New Track from Deer Tick

Every time I listen to Deer Tick, I definitely get the feeling of listening to early Lucero–not a bad thing at all.  They’ve got that same attitude of country-tinged pop song writings with a little bit of a punk rock attitude in everything they do.  It makes for a listen that a lot of people can get behind, which is good considering the group is hitting the road in support of their new Tim EP.  This EP includes four new songs, and even a date in Austin on 4/29, so we’re happy to offer up this track today in hopes it’ll lead you to a pleasant weekend.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Born-At-Zero.mp3]

Download: Deer Tick – Born At Zero [MP3]

Mellow Country-Tinged Track from Lucero

Those of you who’ve been fortunate enough to follow Lucero over the years surely know how great of a songwriter Ben Nichols can be, and with his group filling in the empty spaces, they always craft great songs. Ben’s voice always provides a bit of scratchiness to your listening experience, giving a nice little twist to typical Americana.  You’ll find just such treasures on the group’s new album Women and Work, which comes out on March 13th via ATO Records.  This new single is about as mellow as the band gets, with bits of twang, horns and slide guitar being utilized to create a strong backbone for another great Lucero track.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/09-Sometimes-1.mp3]

Download:Lucero – Sometimes [MP3]

Mohawk 5th Anniversary Begins Tonight

Date 9/29 – 10/2
Location Mohawk
Doors Varies
Tickets 4 day Passes or Day Passes Available

The best little venue in town is celebrating their 5th anniversary starting tonight with some great shows planned all weekend long.  You can check out individual shows, or pony up $42 for a 4 day pass of badass music.  Here’s a quick list of what’s going down, door times, and where you can buy tickets.

THURSDAY – 9/29 – Doors @ 7pm.  Tickets Right here

Les Savy Fav, The Arm, Canoe, Christian Bland & The Revelators, Shapes Have Fangs, The Vitamins, Johnny Hottub

FRIDAY – 9/30 – Doors @ 8pm.  Tickets over here.

Grupo Fantasma, Soul Happening DJs, Master Blaster Sound System, Peligrosa All Stars

SATURDAY – 10/1 – Doors @ 8pm. Tickets in the same spot.

Lucero, Moonlight Towers, Frank Smith, Mike & The Moonpies, East Cameron Folkcore

SUNDAY – 10/2 – Doors @ 6:30pm.  FREE fools!

My Education,Transmography, Marriage, Golden Bear, Lean Hounds

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/04-Lets-Get-Out-of-Here.mp3]

Download: Les Savy Fav – Let’s Get Out of Here [MP3]

Centro-matic – Candidate Waltz

Rating: ★★★★ ·

For close to two decades, Will Johnson has been all over the map, crafting songs under his own name, with various co-writers, and of course, with Centro-matic.  For the most part, his music has always had a sort of country-shade to it, and his voice has always made it heart-wrenching, no matter the lyrical content.  But, on Candidate Waltz, there’s more of an uplifting construction to the songs, giving you an album that could be considered his most widely accessible work to date.

You can easily discern that there’s going to be a sharper, polished sound on Candidate Waltz the minute “Against the Line” drops in with it’s sharp guitar chords.  Of course, the fragility in Johnson’s voice remains, creating an interesting juxtaposition that allows the song to be absorbed by your soul on multiple levels.  Jagged guitar lines cut through the following track, “All the Talkers,” with the group sounding a bit like a more rocking version of Lucero, but the interesting aspect of this song comes in near the final two minutes.  The track switches from a gritty rocker into this carefully crafted pop lullaby ending, created by the melodious backing vocals; this is perhaps one of the brightest moments on the record.

If you’re looking for that classic Centro-matic sound, with Johnson’s voice pulling at your gut strings, you’ll find that those songs, too, live within the confines of this latest effort.  “Estimate x 3” relies upon a time-keeping drum beat, quiet guitar lines, and Will.  The gruff quality of his voice always makes him seem so vulnerable, and that has consistently made his tracks seem tragic, yet towards the end of this number, as he repeats “give me what you want/don’t tell me” you can sense a softer side emerging in his work.

