Show Preview: Rob Crow @ the Sidewinder TONIGHT

rcMy first encounter with Rob Crow came in college when someone loaned me a Heavy Vegetable CD; it paved the way for what would be my huge fandom of Rob and Pinback. His voice has forever been an important one in my life, and ever distinctive for listeners. He’s bringing his new project, Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place, to Austin tonight at Sidewinder. I’ve always appreciated his live shows, having seen him at least a dozen times before; he’s entertaining, but the live performance is always executed as well as any band I’ve seen. it’s an early show too, so you can get in, enjoy yourself and then grab some rest. Doors are at 6:30, tickets are HERE, and Ini is opening the evening. Oh…the new album, You’re Doomed. Be Nice. is out this Friday via Temporary Residence.

Stream a New Loafer Track

loafer?Regardless of the fact that being a musician, in any city, seems to suck lately, Austin’s music scene is very much alive and kicking. One of the scenes I’ve kept my eye on is the group made up by Merdurhaus acts; today we’ve got a tune from the label’s Loafer. The project will release a brand new EP on April 1st (as long as it’s not a joke), and this single shows a little bit of the noodling twang that definitely pays homage to Mac Demarco…back in the home recording days. Still, I like the playfulness, such as including a soundbite mid track. Give it a twirl, and check out some of the labels other acts; there’s something for every body.

Fresh A. Sinclair Tune

asinclairI’ve followed Aaron Sinclair musically for some time. He fronted Frank Smith, played drums in an old line-up of Grape St and now operates under A. Sinclair. I remember talking to Aaron a few years back, and he claimed, in one form or another, that he wanted to just kick out really great rock songs on a larger stage. I think his latest single from the band’s forthcoming effort definitely has a heavier edge than some of Aaron’s earlier work. If you’re looking for no bullshit rock n’ roll, then you better get into some A. Sinclair. Look for the band’s album, Get Out of the City, on May 13th via Dangerbird Records.

Big Bill 7″ Stream + Release Party (2.28)

billyThere’s been great coverage this week for Austin’s Big Bill…local blog Ovrld and national mag, The Big Takeover added to the band’s recent press run. It’s deserved on so many levels, not only just musically, but in its representation of what truly makes Austin “weird.” Our label is releasing the 7″ today, and it will come with a special prize for those of you that order it HERE (it’s like a musical Cracker Jacks!), but you should also come out to End of an Ear on Sunday evening before the Oscars to enjoy a great set celebrating the band’s release. They’ll go on at 5 PM, and we’ll have the 7″ on hand for you to grab. Trust me, this is going to be a great year for all things Bill…so get a head start with this 7″.

ATX Spotlight: Benjamin Cissner Readying Album

12241698_907663649310191_6124699712053618704_nAttention Austin (and beyond)! Benajamin Cissner needs your help. He needs you to listen to his music. Well, he doesn’t need it necessarily, but you do! You really really do. All those of you in love with introspective singer-songwriters will not find anything better this year. Think of artists like sad Beck or Eels, but with a more poetic lyricist (at least in comparison to Beck). This song has a little bit of spirit to it, more upbeat than some of the other tracks you’ll hear on his debut Birds in the Night. This is just one of those albums that I feel comes across once in a lifetime, and it’s been created right here in Austin. Benjamin will be releasing his debut next Friday, March 4th, celebrating the beautiful vinyl release over at Barracuda. Stream the tune below. Press photo by Richard Casteel.

Brand New Bloody Knives!

bloodyI’ve been following Bloody Knives pretty closely the last several years. The band play an abrasive version of modern dream pop/shoegaze, filling in their tracks with buzzing guitars and a warmth in the vocals that somehow manages to steady the ship for listeners. Their latest effort, I Will Cut Your Heart Out for This, already has an ominous attitude, and the single below fulfills that darkened omen with shrieking walls of guitars. But, perhaps the reason I’ve come to respect the band is that they manage to juxtapose that darkness with a gentle beauty, be it in central melodies or the vocals…it never disappoints. There aren’t too many, if any, acts around pulling this off…this well. Look for the LP on April 15th via Saint Marie Records.

ATX Spotlight: Meet Roaring Sun + Show Tonight

12661934_809210662534869_5695155112711155093_nFull disclosure, Roaring Sun is a young new band in Austin, and I actually taught one of these kids long ago…but I didn’t expect his musical tastes to progress (nor his songwriting). Listening to the first single he sent my way, it takes some modern touches a la Cut Copy, but there’s also a feeling that it owes some of the electronic flourishes to Grandaddy. It’s exciting that these guys are so young, and can come out with such polished production. They have a show tonight at Cheer Up Charlies too…with other young acts, The Cuckoos, The Spoils and the Avocados. Enjoy this upbeat number.

ATX Spotlight: Slow Pulse from High Church

12509726_1041479649238309_9059295947368137274_nI found this tune from High Church floating around the Austin Internet yesterday, and was quite intrigued upon listening. There’s an electronic pulse that takes the song forward, moving slowly in the dark. But, in order to grab the listener, there’s a light vocal resting on top, which is reinforced by some vocal samples to boot. Just another act to keep an eye on as Austin’s electronic underground blossoms far from the spotlight. Expect a tape featuring this track in April.

Hard Hitting Rocker from Empty Markets

12695048_533599350155274_8307557657416101671_oFeedback. Pounding drums. You’re in danger as soon as you press play on this brand new Empty Markets track. This is the newest project of Drew Schmitz (Gremlins UK/Cruddy), and I can’t wait to get my hands on their new LP, Stainless Steel. I appreciated the fact that the band never slows, bringing that pummeling pace all the way until the end of the track; it’s almost abrupt, forcing you to go back and listen again…which isn’t a bad thing in this case. Need no frills rock n’ roll? This band is doing it right. Look for their new LP on 12XU on April 8th. The band’s current line-up also features members of other rad 12XU act, Sweet Talk.

ATX Spotlight: New Black Balsam Single

blackOur friends over at Punctum Records have picked up a rad new Austin act, Black Balsam, and now the band have unleashed a new single that should grab your ears. I really love the feeling of this song, balancing between singer-songwriter and full on folk ensemble. Strings and other tinkerings play lightly in the background, while empty space is filled with accompanying vocals touches; it makes the track both heartfelt and playful, so I can’t complain. The band’s album, See You Later See You There will be released next Friday, February 26th.

 

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