Dammit. I thought I knew what to expect with a band featuring members for Ceremony and Strand of Oaks got together. But, bless me, I wasn’t ready for this incredibly stunning new song from Dark Blue to come our way. Yes, there’s a hint at the darker edges, both musically and lyrically, but I think the biggest statement this band is making is the power of great songwriting. Say what you want about varying genres and tropes, but when you put something together that combines pop sensibility with seasoned musical vets you’ve got a recipe for something that should supersede all boundaries. The band’s brand new 7″ comes your way today via 12XU.
It was a pretty busy day and though it got off to a slow start, things escalated quickly with a personal highlight from Strand of Oaks. Knifight was a solid local start and Beat Connection was sexually objectified while playing their smooth new jams. Amason seemed hungover. Sheppard proves that Aussie pop music is based on 80’s movie montages in the best way possible. Lord Huron was nice in the crowd. Strand of Oaks is rock and roll. The Decemberists played a mostly different set. Kurt Vile was maybe a little too high? Is that possible? Alt-J was kinda boring, but photogenic at the same time. I had a heat check on Hozier, big humble, genuine smile from a guy that has talent to overcome an annoying hit song. Florence & The Machine was pretty and had mental fans in a completely different demographic from last Sunday’s headliner.
I wrote about this Dark Blue a bit ago, hyping it up as a project from Ceremony and Puerto Rico Flowers (not to mention Purling Hiss, Strand of Oaks) members; I’m now permanently hooked on this new june. The vocal approach is reminiscent of some of the mid-80s post rock or post punk or just post MTV, yet the rest of the music has this brooding angst that never fully gets unleashed. Instead, they pull in some melody, letting the guitars ring in a more subdued fashion than one might expect. I’m particularly enjoying the yelps throughout the tune. Jade Tree will releases Pure Reality on October 7th!
When I first heard this track from Dark Blue, I had to go back and re-read the information I had on the group. I knew it was a super-group of sorts, so I immediately thought of Calvin Johnson; it’s not Calvin though. It’s actually just a bunch of rad dudes from rad bands like Ceremony, Paint It Black, Strand of Oaks and some others. The lyrical delivery sort of sounds like David Gedge wrote the lyrics and gave the band instructions on how to sing, although the music has it’s own power altogether. There’s distorting guitars shooting off and simple rhythmic pounding. If you like any of the nonsense I name checked here, then pick up the group’s album, Pure Reality, via Jade Tree on October 7th.
After spending several weeks with There’s No Leaving Now, I was really looking forward to hearing Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man on Earth. Not only did I get to see him grace the stage, but the show was at Paramount, which is perfectly fitting for music of this ilk.
Read on for more pics and comments from the set.
|Date||Tuesday, August 28th|
|Tickets||$30 from Austin Theatre|
I can’t tell you how excited I am to see Tallest Man on Earth again, not to mention the fact that his music seems perfectly fitting to the inherent beauty of Austin’s Paramount Theatre. He’s surely going to play a great deal off his excellent new album, There’s No Leaving Now, but you know he’ll play some gems like “King of Spain” too. I’m just excited I’ll get to hear him somewhere other than Antones, as I think he deserves a better audience than that typically chatty venue. Strand of Oaks will be opening the evening, so make sure to get there by 8 when the show starts.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/The_Tallest_Man_on_Earth_-_1904.mp3]
Download:The Tallest Man on Earth – 1904 [MP3]
|Date||Thursday, December 1st|
|Tickets||$10 from Frontgate|
As the year draws closer and closer to wrapping up, we’ve all got to take advantage of the great traveling shows that are trickling into our town. Thursday night’s show over at the Mohawk isn’t just a show to attend because it’s one of the last of the year; it’s a solid show featuring one of the most hard-working musicians Eric Bachmann and his band Crooked Fingers. They’re touring in support of their most recent album, Breaks in the Armor, which really grows and grows. Opener Strand of Oaks will be opening, and they’ve got a solid set lined up for your listening pleasure as well. If you’re in the mood for some mellow indie rock, get out and keep warm.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Crooked-Fingers-Typhoon.mp3]
Download: Crooked Fingers – Typhoon [MP3]