Mellow Groove from Paperhaus

paprsWhen I think of DC, I always go straight to the punk roots of the city…still in love.  But, when listening to Paperhaus, I hear a band far from that…aside from the DIY aesthetic that has allowed the band to grow, crumble and rebuild. There’s this catchy groove, using a nice guitar pluck for some emphasis that works to offset the band’s slow-moving pace.  It reminds me of Austin’s Abram Shook running on-stage to join Built to Spill; I guess that’s a weird analogy, but I’m sticking to it. They’ll finally be releasing their debut LP, which is self-titled, on February 10th. Enjoy this ditty.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/paperhaus_soslow.mp3]

Download: Paperhaus – So Slow [MP3]

Austin Spotlight: New Music from Abram Shook

coverIf you read our Top 15 Austin Albums of 2014, you hopefully saw that Abram Shook made our list, as he deservedly should.  But, I come today not to talk you into adoring his latest work, Sun Marquee, rather to look forward to what he’ll be offering in the future. In between LPs, Abram has decided to release some free digital tracks in a series, and we’ve got one of those tunes for you to listen to today.  I love the piano’s bounce here, giving the song an unenviable hook that few can create.  Of course, he coats the track in his trademark Western croon.  Be sure to donate a buck or more to the cause, so Mr. Shook can deliver an expected collection of new hits.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Abram-Shook-Series-Seven-1-01-1964-Side-A.mp3]

Download: Abram Shook – 1964 [MP3]

Top 15 Austin Albums of 2014

Top LocalsIt’s that time of year when we all toss up our arbitrary lists of what we think is best, and seeing as we’re based here in Austin, we opted to go with our Top 15 Austin Albums first.  Why 15? Well, there were a lot of great releases all over the place, covering different styles, and appealing to our different writers. Sure, the list isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t reflect singles and EPs, as that could get entirely too crazy.  I included links to the labels so you can buy these albums from the hard-working folks in our town.  Also…there are two releases on our label, but I have no qualms about that; I didn’t set out to put out a bad LP, so obviously, they’re going to be in here.  And without further meaningless words…here’s the best records from Austin that you should already own!

Read more

Thus Far….Albums of 2014.5

docIt’s still rather early in the year to start talking about best records of the year and what not, but as we’re midway through 2014, every one is doing it…so why not join in the fun.  But, with this in mind, remember that these lists are arbitrary, and if anything, pretty meaningless in the long run; you never know if your thoughts will change in six months…and really, they’re just like, our opinions man.  We’ll have two sections…one for national albums and another section of Austin albums released up to this point in 2014.   Read more

Show Pics: ATH and Side One Track One Presents @ Holy Mountain (6.20)

She SirWhat a fantastic night of local (and nearly local) talent.

She Sir opened and are getting tighter and tighter. The material from their latest effort was the perfect start to the night, engaging or the background music for patio time, you get to choose.

Young Girls played new stuff, the entire EP and a few of the hits that made us fall for them. Now a lean three piece and bolstered by Nicholas powering away on drums, Pete and Charlie split front man duties. I am biased, but I loved their set the mostest.

Ramesh is the latest in the ATH Records stable, test-pressing in Nathan’s mitts. Two members of the brand new backing band are friends from Shivery Shakes; they had about a day to learn the material. If the material can be this good live as a new ensemble, I cannot wait for them to get more time together. This record could be one of the best of the year.

Abram Shook had the backing vocalists on stage this time around and as he put it, the songs just get sexier. We love this record, go see him ASAP.

PICS A PLENTY AFTER THE BREAK!!!

Read more

ATH & Side One Track One Presents @ Holy Mountain (6.20)

10321675_10100906098219088_7853577584341865387_oWe’ve been talking about this for weeks, and we’re just a day away from what we consider to be one of the best bills in town Friday night, if not THE best bill in town.  All four acts have released great albums or EPs this year, which alone warrants your attendance.  Doors are at 9, and at 9:30, you’ll get to hear She Sir.  Their album Go Guitars needs to be in your collection, especially if you consider yourself a fan of dreamy indiepop. Next up are Young Girls, who we helped release their Young Girls EP; it’s infectious surf pop with a dose of bad ass.  Following them will be Ramesh; we’ll be releasing his debut album on vinyl shortly, so come sample everything great he’s got in store.  And the night closes with Abram Shook, long considered one of the best songwriters in town.  If you don’t have his album Sun Marquee, you’ll want to grab it at the show! So come one, come all, and get there early to have the night of your life, with us, your friends at ATH and Side One Track One.