It’s going to be difficult to find something that allows you to disregard Candidate Waltz.  There’s sweeping melodies, great song arrangements, and really, there aren’t any misstep songs.  “Only in My Double Mind” has a banging piano and drum to start it off, while Johnson’s vocals do a great job carrying the melody throughout, giving you a short glimpse at just how powerful his voice can be, even when the music doesn’t appear to be the most innovative.  There’s a gentleness to the way he croons “ooh ooh,” providing those mono-syllabic moments with bits of depth you typically don’t see.  And the record finishes off with much the same fashion as it begins, bringing a warm rocker to your ears by the name of “If They Talk You Down.”  It shouldn’t cease to amaze you how emotionally charged Will’s vocals come across, even when he’s just using his voice as an instrument.  Personally, the gentle strings in the background make this track another standout.

There’s not a bad thing to say about Candidate Waltz, no matter how many times you listen to it, unless of course, you wanted more songs.  But, the brevity of the experience, combined with Will Johnson’s powerful voice provides listeners with more than enough to swoon over, just before Centro-matic wraps it all up.  The best thing is that as soon as it ends, you’ll want to start if all over again. And again.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/05.-Only-In-My-Double-Mind.mp3]

Download: Centro-matic – Only In My Double Mind [MP3]

Show Preview: Lucero @ Emo’s (2/22)

Date 2/22/11
Location Emos
Doors 9pm
Tickets $15 @ Ticketweb

The incredible alt-country rockers known as Lucero are making a stop at Emo’s in Austin Tuesday night.  Joining the guys on stage are Houston country styling band Robert Ellis & The Boys.   Ben Nichols is one of the strongest frontman around, using his combination of booze and passion to compel audiences across the nation.  There’s not a bad thing to say about this band, and if you missed their set at ACL, then you need to make up for it this time around.  

[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]

ACL Wrap-Up: The Top Ten Acts

Well, we’ve finally recovered, and we hope your sunburn is peeling and your liver is resting quietly in a tub of water.  After a long weekend, filled with good memories, tunes and pretty much anything else we needed, we got down to the nitty-gritty. That’s right folks, after careful collaboration, and tireless hours of discussion, we bring you our Top Ten Acts of Austin City Limits 2010.

ACL Preview: Lucero

Our artist to watch really shouldn’t really be an artist to watch, rather a must see artist.  Lucero aren’t a new band, in fact, they have six albums to their name, all full of songs we know you’ll enjoy.  They blend a nice bit of country twang with a punk rock ethos, giving them credibility galore in my book.  Singer Ben Nichols has a throaty vocal, often times seeming like he’s struggling to get his voice out, but that’s just the sort of passion he brings to the table.  Their latest album, 1372 Overton Park, featured some new moves, bringing in loads more horns, and you’re sure to get a glimpse of the more than just a four-piece band on stage, as they definitely will be bringing an entourage to bring the house down.  I can see this as one of those shows that unifies the unkempt rockers with the casual ACL festival goers; the band is simply good enough to bring us all together, especially in the live setting.  So, if you like a little bit of punk rock, you have to be there.  Country is your thing? Still, you gotta be there. We’re all going to throw back a few nice beverages, and fall in love with Lucero.

[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]

Lucero @ Emo’s (4/8)

Date 4/8/10
Location Emos
Doors 8:30pm
Tickets $18 from Ticketweb

Thursday night in Austin is full of some tough decisions for you music fans, and Lucero playing at Emo’s should definitely be in your list of options.  Opening support will be provided by Shooter Jennings.  You gotta know that Lucero will bring it just like they always do when they come through town.

[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]

Top Ten Fun Fest Artists

FFFFest2009_Top10We hope all of you stayed dry on Sunday at the Fun Fun Fun Festival and we also hope you soaked in the great weather of Saturday. All in all we had a great time over the weekend and saw tons of great bands.  Just as we did with ACL, we’d like to give you a brief recap with our top 10 favorite bands from the weekend festivities. We’re putting these in no real order and just listing them with some brief reasons why we liked them so much. Follow the jump for our top 10 Fun Fest bands.

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