Show Preview: Bad Sports @ Beerland (3.26)

badsports1

Date Wednesday, March 26th
Location Beerland
Doors 9:00 PM
Tickets Tickets at the door


For those of you looking to get out of the house on Wednesday night, this is hands down the best line-up you’ll find, possibly all week long.  You’ll get to open your evening with our favorites, Eets Feats, who always put on a solid live set, then they’ll be followed by Zoltars.  If you haven’t listened to the latter band’s Walking Through the Dark then you’re missing something that belongs in your record collection.  The night will close out with Fleshlights and Bad Sports.  These are two acts that I never grow tired of seeing live; they’re full of energy and a rawness that you don’t always get when going out about town.  I’d say your plans for Wednesday night have already been made.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/badsports_-_LetMeIn.mp3]

Download: Bad Sports – Let Me In [MP3]

The Weekend Update: ATX Show Previews

austiniloveyouWell, we’re rolling into the dreaded holiday weekend that haunts a lot of people, but what better way to spend your Valentines Day by watching a great show, either with your loved one, or finding one.  There’s tons going on this weekend, so I wanted to spotlight a few shows you should look into.  Dinner and flowers are dumb; rock n’ roll is the way to go. Read more to find out where you should be.

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Top 50 Albums of 2013

albums banner 2013 procMaking 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 – WampireCuriosity
49 – Dot DashHalf Remembered Dream
48 – Mantles  – Long Enough to Leave
47 – The Appleseed CastIllumination Ritual
46 – Bad SportsBras
45 – Part TimePDA
44 – Dick DiverCalendar Days
43 – Math and Physics ClubOur Hearts Beat Loud
42 – Veronica FallsWaiting for Something to Happen
41 – Eat Skull – III
40 – The Lonely WildThe Sun as It Comes
39 – The Love LanguageRuby Red
38 – Gun OutfitHard Coming Down
37 – Cate Le BonMug Museum
36 – Daughn GibsonMe Moan
35 – Andre ObinThe Arsonist
34 – ArpMore
33 – Gap DreamShine Your Light
32 – The Black WatchThe End of When
31 – Ty SegallSleeper
30 – The StevensA History of Hygeine
29 – Of MontrealLousy with Sylvianbriar
28 – Mirror TravelMexico
27 – Local NativesHummingbird
26 – Girls NamesThe New Life
25 – GRMLNEmpire
24 – Small BlackLimits of Desire
23 – AudacityButter Knife
22 – Mikal CroninMCII
21 – Chelsea WolfePain is Beauty
20 – FoalsHoly Fire
19 – Radical FaceFamily Tree: The Branches
18 – Youth LagoonWondrous Bughouse
17 – Terry MaltsNobody Realizes This is Nowhere
16 – Shout Out LoudsOptica
15 – Kurt VileWaking on a Pretty Daze
14 –  BraidsFlourish//Perish
13 – Crystal AntlersNothing is Real
12 – TyphoonWhite Lighter
11 – Ski LodgeBig Heart

10 – GamblesTrust

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 GrowlersHung 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.

8 – Wax IdolsDiscipline & Desire

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.

7 – Parenthetical GirlsPrivilege

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.

6 – The NationalTrouble Will Find Me

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.

5 – LegsPass the Ringo

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.

4 – Warm SodaSomeone for You

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.

3 – Coma CinemaPosthumous Release

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.

2 – Bubblegum LemonadeSome Like it Pop

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.

1 – Magical CloudzImpersonator

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.

 

Top Songs of 2013

best songs ath 2013We’ve put our pretty little heads together ladies and gentlemen to bring you our favorite songs from this past year.  It was a difficult task with our ever growing staff, but we feel like this list best represents the diverse taste of our staff.  Love it or hate it, it’s ours to call our own.  Hit play and put your head down or dance or shimmmy or drool or whatever works. Most of all we hope you hear something you missed, something you want to buy or something you want to see live.

Scroll past the playlist for full the run of the bestest songs ever this year.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/15794740″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

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Bad Sports – Bras

badsportRating: ★★★★☆

The last time we all heard from Bad Sports was with Kings of the Weekend.  In the end, it was an enduring record, that although solid, might have rang a little bit too much like a one-trick pony.  But, now that the band are back with Bras, you can rest assured that you’re not getting the same trick over and over; the boys have changed things up, leaving us with a refreshing bit of rock n’ roll.

Bras begins with “Get You” and “Washed Up,” which wear the clothes of the group’s first record.  It’s quick punk-influenced rock n’ roll of the garage ilk, though the drumming stands out on these two tracks.  As always, the band demonstrates their knack for wrapping their fury in catchy hooks built to please sweat drenched crowds willing to throw caution to the wind.

