A straight up, well written pop number can be a difficult thing to come by nowadays. Sure some bands can do an okay job at it, but few seem to pull it off with the ease and perfection shown here by Blue Plutos. Yes sir, “Shadow Chateau”, is what I like to call pop goodness, in all its dreamy and mesmerizing glory. You can easily hear some similarities to Austin based hushed pop group Tiger Waves and you know ATH is going to get behind that.
Can a flamboyant restaurant owner and a young African American male really challenge the good ol’ boy incumbent for the mayoral seat in the Pineywoods town of Jacksonville, Texas?
Use Your Words
Tomato Republic is one of my diamond in the rough finds of the year. A well put together documentary at its core, you’ll also find yourself emotionally invested in every character of the film. Maybe it’s my East Texas roots that draw me into the drama of small town politics, but I think almost anyone would find something to enjoy here. Men drinking endless cups of coffee at the local donut shop, talking massive amounts of shit about everyone in town? Yeah I’ll take some of that. If nothing else, it’s a refreshing message that not everyone in the deep south bases their every thought on the old testament and gun law. I promise you’ll be rooting for the two new guys and on the edge of your seat when you find out who won. Let’s just hope the results aren’t read when the train is coming through town.
Now Show Me
Who Should I see This With?
Your left leaning grandmother who votes a straight Democratic ticket.
Tomato Republic is a moving documentary that exposes the complexity and personality of small town folk who are often written off as backwards thinking country bumpkins. ATH approved.
Austin Showtimes and Trailer
This film is currently listed with a TBD date in Austin. Stay tuned.
We’re drawing nearer to the release of the new album from Happy Diving, and their new single is really keeping me going today. It’s got an old school feel to it, in regards to guitar pop, which reminds me of a more rocking blend of what Austin’s the Impossibles were trying to do in their later days. Sure, there’s an ode to Weezer in that and an innocence in the lyrical content, but wait until the song’s screeching guitars feedback into your ears, crashing down through your speakers; it’s a special bit for your listening pleasure today. Big World is released on October 21st via Father Daughter Records.
Recently I posted about the Finnish legend, Sister Flo, trying to get some love for the band in honor of the group releasing Tragician’s Hat on its 10 Year Anniversary…it features a whole disc of unreleased tunes. But, one tune that was lost to the world that unfortunately didn’t make it onto the collection of rarities is “The Look.” Clerical errors and Finnish gnomes are said to be to blame, but Soliti Music is now offering the dream track for free download. Those of you who long for the days of Grandaddy and the like will find yourself absolutely in love, which will hopefully encourage you to go back and discover the band for the first time; you’ll be happy you gave it some spins. Soliti has the album for sale HERE.
Rock n’ roll season is in full swing here in Austin, and there’s a great local show that requires your attendance on Tuesday evening at the Mohawk. Our boys in Shivery Shakes will be headlining the night, and we love them so much we’re releasing their debut LP in October with our friends from Punctum Records. But, let’s not forget Templo X is playing. One member currently resides in Philly, while the rest of the band is staying local. Sounds like the making of a great history that’s not too far off from the one begun by our boys in Literature. Ultraviolet open up the night, so show up early to make sure we’re all supporting the local jams.
Ever since 2006, She Keeps Bees, hailing from Brooklyn, have been creating under-the- radar blues-inspired rock music. They have three records already under their belt, but chances are Eight Houses is the first you’ve heard of the group, as they’ve somehow evaded popularity. Consisting of Jessica Larrabee on vocals and guitar and Andy LaPlant on drums, the duo has generated a fourth, slow burning and soul itching album in Eight Houses.
To say that Eight Housesis a light record may be one of the biggest possible understatements that you could make—their sound here simply aches with the blues at every twist and turn. “Feather Lighter” begins this trip down the soulful winding road by showing the more mellow face of this group. The start out here with a slowly haunting number—the track really only consists of Larrabee’s retro-vocals, guitar, drums, and a hint of piano. Instead, the group lets the vocals and lyrics dominate the song, which serves to warm you up a little bit before they bust out the rock next on “Breezy.” Whereas the opening number had the band reserved in their little world, the second song sees a fire lit underneath them, which you can hear clearly in the vocals and the new presence of growling electric guitar. This song introduces you into the burning element that She Keeps Bees encapsulates so perfectly; especially the last break down, or rather build up, that they end the number with. Larrabee’s voice is pushed to its max as the guitar gets gritty and intensifies.
However, while the album is quite heavy, at no point does it feel overly weighty or grueling to listen to. A large part of this seems to come from the tempering of this heaviness with the simplicity of some tracks that don’t try to overcomplicate the tunes, similar to the style of bands like Wye Oak. This is especially apparent on the last track of the album “Is What It Is,” which features Sharon Van Etten on backing vocals. The song begins with just vocals and drums, laying it out to you earnestly and letting you come to it on your own. Though this is the way the song starts, when Larrabee strikes out with the line “Do not surrender,” her voice quivering with force, you can feel the tugging of this emotionally charged music pulling you in. It’s a gorgeous and simple end to the album.
Though it was somehow possible that you had yet to encounter She Keeps Bees, I do not see this being a probable phenomenon after this album starts to makes its way around the indie-sphere. This comes with good reason; don’t be the last to get on board with Eight Houses and its epic simplicity.
The folks in Dirty Projectors and Here We Go Magic have been crafting arty pop music for some time now, and several members of said groups have united again to continue their work as Glass Ghost. Tomorrow the band will release their album Lyfe on the heralded Western Vinyl, and it’s being met with much anticipation…from us especially. In this single, you’ll find those arty elements, including little touches of sampling and quality lyrical writing. There’s creativity in the songwriting that you’re not likely to find in other corners of the indie genre. Be sure to pick up your copy this week.
If you did what was right last week, you picked up the excellent Put Together LP from Austin’s Jonly Bonly. The band, if you haven’t caught wind, is the project of Jason Smith (formerly of OBN IIIs) and his buddy Stephen Svacina (Sweet Talk). As always, Jason just kills the guitar licks on this tune; they’ve got an old school rock n’ roll feel while drawing some similarities to modern acts such as Parquet Courts. This album’s filled with really sharp guitar playing, energy and a cock-sure attitude; you should head over to 12XU Records and pick it up now!
Seems like Austin has had a pretty good year, musically speaking. Bands from all corners are getting a lot of much deserved recognition for their work, and I’m really impressed with this new tune that’s been hopping around by Institute. The act features members of a lot of local acts you should be familiar with like Wiccans or Glue, though this new entity seems pretty impressive. They’ve signed on with the great Sacred Bones Records to release their Salt EP, and since I didn’t get around to it earlier, I’m getting you amped now. The rhythm section owns this song for sure. Pick up the EP on October 14th.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this tune will get a lot of play on my list for the next few weeks. It’s the perfect sort of guitar pop, using distorted guitars to wrap the band’s pop sensibility in a gentle blanket of noise. There’s even a nice balance between male and female counterparts in Pity Sex. This song features on the group’s new split 7″ which they will be sharing with Adventures; it’s slated for a October 7th release via Run for Cover Records. It’s a nice jam to wrap up your Friday listening.