• 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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Leonard Cohen @ The Long Center 4/1 & 4/2

lennyLet’s face it, there really isn’t a better show in town this week. If you are nearing the end of your life, wouldn’t you like to say that you were there when Leonard Cohen played the Long Center in Austin? Sure, tickets may be a bit much, but you can’t go wrong with buying one of these. I mean, really, you can pay your bills next month, but Leonard only comes to Austin once in a lifetime, so live it up with Leonard this week.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/07-a-singer-must-die.mp3]

Download: Leonard Cohen – A Singer Must Die [MP3]

POBPAH On Woxy

pains1Hands down the most hyped band in the music world right now, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, have some live MP3s posted over on the Woxy blog.  This is just the first SXSW artist recap post on the site with many more said to be on the way.  Check out the 5 song set now including this new unreleased song “103”.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/pobpah-103-lounge.mp3]

Download: POBPAH – 103 (live on Woxy) [MP3]

ATH Gets On Youtube

We here at Austin Town Hall just created a fancy Youtube account featuring some live video from The Mohawk show on Thursday night.  We’ve got a few rockin’ videos from Whitman (featuring a sweet cover of “Radio Radio”), Great Nostalgic, and Frantic ClamHead over now and check back frequently as we’re planning on adding content as often as we can.  Tyler over at Two Groove also has some nice photos and a write up from the show on Thursday.  Thanks for the coverage.

Neko Case @ Stubbs (3/31)

nekocaseStubb’s has a great lineup on Tuesday featuring headliner Neko Case and beloved Austin band Shearwater opening.  Doors for this show are at 7:30 and tickets are on sale now for $20.  Neko Case is currently touring in support of her new album Middle Cyclone which features the single “Some People Got a Lot of Nerve”.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/neko-case-people-got-a-lotta-nerve.mp3]

Download: Neko Case – People Got a Lot of Nerve [MP3]

New Tunes from Conor Oberst

mysticConor Oberst and his Mystic Valley Band are at it again, releasing a new album, Outer South, this May on Merge Records. The first single from the album is titled “Slowly (Oh So Slowly).” Listening to the track, the vocals are really solid, but I’d be remiss not to say that the production seems to favor the full band approach, over the backing band approach used previously. You be the judge.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/slowly_oh_so_slowly.mp3]

Download: Conor Oberst – Slowly (Oh So Slowly) [MP3]

Beep Beep – Enchanted Islands

islands

Rating: ★★★½ ·

When Beep Beep released their first album off of Saddle Creek Records, one was hard pressed not to find the similarities to heralded post-punk groups like Q and Not U, which is not really a far off comparison, seeing how far the group have gone in changing their sound on the group’s second album, Enchanted Islands.

Of course you will notice that knife-like guitar licks still cleverly cut through the album with precision, but what has evolved beyond the angular guitar-play is the evolution of the funk.  Bass lines are much more pronounced this time around, at least on songs like “Secrets for the Well” or “The Whispering Waves.”

More pronounced on this album, however, is the conceptualization, or the effort that Eric Ray and Chris Terry put into telling a story with each different tune.  Some stories revolve around traditional mysticism, such as struggles with mermaids, while others like “Seppuku” are interested in Japanese ritualistic suicide through disembowelment.  It’s not necessarily a unified concept that runs throughout the album, but one of different perspectives on enchantment. It’s is this disjointed approach to the album that both succeeds and holds the band back at moments.  In success, the band has crafted a varying album, layered with changes in tempo and structure, as well as vocal pitch.  Each song opens up like a Russian matryoshka dolls, revealing pieces within pieces.  At the same time, the effort seems disjointed at moments, as if the epic storytelling proved too much for those at the helm.

You will find some straightforward songs in the presentation of this album, both seeming to tie into each other, lyrically.  The ease with which a listener can approach these songs allows for them to shine in the mix of the album, as they step out for just a moment before being consumed again by the whole of the album.  “Return to Me” and “I Miss You” both loosely rely upon a classic approach, with gentle guitar accompanied by soaring lyrics.  Odds are that most casual listeners will find these the standout tracks, as they are easily consumed, but more rewarding moments exist throughout the entirety of the record.

And that is how it all comes to be on Enchanted Islands, as one must journey with the band, through the dark and light moments, behind the chords and into the lyrics.  Each time you find yourself traveling one way, the wind blows, moving you in an entirely new direction within the album, which makes Beep Beep one of the more interesting listens to come out at this point in the year.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/10-i-miss-you.mp3]

Download: Beep Beep – I Miss You [MP3]

FT5: Anticipated SXSW Artists Releases

0313top5cover1While we were roaming around town last week, we started thinking about some of the upcoming releases that have got us peeing our pants in anticipation this year. Then we saw some of these artists during SXSW and got even more excited for what’s to come. For today’s Top 5, we wanted to take a look at some of theses new releases and rank them in order of just how excited we are about them. Some big names who were in town (Decemberists, Dan Auerbach, etc.) have already put out some solid releases this year, so we’re hoping that these won’t let us down. Follow the jump for our full Top 5 of anticipated releases from SXSW artists.
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New Music From Super Furry Animals

642x600mrsuperfurryprevThis new Super Furry Animals track has been getting heavy rotation around the ATH offices over the past few days.  We weren’t sure what to make of it at first, but now we just can’t get enough.  The track “Inaugural Trams” will appear on Dark Days/Light Years out April 14th digitally and April 21st physically.  What’s your verdict on the new material?

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/inauguraltrams.mp3]

Download: Super Furry Animals Inaugural Trams [MP3]

Calm Blue Sea Score Film @ Alamo (3/29)

siegfried20-webLocal and ATH favorites, The Calm Blue Sea, are one of those bands with music that just screams movie soundtrack/score.  The guys in the band have apparently listened to our demands and will be doing a live score at The Alamo Ritz on Sunday night.  The film to be scored is an old school black and white/silent movie from 1924 called Siegfried.  Alamo describes the silent film as one that “ranges in scope between the hellishly intense defeat and death of a Dragon to more quiet emotional moments”.  Sounds like a perfect fit for the band’s emotionally charge instrumental music.  We’re sure you won’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity to relive the days of live scoring.  Show time is set for 7pm with tickets on sale now for only $11.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/the-calm-blue-sea-we-happy-few.mp3]

Download: The Calm Blue Sea – We Happy Few [MP3]

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