• 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

    Read more »
  • 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

    Read more »
  • 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,

    Read more »
  • 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,

    Read more »
  • 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.

    Read more »

New Tunes from David Byrne and Dirty Projectors

David ByrneThey first teamed up together to create a brilliant track for the Dark Was the Night project, and now they’ve gone at it again; Dirty Projectors have collaborated with Talking Head David Byrne. This new tune is not of the same vein as the formerly released track, “Knotty Pine,” but it showcases the skills of both groups.  Don’t forget, you’re supposed to be anticipating the upcoming album from the Dirty Projectors, Bitte Orca.  More on that later; here’s “Ambulance Man.”

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/dirty-projectors-and-david-byrne-ambulance-man.mp3]

Download: Dirty Projectors and David Byrne – Ambulance Man [MP3]

Wye Oak @ Mohawk (5/6)

wye_oak-warningWe recently posted a new song by Wye Oak and now we’re lucky enough to have the band stopping through town at the Mohawk on Wednesday night.  The Baltimore band will share the stage with openers Pomegranates and local guys Salesman.  Doors are at 8pm/music at 9.  No word on door cover.  Here’s that new song we posted not long ago.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/03-take-it-in.mp3]

Download: Wye Oak – Take It In [MP3]

Cats on Fire – Our Temperance Movement

our-temperance-movement

Rating: ★★★★½

Occasionally, you come across a group that is reminiscent of everything you truly love.  Clever lyrics, jangly guitars, smooth vocals; all joining in unison in order to craft that perfect pop song. Cats on Fire have constructed 10 such songs with their second album Our Temperance Movement. Consider us lucky that Matinee Recordings was able to put out this album by the Finnish quartet.

Immediately upon pressing play, you will more than likely realize that the band shares a certain affinity for bands such as Felt or the Smiths, sharing those classic vocal similarities, but not in such a fashion where you feel as if they’re merely playing the role of imitators.  Singer Mattias Bjorkas can hold the sway in his voice just like Lawrence or Morrissey.  But, you’ll find that in listening to his voice, it stands alone an a different entirely.

Now, the band probably has a lot of influential waters that they could soak up with a sponge, all of which are visible in their songs, but a different comparison comes to mind when listening to the album.  Our Temperance Movement recalls early Belle and Sebastian records, or just your favorite pop album, where every single song is so good that it would be hard to decipher which song on the album was meant as the single. You won’t be able to find a throwaway track here, which is an oddity in this year’s music output.

“Lay Down Your Arms” has that familiar jangly guitar you’ll recall from all those classic recordings, creating a mood of stomping about your local pub dancefloor.  As the vocals sway back across the song, you can’t help but feel moved by the meldious tune.  “Letters from a Voyage to Sweden” follows shortly after, with tales of watching a cruiseliner filled with adulterers and sodomites.  Even with such a taboo topic, the song rolls along; it’s the perfect song for quiet headphone moments lying in your bed in thought.

With songs like “Tears in Your Cup,” Garden Light” and “Fabric” neatly tucked into the latter half of the album, you’ll find that your listening experience is never lacking in above average tunes.  Especially when you encounter the bookend to the album “Farbic” with its backing female vocals and bouncy strum.

As the album wraps up completely you’ll be rushing to record your favorite tracks for that next great mixtape you are preparing for your friends.  You only want the best tracks, and every song on this album will suffice to prove to your friends just how great your tastes are; so go on and introduce them to Cats on Fire.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/02-lay-down-your-arms.mp3]

Download: Cats on Fire – Lay Down Your Arms [MP3]

Contest: Eulogies/Dears Prize Package

dears03eulogies

Alright listen up, we’ve got one helluva contest for a couple lucky winners out there so pay attention.  Upcoming on May 18th, The Parish has one very solid lineup in-store featuring The Dears & Eulogies along with The Great Northern as opening support.  If you aren’t feeling spendy, we’re going to giveaway some prize packs to two lucky winners.  That’s right, first place AND second place.  Deets:

1st place – 2 tickets to the show, a copy of the Eulogies latest LP Here Anonymous on vinyl, and a fancy Eulogies t-shirt

2nd place – A copy of Eulogies last EP Tempted to do Nothing on vinyl, The Dears Latest album Missiles on vinyl, AND a Dangerbird Records hoodie.

