• 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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New Tunes from Sonic Youth

soniceNews has slowly been drifiting about the newest Sonic Youth release, The Eternal. Matador Records even gave us a little bit of a teaser by throwing out some 7″s on Record Store Day featuring the band so as to whet your appetite.  Now, to further your interest, we have the first complete single, with Kim manning the wheel here.  If you ask me, this is a good start. Let’s hope it all sounds this good on June 9th, the album release date.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/sonic-youth-sacred-trickster.mp3]

Download: Sonic Youth – Sacred Trickster [MP3]

Wye Oak

wye_oak-warningBaltimore two piece Wye Oak just dropped a new single that we’ve been spinning around the ATH offices over the last few days.  The new track will appear on upcoming album The Knot due out July 21st on Merge.  What do you think of the new material?

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/03-take-it-in.mp3]

Download: Wye Oak – Take It In [MP3]

New Pixies Album

pixies2_wideweb__470x3460Okay, so we’re not completely sure about all of this, but as of this point, it seems pretty legit.  Last night, a few sites showed this site , which seems to indicate that a new album, titled Minotaur, will be released by the band at some point this summer.  You can pre-order starting June 15th.  But, we have no news on singles or who is going to release it, although the majority of Pixies releases came our way via 4AD. I’m not going to lie; I’m a wee bit excited here.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/10-la-la-love-you.mp3]

Download: Pixies – La La Love You [MP3]

Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career

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Rating: ★★★★ ·

Something seems to exist in the Glaswegian waters these days, as more and more substantial music sets sail for America via Scotland. The newest album, My Maudlin Career, from Camera Obscura is just another example of a country that is pushing out superb tune after superb tune.

Long has the band been haunted by their kinship to Belle and Sebastian, but here we see them completing the step away from such association, much as they did on their last album, Let’s Get Out of This Country.  They’ve stepped away from the modest pop stylings of their earlier days, immersing themselves instead in a history of 60s soul and R&B.  This time around, the band has gradually drifted into the perfect dance halls from historic days long gone.

Tracyanne Campbell is the focal point of this entire album, as it should be.  Her delivery, especially in songs such as “French Navy” is nearly perfect, spinning masterful webs of melody at every turn.  She finally seems comfortable in the limelight, and that confidence shows through and through.   But, she’s not the only vocal presence here, as there are some carefully placed “oohs” and “ahhs” visiting the landscape of this album (see The Sweetest Thing).

Musically, the album is quite close to its predecessor. It’s as if the music was crafted carefully in the Motown studios; all the arrangements are done with such precision that you’d be hard pressed to find a point in this record when anything seems off-kilter.  One thing that might be lacking for some listeners, however, is that the music doesn’t have the pace, or some of the urgency, that went with the last album.  Sure, songs like “Swans” and  “My Maudlin Career” have a sligth pace, and a certain vibrance, but there is no “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken.” But, this serves the album sufficiently well, as the album comes across with a lot more balance than the previous effort.  Its nostalgia is fitting, and the album is the most even output in the band’s history.

Through and through, the album comes across with moments of meandering melody and a whispering sense of longing, which, afterall, seems to be the lyrical focus of the album.  The very mention of “maudlin” recalls a certain sense of emotional sentimentality, as if you’re looking back with a sense of longing.  It’s no mistake that the lyrics match this focus; the music seems to further the intent as well.  And of course, the ever present ideal of love, and loves past, present and future.

Listeners be sure to make it all the way until the end of the album, as “Honey in the Sun” is one of the most rewarding songs on the album.  It’s the bookend that sums up the thematic elements of the lyrics, and adds further detail to the growth of this very talented group of musicians from Glasgow.  Nicely done Camera Obscura.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/11-honey-in-the-sun.mp3]

Download: Camera Obscura – Honey in the Sun [MP3]

New Music From Sunset Rubdown

sunsetrubdownSpencer Krug continues to work hard outside of his steady Wolf Parade gig as his side project Sunset Rubdown readies their next release.  The Canadian outfit will be dropping Dragonslayer on JagJaguwar later this year on June 23rd.  First single from the new album “Idiot Heart” is available for download and stream below.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/02-idiot-heart.mp3]

Download: Sunset Rubdown – Idiot Heart [MP3]

Crazy Music Tuesday 4/21

black_tuesdayIf you live here in Austin, tomorrow is one crazy day for live music options in our town.  We’re not sure we can remember a day that was so packed as this one as far as music goes.  So packed, in fact, that we can’t fit all these shows on our main page.  Follow the jump to see full details on all the great shows going down Tuesday.

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Contest: Black Kids/Mates Of State @ La Zona Rosa 4/28

matesbktourThis is one of those shows most of us have been waiting a while for and the time is finally here.  On Tuesday April 28th, Mates of State will bring their tour with Black Kids to the famous La Zona Rosa in Austin.  If you don’t feel like shelling out the cash for the show, we’ve got a couple tickets to give away to one lucky winner.  Let’s keep things real simple like on this one.  Enter a comment about why you should be the lucky winner and be as creative and crazy as you can.  We’ll pick our winners on Thursday.  Don’t forget to enter a valid email address so we can get in touch with you.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/matesofstate.mp3]

Download: Mates of State – My Only Offer [MP3]

New Tunes from Jarvis Cocker

jarviscockerThat’s right ladies and gentlemen, Jarvis Cocker is back again. His second solo album is set to be released by Rough Trade on May 18th, which will more than likely be a solid album, just like his last solo album, which was like his Pulp albums, and like his performance on Harry Potter. Now, this new album has uber-producer Steve Albini running the show, so we should expect an edgier Jarvis; I’m game.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/jarvis-cocker-angela.mp3]

Download: Jarvis Cocker – Angela [MP3]

FT5: Things To Buy On Record Store Day

0417top5coverThis Saturday, April 18th, is Record Store Day all across these United States. Sure, that seems like just another Saturday to most buyers, but the true record geek in all of us is already waiting in line. You see, on Record Store Day, you get to do two things: you get to support your favorite local indpendent record store and you get loads of limited edition stuff.  Me, personally, I can’t wait. I’ve already crafted a list so as to move through my favorite record store with ease in pursuit of such rarities that one can only dream.  The following is the list of the great things one can find at their local indpendent store, and we encourage you to do so, as this is the day the stores give back to us, and we give back to them.

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From The Closet: Spoon

spoon_gaWe all know and love Spoon here in Austin, and if you don’t, well you can just geeeet out!  Our From the Closet song “Everything Hits at Once” appears on the band’s 2001 breakthrough release Girls Can Tell. If you don’t own that album, take your ass to the record store and buy it before someone finds out.  This album is arguably the most important in Spoon’s career.  It’s their first in a long series of releases with Merge.  It’s the first time Mike McCarthy gets credit for producing.  In my mind, it’s the first record that really sounded like a Spoon record.  Damn I love this album.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/01-everything-hits-at-once.mp3]

Download: Spoon – Everything Hits at Once [MP3]

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