Myself and Mr. Gray pretended like we were young again on a cool Thursday night in Austin and made it out to Barracuda to see the famed Appleseed Cast. We talked some soccer, shared too many beers, and discussed the validity of The Cast music as a soundtrack to major life events. It was a great bill with many hits played. Hit the jump for more words, full setlist and some fancy ass photos from B. Gray.
As many of you know, The Appleseed Cast is one of my all time favorite bands. If you asked me to make a list of my top 10, or even top 5 bands that have impacted me heavily over the years, the Lawrence based legends would certainly be on that list. With that out of the way, I’m incredibly excited to share with you today the band’s first single in five years called “Time the Destroyer.” Fan of the band or not, anyone with some taste will immediately praise the beautiful progression of this song from the slow 2.5 minute build up to the extreme break down and back again. Band leader Chris Crisci has continually found ways to add new elements to his ever-progressing sound, and this track, with some loud, electronic synths is more evidence that he will continue to evolve. Epic.
UPDATE: It’s worth noting that Crisci enlisted friends Sean Bergman, Ben Kimball, and Nick Fredrickson for help on the new album.
The Appleseed Cast will release new album The Fleeting Light of Impermanence on June 28th via Graveface Records.
Making our year-end list of Top Albums is never something we take lightly. We realize that it’s rather arbitrary in the grand scheme of things, but we realize that our role is to at least toss out our opinion, however meaningless it may be. In the long run, we had to take the tastes of several people, and whittle it into a list of 50 great albums that we think are vital to your listening experience. We know it’s a matter of personal tastes, but the records below are reflective of our tastes and our site, so don’t get mad, they’re just opinions. But, feel free to tell us where we went wrong, or what we might have missed. If you click on the album titles, you can also read our full reviews of each album, save the ones that we didn’t get to in time. Sorry we don’t like Kanye.
50 – Wampire – Curiosity
49 – Dot Dash – Half Remembered Dream
48 – Mantles – Long Enough to Leave
47 – The Appleseed Cast – Illumination Ritual
46 – Bad Sports – Bras
45 – Part Time – PDA
44 – Dick Diver – Calendar Days
43 – Math and Physics Club – Our Hearts Beat Loud
42 – Veronica Falls – Waiting for Something to Happen
41 – Eat Skull – III
40 – The Lonely Wild – The Sun as It Comes
39 – The Love Language – Ruby Red
38 – Gun Outfit – Hard Coming Down
37 – Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum
36 – Daughn Gibson – Me Moan
35 – Andre Obin – The Arsonist
34 – Arp – More
33 – Gap Dream – Shine Your Light
32 – The Black Watch – The End of When
31 – Ty Segall – Sleeper
30 – The Stevens – A History of Hygeine
29 – Of Montreal – Lousy with Sylvianbriar
28 – Mirror Travel – Mexico
27 – Local Natives – Hummingbird
26 – Girls Names – The New Life
25 – GRMLN – Empire
24 – Small Black – Limits of Desire
23 – Audacity – Butter Knife
22 – Mikal Cronin – MCII
21 – Chelsea Wolfe – Pain is Beauty
20 – Foals – Holy Fire
19 – Radical Face – Family Tree: The Branches
18 – Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse
17 – Terry Malts – Nobody Realizes This is Nowhere
16 – Shout Out Louds – Optica
15 – Kurt Vile – Waking on a Pretty Daze
14 – Braids – Flourish//Perish
13 – Crystal Antlers – Nothing is Real
12 – Typhoon – White Lighter
11 – Ski Lodge – Big Heart
Admittedly, this album makes nods to folk troubadours of Christmas’ past, but what grabbed me from the moment I heard this record was the sincerity in what’s being created. In leaving us with a stripped down listen of folk tunes and incredible poetry, we’re asked to look into the history of American songwriting tradition; it’s been awhile since it was executed so well.
9 – The Growlers – Hung at Heart
I’d put this album on any list for one song alone, “Someday.” But, it just so happens that the rest of the album maintains the sensation that’s established on the opening track. I’ve heard it referenced as a surf-psych opus, but what’s been assured in my mine is what an incredible listen we’re all be treating to when we put Hung at Heart on our record players.
Hether Fortune seems to scare people. Her work is in your face, never making an excuse for who she is or what she believes. That attitude carries on into her music, allowing listeners to experience a musical world void of any pretense. The songs on this album are angular, dark and abrasive; the vocals have Hether dominating the scene of modern lady rock warriors. If you don’t dig it, she doesn’t care, but I do because this record rules.
While many of the songs on this effort leaked out before under various EPs, the whole masterpiece exists in the way it was tied together as a complete work. It’s operatic and grand at every corner, but it’s also undeniably a pop record. The emphasis might revolve around the more artful spectrum of pop music, but this is an album you can play for everyone in your family, and they’ll all find themselves swept up in the wonderment of Privilege.
What else really needs to be said about The National. They consistently make great albums that are lauded then often overlooked, but we didn’t want to do that to one of our favorite acts. I mean, if they played 8 shows in 8 days, we’d be at every one, and the DJ set after party. Their accolades and recognition are warranted, and it’s especially clear on this, their latest release.
