy reruns, have a new downloadable mix for you called African Swim.  The mix gets the unique name because it’s chock full of the best hip-hop coming out of Africa right now.  Download the mix and familiarize yourself with some previously unknown hip-hop beats.  While on the topic, check out the entire free music crazy Adult Swim music page.

Deerhunter – Microcastle

Rating: ★★★★ ·

For most of the fans of Deerhunter, this album seems to have been floating around the world in some form or another, so many of you have already gotten to know Microcastle, the band’s sophomore release.  Those of you that haven’t listened to it yet will definitely need to get your hands on this album.

Admittedly, the band has left behind a little bit of the atmospherics that were present in Cryptograms, instead pushing forward with a more immediate sound.  Mr. Cox has even gone so far as to say that he didn’t mind if the band took on a sort of Strokes‘ sound, which, it really doesn’t.  You can only go so far before you aren’t the same band, but Deerhunter sound every bit themselves here.

Sure, the songs definitely ascribe to a little bit of the pop, but they surround each song in their very structured fuzziness, clouding every inch of tape with something worthwhile for the listener.  It’s as if they chose to completely focus on every song, providing all of them with their own personality so that in turn, they resonate individually with the listener.  Slowly, the band builds each song, as if they were putting together tiny bricks in order to construct microcastles.

A lot of the songs, however, are reminiscent of the sounds bands like Grizzly Bear or Gravenhurst.  Gentle vocals are paced between intricate musicianship, and then walled in with extemporaneous sound, creating the perfect song within a soundscape.  It’s becoming a bit over-done, but you won’t find any who do it much better than the Georgians from Deerhunter.  But, they also jump far away from this in songs like “Cover Me Slowly” and “Nothing Ever Happened,” which may be more in the way of what future albums might sound like.

For now, the band seems to be happily stuck between their own walls of sound and their desire for a less eclectic sound.  They do seem at their best when they push the pace a bit, allowing themselves a touch of greatness, but each time they resume to other formats, they fall back into something more commonplace in the modern indie music market.  Either way, Deerhunter have created another album that is sure to rise to the top of many people’s year end lists; as it should.

FT5: Worst Things in Music

Today marks the beginning of a new feature on Austin Town Hall.  Every Friday we plan to bring you a completely random Top 5 List.  We’ll be bringing in all of our writers for this one, with the goal of creating lists based on what we are most passionate about.

We apologize for starting on a negative note, but today’s topic is “The Top 5 Worst Things In Music”.  We try to focus on the major problems and not just nit picky things like the existence of Scott Stapp.  These are the issues.  These are things that must be changed.  Follow the jump to read the full list.

Read more

Appalled

In these tough economic times, I think we’ve all given some consideration to starting our own meth labs. Oh, you haven’t you say? Well pardon me your Majesty, I didn’t mean to disturb you from your high horse of judgement!

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