Posts Tagged ‘austin’

ATX Spotlight: New Shawn David McMillen

sdm12XU had a solid day yesterday with some national press for Uniform (which you can read about HERE), but quietly they also unleashed this striking new tune from Shawn David McMillen.  It’s nearly six minutes of sprawled out electric roots rock, reveling in the soul of Texas summer nights.  One would think that it’s lack of brevity would make repeated listens difficult, but there’s a spirit in this song that’s undeniable, which inevitably forced me to press play at least a half-dozen times before I even touched this post.  It doesn’t hurt that his new album On the Clock with JJ & Mitch is a representation of his work with local heavy-hitters JJ Ruiz and Mitch Frazier (from such acts as Church Shoes & Trustees).  Look for the album on April 28th, if you’re into buying music.

ATX Video Spotlight: Flesh Lights, Zoltars and AJ Vincent

We try to steer somewhat clear of videos…takes up a lot of space…blah blah blah.  But, in the last few weeks, there have been some really great videos from some of our favorite local acts…and seeing as we’re in a SXSW lull, we figured today would be a great day to share some of these.  If you’re into videos, or great songs, you know what to do.  Read More

Young Tongue – Death Rattle

young

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Still waters run deep. That colloquialism kept bouncing around in my head while listening to Young Tongue long overdue, much anticipated debut album. Why do I keep coming back to that phrase? Still waters run deep. Young Tongue isn’t a band that I would refer to as still in any kind of literal sense, going on short sprints with other great indie acts such as Mr. Gnome while maintaining a consistent gigging schedule in their hometown of Austin. This cliché has such resonance with me for this album because while most indie, local based artists seem to ebb and flow on a 1-3 year calendar, Young Tongue has been consistently plugging away for years and year Eight years to be exact – 5 of those in Austin. As a fan I’ve been following them just about all of those 8 years (they were one of the early pioneers of the musical flow from Asheville, NC to Austin, TX).

Musically Young Tongue leans heavily on the mid 2000s’ indie rock explosion – drawing inspiration from the likes of Interpol and Franz Ferdinand. Their sound relies heavily on the 8th note counterpoint between lead guitar lines and bass riffs. Daryl Schomberg’s intense, shifting drum patterns provide the backdrop while Stu and Liz Baker’s melodic and lyrical duets shimmer ontop. At it’s best all the parts fit into place like mechanical gears and seeing them perform live is like watching a well oiled steampunk machine. At it’s worst the gears don’t quite fit into place and the music can and machines lurches forward uncomfortably.

For a new listener of Young Tongue this album provides the truest and most exciting musical snapshot of Young Tongue. Young Tongue has long been a band plagued by the difficulty of capturing their live charisma and translating this to a record. Death Rattle unequivocally meets this challenge. Death Rattle provides more than enough fuel to continue the momentum Young Tongue has been gaining in recent years.

As a longtime fan and listener my only disappointment in this album is that feels like Young Tongue has been treading water. While the album only has one song – Matriarch – from their previous album as the Baker Family, a lot of these songs feel like a rewrite of old material and a lesson in habitual songwriting. The tunes that stuck out to me were the ones where I felt like they were reaching for new sounds, new styles. Heavy Metal Thunder – the 3rd track and the de facto single from the album – takes the best of their writing style and reaches for new terroritory. It keeps the driving rhythm of Nathan Ribner’s bass but the guitar lines and vocals refrain from getting sucked in the busy, insecure clutter that dominates other tracks like Sand Dance.  The song grows into a huge anthem, culminating in a vocal counterpoint that few bands can pull off.

For new fans, this album will be played over and over. For those of us familiar with the Young Tongue catalog, it provides us with a great touchtone but I know I will be waiting to see where the second album takes us.

