Horse Feathers On Woxy

One of my favorite discoveries of the year, Horse Feathers, just recorded a Woxy Lounge session and the nice folks at The Futurist have all the live songs available for download.  The band plays 3 songs from their stellar 2008 album House With no Home and one from their 2006 release Words Are Dead.  Here’s the live track from the 2006 album called “Mother’s Sick”.  Beautiful.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/horse-feathers-mothers-sick.mp3]

Download: Horse Feathers – Mother’s Sick(live) [MP3]

Marnie Stern In Austin

Marnie Stern, the current master of finger-tapping guitar play, will be playing a couple times in Austin this week.  First show comes this evening(11/18) at the Mohawk in Austin with tickets available now for only $8.  Marnie is accompanied by local Austin band’s Ume and The Sour Notes.  The following day, Mrs. Stern will be playing one of Waterloo Records weekly in stores at 5pm.  Do I need to mention the free keg beer?  If you haven’t heard any of Marnie’s insane guitar work, here’s a dandy called “Transformer”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/marnie-stern-transformer.mp3]

Download: Marnie Stern – Transformer [MP3]

Frantic Clam – Celebrity EP

Rating: ★★★ · ·

Local Austin band Frantic Clam originally joined forces while serving in the armed forces in Iraq.  The two founding members, Zack and Joe,  spent their spare time crafting simple tunes.  Celebrity is the band’s first EP, but a full length album is scheduled for release this Winter.

Opening track “Mary Elizabeth Winstead” is definitely rooted in a Southern soul sort of vibe, as the guitar work is really gritty.  The vocals are reminiscent of a Issac Brock being raised in the Deep South, with backing vocals added to fill in some the empty space in the song.

They wander off to “Everything is Perfect,” which is probably the best song on the album.  The vocals at the beginning are really crisp, which packs a stronger punch than some of the fuzzier recording that comes along later.  It’s a gentler approach to their songwriting; an attribute the band should consider employing full time.

“Richard Cory” is another mellow number at track 3.  A slower pace allows the band to focus on the melodies here, and this ends up demonstrating the band’s abilities to intertwine hooks with their space infused Southern rock sound. Similarly, “Amnesty” is filled with space keyboards and lyrics battling the mundane world, along with mundane problems.  It comes off like an old Grandaddy b-side.

They close the album with samples of Oz, as they finish with “The Emerald City.” It’s a song that exhibits a bit of funk, as if the band smashed into Stereolab all of a sudden.  It is another sound that demonstrates the possibilities the future holds for this band.  Keep an eye on this group, as I’m sure we’ll hear more of them in the future.

Speaking of hearing more, the band has a gig on December 12th at Hole in the Wall, so go check it out; keep it local.

You can also check out single from the album Richard Cory elsewhere on our site.

Joyful Noise Recordings Sampler

The nice people at Joyful Noise Records have another end of the year sampler you can download for free.  This is another free sampler from record labels as they hope to remind us all what great albums they put out in the last year.  Can you say year end lists?  Download the sampler now.  We’ve also got highlight track “Suspended Air” from Indiana band, The Delicious.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/01-suspended-in-air.mp3]

Download: The Delicious – Suspended Air [MP3]

Comet Gain – Broken Record Prayers

Rating: ★★★★★

If you ask someone who their favorite British band is, most will throw at you something like Elbow or Bloc Party, but very few, if any, will mention the lo-fi group Comet Gain. The band, existing in some form since 1992 is quite possibly one of those bands that everyone will overlook for the duration of their lives, but they will miss some of the greatest songs written. Their most recent release, a collection of 7 inches, which comes to the U.S. as a full length is titled Broken Record Prayers.

As usual, the album relies on the interplaying vocals between Rachel Evans and David Feck. The opening song, “Jack Nance Hair” is the perfect exhibit, as the song begins with spoken word elements via Evans before Feck comes in to win your heart, and it will belong to him forever.

Most of these songs do revolve in that lo-fi bedroom quality that some people cannot stand, but the closeness created in this listening experience is completely intentional. Feck opens his tiny little world to you with every song, speaking to you, as if you were the antagonist to his every song. If you can manage the recording quality here then you will find some of the rarest gems, sure to be with your record collection until the end of time.

Surprisingly, the band has added some straight ahead rock tunes on this go round, like “Beautiful Despair.”  It’s a rollicking little number that stands out most notably for the throbbing bass lines rather than the clever guitar work that the band typically employs on the rest of their songs. “Love Without Lies” follows with more throbbing bass lines, and, what seems to be a dance number, done in the most intriguing of ways.

The benefit of a Comet Gain album is that they come out so rarely, and usually as a collection of 7 inches, that you get a solid number of songs. This particular album has twenty new tunes for every type of listener. Bedroom recordings of love and hate, as well as more upbeat numbers come in abundance. Sure, the organization of the album might be a little off due to the way each song was originally released, but you will not find a more perfect album. Surely this is a must have for every music geek.

As the winter comes into your windows, open them up for awhile and let David Feck’s genius blow on into your room. You’ll be happy you did.

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