New Single from A. Sinclair

We’ve been covering Aaron Sinclair’s music since he fronted Frank Smith back in the day, but he’s been knocking around Austin as A. Sinclair for some time, as well as moonlighting as a drummer in various rad acts about town. This last week he released this wonderful new single, and I’ve really just been relishing his vocal performance here; a nice little polished feel, though still every bit as emotive as he’s always been. I’m also fond of the way that guitar line sort of bends around the track too. Feel like this is a great way to kick off a Thursday, so enjoy the latest from Austin.

Fresh A. Sinclair Tune

asinclairI’ve followed Aaron Sinclair musically for some time. He fronted Frank Smith, played drums in an old line-up of Grape St and now operates under A. Sinclair. I remember talking to Aaron a few years back, and he claimed, in one form or another, that he wanted to just kick out really great rock songs on a larger stage. I think his latest single from the band’s forthcoming effort definitely has a heavier edge than some of Aaron’s earlier work. If you’re looking for no bullshit rock n’ roll, then you better get into some A. Sinclair. Look for the band’s album, Get Out of the City, on May 13th via Dangerbird Records.

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Austin Spotlight: More New Music From A. Sinclair

FrankSmith_1A. Sinclair is on a roll here with the latest single from the Pretty Girls EP.  This track opens up with a similar riff to that of English Beat‘s “Mirror in the Bathroom,” but the song gets a little more discordant as it pushes along.  It’s representative of a new attitude, now that the group has tossed aside the Frank Smith name; it also embodies the forceful attitude that the band have brought  to their live sets lately.  Don’t think they’ve thrown away their knack for a touch of pop, with “Suit Up” slowing for a brief moment just before the 1 minute mark.  Their new EP hits on May 20th, followed by a release show on May 22nd at Mohawk.



Top 15 Austin Albums of 2013

Local Albums 2tMan. Austin had a pretty incredible year; it was a far better year than I’ve encountered recently, making my ears, mind and heart quite proud of our hometown.  While it’s obviously difficult to get in on every single band in Austin, I made a list of the albums that were most impactful throughout the year, 2013.  I purposefully left off EPs and singles, not because I didn’t enjoy those, but because this is a list of top ALBUMS!  I’m sorry to those we left off, and encourage you all to send us your music as we continue our push to be a great voice for Austin music.  Without further ado…this is how we do it.  Read more

FFF8 In Pictures – Saturday Edition

BleachedSaturday featured legends and legendary performances, though usually not at the same time. Johnny Jewel gets best performance of the day with double duty killer jams from Chromatics and a manic dance party with Glass Candy. MIA eludes me. I just don’t get it, but okay, the kids like to here abbreviated beats up and down. Ice-T let Bushwick Bill freestyle. Deerhunter had the most epic sound check ever, reconstructing “Marquee Moon” to test the levels.

This giant photo post features Frank Smith (kinda), Ola Podrida, Bleached, The Impossibles, White Lung, Chromatics, Geographer, Glass Candy, Television, Tycho, Deerhunter, MIA, Ice-T and The Descendants. Click through…

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Austin Show Preview: Grape St. @ Hotel Vegas (11/2)

Grape St.I’m feeling local this weekend, and though there are a couple of interesting traveling tours coming into town (Those Darlins/The Blow), I really think your best bet is to end up at Hotel Vegas on Saturday night. Some of our favorite bands will be playing that evening; these are bands we’ve supported in some fashion since we started this site. You’ll get to catch Booher, which is the new project from former Zykos member, M. Booher.  Plus, you’ll get Frank Smith, who’ve put out tons of great songs, all of which we’ve enjoyed.  Headlining the night will be another band we clearly support, as we helped the band put out their self-titled LP: Grape St.  They’ve only gotten better over the last year, and you should expect a full house to bring things to a riotous evening. And, it’s going to be cheap, so why not hit up a great local show?!


Download: Grape St. – Double Golds [MP3]

Show Preview: Royal Forest Vinyl Release @ Holy Mountain (7/12)


Date 7/12/13
Location Holy Mountain
Doors 9pm
Tickets $5

It’s a bit of a slow weekend in Austin for national touring acts so what better time to get out there and support your local musicians?  Easily your best opportunity for some great local music comes on Friday night at Holy Mountain with a vinyl release show celebrating the touchdown of Royal Forest’s new album Spillway. Making the show that much better is the undercard with local favorites Frank Smith, Tiger Waves, and Your Friendly Ghost all joining in on the fun.  Not sure I could put together a better local bill if you asked me to.  Get out there, tip your bartenders, and buy some merch jerks.


