Big Bill 7″ Stream + Release Party (2.28)

billyThere’s been great coverage this week for Austin’s Big Bill…local blog Ovrld and national mag, The Big Takeover added to the band’s recent press run. It’s deserved on so many levels, not only just musically, but in its representation of what truly makes Austin “weird.” Our label is releasing the 7″ today, and it will come with a special prize for those of you that order it HERE (it’s like a musical Cracker Jacks!), but you should also come out to End of an Ear on Sunday evening before the Oscars to enjoy a great set celebrating the band’s release. They’ll go on at 5 PM, and we’ll have the 7″ on hand for you to grab. Trust me, this is going to be a great year for all things Bill…so get a head start with this 7″.

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Dot Dash – Half-Remembered Dream

DotDashCoverArtRating: ★★★★☆

This day and age, bands tend to get caught up in fighting for, or against, the status quo of musical movements within the indie scene.  But, some bands just decide to go on their own, writing songs that are full of heart and self-expression; Dot Dash is one such band.  Their third full-length, Half-Remembered Dream, is an ascendency into pop perfection, making nods to the pass, while crafting songs that stand on their own in today’s landscape.

“Here’s to the Ghosts of the Past” opens the affair with a strong riffing guitar; it’s occasionally bisected by a noisier down-stroke on the guitar, creating a sound that’s built for fans of guitar pop.  The warmth of the vocals hold you close to the song, drawing you into what might otherwise be a noisy piece of pop.  That gentleness remains throughout most of Half-Remembered Dream, and it’s made more noticeable on the following track, “Hands of Time.” While the opener had guitars as the hero, the voice takes precedence on this tune; it’s close to a ballad, at least as close as you’ll get from this DC outfit.  There’s a change in pitch just after the 1 minute mark that’s a really nice touch too.

Personally, I enjoy the fact that Dot Dash always seems to be messing with.  On “Do Re Mi” they craft this brooding intro, hinting at a darkness that I wasn’t expecting, so I start to immerse myself in that mood.  But, they abruptly start, choosing to blast off into this heavy-handed piece of powerful guitar pop, starring this sparkling guitar line.  You’ll find varying melodies within this track too, which is one of the reason’s I’ve always appreciated the band; they’re not some one-trick pony.

I think one of the sad things about the music world is that truly great songs get dismissed due to label association or hype, but if you do anything today, try to take a listen to “Shopworn Excuse.”  For me, this is the band at their absolute best.  There’s this certain gleaming polish to the guitar sound, and the vocals take on a completely different tone than I’ve encountered from the group to date.  It’s almost a homage to twee, but done via adaptation from Dot Dash.  It’s followed up a few songs later by my second favorite track, the album’s closing moment: “The Sound in Shells.”  I love the shimmering guitar sound that cascades through the speakers, fighting against the reserved pop sensibility expressed in the vocals.

Odds are, unless you’ve been following the hip cognoscenti such as The Big Takeover, or perhaps even ourselves, you might not have heard of Dot Dash yet.  That’s okay, but this band is begging for your ears.  They’ve got polished guitar pop that maintains a sharp edge, all the while juxtaposing it with the incredible melodies that are naturally created by the vocals.  You’ll do well for yourself today if you go spend some time with Half-Remembered Dream.


Download: Dot Dash – (Here’s to) The Ghosts of The Past [MP3]

Friday Top 5: Things I Miss About Music

Lately I’ve been noticing some things about my musical lifestyle that have led me to wax nostalgically.  Clearly, the music landscape has changed drastically since I first considered myself a huge music fan back in 1989, but even as things changed, certain things stuck with me about the way I listen to music.  Now, those things seem to have gone; I acknowledge that we here at ATH contribute to this changing landscape, both for the masses and for ourselves, so I’m not being critical of anyone, just stating the things that I miss about listening to music and the life I evolved around it.

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New Tunes from Idaho

Admittedly, a great deal of my musical “findings” stem from one Jack Rabid, the head honcho at The Big Takeover magazine (hands down the best music mag around).  Reading the recent issue, I stumbled across a review for a band I had all but forgotten about, Idaho.  They put out a slew of record from 92-05, but I hadn’t heard anything from them until recently, and that’s why I’m here today to share news that the band will be offering up You Were a Dick next week.  This is a pretty perfect track to kick off your Tuesday; it’s nice and quiet and emotional. Enjoy, and if you dig it, go back and check out the back catalog.


Download: Idaho – You Were a Dick [MP3]

New Old Tunes from The Lucy Show

LucyShow_RidgeFarm_520The great thing about reading solid print magazines, like The Big Takeover, is that they always put so much work into their magazines. With that, you inevitably discover new things, much as I discovered Britain’s The Lucy Show.  While I’m not sure why they named their band after Lucille Ball, I do love the fact that they re-released Undone, which has loads of great songs.  Take a trip down memory lane with me, and enjoy The Lucy Show.


Download: The Lucy Show – Undone [MP3]