New Music From Man/Miracle

A new song by Oakland boys Man/Miracle has been flooding the internet/blog world today. The new song “Pushing and Shoving” is so catchy, I couldn’t resist posting it to our site. “Pushing and Shoving” appears on a new 7″ vinyl Pushing and Shoving/You’ve Got a Hold on Me that you can pre-order from the Big Cartel website.

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Download: Man/Miracle – Pushing and Shoving [MP3]

Titus Andronicus @ Mohawk (8/8)

Recently pitchfork hyped band Titus Andronicus will be playing Mohawk tomorrow evening with local Austin act The Midgetmen. The show is set to start at 8pm with tickets costing you only $6. Head over to the Transmission Entertainment website to buy yourself some tickets for the show. You can also preview the tracks “My Time Outside the Womb” from Titus Andronicus & “Trickle Down” From The Midgetmen below.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/02-my-time-outside-the-womb.mp3]

Download: Titus Andronicus – My Time Outside the Womb [MP3]

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/02-trickle-down.mp3]

Download: Midgetmen – Trickle Down [MP3]

Free EP From Richard Swift

Singer-songwriter Richard Swift has a free EP you can download from Emusic called Ground Trouble Jaw. If you’re one of thoe impatient types, we have the song “Would You?” from the EP below for you to stream and or download.  You can read more about Richard and his innovative music on his website.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/richard_swift_ground_trouble_jaw_1_would_you_.mp3]

Download: Richard Swift – Would You [MP3]

David Vandervelde – Waiting for the Sunrise

Rating: ★★★½ ·

In early 2007, David Vandervelde droppped out of music sky, rocking me like the only the bastard son of Marc Bolan could.  For me, his first record, Moonstation House Band, was just a revamped T Rex–and for its part, I loved it.  I mean can really tire of T Rex?

This time around David Vandervelde is still stuck in that classic rock sound, but this one comes off far away from the likes Marc Bolan.  It’s much more subdued, and gone are the chunky guitar riffs that made the last albm so outstanding.

Here we find David hopelessly devoted to the largely acoustic stylings of folk rock.  Sure, his voice still holds a little bit of that T. Rex pitch, but musically, he’s chasing the like of Neil Young or The Band.  Despite his continuous homage to his influences without taking on a new approach, he still manages to write some incredible songs.

“Someone Like You” is quite possibly the best song he has ever written.  Lyrically it throws a look into the life of a struggling musician, one who is trying to cope with his rock n’ roll status, fueled by drugs and excess. Of course, said person dies.  It’s a little cliche, but the melodies in this song are simply ridiculous. This song can be played all day long.  Similarly, “I Will be Fine” is another great song, and an appropriate beginning to the album.  It’s a simple song, but one that sets the tone for the work that is being done on this album.   Lyrically, its lacking, but what are you going to do?

I’m not going to lie; I love this guy’s voice.  He has quite a range, and it does justice to every single song he writes.  He accompanies each melody and harmony the way one can only dream of, but lacking is his writing, lyrics, that is.  They appear really simple, and come off a bit cliched. The last album focused more on the sound of the band, as where this one is more sparse, so it opens you up to listening more to the lyrics–and clearly they lack much to be desired.

Overall, this is a good album, just not one that is going to show David Vandervelde breaking new ground.  If you love clean classic rock sounds, this one’s for you kids.  Excuse me while I go listen to “Someone Like You” for the eleventh time today.

Logan’s

At least Logan’s has those liter beers, which are really quite cool. Beyond that it’s arguably the cheesiest place on 6th street other than Treasure Island. For some reason I still find myself there from time to time…

More New Kings Of Leon

Kings of Leon have another new song called “Sex on fire” you can check out on the band’s myspace page.  The song will appear on the King’s new album Only by the Night set for release later in September.  The band also has some new tour dates they just posted to their website with a stop at Austin’s own Music Hall on the list. Tickets will go on sale August 15th for the event.  We’ll post ya a reminder again closer to the sale date.

Sigur Ros @ MoMa

I know I know. We post way too much about this band, but this may be the best thing we’ve posted yet!  Sigur Ros recently performed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and The Current website has been kind enough to post the entire live performance on their site. The show took place on Icelandic independence day (June 17th). Live footage of the show looks eerily familiar to the 2007 documentary Hlemmur (arguably one of the best band docs ever made).

Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst

Rating: ★★★★½

When it was announced that Conor Oberst would be stepping off Saddle Creek for a little bit, I was a bit taken aback; I expected a huge step away from his traditional sound. In some respects, the departure has changed the overall sound, but at the heart of this album is Conor Oberst at his best–ever.

Immediately upon first listen, the change is apparent. The string arrangements, and other effects of long-time producer Mike Mogis have disappeared. For me, it works to the benefit of Conor, because it establishes his voice as the focal point. Sure, in the past, that might have been a bad sign, but he clearly has control over his voice here; his voice sounds stronger than ever. And, in all honesty, I thought the grandiose arrangements on his previous albums got a little over-indulgent–ruining some songs.

However, this new album is listenable the whole way through. I struggled to find a song that I didn’t want to focus on for a moment of time; going back through most songs a dozen or so times before sitting down to write about it. Using headphones will definitely make your listening experience a great deal better, for there are some little nuances in this recording that really open up the album to the listener. The approach of this album seems to be a bedroom approach, which makes the entirety of this album more personable–although I hear it was more of a front porch recording in a quaint town of Mexico.

Lyrically, he continues to get better as he ages. He goes from first person to third person within songs, but all the while holding on to general themes and ideas. A lot of people will probably look to the subject matter, and his continual growth with mystical ideas, but the writing in general just keeps improving. Sure, you can take away some points for his simpleton Spanish where he mutters “El cielo es azul,” during “Eagle on a Pole,” but I suppose the mood struck him. He does it several more times as well.

If there is a fault in this album it might be the inclusion of “NYC-Gone Gone.” It doesn’t add much to the story of the album, but I’m just a listener. Also, there aren’t any standout tracks. For me, this means that the album is extremely even, which I think is good, but some people always want a single. This album suffices without one. Perfect.

Can I just add, that despite the turnout, I applaud Conor for disappearing off to remote locations to record his latest albums, as if Omaha wasn’t enough. I think it adds to the stories he tells, and the feeling of the albums, which, in this case, is extremely beneficial.

Don’t forget he will be playing with his new band at Austin City Limits this year. The man commands a stage well. Watch for yourself.

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