Crystal Method @ La Zona Rosa (5/19)

the-crystal-methodHope you’re ready for a crazy dance party because that’s what you’ll be getting if you head to La Zona Rosa on Tuesday night for some Crystal Method action.  The show still has some tickets on sale for the small price tag of $23.  The DJ duo will share the stage with openers LA Riot.  Music starts at 8pm.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/the-crystal-method-tweekend-05-name-of-the-game.mp3]

Download: Crystal Method – Name of the Game [MP3]

More New Music From Foreign Born

foreignborn1Not long ago, we dropped a new single your way called “Vacationing People” by L.A. band Foreign Born.  Now we’ve got another new song from the band’s upcoming album entitled “Earl Warnings”.  Both of these new tracks are creating a lot of positive buzz about the new album in the ATH offices.  You can pick up Person to Person June 23rd via Secretly Canadian.   You can also catch a live session by the band in July when they make a stop at Mohawk .  Stay tuned for more deets on that closer to the actual date.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/earlywarnings.mp3]

Download: Foreign Born – Early Warnings [MP3]

Offspring/Alkaline Trio @ Stubbs (5/19)

thumb_alkaline_triowhIf you aren’t making it out to Crystal Method on Tuesday night, make your way over to Stubbs for a sweet little lineup of now veteran punk rockers at Stubbs.  Your lineup includes openers Street Dogs, ATH faves Alkaline Trio, and old schoolers The OffspringTickets can still be bought for this one at a cost of $35.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/alkaline-trio-help-me.mp3]

Download: Alkaline Trio – Help Me.mp3 [MP3]

Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications

furthercomplicationsRating: ★★★★☆

When legendary producer Steve Albini was rumored to be at the helm of the newest Jarvis Cocker solo outing, Further Complications, many were chomping at the bit, awaiting the arrival of something entirely special.  While the album does have a lot of those elements, it’s difficult to attribute these strictly to the presence of Albini’s magical touch. After all, who can really take control of an piece of work by a man like Jarvis.

Albini’s production influence is most notable in the first half of the album, especially the first four tracks.  Opener, “Angela” hits harder than anything we’ve heard from Jarvis in all his previous work.  It’s a fuzzed rocker of a tune, but one would be difficult to identify this as a track that exhibits Cocker at his best.  These first four songs all fall to the exact same trap; they succeed in be decent rock tunes, but they fail in the way that they are not your atypical Jarvis piece.  With that in mind, we can always be thankful that Jarvis has his usual literary wit in tow, which definitely helps along those early songs.

“Hold Still” serves as the turning point in this novel, as the tone of the album takes a drastic turn, and for the most part, this is for the best.  The song features Jarvis at his best, with his voice taking on the raspy crooning whisper in your ear, begging you to come hither, which was always his best vocal trick in Pulp. Present hand-claps and backing vocals bring this song back to the orchestrated best moments that broke out on Jarvis.

Of course, there is always that whimsical song that hits home with all listeners when Jarvis is rocking the mic. “I Never Said I Was Deep” is this exact song; Jarvis struts his voice in the verses, with that cocky sexual undertone we all know and love. When the chorus comes in, with the character claiming that he isn’t as deep as his lover requests, you are drawn into the magic of the song.  This is Jarvis at his absolute best.

Bookending the album is “You’re In My Eyes (Discosong),” with the title alluding to the more soulful quality of the instrumentation.  Not only his this the longest song on the album, but it’s one where our old friend Jarvis truly returns.  This song has all the swagger you expect from Mr. Cocker, but with the feel of your favorite lounge singer.  It’s hard not to love a man with such talent.  It exemplifies everything that has made Jarvis Cocker one of the more interesting, and vital, musicians of the last two decades. Further Complications is just another notch on his already quite respectable belt.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/i-never-said-i-was-deep.mp3]

Download: Jarvis Cocker – I Never Said I Was Deep [MP3]

