Black Moth Super Rainbow @ Mohawk – 6/2

sevenbellsIt’s the beginning of a killer week of live music here in Austin, and the town is going to start it off with a great set from various noise-makers.  Black Moth Super Rainbow headline this show at Mohawk, closing with their electronic noise fusion. Local greats Balmorhea open this show, and they’re sure to be the quieter set of the evening. Don’t forget the middle band, School of Seven Bells, will bring their precious space-pop amidst the two acts, rounding out an evening of solid tunes.

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Download: Black Moth Super Rainbow – Rollerdisco [MP3]

New Tunes from Nightmare of You

nightmareA few years back Nightmare of You seemed just like another one of the bands emulating The Killers. But, in the years since, they’ve fleshed out their sound quite a bit, evolving beyond the basics and into a group all their own. “I Think I’m Getting Older” from the band’s forthcoming album, which hits the streets on July 28th, has a hint of Koufax, especially in the delivery of the lyrics, but as previously mentioned, the band are going further then they have before; this is all to their benefit.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/i-think-im-getting-older.mp3]

Download: Nightmare of You – I Think I’m Getting Older [MP3]

New Tunes from The Lovely Feathers

feathersA few years ago, The Lovely Feathers had it all. Their high energy Canadian post-pop had them labeled as the next big thing all over the world, but then they hit some struggles, and seemed to get lost for the time being. And now they’re back for the attack, offering up new tunes, and a new album titled Fantasy of the Lot, which will hit the shores of Canada this week; it doesn’t make its way to the rest of us until August. Still, we’ve got the album’s opener to get you reacquainted with the band.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/01-lowiza1.mp3]

Download: The Lovely Feathers – Lowiza [MP3]

Patrick Wolf – The Bachelor

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Rating: ★★★★½

Patrick Wolf entered the consciousness of music when his album Wind in the Wires propelled his angelic voice and his music into media outlets everywhere.  Since then, he’s carefully moved about in the industry, claiming to want to walk away at times, and then branching out musically by adding electronic elements with The Magic Position.  Now, he comes back to us with the first battle of a two part concept album, this one being titled The Bachelor; the battle imagery goes beyond the album art’s computer gaming appearance.

When the first real song appears on the album, it’s precisely what one would expect of Patrick Wolf at this point in his career.  String instruments are added to the brooding imagery, which is accompanied by the darker undertones of his vocals, but this all dissipates once the first part of the chorus chimes in with Wolf operatically screaming for “resolution,” which is juxtaposed by his calming request for “revolution.” Perhaps it’s these contradicting figures with whom Patrick is constantly battling himself; he’s mapped out his battlefield perfectly.

This album’s title track is perhaps one of the more interesting tracks that the young man has created to date.  While there is a sense of the folk inspiration that lay about his early work, there is something entirely haunting here, which is reinforced by the presence of Alec Empire of Atari Teenage Riot. Sure, it’s an odd pairing, but nothing Patrick has touched has ever been of the mundane sort; he rises above such things, just at “The Bachelor” rises above many of his previous songs.

Of course, the presence of various guests on this album alludes to some strange experimentation, which is usually prone to throwing some of Patrick’s albums off track.  On “Count of Casualty” Patrick seems to throw everything into the mix, including a recipe of chanting, strings, digital effects and his vocals.  It’s a song of cluttered, but ornate, noise.  However, it’s balanced perfectly by “Who Will,” the track that follows.  Here Wolf opens with an organ and his voice, just before a chorale comes chiming in with accompaniment.  It’s the perfect balance between songs, demonstrating the range he has asked us to grow accustomed to with his music.

“Vulture” hits hard, just as you would expect.  It’s the most electronic piece on the album, and you can definitely see the influence of Alec Empire in this song, which may or may not be a good thing, depending upon who you choose to ask.  In the chorus, Wolf’s vocals don’t feel nearly as strong as they do on previous tracks, but the pulsating track still manages to stay inside your head.

The Bachelor is the most successful string of songs that Patrick Wolf has managed to put together, if you exclude “Battle” from the tracklist.  His prior works have always teetered off after unbelievably song starts, but this album succeeds by making it to the end without losing your interest in any manner.  As he has grown up, his confidence and his abilities to blend multiple genres with his unique voice have provided Mr. Wolf with a greatness few will achieve.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/02-hard-times.mp3]

Download: Patrick Wolf – Hard Times [MP3]

FT5: Albums of the Year (So Far)

0529top5coverAs we see it, we’re about midway through the year as far as record releases go, seeing as how no one really puts albums out in December for fear of being left off year-end lists. Since we’ve hit the half-way mark, we thought we would throw out a list of our Top 5 Records so far this year. Keep in mind, this list is subject to change, should something mind altering come our way, or should we just get bored with one of the following records.

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Sub Pop Sampler!

subpopIt’s no surprise that Sub Pop has been able to stay atop the game as one of the leading independent record labels since its inception.  To this day they continue to release albums that always matter; let’s just say that the label is known for its good taste.  They’re here to offer you a brand new sampler full of songs that you can get later this year, such as a track from Grand Archives, or songs you should already own this year.  Grab yourself  a copy of this fresh new sampler here.

New Tunes from Magnolia Electric Co

jason3Jason Molina has taken a few years off, though we can assume he’s just been laying low and biding his time.  Now he’s ready to unleash a new Magnolia Electric Co album, Josephine, on the masses in July on Secretly Canadian.  We’re here to offer you the title track from the album for your enjoyment.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/magnolia-electric-co-josephine.mp3]

Download: Magnolia Electric Co – Josephine [MP3]

From The Closet: Waylon Jennings

waylonjenningsI know we hardly (by hardly, I mean never) cover country music here at the ATH. But if you ever feel like giving it a try, Waylon Jennings should be on your short list. The Waylon Jennings legend runs deep. Former bass player for Buddy Holly. Gave up his seat to The Big Bopper the day the music died. Co-founder of the Outlaw Movement. The Balladeer for The Dukes of Hazzard. 1/4 of the supergroup The Highwaymen. So today I present  a song from Waylon’s finest album, the 1973 classic Honky Tonk Heroes. Written by Texas native Billy Joe Shaver, the song “Black Rose” was actually banned by country music stations for it’s references to a black girl. And it doesn’t get more country than my favorite line: “The Devil made me do it the first time, the second time I done it on my own.”

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