Show Preview: Crooks @ Antones (8/31

Date 8/31/12
Location Antones
Doors 8pm
Tickets $8 @ Ticketfly

I don’t know how it’s possible that we’ve never covered local Austin boys Crooks on this site before, but things are changing as of right now.  For starters, the band currently has a highly overlooked debut LP The Rain Will Come available for purchase over on the band’s website.  The band also has been playing tons of shows around town recently, and you have another opportunity to catch a live set on Friday night downtown at Antones.  Fellow local up and comers The Couch and Frank Smith will also be on hand for your entertainment.


Download: Crooks – The Rain Will Come [MP3]

Stellar Track from Grape Street

I’ve been scouring the Internet for some time hoping to find a link to some music from Austin’s Grape Street, and finally it’s showed up.  The band is comprised of Curtis from Harlem, Aaron from Frank Smith and Chris from the Stuffies; the association of these dudes all getting together should be enough to get you excited.  But, if you’ve kept up on the local scene as of late, the group’s been doing an excellent job of creating their own hype by playing their asses off all over town.  No word as to when, or if, we’ll see a release, but you can catch another great track HERE.  Stay tuned as we hope to hear more from these guys!


Download:Grape Street – A Date With You [MP3]

Final Single from Frank Smith

We’ve tried to keep you close in the loop as Frank Smith has released several singles from their new album, Before You Were Born, which will hit on January 19th.  We’ve got the final single from the band, and it continues to build on the strength of the earlier singles.  For me, there’s a darkness that lurks beneath this track, but the attention to details is what really grabs me–just listen for the trickling keys.  This song seems to wander a bit, giving you the feeling that this track’s a haunted traveler, perhaps leading up to some abstract association with the title.  I’m just guessing.


Download: Frank Smith – Been 4 Months, Feels Like 5 [MP3]

Free Week Recommendations for Tuesday!

So, by this point in time, Free Week in Austin is upon us, and I hope you’re all out there enjoying the great local music our fair city has to offer.  There’s too many great shows and great bands to hit up, so I’m going to try and help out by suggesting the big hitters every day.  The following list is for tomorrow night, that way you can plan accordingly:

The Midgetmen (10:30) @ Red 7 — Good old rock n’ roll from a band who’ve been banging it out for years–plus they gave me $5 to put them on this list.

Guns of Navarone (Show Starts @ 6:30) @ The Mohawk — RayRay swears by this band’s alt-country sound–says they’re the best in town.

Frank Smith @ The Mohawk — We’ve talked to you about Frank Smith before, so we’re not going to go on and on about this band, but if you haven’t heard em’, go see em.

Leatherbag @ Skinny’s Ballroom — They’re one of Austin’s hardest working acts, and their album in 2011 made our Best of Texas List.

Check out the following tracks by Guns of Navarone, Leatherbag and Frank Smith.

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More New Frank Smith Jams

We’re getting closer and closer to the release of Frank Smith’s brand new record here in January of 2012.  The group has already leaked “Monsters,” and in their promise to release three of the tracks, they’ve got “A Decline” for you this time around. From what we’ve been given so far, Before You Were Born will feature a more ornate sound, carefully crafted to evoke maximum emotion from the listener.  I really enjoy the way this song unfolds, seemingly alternating the pace of the track without ever losing a bit of the magic.  Seems like it should be a great 2012 for Frank Smith.


Download: Frank Smith – A Decline [MP3]

New Music from Frank Smith

Let’s get things straight: Frank Smith is not one man, it’s a band, and one of Austin’s brighter rising stars (though they’ve been about for some time).  While the official release of their new album, Before You Were Born, won’t hit until 2012, the band is slowly unleashing teaser tracks to build our anticipation.  This first track, which also has an accompanying VIDEO, is titled “Monsters.”  It begins with sort of a mellow dip into the autumnal/wintery quality accustomed to most indie folk, but as the chorus bursts, you’ll realize exactly why we think so highly of the group.  It’s just a blissful cascade of melody, placed perfectly in the song, creating a wonderful musical moment we hope you’ll enjoy.


