• Top Songs of 2019

    Phew, the end of the year really snuck up on me this time and it’s crazy to think we are moving on from the 2010s. Before we do so, Nathan

    Read more »
  • Top 25 Albums of 2019

    This is the list you’ve all been waiting for, well, sort of. This is my Top 20 LPs of the year. Admittedly, there’s none of the high profile hitmakers on

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  • Levitation 2019: A Reflection

    Team ATH has been covering Austin Psych Fest/Levitation since its early inception, probably in the second year at Radio Room (sorry we missed the first year!), so we’ve seen the

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  • ACL WE2 in a Nutshell

    Another Austin City Limits is behind us boys and girls and it’s always a good time to reflect on the music and experiences from the weekend. I considered myself very

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Other Lives

It’s Friday afternoon, you’re painfully waiting for 5 o’clock and Austin Town Hall wants to throw a new band your way. Maybe your brain isn’t working anymore from the stressful week almost behind you, but why not take some new music to your pre-pre-halloween party this weekend? Today we bring you, Other Lives, who hail from Stillwater, OK. The band, formerly know as Kunek, will be dropping their debut self-titled EP on the 21st of October. Here’s the single from that EP “Paper Cities”.

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

Download: Other Lives – Paper Cities [MP3]

Girl Talk @ Emo’s (10/20)

Girl Talk, the master of all things mash-up/dj releated, will be bringing the noise at Emo’s on Monday night. Unfortunately, tickets for the show have been sold out for a while now, so try searching craigslist, buying one from a “street vendor”, or entering the Austin Sound Check contest.  Music should get started around 10pm with opening acts Hearts of Darknesses and Grand Buffet. Don’t forget you can still pay what you want for Girl Talk’s latest effort Feed the Animals.

Ham1

I read a little blurb about this band, Ham1, on MOKB and thought we’d give them a little love as well.  The band hails from Athens, GA and plans to release their third LP, The Underground Stream, sometime this fall.  If you aren’t feeeling to spendy, you can downloaded a free copy of this album on the band’s website! While there, why not pick up the entire Ham1 catalog?  It’s also free.  Find out what this band is all about with opening track to their new album “Will You Ever See Me Again?” below.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/01-will-you-ever-see-me-again_.mp3]

Download: Ham1 – Will You Ever See Me Again? [MP3]

Portugal. The Man @ Emo’s (10/18)

One of the few bands to come out of Alaska, Portugal. The Man, are making the huge trek to Austin on Saturday night.  The Emo’s show will only cost ya $12 and gets started around 9pm.  Get your tickets now and be in attendance for a band that everyone will know about real soon.  Latest single from the band “Lay me Back Down” can be heard below.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/01_lay_me_back_down.mp3]

Download: Portugal. The Man – Lay me Back Down [MP3]

Maker Faire This Weekend

The premiere event for grassroots American innovation, Maker Faire, will be going down for the second year this weekend in Austin.  Maker Faire takes place this Saturday and Sunday with tickets running $25 for adults, $15 for students and $10 for children.  The weekend’s events include crazy things like rockets, robotics, a life-sized mouse trap, Mentos fountains, fire acts, catapults, arts and crafts, a ton of bands, and loads more madness sure to delight.  El Tule, Foot Patrol, The Dialtones, and The Hero Cycle are just a few of the numerous bands playing over the weekend.  Full Schedule of events can be read on the Maiker Faire website.

I’m From Barcelona – Who Killed Harry…

I’m From Barcelona – Who Killed Harry Houdini?

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Did you have any idea that the Swedish supergroup I’m From Barcelona had another album hitting stateside?  Don’t worry, no one really covered it, but sure enough, we now have Who Killed Harry Houdini?.

Opening tracks pretty much establish the mood for all albums, no matter what we say; that’s the job of the person who sequences the songs. “Andy,” the album opener showcases an entirely new aesthetic for the group, most noticeable is the absence of sprawling pop infectiousness. It’s quiet, almost as if it’s the choir score to a Tim Burton film. The artwork, along with the album title, hint at this darker underbelly.

Remnants of the last album do remain throughout this new effort.  Many of the songs hold tightly to the choir backing vocals, a la Polyphonic Spree. Still available is the landscape sounds created by piling layers and layers of instrumentation and vocals upon one another.  You can even find handclaps and shakers here and there. BUT, it’s missing a key ingredient!

SPIRIT! When that guy from Barcelona introduced me to all his friends on his last album I remember being really excited.  Not only had a collective of musicians united to make zany-pop fueled extravagances, but they were good at it too!  Songs like “We’re From Barcelona” or “Treehouse” oozed with pop sensibility, creating listening experiences even hippies could groove too.  Here, it’s gone.  It’s as if they put all that energy into the first album, and now they’ve run completely out of gas.  Also, the level of horn work has been greatly diminished.  It’s strange considering the frequent usage of the horns on the last effort. It’s just another thing  that indicates an entirely different direction for the group.

This album isn’t an awful attempt; it actually has some redeeming moments, albeit slower moments.  Unfortunately, they’ve gone so far the other way that it is difficult to find any correlation between this Who Killed Harry Houdini? and Let Me Introduce My Friends. One album is fully shimmering joy, the other lacks emotion; compare and contrast; go!

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