A Year End List from Joe Smyth of Nine Mile Records and Touring

Joe Smyth help us keep our Austin theme today, as he’s one of the folks helping get Austin acts (and others) out on the road. But, more importantly, he’s a scavenger of music news, so he’s given us a couple of great lists…one a shout out to the blogs that turned him onto great music…and the other just a general best of list. Peruse as you must, and if you have touring needs…check out Nine Mile Touring.

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Top 12 Albums of 2019…According to Marc from the Midgetmen

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!

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FFF Artist Spotlight: Mikal Cronin

mikal croninWe’re a week out from Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015, and you should probably be getting your schedule nailed down, so I’m here to help you out. Mikal Cronin is an act that’s sure to make your list of highlights on Monday after the fest when all is said and done. Once you press play on the single “Made My Mind Up” from back in January of this year, you’ll be enamored with the breezy alternative rock that Cronin brings to the table. The driving electric guitar, embellished with tinkling piano and soaring vocals will certainly be wonderful to start your fest off at 2:25 on Friday afternoon on the Orange Stage. Or perhaps a good way to round out your first day of festing Friday night at 10:45 at The Mohawk. 

P.S. Have you picked up your wristband at The Funderdome yet? Get to stepping.

 

 

Why Not Post About Mikal Cronin?

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Everyone’s posting about this new Mikal Cronin single, but it’s too damn good to not share with you!  So if somehow you still haven’t heard this track, it’s time for you to press that play button and get excited for the upcoming release of Mikal Cronin’s latest album, MCIII. Now, you’ll have to wait until May 5th to hear what Cronin has in store for you on the grand scale, but for now, soak up the warmth of this radiant alternative rock song. There’s soaring vocals, great little touches like bouncy piano and a catchy chorus you’ll be singing all day. Go on, enjoy.

 

Top 5 Trouble In Mind Bands at Austin Psych Fest

troubleYep…this week is the week.  We’ve got just a few days before we spend our weekend with the folks over at Austin Psych Fest.  I figured it’d be nice to do something a little different for previews this year, rather than just the traditional Top 5 Bands to See route.  So today I decided I’d bring you a highlight of all the acts at the festival that are on Trouble In Mind Records, either past or present.  I love the Chicago-based label, and while they definitely have a slew of psych bands, they’ve also got a reasonably diverse catalogue, all of which is pretty solid.  So, check out below to see the Top 5 TIM bands at the festival. We’ll see you out there. Read more

Top 50 Albums of 2013

albums banner 2013 procMaking our year-end list of Top Albums is never something we take lightly.  We realize that it’s rather arbitrary in the grand scheme of things, but we realize that our role is to at least toss out our opinion, however meaningless it may be. In the long run, we had to take the tastes of several people, and whittle it into a list of 50 great albums that we think are vital to your listening experience.  We know it’s a matter of personal tastes, but the records below are reflective of our tastes and our site, so don’t get mad, they’re just opinions. But, feel free to tell us where we went wrong, or what we might have missed.  If you click on the album titles, you can also read our full reviews of each album, save the ones that we didn’t get to in time. Sorry we don’t like Kanye.

50 – WampireCuriosity
49 – Dot DashHalf Remembered Dream
48 – Mantles  – Long Enough to Leave
47 – The Appleseed CastIllumination Ritual
46 – Bad SportsBras
45 – Part TimePDA
44 – Dick DiverCalendar Days
43 – Math and Physics ClubOur Hearts Beat Loud
42 – Veronica FallsWaiting for Something to Happen
41 – Eat Skull – III
40 – The Lonely WildThe Sun as It Comes
39 – The Love LanguageRuby Red
38 – Gun OutfitHard Coming Down
37 – Cate Le BonMug Museum
36 – Daughn GibsonMe Moan
35 – Andre ObinThe Arsonist
34 – ArpMore
33 – Gap DreamShine Your Light
32 – The Black WatchThe End of When
31 – Ty SegallSleeper
30 – The StevensA History of Hygeine
29 – Of MontrealLousy with Sylvianbriar
28 – Mirror TravelMexico
27 – Local NativesHummingbird
26 – Girls NamesThe New Life
25 – GRMLNEmpire
24 – Small BlackLimits of Desire
23 – AudacityButter Knife
22 – Mikal CroninMCII
21 – Chelsea WolfePain is Beauty
20 – FoalsHoly Fire
19 – Radical FaceFamily Tree: The Branches
18 – Youth LagoonWondrous Bughouse
17 – Terry MaltsNobody Realizes This is Nowhere
16 – Shout Out LoudsOptica
15 – Kurt VileWaking on a Pretty Daze
14 –  BraidsFlourish//Perish
13 – Crystal AntlersNothing is Real
12 – TyphoonWhite Lighter
11 – Ski LodgeBig Heart

10 – GamblesTrust

Admittedly, this album makes nods to folk troubadours of Christmas’ past, but what grabbed me from the moment I heard this record was the sincerity in what’s being created.  In leaving us with a stripped down listen of folk tunes and incredible poetry, we’re asked to look into the history of American songwriting tradition; it’s been awhile since it was executed so well.

9 – The GrowlersHung at Heart

I’d put this album on any list for one song alone, “Someday.”  But, it just so happens that the rest of the album maintains the sensation that’s established on the opening track.  I’ve heard it referenced as a surf-psych opus, but what’s been assured in my mine is what an incredible listen we’re all be treating to when we put Hung at Heart on our record players.

