12/11 – Ola Podrida @ The Mohawk

olapdrida08It’s always an anxious evening when you are preparing to see one of your favorite bands for the first time.  Will they play your favorite song?  Will the show resemble the album precisely as you want it to sound?  Will you walk away with the same respect as the moment you entered?  Such were my thoughts as I spent Friday night preparing to see Ola Podrida at the Mohawk.  The bill included Martin from Brazos and local favorites Balmorhea.  Follow the jump for review and show pictures.

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Balmorhea @ Mohawk (12/11)

balmorhea11

Date 12/11/09
Location mohawk
Doors 900pm
Tickets $8 from Frontgate

Mohawk is the place to be on Friday night if you’re a fan of some of the bands on our very own local label Western Vinyl.  Headliners Balmorhea will be sharing the stage with our new favorite band Ola Podrida.  Fellow Martin Crane of Brazos will be playing solo and opening things up.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/wv59_hb.mp3]

Download: Balmorhea – Harm & Boon [MP3]

Top 10 Austin Albums Of 2009

1204top5coverWe thought about this long and hard, thinking over our favorite releases from bands located in Austin over the last year.  Blood was spilled, jabs were thrown, but overall, we feel like we got our hands around the best releases that we feel epitomized the Austin scene in 2009.  Don’t forget, we’re particular to our tastes, so while you may disagree, we reserve the right to stand by these ten acts and their albums from 09′.  Follow the jump for full list.
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Black Moth Super Rainbow @ Mohawk – 6/2

sevenbellsIt’s the beginning of a killer week of live music here in Austin, and the town is going to start it off with a great set from various noise-makers.  Black Moth Super Rainbow headline this show at Mohawk, closing with their electronic noise fusion. Local greats Balmorhea open this show, and they’re sure to be the quieter set of the evening. Don’t forget the middle band, School of Seven Bells, will bring their precious space-pop amidst the two acts, rounding out an evening of solid tunes.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/07-rollerdisco.mp3]

Download: Black Moth Super Rainbow – Rollerdisco [MP3]

Balmorhea @ Stubbs (5/22)

balmorhea13One of our newest and favorite local discoveries of the last year, Balmorhea, are playing another sure to be great show at Stubbs on Friday night.  Pompeii and Alex Dupree and The Trapdoor band will take the stage as well to open things up.  Tickets for this show are $10  from Front Gate and doors open at 9:30.  Friday night is jammed packed full of goodness, so you’ve got some big decisions to make.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/wv59_hb.mp3]

Download: Balmorhea – Harm & Boon [MP3]

3/13 Balmorhea at Ballet Austin

balmorhea09Releasing a CD is bound to be something special for those involved, so Austin band Balmorhea needed something special for the release of their new album, All is Wild, All is Silent.  The band chose to use the acoustics of Ballet Austin, offering the most intimate atmosphere possible to its fans.  Intimate settings can play out in various ways, as we will see shortly.  Follow the jump to read our full show review.

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Balmorhea – All is Wild, All is Silent

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Rating: ★★★★ ·

Balmorhea, pronounced Bal-moor-ay, is a band from here in Austin, Tx. consisting of principle songcrafters Rob Lowe and Michael Muller. Their sophmore effort entitled All Is Wild, All Is Silent is a beautiful album that touches upon influences from Ludovico Einaudi, Six Parts Seven, Claude Debussy, Ludwig Van Beethoven,  Gillian Welch, Max Richter, Arvo Part, and John Cage. The music is mostly instrumental except for wordless singing in peak areas of a song and sometimes in soft, delicate areas almost like that of gospel. Grazing with post-rock, classical, and folk music, Balmorhea reek of romantic music that can take you away to landscapes of the cold arctic to the lush forests of northern america. With this impressive imagery exhibited, it’s only a matter of time before soundtracking films is next on their resume.

Kicking off the album with “Settler,” one can see that this band will be welcomed with open arms to theaters and concert halls across the country in no time. The opening piano line repeats and nestles itself into your head, then with the cello soon chiming in, the drums begin with a nice riding tap of the cymbals and lift-off…

Though I love the arrangements of the longer epics, the shorter songs like “March 4, 1831” and “Elegy” really show off the acoustic guitar playing that digs under my skin and finds a home. These noteworthy melodies give goose-bumps and make me want to jump in the car and take Ranch Road 12 to Wimberly. Spring is on it’s way, and I’ve found my hill country, road- tripping soundtrack.

“Remembrance” is another stand-out with the haunting opening of a finger-picked guitar. A banjo lends a nice descending run which is soon accompanied by a wordless gospel-like chant and again the tension/release formula opens up when the drums begin. There’s never a dull moment, which can be found often in long instrumentals for me, but they keep it concise and to the point with evolving sections.

Balmorhea have a handful of shows for SXSW and then are off to Europe for April and May. Be sure to check-in here or their website for updates on their inevitable North American tour.

Balmorhea @ Ballet Austin (3/13)

balmorheaIn celebration of their new LP, All is Wild, All is Silent, local boys Balmorhea are  throwing a release party at Ballet Austin (map) on Friday night.  The Wooden Birds will provide your opening band entertainment during the nights events.  Doors open up at 9:30 and entrance will cost you only $8.  Free loaders take note, New Belgium Brewery & Progress Coffee are sponsoring and will provide complimentary beverages while supplies last!  Single track “Harm & Boon” from the band’s debut LP (out now on Western Vinyl) is below.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/wv59_hb.mp3]

Download: Balmorhea – Harm & Boon [MP3]

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