Download: Frank Smith – Monsters [MP3]

Show Preview: Possessed by Paul James @ Antones (8/25)

Date 8/25/11
Location Antones
Doors 8pm
Tickets $8 @ Ticketfly

Nice show going down this Thursday evening at Antone’s featuring Konrad Wert and his project known as Possessed by Paul James.  Joining Konrad for this gritty country/rock themed show are local groups East Cameron Folkcore and Frank Smith.

In other related news, East Cameron Folkcore singer/founding member Jesse M Moore (formerly of Bankrupt and the Borrowers) is currently promoting his brand new solo record Tall Tells & Modern Lies.  You can hear Jesse’s new record in it’s entirety over on bandcamp or check out new single “Sallie-Mae” below.  It’s a promising song and album from one of Austin’s best underground songwriters.


Download: Jesse M Moore – Sallie-Mae [MP3]

Frank Smith – Nineteen

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Frank Smith comes off as a culmination of several genres. You have the bluesy guitar and the classic bass lines that make up an alternative country group, yet the raspy and distinct vocals that correspond with a more rock or pop genre. At first listen to this group my mind immediately thought of Ben Kweller, whom shares a similar sound. This country/indie sound comes across as incredibly enticing at first, but as with Mr. Kweller, it can get a tad flat and colorless after a while.

The album begins with “Nineteen,” a slow burner at first, carried by the methodical drum beat for about a minute and a half of the song. Aaron Sinclair provides the hazy tune with his unique voice, which has a clear, yet somehow gritty quality about it that instantly draws you in. When the song picks up at just the right time, an enticing sound of the blues guitar is added to the sped up pace and prevents the song from turning into a dud. It instead leads listeners to the next song, “5, 10, 15…” which continues the mellow tone of the first track. The waves of echoed twangy guitars together with the soft vocals and the “oohs,” give it crisp and pure indie/country song feel, making this a stand out track for Nineteen.

 Perhaps it is just my general dislike for country music, but the rest of the album sort of blends together after this for me. The overall slow tempo and the super distinctive sound of Frank Smith grows a little dull after the first few tracks and loses my interest. There isn’t enough variation between slow song and fast song, or rather any different aspects to help discern song from song. The whole feeling with the album is too mellow; it becomes boring too quickly and stays that way for too long.  

But through the monotonous and flat line “chillness” of this album, a slow, yet interesting track floats its way to the surface in “Swollen Tongue.” The bass and drums start the song, sounding the same as the others, but then the band moves to the bridge, where all the members chime in with their respective instrument, providing the edge you’ve been waiting for this whole album. On this song, they put together their cool, and mellow sound with instrumentation that makes the song interesting and new.

This is an album that is fairly simple, yet offers a few great tracks that really show the potential of Frank Smith as a band. Nineteen isn’t a standout album at all, but it still has some good qualities about it.


Download: Frank Smith – Nineteen [MP3]

New Music from Frank Smith

Apparently we’re supposed to inform you that Frank Smith is actually a real band, not just the name of the singer, who is actually Aaron Sinclair.  What’s more important is that you realized that there’s a powerful sound behind the Americana-ish group, with a little bit more melodrama than your usual.  It sort of has the sound of a more fleshed out Clem Snide, but with expressive lyrics.  The group has worked hard on their new album, Nineteen, which you can get your hands on October 16th when the band play their CD release at Mohawk. Enjoy, but remember, its a band, not a man.


Download: Frank Smith – Nineteen [MP3]

Above The Radar Party @ Ghost Room

monahans 1.16 smWe’re happy to announce today a little party we’re helping put on next weekend at the up and coming music venue Ghost Room.  This little shindig is hosted by Above the Radar PR and Do512 along with support from yours truly and End of an Ear Records.  The lineup features 3 solid local bands going by the names of MonahansSad Accordions and Frank Smith.  To make the event even that much more special, we will all be there to celebrate the birth year of our dear friend Michael over at Sonic Itch.  Word on the street has it that he is old as dirt so expect him to turn to dust at the stroke of midnight.  Should be good times had by all.  We’ll make sure to plug this party again a few days before the January 16th date next week.  Show time?  9pm ladies.


Download: Sad Accordions – Sacrificial Chumpsucker Diatribe [MP3]

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