8 – Wax IdolsDiscipline & Desire

Hether Fortune seems to scare people.  Her work is in your face, never making an excuse for who she is or what she believes.  That attitude carries on into her music, allowing listeners to experience a musical world void of any pretense.  The songs on this album are angular, dark and abrasive; the vocals have Hether dominating the scene of modern lady rock warriors.  If you don’t dig it, she doesn’t care, but I do because this record rules.

7 – Parenthetical GirlsPrivilege

While many of the songs on this effort leaked out before under various EPs, the whole masterpiece exists in the way it was tied together as a complete work.  It’s operatic and grand at every corner, but it’s also undeniably a pop record.  The emphasis might revolve around the more artful spectrum of pop music, but this is an album you can play for everyone in your family, and they’ll all find themselves swept up in the wonderment of Privilege.

6 – The NationalTrouble Will Find Me

What else really needs to be said about The National.  They consistently make great albums that are lauded then often overlooked, but we didn’t want to do that to one of our favorite acts.  I mean, if they played 8 shows in 8 days, we’d be at every one, and the DJ set after party.  Their accolades and recognition are warranted, and it’s especially clear on this, their latest release.

5 – LegsPass the Ringo

When listening to Pass the Ringo, I thought of one thing: this is the sort of record that makes a small label, like Loglady Records, a household name. It’s spun around garage rock and psych rock structures, whilst still maintaining an accessibility that few people working in that genre achieve.  Some albums can play in the background of your house, and might be happy to do so, but Legs created something that made me stop and listen at every turn; I’m thankful for that.

4 – Warm SodaSomeone for You

Someone For You came our way in January.  On my record player, it hasn’t left since.  This is one of the most rewarding power-pop records I’ve gotten my hands on, and trust me, I’ve gotten my hands on a lot of great records. Each song is filled with innate hooks and garage rock grit, encouraging you to tap your toes for the entirety of the record.  You’d think after a full year our interest would have waned, but with time we’ve only grown to appreciate the record even more.

3 – Coma CinemaPosthumous Release

At the moment, there’s not too many people releasing music that’s the quality of Mathew Cothran and Coma Cinema. There are elements of the bizarre, similar to the work of early Elf Power, yet there’s this intimacy that artists like Eliott Smith were able to create with their listeners.  You wrap that up and put it in a package of pop sensibility, and you have an album that can’t be ignored.

2 – Bubblegum LemonadeSome Like it Pop

In today’s musical climate, we buy into the fact that artists have to be doing something strange, or something that’s vastly different from their peers.  But, in the grand scheme of things, we often forget what it’s like to take enjoyment out of the music.  This album was one of the many reminders that music, when it’s good, can be quite special.  Every song here is a single, and worth your time; it’s the best thing Laz has done, and I feel like he’s just really getting started.

1 – Magical CloudzImpersonator

This album is about Devon Welsh.  From the first instant I heard his voice, it took hold of me. Throughout the year, Impersonator, consistently played on my radio. His voice was mesmerizing, captivating audiences on several occasions in Austin, convincing us to be as quiet as a mouse, so as to hear every note.  The unique quality of the album will reward listeners for years to follow.  It made us believe in great music again.

 

Show Review: Mikal Cronin @ Mohawk (6.27)

Sure, we knew it was going to be a sweat night, with temperatures still bordering on 100 when the bands took the stage at The Mohawk, but how hot would it get? Real hot. Sweat from bands, sweat from fans and sweat from our drinks. Regardless, the rock must go on, and rock it did. A Giant Dog, Shannon and the Clams and Mikal Cronin get commendations for valor in the face of hair dryer air.

Read on for our thoughts on all the bands and see B.Gray’s pretty photos.

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Show Preview: Mikal Cronin + A Giant Dog @ Mohawk (6.27)

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Date Thursday, June 27th
Location Mohawk
Doors 7 PM – Show at 8
Tickets $10 from Mohawk


Many of you know Mikal Cronin as one of the guys that makes Ty Segall sound so incredible live, but the guy’s been putting out music with various outfits, not to mention his own solo work.  Recently, he released MCII, and I guarantee you that the album will end up on year end lists.  But, there’s two incredible openers that need your support.  Shannon and the Clams have been doing their own soulful garage rock for quite some time, always bringing the energy live.  Finally, be there by 8 to catch local band A Giant Dog, who feature members of OBN IIIs and Bobby Jealousy…that alone should be enough to get you out.  Plus, if you stay around afterwards you can catch local boys Sweet Talk  and Act Rights.

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Download:Mikal Cronin – Apathy [MP3]

More New Music From Mikal Cronin

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Mikal Cronin is an artist who has drawn a lot of attention for the ATH staff, and rightfully so.  Already we’ve shared with you new track “Shout it Out” that showed Cronin had a bit of a softer side when compared to his previous work with Ty Segall.  This new song we’re sharing today called “Weight” also is a taste of something poppier and more mellowed out than previous work in other groups.  I like the direction Cronin is heading in and the new record is sure to be worth your time.

New album MCII is due out May 7th on Merge Records.

Mikal Cronin Goes Soft

homepage_large.974d39feOkay, so Mikal Cronin doesn’t go entirely soft, but in comparison to his work with Ty Segall, the only thing you’ll really find comparable here is the wall of guitar distortion that bursts into the background during the chorus.  For the most part, the various verses carry a more general pop element, which should surprise people in the long run; you’re still going to find it appealing. The song has a central hook, and the combination of the soft and loud element will make your day.  You can get his new album, MCII, from Merge Records on May 7th.

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