Show Preview: Nobunny @ Red 7 (11.4)

Nobunny

Date Monday, November 4th
Location Red 7
Doors 9 PM
Tickets $12 @ the Door


So you’re bummed you didn’t get to see the Nine Inch Nails taping, or you don’t feel like going all the way East to catch Cults? Well, the best option out of all of these is still going to be the Nobunny show at Red 7.  Nobunny’s just released Secret Songs, and he’ll be bringing his sweaty live show to our local haunt in hopes of encouraging a joyous riot.  He’ll also be joined by one of my absolute favorite local bands, Pharaohs, which pretty much guarantees that you’re night’s going to be super rad, regardless of what plans you had. Hope to see you there.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/04-I-Am-A-Girlfriend.mp3]

Download: Nobunny – I Am A Girlfriend [MP3]

Nobunny – Secret Songs

nobynn

Rating: ★★★½ ·

For over a decade Nobunny has been doing his own thing, abiding by his own rules and endearing himself to fans all the while.  Secret Songs is his third LP, and while it’s a bit all over the place, it encapsulates exactly what you’d expect from our favorite garage animal rocker.  And shining through it all? Great songs.

Every time I listen to Secret Songs I envision myself rocking out at a show with Nobunny.  “Bye Bye Roxie” seems like a perfect way to kick off the evening, with a bouncing rhythm and heavy-handed guitar playing; it all clears the way for our main man to rock his vocals, wagging his sweat drenched ears in your face. He even slows it down a bit with a twangy guitar stomp on “True Vulture,” before offering one of the standout tracks, “Pretty Girl.”  For me, it’s all about the anthemic nature of the chorus.  I envision you and I bouncing around joyously, beer spraying all across the room as Nobunny enters the foray to make entice us to suck the marrow out of life.

While I’m sure I’ve often lumped our anti-hero into the garage rock category (see above), I can also appreciate his penchant for trying out other genres, while still sounding every bit himself.  “Lizard Lies” is the best power-pop track that the Exploding Hearts never wrote; it’s bratty, catchy and polished enough to play while you give your dad a ride to work.  The longhairs will definitely be shaking their locks at the venues as this song blares out of their local PAs. Then there’s “Do the Stooge,” which is a sort of freak-out jam, which gives us all time to head to the bar, though we’ll do so with a little bit of swagger. You’ll need that momentarily breather before you get into the most classic track, “My Blank Space.”  It’s frantic pace and held syllables are precisely the sort of song that made Nobunny endearing to us all from the start.

And the our night is wrapped up in a poppy little number: “Lovin Lovin You.”  It reminds me of the sort of guitar playing/punk shuffle I grew accustomed to when I went through my Dead Milkmen phase.  It’s a ditty, but there’s something dirty about it…it’s a pop song your parents would be okay with, but every bit of it belongs to you.  And the album, or your night at the club, is over before you know it.  You danced with your friends, you rocked with Nobunny, and those Secret Songs now belong to you.  As always, it’s a secret best shared with those you trust, those with good taste.  There’s nothing quite like it.

 

Hell Yeah! New NoBunny Tune

482800_10200890279601888_881681324_nIf you follow me on Facebook, or are my friend, you’ll notice my profile pic, posted to the left (sorry I got fat) is me with my man Nobunny.  The guy rules, both on record and in the dirtiest of bars.  Sometimes he’s bratty, sometimes he’s brutal, but he’s always got this endearing punk rock quality to him.  This brand new single even has stronger production quality than what I’ve heard from him before, making me more than excited for what his new LP, Secret Songs, will offer listeners.  It’s slated for an October 15th release on Goner Records.  Nobunny!

SxSW 2013: Day Party Pics

No, I am not done yet. This one and a gallery of the showcases is all that is left. If I can muster it, I’ll do a best of post. Best-ofs are easier well removed from a festival because lasting memories help define what really got you going.

