Contest: Bahamas/Noah & The Whale @ Parish (6/9)

Those looking for a sweet show to check out on a Thursday night in Austin, listen up because we’ve got a contest coming for you to attend said show for free.  Here are the short and sweet details about this contest:

Date: June 9th

Location: The Parish

Lineup: Noah & The Whale with Bahamas opening

Prize: One lucky winner will receive their name on the guest list with +1

Entry: Simply leave a comment and we’ll pick a winner on Wednesday afternoon

Please remember to leave a valid email address so we can get in touch with you if you win.  GO!

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/bl2a1jayoo.mp3]

Download: Bahamas – Hockey Teeth [MP3]

Noah & the Whale – Last Night on Earth

Rating: ★★½☆☆

It’s pretty easy to label Noah & the Whale as sort of a bipolar band; their first release was loaded with sunny twee pop, while their sophomore effort was trenched with deeper, folksier tunes. While this is forgivable, c’est la vie, it’s still nice to bring about an even-tempered album, and that’s exactly what Noah & the Whale attempt to bring about Last Night on Earth.

It opens on “Life is Life,” which shows exactly the progression of this group on its opening line, “You used to be somebody and now you’re someone else.” The drum machine percussion and the drawl of Charlie Fink seem a little hollow at first, when the song begins. However, as the groovy little tune continues, it opens up to more of a sprawl. The overlapping of Fink’s vocals with that of the rest of the gang vocals of the band creates a stylistic motif for this band. It’s not a bad start, it’s just a bit “middle of the road.”

The motif of those gang vocals continues all the way up to “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N,” which is the band’s best bit from this album, despite it’s tedious to type title. It’s a catchy narrative of characters that may find themselves in bad situations, but still manage to carry on. It’s a universal theme of life, and is easily identifiable with the listener, so it is not hard to find yourself spelling out the chorus with the rest of the band, agreeing with the sentiment. This song is a reminder of why you love a band like this; the empathetic and simple qualities that live in their music.

If I could tell you to listen to any three tracks from this album, it would be the previous described, “Wild Thing,” and then “Give it All Back.” On “Wild Thing,” there is a bit of transport back to the last album. The five-minute song begins with a bit of feedback and echoing synthesizer, and then slowly swells to its chorus. This slow-mover is the deepest that Noah & the Whale will delve; the sugary gang vocals are cut from this track, and replaced by a climactic and distant “ooh.” Following this is mellowness comes another pop tune with “Give it All Back,” which salvages the mood from before and entertains with another narrative.

For the most part, they achieve their goal. They put “Wild Thing” next to a simple song like “Give it All Back,” which emphasizes their need to move back to a balanced album. It’s not a bad work and there is sure to be a song or two that suits your fancy. However, this album is exactly that; a few exceptional songs coupled with a lot of mediocre ones.

New Music From Noah & The Whale

Those English kids known as Noah & The Whale have a new album entitled Last Night on Earth dropping on March 11th.  Prior to that release date we’ve got new Tom Petty sounding single “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N” below for your listening pleasure.  I think I’m digging this new Americana style the guys are going in.  Brits labeled as Americana!?  Crazy I tell you!  You can also hear new song “Wild Thing” on the band’s website.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Noah-And-The-Whale-LIFEGOESON.mp3]

Download: Noah And The Whale – LIFEGOESON [MP3]

New Tunes from Laura Marling

A few years back Laura Marling was just a teenager playing with Noah and the Whale, but she soon climbed out from beneath that shadow and came into her own with her debut album, Alas I Cannot Swim.  She returns next week (March 30th) with her newest album, I Speak Because I Can, which features a more mature Marling. If you spent time listening to her record, you wouldn’t be able to tell that she was merely 20, as her voice sounds well-traveled.  We’re pleased to offer you a song from England’s favorite young folk starlet.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/03-Rambling-Man.mp3]

Download: Laura Marling – Rambling Man [MP3]

Holiday Happenings

A Whole slew of music related happenings went down during the week of our holiday vacation.  Here’s a quick rundown with some links to find your way:

Black Keys front man Dan Aurbach has a new song from his solo debut streaming over on Stereogum.  How is this not The Black Keys again?

Daytrotter brings us more oustanding live sets from Noah & The Whale and Annuals.

Download a free EP from Bug Lung Baby on the RCRD LBL website.

Elvis Perkins is streaming new tunes from his new album due out this spring.

WOXY is offering a double album of free digital downloads featuring some of the best performances in their studio this year.

Download a free Ragged Claws EP from the band’s website.

Marc Mallman has a best of 1998-2008 compilation availabe to download from his website.

The Black Lips gave us new song “Starting Over” from their 2009 album 200 Million Thousand.  Get it below.

Lastly, our friends The Hood Internet created this tasty little mash up featuring Fleet Foxes vs. Beyonce.  Yeah, that’s how they roll.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/black-lips-starting-over.mp3]

Download: Black Lips – Starting Over [MP3]

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/beyonce_fleet_foxes.mp3]

Download: The Hood Internet – Single Foxes (Put A Wood On It) [MP3]

New Noah & The Whale Single

London band, Noah and the Whale, have recently put up a new song on their Myspace page, but surprisingly, it is not coming out on the much anticipated new album, Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down coming our way via Interscope Records on July 29th. Comparisons abound, from Ruby Suns to Adam Green, but needless to say, this is a band you want to watch. Also, you can download the single, “5 Years Time,” on iTunes as we speak.

Hear the just released single “Sometimes”:
[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/sometimes.mp3]

Download: sometimes.mp3