A.C. Newman – Get Guilty

Rating: ★★★★ ·

The majority of the listening world will know A.C. Newman by his other gig in New Pornographers. This new effort, released by Matador Records, isn’t far off from the land of his pop-supergroup, especially when one looks back at an album like Challengers.

From the minute “There are Maybe Ten or Twelve” takes off you can tell exactly the direction that this album is going to go.  It’s a subdued number, with high volume interludes, but the focus remains predominantly on Newman’s voice.

An album such as this is blessed by such a voice, as his is one that remains truly unique in this modern age.  He can go higher than most, while he brings it all back again to his normal singing voice.  In all his recordings, this is clearly the best he has sounded, which may owe a lot to remarkable production.

Keeping that in mind, most will settle with this album, knowing that your expectations will be met precisely.  Melodies will rise and fall, being matched at every corner, but, the pace isn’t exactly pushing listeners forward, looking for more from each song.  In fact, the only song that picks up any speed is “The Palace at 4 A.M.” Still, you can sit through this album in it’s entirety with a great deal of enjoyment; it’s just not going to grab you like other tracks A.C. Newman has done in the past, especially those featuring a certain Destroyer. Be sure to get through until the end for “All of my Days & All of my Days Off” is probably one of the best songs he’s written in years.

All in all, you come to the end of the album with one clear realization: A.C. Newman can spit out pop genius no matter where he is in his life.  Each song is interesting, in both melody and structure, as he often uses his voice to carry the songs, which is precisely where the whole album began.  It’s not every day when you come across a musician who can win you over with his voice alone.  And for that, we should all Get Guilty.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/01-there-are-maybe-ten-or-twelve.mp3]

Download: AC Newman – There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve [MP3]

FT5: Guilty Pleasures

Ok faithful ATH readers, here it is. A chance for everyone associated with this site to embarrass themselves to the world. We all have a handful of artists that we secretly listen to when no one else is around. Usually they are the kind of artists that, if caught listening to, we couldn’t even attempt to justify. We’ve asked 5 different ATH contributors to let us know their musical skeletons in the closet. We haven’t listed them in any particular order, so we’ll let you tell us which ones are the worst. We only ask that you will play along, maybe do a little confessing of your own and continue to visit us after reading. Full list is after the jump.

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Brothers And Sisters @ Mohawk (1/17)

Choices for weekend shows are looking pretty slim, but one bright spot on the map is a Brothers & Sisters show at Mohawk on Saturday.  The local Austin band has been getting a lot of well deserved praise this year with the release of their solid debut LP Fortunately.  Having seen these guys a few times now, we can tell you that this will be a show you don’t want to miss out on.  Show starts at 9 with tickets being sold only at the door.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/05-cant-hold-me-back.mp3]

Download: Brothers and Sisters – Can’t Hold me Back [MP3]

The Raven Tree @ Mohawk (1/16)

If your Friday night plans have yet to be made, why not head over to the Mohawk to check out a new local act?  Headling on the inside stage Friday night is one of these new acts The Raven Tree.  Music is set to start at 10pm with opening act Raggedy Anns.  Tickets will be sold only at the door for $6 if your of age and the kids can get in for $8.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/07_seventy_eight.mp3]

Download: The Raven Tree – Seventy Eight [MP3]

New Tunes From The Decemberists

We hope you like all the new music you’re getting this week because more and more tunes keep popping up!  Today The Decemberists are gettin’ in on the madness.  The Portland based outfit just made new song “The Rake’s Song” available for download over on their website.  This new track will appear on the band’s upcoming Hazards of Love LP due out March 24th.  It’s a tasty lil’ number!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/thedecemberists_therakessong.mp3]

Download: The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song [MP3]

New Music From Neko Case

Following the release of her critically acclaimed 2006 album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, Neko Case is planning to put out another solo album later this year.  The new LP, entitled Middle Cyclone, is set for a March 3rd release date via the ANTI Record label.  We’ve got new single from the album “People Gotta A Lotta Nerve” ready to download now.  What’s your take on the new material?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/people_got_a_lotta_nerve.mp3]

Download: Neko Case – People Gotta Lotta Nerve [MP3]

New Music From Handsom Furs

This week has been pretty crazy for new music from big name acts and now Handsom Furs are gettin’ in on the fun.  New track “I’m Confused” from upcoming LP Face Control just popped up on the web today and is already getting heavy rotation at the ATH offices.  It’s got some dirty sounding guitar work mixed in with a pretty typical Handsom Furs synth beat.  You can get your hands on the new album March 10th via the always awesome Sub Pop label.  The band also plans to be a part of our SXSW festival in March.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/handsome-furs-im-confused.mp3]

Download: Handsom Furs – I’m Confused [MP3]

New Music From Franz Ferdinand

As the release of Franz Ferdinand’s new album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand draws ever closer, new songs are popping up all over the interweb.  First came a video for new song Ulysses and now the band is giving us an mp3 for possible dance hit of the spring “No You Girls Never Know”.  Physical copies of the album will be out January 27th in the US via Domino records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/franz-ferdinand-no-you-girls-never-know.mp3]

Download: Franz Ferdinand – No You Girls Never Know [MP3]

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