Low Life Announce From Squats to Lots: The Agony and XTC of Low Life

Sorry to inform you that this week is indeed Goner Records week, as the label have announced yet another banger of a tune, along with the announcement of the new Low Life album. This is great news, as we were big fans of Downer Edn, so to know that From Squats to Lots: The Agony and XTC of Low Life is just around the corner makes this a wonderful Friday. When this opens up, the drums are thunderous, furiously rushing us into this tornado of guitar swirls, lifting us and dropping us, lifting us and dropping us. The vocals are rather direct, and almost without emotion, adding to the pseudo-industrial nature of the track. Personally, a few listens through, and I kind of imagine this as a dark-wave response to Les Savy Fav, particularly when you get to the chorus; it just feels very Tim Harrington. The new LP is out on November 5th.

Divers Bring Out New Single

dvrsThe guys in Divers talk of walking the fine long between indie rock and punk rock, and listening to their new single, you can hear them straddling that strange divide.  Opening this tune is this jagged guitar and furious punch; it reminds me of Les Savy Fav at their most bombastic.  But, those moments subside quickly and move into a safer world where Win Butler would feel most protected..or one of those Hold Steady cats. It’s definitely something I enjoy, though I’m not sure where it falls in my life. I guess we’ll see when their album Hello Hello falls on February 17th.

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New Rocker from Radical Dads

Didn’t these guys just put out a record? Well, if you listened to Mega Rama, you might not know what to think when you get this solid little jam.  It reminds me of the furious moments of Les Savy Fav back in the days of Go Forth, but that’s probably wishful thinking.  The band’s Skateboard Bulldog 7″ will be out later this year, but we’ve got the track to rock you right now.  From the minute it kicks off, it’s geared at rocking you right out of your chair.  Quick and to the point, you won’t be able to catch your breath before this number ends. Well played Radical Dads.


Download: Radical Dads – Skateboard Bulldog [MP3]

Mohawk 5th Anniversary Begins Tonight

Date 9/29 – 10/2
Location Mohawk
Doors Varies
Tickets 4 day Passes or Day Passes Available

The best little venue in town is celebrating their 5th anniversary starting tonight with some great shows planned all weekend long.  You can check out individual shows, or pony up $42 for a 4 day pass of badass music.  Here’s a quick list of what’s going down, door times, and where you can buy tickets.

THURSDAY – 9/29 – Doors @ 7pm.  Tickets Right here

Les Savy Fav, The Arm, Canoe, Christian Bland & The Revelators, Shapes Have Fangs, The Vitamins, Johnny Hottub

FRIDAY – 9/30 – Doors @ 8pm.  Tickets over here.

Grupo Fantasma, Soul Happening DJs, Master Blaster Sound System, Peligrosa All Stars

SATURDAY – 10/1 – Doors @ 8pm. Tickets in the same spot.

Lucero, Moonlight Towers, Frank Smith, Mike & The Moonpies, East Cameron Folkcore

SUNDAY – 10/2 – Doors @ 6:30pm.  FREE fools!

My Education,Transmography, Marriage, Golden Bear, Lean Hounds

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/04-Lets-Get-Out-of-Here.mp3]

Download: Les Savy Fav – Let’s Get Out of Here [MP3]

Les Savy Fav – Root for Ruin

Rating: ★★★★☆

Writing about Les Savy Fav is really difficult to do without keeping frontman Tim Harrington in mind.  It’s not just his vocals, but his overall performance attitude, making each show something to remember. Root for Ruin feels a great deal like an album made perfectly for one of Tim’s amazing stage shows, giving him plenty of fuel, and just enough time to breathe and drench the audience in his sweat.

Out of the gate, “Appetites” just straight ahead knocks you out.  It’s got sharp knifing guitars cutting across each other, and then Tim takes the stage.  You can envision him approaching the audience, shoving the microphone in our face as he screams “we still got our appetites,” making a statement that Les Savy Fav aren’t ready to call it a day–thank goodness. They won’t let up just yet either, bringing you pounding drums into the mix with “Dirty Knails.”  As those guitars fly into the mix, you can see the veteran band moving the audience to a passionate frenzy.

