Michael Vidal Steps Out from Abe Vigoda

michaelThe years have been relatively good for Michael Vidal, as the singer and guitarist for Abe Vigoda.  But, now he’s moving on to a new project, using his own name.  He’s signed on with Couple Skate Records to reissue Dream Center, which was released on a limited run of cassettes a few years back.  The first single demonstrates what many already know, Vidal has complete control of well-crafted pop songs.  He’s got a calm vocal delivery coming in to meet the airy groove that’s been crafted behind the voice; he’s also showing quite a range in pitch and tone here, which I find rather impressive. You’ll be able to get your hands on the release on June 9th.

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Show Preview: Wild Nothing, Abe Vigoda @ Red 7 (2/4)

Date Friday, Feb 4th
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $8 from Frontgate

February has already kicked off with some great shows, but I reckon to bet that there won’t be a better ticket in town than this, whether it’s snowing or not!  First, Wild Nothing won over fans last year with Gemini, and continued kicking ass with the Golden Haze EP.  Their combination of bedroom pop and electronica just fits perfectly into our lives.  Then, you have the incredible Abe Vigoda, and since this is their first tour since the release of Crush, you know they’re going to bring their A game.  On that alone, two amazing bands for $8, you should go.  But, because life sometimes can get better, you have two of the hottest bands in town opening with Bali Yaaah and Superlitebike.  Haven’t gotten to see Bali Yaaah just yet, but Superlitebike is ridiculous live.  Do it folks, lets keep each other warm.


Download: Wild Nothing – Golden Haze [MP3]

HEALTH – Get Color

health_get_colorRating: ★½☆☆☆

Coming from the same scene that birthed No Age, Abe Vigoda, and The Mae Shi, Los Angeles’ HEALTH crashed onto the scene with their cacophonous brand of noise rock garnering favorable reviews with their 2007 self-titled debut, the ensuing remix collection DISCO, and spastic live shows.  On their newest offering, Get Color, HEALTH attempts to produce a more easily accessible album while retaining their trademarked aural destruction, which they do, but to a fault.

What made their debut so great was that it felt dangerous; it made you uncomfortable while listening to it, but in such a good way. The giant drum sound and the shrillness of the vocal manipulation just seemed right. I remember the first time hearing “Crimewave”, just be being blown away and wanting more.  On Get Color, HEALTH switched from recording digitally to recording directly to 2” tape.  In an interview with Drowned in Sound, bassist John Famiglietti, discussed this decision: “On tape, you can be as loud and abrasive as you want, and the more brutal it gets it just feels good to hear.  On a computer that abrasive sound registers as a brittle spike, and even though it’s the sound you want, it’s terribly annoying when it comes out of the stereo”  This is true, Get Color is easier to listen to, but it just comes off as flat noise with a beat,  sterile as a cadaver on an examiners table.  When you embrace the term “noise” as an identifier of your bands sound you shouldn’t be afraid of the “brittle spike” in the recording.  I don’t yearn for a smoother sounding Lightning Bolt record, and HEALTH shouldn’t strive to make their noise easier on my ears.  Just plug in your fifty guitar pedals and tear shit up!

The biggest mistake HEALTH made on Get Color was wrangling in their greatest asset, drummer Benjamin Jared Miller. On their debut Miller was a force to reckoned with but here, while being completely competent behind the kit, he is regulated to generic flourishes and strategically placed blast beats.  The songs on Get Color feel overly planned out, to the point of coming off as a dead behind the eyes Hollywood starlet; pretty to look at and listen to, but offering nothing of value to our world.  I struggle to discuss individual tracks, because they all, essentially, sound the same.

I originally wanted to give this release a half of a star, but I hold on to hope that seeing the band live at Fun Fun Fun Fest this year will redeem this collection of songs. After all I hated At the Drive-In’s In/Casino/Out until I saw them live.  So, HEALTH, the ball is in your court, bring it in November.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/03-health-nice_girls.mp3]

Download: HEALTH – Nice Girls [MP3]

Abe Vigoda @ Emo’s (7/7)

abeEmo’s has a nice lineup of up and coming talent on Tuesday night which should be your best bet for the music scene early in the week.  Lineup includes indie-rockers Abe Vigoda, Loser Life, and latest Hardly Art signing Talbot TagoraTickets for this one are on sale for $8 and doors open up at 9pm.  Here’s brand new single from Talbot Tagora called “Ichthus Hop”.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/tt_ichthushop.mp3]

Download: Tabot Tagora – Ichthus Hop [MP3]

No Age @ Emos Tuesday (7/1)

No Age will be showing up at the Emos Austin indoor stage this Tuesday (7/1) with supporting act Abe Vigoda in tow. You can purchase tickets for the low low price of $8 on the ticketweb website. Opening act The Strange Boys are set to start at 10pm so No Age will probably be getting a fairly late start for those of you with jobs. Read more about No Age or hear a song off their critically acclaimed new album Nouns entitled “Eraser”:


Download: eraser.mp3