Last Week’s Jams (12.11 – 12.15)

Unfortunately, this is probably the last of Last Week’s Jams for 2023. Not because I don’t want to write about new tunes, but because, for some reason, folks just stop putting out music and let the world dwindle to a compilation of year-end lists. But, last week we still had tons of tunes to cover, with a whole lot of Austin represented. We revisited Fantastic Purple Spots, plus had brand new stuff from Big Bill, the Infinites and Fading Yellow. Got a bonus with one more Maureens track, which might be my favorite on their latest LP, and a fresh Club 8 hit that came out of nowhere. If you’re just looking for a playlist of new music, why not start here.

Fresh Big Bill Track! Featuring Chucky Blk!

Long ago we worked with Big Bill over at ATH Records, the home of legends I like to think. Since then, the band has continued their rise in the Austin scene, but more importantly, they’ve continued to push themselves as a band. Currently, they’re at work on a new record, thus they’ve dropped us a new track featuring another local heavy-hitter, Chucky Blk. The song opens up with a jittering stomp, marching forward as singer Eric Braden delivers his distinctive vocal crawl. His narration introduces us to a new character, and thus Chucky takes over the microphone delivering an incendiary stanza of magical poetry. We’re yet to know if this tune appears on the new LP, but it’s a hit worthy of listening to today!

Rad Gnar Share Fresh Single

If you have yet to catch on to Austin’s Rad Gnar, let me hip you the group with this fresh track, “Scene.” The group is a fairly recent project, featuring members of Big Bill and Basketball Shorts, so you know there’s going to be a bit of a punk mentality; we’re close with various members too, so we know how important guitar-monies are too, which you’ll hear soaring throughout this track. As I press play again and again, I keep thinking of it as a mixture of early Saves the Day and Alkaline Trio…and I don’t mind that one bit. But, before you pass judgment, take a listen to the melodic break in the song’s middle, illustrating just how much the group have to offer in their sound. You may be too cool for pop punk, but you’re never too cool for great musicianship. Keep an eye out!

Last Week’s Jams, Today (6.13 – 6.17)

Well, we wrote up at least 25 fresh tracks last week, many of which we purposefully tried to make sure weren’t on all the other cool kid sites. That also might be why we missed a few that you’d expect us to cover. It was great to hear Cool Sounds taking some new risks for their new LP, plus we made sure we had that new Mary Onettes tune right up there. And, our old friends Big Bill dropped a new record, so we wanted to remind you of their gifts…and then, there were loads of other songs, meant to get you through those early Monday morning blues without having to think too much about what you’re listening to all day…just know it’ll be good.

Stream Big Bill’s Public Freakout Compilation

Long long ago, in a city far far away, we dropped a few 7″ from Austin punk heroes, Big Bill. The band has since gone on to bigger and better things, with their latest album Public Freakout Compilation dropping last week. The band are still working with off-kilter time signatures, perfect for the unique vocal delivery of singer Eric Braden. I will say that there’s a softening in the band, particularly when you get to tracks like “Almost Everybody,” as the band are clearly no one-trick pony. I stand by “Coma” being one of their best tunes, so go on and give the Public Freakout Compilation a listen to one our favorite bands over 25!

Alex Riegelman Shares I Don’t Know How to Care

As a member of Big Bill, you’d be forgiving for your misconceptions about Alex Riegelman‘s solo work, but with his latest single as a testament, it’s clear his musical touch goes far and wide. There’s definitely a playfulness in his vocal approach, and also perhaps in the song, which definitely ties back to the Big Bill lineage. But, at times he’s building these avant pop moments, akin to Of Montreal or Destroyer. Then the guitars jangle and the cymbal work comes fast, giving the song a little shimmy and a little set up that comes crashing in like an anthemic pop rock chorus that erupts for the audience. Be sure you’re all caught up on your required Alex Riegelman listening; he’s all over the place, in the best sort of way!

New Music from Alex Riegelman

Are we Alex Riegelman stans? Uh, you bet we are! And why wouldn’t we be, as Alex is one of the kind souls of Austin’s music scene…and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of his songwriting ability. On his latest single “Once” you get to hear the other side of Alex (who stars in Big Bill), as he’s offering up this shuffling little pop number, fueled by these lightly jangling guitar riffs and uplifting synth lines. Honestly, the star, for me, is Alex’s vocal performance; I thought his opening verses were great, but then he erupts to let his pipes soar along with his guitar chops! Damn, that breakdown in the song’s close is stupendous. Get you some Alex!

Big Bill Share Coma Single

This past Friday our good friends in Big Bill released the stellar new single, “Coma,” which we wanted to delay so as to offer you up something delicious on Monday morning. While Eric Braden’s distinctive vocal delivery is omni-present, the mono-syallbic burst at the 37 second mark (and repeated later) is a sure-fire hook. What’s most impressive to me is how furious the band seems to be here; they’re playing with this angular jackhammering, more emphatic and rocking than ever before. All of this gets tied together with time changes matching up with Eric’s syllable play in the lyrics…one of the band’s signatures. Don’t miss out on this Jon Lovitz approved hit!

Alex Riegelman Shares Animal Ending Video

This past February our friend Alex Riegelman, known about town for his role in Big Bill, dropped this incredible “Animal Ending” single; he’s now sharing the video version of the tune. The video encapsulates Alex’s playful side, featuring a hunter hunting and being hunted, or at least that’s what we might be led to believe. Musically, I’m still in love with this song, and I honestly have no way to really put his sound into words; it feels like something Paul Simon would be super into creating, but only if he was in some sort of death match with Nick Lowe…it’s all bright melodies and light-hearted euphoria, but with an uppercut of crunchy riffs and rock n’ roll flare. Come on over and dip your toes into the visually weird world of Mr. Riegelman, and stick around for the great tunes…with hopes of more on the horizon. Choose your streaming source HERE.

Alex Rieglman Shares Animal Ending

Our good friend Alex Riegleman is one of the members of our (and your) faves Big Bill. But, he’s been afforded the time to work on some tunes of his own, and we’d love to share one of those tracks with you today. The song doesn’t waste anytime pushing right into it, kind of like a classic rock meets Jeffrey Lewis; it employs traditional songwriting with Alex’s penchant for melody and creative wordplay. I love the heavy brief guitar solo in the tune’s middle, breaking up the style just enough to keep the song from growing stale. We’re always stoked to see what our friends are working on, aren’t you?

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