“Sleepless in Silverlake” is one of those sprawling songs where Tim would probably sit on the edge of the stage, toying with members of the audience, perhaps doing some sort of well-timed crouch/stomp across the stage.  Pristine guitars carry themselves with grace throughout this track, while Harrington’s vocals remain steady, serving more as the skeletal backbone of the song. Root for Ruin doesn’t just rush along either, as some of their albums have done, it lets the listener gather themselves up as well, much like “Let’s Get Out of Here,” using swinging high vocals and one of the strongest melodies the band’s offered us to date. It’s adult post-rock, but done with such vibrance and self-assuredness that you’ll swear it never sounded this good.

One of the things the band has managed to do so well is balance the juxtaposition of their quieter, subdued moments with edgy rockers.  Thrown back to back, “High and Unhinged” and “Excess Energies” demonstrate the perfect contrast in the band’s work, with the former using sort of a staccato guitar line to correlate with Tim’s stop and start vocal delivery.  It’s not nearly as in your face as the other work on Root for Ruin, but it surely falls in line with some of the group’s more accomplished numbers.  “Excess Energies” just hits you from the opening seconds, using violent imagery to give a bit of resonation to the ferocity with which the band exhibits, both in this song and live.

You see, you can’t possibly approach writing about Les Savy Fav without incorporating some aspect of the band’s live performances, as they’re surely one of the most original and invigorating live acts around at the moment.  All of Root for Ruin feels precisely like a well lined-up showcase of everything the group has to offer listeners, using  pummeling numbers alongside songs that tend to meander, albeit with an edginess you’re not likely to find elsewhere.  After years of playing together, they’ve finally seemed to encompass in the live recording everything we’ve all known about them all along, bottling up their fury and creativity in one glorious collection of eleven tracks.


Download: Les Savy Fav – Let’s Get Out of Here [MP3]

New Music from Les Savy Fav

See that naked guy on top of another man in the picture?  That’s Tim from Les Savy Fav, one of our favorite bands, hands down.  But, this isn’t about Tim’s live antics, it’s about the band’s new album Root for Ruin, which comes to your home stereo on September 14th via Frenchkiss.  You’ll love the angular guitar lines, and the production is simply the best yet from the group.  Be sure to stop by and drop off your email so you can keep up to date on all the news from Les Savy Fav, which you will have to do because this new album is too good to miss.


Download: Les Savy Fav – Let’s Get Out of Here [MP3]

FTC: Hellbender

hellbenderHellbender, for this writer, has always been more connected to personal memories than the love of the actual music.  Listening to the band I am reminded of inside jokes, handmade t-shirts, missed opportunities.  Even now, sitting at my desk listening to Hellbender, I am transported back to community college (Jealous?), skipping class, watching friends smoke, and thinking about my new girlfriend (now my wife of seven years!). Of the bands three albums and numerous EPs I only really love one release, 1997’s Con Limon.

On Con Limon you can see the three members of Hellbender already pulling away towards their personal tastes: bassist Al Burian would later co-found Milemarker and Challenger/Auxes as well as continue publishing his long running zine Burn Collector; drummer Harrison Hayes would join jangly rockers Les Savy Fav, and guitarist Wells Tower would practically leave music all together and focus on writing. But the songs on Con Limon use each of the members separate personalities and playing styles to produce a fun and at times heart-wrenching punk record. I highly recommend checking it out, if you can find it.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/01-fake-i.d..mp3]

Download: Hellbender – Fake I.D. [MP3]

Top Ten Fun Fest Artists

FFFFest2009_Top10We hope all of you stayed dry on Sunday at the Fun Fun Fun Festival and we also hope you soaked in the great weather of Saturday. All in all we had a great time over the weekend and saw tons of great bands.  Just as we did with ACL, we’d like to give you a brief recap with our top 10 favorite bands from the weekend festivities. We’re putting these in no real order and just listing them with some brief reasons why we liked them so much. Follow the jump for our top 10 Fun Fest bands.

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