New Tunes from Twilight Sad

twilightsMy continuing love of Scotland is being furthered as the days go on. I’m sending our writer Corey with his wonderful fiance overseas to research the possibilities of the transatlantic move; this entire idea has been encouraged by the current musical landscape. Twilight Sad is just another incredible band, with another release slated for a September street date. Their walls of distortion are reined in on this new track, but it only raises the high expectations for their upcoming release.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/reflection-of-the-television-1.mp3]

Download: The Twilight Sad – Reflection of the Television [MP3]

Centro-matic @ The Parish (5/15)

centro-matic-460Centro-matic and Will Johnson get all kinds of coverage on this site so we will of course be alerting you every time the Denton, TX band makes it through town.  Friday evening Will and the boys will be making a stop at the Parish downtown along with Monahans and locals Future Cloud and RadarThe Parish should be an ideal venue to see such an underrated and talented band.  Doors are at 8pm/music at 9.  Tickets can be bought online now for $14.

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

Download: Centro-matic – Flashed and Cables [MP3]

Save Paste Magazine!

paste1Long-running Paste Magazine is struggling in this economy, just as we all are, and they are asking for your help.  Most of us here at ATH have attended various Paste parties during SXSW, and we respect everything they’ve done for the independent music community.  To top that off, while we may be contributing to the technological musical age, we still harbor great love and admiration for the traditional print format.  So head over to Paste and help these guys out.

Passion Pit – Manners

passion-pitRating: ★★★☆☆

To refer to this as one of the most anticipated albums thus far this year is probably an understatement; throw out Grizzly Bear and this is the album everyone wanted to hear.  Passion Pit finally have a full length, Manners, to help you make up your mind; are they worth all this hype?

You’ll have to make up your own mind on that one, as this album is sure to be a polarizing one for many listeners.  It builds upon the promise of the bands Chunk of Change EP, but does it go much further than the sounds the band first introduced?  Really, at some points, the band seems to sort of tread upon the same spot for a little bit too long.

One thing you will note immediately is that the band definitely will have you moving your feet, as the opening moments of the album definitely provide you with full bouncing capabilities.  The pulsating rhythm does not, however, make up for the lack of vocal quality, which really is probably just a matter of personal tastes; the high pitched yelping all across these first two songs is just a bit much.

Then the band hits you with their one-two punch, bringing in “Moth Wings” and “The Reeling” in succession.  “Moth Wings” succeeds for the group where other songs have failed, as the band seemed to have tamed that vocal, which allows listeners to see right into the moving sound collages Passion Pit have constructed, as layers dance upon layers, shimmering to the surface.  “The Reeling” surfaced as the band’s first single, and deservedly so, as it packs the dance-floor ready stomp that recalls elements of MGMT during their brighter moments.  Still, the most enjoyable quality is the warmth of the vocal contrasted against the electronic pulse beneath.

Other moments on the album seem to find the band going over the same space, as they attempt to combine various electronic samples with unique vocals (still a touch annoying), building and building until it achieves dance-psych bliss.  But, elementally, it all sort of blends together, as there isn’t much that differentiates each song from the next.  Each song seems to run into the next one, making the listening experience a little redundant.

Don’t get upset here, but the release of Manners is probably exactly what everyone expected it to be.  It’s a good listen for a few rounds; it’s an interesting one to say the least, but it won’t be the most moving thing you come across this year.  Too much of a good thing sometimes turns things for the worse, and in this case, Passion Pit might have just gone that route.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/11-seaweed-song.mp3]

Download: Passion Pit – Seaweed Song [MP3]

From the Closet: Calvin Johnson

beat For those of you into all the newest lo-fi hits of the last few years, there is really one man we need to look towards: Calvin Johnson. The man was the driving force behind the great Beat Happening and also the Halo Benders, which featured Built to Spill frontman Doug Martsch. Clearly, this man’s fingerprints have been all over the musical landscape, and he’s at it again this Saturday night at Emo’s, as he takes the stage with his new outfit Hive Dwellers; former Nation of Ulysses frontman Ian S. will also have his new outfit Chain and the Gang as the show headliners.

So hit up Emos this Saturday night for a definitive good time. Here are some tracks from the closet.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/02-left-behind.mp3] [audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/track08.mp3]
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