If that doesn’t spark your interest, I don’t know what will!  Let’s try something new for entry in this contest… Simply leave a comment OR hit us up on Twitter and mention something about the contest in your @. Please remember to leave a valid email address so we can get in touch with our winners.  Contest will be open until May 12th (one week from now).

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/thedears_meltdowninamajor.mp3]

Download: The Dears – Meltdown in A Major [MP3]

New Tunes from VEGA

vegatapesAustin’s VEGA is set to release a new digital EP, Well Known Pleasures, on May 19th.  We hyped this band prior to SXSW, and we’re pleased to present you with a new track from the band.  It’s definitely a track to get your boots stomping across the room, so enjoy.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/no-reasons.mp3]

Download: VEGA – No Reasons [MP3]

Cinco De Mayo Block Party

cinco_de_mayoCinco de Mayo is upon us and some people are of course looking to put on some parties downtown.  Apparently one is going on in the block between Lamberts and La Condesa near second street.  Information on this show has been hard to come by, but word is that Xemumba alum Los Bad Apples and Cienfuegos will be playing along with Charanga Cakewalk and DJ George.  The event is totally free and gets started around 5pm.  Food and drink will be provided by several vendors (not sure if they are free or not).  Check out the fancy poster attached for more info or head to wikipedia to do some stuyding on the significance of Cinco de Mayo.

Illinois On Daytrotter

illinoisSo here’s our obligatory Daytrotter post of the week… The always stellar live music website just posted a session by Pennsylvannia band Illinois that we’ve been enjoying. We caught this band during SXSW a couple years ago and sort of forgot about them until now.  Check out the 4 song session now or listen to “Are You Coming With Me?” below.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/illinois-are-you-coming-with-me.mp3]

Download: Illinois – Are You Coming With Me [MP3]

The Horrors – Primary Colours

the-horrors-primary-colours-467433

Rating: ★★★ · ·

The Horrors hail from the U.K., a land where hype and image go a long way to establishing a band, or at least estbalishing a fan base.  Luckily for the band, their 2006 debut had the licks to back up the gothic persona of the band; it played like a noisier and longer version of early Misfits records with the fuel of modern contemporaries.  This time around, they’ve gone a little bit more indulgent, expanding their palette and their affinity for noise.

While the band toyed with noise throughout their debut, it has a strong focus all over Primary Colours.  Opener “Mirror’s Image” is a prelude that deals with creating a brooding sensation for listeners a la Bauhaus before the wall of noise and the Ian Curtis imitations come crashing upon your ears.  Okay, so maybe its more Brandon Flowers than Ian Curtis, but since they’re from the U.K., you’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt.

This is where the whole entire album goes.  It’s wave of noise and feedback crashing upon wave upon wave upon wave, but if you listen closely, you’ll find something even more sinister than the band’s gothic attire; you will find a pop band masquerading as noise rock.  Peel away the layers, and you will find a band not unlike the Killers pogoing about. Now, this isn’t an entirely ominous thing, as some might suppose; clearly the band is full of bubbling bass and other hooks to draw you into their world. Take the closer “Sea Within a Sea,” which is probably one of the strongest tracks on the album.  It bobs along for a minutes before the vocals come in to play; the echo behind the vocal once again brings in the darker side of life that one associates with Joy Division records.

Now, the noise is all well and fine, but it occasionally seems to get in the way of what the band does so well, which is create infectious melodies that will attract listeners across spectrums.  “Scarlet Fields” is the perfect example of this, as the bass line is everything about pop structure in song-writing.  Stir that up with a killer keyboard element during the chorus and you’ll find a hit lurking here.  And yes, this song still stirs souls, but it could do even more if they just removed a little bit of the noise and echo that always seems present here.

You’ll find that for those looking for that noisier element in your rock catalogue that The Horrors will definitely be a fitting addition with Primary Colours, but those of you looking for pop gems might find it a little too loud for your ears.  All in all, it’s another solid addition to the groups on-going catalogue.

Lookout Records Sampler

beonthelookoutSouthern California label Lookout Records is offering up a free sampler of MP3s over on Amazon called Be on the Lookout! The sampler features several tracks from artists like The Donnas, Ted Leo, Small Brown Bike, and a few more solid acts.  Check it out here.  Here’s one of those tracks from The Donnas called “Are You Gonna Move it for Me”.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/01-are-you-gonna-move-it-for-me_.mp3]

Download: The Donnas – Are You Gonna Move it for Me [MP3]

1 1,341 1,342 1,343 1,344 1,345 1,448