Shearwater @ Mohawk (1/30)

Option numero dos for Friday shows sees new local favorite Shearwater returning to town for a show at The Mohawk.  Tickets are very cheap, running at only $8.  Doors for the show open at 8pm and music starts shortly after with sets by Black Before Red followed by Brazos.  We’ve given this band all kinds of praise this year (including sneaking into the top 10 albums of the year) so we of course think this will be a good one.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/shearwater_rooks.mp3]

Download: Shearwater – Rooks [MP3]

Albums Of The Year: 15-1

A few days ago, we gave you part one of our albums of the year list.  Today we bring you the best of the best from a wide range of artists who brought the noise this year.  We’ve fought it out amongst our ATH writers for weeks and these are the albums that we all loved.  These 15 albums went into thunderdome and emerged victorious.  Follow the jump to see if your favorite band made the Top 15 of 2008.

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Shearwater On The Tiny Desk

Austin’s own, Shearwater, recently made an appearance on the NPR Tiny Desk Concert series.  The intimate in house set features 4 songs played with nothing but acoustic instruments and some really random/awesome home made instruments by the band’s drummer Thor HarrisWatch the whole thing now.  In other Sheartwater news, the band has a new digital EP entitled Snow Leopard EP that you can download from the Matador Records website.  Heres title track from the album “Snow Leopard”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/shearwater_the_snow_leopard.mp3]

Download: ShearWater – The Snow Leopard [MP3]

The Return Of Shearwater

After a brief tour with Coldplay, Shearwater will make their triumphant return to Austin this Thursday night at Mohawk (9/4).  Tickets for the show are only $8 with things starting off at 9pm.  Buy your tickets from the Transmission Entertainment website.  Instead of a song to preview the show, how about some live video of the band?  The Interface on Spinner AOL recently featured a short set by Shearwater on their website.  If anyone is interested in covering this show with pictures and/or a review, feel free to contact us (we get busy too).  We’ll hook you up with free stuff!

New Okkervil River

ATH finally found an excuse to post about one of our favorite Austin acts Okkervil River. We have an mp3 of the band posted for you below called “Lost Coastlines” which is set to appear on the band’s latest The Stand Ins due out September 9th. “Lost Coastlines” features your last chance at Jonathan Meiburg in Okkervil, as he now fronts another Austin heavy hitter Shearwater. You can pre-order a copy of The Stand Ins from this fancy website.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/okkervil-river-lost-coastlines.mp3]

Download: Okkervil River – Lost Coastlines [MP3]

06/11 Shearwater Show @ Waterloo

Shearwater provided an intimate set to the crowd at Waterloo Records on Wednesday.  The venue was packed solid with Shearwater supporters who were excited to catch one more glimpse of the band before they head out on tour.   Lead singer Jonathan Meiburg started the show off right  by belting out several lines of lyrics acapela style just to make sure everyone was paying attention.  The band was spot on for their set with each member taking on a “jack of all trades” role and playing a countless number of instruments.  (Is that a flute?) Read more

Shearwater @ Waterloo Records

Austin band Shearwater will be doing a free show at Waterloo Records at 5pm this Wednesday (6/11). If you’ve read our recent review of the band’s new album Rook you probably know we are excited about this free in-store. Waterloo doesn’t do much in the way of promoting these things but you can still check out the Waterloo website for more free in stores coming up or if you just want to buy some sweet tunes. Be sure you show up early because the line starts for the free keg beer pretty early. That’s right, I said free keg beer. Do you really need another reason to go? We’ll be posting pictures of the event in the coming days.

Shearwater – Rook

Rating: ★★★★½

From the very first song, new Austin darlings Shearwater–via former Okkervil River bandmate, brought out a surprise. A minute into the first song and the music crashes against your ear. For me, it was the first of many surprises on this album that made it one of the best things I have heard this year. Jonathan Meiburg has finally come into his own.

Aside from the initial surprise, the thing that struck me as most fascinating was the loud/soft contrast between musical moments. It is this precise juxtaposition of sound levels that requires every listener to pay close detail to each note–which I feel ultimately brings you closer to the brilliance of this album. It’s a contrast between light and dark music, and in doing this so well, Meiburg has made an album that I feel stands completely alone–even if you choose to eliminate the lyrics entirely–which I don’t suggest.

Those lyrics, well, they are far better than I expected from my previous Shearwater experiences. “Home Life,” is a particular favorite, though I don’t dare to examine its meaning for fears of ruining your own interpretations. Now, accompanying those lyrics are supremely grandiose vocals. I was floored this time by the evolvement of his voice, which has little to compare it to–though initially I thought of Antony and the Johnsons–but it comes off much more epic.

Throughout this entire album I felt like I was on this enormous journey with various characters and within my own psyche–all of which I will gladly walk through again. This album carries you away with excellent vocals and sweeping musicianship, though I must admit that there is one journey not worth taking at all, “South Col,” which is the eighth track, and is a required skip to the next song.

I wish you all the best as you partake in your very own journey with Mr. Meiburg and his mates. May it be as fruitful to you as it was for me. Here is to good listening

Here’s the single off the new record entitled Rooks:
[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/02-rooks.mp3]

Download: rooks.mp3

If you want to hear the entire album before you buy it, Shearwater is streaming it on their myspace page. Enjoy!

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