Nylon Summer Music Tour @ Antone’s (7/1)

nylonmagIt’s finally July and what better way to celebrate summer with a mini-festival being put on by Nylon Magazine at Antone’s on Wednesday night.  We call it a mini-festival because the lineup for the late afternoon/nighttime show features 4 incredible acts that should tickle your fancy.  The lineup includes showman Patrick Wolf headlining, Living Things, Plastiscines, and long time ATH fave Jaguar LoveTickets for this big show are only $15 so we suggest you make plans to be there for this extremely cheap show.  Doors are at 6pm and first act starts at 7pm.  If you don’t like the idea of being at Antone’s for so long, get there early, get stamped, and come and go as you please.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/02-hard-times.mp3]

Download: Patrick Wolf – Hard Times [MP3]

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/01-highways-of-gold1.mp3]

Download: Jaguar Love – Highways of Gold [MP3]

Spoon – Got Nuffin EP

51hx48-aiil_ss500_Rating: ★★½☆☆

It’s been awhile since Spoon threw Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga our way, but unexpectedly the band has released the new Got Nuffin EP.  It’s a three song excursion, but will mostly be known as a single to tide you over while the band works on their newest album.

“Got Nuffin” is hands down the best track on this EP.  It’s brooding bass line meets guitar hook beats the song into your brain.  Britt’s vocals sound solid, and you find him with a bit of an edge, as his voice occasionally reached the realms of a guttural growl.  It’s a lot less like the Van Morrison stylings of Ga Ga Ga… and it reminds you of the work that came about on Gimme Fiction.

“Tweakers” is a track you can skip as soon as you get your hands on it.  Not trying to be rude or judgmental, but it sounds like someone just decided to go into the studio and see how far they could get with tampering with a drum sample.  Unfortunately, they tampered away for 3 minutes and 39 seconds, which is only good for those listeners who are actually tweakers.

“Stroke Their Brains” is something that might just grow on you.  It begins with guitar work that sounds like Daniels is just flexing his musicianship before it bounds into the song with a steady drum beat.  Once again, you find his vocals straining a bit, which might be disconcerting for some.  The song fills out the empty space much better than you initially suspect, but it doesn’t go much further than that.  Still, it’s not a bad piece of work.

In the end, this seems to taunt the listener a bit.  “Got Nuffin” reminds you of how incredible Spoon can be when they want to do so, but other pieces such as “Tweakers” are things that band might want to ask forgiveness for when they head into church.  Surely it’s worth the $5 you’ll spend on it.

New Music From Spoon

spoonAustin giants Spoon just announced that they will be dropping a new EP our way and we’ve got a little taste of it here for you.  This new track “Got Nuffin” will appear on the EP of same name which hits stores tomorrow.  You’ll be able to pick it up as an MP3 download, CD, or in the old school vinyl version.  Anybody want to offer up opinions on Spoon’s first new material since the incredible 2007 album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga?

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/01-got-nuffin.mp3]

Download: Spoon – Got Nuffin [MP3]

New Tunes from Sondre Lerche

sondre Sondre Lerche has been at it a long time, and he never really misses his mark when he goes into the studio.  He’s got a new album titled Heartbeat Radio coming out this September, and we’re sure you will all love it.  We’ve got the title track right here for you to sample.  And as always, it’s really about the wonderful vocals of Sondre, which continue to warm us over. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/05-heartbeat-radio.mp3]

Download: Sondre Lerche – Heartbeat Radio [MP3]

Beirut On La Blogotheque

beirut7Long time ATH fave, Beirut, just recorded another session for the fine folks at La Blogotheque over the weekend.  The set is a more traditional in-studio somewhere in France and is quite lengthy at over 26 minutes.  The band plays some of our favorites including another version of “Nantes” which was the highlight of Beirut’s last Blogotheque performance.  This one is well worth your time.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/01-my-night-with-the-prostitute-from-marseille.mp3]

