Happy Fourth!

With everyone else taking the day off, we thought the ATH crew deserved a little break as well.  Hope all you kids enjoy the holiday and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Check out Do512 and Showlist Austin for things to do if you have yet to make plans.

Also remember that on a day like today, The Boss rules.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/05-born-to-run.mp3]

Download: Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run [MP3]

FTC: Mitch Ryder

Take note hipsters. If you want some real music to dance to, you might want to check out Mitch Ryder. As frontman of The Detroit Wheels, he was a key player in the emergence of rock & roll in the Motor City. He had a loud wailing voice that reminded many of Little Richard. His showmanship was rivaled only by the late great James Brown. Legacy? Bruce Springsteen, the MC5 and Bob Seger all were heavily influenced by Ryder and some say he was a key bridge between the Motown sound and modern rock and roll. Not many artists can make me break out and dance like Mitch does, so I’ll leave you with one of my favorite all-time dance songs, Break Out.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/06-Break-out.mp3]

FT5: Best.Concert.Ever

1023top5coverWhat’s the best concert you’ve ever been to? For some of us it was the experience of enjoying a concert with a group of close friends. For others, it was catching your favorite bands before they hit it big or finally being able to see your music idol up close and personal. Today’s Top 5 is a collaborative one. We’ve polled some our writers and compiled an unranked list of some of our greatest concert memories. Follow the jump for our picks, and be sure and let us know about your best concert ever when you’re done.
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Lucero – 1372 Overton Park

lucero

Rating: ★★★ · ·

This now their umteenth album, Memphis band, Lucero are up to their old tricks again.  On 1372 Overton Park they go the tried and true route of giving their local abode a little representation.  With this record, the band continue to push themselves beyond the country-punk roots that often get thrown at the band, forging ahead into just classic American rock.

Sure, you hear Ben Nichols’ voice, and you can tell that the man has been smoking or drinking or screaming for years, or maybe all of the above.  It’s a voice with a story, which is precisely why so many fans have attached themselves to this band, not to mention Ben’s role in the Revival Tour (which I love to death).   And with a voice that carries such a story with it, you expect the vocals to reach deep and tell a story themself; this is precisely what they do.   Most people will probably see the lyrics across this album as a descendent of Springsteen, but those not familiar with the Boss will also see similarities with the more modern Hold Steady.

Even the songwriting recalls both the previously mentioned bands, though it probably leans towards the former more.  Take “The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo,” a song that features a full on horn section, creating a huge sound you might not usually associate with a bar band who owes a debt to punk.  The great thing about this album is that it’s not trying to being anything particular.  It relishes in the fact that the sum of all parts is precisely what the band is offering their audience.  Their is no pretentious assocation with a particular genre, nor any desire to do so.  It’s just a sprawling record of classic American rock n’ roll; it’s the kind you all know you can love.

Perhaps the best songs come at the slowest moments, when Nichols can pull at your heart strings, and yank that emotion out from your innards.  “Goodbye Again” probably says enough for those looking for a heartbreaker in its title alone, but even such a song probably won’t do as much for you as “Mom.”  Yes, it’s a song for dudes; you just have to deal with it on this occasion because this song is great.

Whether you find straightforward rock your thing or not, you can’t deny that Lucero has the makings of a group who can go far with their particular style of music.  Their fans follow them anywhere, and now that you have a chance to hear the work on 1372 Overton Park, perhaps you’ll be one of those diehard followers.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/11-Hey-Darling-Do-You-Gamble_-1.mp3]

Download: Lucero – Hey Darling Do You Gamble [MP3]

FT5: Bruce Springsteen Albums

0403top5coverFinally we’ve been given an excuse to write about The Boss on The ATH. The Working On a Dream tour will be rolling through town this Sunday night at The Frank Erwin Center, and we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to look back on Bruce’s recording career. The Boss burst onto the scene in 1973 with his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and the Jersey boy is still going strong over 30 years later. Go ahead and follow the jump to read my picks for The Boss’ Top 5 Albums.

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