More Music from Wall of Death

wallThe name Wall of Death is a lot more foreboding than this single, so lets get that out of the way. It opens really softly, using careful guitar lines filled in behind a nice electronic atmosphere. Then things blast off into a psychedelic explosion of cascading guitars cutting through the speakers before the vocals even come into play. I get the feeling this is what Pink Floyd would sound like if they were making relevant music in the modern era. Look for the band’s brand new album, Loveland, which is being released by Innovative Leisure next Friday, March 4th.

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Friday Top 5: Songs About Money

It seems that all over the college sports landscape nowadays, all we hear about are conference realignments, TV deals, advertising packages, and student athlete sponsor scandals. Somewhere along the lines, the good old fashioned spirit of the game got lost in the shuffle and with that came the sad realization that these young athletes are mere pawns in a much wider international game of economics. Regardless of what side of Lee County you set your allegiance or which color lucky underwear you wear on game day, let’s all remind ourselves about what the whole ‘Hullabaloo’ is about in the first place; dirty, evil money. Like the song says, ‘it’s the root of all evil today’ and there’s plenty of evil to go around in college sports these days. Just ask the U, tOSU, Oregon, Auburn…well for the sake of you, the reader, I couldn’t possibly list all 122 of them here. So, in light of Texas A&M’s indecisive decision to take their markets elsewhere and to mark the anticipated beginning of the 2011 season, here are the top 5 most ridiculously relevant songs that feature our corrupting currency as a common theme.  Now, where’s the tailgate party? I’m about to make it rain.

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Friday Top 5: Live Set Design

When attending a concert, the music can often be only a part of the overall equation. Setting is an enhancement or detriment to the overall experience. With the blissfully tranquil setting of  Sasquatch Fest around the corner, my mind began to wonder. Setting in a natural area is often the easiest way to enhance a mood. However, sometimes an artist wants to personally expand on the themes written through song in a live setting, and that’s when the set design becomes more and more elaborate. When the design just comes out as self-aggrandizing and strange, it distracts the audience from the show. Take for instance Kanye’s theoretical Ferrero Rocher Gold wrapper design or Bowie’s giant spider. There is certainly a fine line here. Nevertheless, in some instances bigger, brighter, and complex structures work to frame a show that can be talked about years after the fact. On that note, here’s the FT5 of most badass, over the top Set Designs.

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The Music Of Pink Floyd @ Club Deville (8/21)

poodleLucy the Poodle magazine is putting on quite the event this Friday night at Club Deville in Austin.  The night features literally tons of local artists covering the great HOF band Pink Floyd.  The lineup includes Cari and Jason of Belaire, The Hi Tones, Til We’re Blue or Destroy, The Alice Rose, The Raven Tree, Blase Faire, The Clouds are Ghosts, The Noise Revival Orchestra, and Leisure Tourniquet.  Whew.  As if that wasn’t enough, the night will also feature a light show, tons of free stuff, and a screening of Dark Side of Oz after the last band has wrapped up.  Entrance fee is only $7 and doors things start around 8pm.  Should be one helluva night.  More info can be had over on the do512 or on that fancy flier.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/02-belaire-you-really-got-me-goin.mp3]

Download: Belaire – You Really Got Me Goin [MP3]

FT5: Underrated Guitar Solos

No countdown is more contested among guitar geeks than the list of the top guitar solos of all time. Heavily dominated by Metal and Classic Rock bands, top 100 lists have spawned all over music media outlets everywhere. Comfortably Numb, Stairway to Heaven, All Along the WatchtowerFreebird. We know the usual suspects. Today we pay homage to some the lesser known solos that, we believe, deserve more attention than they have gotten in the past.

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The Boxing Lesson – Wild Streaks & Windy Days

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

For influences, local Austin band The Boxing Lesson could do much worse: the songs off Wild Streaks & Windy Days reveal an appreciation for the hypnotic swirl of The Secret Machines (“Lower,” “Muerta,”), the pop-prog-trips of MuteMath (“Timing,” “Dance with Meow,) and the grandiosity of Muse (“Dark Side of the Moog,” “Scoundrel”). And like these bands, and Minus the Bear, another group with nonsensical song titles, The Boxing Lesson attempt to synthesize these influences into something greater and original.

What The Boxing Lesson is lacking is not simply talent, restraint, or any lyrical insight at all – although throwaway songs like “Hopscotch & Sodapop” and “Freedom” would suggest they’re missing those too.  Their most notable problem is they have no direction. With songs like “Scoundrel” and the title track lasting nearly seven minutes but offering no payoff, no climactic build, The Boxing Lesson aren’t giving us more, they’re making us wait longer for less.

Encompassing Pink Floyd synth washes provide pleasing backdrops for clean guitar lines on nearly every song, but when it takes more than two-and-a-half minutes to get to the opening verse of the title track, only to have it rip off the music and lyrics from the title track of The Secret Machines’ “The Road Leads Where It’s Lead” – albeit slower and with less passion and intent – you can’t help but feel cheated. The Boxing Lesson seem to have their hearts and ears in the right place, but singer Paul Waclawsky’s lyrics go nowhere, and without something to set his voice apart – aggression, passion, any feeling – the album ends up getting carried away, lost in the large-scale but rootless sweeping effect they created.

Read more about The Boxing Lesson and hear songs from the new album on the bands myspace page.