• Top Songs of 2019

    Phew, the end of the year really snuck up on me this time and it’s crazy to think we are moving on from the 2010s. Before we do so, Nathan

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  • Top 25 Albums of 2019

    This is the list you’ve all been waiting for, well, sort of. This is my Top 20 LPs of the year. Admittedly, there’s none of the high profile hitmakers on

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  • Levitation 2019: A Reflection

    Team ATH has been covering Austin Psych Fest/Levitation since its early inception, probably in the second year at Radio Room (sorry we missed the first year!), so we’ve seen the

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  • ACL WE2 in a Nutshell

    Another Austin City Limits is behind us boys and girls and it’s always a good time to reflect on the music and experiences from the weekend. I considered myself very

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  • SXSW 2019 – A Recap

    Yet another SXSW is in the books and it’s time for the ATH crew to reminisce a little and offer some highlight from the week behind us. I think we’ve

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New Music From Jookabox

grampall_jookabox_-_craig_mccormick_0151_jpg_595x325_crop_upscale_q85Beat maker David Adamson and his musical project Jookabox are getting ready to release their 3rd LP this fall and we’ve got a new single from the upcoming effort.  The track is called “Phantom Don’t Go” and will appear on Dead Zone Boys out November 3rd on Asthmatic Kitty.  It’s got quite the catchy beat workin’ for it.

[audio: ttp://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/jookabox_-_dead_zone_boys_-_phantom_dont_go.mp3]

Download: Jookabox – Phantom Don’t Go [MP3]

Division Day – Visitation

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Rating: ★★★ · ·

Los Angeles quartet Division Day have been discussed in circles of dream pop and shoegaze sine the release of their first album, and while both those genres or stereotypes find homes on this album, it remains a more focused album than their previous effort. Visitation grabs onto the reigns of their past and propels the band into a more finished product.

You can immediately feel the dark spiritual quality that persists through this record from the opening minute of “Reservoir;” distorted drums cadences collide with a trainwreck of guitar.  All this meets the melodic vocals, almost as if the entire song is riding upon a crescendo. “Malachite” resembles the first song, if only in the pummeling drumwork, as the overall emotional appeal of this tune seems to crash rather than rise.

So we come upon “Chalk Lines,” which hit the Internet a bit ago, and at first it appeals to be one of the more accesible songs, though careful listens reveal various guitar squeals into the outer regions of the song’s negative space.  It’s this effect that makes the band resemble a darker version of Mew; the pounding drums with meoldious vocals seem almost like mirror copies  of one another.

Other areas on the album appear to veer away from the various associated genres, such as “Planchette,” which comes as close to a ballad as you might find, although the instrumentation here is extremely sparse until the rest of the band joins.  It reminds you of various soundscape groups, using guitar squalor to coat the melody, along with programmed fixtures in the background.

You’ll find an interesting listen if you check out “Surrender.” It’s a more exploratory OK Computer-era Radiohead track, almost as if it’s the middling ground between said album and Kid A. The industrial appeal of the track provides some variance to the album, and it’s placement here is perfect, as it mixes up the shape of the album; this is one of the things lacking on Division Day‘s debut.  Such a technique is also employed when the band makes their way to the album’s title track.  Around this point, the shift seems to go away from the instruments, albeit rather briefly, instead focusing on the strength of the dynamic vocals.  This song is everything you want a dream pop song to be, even with the M83 textural effects vibrating in the background.

Visitation shows Division Day finally coming into an understanding of what they do best as a group, and when they hit their stride, you see them creating wonderful moments throughout the entirety of this record.  Here’s the the band’s growth and maturity, and let’s hope for prosperity.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/division-day-chalk-lines.mp3]

Download: Division Day – Chalk Lines [MP3]

Harlem @ The Parlor (8/25)

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Date 8/25/09
Location The Parlor
Doors 7pm
Tickets Free

Local boys Harlem have been rising to fame after their recent signing to Matador Records and we always try to make it to their shows around town.  You can catch one of these shows Tuesday night at The Parlor and you won’t pay a dime!  Oakland band The Bare Wires and fellow locals Koreans will also be performing at the free event.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/harlembeautifulandverysmart.mp3]

Download: Harlem – Beautiful and Very Smart [MP3]

New Tunes from Lucero

luceroMemphis group Lucero have a new album coming out this October titled 1372 Overton Park, and they’ve slowly been seeing their tunes pop up all over the net. Singer, Ben, sounded great at Fun Fun Fun Fest last year, and he’ll be bring his whole group down there this year.  Expect the album, and the ensuing tour, to be phenomenal.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/11-Hey-Darling-Do-You-Gamble_-1.mp3]

Download: Lucero – Hey Darling Do You Gamble [MP3]

More Fun Fest Leaks

FFF_VINTAGE_ORANGE_ROCKWe were shutdown on Friday for this badass new ATH V2 so we missed the second wave of Fun Fest leaks.  Today the third round of leaks has hit the internet so we’ll tell you about the 2nd and 3rd leaks all in one post.  Second wave additions are: Harlem, Fucked UpAlaska in Winter, and Brian Posehn.  Leaks today are: Destroyer, Mika Miko, Metallagher, and Shonen Knife.  These bands are in addition to the ones we leaked Thursday along with several other artist like King Khan and Shearwater who were confirmed many moons ago.  Full lineup will be posted tomorrow.

