New Old Music from Malcolm Middleton

Long have I adored the work of Malcolm Middleton, ever since he worked in Arab Strap.  Luckily, since it’s raining, I opted to pick up his new LP, which is basically his first album of recordings that never saw the light of day until now.  He’s been really busy lately, or so it seems on his site, so I’m happy to pick up A Quarter Past Shite.  It’s mostly Malcolm and his guitar, with a real melancholy bent on the lyrical matter.  Apparently, the sadness of the songs kept him from publishing it until now, but I’m glad he did, as it makes for a great listen on this dreary day here in Austin.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/01.-New-Blue.mp3]

Download: Malcolm Middleton – New Blue [MP3]

Brand New Jam from Literature!

If you’ve been following this year, you’ve probably heard me hype up local Austin band, Literature.  Well, prepare yourself for a whole lot more, as the band’s about to release a phenomenal record for you all to enjoy.  The record is titled Arab Spring, and pretty much every song is an absolute gem.  The band’s been kind enough to let us pick our favorite jam, which, believe you me, has been a difficult task this weekend.  I chose, “Grifted,” as there’s a bit of elegant charm, and immeasurable catchiness to go along.  This song should definitely demonstrate why I’m so excited about this band! The record’s so solid that I’m sure someone will pick it up once the band self-releases the album here in the next few weeks, and if they don’t, fuck it, I’ll do it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/06-GRIFTED.mp3]

Download: Literature – Grifted [MP3]

New Punk Jam from VIDEO

For me, 2011 has been an excellent reemergence (in my life, at least) of the punk rock. One of the most recent albums I’ve been spinning a lot lately has come from Denton’s VIDEO.  The band is comprised of members of Wax Museums and Bad Sports, bands I’ve already raved about.  They just released their album, Leather Leather, on Play Pinball! Records, and it’s nothing but a rocking adventure, harkening back to the grittier days of rock n’ roll.  On the track below, the song just builds and builds, exploding in the chorus in dramatic fashion, giving you an impression of a killer live show sure to come (12/28 in Austin). If you’re looking to get your blood boiling, then look no further than right here! And head to the record store to pick up your copy, as you can see that it’s got some unique packaging; I think it’s their to hide the fury inside.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/07-video-red-pills.mp3]

Download: Video – Red Pills [MP3]

New Rocker from Black Twig

There’s not a hotter label in my mind right now than Soliti Music, and the killer label has been generous enough to share us this incredible new track from Black Twig.  The group will be releasing their album Paper Trees via the label on January 11th, and as of right now, this is one of my most anticipated records for 2012.  In this newest single you’ll find jagged guitars jangling, but it’s the vocal that really grips you; it’s calming, which juxtaposes the furiously beautiful noise that bounces through the rest of the song.  If you’ve heard anything better this week than this track, then give me a heads up, as I don’t think you will.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/04-Death-Scene.mp3]

Download: Black Twig – Death Scene [MP3]

Brand New Bowerbirds Track

After the release of Upper Air, I am pretty sure that anyone who has had a listening experience with Bowerbirds has fallen totally in love with the group.  They create sweeping folk songs, carefully crafted and destined to delight listeners.  You might have to wait until March 6th to hear the Clearing, the group’s new record for Dead Oceans, but you can preview a track from the album right now.  It’s a really incredible track with singer Philip Moore releasing some incredible harmonies from deep down inside.  This should definitely grab your ears and get you stoked for the album’s release.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/01-Tuck-the-Darkness-In-1.mp3]

Download: Bowerbirds – Tuck the Darkness In [MP3]

Noisy Power Pop from Sonic Avenues

Montreal has been known for kicking out some sweet jams, but you typically don’t get something as energized coming from the city as you’ll find here from Sonic Avenues.  The group is about to release their new album, Television Youth, on Dirtnap Records on January 15th, just in time for my birthday.  Based on this lead single, it’s going to be a bouncy effort, fueled by some grinding guitars that leave a little bit of dirt on the bottom of your shoes.  It’s high energy, and highly catchy, which leads me to believe I’m going to have a lot of fun with this full length–hope you do too!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/TelevisionYouth.mp3]

