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FT5: Songs to Get Amped Up For America!!!!!

If you love soccer (football) or hate it; you have to admit that every four years “Football (Soccer) Fever” hits our shores. The excitement level builds around water coolers across the country, if only to die down after (American) football season starts again. This short lived, broad sweeping enthusiasm is elevated providing the Yanks have some positive results, and hopefully raising a few jaded eyebrows in the process. If you don’t pay attention, you may not know that our boys in the good ol’ Red, White, and Blue pulled off quite a feat last Wednesday with some late heroics. I have been playing “The Beautiful Game” my whole life and continue to play now, so I am pumped to the max leading up to this weekend’s huge knockout match. To help you  get in the mood for a Battle Royale in Rustenburg, South Africa versus Ghana, I present here, the Top 5 songs to get amped up for America!! Don’t tread on me Ghana!
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The Pons @ The Ghost Room (6/26)

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Date 6/26/10
Location The Ghost Room
Doors 8pm
Tickets $6 @ Door

One of my favorite up and coming Austin bands The Pons have a show lined up at The Ghost Room on Saturday night.  The local band will be joined by fellow promising local acts Stereo is a Lie, Wiretree, and Search For a Signal.  If you want to see the next big thing in the Austin scene, I suggest you make it out to this one.

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Download: The Pons – Wherever You Are [MP3]

Torben

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Torben is a new project by featuring jack of all trades artist/musician Brock Enright and his girlfriend Kirsten Deirup.  The duo, and recent parents, are releasing their first ever LP together about a week from today on June 29th.  A documentary of the creative couple, Brock Enright: Good Time Will Never be the Same, will be hitting stores on that very same date.  Have yourself a listen to the Brock and Kirsten’s first ever MP3 “Maybe” below.

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Download: Brock Enright & Kirsten Dierup – Maybe [MP3]

FTC: The The

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From The Closet deserves a delve into a generation of music that may not be represented here on a regular basis, and that’s where I come into play. My closet might run a bit deeper than those who previously post here on this site. I’m an old fart for sure, but I might have something of worth to share with you.  Follow the jump for more.

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USA vs. Ghana World Cup Party @ ND (6/26)

Date 6/26/10
Location ND
Doors Noon
Tickets FREE

Ladies and gents, we here at ATH are huge music fans of course, but we’re also huge soccer fans as well.  That being said, we’ve joined forces with amigos Knuckle Rumbler and Do512 to put on a little watching party Saturday at The ND (formerly the Independent).  Here’s what KR has to say about the event:

USA! USA!  Got World Cup fever and don’t want to have to scramble for the one good seat up close to the TV at the sports bar?  Don’t want to go to the sports bar, period?  Come get down with us at ND and enjoy 100% All-American World Cup action on our 30′ HD projection screen with surround sound so real you’ll want to fake an injury, grab your shin, and roll on the ground.  Comfy theater-style seating on the floor level, plus a balcony view.  Did we mention the screen was big?  Really, really big.  Big like America, people.  Look for America-themed drink specials at the bar, plus Austin Town Hall will be kicking a soundtrack featuring kickass American music about, well, America.

More information can be found on Do512.  See ya there!

New Tunes from Violens

It seems like forever ago when we first brought you news of Violens, and in fact it was, 2008 to be exact.  Now, the band is finally geared up to release their album debut, Amoral, on Static Revival.  Their newest track is really something to marvel out.  It has a lot of that Madchester feel to it, using psychedelia and electronics blended in with extreme pop overtones.  You’re never really sure whether to sit back and enjoy or maybe move to the dance floor. Listen here and let me know which you prefer.

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Download: Violens – Acid Reign [MP3]

Del Tha Funkee Homosapien @ Mohawk (6/26)

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Date 6/26/10
Location Mohawk
Doors 10pm
Tickets $20 @ Frontgate

Every hipsters favorite hip-hop artist Del Tha Funkee Homosapien is making yet another stop in Austin at The Mohawk on Saturday night.  Del’s got a huge crew with him including DJ Maseo, Nottz, DJ Harry Chronic Jr., and DJ Jeff Jupiter all opening things up.  Twenty bucks for all that music should be a good option for your Saturday night.

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Download: Del the Funky Homosapien – Get it Right Now! [MP3]

Love at 20 – Time to Begin

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Rating: ★★★ · ·

Austin’s Love at 20 is comprised of several members who’ve been making a name for themselves for quite some time (I remember drummer Mark Toohey as the man behind the kit for Lucidus in 99). Such backgrounds allow the group to bring an amalgam of influences to make a creative debut that’s as sharp as the cover art for Time to Begin would suggest.

Oddly, the band claim to have a huge influence of British indie rock, but opening track “The Look” has more of a resemblance to old Omaha circa the days of Denver Dalley.  It’s got extremely sharp guitar chords that battle from ear to ear, and a complex structure that didn’t really exist outside of the more obscure Brit pop groups.  Perhaps its the anthemic vocals during the chorus that harken back to that era, but nonetheless, its a solid lead track.

