It’s been said, when summer turns to winter in Austin, we put away our white T-shirts and get out our black ones. So it was appropriate for TOOL to come to the Frank Erwin Center in the month of January. Nobody had to change clothes they just had to show up. And show up they did. Thousands of black shirts and hoodies filled Austins nostalgic Drum, with the hopes of experiencing a “Great and Powerful” live performance. Hit the jump for more.
One of my favorite things in the last few years, at least so far as the progression of musical trends, is the move to craft pop music that sort of survives around the narrow tropes we’ve concocted, like in this new tune from Steve Buscemi’s Dreamy Eyes. Sure, there’s a definite pop sensibility, particularly in the way the guitar lines jangle and sparkle. But, there’s a heaviness to this tune, one that seems to exist outside our expectations of what pop music is. Part of that comes in the vocals, part of it comes in the descending of the chorus; it’s not uplifting, and yet it is. There’s a bright nature to the brooding, giving you promise through the shadows. Just happy this tune’s out there. You can find it on the band’s new Sweetie LP, which drops on February 14th via Rama Lama Records.
I was fairly bored with yesterday’s run of the mill tunes and emails, that is until I stumbled across this track from new Brighton outfit, Ciel. I think perhaps I fell in love with its anti-pop construction. There’s this definite quiet delivery of the verses that seemingly set you up to fall in love with a big hook-laden chorus, but that never comes. Instead, the band ride out the enchantment with a brooding pulse before slipping back into another verse; they just ignore modern constructs, and execute in the dreamiest fashion possible. They’ll be releasing their debut Movement EP this Spring, so keep a lookout.
Kluster B, formerly Kluster, caught my attention a few years ago with their debut album, Civic, but they’ve been mostly quiet since that time. Today they return with a new single, signalling a new LP on the not too far distant horizon. In the song, I feel as if they’re taking notes from the likes of early Pinback, drawing on indie rock influences and fusing them with bits of jazz structure and pop moments. Linnea’s voice haunts the tune during the verses, and shimmers in the chorus as the guitars clang noisily, eventually leading towards a closing that could easily slide into the best of dream pop vibes you’ll hear this week. Keep an eye out for a new LP with their label Rama Lama.
We knew that Andy Bianculli had something in the works when word came out that his project Star Parks had signed with Modern Outsider Records, so we’re glad the word is The New Sounds of Late Capitalism. It’s a playful number brimming with various movements within the song’s general structure that take the listener up and down. A fuzzy stomp kicks you into gear before fading into a more angelic float of vocals, accented by some real light keys that bridge the gap between the airy melody and the tapping of the drum work. You’ll find the hook-laden chorus harkening to some of Austin’s finest pop purveyors like Spoon, filled with the horns and all that extra jazz! The new LP drops on February 14th.
On Friday, we’ll get the release of the posthumous Basic Plumbing, the project Patrick Doyle was working on before his untimely passing; he’s also known for his time in Veronica Falls and Boys Forever. When I first heard this track, I was immediately drawn to the guitar sound; it felt both poppy and heavy, especially when matched by the drumming; darker tones continued when Doyle offers a soft croon in the verse. Still, I’ve been gravitating towards the slight switch in the song’s mood that comes in just before the 2 minute mark; it’s ever so slight, but definitely draws on Doyle’s penchant for pop sensibility. Proceeds from the record will go to LA’s LGBT Center and UK’s Calm
Looks as though today’s coverage is going to revolve a great deal around a few bands that are so great they’ve probably slipped under your radar, like Kleenex Girl Wonder. The band has primarily been the outlet for songwriter Graham Smith, and while they’ve been active pretty recently with LPs Vana Mundi and White Lacuna, this post is here to celebrate Ponyoak, the band’s classic 1999 LP (you can stream it HERE). It’s a great collection of Smith’s songwriting, particularly if you consider he crafted the songs at the age of 18; you’ll hear nods to GBV and the Beatles alike. But! If you pre-order the LP now, you’ll get a bonus download that includes demos and out-takes from the recording session, including the tune that’s featured below; you can hear more of the bonus tracks over HERE.
Every year, Emotional Response brings us a collection of the best female led punk and indie, with a nod to the Slits in the compilation’s title, Typical Girls. Today we bring you news of Volume 5 with a great track from Color TV; it’s a pop rock gem heavy on hooks, with a huge chorus that’s destined to find itself engrained in your brain for the rest of the day. The rest of the compilation bounces around the globe bringing hits from the likes of Spain’s Linda Guilala, Australia’s Slag Queens and Scotland’s Vital Idles…not to mention about 12 other acts you should have on your regular rotation. Typical Girls Volume 5 will be out via Emotional Response on February 21st.
I feel like Nap Eyes are one of the great unassuming bands out there; they’ve got a songwriting consistency that we all hold near and dear, though they often seem to go quietly unnoticed for their gifts. Perhaps that’s about to change with Snapshot of a Beginner, the band’s new LP; there’s promise of more punch and larger arrangements added to their poetic craftsmanship. It’s prevalent on the new single “Mark Zuckerberg” with a definite rocking element pushed through by the stomp of the snare and heavy riffs. Still, the greatest moment comes at the 1:41 moment with the line “transcendence is all around us;” it’s this beautiful moment that lets your mind and body drift away. The new LP is out on March 27th via Jagjaguwar/Royal Mountain.
Wristbands for SXSW‘s 2020 Music Conference go on sale tomorrow. Here is what you need to know.
- You must provide a valid credit card with funds available to purchase the number of wristbands you request (up to 2).
- The purchaser will provide their name, phone number, email, valid credit card number and expiration date and billing address. The billing zip code must be listed in the approved greater Austin area list.
- A second wristband may be purchased by providing a separate name and email address. These wristbands are non-transferable and nonrefundable.
- Each named person must personally pick up their wristband (which will be put on their wrist at that time) at the Austin Convention Center.
- Each person may only buy one wristband for themselves and one friend. Any person who succeeds in purchasing multiple wristbands will be charged, but will not be able to use them for other people other than the one friend named at the time of purchase. Click here for an approved greater Austin area list.