Titus Andronicus @ Mohawk (9/30)

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Date 9/30/09
Location Mohawk
Doors 8pm
Tickets $5 @ Door

We have long been fans of the musical stylings of Titus Andronicus and we’re excited to see that they are returning to town at The Mohawk on Wednesday night.  The So So Glos and local band The Golden Boys will be providing your opening support.  While you’re at it, check out an old review we did at a Titus show.

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

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

David Bazan on Daytrotter

20030467-110733Fresh off the release of his critically acclaimed album, Curse Your Branches, David Bazan stopped into the Daytrotter studios and laid down three tracks from the afformentioned album.  Bazan and his band embark on a cross country tour, in their new van, on October 1st, showing up in Austin at the Mohawk on the 7th.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/david-bazan-bless-this-mess.mp3]

Download: David Bazan – Bless This Mess (live) [MP3]

Monsters of Folk – s/t

Monsters-Of-Folk-Monsters-Of-Folk-483560Rating: ★★½☆☆

Let’s face it, rarely do collaborations with bands you love to death ever truly work out.  Sure, Queen and Bowie pulled off a song, but could they pull off an entire album?  I doubt it.  Now, we’ve been presented with Conor Oberst, M. Ward, and Jim James, along with Mike Mogis, joining together as Monsters of Folk.  Could these boys rise above the hype and fulfill our dreams?

First off, I’m not sure where to begin with Jim James vocals as of late.  Sure, he definitely has a bit of range that I didn’t expect, but it’s not nearly as warm as it once was, especially if you listen to the album opener “Dear God.” He just sort of lost me after Z, so it’s hard to get into his vocals on this album.

Conor Oberst, of late, has let me down.  I once swore by his name, and bought every little bit of music he put his hands on, especially when Mike Mogis was at the helm.  Still, his work with the Mystic Valley Band has taken a turn for something that I just really get behind at all.  You’ll find that a lot of the tunes on this record sort of seem like they branch off of the ideas he’s been throwing at us lately.  “Temazcal” appears to be a left over from his time in Mexico, and it’s one of the stronger tracks on this album, as it features minimal input from the others.  Sorry Conor, but your strengths lie when you leave the band behind you.   I mean I know it’s not about record sales, but have you noticed sales dropping since you did that whole double album thing?

To be frank, M. Ward seems to be the only one here who has sort of won me over lately with Hold Time.  His guitar stylings and delivery are definitely consistent on this album, especially when you look at songs like “Baby Boomer.”  This easily could have been on any of his last few recordings, except when Conor Oberst interjects during sparse moments.  You have to love the warmth of Ward, and the controlled warble of Oberst does provide a decent counter-point.  His trademark sound is all over this album, but since he doesn’t get to give it the full go, it doesn’t quite have the same impact as you think it should.

As you can see, there are obviously great musicians all over this album, which is precisely why there are going to be some pretty decent moments on this album.  You can’t have two great songwriters, and Jim James, put together in a room to come up with just random slop.  But, the album doesn’t really connect the way that you want it to in the end. A lot of the sounds showcase the recent missteps of the various authors, instead of allowing for their individual talents to open up and rise above the group.  For me, it seems as if they are all huddled to close together, not allowing each other the necessary breathing room to push each other as you would hope that they would do.  If they aren’t going to push one another, why not just write songs for each other to share?  I think the outcome there might have been more effective.  In the end, you’ll listen to this record a few times, find your favorite tunes, and then put it away.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/02-say-please.mp3]

Download: Monsters of Folk – Say Please [MP3]

New Tunes from Holopaw

holopawWhat can you do when you’re part of the great roster at Sub Pop but continue to be overlooked by the masses?  Well, you switch up labels (Bakery Outlet), and you just keep writing great tunes.  That is precisely the way of Holopaw, who are set to release their new album Oh, Glory. Oh, Wilderness. This new tune, along with the upcoming album, makes me want to go revisit their old catalogue it’s that good.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/holopawartteacher.mp3]

Download: Holopaw – The Art Teacher and the Little Stallion [MP3]

New Tunes from Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

MilesBenjaminAnthonyRobinsonLast year, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson swept into our top albums of the year, and he looks like he’s trying to make it for two years in a row.  He’s about to release his new album Summer of Fear on Saddle Creek Records (it’s already available on iTunes) on October 20th.  The production on “The Sound” is a lot stronger than the previous album, and you might just be able to pick out a few of Miles’ friends.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/03-The-Sound-1.mp3]

Download: Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson [MP3]

Art & Fashion On South First (9/26)

launch poster pink

Date 9/26/09
Location Under Pressure
Time 5-11pm
Tickets Free!

If you’re looking for an early evening/night time event to wet your free party fancy, head to to the brand new Under Pressure Screen Shop on south first on Saturday around 5pm.  The event features music by Wiretree, The Bubbles, Holy Fiction, Frantic Clam, and Johnny Whutnot.  All kinds of other things will be going on like a fashion show sponsored by Cream Vintage, free drinks, raffles and all kinds of other madness.  Check do512 or facebook for more info on the event.

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