One might find that the band’s name sort of confines the group to a certain genre of writing, which comes apparent in lyrics and song titles such as “Let Her Know.”  Despite the leaning towards somewhat juvenile lyrics, which is just personal taste, this track emphasizes the bombastic approach that surely has built the band’s following around Austin.  Toohey’s drumming here is spot on, and the more creative he gets, the more powerful the group sounds.

“So Bad” celebrates Love at 20 stepping outside of the box.  A choppy guitar cutting in across a danceable bass groove really points to a group that doesn’t always follow their own anthemic formula, which is probably a point for future focus, as spots to tend to get a bit tedious with similar sonic structures.  “Time to Begin” also gives a breath of fresh air to the album, though it has some traceable roots to the band’s sound.  Personally, that chorus rings loud like something Jeremy Enigk would have pulled off during his best days of the 90s.  You can just imagine crowds with fists in the air screaming at the top of their longs, or at least you should.

Personally, the best run the band has during Time to Begin comes during the last three songs, “Hearts and Fire” and “Things to Come Pt. 1 and 2.”  Deep melodies and a sense of patience really reveal the craftsmanship dedicated to creating the record as a whole.  Maybe I’m just an old sad bastard, but I love it when the group slows things down, almost to a grinding halt, using the strength Mike Groener’s vocals to propel the tunes.  All in all, its a decent piece of work from another hard working band dedicated to keeping the Austin scene going strong.

You can grab yourself a free copy of Love at 20‘s Time to Begin HERE.

Stars – The Five Ghosts

Rating: ★★★ · ·

Toronto band Stars has spent years crafting albums full of emotion, politics and love.  It’s now 2010, and the band have switched labels for The Five Ghosts, perhaps signaling a change in the band’s mentality, or at the very least, their dynamic sound.  Signing to long-running emo label Vagrant may not have been a bad idea in regards to exposure, but would such exposure exist on the merit of the music alone?

“Dead Hearts” oddly begins with the feel of a melodic Death Cab for Cutie song, with the guitar barely trickling beneath the alternating vocals of Torq Campbell and Amy Millan.  It’s a pleasant enough number, and one that newcomers to the band will surely enjoy, but it seems as the album begins to take flight that the group is already taking a rest.  “Wasted” similarly seems uninspired, as if Stars opted to craft songs in the vein of friends Metric; the lyrics even bear the mark of Emily Haines.

By the time you encounter “I Died So I Could Haunt You” you’re looking for some sort of extreme contrast.  The sonic barrage apparent on In Our Bedroom After the War (“Take Me to the Riot”) is no more.  Sure, the thick bass line definitely adds a brooding quality, but as the song builds towards an unknown climax, listeners will find themselves a bit unfulfilled.  Really, where are the drums here?  But, perhaps this is the direction the band has chosen to head, so we shouldn’t knock them for treading new ground, that is until you arrive at “We Don’t Want Your Body.”  Frankly, it’s a bit of a juvenile number, and where you want to find a bit of passion, you only get a little coy vocal from Millan.  Oddly, none of it really seems too bad, but at this point, it all seems bad in comparison to other works by the group.

Luckily for the band, Amy Millan is just incredible.  Lack of inspiration never seems to hold her back, as witnessed in “Changes.”  She practically carries the song all on her own, with, as usual on The Five Ghosts, very minimal instrumentation shining through.  You have to give her credit in the end, as her light definitely has a bit of shine to it, while the rest of this album seemingly fades into banality.

Still, there are some bright elements on this record to assure us all that they still have a knack for writing good hooks.  “Passenger” has this catchy little moment during the chorus that appears as part electronic, part vocal, and for whatever reason, it just grabs the listener. On “How Much More” there’s a bit of a ringing guitar to go with another great vocal Millan performance.  Back beats here give a little boost of energy to go along with it all, rounding it out to be one of the better tracks.

Not long ago I would have sworn by Stars, such was the quality of their back catalog, but The Five Ghosts just seems like an anomaly.  It doesn’t seem like a record within the character of the group I’ve gotten (or we’ve) to know for the last ten years or so. It would be wrong to call it uninspired, but you could easily say that this is nowhere near the band’s best work to date.  Hopefully, this is just a brief identity crisis, and one that will bring the band back stronger next go around.

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Download: Stars – Wasted Daylight [MP3]

New Tunes from Fergus and Geronimo

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We raved about Denton, Texas group Fergus and Geronimo after they won us over in Austin a bit ago, and now comes word that they have a new track out there on the Internet (via Transparentblog).  We’ve got to keep up our support for this great Texas act, and we also can’t help but admit that this is a pretty sweet jam, if we do say so ourselves.  For me, it has the feelings of psychedelia from the classic era, but with a modern spin on the vocal approach.  You can’t help but to tap your foot along as you let this song wind around you all day long.

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Download: Fergus & Geronimo – Girls With English Accents [MP3]

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