Since it is a remarkably sunny day here in Austin, I figured I bring some clouds your way with a touch of tuneage from Benoit Pioulard–not that I necessarily wish you a cloudy day. Pioulard, which is just a moniker, is everything you want in an emotional songwriter; he yanks at your emotions, often with the instruementation alone. Here is “Brown Bess”. Buen Proveche.
Download: Benoit Pioulard – Brown Bess [MP3]
Radiohead has announced that they will be webcasting the last show of their American tour in Santa Barbara. I’m sure most of you have seen Radiohead live (and if you haven’t here’s your chance), so this is a must see. Visit the official Radiohead site for more details.
A few weeks ago, we gave you a taste of the newest Of Montreal joint Skeletal Lamping with the song “Id Engager”. Here’s another sample to wrap your greedy little paws around entitled “Nonpareil of Favor”. The Album isnt due out till October, so we hope this tides you over till then.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/of-montreal-nonpareil-of-favor.mp3]
Download: Of Montreal – Nonpareil of Favor [MP3]
Punk rockers, Alkaline Trio, recently did a live performance for The Interface on AOL featuring backing guitar/vocals from Tegan Quin of Tegan & Sara. You can download the 4 song set via mp3 or watch the live videos as well. I think Tegan should be a permanent addition to the band.
Everyone’s favorite indie princess Jenny Lewis, has a new song called “Acid Tongue” streaming on the NPR website. The song will appear on an album of the same name due out on Sep. 23rd of this year. The album is said to feature a wide array of talented folks like Zooey Deschanel, Elvis Costello, & Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes just to name a few. Enjoy.
It’s hard not to be a fan of really good pop music, especially with the output of independent artists bringing great pop to our ear; Pop Levi is just another such character in a long line of pop musicians leaving good bands (Ladytron) to go it their own in the pop world.
Now on his second album, I’ve come to expect great things from this character, despite his tendency to look like a side-show Shakespearean actor. However, the output here is too similar to the debut album to substantially increase his value in the pop lexicon of the music industry.
His voice is quite unique, which makes it hard to distinguish changes in pitch from song to song, as his falsetto reverberates in the caverns of my mind. Even here, it seems like more effects are being used to help shape is voice, although more of that is owed to the various samples and instrumentation that weighs this album down.
There are some exceptional tracks present throughout this record, and the spacing is appropriate so as to keep our interest from start to finish. “Semi-babe” slows it down just enough to mimic an Albert Hammond Jr. ballad. It’s a different spin on his tried and true formula, immediately creating one of the more memorable moments on Never Never Love. “Mai Space” also has a similar magic to it, even though I feel as if the samples here were directly rooted in Flaming Lips Yoshimi nostalgia.
There are some missteps here too, which keeps this album from rising to the surface of a pleasant breakthrough album in 2008. Pop Levi‘s desire to imitate such greats as Prince tend to show him at his weakest moments, and frankly, his most unoriginal. Similarly, “Calling Me Down” represents a change in direction from traditional stylings, for this artist at least. When he slows it down this slow, he loses ground with his audience, which is fair enough considering the album should probably stop before the closing song, “Fountain Of Lies;” the greatest mistake I noticed.
Throughout the record, I hoped and prayed, that he could hold onto the strength of the opening bit of this album. I admire his efforts to go beyond his comfort level into new areas of pop where he was yet to traverse, but in doing so, he loses what grabbed me during his debut. What I expected to be extremely experimental in the pop vein of things, ended up retracing the steps of his past glories; when he steps off this path, he falls too far off, leaving us waiting for him back on the trail to pop glory.
We have been all about the free music this week so why stop now? Ba Da Bing Records has an entire sampler that you can download for free over on the emusic website. The sampler features such artists as Colossal Yes, Devon Williams, Beirut and a whole slew of other fine acts. Below is standout track “Elephant Gun” from Beirut.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/various_artists__ba_da_bing_ba_da_bing_records_super_fantastic_oh_boy_fun_for_free_sampler_1_elephant_gun__beirut.mp3]
Download: Beirut – Elephant Gun [MP3]
Legendary, sort of, if you consider the Arcade Fire to be famous, orchestral genius. Owen Pallett has decided to give us a brand new song for our listening enjoyment. “The Butcher” seems a lot more like an old Disney musical score then his previous works, but I’ll let you decide.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/final-fantasy-the-butcher.mp3]
Download: Final Fantasy – The Butcher [MP3]
This week we spotlight Austin band Mariachi Revolución as part of our Xemumba festival features. Mariachi is another Xemumba alum performing on both nights of the latin music festival. The band specializes in collaborations with acts like Grupo Fantasma and Ocote Soul Sounds. Have a listen to the song “Levantate” below featuring the sure to be crowd favorite Mariachi Revolución. Don’t forget to get those tickets before they sell out.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/02-levantate.mp3]
Download: Mariachi Revolución – Levantate [MP3]