As an Austin Town Hall adventure, this was our first team outing to the new venue in town, The Independent. They’ve been working with C3, and fortunately for all of us, they’ve lined up some really great shows. We were stoked to see Little Joy, though a bit saddened that Fab would not be in attendance. Follow the jump to continue reading.
Sex crazed pop musician Peaches is making a stop at Emo’s in Austin on Thursday night. Tour support Drums of Death should combine nicely with the headliners to make this a night of crazy drunken dancing and singing. Tickets are still available to purchase, but I wouldn’t plan on buying one at the door. Music starts at 10pm. Don’t miss this one![audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/peaches-talk_to_me.mp3]
Download: Peaches – Talk To Me [MP3]
We love the project over at Daytrotter, especially when they do work with local Austin bands. Corto Maltese is one of the younger bands around town who are making a name for themselves. Their Daytrotter session is full of four unreleased songs recorded during SXSW. Unfortunately, the band have no current shows lined up, but at least we have these new songs.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/corto-maltese-sxsw-session-providence.mp3]
Download: Corto Maltese – Providence (Daytrotter Session) [MP3]
It’s always been really hard to classify the Fiery Furnaces; just as you have them all figured out they go and record an album with their grandmother. Still, the prolific duo is always pushing themselves, and in doing so, they tend to create a lot of really interesting tunes. This new tune represents the more piano driven side, though somewhat reminiscent of a 70s television theme song. This song, as well as others, will appear on the band’s new album I’m Going Away, which comes out July 21st via Thrill Jockey.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/the-fiery-furnaces-the-end-is-near.mp3]
Download: The Fiery Furnaces – The End is Near [MP3]
Sometimes we dig dance music, especially when it involves old DC stalwarts like Ian Svenonius of Nation of Ulysses fame, and now of Chain and the Gang. He’s been working with Sebastian Thomson of Trans Am, and they’ve come up with this floor banger, under Thomson’s Publicist moniker, destined to move your hips at the local party. I mean, take a look at this picture and envision yourself dancing away. Let’s hope there is more to come from these guys.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/publicist-momma.mp3]
Download: Publicist – Momma [MP3]
Singer Malcolm Middleton is better known as one half of Scottish band Arab Strap, but as that band has closed its final chapter, he is eager to carry on with his musical career. He’s always been working on the side creating his own tunes, but Waxing Gibbous comes at listeners with a bit more promise and consistency than his previous efforts.
You will find echoes of his past musical musings this time around, as they will surely never fade into the background of his life. The splendid single “Carry Me” is a soft-spoken number; some might even call it downtrodden. Middleton’s voice seems to ask for the support of his listener to support him by putting him upon their backs; he breaks his request to give the spoken-word explanation of his desire mid-song. This approach remains one of the marked remnants of his time spent in Arab Strap. Regardless, this song belongs on every mix tape you put together for your friends. Also, you find usage of the electronic touch; this is yet another piece of his past.
Similarly, “Zero” begins with spoken-word before the percussive element kickstarts the rest of the song. Once that becomes visible, the song takes off in a completely different direction, though his vocals still never seem to be far away from the spoken rather than sung forte. But, before the song comes to a close, he slows it down to end the song with a gentle acoustic strumming carefully placed atop steady organ work.
Don’t think that he’s suddenly grown into a happier being, with many of these songs lamenting various facets of his life. In “Ballad of Fuck All” he complains of the complacency in which his life seems to have slipped; his dreams of stardom and travels now disappearing in the rearview of his life. And, quite frankly, its this element that seems to relate his lyrics to those of the listener; he has mundane problems we can all associate with our own lives. This sort of connection has always been his specialty, but here he also asks, as he does frequently in the album, for someone to aid in his survival.
Unfortunately, some of the songs on the album drag on for longer than they should, with Middleton afraid to pull back on the reins entirely. When he holds the songs in he succeeds beyond a doubt, but as other songs meander past the five minute mark it becomes a bit of a labor to listen to the entirety of each song, let alone an album full of such songs. But, for those with patience you will find that Malcolm Middleton has crafted yet another wonderful piece of bedroom folk tunes we can all appreciate.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/10-made-up-your-mind.mp3]
Download: Malcolm Middleton – Made Up Your Mind [MP3]
As the week full of shows drew to a close, I had one more highlight that awaited me; The Constantines. Admittedly, I was more interested in seeing openers I Was A King than the headliners, but this was mostly due to my recent love of the Norwegian band’s self-titled album, rather than animosity towards The Cons.
The nice folks at NPR are streaming the brand new Sunset Rubdown record Dragonslayer in its entirey. We’ve been pretty pumped about this release so let’s hope it doesn’t dissapoint. Head over to NPR to check it out now. Anyone want to offer some first opinions?
Dirty Projectors last effort, Rise Above, saw the band reconstructing Black Flag’s Damaged; then they worked with David Byrne on the Dark Was the Night Compilation. How would their new album, Bitte Orca, transpire? Let’s just say that the band uses elements of all their past work in the last few years and creates one of the most interesting records that has been released this year, if not THE most interesting.
As the album opens, you can tell that there will be more than enough going on in this album. “Cannibal Resource” has a song that relies less upon the musical instruments and more upon the diverse collaboration of vocal harmonies of Longstreth, Coffman, and Deradoorian. Still, a lot goes into this song; it’s the texturizing that makes the listening process so intoxicating. For some, you might find that the meandering seems pointless, as guitars twist and turn, often being dropped momentarily, then picked right back up. At times it seems as if the songs aren’t going anywhere at all, yet as the move on, you can discern the band’s direction.
“Stillness is the Move” uses a predominantly female vocal, which at times resembles some of the work of The Knife. Still, the guitar sounds as if it were sampled, and the percussion seems more electronic as well. All in all, the vocal harmonies give the song a bit of urgency that moves the song along; then it completely changes in the middle of the song, as one of the ladies sings in a more traditional approach. Once again, the band exhibits their willingness to deconstruct modern songwriting techniques, creating fresh sounds.
“Two Doves” is probably the group’s most straightforward song. Gentle guitar plucking, backed by crafty string arrangements created the perfect mood for which the female vocal has no choice but to soar. It’s one of the most beautiful songs on the album, which owes more to the care taken to craft the perfect song, as the vocals never seem too forced, and the accompaniment of the music is extremely fitting to the overall tone of the song.
Then you come across the montage that is “Useful Chamber,” which is constructed like a modern symphonic piece. There are some many different pieces to this song, it’s as if the band compiled several pieces in to one ornate song. The pacing is irregular at first, and sort of fragmented, which is to be expected from such a song, but it peaks with Longstreth shouting out the album title, before the girls chime in with their high-pitched “oohs” and “aahhs.” You won’t find a better crafted song this year.
And so the album goes, carefully constructed from the beginning until the end. The infectious melodies drive the album, but beneath it lies the clever craftwork of a band who is at the top of their game. It seems like Dirty Projectors have climbed atop the world yet again.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/05-two-doves.mp3]
Download: Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca [MP3]
If you’re looking for a sweet dance party on a Wednesday night, head out to Beauty Bar to wet your appetite. The lineup for the event features beat makers Golden Filter, ATH favorites VEGA, Harlovve, and locals Learning Secrets. I’d recommend getting there early as this one is sure to fill up quick. Doors for the show are at 9pm with entrance costing $5.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/solid-gold-1.mp3]
Download: Golden Filter – Solid Gold [MP3]