• SXSW: 6 Bands To Watch

    Well SXSW music is officially here, and as I sit and ponder my existence while at work, I thought it would be fun to share some advice on bands to

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  • RayRay’s Top Songs – 2018

    When it comes to ATH and our areas of expertise, I like to think I’m the go to guy for song lists and bad ass playlists. If you’re doubting me,

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  • Best of Indiepop 2018

    Everyone has their own definition of indiepop; but I tend to ascribe to the original craft where DIY aesthetics and a softer response to punk were all the rage. But,

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  • ATH Top Albums – 2018

      This is our year end list for albums of the year. There’s four of us here, so it’s hard to come to a consensus, but we did our best.

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  • Nathan’s Top Austin Albums of 2018

    In the year’s end, those who “write” about music claim our superior tastes by spouting off about our favorite releases. I figured I should start off all the shenanigans with

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Beirut On La Blogotheque

beirut7Long time ATH fave, Beirut, just recorded another session for the fine folks at La Blogotheque over the weekend.  The set is a more traditional in-studio somewhere in France and is quite lengthy at over 26 minutes.  The band plays some of our favorites including another version of “Nantes” which was the highlight of Beirut’s last Blogotheque performance.  This one is well worth your time.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/01-my-night-with-the-prostitute-from-marseille.mp3]

Download: Beirut – My Night with the Prostitute from Marseille [MP3]

Sunset @ Emo’s (6/30)

sunset_flier_copyAustin veterans Sunset are getting down at Emo’s on Tuesday and we think you should make it out to support your local music scene.  Fellow local and solid bands The Sour Notes and Wild Moccasins will join the band on the stage for what should be a fun night of Austin music.  Doors open up at 9pm and door charge is only $5.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/04-when-perfect-flames-expire.mp3]

Download: Sunset – When Perfect Flames Expire [MP3]

Wilco – Wilco (The Album)

wilco

Rating: ★★½ · ·

Everyone always has Wilco on the mind.  No matter where you go, you find someone you know that adores Wilco, which is acceptable, as they’ve managed to put out some phenomenal records. The question on everyone’s lips will be whether or not Wilco (The Album) will be one of those feats of greatness, or something along the lines of Sky Blue Sky. More than likely, once everyone has listened for an ample amount of time, it will lean more on the side of their later work rather than their earlier strengths. Alas, such is the life for a band of such stature.

One of the strengths of this album is that Jeff Tweedy has his voice way up in the mix, which provides die-hard fans with a chance to get more acquainted with him.  He seems quite a bit more assured here, as if he finally has come to realize that his voice is truly the backbone of the band, and without him they fail.  In all honesty, his voice is the best thing that runs throughout the album; it seems as if he would succeed to greater lengths if he just went it on his own.

This is where the album seemingly misses its mark.  Nels Cline has taken the reigns from Tweedy, and he now has control over the group. It’s much like the presence of Jim O’ Rourke; he has the ability to add greatness to a song, but the power to destroy it in various moments.  His guitar work meanders through the songs, but haphazardly, which decreases his strengths, and that of the band.  Nels, and the band, travel into territory that seemingly adds little to the progression of the songs as a whole, bringing the listener to a point of indifference.

“You and I,” however, is one of the best songs the group has ever written. Sure, the presence of Feist doesn’t ever hurt anyone, aside from being played on various iTunes commercials, but the song itself exemplifies the gifts Tweedy possesses as a songwriter. It’s on of the more straightforward songs, and it demonstrates Tweedy at his best, without the tampering of Nels Cline.  “Solitaire” is another such song where Tweedy seems to go it alone.  You can’t deny the power of his voice in such a song, and you can’t deny the intimacy with which he sings.

