• SXSW 2019 – A Recap

    Yet another SXSW is in the books and it’s time for the ATH crew to reminisce a little and offer some highlight from the week behind us. I think we’ve

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  • 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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The River Flows East Party (2/21)

Main2The nice folks at do512 are teaming up with local label Vinyl Entertainment to put on one hell of a party this Saturday on the east side.  The nights events include but are not limited to performances by What Made Milwaukee Famous, The Story Of, DJ Thibault, DJ Markus With A K, and a special DJ set by Octopus Project.  You can also check out some sweet local art, visit a hair station, and visit a photo booth by Annie Ray.  Tickets for this event are $18 and can be bought now from Vinyl Entertainment or at the door.  Word around town is that an RSVP with do512 is good for free booze and VIP treatment.  Directions to the Warehouse can be found here.  Further details can be found on the fancy poster for the party.

Lykke Li In Austin (2/19)

lykke_li-im_good_im_gone-cb_remixSwedish indie pop sensation Lykke Li will be making a much anticipated stop in our little town this Thursday.  Your first chance to see her live comes at a Waterloo in-store starting around 5pm.  Later in the evening, You can catch a full set by the singer at Antone’s.  If you’re planning on heading to the in-store, get their super early because the Antone’s show is already sold out.  Give craigslist a try if you just can’t miss out.

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

Download: Lykke Li – Tonight [MP3]

Vetiver – Tight Knit

vetiver-tight_knit-album_art

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Andy Cabic and Co. return with a loud whisper this outing with definitely their strongest album they have recorded to date.  Vetiver’s new release Tight Knit warms your ears through the cold days without all the embarrassment.  Having been part of the freak-folk scene in New York for awhile, Vetiver rubbed elbows with some of the heavy-weights on the music circuit today like Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom which soon led them to a tour with Vashti Bunyan. Fast-forward to 2009 and Vetiver are now signed to Sub-Pop with some indie credibility and major promotion/distribution to follow. I was reading a couple weeks ago in the Austin Chronicle about bands set to break-out at this year’s SXSW Music Fest and Vetiver were listed.  HAAAAAAAAAA! They probably think this is Vetiver‘s first album. I mean, it’s not like they haven’t been making waves on the last two efforts. I’d say To Find Me Gone was their “break-out” album, but I guess they aren’t big enough considering they aren’t playing in arenas right? Pfft…scoff-scoff, nose up and pinkies out suckas.

Tight Knit has a dreamy floating quality to it through-out that normally would sound like  a lot of fluff to someone who hasn’t heard the album yet, but take a gander at it and you’ll see. The warmth of the vibraphone being used in the opener “Rolling Sea” immediately calms your nerves and gently rocks you back and forth. Zzz……….ahhhhhhh. Lap steel guitar makes it’s first appearance on the album in “Sister.” The layer of the instrument twists and pulls, breathes in and out, making you tap your feet and skip down the street. The skipping soon picks up to hopping when the opening rhythm chords of “Everyday” begin. The chug-a-lug feel comes to a nice vocal break-down and goes right back into the hopping. If there were a song which made you feel like the first day of spring had arrived, this is the one.

Cabic has a whispering way of singing that soothes your skin, his delivery is like the breeze– not forceful, not un-noticed, just a hammock away from day-dreaming. Though there are bar room stomper songs like “More Of This,” he never loses his velvet luster. You think the singing could easily give way to screaming and howling, but it’s just not in his nature.

The album is consistent from beginning to end. It never trails off boring you with a better half of the album than the other. Maybe this is Vetiver’s break-out album and I’m a jaded jerk-off. Maybe I’m just a music dork that has way too much time on his hands. Maybe you need to get off your ass and buy this album.

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

Download: Vetiver – Everyday [MP3]

New Tunes from The Papercuts

jasonJason Quever has quietly been making waves under the moniker of The Papercuts. This track comes straight off their upcoming album, You Can Have What You Want, set to come out on Gnomonsong Records on April 14th.  Just another song from one of our most-anticipated albums in 2009. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/07-future-primitive-1.mp3]

Download: The Papercuts – Future Primitive [MP3]

Trail Of Dead @ Waterloo (2/17)

trailofdeadAustin’s finest …And You Will Know us by Trail of Dead are playing a sure to be rowdy Waterloo in-store on Tuesday.  Things are set to kick off around 5pm with all the free beer you can drink.  The show coincides with the release of the band’s latest LP Century of Self, which we reviewed yesterday.  If you’d like to know more about the band, check out a recent interview we did with the guys during Fun Fest.

M Ward – Hold Time

hold

Rating: ★★★★ ·

M Ward has won over fans this past year for his role in She and Him, which is deserved accolades, but lets not forget that the man on his own has always been able to record some of the more intimate bedroom listens of the decade.  He returns now with Hold Time, his first solo outing since releasing Post-War.

Opener “For Beginners” is the perfect album opener for this album, as the cooly calm vocals hum gently over the guitar, being strummed as if a slow train were approaching.  Ladies and gents, this is a slow train coming, so sit back and enjoy.

There is just something about the way that the man records his albums that seems to win you over every single time.  Based on his previous confessions, its easy to see here that he adores recording of the olden days, and he treats his own songs with similar care, coating each tune in pleasant melodies and a general warmth.  Yet, it never sounds dated when he pulls it off.  Unless, of course, he covers “Rave On” by Buddy Holly. His version is a little less clean than the original, as a little feedback seems to suit his aims purpose.  Where he lacks in the precision of the original, he makes up for it in his presentation.  M. Ward owns this song, and recreates it with a new spin, all the while holding onto the blueprint of the original. The song also features Ms. Deschanel, one of the two songs she guests on throughout the duration of this album.

For some reason, it’s really hard to escape the feeling that the singer of these songs, our narrator, belongs in the present day.  It’s as if every song, although based on modern times, is rooted firmly in the history of the past.  Perhaps this is why it always seems so intimate as you listen to the sounds coming out of the stereo.  Take “Fisher of Men,” which seems to have that same train-track guitar plucking.  It’s as if the whole song was sung in camaraderie around a campfire at a work camp during the Depression.

“Oh Loneseome Me” offers us yet another great collaboration, this time with Lucinda Williams.  Lyrically, it offers a glimpse at a lost love, and having to confront the free time on one’s hands afterwards.  But, the vocals on behalf of both artists really do remove every ounce of emotion from the listener, which always makes for a perfect song.

Interestingly, there are some genuinely upbeat moments here too, like “To Save Me” and “Epistemology.”  The repertoire that the man has at his hands allows for a great deal of variance throughout the entirety of this album.  At the core, his voice is able to adapt to varying levels of instrumentation, always holding onto the more personal level of presentation.  With each twist and turn, you hear an old friend, or even grandparent, softly rocking you to sleep.

As the beginning of the year take off, lets all hope that M. Ward gets loads of accolades for his endeavors as a solo musician with vast talent, and not just for his wonderful collaborations.  Hold Time will surely be a step towards that accomplishment.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/02-never-had-nobody-like-you.mp3]

Download: M Ward – Never Had Nobody Like You [MP3]

Murder City Devils Re-Press

murderFrom the shadows of death Murder City Devils return. We all were lucky enough to catch them at Fun Fun Fun a few years back, and now, we get brand new vinyl thanks to Sub Pop Records. The band is re-releasing their albums in honor of their brief West Coast stint, and just because they aren’t coming to Austin doesn’t mean we can’t run out and get that vinyl today! Good luck old friends.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/01pressgang.mp3]

Download: Murder City Devils – Press Gang [MP3]

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