Listen to New Sat Duets Tune

satnightBetter start off today right, and seems like that’s probably best done if you get into this new track from Sat. Night Duets. Seems part casualindie rock, in the vein of Silver Jews, but part classic country-infused rock seeping through the pores. There’s just something in the vocal tones that grabs me; it’s a pretty deep tone, but sung with such calm that I find myself enchanted. The Milwaukee group are set to release their brand new record, Air Guitar, on September 16th via Father Daughter Records.

Brand New Gun Outfit

gunsHonestly, I didn’t expect this week. It seems like hit after hit has come my way, via my searching or just a massive amount of tunes being pushed out there. Still, it wouldn’t be a great week without this Gun Outfit tune to wrap things up with a little bit of alt-country perfection. Their new album Dream All Over just came out, but they have this great new Two Way Player EP ready for your ears via Wharf Cat. Maybe it’s a stretch, but it seems like this song is the crossroads where Kurt Vile and Silver Jews meet in the middle…it’s the sound of rolling on with just a hint of being an outsider; it’s the sound you’ve been looking for but didn’t know you were looking for, yet. The EP will be out on February 21st.

Chill New Tunes from Soltero

I’ve been looking for something just like this new tune from Soltero for a couple of weeks now.  The Brooklyn group just released their new album, 1943, and it’s full of some ridiculously good songs that I can’t stop playing over and over. For me, my first hook was the similarities to the delivery and the writing style of D. Berman of Silver Jews, but there’s a bit more of a mellow jangle going on in these tunes.  This song starts off slow for a few seconds, but just wait until it delivers the subtle hooks that made me fall in love with this new album.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Soltero-Rescue.mp3]

Download:Soltero – Rescue [MP3]

Old Jam (but new to many) from Silver Jews

Make no mistake about it, Silver Jews has definitely left a mark on the indie scene, especially considering the line-up of Dave Berman, Stephen Malkmus and Bon Nastanovich–they’re the only ones playing on this track.  Drag City is digging deep and releasing Early Times on June 19th, which is comprised of tracks from the group’s early EPs.  Just listening, you’ll notice the recording isn’t necessarily the best, but that’s what makes it such an interesting song, as it contains the talent the band went on to display, but also those tiny imperfections that endeared us to Berman and Malkmus in the first place. Hope you like it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/1-06_Secret_Knowledge_of_Back_Roads.mp3]

Download:Silver Jews – Secret Knowledge of Back Roads [MP3]

Top 40 Songs Of The Year

So when we thought making an albums of the year post was hard, this one proved to be even harder.  How do you take literally thousands of songs and narrow it down to the best 40 of the year?  Not too sure how to answer that question, but we tried.  Each of these songs scream 2008 in our ears.  As evident by this list, the year in music was quite a good one and we had some tough choices to make.  We’ve got some of the songs streaming for you or links to the song on youtube.  Follow the jump to see if your favorite tune of the year made the list.

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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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Silver Jews – Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea

Rating: ★★★★½

Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea is the fifth full length album from David Berman and the Silver Jews, and by my estimation it is the best he’s come up with yet. From the opening track until the very end, you’ll find yourself hanging on every single word out of his mouth, trying to understand each little line. Berman’s words here are at their best, but that is for you to decide.

Opener “What Is Not But Could Be If” begins the album with the darkened voice of Berman, somewhat reminiscent of a certain man in black. It’s clear at this point that Berman has definitely found his own niche in the world of off-beat country.

The album picks up pace with “Aloyisius Bluegrass Drummer,” where a solid rhythm section and a dancing piano rush us through the most clever two minutes to come across my ears.

The third track, “Suffering Jukebox” is full of sprawling guitars, but most importantly is the album’s introduction to Berman’s wife Cassie. Her sunny vocals seem to contradict those of her husband, but all in an effort to show the balance of a solid Silver Jews song.

“My Pillow is the Threshhold,” to me, comes off as an ode to the love song. “The pillow that I dream on is the threshold of a kingdom/ threshold of a world where I’m with you,” seems to sum up the meaning of the song, though one can never have just one simple meaning in a Berman song; this is just me guessing.

“Strange Victory Strange Defeat” is my personal favorite on this album. The battle of rebellious squirrels to win their freedom warms me inside. Then you throw on top of that the harmonizing of the Berman family at 1.5 minutes, and you have one of my favorite moments on an album this year.

You will find a taste of sunny California “oohs” and “ahhs” all over “Open Field,” which is probably one of the only songs on this album I don’t want to listen to ten times a day, probably just 7 or 8.

Literary genius abounds on “San Francisco BC,” the albums 7th track. See these two samples: “Romance is the douche of the bourgeoisie” and “I thought the wages of Metal should be heavily garnished.” A friend of mine told me that Berman comes up with the cleverest lines that you know you thought, but you just didn’t say them fast enough.

I dare not even attempt to make sense of “Candy Jail,” but the song still has this unending draw to me. Something about “peanut brittle bunk-beds” just sort of calls my name.

I have to admit that nothing stops a “Party Barge,” the 9th track on this album. Electric guitar mixed with sounds of sea ports (gulls, foghorns, etc), along with requests for coordinates from “lake directory,” just makes is all seem like summer.

Album closer, “We Could Be Looking for the Same Thing,” wraps up the album with a gentle number reminding us all that despite dreams and hopes, everything isn’t exactly perfect; still, Berman seems to insist that we all give it a try. And I say why not?

Obviously, I went about this review a bit differently, but that is just the thing about a Silver Jews album: no two people will ever get the same thing out of one of Berman’s songs, let alone albums. It’s the perfect conversation piece for you and your friends, trying to eat dinner as you all take turns at deciphering words and song meanings. Each person will walk away with their own interpretation, as they should. I just wanted to show ya’ll mine.

Now, if you are looking for that alt-country album with witty lines and gentle harmonies then you won’t be doing yourself a disservice if you purchase this album. Honestly, if you don’t buy this album, no matter what you are into, you are damned to admitting that you have done yourself a disservice by not allowing yourself the proper amount of time to enjoy Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea; there is only one way to remedy that situation, and that is to get your hands on this album as soon as possible.

You can stream this entire album on the band’s myspace page if you want to try before you buy.

We also have a song off the album entitled “Strange Victory, Strange Defeat” available for download:

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/silver_jews_-_strange_victory_strange_defeat.mp3]

Download: strangedefeat.mp3