The people at Stubb’s Austin were treated to an outstanding set by Seattle’s own Grand Archives on Saturday night. The band mostly stuck to songs from their self titled debut album Grand Archives, which came out earlier this year in February. The set list provided a good mix of upbeat songs along with some of the slower tracks from the album. One big highlight for me was the superb cover of Sam Cooke’s popular R&B song “Another Saturday Night”. Most members of the audience were cracking smiles and singing along to the huge ’60s hit from the late singer. Read more
The country music & bluegrass world needs more women like Sera Cahoone. Long before my time, women like Emmy Lou Harris & Loretta Lynn carried the torch as THE women of the genre. Not afraid to say what they think about their latest man or toss out the occasional dirty word along with the strum on the finest Gibson acoustic. Sure the world still has their Kathleen Edwards or even Allison Krause to some extent but I feel we need more from the women of the genre. I feel like Sera is one of these women of country music who can carry that torch in the new generation. On Saturday night at Stubbs, she provided an intimate set full of the grit and vulnerability that used to come with those elder stateswomen of country music. Read more
You can stream a couple more songs off Beck’s new album Modern Guilt on his iLike artist page. The new streaming songs are “Orphans” & “Gamma Ray”.
Yes you read that headline right. Our mates from across the pond, The Verve, have debuted some new material after an extremely long hiatus. The band played their first show in the US in over 10 years at Coachella recently and debuted some new material at the festival. Here’s the newest song by The Verve entitled “Love is Noise” off their upcoming album Four due on August 18th :[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/love_is_noise.mp3]
Download: The Verve – Love Is Noise [MP3]
About a year ago I stumbled into Jay Reatard, well, his record, Bloodvisions. Since that day I have eaten up every piece of news I can find on the man and his band. Out of nowhere news hit me that In The Red Records would be releasing a compilation of all his old singles from various 7″s. I don’t have the money to bid for such things on eBay, so I opted for the more economical solution, buying this here compilation.
The compilation is seventeen new–well, new to me–songs, but you need to examine the tracklist first. The listing includes four different versions of songs that made their way onto Bloodvisions. The songs that might sound familiar to you are “Bloodvisions,” “Oh Its Such a Shame,”Turning Blue,” and “It’s So Easy.” You will also find that the song “Haunting You” from this very compilation sounds really familiar. In fact, if you changed the name to “Nightmares,” you would already have this song. So, you have 12 new songs, but this is all accompanied by a DVD featuring 4 live shows, which are all worth the your viewing.
Do these singles compare to the greatness of the full length? I think that depends on what exactly you are looking at when you listen to this album. Is this your first Jay Reatard experience? If so, then you might find this unique blend of lo-fi garage rock with perfect melodies simply refreshing. It’s hard not to find something to like with this band.
However, if you have previous Jay Reatard experience, you might find this collection of songs kind of a miss. The production quality is the first thing that I noticed that was different. It just didn’t pack the same punch that Bloodvisions brought you. The vocals sometimes appear more muddled than usual. Then you come to the older versions of the songs on Bloodvisions and the only one that really surpasses or equals the newer version is “Haunting You,” which was changed to “Nightmares.”
There are some interesting new twists, such as the keyboard infused “Another Person,” which brings in the bouncy melodies that typically adorn a Jay Reatard song. Also, the bluesy “Hammer I Miss You” is also an interesting touch.
All in all, this is a worthy collection for either listener, Jay Reatard newcomer or diehard. As the newcomer, you get a proper introduction to the rock stylings of Jay Reatard, which we all know is necessary when few bands are making solid rock music nowadays. For the diehard, you get to look into the past of one of your favorites. This album is really a stepping stone for any and all listeners.
The New Year founding members The Kadane Brothers will be coming to Austin this Thursday at Emos on the indoor stage. The show is only $8 with doors opening up at 8pm. The brothers are touring in support of their bands new album, The New Year which should be dropping Sep. 9th. Below is the title track from The New Year’s last album The Ends Not Near which came out way back when in 2004. Check Emos website for tickets to the show or just hold out and get one at the door. More info can be found about The Kadane Brothers & The New Year from the bands website.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/01-ends-not-near.mp3]
Our Austin boys White Denim recently posted a youtube mix tape on the Drowned in Sound website. The compilation is pretty awesome, featuring the likes of R. Kelly, Pink Floyd & Stevie Wonder among others. The band is about to kick off a UK tour in support of their new album Workout Holiday which hits stores tomorrow. Read more about the band on their myspace page or have a go at the newest single “let’s talk about it”:[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/letsalkaboutit.mp3]
Download: White Denim – Lets Talk About It [MP3]
Former Ladytron bass player Pop Levi has a new single available for download off the album Never, Never Love which is set to be released September 2nd. Hear the title track “Never, Never Love” off the new album right now:[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/neverneverlove.mp3]
The album opener sets the tone for this album. “Good Lies,” kicks off this record with an introduction to the group’s guitar-work. It’s quite a change from their near-perfect Neon Golden. This song bounces along, being pushed by the guitars, but it doesn’t quite have the pace of songs like “Pilot,” off their previous album. Where you hope for a dramatic shift, it just goes along, then adds a little bit of the electronic beats, which is where the band receives a lot of their accolades.
Another solid number that opens a new vein for The Notwist is “Gloomy Planet.” The soothing voice of Markus Acher is layered beneath a strumming acoustic guitar, while the minimal beats dance their way to the background. The subject matter of the song seems a bit gloomier than prior efforts, but I think that title of the album really sets that mood from the minute you purchase this album.
There are definitely some redundant parts on this album, such as “Alphabet,” but I think it is really hard to pull of this dynamic sound without treading over the same round again and again. On top of that, you add the lack of range for Acher, and at times the album kind of just blends in with itself, which I think is going to be the biggest complaint from any listener. That, and there are a few moments where they push the electronic buttons a little too loud and too far, which got a little grating on my ears, as short-lived as it was.
Given some weaknesses, there are some supreme moments on this album. For me, as a listener, “On Planet Off,” is reminiscent of some of the Industrial nineties music that I just adored, only a great deal more ambient than all that. Not to mention, you don’t find a lot of songs better than “Devil, YOu + Me” these days. Then you comes along a song like “Boneless” near the end of the album to pick the pace back up and put a little bit of a bounce back in your step.
You add the faults and the good moments in this record, and you find a rarity in today’s music world. You find an album that you can listen to from start to finish; each track requires careful attention, and with that attention, each song continues to open up new doors for you. It may not be the album that blows your hair back, but it is an album that fails to let you down, which is a lot to say for a band that was surrounded in hype and anticipation.
Here’s a track off the new album called “Good Lies”:[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/notwist-good-lies.mp3]