New Tunes from Voxtrot

voxtrotMake no mistake about it, Voxtrot is one of those great Austin bands that seems to have disappeared for far too long, but the past year has shown some activity on their end.  The band has just recently released a new 7″ titled Berlin, Without Return.  It’s limited edition, and it boasts this great song, which sees the band fleshing out their sound with a little orchestral flourishes. Buy it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/01-Berlin-Without-Return…-1.mp3]

Download: Voxtrot – Berlin, Without Return [MP3]

Welcome to the New ATH

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We’re back!  Now with 50% less wood grain. This has been a work-in-progress for around 6 months and we’re pleased with the result.  Here’s a list of just a few of the changes we made.  Consider this your tutorial.

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The Latest Feature

Now when you load up ATH you’ll be greeted with our latest feature (it’s Blondie in the screenshot above).  ATH has some awesome features -like our Friday Top 5s and ATH Interviews– that often got overlooked in the large stream of posts we have on the site.  We’ve now stuck our latest feature at the top of the Frontpage and will stay there until something more important comes along.  It’s gigantic. Just click.

Read on & Share the Love

At the bottom of every post, just before the comments, we added a short list of related posts so you can read more if you want. You’ll also see a list of social networks that you can share posts with. If you’re a fan of ATH, the best thing you could do for us is to retweet or pass a link on to your friends.  Also, leave a comment.

A Better Sidebar

We made a lot of improvements to the sidebar. It’s now packed with links of recent popular and must-read articles you may have missed.  If you’re new to the site, start there. We refreshed the ATH Radio a bit, definitely worth a spin.  There’s also some better advertising space that is just aching for some love from your band or a local Austin-based business (hint hint).

Read on, Mighty Reader!

We won’t bore you with the delicate finesse of the new design and let you get back to your regularly scheduled Monday morning reading.  We’ll still be making changes and minor tweaks in the coming weeks.  Oh.  And if you’re having trouble viewing the site on Internet Explorer 6, you should just download the latest Firefox.

The Cave Singers – Welcome Joy

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Rating: ★★★★½

Most people who have followed this band will surely know that the components that make up The Cave Singers have established themselves in a world outside the folk realm in which they currently live.  Guitarist Derek Fudesco, for example, probably is most well known for his role in Pretty Girls Make Graves, but let’s not get carried away here, as the band are now establishing themselves as a new voice coming out of the rainy Northwest. Welcome Joy is their second album, and it builds upon the strengths of the last record, and in doing so, finishes as one of the better releases of the summer.

When the gentle strumming of “Summer Light” begins the album, you immediately find yourself lost among the foothills of the Appalachians, coated in an earthy morning mist, as the guitars gently strum.  Pete Quirk’s throaty vocals are met here in this scene with additional vocals from Amber Webber of Black Mountain. You expect campfire songs from this band, but you don’t expect them to come off as beautifully simple as this one.

As the group introduces you to “At the Cut” you can here the post-punk influences in the vocal, and they seem to carry over through the song itself, giving it more than just your traditional neo-folk appeal so many people have been living with lately.  It’s this interesting aspect that makes The Cave Singers so appealing to so many.  They aren’t here to play the role of pretty balladeers, though their songs may come off as such; they came here to rock a bit…jangly percussion and all.

While it appears at times as if Quirk smoked too much at times, this album finds him with perfect accompaniment.  Amber Webber is joined by her sister Ashley on “Shrine,” and it carries the song from something rather banal into an otherworldly country stomp towards the end of the song. This is followed by “Hen of the Woods,” which stands out as one of the great tracks on this album, among many great tracks.  There’s nothing you can really explain about this song, but you’ll be sure to feel it as it comes through your stereo.

“VV” is one of the brighter songs on the album, coming in near the end with harmonious guitar parts, as light as you’ll find on this album.  Oddly, this is the one song on the album that seems rooted in traditional folk writing, although the structure of the song itself towards the middle definitely has a more modern spin upon it.  And as Welcome Joy draws to a close with “Townships” and “Bramble” you begin to notice the care that The Cave Singers put into the production of this album.  Every inch of space seems well thought out, as if they left various places open for your mind to wonder in the woods of your own brain.  To top it off, it never seems to get old; it never runs in place.  An album such as this is a delight, and dare we say, a Welcome Joy, as the summer comes to a close.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/the-cave-singers-at-the-cut.mp3]

Download: The Cave Singers – At The Cut [MP3]

ATH Redesign Coming Monday

v2smallWe are pleased to announce that a brand new Austin Town Hall is coming on Monday, August 24th.  We’ve been hard at work over the past few weeks and months to make some improvements to the site.  Through a long series of discussions at our Corporate Weekend Retreats, Power Luncheons, and Synergy Conferences, we’ve come to a decisive conclusion on a design that we feel will change the face of blogging for years to come.

What does this mean for you?  Well, if you visit the site this weekend ATH will be down for maintenance and you won’t be able to reminisce on posts past.  But come back on Monday to bear witness to the majesty.  What should you do instead?  We suggest that you go fix something.

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