Aussie band Red Riders are the latest and greatest to get our SXSW Watchlist treatment. The band is not the first to make the leap from the Australian market, but the country hasn’t had much to talk about as of late. Influences of the band are cited as mid 80s fellow Aussie acts like The Go-Betweens, The Triffids, and The Church. Follow the jump to read a brief interview with lead singer Alex Grigg, check some dates and grab a tune.
Kool Keith (also known as Dr. Dooom, Dr. Octagon, or Black Elvis) is returning to Austin after his sick performance at Fun Fest in November. This time around, Mr. Thornton will be playing at The Mohawk on Thursday with tickets going for $11. Doors for this sure to be rowdy hip-hop show open at 8pm.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/dr_octagon_-_earth_people.mp3]
Download: Dr. Octagon – Earth People [MP3]
One of our favorite blog reads, Aquarium Drunkard, has created a really sweet compilation disc full of some of the great indie acts out of L.A. Not just a compilation, the album features each band’s take on a song from Paul McCartney’s 1971 solo album RAM. The album is free to download, but The Drunkard is suggesting that you say thanks by donating to his favorite charity No More Land Mines. With a compilation full of artists like Parson Red Heads, Earlimart, and Bodies of Water, why not donate a little?[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/09-eat-at-home.mp3]
Download: The Broken West – Eat At Home [MP3]
It’s rare nowadays when an artist will actually create a world and sound, one which takes you upon a journey within an album. We’re a culture that’s reverted back to the days of singles and 7″s, but some of us still yearn for that legendary trip throughout an album, carried up and down by the songwriters; that is precisely what newcomers The Great Nostalgic have created with their debut self-titled album.
Opening the album with “Grace,” a song based entirely around deep piano chords creates a moment of solemnity, encouraging the listener to settle down as the album begins to take flight. And from here the band go straight into “The Kingdom” where the band slowly start to assert themselves as a complete force to reckon with as guitars crash carefully mid-song. Subject-wise, the band sets us up as singer Abram Shook carries you back home with him to a place where his memories hold great importance. Listen close as wave after wave of guitar noise crash upon you near the song’s end, coated in a dense fog of noise.
From here, we journey into a song about “Young Lovers,” one of the songs destined to be a hit with audiences. Here you find a bounce to the band that wasn’t present in the earlier moments of the album, and its a welcome change of pace as the band carry you to yet another plateau in their reptoire. Listening, you can bounce along the entire time, but the prize comes as the snare drum rattles in tight unison with guitar work at the end of the album. But, just as soon as your body is moving, they draw you back in with a more subtle song. Shook seems to be dealing with a bit of defeat, but his undying love, or infatuation, pushes him to hunt his love, played in part by the band’s occasional guest female vocalist, Pink Nasty.
Still, they’ve got haunting elements to carry with them, as they do in “Fall River Dream” in which the narrator seems to follow aimlessly down a river filled with mistakes and dreams both touching and demonic. Our narrator yearns to be free, hoping the water washes it all away. And off we go with “Fire Brigade,” which has a looming sense of doom, especially when the guitar work is shortened, matched by the pounding of phenomenal guest drummer John Kolar (Sunset). It’s an epic moment in the album, one filled with a sense of complex dark chaos.
Thus comes one of the best tracks on the album, though admittedly, they are all exceptional in their own right, “County Line.” Combining keyboard elements and angular guitar work creates a certain tension, yet allows for pristine pop moments. It takes us back to the story of the young lovers, but in doing so it brings a certain sense of ferocity, along with accusations of someone “living someone else’s life.” Juxtaposed, however, is “Legend,” one of the songs that bubbles with creativity alongside an atmospheric sound of swelling guitars and electronics just before the pace is quickened; the introduction of horns certainly moves this song into a realm beyond its predecessors. And so “Queen and Country” reintroduces you to Pink Nasty along with Diedre Gott and Abram Shook, together at last, at least as far as lyrical delivery goes.
And the album begins to draw to a close with ‘The House of My Father.” Rumbling drums melded with Shook’s voice, as it echoes in the forefront of the song make for memorable moments, and the urgency with which the band performs does not go unnoticed. Here we rise to the seeming climax of the album, after various ebbs and flows through the valley of the album. Then we have the end, the “Return to the Kingdom” where we go back to where it all began, to a place where its full of memories. Marching goes the band, and our heart beats along until the end, where we are blasted by the album’s coda.
So through it all, the band mixes up their textures, their approaches and their delivery. They carefully craft an album that allows you to start at one point, and follow the band until the end. One couldn’t have asked for more from a fairly young band, as they deliver one of the most complete albums to come out this year.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/07_county_line.mp3]
Download: The Great Nostalgic – County Line [MP3]
Those of you who love a good dance mash up will surely find solace knowing that Dan Deacon has a new album coming out March 24th on Carpark Records. You can get a preview of the entire album by heading over to NPR where they will offer a preview of Bromst before the album comes out. Head over to NPR now.
Not sure just how late we are in getting to this one, but we’re banking on some of you digging this track regrdless. Aussie band Architecture in Helsinki have a new dance beat entitled “That Beep” to throw your way. The single will appear on a new album tentativley titled Vision Revision with an as of yet named release date sometime this year.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/architecture-in-helsinki-that-beep.mp3]
Download: Architecture in Helsinki – That Beep [MP3]
It’s hard to believe that Modest Mouse are still going strong after all these years and yes we are still excited about them coming to our little town. You can catch this now veteran act on Wednesday at Stubbs along with opening bands Mimicking Birds & Japanese Motors. Doors for this show are at 7pm. Tickets have been sold out for quite some time now and are selling for way more than what they are worth on Ebay. Try a scalper?[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/modest-mouse-spitting-venom.mp3]
Download: Modest Mouse – Spitting Venom [MP3]
Art Brut is one of those unassuming bands who you aren’t quite sure whether to trust, as they seem to be toying with you the entire time. Just listening to the delivery of singer Eddie Argos makes you question his genuineness in the face of the music world. Regardless, the band has loads to offer, especially in the fierceness of the rest of the music. RCRDLBL has the preview of a new track off their album Art Brut vs. Satan, so go there now.
We here at ATH started getting a little jealous of everyone having fun with this day party thing during SXSW week, so we thought it was time to join in the fun. The shindig we’ve put together will be going down at Victory Grill on March 21st from 3pm-8pm and is completely free. Our lineup should spark your interest and make you want to leave all those other free day parties behind. You won’t even have to leave the kids at home since all ages are welcome at the show! I’d recommend getting to the venue early as space is limited. If you’ve got a little free time, be sure to Like our event on Do512 and check out their sweet SXSW coverage while you’re there. We almost forgot a map to the venue for you out of towners! Follow the jump for more details and links to all participating bands.
Michael Benjamin Lerner records under the moniker of Telekinesis, and he’s the most recent signing to indie stalwart Merge Records. His self-titled album is set to come out on April 7th, and its precisely the sort of album one would want with a Spring release; its full of warmth, yet filled with memorable pop moments.
His whole sound is difficult to put down on paper, as there seem to be many underlying elements. At some moments, he sounds like the more mature brother of young Ben Kweller, when Ben was geared towards the poppier side of life. Still, you might find some resemblance to Brendan Benson‘s solo works here, as fuzzed out guitar is mixed with precision drumming. Even more interesting is a song like “Foreign Room,” which recalls Elliott Smith moments before picking up pace, all done to perfection. Mark my words, Telekinesis should be on your radar, and not just for SXSW.
He will be playing at The Parish on Saturday, March 21st at 8 PM.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/06-foreign-room.mp3]
Download: Telekinesis – Foreign Room [MP3]