Either you missed the big Austin Town Hall vs. Side One Track One party, or perhaps you were there and want to relive it. Check out the gallery after the break that features faces, bands, instruments, lights, beverages, scenes and moods from the day and night at Hotel Vegas. Highlights for me were Glaze, Nite, El Lago, BLXPLTN, Tres Oui, Daphne Tunes and Marmalakes. Find these bands during SxSW. You’ll be happy if you do.
The Sour Notes just recently released their latest album, Darkest Sour, but they’re not stopping there. Encouraged by participation in various “hoot nites” in Austin, the band have recorded a full album worth of covers titled This Is Not Our Music. Today, we happy bring you their cover of “Gloria” by Patti Smith (well, it was by THEM, but they’re doing the Patti Smith rendition). Jared does a great job with his performance, pulling off the natural bravado of Smith in every delivered note. For me, the best thing is that it gives us a glimpse into the minds of the band. We all love to pigeonhole bands, tell them who their influences are, but here we have a band stepping out and saying, here’s what we love! I’m excited to hear some versions of Jawbreaker and Wire that they’ll have out soon enough!
Today’s the day you’ve all been waiting for, the announcement of our annual AustinTownHall vs Side One Track One SXSW party. We’re throwing down at Hotel Vegas/Volstead again, and we’ve booked a pretty solid lineup of acts. We’ve got some bands with huge buzz like Caroline Says or Why Bonnie, a handful of ATH Records artists…and we even got in a few out of town acts like Nite and El Lago. Best news of all? It’s absolutely free, so all you have to do is come on over and just enjoy yourselves…there’s something for everybody. Show kicks off at 2 PM and lasts all day and night. Plus, we love you, so you don’t even have to RSVP! Check out the event page, and plan ahead, you’ll be here all day!
Local Austin favorites The Sour Notes are gearing up for the release of their next LP, Darkest Sour...and good news for you is we have a brand new single to share with you, and it might just be the band’s best track yet! “On Yer Mark” walks on the poppier side of indie rock, dwelling in that light-hearted realm that’s been owned by acts such as The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The guitar chords have that angular jangle while keyboards push through the crowd. Jared Boulanger’s voice has the perfect softness to ride the song out, especially when we get the female accompaniment to polish off the pop substance. I’m just sitting here smiling, and I’m sure you’ll be doing the same. Plus, if you’re in Austin, the band play Thursday evening over at Cheer Up Charlies…and I’m sure their set will include many new hits for your ears!
Photo Credit: Vineet Gordhandas
There’s always a brief lull right before the storm, except this year, there isn’t. There’s tons of shows with Austin band’s all over town, and tonight I encourage you to head to Cheer Up Charlies to catch the Wildfires EP release. The band offers you pop music via a kaleidoscope of dreaminess and shoegaze elements. I’m really excited to hear the band’s EP in full, but for now we’ll let you stream this brand new song they’ve got for you. Plus, there’s other local greats on the bill like The Sour Notes, The Zoltars (who just released their 3rd album recently) and Telepods. The weather’s been great, so why not enjoy your evening with great tunes.
It’s that time once again folks, the weekend! Now, SXSW is nigh so we sort of (not really) understand if you want to stay home out of the somehow still cold weather. But if you’re like us and just can’t resist the live tunes, here’s a list of the shows, in no particular order that you shouldn’t be missing tonight and tomorrow night.
Check the jump for listings.
It’s that time of year when we all toss up our arbitrary lists of what we think is best, and seeing as we’re based here in Austin, we opted to go with our Top 15 Austin Albums first. Why 15? Well, there were a lot of great releases all over the place, covering different styles, and appealing to our different writers. Sure, the list isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t reflect singles and EPs, as that could get entirely too crazy. I included links to the labels so you can buy these albums from the hard-working folks in our town. Also…there are two releases on our label, but I have no qualms about that; I didn’t set out to put out a bad LP, so obviously, they’re going to be in here. And without further meaningless words…here’s the best records from Austin that you should already own!
I could sit here and wax poetic about the hard-working folks in Austin’s The Sour Notes, but that probably wouldn’t do me any favors, or them for that matter. What is important is that today we bring you a stream of the band’s brand new album, Do What May. The record features guest spots from tons of locals like Sabrina Ellis and Brendan Bond, and it’s likely to help the band gain more traction as they brace for a much-anticipated gig at this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest. In the mean time, you can help them celebrate this Saturday at Cheer Up Charlies (more info HERE). Enough of all that; here’s their great new LP.
Local darlings, The Sour Notes have been at it for some time now, creating a great deal of music in a rather short period of time and trying to make a name for themselves. They’ve experimented in a good number of genres since their origin in 2008 and have changed band members even more frequently. On this fifth release, Do What May, they venture into a pop psych realm and give it their own spin on this genre.
First and title track “Do What May,” opens things up with a bit of distorted electric guitar, and then the band bursts into the song, building it up with layers. They add some funky synthesizer, stark and concise percussion, a looping clean sounding guitar riff, and add to this with some “oohs.” After they build this up, all of the sudden they’ve switched to a crunchier sound, with heavier effects on the electric guitar, and then Jared Boulanger chimes in with his post-punk sounding vocals and the music has switched back to the psychedelic pop that it started with and the song is in full swing, going back and forth between these two established sounds. Some female vocals come in for the lead in the chorus, balancing out Boulanger with a great texture—this seems to be the trend for the rest of the album, and with no complaint; it’s an interesting and enticing dynamic.
There are tracks on Do What May that will instantly spark your listening ear upon first listen, but also some slow burners that require a bit more of your attention for you to sink your teeth into them. Perhaps it’s up to you to decide which of the tracks fit into which category for you, but “In The Meanwhile,” while it would most likely fit into the slow burner for most, immediately plucked my interest. In an album full of psychedelic pop jams, all of the sudden, stark in the middle you get this sweeping and delicate number with violin to start out the number. The effect on the vocals make them feel far away and soft, building to broader sweeping choruses that seem to go on forever, even though the track only lasts about three and a half minutes. On the contrary, earlier number, “With Ease, With Time,” will immediately stand out, the catchy nature of the chorus and the grooving bass giving it this infectious rhythm.
Though the album starts quite strong and dissipates slightly as it progresses, it picks back up for its close and ends on a high note. The Sour Notes have done good work on Do What May, and I invite you to pick up a copy; you won’t be disappointed.
The great thing about our fair city is that with all the huge traveling shows drawing people out, we can also sneak off to our favorite venues to catch a lot of the great local acts. And, for those of you out on the town already…you’ve had a few drinks so far, so you may as well go the extra mile and catch one of these three suggested shows below. I promise you won’t be disappointed in your night. Check out these gigs:
Here’s some tracks by some of the bands playing (A.Sinclair, A Giant Dog, Sour Notes) on the evening, hoping you go local, then go home.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/04-Shiny-Things.mp3] [audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/ToPutItBluntly.mp3] [audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Mannequin-Wire-Cover.mp3]