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.

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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!

High Places – s/t

Rating: ★ · · · ·

Brooklyn duo High Places recently released their newest LP, a self titled affair, to much critical claim. Those kids over at PFork gave it an 8! Having come across it ourselves, we opted to look deeper into the album in attempt to uncover the mystery.

Upon first listen, most will find that the music, well, there really doesn’t seem to be much music. Sure, there are some electronic beats dancing here and there with a little mixture of the kitchen sink thrown in for good measure, but there really isn’t anything along the lines of what the majority of the world would define as music. A close examination might reveal that the skeleton for almost every single song on the album stems from too much indulgence into someone’s collection of Animal Collective B-Sides.

Some refer to such music as IDM, or Intelligent Dance Music. Listening, you might find it difficult that the word intelligent has been mentioned at all because clearly it takes very little intelligence to create this music. It’s reminiscent of the stuff all your nerdy friends were making on their own computers back when things like Garage Band were just coming into play. Simpletons.

However, despite obvious lack of creativity, or melody for that matter, there is a highlight all over this album, almost blanketing the sheer horridness. That savior is Mary Pearson, the vocalist for the band. Her range is not all that grand, but she is precisely what most listeners seem to be enjoying these days. She is your girl next door indie songstress, albeit one who has chosen to make this album. One would love to find here step outside the confines of this one-dimensional genre in search of deeper melodies or more creativity.

Those of you who consider yourself intelligent should not listen to those in love with this band, well, you are intelligent, so you should be informed. Listen, listen, then check back with us at ATH so we know that we weren’t too far off on this one.

The Hood Internet V.3

The internet has gone crazy this week with free mix tapes!  I have no doubt that the new Hood Internet Volume 3 Mix Tape will end up being the best one yet. (or at least the best one we’ve told you about this week)  If you aren’t familiar with The Hood Internet, the duo take one indie rock song and blend it with a popular rap/hip-hop song which usually results in dance party gold.  The new volume includes 34 brand new mashups with madness like Ludacris Vs. She & Him, Ghostface Killah Vs. Caribou, and Fleetwood Mac Vs. Daft Punk.  Yikes!  Check it out now and get the party started right!

Locksley @ Emo’s Lounge (10/24)

Locksley will be playing Emo’s Lounge on Friday night as part of the MTV Choose or Lose tour.  Tickets for the show are only $8 and can be bought online from Ticket Web.  Doors for the show are at 9 with music starting at 10.  Preview the show with a sweet track from Locksley called “Why Not Me”.

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

Download: Locksley – Why Not Me [MP3]

Free Eels EP

Mark Everett and his band, The Eels, have a new EP you can download for free from their website.  The new live EP is from a 2005 performance in Manchester and features 4 songs that the band will send to you after entering a valid email address (expires on Oct. 28th).  The band is giving away this EP in celebration of the release of their new delux 4-LP vinyl edition of the 2005 album Blinking Lights and Other Revelations.  This limited vinyl pressing might be for the die hard fans…. It’ll cost ya $205.  If that doesn’t sound too bad, pre-order a copy now.

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