Austin’s got tons of really incredible songwriters, and Mike Lee has definitely been one voice we’ve fawned over since his early days on the local scene, first with Letting Up Despite Great Faults and then Fanclub. But, he’s turned his current focus to a new project, Family Mart, and we get our first little taste below. Upon the first few listens, one of the things I adored about this track was the way he employs that dreamy guitar jangle, but instead of rushing it, he gives the song plenty of space, letting the drum beat keep the pace for everyone. It ends up leaving all these space for the soft tones of his voice to fit in between the cracks; it ends up pushing the melodies to sort of rise to the top. Plus, we get a bonus when his voice finds a foil with his friend Ali Wagner (Hex Boyfriend); her addition builds in this delectable contrast…not to mention the tune does get a slight bit fuzzier, which I certainly don’t mind! Without further delay…we present you with Family Mart!
While Mike Lee’s always hard at work in our ATH faves Fanclub, he’s recently gone back to recording tracks where we first fell in love with him, as the songwriter behind Letting Up Despite Great Faults. This song reminds me a lot of Red Sleeping Beauty, driving these hook-laden beats into your skull; they delight upon each rhythmic pulse and each bouncing step. Lee gets help on the vocals here from fellow Austinite Socha, and that textured vocal combination is a sure-fire win in my book. No word on how much new stuff we’ll get from the project, but we’re always grateful to hear Mike working on anything.
If you’re not into Fanclub yet, well, let me advise you. You’re going to want to be into Fanclub. The fairly new trio has just recently been popping up in the ATX scene with some lineage to our faves Letting Up Despite Great Faults. The band offers a similar note, though Leslie’s voice gives the band a slightly dreamier quality, driving home the infectiousness of their work. It’s pick up your feet and dance around the room indiepop, and there’s no ifs ands or buts, you SHOULD be listening to Fanclub. No word on official releases as of yet, but rest assured, we’re super excited to hear new tunes!
Start early over at Mohawk by checking out Mannequin Pussy and Joyce Manor…young sound, semi-emo, little punk. It’s outside, so if you want, you can go home after because it’ll end early.
But, you could also jump ship a bit early to catch a couple of great local releases. Lola Tried is jamming out over at Cheer Up Charlies to celebrate the release of their new EP or hit up Barracuda to get your hands on the new Letting Up Despite Great Faults EP!
Then go back to Mohawk, because Tyvek and Fred Thomas are jamming out. Or be cool, and just bounce all over if your wallet allows.
You could also go see Devendra Banhart play out near Buda at some place called Emos. It’s new, never heard of it.
Sample some songs below. Read more
We’re really pumped to share this video with you guys, as we love the work that Letting Up Despite Great Faults have done in the indiepop scene in Austin. Due to small line-up changes and fatherhood, the band has taken some time to craft their Alexander Devotion EP, but you can now hear new music below! Mike Lee has given up vocal duties on this track, letting their friend Lani Thomison, who sings in Keeper, take the lead here. It’s great, furthering the soft shoegaze sound the band has crafted. We’re so excited that we’re helping support the band for their EP release on February 16th at Barracuda. If you can’t make it, the EP will be available from Shelflife here in the US.
I do love Free Week. The day job keeps me from going every night, but ANY night of Free Week means seeing tons of friends on stage and off. This edition of Free Week photos features photos of Light Wheel, Big Bill, Night Drive, Rose Selavy, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, a tiny cupcake fail, ladder climbing, toasts, staples and so much more. Venues visited were The Mohawk, Cheer Up and Barracuda.
I’m going to post a few thoughts on the backside of the break. The short story is that Big Bill can’t lose, Night Drive is still my favorite dance party, Rose Selavy is rad as a three-piece, Letting Up can do the same and Barracuda was surprisingly packed.
TIP YOUR BARTENDERS. BUY MERCH.
It all started when Nathan ran his mouth about getting a bunch of bands together to celebrate just how damn good Austin’s Pop scene is right now. It is a renaissance. With long time ATH faves like Shivery Shakes, She Sir, Young Girls (HTX) and Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Popfest had a number of shiny new things to shimmy to including Templo X, Summer Salt, Polio Club, (new to me) MCG and new old friends in Tres Oui to round things out. Well, OK, Tres Oui is kinda Literature, but not really, so still “new”…
Pics and recap? Sure.
Tomorrow is the ATX Popfest over at Cheer Up Charlies, doors are at 6 PM, bands start at 7. It’s $5 for 10 Bands. All the money goes straight to the bands…so let’s not complain about $5. But, I also want you to have notes on all the bands, and why you should check them all out. It’s a long post, so please read it all. It should convince you why attendance is required.
Come enjoy yourself some pop music. There’s no place else to be Saturday.
We’re really excited to be part of the first ATX Popfest, trying to encourage love and adoration for our favorite local pop bands. The event features 10 of the best pop bands in Austin, and it’ll be going from 7 – Close over at Cheer Up Charlies. I figured the whole world might not be aware of our scene, so why not create a little playlist to get you hip to what we’ll be throwing down on Saturday. Two notes, Polio Club have been battling Soundcloud, and have chosen instead to only stream their music via Tidal, so you can buy their excellent tape HERE. Also, Literature is not officially playing, but members past and present will be playing in Tres Oui, and we’re hoping Nate will DJ late into the evening…playing indiepop hits.
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Trying to be more on the ball so you folks know where to go when your afraid the music’s dead, so wanted to point you in the direction of these two great local gigs tonight. I’ll be short and brief…sort of.
Carry Illinois got a lot of love from us earlier in the year, plus that show includes the esteemed Lindsey Verrill, Marijuana Sweet Tooth and Rain Collectors. It’s over at Holy Mountain; it’ll have sort of a mellow/folk/pop vibe. Be sure to go to HM before it closes.
Or. You could find yourself over at Empire Control Room for 101X Homegrown. Say what you will about the radio station, Diedre’s got her finger on the local pulse. Just look at all these rad bands: Sphynx, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Shivery Shakes, Alex Napping, Gold Beach, Slomo Drags, Young Tongue, Tamarron, Velo.
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