Wesley Willis @ Alamo

So obviously the man himself isn’t playing at Alamo since he passed away in 2003, but they will be screening the documentary Wesley Willis’ Joyride as part of Music Mondays.  The show will only run you $2 with a show time of 10:20pm.  If you’re looking for a good time on a Monday night, why not buy a ticket at the Draft House website and enjoy the cult phenom Wesley Willis.  My personal favorite song “Rock n’ Roll McDonalds” is below for your enjoyment/pleasure.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/wesleywillis-rocknrollmcdonalds.mp3]

Download: Wesley Willis – Rock N Roll McDonalds [MP3]

Matt Pryor – Confidence Man

Rating: ★★★★ ·

This time around Matt Pryor opted to go it alone. He left his band behind, and wrote and recorded this entire fifteen-song album in his home studio. It’s more subdued than his other works, but it accomplishes more, letting him roam wherever he chooses.

Here we find Matt at his most personal, though not entirely in the lyrics. The usage of an acoustic guitar, though not entirely different from all Pyror projects, lets you sit in the living room of Matt, while he tries out all these new tunes for you, at least that is the aesthetic I took from listening.

Not surprisingly, his voice sounds really strong throughout the album. Sure, it’s distinctly Matt Pryor, but a few years removed from mass touring seems to have cleared the throat a bit, allowing for some of the more pristine vocals I have heard from this guy. For some, the tone might come off a bit grating initially, especially if this is your first meeting with Matt, but hold on, for you will remember it forever in the back of your mind.

Lyrically, he doesn’t stray far from the usual stylings he has come to grace us with in the last decade. His themes range from the typical love to loss to friendship to observation. The interesting thing throughout this record is how personal the songs feel, without always having to discuss personal topics. You come away feeling that Matt wrote these songs just for your ears, and as a listener you couldn’t ask for more from a singer-songwriter.

My complaint on the album, if I were to create one, is that there aren’t really standout tracks–meaning there is not clear single, or set of singles. However, this doesn’t mean that the songs are weak, it just means that he has come up with his most complete album to date. A listener can go from the first song to the end without getting lost or bored. I suppose this is a good thing–depends on how you look at it.

Whether he is stripped down to the bare bones of an acoustic guitar, or whether he is backed by a full band, Matt Pryor continues to write amazing songs, accompanied by lyrics you can identify with throughout Confidence Man. This is just another warning to the music masses that Pryor is indeed a songwriter who still has what it takes to write great songs.

And, he is coming to Austin on August 23rd with his other group The Terrible Twos. Pick up your tickets.

HEALTH Tonight @ Emos

Tonight Emos will host the danceable band HEALTH on the inside stage, fresh off their set at Pitchfork Music Festival. All signs point to a phenomenal show filled with dance tracks and crazed stage antics. If you’ve got nothing else to do tonight, this is where you should be. Even if you have something to do, this is still where you should go. Doors, as usual, are at 8 PM. See you tonight folks!  Below is a song by the band called “Crime Wave”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/health-crimewave.mp3]

Download: HEALTH – Crimewave [MP3]

New Music from Colourmusic

Oklahoma’s Colourmusic is set to release their album, F, Monday, Orange, February, Venus, Lunatic, 1 or 13, on September 9th on Great Society Records. We have just gotten our hands on a new song for you to enjoy titled “Winter Song.” This is one of their slower tunes, but it shows the range of the band. Be sure to keep track of these guys as they are sure to build a huge following with their rocking live show.

For more info you can check them out on their Myspace Page.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/11-winter-song1.mp3]

Download: wintersong.mp3

Dr. Dog – Fate

Rating: ★★★★½

When Dr. Dog released their second album, We All Belong, I hadn’t really heard much about them; that soon enough changed. Their blend of classic rock meets country meets indie pop had me cornered, and I didn’t mind it one bit. They follow that with the release of an album, Fate, that is more solid all the way through the album.

The fist thing I noticed on this album was that there was a lot more presence of the piano. Sure, it was there in the last album, but here it seems that the piano was the backbone of the writing process for this album, which, in all honesty, does wonders for the band. The melodies this time around are a lot stronger than on the previous efforts.

The first standout track was “The Old Days,” and everything about this song screams single. From the steady pace of the drum-mostly snare-to the splendid guitar work and piano accompaniment; then you can’t help but love the vocal progress of McMicken and Leaman. Then you follow that with “Army of Ancients” and you can tell the band is progressing. Whoever sings the majority of the aforementioned song really strains his voice, going to places I haven’t heard the band go before, and it completely works. It’s one of the more sincere songs I think the band has written.

From that point on, the album really just sticks up for itself. From the classic guitar work on “The Ark” to the more Motown-inspired “From,” one would be hard pressed to find a song that lets you down. Even when they slow it down, they are able to maintain the overall feel of this album without leading you somewhere else. And they close it all off with a rocker of a tune in “My Friend, which is just more classic rock appeal for your ears–and make sure you wait until about 3.3 minutes into the song because they mix it up perfectly–a sign of their progression.

I’m sure that you could fault this band for their lack of originality, for I feel as if I have heard these sounds many times before in my father’s record collection, but you can’t fault a band for that really. I mean, we all have to start at some point, and often that is our biggest influence, musically. I think the maturity on this album shows that Dr. Dog, despite their name, can keep coming back time and time again with great songs for ALL of us to enjoy.

Check out “The Old Days” off the new album now:

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/03-the-old-days-1.mp3]

Download: theolddays.mp3

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