Download: Beirut – My Night with the Prostitute from Marseille [MP3]

Sunset @ Emo’s (6/30)

sunset_flier_copyAustin veterans Sunset are getting down at Emo’s on Tuesday and we think you should make it out to support your local music scene.  Fellow local and solid bands The Sour Notes and Wild Moccasins will join the band on the stage for what should be a fun night of Austin music.  Doors open up at 9pm and door charge is only $5.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/04-when-perfect-flames-expire.mp3]

Download: Sunset – When Perfect Flames Expire [MP3]

Wilco – Wilco (The Album)

wilcoRating: ★★½☆☆

Everyone always has Wilco on the mind.  No matter where you go, you find someone you know that adores Wilco, which is acceptable, as they’ve managed to put out some phenomenal records. The question on everyone’s lips will be whether or not Wilco (The Album) will be one of those feats of greatness, or something along the lines of Sky Blue Sky. More than likely, once everyone has listened for an ample amount of time, it will lean more on the side of their later work rather than their earlier strengths. Alas, such is the life for a band of such stature.

One of the strengths of this album is that Jeff Tweedy has his voice way up in the mix, which provides die-hard fans with a chance to get more acquainted with him.  He seems quite a bit more assured here, as if he finally has come to realize that his voice is truly the backbone of the band, and without him they fail.  In all honesty, his voice is the best thing that runs throughout the album; it seems as if he would succeed to greater lengths if he just went it on his own.

This is where the album seemingly misses its mark.  Nels Cline has taken the reigns from Tweedy, and he now has control over the group. It’s much like the presence of Jim O’ Rourke; he has the ability to add greatness to a song, but the power to destroy it in various moments.  His guitar work meanders through the songs, but haphazardly, which decreases his strengths, and that of the band.  Nels, and the band, travel into territory that seemingly adds little to the progression of the songs as a whole, bringing the listener to a point of indifference.

“You and I,” however, is one of the best songs the group has ever written. Sure, the presence of Feist doesn’t ever hurt anyone, aside from being played on various iTunes commercials, but the song itself exemplifies the gifts Tweedy possesses as a songwriter. It’s on of the more straightforward songs, and it demonstrates Tweedy at his best, without the tampering of Nels Cline.  “Solitaire” is another such song where Tweedy seems to go it alone.  You can’t deny the power of his voice in such a song, and you can’t deny the intimacy with which he sings.

But, at the end of the day, the band lacks much of the interesting moments they’ve maintained on previous releases. Their formulaic styling as of late leaves much to be desired, and it seems as if its rendered the band rather mundane.  While they once peaked your interest with various approaches to Americana, they seem to have dwindled far away from those moments, instead settling for the most basic song elements.  So you find the band traversing such territory, dancing with tried and true strategies, while fading away with their modern twists on the genre.  Sadly, it just doesn’t garner much interest for listeners, which is a place Wilco fans never thought the band would go.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/05-you-and-i.mp3]

Dowload: WIlco – You and I [MP3]

FT5 – 2009 Jams of the Summer

0626top5coverWe’re right in the beginning of summer, as we can all tell by the ridiculous heat has been beating down upon us.  For us, we just sit around all day listening to sweet tunes, hoping that we can create the perfect playlists for our long drives to nowhere.  As per usual, we think we’ve provided you with a list of songs that are destined to have you turning up your stereo as you drive through the hill country or maybe you just want to throw them on during your barbecue.  Regardless, these are our jams of the summer.
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Belaire @ Mohawk (6/27)

belaireBelaire is in Austin band that have been going strong for quite some time now and we really never get tired of seeing them live.  As if these Austin veterans weren’t enough, the night has two solid openers in Cryptacize and Black Before Red joining in on the fun.  Tickets are on sale now for the low price of $7 and doors open at 9pm.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/090314_belaire_-_back_into_the_wall.mp3]

Download: Belaire – Back Into the Wall [MP3]

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