It’s been a little while since we’ve gotten to write about Athens power-pop trio, Scooterbabe, but they just passed a brand new track our way. For the first minute of the track, you can feel the tension building via the vocal delivery and the seemingly increasing pace created by the rhythm section. At 1.15, the track explodes, blasting forth with exuberant abandon, all before settling into the song’s final moments. It’s always great to hear from these guys. Grab it HERE for NYOP, and please donate so the band can keep making great songs for us to share.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/scooterbabe-I-Want-To-Write-Your-Name-Across-The-Sky-in-Big-Clumsy-Strokes.mp3]
I was looking for something rad to toss up today, something that would definitely lift the spirit, yet still hold true to my personal aesthetics (wherever those are). So I’ve been constantly listening to this brilliant Ruby the Rabbitfoot tune that’s been floating around for a wee bit; I started listening in anticipation of her show at the Blackheart on March 13th. It’s a bit songstress, though there’s this careful artfulness to it, like the bubbling guitar chord you hear lurking beneath her vocals. She’ll be blowing in to town with her album New as Dew, which comes out the week of her Austin visit.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/01-Ways.mp3]
Earlier this summer I brought you a discovery, Scooterbabe, who I hit upon by way of looking into Athens Intensified. The band often get classified as a noisy indiepop act, and that’s definitely present in their sound, though I also hear other elements like Braid or Promise Ring in their newest EP. If you know me, you know that all those elements are certainly things I’m interested in, so I’m excited to share a tune with you. I have a sneaking suspicion that there are others who love this sound as much as I do, so head over to the group’s page now and pick up their new EP, along with a great digital booklet.[audio:http://email@example.com-Last-Year-Was-Alright.mp3]
Download: Scooterbabe – Last Year Was Alright [MP3]
As we move into our early week tunes, have a listen to this great track from T. Hardy Morris. Now some of you may have heard this one already so just bear with me for a minute. It’s a great country inspired rock track that is worthy of a few plays despite my tardiness. Think Blitzen Trapper or Deer Tick with more of a punk rock tendency. Let’s make it through the week…
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It seems that every other day, someone has a festival going, especially here in Austin; there’s always something. I’m okay with that, but over the last few years I’ve noticed a lot of small boutique festivals carving niches for themselves. With this in mind, I was connected with Gordon Lamb, formerly one of the gents behind Athens PopFest, and now the founder of Athens Intensified. The festival takes place in Athens, Georgia (not Greece) on September 11-13, with an extra date on September 20th to fit in The Egyptian Lover. If you’re in the area and interested in going…tickets are HERE. But, otherwise, it’s still a good read at the world of being a festival curator. Thanks to Gordon for his time and to Mike for setting up the interview.
Once in a blue moon you stumble across an album that defies the odds. You might recognize bits of various genres within this sort of album, but every song sounds completely refreshing. You’ll get precisely this when you listen to Crunch, the newest album from Athens’ Eureka California; they’ve created a pop rock record that doesn’t give a fuck if you like it.
One of the great attributes, of which there are many, on Crunch lives in the fact that only one song on the album breeches the 3 minute mark, with most falling far short of that mark. Take the opener, “Edith” which is finished in just under a 1.5 minutes, as an example; it’s a jangling rocker with a nice little bounce, but rather than hit you over the head with redundancy, Eureka California quickly gets to the point, then wraps it up. This is a tactic that’s used far too rarely nowadays, as many bands want to make sure you acknowledge their musicianship. Here it’ll allow you to bob your head to track after track, never tiring of a single note.
Still, you can’t just rely on short bursts of joyous pop, you’ve got to have great songs tune, and they’re filling up this entire album. I love “There’s No Looking Back,” opening with a casual chugging riff and vocals, but as you’re growing accustomed to the tune, it blasts off furiously into a more ramshackle version of itself. There’s also “This Ain’t No A-Side,” which might be one of the album’s better tracks. It uses a little bit of fuzziness on the instruments, while holding onto this youthful vibrance that burrows into your eardrums. And you can’t forget the lead single from Crunch, “Twin Cities.” This song in particular gathers all of my favorite bits of the band and throws it into one song; there’s hooks in the vocals, well-executed guitar riffs, various movements and it all seems like the band is on the verge of falling off the tracks.
There’s a reckless abandon to the entirety of Crunch. After many many listens it seems like the group got together to bang out the loudest, most fun set of pop tracks they could. They clearly weren’t concerned with where they fit in the grand spectrum of the music world, they just wanted to write a bunch of great songs; it’s part of what makes every track so endearing, and ultimately what makes Eureka California something quite special.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/08-Twin-Cities.mp3]
I always have this preconceived idea about Athens, Georgia, at least in referencing the city’s musical history. But, with bands like Twin Tigers and now pacificUV coming into their own, perhaps my ideas will begin to change a bit. This tune has a hypnotic electro beat that just grooves the whole way through. You’ll also find some rad interplay between male and female vocalists that really ups the ante on mass appeal. The band has a new record titled After the Dream You Are Awake, which comes out on May 14th via Mazarine Records…but if you can’t wait, they have a sampler HERE with a few new tracks, as well as some of their other career retrospective tunes.
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Things are really slow, with a lot of the music just getting stuck in the same space, so I’ve been relying upon the words of friends around the Net to discover things outside the typical realm. I’ve really been digging this group from Athens by the name of Triads. They’ve just released a new single with a killer track, “Day Off,” but I wanted you to look at their starting place, so you get the same introduction I received. It’s got sort of a post-punk feel to it, though it feels a bit warmer, as opposed to darker…it’s smoothed out by a nice melodic churning guitar that runs throughout. Hope you’re as excited by these cats as I am.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Triads-Dirty-Laundry.mp3]
Download:Triads – Dirty Laundry [MP3]
Gray Waves was such an enjoyable record that it led us to fall for Twin Tigers. We followed them around SXSW last year, secretly of course, so we were happy to sit down and get a few words in with the band before their return.