Austin Spotlight: SHMU Releases Chroma Key

shmuHonestly, I don’t entirely know what to say in order to get you into Austin’s SHMU. There are these weird glitch elements thrown into a pot chocked full of bubbling pop melodies, creating this spectrum of musical experimentation pushed to its limits. It’s off-putting in a fascinating sense; you’re attracted to the oddity of the goings-on, yet you can’t identify precisely what it is you love.  It’s like the Radio Dept. and Working for a Nuclear Free City got mashed up by the makers of Atari. Regardless of how you want to identify the music, I think you’ll all be better off today if you spent some time listening to the most recent release, Chroma Key. It’s a pleasing head-scratcher, to say the least.

Natural Child Expand Their Sound with Out in the Country

naturalchildIf you’re a follower of Natural Child, you could easily tell your friends that you saw this one coming.  From the moment they organized their “Family Band” the riotous barroom rockers have been aching to broaden their horizons.  They’re moving further from the blues-y garage rock styles they employed earlier on; they’re pushing more towards a solid country/blues world.  But, that being said, they’ve still got the chops to make their music a must have in any nerds collection. This smooth number is just an indicator that as they’re songwriting matures, they’re still just as bad ass as you expected them to be. Their new album Dancin With Wolves (which oddly doesn’t feature Kevin Costner on the cover) will be out via Burger Records on February 25th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/01-01-Out-in-the-Country.mp3]

Download: Natural Child – Out in the Country [MP3]

SXSW 2014 Interviews: Pains of Being Pure at Heart

D700-Pains-Ans-303SXSW is just a month away, and we’re already getting rather antsy. We decided to try and squeeze in as much coverage of the many bands coming into town as we could, so we sent off a bunch of interview questions to bands we think you need to keep an eye on.  Today, we bring you Kip from the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, one of our favorite acts of the past 5 years, not to mention one of SXSW’s hardest working bands.  Check it out for Kip’s responses… Read more

Funky Jam from Rush Midnight

rushmidnightIf it weren’t for the immediate mention of Twin Shadow in this press release, I might have skipped beyond this tune from Rush Midnight; it’s the project of Russ who tours with TS.  What I really like about this song is that the electronic element is actually understated, allowing for the groove to remain subtle.  It allows you to focus on the smooth delivery of the vocal, while still inviting you to swing your hips and dance about.  The project’s self-titled debut album will be out on May 27th via Last Gang Records; it should definitely put a nice spin on our summer listening.

New Single from SoftSpot

softspotUgh. I hate winter; I just want to wear shorts! But, with the winter weather comes a different approach to listening to music.  I’m always more inclined to wrap myself in a blanket and zone out whilst being washed over with really emotional music.  This new track from SoftSpot really fits into that world, with the voice of Sarah Kinlaw creating this natural warmth that definitely seeps into your skin. Her two bandmates, however, are crafting this tight-knit, low-energy, progressive indie rock…sort of like an Owls meets Pinback, but even softer.  The tune is the lead single on the bands forthcoming MASS album, which is out on April 8th.

Show Preview: Superchunk @ Mohawk (2/6)

superchunk2

Date Thursday, February 6th
Location Mohawk
Doors 7:00 PM
Tickets $18 from Mohawk


When you talk about the legend that is Superchunk, you can’t just talk about the influence they’ve made musically, but also the influence they’ve had on modern indie rock music.  Mac and Laura founded Merge Records (one of our favorite labels) as a way to put out their own songs, and that of their peers.  It seems only fitting that these taste makers would team up with another up-and-coming act, Waxahatchee, to organize an incredible show for Austinites.  While the old school act has a bit of a pop-grunge sound, the young bucks are going to bring you a more noisy version of folk tunes.  Seems like the perfect way to spend a Thursday night.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/1-01-Digging-For-Something-1.mp3]

Download: Superchunk – Digging for Something [MP3]

Austin Spotlight: Young Tongue

YoungTonguePicYou want to do what!?!  Many bands in the past have decided at one time or another to take the leap and change their name after copyright issues, lack of hits on google search, etc.  Today we’ve been told that local hit makers The Baker Family are moving on from their old ways and officially going by Young Tongue.  I personally think the change is for the better, but of course I never would have told them that before today….  So the band begin their new adventure with a new single called “Cat Calls” which can be found below.  I’d call it a great, driving, indie rock number that certainly won’t let anyone forget about these guys after the rebranding.

Young Tongue will be celebrating the release of their new single at Red 7  on February 22nd.  More info here.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/cat-calls-master-1.mp3]

Download: Young Tongue – Cat Calls [MP3]

New Tune from The High Wire

highwireIt’s been a minute since we’ve written about London’s The High Wire, but the group is back with a new single for you to download today.  On this track, you’ll find an expansive indie rock approach from the band, using as many instruments as possible to create this wall of ornate sound. Of course, the multiple part harmonies created definitely have a soft spot in my heart; they’re the most prominent part of the song itself.  The group also has a few other singles that are worthy of your attention, so feel free to browse through their site and get some tunes to round out your solid indie rock collection.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/THE-HIGH-WIRE-Still.mp3]

Download: The High Wire – Still [MP3]

Upbeat Number from Little Racer

littleracerFeel like I started off the week throwing a lot of somber tunes your way, so I feel like today should be a little more uplifting, making this new track from Little Racer the perfect ditty for your day.  Musically, it’s all about the rhythm section filling out the track; the bass and drum beat propel the song, but also give you something you can tap your toes too.  This doesn’t mean you can’t attach your ears to the warmth of the vocals, but rather that the mood is impacted most by what’s going on in the background.  You can find this tune on the group’s upcoming EP, which is slated for an April release.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/LittleRacer_Dancing.mp3]

Download: Little Racer – Dancing [MP3]

Announcing the Austin Music Blogger Awards – February 27, 2014

14-AMBA-Logo-Amp-Color-3x3We’ve kept this a secret long enough! We’re here to announce the Austin Music Blogger Awards! This event has been carefully coordinated through the hard work of your local Austin Blogger Community: Austin Town Hall, Red River Noise, Ultra 8201, Side One Track One, Austin Bloggy Limits, Pop Press International, OVRLD, and Republic of Austin. We’re working with the excellent folks at Austin Music People, who’ll be running the show with the help of Fender.  Not only will there be awards, but also rad bands to play all night long.

Here’s the details:

The doors will open at 7:30 PM on February 27th at SpiderHouse Ballroom. Bands will start at 8:30, with awards in between.

We’ll have Jess Williamson, Magna Carda, Shivery Shakes, Orthy, Mirror Travel, A Giant Dog + a Special Guest.

Austin Music People will present awards for behind the scenes folks such as Best Recording Studio and Best Poster Design.  The Bloggers will present awards ranging from Best Band to Best DJ. You can read a full list of the awards and nominees HERE.

Tickets are $12 in advance; buy them HERE.

And, because we know that YOUR voice is just as important as ours, we want you to help us select our Readers Choice Austin Album of 2013.  Cast your vote right HERE. Votes must be submitted by 5 PM on Friday, February 21st.

Thanks to everyone for their hard work (especially Jennifer at AMP for putting up with so many different opinions), including Eva at Spider House! We’ll bring you more news as we draw near. Please come out and support the local Austin Music Community.  And thanks to our sponsor Fender.

FULL LIST OF AWARDS AND NOMINEES.

 

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