Summer is winding down, kids are back in school, so I know you’re itching to squeeze in some more fun times on a Friday night. Our city is teeming with good shows to hit up, but this stacked bill over at Cheer Up Charlie’s is where you ought to be tonight. For the low low price of FREE, you can catch not one, not two, but seven bands, including the likes of Wildfires, who are riding high off the release of their latest EP, Aguas Frescas pt. II. Not to mention there’s The Eastern Sea, who always crush their live sets, as well as the folksy stylings of Dreamboat. There’s also SMILE, Maryann, Triplets, and Kodachrome to complete the bill. Looks like doors are at 8pm, so get there early, and give some love to your resident musicians and check out tracks from some of the bands below.
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Nathan and I were commenting on the plethora of shows going down this weekend, so I figured it’d be nice to lay it all out night by night for you so you know where you need to be to hear the best tunes. I’ve got all your options broken up by days and if you play your cards right, it could be a weekend filled to the brim with great local and visiting acts. See for yourself after the jump and prep with some tunes… a few more hours and it’s the weekend!
I’ve been fortunate with this site, and such fortunes continue with some friends reaching out to have me curate an hour of music featuring SXSW Official Austin acts that I wanted to rest of the world to know about. It also features my horrendous voice, though only for like 30 seconds total. I kind of went all over the map, trying to be as diverse as possible within the realm of my own tastes. The little show will run three times today on SXSWFM (9 AM, 3 PM, 9 PM), which is a great place to get to know some of the artists, not just the Austin ones. Here’s the artists I chose to include: Flesh Lights, Sour Notes, Jess Williamson, Roger Sellers, Mirror Travel, Shivery Shakes, Grape St, Ramesh, A Sinclair, Love Inks, Hundred Visions, Abram Shook, Ssleeperhold, The Zoltars, Warm Soda and The Eastern Sea. Just doing what I can to give a little love to our friends. Special thanks to Brett and Rory for this rad opportunity.
Brave fans braved potentially threatening weather; it smooth poured with tons of lightning out at my house in the hours before I left to head downtown, but The Hawk was spared such drama. Load in, soundcheck, my moles on the inside let me know all was well. Rain dotted the evening, never really coming down in quantity, just a smattering to humidify things to “moist” levels.
Roger Sellers brought along Matt Hines of ATH faves The Eastern Sea to go acoustic, Alec Ounsworth took advantage of a little extra time in the schedule to play some songs solo not often heard live and then piloted the whole band known as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah through a set of folk music disguised as indie dance party classics and new stuff that I actually enjoyed A LOT.
Read on for thoughts and plenty of pics…
||Saturday, January 19th
||$12 from The Parish
After an excellent 2012, The Eastern Sea is taking aim at the New Year, bringing their sounds to The Parish–they’ll benefit from such an excellent sound board. Their release of Plague last year made a lot of year end lists, including our own, so you can expect an incredible set from the group Saturday night. They’ll be joined by The Kopecky Family Band and Emily Wolfe on the evening, rounding out a solid bill for a jam-packed weekend of music. If you like you’re tunes well-crafted, then this is the place to be this weekend.
Download:The Eastern Sea – A Lie [MP3]
Well, the traveling acts might have ceased for the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t tons of local bands doing their thing here in Austin. Here’s a quick rundown of where I think you should be hanging out this weekend. Be sure to get out there and support the local scene…you know the weather will be great, so no excuses. Read more
It’s really hard to narrow down a list of Top Albums of 2012, especially when you have four contributors with different opinions. We gave the reins to Nathan.Lankford and Nicole Baumann on this one, since they write the majority of the album reviews, but we all have a little representation within this. Now, we do realize that our site has specialized tastes, so please realize that these are our OPINIONS. You’re welcome to disagree, and, in fact, we encourage that process. Also, we’re doing a Top 100 because so many records came out this year, it wouldn’t be fair to narrow it down. Not to mention it might lead you to discover some hits you hadn’t heard about yet. Oh, and we don’t really like Frank Ocean or hip-hop…just a personal choice…here’s the first segment.
It’s that time of year folks, when we here at Austin Town Hall try to convince you that we know what’s what in the world of music. We’re starting things off with our list of Top Ten Austin Albums of 2012. We purposefully left out EPs, just focusing on the Album as a whole, since that’s our favorite form of media. Before you read this, please know that this is just the expressed OPINION of ours, and you’re definitely cool to disagree. Let us know your thoughts, and make sure your favorite Austin bands send us their hits in 2013!
Two awesome words if you are a performer. Wouldn’t it be cool if your first sold out show was your first full-length record release party? You can ask the guys (and gal) in The Eastern Sea, because that is exactly what they did at Stubb’s indoors.
Dana Falconberry opened. More notes and pics after the break…
As we all know, Austin is a giant arena for up and coming bands to make their names known, but in such a big scene, how do you stand out amongst the others trying just as hard as you? For The Eastern Sea, their delicately forceful rock, complete with some uniquely striking vocals sets them apart from the average bedroom rock band. Upon first listen, Plague gives off an illuminating quality that yields further listening and promises that this band has a lot to bring to the table.
The opener and title track introduces the deep sound that The Eastern Sea builds upon with the rest of the album. A slow burner, “Plague,” relies on a thick coating of atmospheric sound and a gradual build that shows the range in Matt Hines vocals. It’s a refined number that reveals just how much control the band has, and the restraint that is employed early on, leaving you yearning to know just what is in store when they let loose. As if they know what you’re waiting for, the next song, “Wasn’t For Love,” picks up the pace and gives you a taste of the layers of complexity that combine seamlessly. The track begins with a groovy bass line, and continually adds upon itself with a lighter line of jingly percussion, a looping guitar hook and of course Hines’ James Mercer/Ben Gibbard-esque vocals. Some horns join in on the chorus and later in the song, and you’re forced to marvel at how very put-together this band is; they are controlled chaos at its finest, knowing where to reel in before it becomes too much.
As aforementioned, in a town so big on music, something is needed to set apart, and what the Eastern Sea has going for them is their control and an album packed with interesting and excitingly good songs. There are numbers like “Santa Rosa” on which the lyrics are sharp and quick witted, and more horns join in, leading up to a sizzling couple of choruses, before they pull back and end the track on a quieter, refined note. The band pulls back one slower numbers like “The Match,” but still builds to an explosive ending. There is a great mixture of loud and quiet, controlled and chaotic that pushes the elements of sound of this group above others.
There really isn’t much to complain about on Plague; it’s a beautiful album that will have those who love some classic indie rock begging for more. So enjoy this effort from a local band and look forward to this band blowing up in the near future.