Okkervil River – Lost Coastlines

The highly anticipated release of Okkervil River‘s The Stand-Ins has finally let us get our hands on a single to toss your way. This song has an additional singer on it, or Will has done a lot of work on his vocals. The rest of the song seems really low-key, but in a throwback to old Okkervil River.  

Don’t forget that they will be playing this year at Austin City Limits, and I’m sure they’ll schedule another show around that time for all of us to enjoy.  

The Stand-Ins comes your way on September 9th via Jagjaguwar Records.  

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/lost-coastlines.mp3]

Download: lost-coastlines.mp3

CSS – Donkey

Rating: ★★★★ ·

This album kicks off with “Jager Yoga,” which-in my opinion-could have come off the last record by CSS. It’s got a throbbing bass line, some solid beats, backed by more prominent guitar work. It’s like a continuation, but in that, it kind of prepares you to travel with the band.

Suddenly, the next track brings in some heavy guitar work. This song resembles The Sounds, which bring in the full power of the band, giving them a different route to travel than just the typical dance track. It’s as if they came to rock, to melt faces if you will.

Then they go back to the old pattern with “Reggae All Night,” which kind of takes the album back a step, but sure enough, they bring back out the guitars in “Give Up.” I don’t know if the juxtaposition in songs builds a steady flow for a complete album, but most listeners will see a band with a new purpose.

The next three tracks offer something a little different, something a little aged. “Beautiful Song” and “Move” take the band as close to the eighties as they have been before, and in all honesty, it works for them. You can tell they put a little more focus on the instruments here, still creating rhythms we can all dance too, but without the requirement of blasting the beats in our ears.

“Beautiful Achieve” is a stranger phenomenon than other tracks. They slow it down here, but use the samples and loops that established the band. It’s an interesting touch to this album, throwing in a little variety.

“Air Painter” finally brings it all to a close, but it brings you to a new realization, quite different than the opening track. If I’m not mistaken, The Sounds singer, Maja Ivarrson, makes an appearance. The song is great – hands down, but it does come off a bit like a cover song.

The emphasis for me, and for the reference to that other band, is that this album lets CSS out of the the strict dance routine. Each song is over 3 minutes long, which means the band spent more time writing the songs, and fleshing out the sounds, allowing the songs themselves to carry the beat, rather than the beat carrying the song. I think its an impressive step, even if sounds like some other band did it before  It shows the band stepping out, and stepping up. At this point, there is lots of room for CSS to move towards for their next album, which should be a great one.

This is a good album, especially since it leaves you wanting more from the band in the future. It might not go down in history as their best, but it certainly solidifies them as a band to look out for in the future. Cheers to you Sub Pop Records; just another good release after another.

Check out the single from the album, “The Rad is Dead (Rage)”:

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/rat-is-dead-rage.mp3]

Download: rat-is-dead-rage.mp3

Deerhunter Covers Jay Reatard

I love Jay Reatard, and I spent my day Tuesday, desperately trying to get my hands on the new 7″ from Matador. That 7″ hits Waterloo Records on Tuesday, but quantities are going to be limited, as the rest are already sold out. The 7″ is a split, with Jay covering a Deerhunter song, and Deerhunter covering his “Oh Its Such a Shame.” Give it a listen. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/oh_its_such_a_shame.mp3]

Download: oh_its_such_a_shame.mp3

In other news, buy your tickets for Jay Reatard at Red Seven on August 3rd .

60 Tigres @ The Compound 07/19

Want to mix things up a little bit this weekend? Why not head over to the east side of town and check out 60 Tigres throw down their latin-influenced funk/psychedelic/dance jams. The show is put on by our friends and newcomers to the Austin scene, Bemba Entertainment. Click on the flyer to your left for all of the information. And of course, we’ve got some funky jams to get you ready:

Download: arma_secreta.mp3

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/arma_secreta.mp3]

Ra Ra Riot – Dying is Fine

Scrolling across the world wide web, I was reminded that Ra Ra Riot are releasing their debut album on Barsuk Records. It’s your typical blend of pop and indie music, leaning more on the dancing side of things, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. Their debut album The Rhumb Line comes your way on August 19th, and they have a date in Austin at Stubbs on October 3rd. You can pick yourself up a set of tickets for the Ra Ra Riot show right now; we’ll be sure to remind you. 

Take a listen to their single “Dying is Fine.”  Enjoy!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/dyingisfine.mp3]

Download: dyingisfine.mp3

Brothers and Sisters @ Waterloo 7/16

Tomorrow afternoon at Waterloo Records we are fortunate to welcome local folk favorites, Brothers and Sisters, to the stage.  Of course, it’s free! They just had a CD release party for their newest album, The Fortunately LP, and odds are that you might be able to get your hands on it prior to the actual release date of August 19th; if not, then at least you can get your hands on one of those free beers that always comes with a Waterloo Instore performance. So stop by and support local business and local music.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/brothers-and-sisters-one-night.mp3]

Download: Brothers and Sisters – One Night [MP3]

Pelle Carlberg – 1983

Apparently Sweden is trying to corner the market on pure pop music.  Pelle Carlsberg is no different; he comes off more Belle and Sebastian than Jens Lekman, although neither seem to be in his vein, with the latter comparison coming from his lyrics.  His debut album comes out August 27th on Labrador Records.  Just enjoy the breezy pop this afternoon, as it might cool you off just a bit! Well, probably not, but its a good tune. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/1983.mp3]

Download: Pelle Carlberg – 1983 [MP3]

Lucero, Sleepercar @ Emos 7/16

For those of you who grew up in Texas, or those of you who just like good rock music, you should know the lead singer of Sleepercar; it’s Jim Ward, formerly of At the Drive-In and Sparta.  He’s been a staple in the Texas rock scene for many years, and while his new band is a little more mellow than those previous efforts, it’s still worth seeing.  On top of that, you can see the countryfied post-punk of Lucero.  That sounds like a great bill. 

You can still buy tickets from ticketweb, and here is a Sleepercar song to boot!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/wasting_my_time.mp3]

Download: wasting_my_time

Sebastien Grainger Lets Loose Digital EP

Sebastien Granger is best known for his work as drummer/singer for Death From Above 1979, but he’s recently emerged with a solo career that is sure to be just as solid. You can go and pick up the American Names EP here or you can just sample a bit of the sweet tunes from us.  

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/mapoftheworld.mp3]

Download: Sebastien Grainger – Map of the World [MP3]

For more information on Sebastien Grainger click this spot.

New Glasvegas Tunes

I’ve been following this band recently, and now that they have a release date for their album (September 9th in the UK) I thought I would throw it out for a listen.  I expect some really solid tunes from this album, and I can’t wait until it gets here.  Just another reason why September is shaping up to be a good month, musically. 

Here’s the track, Geraldine, for your ears. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/glasvegas-geraldine.mp3]

Download: Glasvegas – Geraldine [MP3]

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