Austin Hip-Hop: Tuk Da Gat & S. Dot

Austin natives and League of Extraordinary Gz members Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot have been a strong part of the LOEGz’s domination of the Austin hip-hop scene over the past few years. The duo have a couple performances during SXSW, along with a showcase with LOEGz. Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot will be performing March 17 at Flamingo Cantina and March 21 at The Palm Door. They also have new material out with rising Austin hip-hop producer Eric Dingus. Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot’s “Raw Pt. 2″ featuring LOEGz affiliate Lil’ J and produced by Dingus can be streamed below.

ATX Show Spotlight: Wildfires EP Release @ Cheer Ups (Tonight)

fireThere’s always a brief lull right before the storm, except this year, there isn’t.  There’s tons of shows with Austin band’s all over town, and tonight I encourage you to head to Cheer Up Charlies to catch the Wildfires EP release.  The band offers you pop music via a kaleidoscope of dreaminess and shoegaze elements.  I’m really excited to hear the band’s EP in full, but for now we’ll let you stream this brand new song they’ve got for you. Plus, there’s other local greats on the bill like The Sour Notes, The Zoltars (who just released their 3rd album recently) and Telepods. The weather’s been great, so why not enjoy your evening with great tunes.

SXSW 2015 Interview: Happyness

HappynessWe’re so dang close folks. SXSW is only a week away, or a few days, depending on where you’re at.  We’re still trying to wrap up all our interviews, so we’re bringing you this one from England’s Happyness.  The group released their Weird Little Birthday last year in the UK, but they’re building some hype here in the States…and the record will be here soon.  Check out the quick interview we grabbed with Benji.   Read More

SXSW 2015 Hip-Hop: Freddie Gibbs

freddie-gibbs-usa-flag-grungecake-thumbnailWhen Freddie Gibbs first gained attention outside of his native Gary, Indiana with his mixtape The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, he seemed destined for stardom. Five years, a couple EPs, and an independent album later Gibbs seems to be nowhere near the stardom some expected from him. There’s no doubt that the mainstream music audience noticed him; a member of the 2010 XXL Freshman class, a highly publicized friendship and then falling out with rapper Jeezy. So, why is Gibbs making EPs with lesser known artists like Statik Selektah and Madlib? Why did he only have mostly little known guest rappers on his album? Because he likes his specific brand of music and is clearly only interested in mainstream success if it means not compromising his artistry. Expect an authentic show to compliment his incredible delivery at his SXSW 2015 performance.  Follow the jump for video.

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ATX Spotlight: Town Hall Devils to Release EP (+ SHOW)

townhalldevils-EPreleaseshowOne thing that’s great to see is that a majority of the people working behind the scenes in venues here in Austin are also a big part of that scene, all rocking out in their own bands.  This is the case with Tyson Swindell, who helps run the always kind Red 7, but let’s turn our focus to his band Town Hall Devils. The band have just readied their new Ouroboros Blues EP, and it’s definitely something to sink your teeth into.  It reminds me at times of a heavier-handed Lucero, but sounds similar to our other local favorites like A. Sinclair, just playing good old fashioned rock n’ roll.  You’ll be able to catch them live for their album release over at The Blackheart tomorrow night; the whiskey and the tunes will keep you warm, I promise. Stream the EP below.

SXSW 2015 Hip-Hop: IAMSU!

IAMSU! is one of the more talented acts to come out of the California Bay Area, post-Hyphy movement. IAMSU! has been making a name for himself on the west coast for a number of years and is also one of the founding members of the Heartbreak Gang (aka HBK Gang) rap group, which also includes Sage the Gemini, famous for the 2013 hit “Gas Pedal”. IAMSU! performed along with HBK Gang at Fader Fort last year and is returning for several shows this year. Confirmed performances include Bar 96 on 3/19 and Clive Bar on 3/20, along with another unspecified confirmation.

SXSW 2015 Interview: Gengahr

gengGengahr is building upon the hype they’ve been awarded in the UK, and now that they’ve got some acclaim overseas, they’re looking to make it big this year at SXSW…introducing themselves to US audiences.  We caught up with the band briefly for a little history on their name and some other points that should get you ready to catch one of the hottest new acts in Europe.  All answers come from Felix.  Read More

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