Show Review: Abram Shook Album Release @ Mohawk (1/24)

AbramWith tons going on in the city of Austin, musically, we hopped around the town Friday night, finally making our way over to support our friend Abram Shook and the release of his wonderful album, Sun Marquee. We were joined by friends and family; jokes were told, songs were sung. Reflecting back, the one word that sticks to my mind is consistency.  

Read on for more detailed thoughts and some great photos by Brian Gray. 

Read more

Austin Weekend Shows: The Weekend of Releases

Austin-skyline-_9359-copyWe’re almost one month into 2014, and already the music world is really jumping full ahead, especially here in Austin. Seeing as this is our home base, we wanted those of you in town to check out the great release shows this weekend, and those of you who live afar can just simply check out the great music our city is rocking. Here’s a few great shows where the first band in each line is releasing either an album or an EP.

Friday:

Abram Shook, Good Field and Royal Forest @ Mohawk @ 9 PM

Black and White Years, White Walls, Isaiah the Mosaic @ Parish @ 8 PM

Saturday:

The Boxing Lesson, Blackstone Rangers, Baker Family, Yum @ Mohawk @ 9 PM

Growl, The Laughing, Milezo, Young Mammals @ Holy Mountain @ 9 PM

Great weekend of rock n’ roll. Great weekend for four releases in 2 days!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/06-Coastal.mp3] [audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/LittleOne.mp3]

Show Preview: Abram Shook @ Mohawk (1/24)

120613-abram-shook-600-1386353714

Date 1/24/14
Location Mohawk
Doors 9pm
Tickets $6 @ Door

If you’ve been a reader of our website in the past, you know that Abram Shook has long been one of our favorite Austin musicians.  That being said, you know the ATH team will be making it down to Mohawk tomorrow evening for Mr. Shook’s show celebrating the release of his new album Sun Marquee.  Let’s of course not forget the rest of the bill, with a solid undercard of Good Field and Royal Forest.  We’ll be inside rockin’ out all evening.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/2013/11/19/austin-spotlight-new-music-from-abram-shook/coastal/]

Download: Abram Shook – Coastal [MP3]

Abram Shook – Sun Marquee

Abram-Shook-Cover-Art

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Abram Shook has toiled around the streets of Austin for some time trying to find the right band to fit his unique vision of where his songwriting could go.  But, after various line-up changes to his former group, Great Nostalgic, it seems Abram made the right decision to try things out all on his own.  His album Sun Marquee carries his vision further than we expected, leaving listeners with a warm experience that you’ll find ultimately rewarding.

Those of you getting your first introduction should immediately take notice of Abram’s unique voice when you play “Recovery.”  It’s got a bit of a drawl to it, coated here in an effortless cool that evokes the best of warm climes. He uses the strength of his voice as a central focus in his songs, and he builds the tracks from there.  The following tune, “In Mind,” has incredible layering with varying guitar parts working in unison, though each occupying their own space and time.  It reminds me of the best moments of old Here We Go Magic tunes, though there’s more of a dreamy quality to the numbers on Sun Marquee.

But while much of the record is devoted to songs that carefully unfold as minutes pass, there’s a few tunes that have some immediacy to them that’s gratifying upon the moment you press play.  Take the smooth stomp and swagger of “Distance,” which features a melodious chorus that allows Abram Shook to display his knack for catching the ears of even the most casual of passersby. Or you could take the bright ringing of the guitar that starts “Lifeguard” before the rest of the track begins to unfold into a blissful world of purposeful pop music. It even pulls in this great bit during the chorus that illustrates a bit of playfulness, not to mention Shook’s musical range/influences.

Ultimately, you want an album to be about an experience, about a journey you take as a listener, from start to finish.  I couldn’t think of a better way to wrap things up for this listen than with “Black Submarine,” taking all the convincing aspects of the record to this point and compiling them into one strong tune.  Whether it’s the guitar interplay or the wash of layers or even the distinctive vocals, you’ll find that it’s a perfectly emphatic finishing stroke by a talented artist.

People always reference stepping out of the darkness and into the light, and it seems that Abram Shook‘s own journey to solo artist serves as   his own coming party.  Sun Marquee shows him stronger and more creative than we’ve heard him to date, providing listeners with an album they can revel in for more than just a few rotations on the turntable.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/03-Distance.mp3

Download: Abram Shook – Distance [MP3]

1 2 3