We’ve been planning for quite a while now, with numerous people working their tails off. After all the hard work and preparations, the first showcase by Austin Town Hall went down Friday night at Emo’s Lounge in Austin, TX. Read more
It’s less than twelve hours since I walked away from the scuzzy walls of Red Seven, and still my ears are ringing from the sheer level of noise that I gladly witnessed, as rock n’ roll returned once again to my life. It’s funny, I listen to a lot of music, but its seems rock has become less of a staple in my music dietary supplements. I would like to extend my gratitude to Jay Reatard for reaffirming my belief in it’s greatness – even with possible hearing loss.
California’s Earlimart will grace us twice tomorrow evening. They will first play a free set at Waterloo Records at 5 PM. Then they will be off to play a full set at The Mohawk with Austin bands Zookeeper and Silent Sunset (featuring Bill of Sound Team). I’ve seen them several times before, and they always put on an enjoyable show, and you have two chances to see them – don’t miss out.
Tickets for the Mohawk show will be sold through FrontGate Tickets.
Throughout this summer, music fans have mostly been greeted by mellower forms of tunes, with an absence of rock coming our ways–and by this, I mean the kind of music with loud guitars and banging drums. Well folks, Oxford Collapse wants to change that.
As the car peels out in “Electric Arc,” the drums come banging in your ears. Soon, the guitar will join this fray, and off the band goes. It’s hard not to feel your heart beating a little quicker in this song. Nice start boys.
They follow that up with another short song full of angular guitars and simple melodies, but its done just the right way, throwing the band back to the classic post-punk sounds of the mid-90s–a la Braid and Jawbreaker. Then they come with a tension building song in “Vernon Jackson,” which builds up continuously through the song, only to have the band slow it down in the end as the song begins to fade out. It’s clear by this point that they have enough control over themselves to pull back the reigns at just the right time.
They just keep going from here, pushing their guitars into your ears, as the drums pound away. Oxford Collapse sound tighter than they have, and a lot more comfortable as well, which may be why they claim “we’re doing fine” in “Young Love Delivers.” But, then they throw a change up. “A Wedding” slows things down, and sounds as if they took a cue from Final Fantasy, using string instruments to back the strength of their vocals. Its a good breathing point.
Then they go right back to it–walls of feedback thrown right back into your face as they continue their rocking onslaught. For me, they seem really straightforward with their approach, and they don’t seem to go off into the distance of atmospherics and noise as they did on their last album.
Towards the end, they start to switch it up, and its for the betterment of the album. “Children’s Crusade” is a brilliant song, and one that will probably make a lot of my mixes throughout the year. “John Blood” similarly slows things down, at least during the chorus, where a female chants her way through the chorus. Still, there is enough guitar work on this song, to make it border between rocker and ballad. “B Roll” also takes a gentler approach, but that approach is matched again by the tension building of the guitar work. I do wish that this time, they just would have unleashed that guitar completely, but for me, this is their first misstep.
They close it off with “I Hate Nobody” which isn’t immediately gratifying, but as you work your way through the end of the song, it wraps up the album perfectly. Anguished guitars fueled by the deliberately dense drumming, and finally, you can breathe. It’s over.
It’s hard to find much wrong with this record. Personally, I think the mix on the vocals had some issues in a few places, but for the most part, I just went along with the album. It’s enjoyable as you follow around each of the corners and twists and turns. Let’s hope for more rock like this as we wrap up 2008.
Oxford Collapse returns to Austin on August 27th at The Mohawk, but as of yet, tickets are not readily available.
Have a listen to a new song from their album:[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/birthdaywars.mp3]
Download: Oxford Collapse – Birthday Wars [MP3]
I like xkcd as much as the next guy, but all the wannabe programming comics are starting to get annoying. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that I know nothing about programming myself, but annoying none the less.
Don’t forget the first ATH showcase this evening at Emo’s Lounge. Things get started at 10pm with opening act The Bridge Farmers with The Drawing Board and Whitman to follow. Admission is only $5 if you’re of drinking age! Check out our original post for songs and websites for each band playing tonight.
This Sunday we will be fortunate enough to get to hear the garage rock of Jay Reatard. He’s made lots of music news with his hard to come by set of 7″ series on Matador Records, and he will take the stage in our hometown at Red Seven. If anything, it should just be a good old fashioned rock n’ roll show–just don’t get punched in the face. That means keeping your hands and feet in the bus at all times.
Also, you can hear University of Minnesota’s Radio K stream some in-studio performances by Jay if you hit this spot.
Remember when we posted about an awesome new song by The Pack A.D.? Well, I just noticed that the band will be showcasing their talents at The Hole in the Wall here in Austin on Saturday night (8/2). I’ve never seen this band live, but I imagine this to be a killer show. Show time is set for 10pm with a cover of only $6. Click the link above to hear “Making Gestures” off the band’s new album Funeral Mixtape to give yourself a preview of what’s to come.
Polyvinyl label greats Of Montreal have a new song called “Id Engager” which you can listen to below. The song will appear on the “Id Engager” single due September 9th available for pre-order on the Polyvinyl website. It will also appear on the band’s upcoming LP Skeletal Lamping, due out in October.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/of-montreal-id-engager.mp3]
Download: Of Montreal – Id Engager [MP3]
If you’re like me and can’t really justify spending all that money to fly out to Chicago this weekend, you can catch most of Lollapalooza live on the Lollapalooza website. A lot of the mid-range acts from the festival will also be seen at our little ACL festival later in September. Maybe that will make your schedule planning a bit easier? I suggest tuning in first thing tomorrow at 12:15 for the Holy F*ck set. C3 also somehow landed Radiohead AND Rage Against the Machine as headliners but couldn’t get either for ACL. I suggest checking those two out. See the schedule for the event on the festival website. You can also download an mp3 from each artist playing this weekend on a Lollapalooza mix created on Stereogum.