Little Touch of Psychedelia from Haunted Hearts

hauntedheartsLet’s face it, when you heard about the musical union of lovers, Dee Dee and Brandon (Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles, respectively), you were a little bit skeptical right?  I know that I was, but with the latest single from Haunted Hearts, I’m starting to turn my head more towards anticipation.  In this episode, there’s this slight wash of psychedelia that’s draped over the band’s pop tendencies.  It makes for a dreamy number that’s not really stuck too far in either direction, which is why the union definitely seems fruitful, aside from the obvious happy marriage of the two.  Zoo Music will release their debut, Initiations, next Tuesday.

Dum Dum Girls – Too True

DumDum_TooTrue_cover

Rating: ★★★★ ·

When it comes to catchy noise pop, Dum Dum Girls already have two full-length albums and a handful of EPs under their belt. Though they originally released those first two albums in back to back years, they’ve let a few years pass since Only In Dreams of 2011. In that time, it seems that this group of ladies has poured themselves into Too True and it shows; this album is filled with what sounds like their best tracks up to date.

“Cult of Love” starts Too True out in a sultry and exciting fashion, with the girls embarking on their third LP. Musically, there are a lot of things going on, but none of which seem to overcrowd the sound space that these ladies are working with. Though it still fits into the style that Dum Dum Girls have established, there is a bit of reserve and overall poise in this first number. The drumbeat, although still fast paced, feels like a comfortable pace, whereas in the past they might have been leaning a bit on the drums, furiously trying to allow the rest of the elements to catch up. Here, however, we have a nice combination of the classic sixties surf rock riffs in the guitar with swirling synth coating everything in a new, extra sinister sounding layer of darkness that suits their sound perfectly.

That’s the change for the band here that ought to have you still interested in what this band is putting out, and it is apparent even in the softer corners of this album. On “Are You Okay,” the hard-edged guitars are replaced with delicate, acoustic sounding strumming, but Dee-Dee’s signature vocals still bring it down from getting too light and airy. Even the last song on the album, “Trouble Is My Name,” that features mostly stripped down sound of Dee-Dee and some barely audible guitar for the beginning part, has lyrics like “I had a vision/ I wanted to be dead” which show the inherent darkness that presides over all songs here. As I mentioned before, it’s a step that really works for Dum Dum Girls, and though I enjoyed their past albums, this small change makes me feel like something was missing this whole time.

As per normal with this group, their albums aren’t entirely that long; at just around thirty minutes, they pack a lot of intriguing tracks into this time, and Too True is no exception. This time around, they’ve shown some significant maturation in their sound that offers new listeners and old something really great to jam to. I look forward to their continued forward progress in excellent noise/garage rock music.

Coachella 2014 Lineup

Coachella 2014I am sure all of you have posted this on Facebook, but I figured we need to add it here just in case someone can’t find the pic later on…

Coachella is again using the two weekend format and will feature Outkast, Muse and Arcade Fire as headliners. I get Outkast and Arcade Fire, but please stop booking Muse at every festival. Please. It has to stop. I walk out when I hear Muse; it is my “you’re drunk, go home” alert. Or maybe that is why they are booked as headliners. “Hope you had fun, this is your queue to leave and rest up for tomorrow.” So many lasers. So many.

The festival is getting spendy, passes are $375 and $435 with daily shuttle service. Yikes. Weekend One only has the passes with shuttle service available. VIP will run you $799 with $150 more for parking.

Notables for me on the lineup, as with most festivals, are further down the list: Flume, Jagwar Ma, Dum Dum Girls, Wye Oak, Holy Ghost!, Blood Orange, Mogwai, Chvrches, STRFKR, Daughter, Poolside, Surfer Blood. Mid-levels I’d be stoked on are Bryan Ferry, The Knife, Pet Shop Boys, Beck, Neutral Milk, Motorhead and Little Dragon. You going to the desert? You wearing flip-flops?