Download: Royal Forest – John Denver [MP3]

Show Preview: Frank Smith + The Preservation Album Release @ Holy Mountain (4.13)

Frank Smith

Date Saturday, April 13th
Location Holy Mountain
Doors 9:00 PM
Tickets $8

Hey there Austin.  Just a heads up, you have no business calling yourself an Austin music fan if you’re not going to this show on Saturday night.  For starters, there’s four of our favorite bands, and we like to think we have good tastes, so that’s important.  Second, both Frank Smith and the Preservation will be releasing their albums that night, and I’ve even raved about the new Frank Smith record HERE.  Also, you get to check out some other up-and-comers who’ve been receiving a lot of our attention in East Cameron Folkcore and Growl.  It’s cheap; booze at Hold Mountain is cheap; people are friendly. Don’t miss this opportunity.


Download: Frank Smith – Chewing Glass [MP3]

Frank Smith – Nineties

franksmithRating: ★★★★☆

Frank Smith is a band, not a man.  I figured you would know that, as the group has been knocking around for nearly 10 releases, but I’m thinking Nineties is their best work to date.  It’s got roots in the world of folk music, sure, but it pushes the envelope with more than its share of loud guitars and careful musical accompaniment.

You won’t find a better opener for Nineties than “We All Win;” it opens with little more than vocals and strummed guitars…a few of the notes receive an extra twang in the mix.  While it might be one of the quietest tracks on the record, it provides a teaser of sorts, just whetting your appetite.  Soon you’ll find the pure pleasure that is “Beaten Sacks of Death.” I love the way the guitar turns at the chorus, taking the Americana roots and gearing it up for a more rocking ensemble.  What steals the show, at least in this tune is the accessorizing done musically; the accompaniment draped all provides perfect accentuation at every turn.  Oh, and wait for the stomp just after the 2 minute mark; you’ll surely come back for more.

What will stand out to many of the fans of Frank Smith will be the more complete, even louder, presence here.  If you look at the middle section of the album with songs like “How Many Ways” and “It’ll Be Over Soon,” you will see the decibels rising in your ear, but importantly, the band’s sound isn’t lost here.  There’s a slight drawl on the vocals on “How Many Ways,” and the song opens slowly.  However, the group jumps off into a rocking jam; dig the echoing guitar in the background.  “It’ll Be Over Soon” nears a full on rock track, though with hints at country nostalgia with slight electric organ touches throughout.  The chorus reminds me of how good simple lyrics can come across in this genre, like those great Old 97s tunes.

Even with the louder sound here, don’t sleep on the band’s ballads.  “One Day” is probably one of my favorite tracks on Nineties.  Everything on this track fits; there’s acoustic strumming, changes in the vocal pitch, gang vocals, piano tinkering, even a distorted guitar breakdown…this song has it all.  It all prepares you for the elegant album closer, “Chewing Glass.” The piano serves as the backbone on this number, with the guitar swirling around both vocals and piano.  Personally, I like the fact that the lyrics can be easily sung, as is the case with all the tracks on the record.  If you’re not affected by one listen to this tune then I have a feeling that something’s wrong with your heart.

I don’t want to make too much of a fuss about a more pronounced sound on Nineties, as I think that’s really unfair to the record.  While it may be louder, you’ll find absolute joy listening for the finer touches in the nooks and crannies of the album; you’ll also rejoice that Frank Smith sounds exactly like, well, Frank Smith.  I think the band is officially ready to take on the world, so join in on the fun, won’t you?


Download: Frank Smith – Chewing Glass [MP3]

Solemn Ballad from Frank Smith

Frank SmithThe word might be out that there’s a fuller sound, and even a more rocking sound, on the new album from Austin outfit Frank Smith.  For me, none of that matters at all, especially when you listen to the quality of this latest single, “Chewing Glass.”  It’s got the backbone of a piano, with the guitar ringing in the distance; it paints the picture of what I always think of when it comes to Texas defined music, though with a heavier leaning here, slightly.  I’m already calling this one of my favorite tracks of the year.  The band’s new album, Nineties, is out next week!


Download: Frank Smith – Chewing Glass [MP3]

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