New Ben Kweller Track

Everyone’s favorite Texas boy, Ben Kweller, has a new song called “Hurtin’ You” that premiered on Stereogum late last week.  The song is our first glimpse into Kweller’s new album Changing Horses due out in February of next year.  Sounds like he’s going deeper into the country/singer-sonwriter genre.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/ben-kweller-hurtin-you.mp3]

Download: Ben Kweller – Hurtin’ You [MP3]

Corgan Blames Vedder For Cubs Fall

Maybe we should just start running a feature on this site about formerly great 90s front men who have fallen on strange times. This week, Billy Corgan makes the headlines with some odd accusations aimed towards Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder. Apparently Billy thinks Eddie is to blame for the Cubs recent playoff choke.  Referring to the song Vedder wrote for the Cubs, “All the Way”, Corgan said: “If the Cubs did have a chance this last year that just passed,” Corgan told a Chicago crowd. “F—ing Eddie Vedder killed that s— dead. Last I checked, Eddie ain’t living here, OK? Eddie ain’t living here to write a song about my f—ing team.” Um, ok?  This comes after Chris Cornell teamed up with Timbaland, Anthony Kiedis makes a TV show, and Scott Weiland records an album full of rubbish.  Oh how the mighty have fallen… What happened to you formerly glorious 90s front men?  Read the full story on Spinner.

Gentlemen Auction House Christmas

Gentlemen Auction House are here to tell the world that it’s never to early to bust out the Christmas music.  The St. Louis band are celebrating the holiday season with a 6 song Christmas EP called Christmas in Love.  You can listen to all the tracks on lala or hear “Home for the Holidays” below.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/homefortheholidays.mp3]

Download: Gentlemen Auction House – Home for the Holidays [MP3]

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Sunday at Devil Dirt

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Despite it’s abilities to work, this still remains one of the strangest duos that has come to light. You could see Jagger and Bowie, but Lanegan and Campbell? Still, two albums in, they are perfecting their devilish-folk musings on Sunday at Devil Dirt.

As per usual, Mark Lanegan, former Screaming Trees singer, takes the lead vocals on this entire album, coating every single song in his whiskey-drenched Southern drawl, coming off like a less-carnivalesque Tom Waits. His voice is fitting for David Lynch screenplays, and yet he matches it with the sweetness of Isobel Campbell.

Most of the musical arrangements on the album come from Campbell, who continues to contrast her traditional role as queen of twee by creating brooding folks songs; each song is carefully constructed with equal part haunting orchestration and guitar picking. It’s this match of sounds that provides for a demonically sultry soundscape throughout.

Most of the time, Isobel doesn’t really make an appearance on the album, at least not as the focal point, which is disappointing, as her voice was one of the most memorable of the late 90s. Still, she does have some stand out moments, which make the tracks stand out from the rest. Her vocal bombast during the chorus of “The Raven” provides the perfect counter-balance to Lanegan. Similarly, the duo trade vocals on “Who Built the Road,” which demonstrates the unique harmony shared between these two juxtaposed musical characters.

One of the more endearing tracks, meaning one of the most upbeat–spiritually speaking, is “Keep Me in Mind Sweethear.” It’s a short number, but even Lanegan makes the longing sound natural, and not nearly as dark has his typical outing on this album. Oddly, at this point in the album, you can feel the lighter side of things shining through, which is ironic since it all comes at the end of the album, but it encourages you to look forward, and move on.

Overall, this is just another example of the dynamic shared between two great voices in independent music. It comes just in time for the cold weather to encourage whiskey drinking and story telling among friends; may your holidays come off something like this album.

FT5: Underrated Guitar Solos

No countdown is more contested among guitar geeks than the list of the top guitar solos of all time. Heavily dominated by Metal and Classic Rock bands, top 100 lists have spawned all over music media outlets everywhere. Comfortably Numb, Stairway to Heaven, All Along the WatchtowerFreebird. We know the usual suspects. Today we pay homage to some the lesser known solos that, we believe, deserve more attention than they have gotten in the past.

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New Frightened Rabbit Tune

Frightened Rabbit have a new song that we found on the old interweb yesterday.  The song is called “Last Tango in Brooklyn” and appears on a new fake book compilation called The Lifted Brow.  You might be surprised by the different sound from the band, but the tune is still quite tasty.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/frightened-rabbit-last-tango-in-brooklyn.mp3]

Download: Frightened Rabbit – Last Tango in Brooklyn [MP3]

Stream Paul McCartney’s Latest

Paul McCartney’s latest project, The Firemen, have a new album out called Electric Arguments and you can stream the whole thing now on the NPR websiteThe Firemen is an electronic duo started in 1993 by McCartney and Killing Joke founding member, Youth (Martin Glover). This new album is the first time the duo has utilized vocals and apparently has a more “traditional” sound. Is the new project worth our time?

Nada Surf @ Emo’s (11/22)

Nada Surf will be bringing their brand of pop-rock to Emo’s on Saturday evening.  Buy your tickets now for the low low price of $15.  Catch a preview of the show with “See These Bones” from the band’s latest effort Lucky.  In other Nada Surf news, the guys have a new limited edition vinyl box set coming out next week.  The price may sound high at $100 but you get all 5 Nada Surf LPS, digital downloads of each and a few other random goodies.  Sound good?  Pre-order your copy now.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/nadasurf_seethesebones.mp3]

Download: Nada Surf – See These Bones [MP3]

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