When listening to Pass the Ringo, I thought of one thing: this is the sort of record that makes a small label, like Loglady Records, a household name. It’s spun around garage rock and psych rock structures, whilst still maintaining an accessibility that few people working in that genre achieve. Some albums can play in the background of your house, and might be happy to do so, but Legs created something that made me stop and listen at every turn; I’m thankful for that.
Someone For You came our way in January. On my record player, it hasn’t left since. This is one of the most rewarding power-pop records I’ve gotten my hands on, and trust me, I’ve gotten my hands on a lot of great records. Each song is filled with innate hooks and garage rock grit, encouraging you to tap your toes for the entirety of the record. You’d think after a full year our interest would have waned, but with time we’ve only grown to appreciate the record even more.
At the moment, there’s not too many people releasing music that’s the quality of Mathew Cothran and Coma Cinema. There are elements of the bizarre, similar to the work of early Elf Power, yet there’s this intimacy that artists like Eliott Smith were able to create with their listeners. You wrap that up and put it in a package of pop sensibility, and you have an album that can’t be ignored.
In today’s musical climate, we buy into the fact that artists have to be doing something strange, or something that’s vastly different from their peers. But, in the grand scheme of things, we often forget what it’s like to take enjoyment out of the music. This album was one of the many reminders that music, when it’s good, can be quite special. Every song here is a single, and worth your time; it’s the best thing Laz has done, and I feel like he’s just really getting started.
This album is about Devon Welsh. From the first instant I heard his voice, it took hold of me. Throughout the year, Impersonator, consistently played on my radio. His voice was mesmerizing, captivating audiences on several occasions in Austin, convincing us to be as quiet as a mouse, so as to hear every note. The unique quality of the album will reward listeners for years to follow. It made us believe in great music again.
Twas a hot and sweaty night in Austin Texas on Saturday as we made our way over to Red 7 for a headlining show by Appleseed Cast. The bill was full of bands that reminded us all of better days when musicians actually played guitars and knew how to keep a beat. A great lineup indeed.
Follow the jump for thoughts and photos.
|$10 @ Frontgate
If you frequent this website, I really shouldn’t even have to begin telling you about my love affair with all things Appleseed Cast. Hell, I’ve likely seen the band more than any other in my history of attending live shows. Cool? With that said, you know I will be in attendance when the band headlines at Red 7 tomorrow and I’ll also likely be screaming along like a school girl to every word. The undercard of this bill is surely something you won’t want to miss either with The Life and Times, Muscle Worship, and Phantom Lakes all joining in on the fun. It’s never too late to get on this bandwagon. Be smart.[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/03-Middle-States-1.mp3]
Download: The Appleseed Cast – Middle States [MP3]
I think we all know by now that I am the resident Appleseed Cast fanatic around these parts and I plan to keep it that way. Today I was surprised and excited to see a new song called “Great Lake Derelict” floating around on the internet via various sites. The Cast have been very quiet since the release of their last album Sagarmatha in 2009, so you can imagine my anticipation of new music from the band. You can tell by the photo that the band lineup has changed drastically since their beginnings (only Chris Crisci remains from the original lineup), but the sound really isn’t all that different to me. Though the drums are a bit sloppy and the whirling organ is new, the atmospheric, driving qualities are all still there. It’s a badass song that I hope won’t go unnoticed by the indie world. Respect the Cast.
New album Illumination Ritual is out April 23rd on Graveface Records.
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/81833195″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Sad times are upon us my friends. Emos has begun to close its doors; it even made big waves with the people over at Pitchfork. As we near the closing of the original Emos, we culled our favorite memories of the venue, and we hope you’ll share your favorites with us as well.
|$11 @ Frontgate
The CAST!! That’s right ladies and gents, one of my favorite bands of all time The Appleseed Cast are making a much anticipated stop into Austin this Saturday night at the ND. These guys have been doing their thing for so long now and I’m amazed that they still manage to make powerful music despite some people claiming they’ve lost it. Heck, their song “Middle States” from the EP of same title released earlier this year is easily one of my top played songs on the old itunes. They’ve still got what it takes kids. In other news, I see no word of an opener on the ND website or via The Cast site so it looks like you’ll need to be on time for this one.[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/03-Middle-States-1.mp3]
Download: The Appleseed Cast – Middle States [MP3]
It’s quite apparent that I love the Appleseed Cast, duh. I remember watching their set at Fun Fest this past year and wondering why more people weren’t screaming “THE CAST!” like I was. Sure, the newer stuff isn’t quite as enjoyable as the old favorites, but it’s still solid. So today I’m pumped to hear about a new EP from the band entitled Middle States coming our way June 7th on Graveface Records. Also with this news comes the first taste of the EP in the form of new song “Middle States”. It really reminds me of something from the Low Level Owl albums, which I’m sure plenty of people will be on board with. To say I’m excited about this change in sound direction would be a major understatement. THE CAST![audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/03-Middle-States-1.mp3]
Download: The Appleseed Cast – Middle States [MP3]
So we hope everyone had just a dandy time at Fun Fest this past weekend. ATH of course had a lot of fun jamming out, day drinking, and chilling with our music biz homies from around town. As per usual, we thought we’d recap the weekend in list form via our Top 10 bands from the festival. With so many acts to be seen, this can sometimes be a difficult task. Follow the jump for who made the list.