Show Preview: Matt Pond PA @ Stubbs (3/1)

Date 3/1/11
Location Stubbs
Doors 8pm
Tickets $13 @ Frontgate

The veteran songwriter known as Matt Pond PA is making a stop into Austin at Stubbs on Tuesday night.  Joining the PA is fellow veteran songwriter Rocky Votolato to provide opening support.  Those looking for some chill music to enjoy on a Tuesday night should definitely check this  one out.


Download: Matt Pond PA – Starting [MP3]

SXSW Interviews: Secret Cities

Keeping up with some of our previews for the upcoming crazy SXSW festival, today we’ll focus on up and coming band Secret Cities.  We fell in love with these guys last year when they released their debut LP Pink Graffiti and have been following them ever since.  Lucky for us, band member Charlie Gokey was kind enough to answer some questions about his band and their upcoming sophomore effort.  Follow the jump for his responses.

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New Tunes from Silver Shampoo

There’s a sweet new label quietly kicking out some really solid jams this year, and we’ll be bringing you a bit of the tunes from the label this week.  For now, we’ll call the label Krazy Punx, and the first gem I’ve grabbed onto comes from Silver Shampoo, a product of Paul Museums.  The newest album is called Higher and Higher, and its sort of all over the place, but in the most wonderful sort of way.  You get a bit of garage, but then the next track you’ve got this catchy little bop pushing you along.  It’s just a whole lot of fun, and the kind of thing we can all dig as the weather gets sunny.  Try this out for size.


Download: Silver Shampoo – Streaks of Satan [MP3]

New Music From Man/Miracle

I’ve been really digging this new tune “Don’t Waste It” from Oakland based outfit Man/Miracle.  The track is set to appear on an upcoming single from the band due out tomorrow on Third Culture Records.  Lucky for you and me, the band is coming into town next week for SXSW as well.  Stay tuned for news on when you might get the chance to see them live.


Download: Man/Miracle – Don’t Waste It [MP3]

New Track from 1,2,3

As of right now, the world probably doesn’t know too much about the Pittsburgh duo, 1,2,3, but that’s soon to change, especially with the band signing to Frenchkiss.  While the release date for the band’s debut record is still a bit tentative, the Internet has been given this new track, which is expected to be one of the featured tracks from said debut. There’s definitely a nice little groove that moves through this song, and with a full-band in the live setting, you can expect this to group to win everyone over, especially when they make their way to Austin, Tx for SXSW. Give a listen.


Download: 1,2,3 – Riding Coach [MP3]

Cult of Youth – s/t

Rating: ★★★½☆

The minute we heard “New West,” the first single from the self-titled album from Cult of Youth, I’ll admit that I was more than intrigued.  It’s got a bit of a old barroom punk rock ethos, yet the more I listened to the track, the more I discovered about the band and their sound.  Sneaky strings lurked in the background, and that dirty bass line never ceased to grab me.  Dirty alcoholic punk mixed with strings you say? Yes, I do, and oh so much more.

Kicking off the record is “New West,” the aforementioned track that really piqued my interest.  Sean Ragon’s desperate growling vocals evokes a bit of spirit I long thought had disappeared. Despite the song’s desire to have this layer of grit, there’s still an uncanny beauty from the guitar parts matched with the related string instruments.  It’s quite a special track.  From here, the band really sort of keeps pace with this sort of shantie-like track, as if the band’s leading you to sea with their brash blend of folk and punk ethos.

Track four, “Casting Thorns” is when the band begins to alter the sound, creating a space for the string arrangements to really shine in the forefront.  Ragon doesn’t have the same raspy vocals, seeming more calm here as he strums the guitar.  But, there’s still a level of darkness that underlies the track, giving a bit of an angrier tint to the traditionally folk sounds apparent here. It’s this sort of change that leaves the band sort of stuck in the middle of their own sound, which has both positive and negative attributes.  “Through the Fear” even introduces a bit of horns, making the band sound increasingly dynamic.  It’s good to see that the band evolves beyond the sound that I originally noted them for upon my introduction to the group.

The latter half of the album does tire a bit, though there are some exceptional tracks hiding here. “Lorelei” has a great strummed guitar driving the song along, and Ragon’s baritone sounds incredibly haunting here, but in a manner that makes you appreciate a good spirit watching over you.  It’s the most unassuming track of this collection, and perhaps that’s why it’s so successful, or that it precedes the one misstep the band makes, that being the seven-minute sleeper, “The Lamb.”  Okay, so there are some musical elements here that are to most people’s liking, but the song could have been wrapped up much quicker, as it seemed to carry on perhaps beyond its welcome point.

All in all, Cult of Youth has done a great job with this self-titled effort, offering new fans a hint at what they’re all about, but leaving plenty of room for growth and directional jaunts in the future.  You have to appreciate a band that’s not dying to get tied down in one place, and with the diversity of this record, who knows where they’ll go, but I’m sure it will be good.


Download: Cult Of Youth – New West [MP3]

New Music from The Bell

Who isn’t a fan of hook-laden post-punk with sweet melodies and electronic pulses?  Well, you should be; you should also be a fan of The Bell, a group from Sweden who are about to release their latest record Great Heat through Badman Recording Company.  Based on this first single, the album is going to be filled with really solid melodies, fueled by the band’s usage of electronic flourishes, giving the band a sound that fits perfectly into any late night gathering of debauchery.  It’s got this powerfully forceful beat, yet it’s still possesses hints of beauty for those who like things a little polished. Take a listen.


Download: The Bell – Today [MP3]

New Music From The Donkeys

San Diego veteran band The Donkeys have a new song called “Don’t Know Who We Are” that I’ve taken a liking to lately.  The track appears on the band’s upcoming full length Born With Stripes due out April 26th on Dead Oceans.  I’d recommend that you kids start paying attention and pick this one up come April.  You won’t regret it.


Download: The Donkeys – Don’t Know Who We Are [MP3]

New Sonny and the Sunsets

I’m not sure quite how Sonny Smith manages everything he does, and still manages to make most if downright enjoyable.  Between making album art for fictional bands he’s created, not to mention the music, then an EP with his friends in the Sandwitches, and now he’s back with his group’s own new record, Hit After Hit, which comes out April 12th on Fat Possum.  This track has the more stripped down country feel that the latter half of the group’s last release contained.  In the meantime, I’m sure that Sonny’s got more in the works we don’t quite know about yet, but I’ll happily be satisfied with this here song.


Download: Sonny & the Sunsets – I Wanna Do It [MP3]

New Music From La Snacks

It’s been quite some time since I’ve heard any news coming from an old local favorite La Snacks.  Well the guys are in fact still together and are actually prepping the release of a new 7″ single come this April.  Below you’ll find one of two tracks on the release called “My Little Sugary Friend”.  You can also check out new song “Christ Sakes and Milkshakes” over on the La Snacks bandcamp page.  Both songs are making me hope that the guys are gonna stick around for awhile this time and not keep us so worried about their state of being.


Download: La Snacks – My Little Sugary Friend [MP3]

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