Dreamy Girl Pop from September Girls

septemberFor those of you looking for someone to temporarily, or permanently, replace your Vivian Girls/Dum Dum Girls fix, there’s no one out there doing a better job than September Girls.  This new tune opens up with this pounding drum, as a washed out vocal enters the fold.  Guitars are lightly dancing around in the background, swinging this dreamy bit of garage-pop our way.  The band’s released a handful of singles with some of our favorite labels, like Matinee, but they’ll be releasing their full length debut on Fortuna Pop in just a short bit of time. We’ll keep you posted, but enjoy this sweet jam.

FFF 2012: Friday In Pictures

Minor set back for this photographer wasn’t going to slow me down. I had limited access to photo pits on Friday which luckily was remedied before getting going on Saturday. It meant I got to spend a little more time in the crowd, getting shots of the festival, the people.

I did manage to get some musicians doing their thing as well, don’t panic.

The Friday edition includes Sharon Van Etten, Orthy, Bob Mould, Napalm Death, Cursive, Dum Dum Girls and plenty of atmosphere. Hit the break.

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New (ish) Tune from Cheap Curls

It’s good to know that a little bit of that Dum Dum Girls heritage can now stake some claim in Austin, Tx.  Former member Katie has come back home to Austin, and she’s working under the name of Cheap Curls.  She’s just recently released a new EP via Art Fag Recordings, and I’m finally getting the time to give it more than just a glance.  There’s definitely some resemblance to her former band mates, but I tend to think Katie’s got more of a forceful songwriting style, which just happens to please my ears.  We were reminded of her talents when she helped make way for the Crocodiles this past Friday night. Oh, and one of her band members features a dude from The Rise, so there’s more rad Austin history for you!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Message-24-48-2.mp3]

Download: Cheap Curls – Message [MP3]

Brand New Dum Dum Girls

This track’s been all over the Internet today, and deservedly so.  Dum Dum Girls always seem to have something going on, be it a tour, an EP or a full-length album.  You’ll find this track on the group’s upcoming End of Daze EP, which will be in stores courtesy of Sub Pop on September 25th.  Of course, it’s one of those drawn out tunes the band has been working towards for some time, and I love the light little touches of backing vocals that come in about midway through the track. You’ve got to love the consistency from these ladies.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Dum-Dum-Girls-Lord-Knows.mp3]

Download: Dum Dum Girls – Lord Knows [MP3]

Fun Fun Fun Fest Lineup Is Here!

Sorry for the major delay on getting this information out to you guys as I’m sure you’ve seen this information elsewhere by now.  For those of you that haven’t already heard, the Fun Fun Fun Fest lineup was leaked last night via Bingo tournament.  As you can see via the poster to my left, the lineup once again blows most festivals completely out of the water.  Somehow the festival goers manage to get great reunion bands like Run DMC, The Promise Ring, Braid, Refused, etc. along with up and comers like Real Estate, Surfer Blood, Dum Dum Girls, etc.

Without a doubt, this will be an awesome festival just like it is every year.  You can scope the full lineup on the poster or check it out over on the official website.

Don’t forget that the special PIP passes are still on sale!

Anyone care to offer their sentiments on the lineup?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/24-Braid-Killing-A-Camera.mp3]

Download: Braid – Killing A Camera [MP3]

Show Preview: Frankie Rose @ Red 7 (4/14)

Date Saturday, April 14th
Location Red 7
Doors  1000 pm
Tickets $8 from Transmission

The former Dum Dum/Vivian Girl Frankie Rose hit the ground running this year with the release of her album, Interstellar.  It showed a definite focus, highlighting Rose’s warm vocals in the gently constrtuced pop structures.  That alone is enough to make you hit up this cheap show, but, you can also catch Dive, a new favorite of ours. The group features members of Beach Fossils, and they should be pushing their upcoming album for Captured Tracks.  Oh, and that’s not enough? Well, catch Cheap Curls…another former Dum Dum Girl kicking off the night.  Seems like a great place to spend a Saturday evening.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/02_Know_Me.mp3]

Download: Frankie Rose – Know Me [MP3]

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