Clearly, based on the name of our site, we’re always down to represent Austin, and while I feel like releases were down in the city this year, there was tons of great stuff to be devoured. Rather than rank and file our friends; we’re just here to uplift the scene, and maybe remind you of some Texas music that might have (it shouldn’t!) slipped under your radar. Black Pumas got the deserved love, but there’s tons bubbling beneath the surface. I mostly broke it into labels, as they’re the heart and soul of this city. Comes with a fancy playlist.
This weekend is filled with a ridiculous amount of good shows to catch and seems to be slated to remind you why it is you choose to live in The Live Music Capitol of The World. With an extra day to your weekend, there’s really no excuse not to get out and see some quality local and touring acts. Here are my picks for the next three nights for a killer time out for the holiday weekend.
This track’s been floating around for a few days, but we were busy doing that list thing, so I’m just now getting to it. Those of you familiar with Harlem will likely hear something different below; it’s growth and maturity, benefitting both the band and the listeners. The melodic hooks have always been essential to the band’s formula, and they’re here, smoothed and polished and charming. For a band that made such a buzz playing off-kilter garage rock, the sharpness in the songwriting here is quite remarkable; don’t sleep on this LP, grab Oh BoyHERE.
First, this is not your older brother’s Harlem; it’s possibly not even the Harlem you know and love. But, it’s still Coomers and Curtis writing incredible pop songs that are destined to get repeat listens. With a new album, Oh Boy, on the very near horizon, we get the below single, which shows a great deal of maturity in the songwriting. This is late night Harlem, writing chilled songs with the same sharp-edged guitar their early work showed, only refined to maximize the melody…not to mention, aided by some solid background keyboard work. If you ever wandered what happened to the band…they’re back and you’re going to absolutely love what’s coming your way. Look for the new LP in early 2019.
You’ve all heard that Harlem is returning, at least in temporary form. The band is reuniting, and doing a bit of touring…starting with a show this Saturday at Hotel Vegas…then they go off to Australia. So, in effort to be their best, the band have been practicing non-stop, trying to guarantee good times and good vibes. Luckily, they managed to lay down a new track too…so give it a go right here! Hope you realize it’s a cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Cola.”
When I was reading up on Snake Snake Snakes, it didn’t surprise me that the band hails from Arizona. While Harlem/Grape St. get their history in Austin, there are roots in Arizona, and this seems like the sort of thing they started. You’ll hear hooks for sure, but it all has that exuberant indifference to modern tropes, crafting a nice bit of garage rock for you to blast loudly over your speakers. They even throw in some tempo changes throughout to mix it up for your ears. The band releases Tranquilo on April 15th via Common Wall.
Remember when we put out that first Grape St. LP? Yeah, that was pretty sweet. But, the band have since gone on to release their latest album, this time with Burger Records. The album is titled Wallpaper, and if anything, it’s another assured dosage of garage pop power from Curtis O’ Mara. Listen to this new single they just tossed up to support their mini West Coast tour; it has long been a staple of their live show, and I have a feeling you’ll dig hearing it in the recorded version. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to grab their new LP. You can get their old debut HERE.
Really happy for our boys in Grape St.; they’ve moved on from our little label to really bang out their excellent new effort over at Burger Records. Luckily for Austinites, the band’s going to be celebrating their release tomorrow night over at Hotel Vegas. Their shows always get sweaty, and are nothing short of a classic rock n’ roll party, meaning you should schedule it in right now. As for their album, Wallpaper, it’s the best work Curtis has done since Harlem went on Hiatus; it’s gritty when it needs to be and poppy in all the right places. They’ll have CDs on sale for super cheap, with a slight delay in the vinyl, so that’s on its way too. Jam this track, one of my favorite live ones from the band.
You know we love our boys in Grape St, and we’re excited to share a brand new tune from their fresh new album, Wallpaper. This latest single displays Curtis’ further progression in songwriting, moving further away from his old group Harlem and into territory dominated by an incredible knack for pop sensibility. It seems like every song on this new record is built for a huge sing-a-long with your friends…but with a little style and flare. You’ll be able to grab the new record from Burger Records this October; it might just be his best work to date…and be sure to catch the band’s first LP A Date with You, HERE.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/dGYCi4ddN6Vm.128.mp3]
Dipset member Jim Jones continues his Vampire Life series with his new mixtape Miami Vampin. Jim Jones delivers his usual blend of gritty and humorous lyrics over hard hitting beats, now moving his night life–Vampire Life–to a Miami backdrop. The Vampire Life series has also turned into a clothing line and a soda (not available in Austin, but can be ordered online). Something new to Jim Jones’ music with this mixtape is the use of Auto-Tune. I am not a big fan of Auto-Tune but fortunately the mixtape is not bogged down by it. The mixtape can be downloaded or streamed for free from DatPiff. The opening track can be streamed below.