FFF8 In Pictures – Friday Edition

The WalkmenDid you not go to Fun Fun Fun Fest? Wish to be tortured by a ton of images from Auditorium Shores? Did you go and want to try to find yourself in a crowd shot? Your ears still ringing from Snoop?

Are you are fan of twerking? Do you like Aussie Electro Pop? Is Hamilton dead sexy? Or is Little Boots more your speed? Big Freedia? Not judging…

Time to waste the rest of your day with the big gallery from Friday! Raise your pimp cup and click through to have your eyes treated to my festival.

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New Music from Radical Dads

Who could imagine that these two unassuming lads would make such potently driven music? Well, luckily, we’ll all get to experience that a bit more, as Radical Dads plan to release their debut Mega Rama on Uninhabitable Mansions on June 14th.  Recently, they tossed out their Reckless 7″, which features the track below, and you can grab those all for free over at the group’s page.  Listening to those guys sort of reminds me of the vocal moments of No Age, you know, if you got rid of all that extra bit of atmospheric noise that permeates the latter band.  Looks promising if you ask me.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Radical%20Dads%20-%20Recklessness.mp3]

Download: Radical Dads – Recklessness [MP3]

Show Review: No Age @ Red 7 (1/11)

At first, I was looking forward to an outdoor show at Mohawk in January.  Then the forecast kept getting colder and colder.  I wasn’t worried as being near the stage for pics meant carry over heat from the pit.  Instead, promoters moved the show to Red7.  The openers had issues, the speakers were giving up, but No Age killed.  Follow the jump for more.

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New Music From No Age

The now famous garage rock indie band No Age just dropped their brand new LP entitled Everything In Between yesterday on the Sub Pop label.  To celebrate the release of their record, the band is offering up this new MP3 of track #3 from the album “Fever Dreaming”.  You can also decide if you want to buy the new joint with a full album stream over on Soundcloud.  It’s a doozy.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/8020.mp3]

Download: No Age – Fever Dreaming [MP3]

FT5: 2009 FFF Fest Highlights (From the Future!)

1106top5coverWe all have friends on Twitter, right? Sure you do! Well, one of my Twitter friends, Burton Parker (@welvis), on occasion, tweets from the future. Most of the time it’s fairly asinine, but there are some genuine moments of hilarity. So for this week’s Friday Top Five I decided to jock Burton’s style and recall some of my favorite moments from 2009’s Fun Fun Fun Fest…from the future!
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Free Sampler From Urban Outfitters

uonumber7So for the second time in our existence, we bring you an incredible free sampler from Urban Outfitters.  This one is the seventh installment in the companies LSTN series and features 25 tracks from established indie acts.  Artists include White Denim, Le Loup, No Age, Girls, and tons more.  Here’s one of those tracks from El Perro del Mar.  Download the whole thing on itunes and jam out on this Monday.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/01-Change-of-Heart.mp3]

Download: El Perro del Mar – Change of Heart [MP3]

No Age – Losing Feeling

no-age-losing-feeling

Rating: ★★★½ ·

It must be noted that I have never been a fan of No Age.  Their two albums Weirdo Rippers and Nouns have tried and failed in making a home in my music collection. My ambivalence towards the lo-fi indie rock that is all the rage these days probably has something to do with this bitter taste that I have towards No Age.

But something keeps pulling me back to this band.  Maybe it’s Randy Randall and Dean Sprunt’s predilection towards ‘guerilla gigs’ or reviving Husker Du, complete with Bob Mould or live scoring the film ‘The Bear’. Sure, No Age’s music is lo-fi, but their drive to bring something special to the scene is highly admirable.  This admiration drove me to give the new four song Sub Pop EP Losing Feeling a shot.

Losing Feeling, while sharing similarities with No Age’s previous releases, feels different, more fleshed out. The songs no longer seem like a wall of fuzz and reverb, but like dynamic songs that change from track to track.  The opening title track plays like a contemplative slow burner, strangely reminiscent of Andrew Bird and leads into the delicate and drumless ‘Genie’.  My favorite track on EP is the instrumental ‘Aim at the Airport’ which slowly builds tension on layers of effect laden guitars and tape loops leading to the EP’s climax, ‘You’re a Target’, the sole rocker on the EP, that I can’t help thinking was influenced by their time with Bob Mould playing Husker Du songs.

While I still wouldn’t call myself a No Age fan, I do respect what they are doing. On Losing Feeling the band has delivered a great listen from start to finish.

HEALTH – Get Color

health_get_color

Rating: ★½ · · ·

Coming from the same scene that birthed No Age, Abe Vigoda, and The Mae Shi, Los Angeles’ HEALTH crashed onto the scene with their cacophonous brand of noise rock garnering favorable reviews with their 2007 self-titled debut, the ensuing remix collection DISCO, and spastic live shows.  On their newest offering, Get Color, HEALTH attempts to produce a more easily accessible album while retaining their trademarked aural destruction, which they do, but to a fault.

What made their debut so great was that it felt dangerous; it made you uncomfortable while listening to it, but in such a good way. The giant drum sound and the shrillness of the vocal manipulation just seemed right. I remember the first time hearing “Crimewave”, just be being blown away and wanting more.  On Get Color, HEALTH switched from recording digitally to recording directly to 2” tape.  In an interview with Drowned in Sound, bassist John Famiglietti, discussed this decision: “On tape, you can be as loud and abrasive as you want, and the more brutal it gets it just feels good to hear.  On a computer that abrasive sound registers as a brittle spike, and even though it’s the sound you want, it’s terribly annoying when it comes out of the stereo”  This is true, Get Color is easier to listen to, but it just comes off as flat noise with a beat,  sterile as a cadaver on an examiners table.  When you embrace the term “noise” as an identifier of your bands sound you shouldn’t be afraid of the “brittle spike” in the recording.  I don’t yearn for a smoother sounding Lightning Bolt record, and HEALTH shouldn’t strive to make their noise easier on my ears.  Just plug in your fifty guitar pedals and tear shit up!

The biggest mistake HEALTH made on Get Color was wrangling in their greatest asset, drummer Benjamin Jared Miller. On their debut Miller was a force to reckoned with but here, while being completely competent behind the kit, he is regulated to generic flourishes and strategically placed blast beats.  The songs on Get Color feel overly planned out, to the point of coming off as a dead behind the eyes Hollywood starlet; pretty to look at and listen to, but offering nothing of value to our world.  I struggle to discuss individual tracks, because they all, essentially, sound the same.

I originally wanted to give this release a half of a star, but I hold on to hope that seeing the band live at Fun Fun Fun Fest this year will redeem this collection of songs. After all I hated At the Drive-In’s In/Casino/Out until I saw them live.  So, HEALTH, the ball is in your court, bring it in November.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/03-health-nice_girls.mp3]

Download: HEALTH – Nice Girls [MP3]

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