Download: Sonic Avenues – Television Youth [MP3]

New Punk Jam from The So So Glos

God, I just can’t get enough of this band!  Every time I hear something new, I immediately get excited.  The So So Glos are a little bit brash, but definitely energetic, which makes it easy to fall so hard for their hooks.  This new track hit the Internet just before Thanksgiving, and I’ve been jamming ever since then, eagerly awaiting news on their upcoming album.  These guys seem to just want to have a good time, and sometimes rock n’ roll needs that bit of fun, so here’s to these dudes just kicking out the proverbial jams.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/SonofanAmerican.mp3]

Download: The So So Glos – Son of an American [MP3]

The Beets – Let the Poison Out

Rating: ★★★½☆

Three years ago, back in 2008, The Beets began their garage-y, sporadic, and minimalist percussion rock up in New York. After a few years of scraping under the radar and keeping to punk scene of up north, The Beets have made their way into the eye of those previously unfamiliar with their lo-fi stylings. Although still lo-fi in nature, this band has come a long way from their original sound, which was muddied to the extent that it consumed the entirety of the music. After cleaning up their sound and holding on to the best bits, they are able to emerge as skilled crafters of the garage sound.

First up is “You Don’t Want The Kids To Be Dead,” which gently eases you into the fuzzy, campy sound that the Beets are doling out. Juan Wauters’ mousy voice wavers with the jangle of the guitar and the soft drum beats barely making themselves apparent. It establishes the lighthearted attitude that is the backbone of the sound on this album, and allows you get familiar with this breezy style of jam, if you hadn’t already waded into the waters of The Beets. Up next is “Now I Live,” relying on the vocals to carry it through the minute and a half in which it lasts, until the third track “Preso Voy,” is up. Third up, this song is entirely in Spanish, which if anything increases the interest level, latching onto syllables belted out with heightened emotion.

As far as this style of records go, The Beets follow the pattern that has become synonymous with punk-garage rock: more than ten songs of which only one reaches above the three minute mark. However, whereas most bands tend to fall victim to this structure, The Beets manage to use it to their advantage, avoiding that dreaded repetitive monotony that can sometimes accompany such choppy albums. You have songs coupled together such as “As The World,” which relies on feminine ooh’s to keep it chugging along, and “I Don’t Know,” which comes across as one of, if not the most, old-timey songs on this album. Together, they balance each other out, to make for a meet in the middle groove, keeping The Beets above banal sound and makes for a standout among other releases of this genre.

Let the Poison Out is sure to live in your CD player for a while; its brevity ensuring that you’ll be singing right along in no time.

New Music from Sharon Van Etten

I know Turkey Day is drawing near, but there’s still some great music leaking out today, so I’m going to try and stay on top of it.  This new track from Sharon Van Etten has me really excited, and not just because it features members of The National, Walkmen and Wye Oak; it’s because I’ve got a bit of a crush on Sharon…and her music too! The songstress has a new album coming out titled Tramp, which will be released on Jagjaguwar on February 7th.  This song’s got a nice little cascading guitar line cutting through the rhythm guitar, and Van Etten’s voice sounds every bit as beautiful as I remember it in the live setting.  This is shaping up to be a good 2012 already.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Sharon_Van_Etten_-_Serpents.mp3]

Download: Sharon Van Etten – Serpents [MP3]

Fun Fest Interviews: Cloud Nothings

Sorry that we’re just now getting this one finished, but it takes us awhile to recover from all the good times at Fun x 3 Fest. This last interview is with one of our favorite bands of 2011, Cloud Nothings. We were fortunate enough to catch up with the band, and ask them a bunch of random questions, as we’re wont to do. Hope it’s informative. And I’m sorry I look so fat on camera.

Follow the jump for video.

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