While the rock n’ roll scene is clearly alive and flourishing in Austin, lets not forget the incredible electronic scene that continues to inspire. The latest rising star is Curved Light, the project of synth composer Peter Tran. I love the gradual build to this song, especially as the tension pushes and pushes the listener right until the song’s last gasp. Don’t come here looking for that euphoric release, as this is clearly more about composition and structure, of the electronic sort. Look for a brand new batch of compositions on his Channelview mix coming out via Holodeck on this Friday.
Friday night, there’s only one place you really really need to be: Hotel Vegas. There’s a phenomenal show at Hotel Vegas, featuring several of the ATH Records act who are about to hit the road, namely Mean Jolene and Pollen RX. They’ll be joined by other powerhouse acts like Big Bill, Go Fever and Leather Girls (who have a rad new LP coming soon). Bands need money to hit the road, so come get yourself a cool t-shirt or an LP, then stay for the ridiculously solid line up of Austin acts. Stream some releases from the bands that I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of with ATH Records.
Austin’s Vertical Vice is sure to perk up your ears, as members of the new project have played in such heavy hitters as OBN IIIs, Jonly Bonly, Bad Sports…and just about every rad rock act in town. They’re heading out on a short Midwest jaunt through Dallas, Kansas City, Tulsa…and an Austin date at Cheer Up Charlies on Sunday night. We have our first listen today to the band’s Promotion Tape, with the lead single illustrating a nod to acts like Dead Kennedy’s, but with a more artful delivery. I love Jason Smith’s vocals as he seems to casually deliver the line “do it again do it again do it again” while Orville rolls pounding drums through your speakers and the guitars stutter step to the finale. Come out to CUC on Sunday to get your hand on the tape…but if you’re not in Austin, pick up the Promotion via bandcamp right HERE.
If you haven’t been paying close attention to the Austin Jukebox series, then you haven’t been paying close attention to Austin’s music scene. These shows are built around an eclectic variety, usually bringing in a legendary act; they’ve previously featured acts like James Chance and The Cherubs. But, for my two cents, I love how the bills feature some variety, so you’ll get a legend, but the acts are fleshed out with different styles and tastes…you get a little bit of everything. Here we are to announce Austin Jukebox 7 with a great brief video featuring music from the headliners, Rocket from the Tombs.
The bill will also feature ST 37, Will Courtney and Horne + Holt. But, be warned, the shows are affordable and take place at Beerland, so expect a line if you don’t get there early! Show goes down on May 19th, doors at 7PM.
Pretty sure that everyone in Austin is just out to kick a whole lot of ass this year; it seems we’ve got one great release after another, and you can add Suspirians to that list. Stuttering guitars ring loudly from the get go, as drums pound and the song takes off; it spins in a heavy space direction before the vocals begin to spin around in the mix. The group plays around with some noise, and even the volume levels, always returning to full force. It’s a trashing take-no-prisoners jam, leading one to expect that Ti Bon Ange is going to be yet another top notch hit for the local scene here; it hits in June via Super Secret Records.
We know this is old morning news, but we wanted to make sure you got a great chance to check out the 2017 ACL Lineup. While a lot of people always look to the headliners, I think you should pay close attention to the details, as the smaller acts on the bill are really incredible. You’ve got Sandy (Alex G), Hamilton Leithauser, The Growlers, Whitney, Angel Olsen…and local greats Annabelle Chairlegs. You can check out all the full details HERE.
After releasing My Life in Steel and Concrete last year, Quin Galavis isback again with a brand new album, though this time with a little bit more of a familiar sound. The song opens up with some careful chord work, as Quin seemingly whispers into the microphone. He seems calm and ready to take on a return to rock n’ roll; this is precisely what he does as he sings “I’ll forget the answer/to the final question” stretching his voice to its higher tones. Even for fans of his former band, The Dead Space, this seems like Quin at his most accessible, surely ready to endear him to a huge group of new listeners (or so I hope). TheBattery Line will be released by Super Secret Records on June 16th.
While the modern era of psychedelia has gotten a bit bogged down with a dime-a-dozen cliched acts, it’s good to see a band like Leather Girls making it entirely their own. The video definitely wears the psych aesthetic, as do the guitars as they work and shuffle atop each other. But, what draws me into the band’s music is their penchant to make it a wee bit grittier, a wee bit more rock n’ roll. Putting this song on you’ll push yourself into territory where you picture yourself frantically spinning and stomping your feet, spinning about uncontrollably as joy overwhelms you. The band are releasing their self-titled album on June 2nd via Yippee Ki Yay Records.
In case you didn’t catch on with last year’s Slack Capital release, we’re big fans of Austin’s Critical Dad. Just recently the band uploadedsixbrand new gems you’ll want to enjoy…especially if you’re inclined to rock. I’m personally partial to the furious off-kilter rock of “Symbiotic Relationship,” especially with it’s moment of brief respite near the 2 minute mark before wrapping up things with a ferocious attitude. This is punk rock, blended with a little bit of distortion, a lot of weird and the slightest hint at pop music…it’s all yours for the NYP option!
Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the most exciting bands in Austin. All proceeds go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. We’ve been unveiling one song per day until the the release party on April 14, which is today!
Song of the day: SLUGBUG — “When The Words”
If you live in Austin and care about music– and by music I mean good music– and by good music I mean weird music– you haaaaaave to know about SLUGBUG. SLUGBUG is the longtime musical project of synth ber-wizard Paul D. Millar, who truly forges his own path with his songs of prime neurotic pop bliss. Like a more German-influenced Ariel Pink, or Devo on a hallucinatory trip, SLUGBUG is built quite efficiently to groove you– think Robocop on speed at a disco– but also, even though (but kind of especially because) Millar is never not straight-faced, to make you laugh. “Bread bowl/ I don’t want to eat that” is a phrase you hear at the beginning of the song, a robotic coo spoken into the spheres. SLUGBUG takes its energy from the punk sensibility of protest, and in this case, he’s protesting meaning itself. “Words come out of your mouth/ Can I tell that they say one thing and really mean the opposite?” And “Words come out of my mouth/ Can you tell that the words were/ Nothing more than filler text.” He seems to be saying, none of us know what we’re talking about. Which is the wisest it gets, probably. –Eric Braden
Stream Slack Capital 2 in its entirety here, and download it, or come pick one up tonight at Barracuda for the Slack Capital 2 official release party. $5, doors at 9 PM. Come have fun and help us support SafePlace!