Free Album From The Dogs

We just heard about this new band hailing from Chicago, The Dogs, and wanted to spread the word about their new album.  This is the band’s debut album, it’s self-titled, and you can download the thing for free from their website.  The songs are mostly acoustic driven, folk ballads with some pretty nice harmonies mixed in.  Here’s opening song of the album “I Don’t Know Your Name”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/01-i-dont-know-your-name.mp3]

Download: The Dogs – I Don’t Know Your Name [MP3]

Your Week @ Alamo Drafthouse

The Alamo Downtown has some crazy good shows for your enjoyment this week.  Here’s a quick rundown:

Tuesday – Terror Tuesdays featuring Howling 2 w/ Sybil Danning in person.  Reserve a seat now or read the new Terror Tuesday blog.

Wednesday – Weird Wednesdays featuring Chained Heat w/ Sybil Danning in person yet again!  Reserve your seat now or read the new Weird Wednesday blog.

Thursday – The main event!  Tonight features the debut of the new Mickey Rourke flick The Wrestler along with real live wrestling before the show from The Texas Wrestling Federation!!  Get tickets now for $18.

Dear Alamo, we love you.  That is all.

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion

Rating: ★★★★½

How does one truly classify a band like Animal Collective?  Let alone, how does one place a name on something that is easily unidentifiable?  You can’t, which has often led to praise for this band, as many love that which we don’t completely understand, yet sounds so beautiful.  Merriweather Post Pavillion is the first Animal Collective album that fully reaches beyond and into the masses.

From the get go, the band quickly falls into their typical IDM driven pop music. However, from the first entry on this album, there is a certain clarity to the vocals.  Animal Collective obviously has pushed beyond their own borders, grasping onto the vocal element with a clearer sense of purpose than before.  It’s a breath of fresh air, with a presence all it’s own.

This oddity in styling is reemphasized by the band choosing to also stay a little closer to the mainstream with the lyrical content.  Not only do the vocals sound better, but the lyrics aren’t coated in outsider allusions.  Oddly, this is the closest the band has come to writing meaningful lyrics that will translate to the laymen.  Don’t fret though, the band still primarily seems to use the vocal as an instrument in itself, as lyrics repeat time and time again.  This is where many people will find the Brian Wilson comparison obvious, though they’ve clearly expanded with spending time writing lyrics.

Many will claim that the album closer “Brothersport,” which caused loads of Internet controversy with its leak is the most accessible of the songs present here.  It would be hard to argue that all songs are not accessible this time round, but also consider “Summertime Clothes” as another popular ditty as the mini-chorus of “I want to walk around with you” dances along.

While this may be the first complete album the band has put out, there are always going to be detractors to an album by this group.  Occasionally, the band repeats itself too often, making the listener lose focus in the progression of the song.  It goes on a bit long, and many will get detached as they listen.  In all likelihood this album will be best on vinyl, listened to one side at a time. This is fortunate for all us fans because the band releases the vinyl version on January 6th, while Domino Records will release the CD version on January 20th.

As usual, the band has the knack to suspend listeners in a pop-induced trance, as rhythms steadily pound in your ears, accompanied by the vocal as an instrument.  It’s difficult to predict how some will react, but most can admit that there are many beautiful moments created by clever crafts of Animal Collective.

New Music From Yo La Tengo

Don’t start going crazy over the headline of the post just yet.  It’s sort of new music from Yo La Tengo and sort of not.  The story goes that way back in March a band by the name of Condo Fucks played a surprise type show in NYC with some other bands.  Sort of unexpectedly, that band turned turned out to be just another name for now famous New Jersey indie outfit Yo La Tengo.  This new band, side project or whatever you want to call it has a new album out via Matador on March 24th entitled Fuckbook.  Not sure exactly what the idea is for the project or why the need for all the cursing, but all YLT band members are involved.  Here’s a recently posted song by the band called “Whatcha Gonna Do About It”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/condo_fucks_-_whatcha_gonna_do_about_it.mp3]

Download: Condo Fucks – Whatcha Gonna Do About It [MP3]

Stream New Andrew Bird

If you’re growing impatient for the new Andrew Bird album, the nice folks over at NPR are streaming the entire thing right now.  The new album is entitled Noble Beast and won’t be out in physical form until January 20th.  Here’s whistle heavy first single from the new album “Oh No”.  Don’t forget that Mr. Bird is also coming through Austin on the 12th of February at the ParamountObstructed view tickets are all that’s left so scalping or alternative action may be in order.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/01-oh-no.mp3]

Download: Andrew Bird – Oh No [MP3]

Bootie USA Mashups Of The Year

It’s never too late for another end of the year compilation!  This compilation is brought to you by Bootie USA and features the best mashups of the year.  Our friends The Hood Internet were fortunate enough to make the list with two of their best jams from the year.  Download the free tracks now!  Here’s a taste of what’s instore with a tasty little mashup from French DJ ComaR.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/03-comar-i-want-you-dance.mp3]

Download: ComaR – I Want You To D.A.N.C.E. [MP3]

Glasvegas – s/t

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Glasvegas is the newest Scottish band to hit the United States, and they are expected to make big waves on our shores. Their debut self-titled album has been floating around the Internet for months, but it finally hits records stores here this week.

From the moment that the first song actually kicks in, a minute or so into the song, you hear one of the staples of this band, as they surround the entirety of their songs in swirling atmospherics, coating the songs in a certain denseness that adds layers of emotion to their songs.

Immediately following the introductory song comes one of the better singles from 2008, “Geraldine.” The percussion drives this song perfectly, pounding in your ears as angular guitars cut the landscape or the rest of the album. This is a song you’ll want on all mix tapes you make this year; it’s just a perfect song.

The band doesn’t let up here, as the next five songs are all uniquely wonderful. The crashing chorus of “It’s My Own Cheating Heart” is definitely one of the joys of this little intercession, as cymbals crash in your ears and guitar blasts encourage a little light head-banging. This middle section is the highlight of the record, as the songs never seem to stagnate or come off as copies of the previous tunes. It all ends with the great “Daddy’s Gone.” This is a slower number, but one that showcases the bands capabilities as true songwriters.

Then the band winds the rest of the album down, a little too slowly. The pounding drums and atmospherics dissipate, settling into the softer side of things for the ending. It leaves listeners to contemplate the two weaker elements of the album. One, the lyrics are ridiculous at points.  “You are my sunshine/My only sunshine,” is actually used as a lyric?  It’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but some people will be turned off by it. Also, while the vocals are definitely interesting due to vocal inflection, the Scottish tones will eventually wear you out, as you struggle to understand the spoken word at points.

Still, at the end of the album, most will be pleased with the outcome. They will see promise in a the new young band, and we can expect a big year from Glasvegas.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/07-daddys-gone.mp3]

Download: Glasvegas – Daddys Gone [MP3]

FT5: Cover Songs

“CUM ON FEEL THE NOIZE!”  Without those five words, Quiet Riot’s career would’ve lasted three months instead of thirty-four years.  It’s a lowdown-dirty shame “Cum on feel the Noize” was actually a cover originally performed by an English glam rock band called Slade back in 1973.  Woah…just felt like Matt Pinfield for a moment.  This week’s edition of the Friday Top 5 is dedicated to the greatest cover songs of all-time…according to me, of course.  Sadly, the following list does not include Limp Bizkit’s disturbing version of The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes,” Michael Bolton’s take on Otis Redding, or anything off the I am Sam soundtrack.  Follow the jump to see if your favorite cover song made the list.

Read more

1 1,270 1,271 1,272 1,273 1,274 1,339