By the time that Bad Sports find themselves at the third track, they start to cross into new sonic realms. “Nothing In This World” is more of a power-pop track than anything the band have done to date, though by speeding things up in their own style, they maintain their tough street cred.  But, it’s “Let Me In” where you’ll really see the changes. The track starts out with a dwindling guitar and vocal before it bounces into anthemic pop goodness.  There’s even a bit of swing to the sound of the guitar as the song progresses.  This all backs into “Back In Time;” this track definitely has the influence of glam rock power ballads.  It’s refreshing to see the change in the group, aiding the enduring quality of this LP.

It’s hard to ignore a single track on Bras in the long run.  Each one leaves a trail of breadcrumbs across the underground musical landscape, though they all have this pop sensibility built for screaming fans crammed into tight spaces.  I can’t wait to catch these guys in the act and sing the chorus to “Terrible Place;” I’ll probably be pumping my fists throughout.  Oh, and if the bubbling bass line in “Rockin’ the Noise,” I have a feeling we’ll all be bouncing about, rubbing elbows with each other like only great music can make us do.

For me, I think the latest record from Bad Sports is worthy of everyone’s time.  It might have been true that the group was nodding to punk rock fans early on in their career, but the direction that Bras takes leaves no doubt that the band just want us all to join in on the fun.  It’s rock n’ roll in the best sense, using great drumming, sing-a-long anthems and working-class grit that will leave you thirsting for more.  Go on, press repeat. You’ll thank them later.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/08-Terrible-Place.mp3]

Download: Bad Sports – Terrible Place [MP3]

Another New Rocker from Bad Sports

Bad SportsI’m going to admit that I have a bit of an obsession with Bad Sports, and all the associated acts of the members (Video, OBNIIIs, etc).  Their new record Bras is, to me, a huge success.  They’ve slowed down a few of the tunes, leaving listeners with these great power pop ballads; there’s still a nice grinding edge, however.  The track below is just such an example; it’s catchy in the chorus; there’s a stomping drum element.  My two cents think this is going to be a sleeper hit for a lot of folks that are into the realm of garage-rock.  Bras comes out on Dirtnap Records at the end of August.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/08-Terrible-Place.mp3]

Download: Bad Sports – Terrible Place [MP3]

Bad Sports Return!

Bad SportsLet’s not beat around the bush here; I absolutely love Bad Sports…even when they’re backing Nobunny!  The Texas trio is back with a brand new jam today, and a new album coming our way soon.  The first single has the group spinning catchy garage punk like only they can, filling the vocals with the band’s natural bit of swagger.  Their new album is called Bras, and it will be released by Dirtnap Records at the end of next month. You can count on it being the perfect record to close out our summer jam session.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/badsports_-_LetMeIn.mp3]

Download: Bad Sports – Let Me In [MP3]

Sweet Talk Record Release Tonight @ Beerland

sweettalkYou want to get down with some rock n’ roll? Then you better take yourself out to Beerland tonight! All you fans of the heavier/faster side of Austin’s rock scene will surely find yourselves rocking to the killer new tunes from Austin’s Sweet Talk. The band has just released their record, Pickup Lines, and you really need to go get your hands on it.  It’s a blend of crunchy punk rock, filled with hooks and call-and-response anthems.  But, why I love those dudes, you will also get to see some of the incredible camaraderie by Austin’s rock scene, with openers Bad Sports (techinically Ft. Worth/Austin), Fleshlights and Burnt Skull. We’ve mentioned all those bands before, and you have no reason not go go out and just enjoy our cities best acts.  Here’s one of the many hits from the new Sweet Talk record!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Last_Dance.mp3]

 

Show Preview: Gentleman Jesse @ Red 7 (11.19) — UPDATE – CANCELLED


Date Monday, November 19th
Location Red 7
Doors 9:00 PM
Tickets CHEAP


Personally, this is one of the best line-ups I’ve seen in some time, with two of my favorite bands blasting into town to rock it out at Red 7 on Monday night.  Kicking off the night are Bad Sports, featuring a line-up split between Austin and North Texas.  They’re like a dirtier version of the Ramones, so you can’t go wrong.  And then, the genius of power-pop takes the stage via Gentleman Jesse & His Men.  The group’s long put out hits that I’ve adored and raved about, and their recent record, Leaving Atlanta, was definitely talked about greatly in our discussion of year-end lists. You only have to work two days this week, right? So why not start it off here.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/eatmealive.mp3]

Drats…apparently Jeese had van issues, so the show has been cancelled!

Download:Gentleman Jesse – Eat Me Alive [MP3]

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