But, at the end of the day, the band lacks much of the interesting moments they’ve maintained on previous releases. Their formulaic styling as of late leaves much to be desired, and it seems as if its rendered the band rather mundane.  While they once peaked your interest with various approaches to Americana, they seem to have dwindled far away from those moments, instead settling for the most basic song elements.  So you find the band traversing such territory, dancing with tried and true strategies, while fading away with their modern twists on the genre.  Sadly, it just doesn’t garner much interest for listeners, which is a place Wilco fans never thought the band would go.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/05-you-and-i.mp3]

Dowload: WIlco – You and I [MP3]

FT5 – 2009 Jams of the Summer

0626top5coverWe’re right in the beginning of summer, as we can all tell by the ridiculous heat has been beating down upon us.  For us, we just sit around all day listening to sweet tunes, hoping that we can create the perfect playlists for our long drives to nowhere.  As per usual, we think we’ve provided you with a list of songs that are destined to have you turning up your stereo as you drive through the hill country or maybe you just want to throw them on during your barbecue.  Regardless, these are our jams of the summer.
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Belaire @ Mohawk (6/27)

belaireBelaire is in Austin band that have been going strong for quite some time now and we really never get tired of seeing them live.  As if these Austin veterans weren’t enough, the night has two solid openers in Cryptacize and Black Before Red joining in on the fun.  Tickets are on sale now for the low price of $7 and doors open at 9pm.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/090314_belaire_-_back_into_the_wall.mp3]

Download: Belaire – Back Into the Wall [MP3]

Ben Kweller @ Emo’s (6/27)

WebThe always steady and entertaining Ben Kweller is making another stop in Austin at Emo’s on Saturday night.  Joining Mr. Kweller on the stage will be Jones Street Station and a special acoustic set by The MurdocksTickets are on sale now for $18 and music starts around 9pm.  Most recent single “Ballad of Wendy Baker” can be found below for your listening pleasure.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/05-ballad-of-wendy-baker.mp3]

Download: Ben Kweller – Ballad of Wendy Baker [MP3]

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

michaeljackson-gal-beforeSad news in the music world today.  Michael Jackson, the true king of pop music, has passed away today from an apparent heart attack.  We won’t try to put into words what this means to the music world, but we will say that everyone here at ATH is deeply saddened by this news.  We will miss you.  Full story comes from CNN.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/michael-jackson-billie-jean.mp3]

From The Closet: Mineral

mineral1I’ve been feeling really nostalgic lately about my Emo days in high school and college so I thought the hottest Austin emo band Mineral would be a solid choice for our From the Closet.  Mineral were only around for about 4 years and only put out two full LPs, both of which superb additions to the then trendy Emo genre.  After their break up in 1998, Chris Simpson went on to form The Gloria Record and now fronts the Austin folk-pop band Zookeeper.  The song I’ve got for you is “& Serenading” which appears on the bands second LP EndSerenading.  It’s long been one of my favorites from the late 90s emo genre.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/09-serenading.mp3]

Download: Mineral – & Serenading [MP3]

New Music From Wheat

wheatTauton, MA band Wheat just posted some new material for their fans to check out.  New single “Hott” has been blowing up our itunes over the last day or so and we hope it makes you smile this summer.  The track will appear on the band’s upcoming album White Ink, Black Ink due out July 21st via Rebel Group.  What’s your take?

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/wheat_hott.mp3]

Download: Wheat – Hott [MP3]

Quiet Company @ Antones (6/26)

quiet-companyA recent local find by us, Quiet Company, are playing a show at Antone’s on Friday night and have some surprises in store.  To start off, the band will be joined on the stage by fellow locals The Mercers, Zookeeper, and Wiretree as openers.  Tickets will cost you $10 online or $15 for a ticket and a CD.  To make things more enticing, the band has a deal with do512 that allows you to get a free 9 song EP, a chance to win tickets, and a 50% off deal just be liking the event.  Like they could do anything else to make you want to go.  Do it!!!

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/04-seal-my-fate.mp3]

Download: Quiet Company – Seal My Fate [MP3]

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