For today’s From The Closet, we’re going to go with another genre that doesn’t get much attention around here: Hip-Hop. In our journey we are going to travel to the year 3030. It is a time when Deltron Zero is fighting oppresive government corporations and battling to be the Galactic Rhyme Federation Champion. Released in 2000, Deltron 3030 is a concept album put together by Del the Funkee Homosapian, Dan The Automater and DJ Kid Koala. In my opinion one of the most original and groundbreaking hip-hop albums around, which still stands as my personal favorite in the genre. While it’s doing the album an injustice by picking one song to present, I’ll go with the intro track, “3030”.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/3030.mp3]
Throw me the Statue is a band we fell in love with over the last year so we are of course excited to hear that the band are prepping a new LP for release later this summer. First single from the album “Ancestors” was made available for download yesterday and could be another one of our famed songs of summer. Creaturesque will be available in stores 8/4 via the Secretly Canadian label.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/04-ancestors-1.mp3]
Sad Accordions are a band that we were tipped off on by our friend Mike over at the music blog Sonic Itch. After giving them a few listens and the bands music turning up on our most played lists, we thought it was about time to run a feature on the group. The story reads that Sad Accordions got their start many years ago in the metropolis of Houston, TX when founding members Ben Lance and Seth Woods began to play music together. Soon after in 2003, more members joined on and the group relocated to our little city and have been playing local shows and growing their fan base ever since. The sound of Sad Accordions is a little bit folky, a little bit quiet/melodic rock, and all parts beauty. Check out a sample of the band’s sound below with Fire/Ash from debut LP A Bad Year for the Sharons. It’s one of the most complete and heart-felt albums we’ve heard in a long time. Pick it up![audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/06-fire_ash.mp3]
Download: Sad Accordions – Fire/Ash [MP3]
The always fun band The Submarines were on Daytrotter earlier this week. The L.A. duo play 3 songs including this gem made famous by your friends at Apple. I bet they are really sick of playing this one by now… but I still love it![audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/the-submarines-you-me-and-the-bourgeoisie.mp3]
Download: The Submarines – You me and the Bourgeoisie [MP3]
One of Sub Pop’s great bands, Helio Sequence, will be making their way to the stage at The Mohawk this Thursday night, in what is sure to be another beautiful set from the band. Last year’s Keep Your Eyes Ahead was one of the more quiet albums that grew as the year wore into it’s final season. They’ll be taking the stage with D*R*I* and Low Line Caller. Doors to the show open at 8 PM and you can purchase tickets by heading over to Transmission Entertainment.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/05-shed-your-love.mp3]
Download: Helio Sequence – Shed Your Love [MP3]
It’s really sad that Jay Farrar’s band Son Volt has gotten little to no attention from online media after Uncle Tupelo broke up. All praise continues to fall on Jeff Tweedy’s Wilco as they grow and grow to huge levels of success. Well low and behold Son Volt has a new record coming out July 7th called American Central Dust and we just found first single “Down to the Wire” today on the internets. Farrar still has one of the best voices in the modern alt-coutry era.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/02_down_to_the_wire.mp3]
Download: Son Volt – Down to the Wire [MP3]
Currently, the music scene is filled with waves upon waves of bands who are forging ahead with music under the lo-fi moniker, creating tunes shrouded in disguise. It’s as divisive a topic as whether or not to like Grizzly Bear or Animal Collective; clearly the jury is out, but Blank Dogs is yet another band opting to use a barrage of noisy atmospherics in order to compose the music on Under and Under. Of course, you’ll find that the man behind the project Mike Sniper is familiar with other leading acts in the scene such as Crystal Stilts or Dum Dum Girls.
Musically, all listeners will have to admit that the skeleton of the album itself is quite interesting, and would normally garner huge popularity in another format. Take the lead track “No Compass” with the bouncing rhythm and angular guitar cutting through the song. Even when the tracks come across fueled with electronic elements such as keyboards on tracks like “Blue Lights” you can catch melodies that otherwise one would typically enjoy.
However, the presentation of these skeletons is what leads to a discourse on whether or not this music can be deemed as such. Has the deconstruction of pop sensibility gone so far that we can accept as a listener lyrics run through some sort of effect machine, creating nothing more than what appears echoes of noise? It’s actually a deeply haunting effect that pervades the entirety of Under and Under, but it takes a certain breed of listener to endure this for long periods of time.
Taking the album fragment by fragment, you have what looks to be the construction of a very basic pop album; the guitar work that is present is not super difficult, and not far off from what is currently on the market. An issue with many listeners will be that the recording and the creation of all these fragments has been marred for the most part by these elements of noise that coat both the music and the vocals.
Still, you can’t deny that there is magic in this album. Standout track “Tin Birds” would easily be on any best of compilation from the eighties, even with the foggy vocoder effect on the song. Mike Sniper has created some really intriguing music as Blank Dogs, and a lot of it is worthy of the praise that has been heaped upon him. But, wouldn’t it be great to see if one could create such sublime music without all the frills of making it a deconstructionist lo-fi album? Surely it would, and only the man behind the music can lead us there, so for now we’ll have to stick for the marginally great tunes we have.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/10-tin-birds.mp3]
Download: Blank Dogs – Tin Birds [MP3]
Before you decide to hit up Passion Pit at Emos on June 3rd, you might want to stroll on over to the Long Center where Austin’s Rare Magazine will be hosting a little gathering of local rareties, and what could be more rare than great music here in Austin? Aside from local food vendors handing out booze and food for free, you can catch tunes from great Austin bands such as Grupo Fantasma, Harlem and White Denim. You can snag yourself a pair of tickets for this evening by heading here.
Up and comers Phenomenal Hand Clap Band have a new self-titled album due out on June 23rd via Friendly Fire Recordings. Today we just received the first single “15 to 20” from the album and are ready to proclaim it another feel good dance hit for summer. What’s your take?[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/phb-15to20.mp3]
Download: Phenomenal Hand Clap Band – 15 to 20 [MP3]
Passion Pit seems to have been on the tongues of every person discussing music this year, and they return to Austin to show us what they have, in the live setting at Emos that is. Along with them they bring Harlem Shakes and Cale Parks, two bands who have been making waves across the country with delightful albums of their own. Be sure to catch this show, for if the band explodes, you likely won’t catch them in this sort of semi-intimate setting again.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/05-sunlight.mp3]
Download: Harlem Shakes – Sunlight [MP3]