• Rock n’ Recipes: European Sun

    A little over a week ago European Sun released their self-titled LP on one of my favorite labels WIAIWYA. But, despite being a relatively new band, the pedigree of the

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  • Rock n’ Recipes: Emma Kupa

    We return to Rock n’ Recipes features with one of my absolute favorite musicians, Emma Kupa. I first stated my fandom with Standard Fare, but she’s gone on to her

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  • Rock n’ Recipes: Thibault

    Hopefully you’ve caught me news of the forthcoming Thibault record on our site over the last few months, and we were fortunate to reach out to Nicole to have her

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  • Rock n’ Recipes: Pop Filter

    The story of Pop Filter as a band is quite long, although Banksia is their debut LP. But, that story is easy to find for those who wish, so instead,

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Free Sampler From Urban Outfitters

lstn5-logoHip clothing company Urban Outfitters are offering up a free 23 song sampler filled with some of the best acts from this year.  Crazy good track listing features singles and previously unreleased material from Phoenix, Delta Spirit, Grizzly Bear, St. Vincent and tons more great artists.  You can stream the sampler online or you can download it from the itunes store.  Here’s one of the tracks from the sampler by Crystal Antlers called “Andrew”.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/crystal-antlers-andrew.mp3]

Download: Crystal Antlers – Andrew [MP3]

Clues @ The Independent (6/10)

081104-clues_0Canadian quasi-super group Clues are playing at the recently opened Independent in Austin on Wednesday night.  Not sure what C3 is up to, but it looks like they are maybe trying to nab some big indie acts at their new mid-sized venue.  If you want a preview of the show, check out a recent review we did of the band’s self-titled album.  Doors for the show are at 8pm.  Tickets are pretty cheap at $10.

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

Download: Clues – Perfect Fit [MP3]

Gomez @ Waterloo Records – TODAY!

gomesThose clever Brits in Gomez have been around for over a decade, and yet, they’ve never really broken huge overseas, that is until recently. Their consistency and dedication have finally broken through, and the band is getting much deserved acclaim over in los Estados Unidos. You can catch them for free today at Waterloo Records at 5 PM or you can catch them outside at Stubbs on the very same evening!  Catch one or catch both and you’ll be glad you did.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/gomez-ruff-stuff.mp3]

Download: Gomez – Ruff Stuff [MP3]

New Tunes from J Tillman

jt J Tillman has most recently gotten a lot of notice for his participation as part of the current Fleet Foxes line-up, but this gent has a wonderful set of tunes in his closet as well.  He’s set to release a new album on September 22nd on Austin’s own Western Vinyl, and we have an unmastered peak at one of the album’s tracks.  It’s hard to find anything at fault with such an understatedly beautiful song.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/j-tillman-earthly-bodies.mp3]

Download: J Tillman – Earthly Bodies [MP3]

Sonic Youth – The Eternal

theeternal Rating: ★★★★☆

In the musical landscape today, many bands have now begun to focus on the more ornate aspect of musical creation, choosing to spend their time carefully constructing harmonies and explosions of sonic noise.  Still, when it comes to combining both, none have done it better in the recent history than Sonic Youth.  They return again to give us The Eternal, which holds some of the more explosively brooding moments recorded this year.

Kim Gordon opens the slaughter by groaning over the enthusiastic barrage of guitars on “Sacred Trickster.” As an opening statement, you’d be hard-pressed to find one as passionate as this, with Kim sounding younger than she has in years.  It’s a vibrance and enthusiasm that the group sometimes seemed to lack in their previous efforts.

Here, you find the band reverting to a more classical sense of songwriting, much as they did on Rather Ripped, at times pandering to the hordes of fans that still hold nineties guitar rock as the ultimate god.  “Little Lifeboat” is the perfect example, with Gordon and Moore trading vocal duties, often overriding one another.  Guitar work throughout the song is exceptional, as we always expect, but the fact that there exists a melodious balance as well showcases the band’s growth through the last two decades whilst still holding tightly to their experimental roots.  Even so, with songs like “Antenna,” their experimentation has been honed such that they seem more like an arty version of Pavement rather than a sporadic noise band that occasionally conjures up a tune with pop sensibility.

Let us not forget though, that this is still Sonic Youth, and they still have the capacity to unleash the fury upon listeners with walls of noise meant to shatter your ears in an instant.  “Calming the Snake” is anything but calming; rather it is a raucous number with Gordon providing the vocal ammunition that most punk-singers crave, even to this day.  Clearly, this is a band still very much on top of their game.

In closing the album, the group chose to pull back on the reins just a bit, so as to not go overboard with their monstrous power.  “Walkin Blue” is one of the more straight forward songs the group has composed, and while it comes off as simple, a close listen to the musicianship reveals that this song, as with all their songs, is anything but simple.  Of course, they completely end the album with the sprawling number “Massage the History.”  Musically, this song covers a vast expanse of territory, ranging from noise experimentation to bedroom guitar strumming, all the while Gordon softly moans.  It’s a closing statement just as strong as the beginning, exemplifying the balance of the group.  The Eternal benefits greatly from the varying musical approaches, and once again make Sonic Youth a band to be reckoned with in the modern age.

FT5: Show Pas

0605top5coverFirst, let me assure you that the plural of faux pas is indeed faux pas; it’s just like the word deer. Now, there has been a lot of recent discussion around the ATH camp about proper rock show etiquette, so after careful deliberation, I opted to lay out my Top Five Faux Pas; these are the things you shouldn’t be doing when you attend a rock show, or really any social event where a stage is involved.  If you find that you commit these atrocities while in attendance at a rock show, you should definitely consider reevaluating your behavior; this is for the benefit of everyone I assure you.
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Little Joy @ The Independent (6/8)

littlejoy1One of our top new bands from last year, Little Joy, are returning to Austin for another show this Monday.  The evenings event will be going down at the brand new Independent Austin (map) over on the east side.  Tickets are still on sale now for $16.50.  Unfortunately it looks like founding member Fabrizio Moretti will not be joining the band on this tour as he is currently recording the new Strokes record.  Bummer.  Should still be a good time if your Monday is looking bleak.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/lilj_keepmeinmind.mp3]

Download: Little Joy – Keep Me in Mind [MP3]

Constantines @ Emos – 6/6

iwasakingOut of all the shows this week, this is definitely the one I have been looking forward to the most. Whether it be the post-punk of Constantines, the crazy antics of Crystal Antlers or the tunes of my favorite new band I Was a King (pictured at left), it’s destined to be a night that my ears won’t soon forget. Sure, there are other greats gracing Austin this Saturday like The Strange Boys, Oh No Oh My or Au Revoir Simone, but this is the show you definitely need to be at. Buy your tickets.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/09-you-are-a-conductor.mp3]

Download: Constantines – You are A Conductor [MP3]

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