Austin punks the Midgetmen are an Austin staple, and have been for quite some time. Thus, we’ve befriended Marc through the years of seeing them at shows and all that. He’s joined up in in our efforts to get some insight into year end lists the nontraditional way. Here’s a few words from Marc. Also, and it should definitely be mentioned; he’s a huge TGI Fridays supporter; I once watched him down slider after slider topped off with potato skins at a SXSW party…sponsored by TGI Fridays.
Marc: As it turns out, I happen to like beverages that come in 12 packs… and I happened to have exactly 12 albums that stood out to me this year. I actually had a lot of trouble cutting the list down from 20 –> 10, which is how I wound up at 12.
These 12 will certainly be in permanent rotation whereas the remaining 8 I wasn’t quite as sure about. (Which is not to say that remaining 8 aren’t great. Neil Young was in that 8!)
Thanks again for letting me give you a list of things that most people will ignore!
There’s just something about Dark Blue that always resonates when I press play on ye olde computer. There’s this penchant for post-punk, but it’s absent of the typical posturing of nostalgic rip-offs. And of course, central to the band’s sound is the voice of John Sharkey III, deep in tone, solemn in delivery. Here, there’s wave after wave of guitar crashing into and around Sharkey, but he shrugs it off with indifference, focusing instead on the way he shares each syllable. More people should be into this band; look for their new LP, Victory is Rated, to drop on 12XU.
It’s been a few years since Dark Blue dropped their last album Start of the World, and today they’re back with a brand new 7″ for 12XU Records. For nearly six minutes, the band sweep in with this huge wall of guitars crashing upon your ears, providing just a brief moment of respite near the 4.5 minute mark. It’s hard to classify the band, and while you could lump it into any number of post-whatever categories, there’s something freeing about their sound; they manage to sound huge while still seemingly playing from the back of your favorite club. The new 7″ will be released on February 23rd.
Seems like just a bit ago that wewere introduced to Dark Blue, and they’re gearing up for the release of their new album, Start of the World. I’m rather impressed with this new single, as the guitar’s bring on a slightly heavy discord, chords screeching out every so often. The vocals, however, hold onto the group’s penchant for pop sensibility, offering up a deep croon discussing a lover’s lament. I like the fact that they’re not trying to fit into any modern mold, just offering up a tried and true formula of heavy guitar pop. Look for the new LP on November 4th from 12XU.
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Dammit. I thought I knew what to expect with a band featuring members for Ceremony and Strand of Oaks got together. But, bless me, I wasn’t ready for this incredibly stunning new song from Dark Blue to come our way. Yes, there’s a hint at the darker edges, both musically and lyrically, but I think the biggest statement this band is making is the power of great songwriting. Say what you want about varying genres and tropes, but when you put something together that combines pop sensibility with seasoned musical vets you’ve got a recipe for something that should supersede all boundaries. The band’s brand new 7″ comes your way today via 12XU.
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The town is about to be billowing over with traffic; you know you’re going to be filled with angst, especially if you live near Barton Springs Rd, so why not get that anger out with a really rad rock n’ roll show at Beerland on Thursday. I’ve covered a lot of the tunes from Dark Blue, who are sort of a lesser-known super group of sorts (Paint it Black, Strand of Oaks, Ceremony); their music is this darkened rock n’ roll that’s had me hooked for weeks. But, if that’s not enough to get you out, then just look at the incredible line-up featuring great local acts Total Abuse, Video and Xetas; there’s not a better bill in town, I promise. Check out Pure Reality below, the new LP from Dark Blue.
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What? You thought I was done posting about Dark Blue? Well, as long as these guys keep pumping out rad singles, I’m going to keep throwing your way. Honestly, I think this is one of my favorite tracks the group has offered so far; it’s definitely got a solid melody hook in the deepened vocals, though the ringing guitars definitely add that gritty touch many listeners will be clamoring for. They’re readying the release of their album, Pure Reality, which has an October 7th release date; it looks to combine dark melodic grooves with a bit more vitriol, so I’m in.
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I wrote about this Dark Blue a bit ago, hyping it up as a project from Ceremony and Puerto Rico Flowers (not to mention Purling Hiss, Strand of Oaks) members; I’m now permanently hooked on this new june. The vocal approach is reminiscent of some of the mid-80s post rock or post punk or just post MTV, yet the rest of the music has this brooding angst that never fully gets unleashed. Instead, they pull in some melody, letting the guitars ring in a more subdued fashion than one might expect. I’m particularly enjoying the yelps throughout the tune. Jade Tree will releases Pure Reality on October 7th!
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When I first heard this track from Dark Blue, I had to go back and re-read the information I had on the group. I knew it was a super-group of sorts, so I immediately thought of Calvin Johnson; it’s not Calvin though. It’s actually just a bunch of rad dudes from rad bands like Ceremony, Paint It Black, Strand of Oaks and some others. The lyrical delivery sort of sounds like David Gedge wrote the lyrics and gave the band instructions on how to sing, although the music has it’s own power altogether. There’s distorting guitars shooting off and simple rhythmic pounding. If you like any of the nonsense I name checked here, then pick up the group’s album, Pure Reality, via Jade Tree on October 7th.
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First, I was surprised to see that Jade Tree was still releasing music; I used to love that label, but somehow completely forgot them. But, for myself and the other lads at ATH, we profess our eternal love of soccer daily, and it’s all the reason to share this number from Dark Blue since it’s been labeled an ode to the sport and hooliganism (which I don’t support). Even if you don’t like soccer, surely you’ll appreciate this lead single from the band’s new 7″, which has this nice croon resting on top of noisy guitar riffs. The vinyl version of this 7″ will come with a cover of John Cale‘s “Hungry for Love;” it will be released July 15th.
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