Anyway, this giant gallery of daytime show goodness includes some candids and portraits from around the conference during the unofficial events. Highlights include Wax Idols, Nobunny, The Soft Moon, Criminal Hygiene, Bleeding Rainbows, that band Thurston Moore is in, Delorean and so much more.

Click through. Play a game of “oh yeah, I was there.”

Read more

KIng Tuff – King Tuff

Rating: ★★★½ ·

In the brief bio on Sub Pop‘s web page for King Tuff, and his new self-titled album, it alludes to the fact that the entirety of the record is just rock n’ roll and that you can’t really listen to it with critical ears.  For what it’s worth, the bio is pretty spot on, as King Tuff is something you’re just going to have to experience for yourself.  But, I’ll do my best to point out some highlights.

While “Anthem” is the official song to kick off the record, the best served song to begin your listening experience might be “Alone & Stoned;” it’s a bit on the poppier side, which could ease you into the listening experience.  King Tuff‘s vocals have a slight resemblance to Nobunny or Hunx, and his musical style is definitely similar, though this track does show you a nice bit of polish–though there’s still that element of playfulness.  That light-hearted attitude is something that definitely benefits the record, coming through on other songs like “Keep Movin” and “Baby Just Break.”

But, while KT can come across as setting out to have fun, he’s also got a penchant to infuse a bit of traditional garage rock into his tunes, just as he does on the album’s standout track, “Bad Thing.”  It’s fueled with guitar solos and an angrier moment that’s not present anywhere else on the record.  Personally, I dig the way the he slows the chorus down just a bit before blasting off into “I’m a bad thing” one last time.  It’s the hit single for sure, but stick around as this thing is full of other noteworthy tracks.

There’s softer ballad-ish moment lurking here and there, such as “Swamp of Love.”  It’s built around a strummed guitar and a piano backbone, but it illustrates that King Tuff might not be as tough as the name indicates.  He’s got other moments that come earlier, although possibly too short to be completed ballads, like “Baby Just Break.”  I think these are the tracks that standout the most to me, as I expected the whole record to have an certain amount of ferocity like “Bad Thing,” but aside from album closer “Hit and Run” there’s really nothing that’s just a straight out rocker.  Personally, it fits better this way; you get peaks and valleys on the journey, all with different bits of enjoyment, depending on the listener and what he/she is looking for in King Tuff. 

While it may not need critical ears to listen to this self-titled record, most of the audience will surely find it successful because of its ability to keep you from finding the songs stale.  You can get a quick rocker or a ballad; you can find hints of garage rock; you basically can find gem after gem waiting for your own personal discovery, so it’s probably best to get on it now–go pick up this album from King Tuff.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/King_Tuff_-_Bad_Thing.mp3]

Download:King Tuff – Bad Thing [MP3]

Show Preview: Nobunny @ Emos (2/15)

Date Tuesday, Feb 15th
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $8 from Ticketweb

So your Valentines Day might be kind of a bummer, but if you can hold out until Tuesday, we’ve got something that’s just going to blow you away, forcing you smile. That’s right, a man in a bunny mask!  Emos is hosting the return of Nobunny, touring in support of his recent release, First Blood.  You’re guaranteed to get drenched in sweat, pogo about, and leave feeling great about yourself after the set.  And, you can get a glimpse of some of the great rocking bands from Austin, as opening acts Hex Dispensers and Simple Circuit are two bands that really deserve a whole lot more love than they seem to have gotten here in town.  So go out, support your local bands, and just have an all-around good time.  Oh, and if you have an extra bunny mask, you might want to offer it up, as Nobunny was looking a little ratty last time around.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/03-Blow-Dumb.mp3]

Download: Nobunny – Blow Dumb [MP3]


Fergus and Geronimo – Unlearn

Rating: ★★★ · ·

Almost two years ago, I caught Fergus and Geronimo here in Austin; they were just visiting from Denton.  Everything they did on stage was energetic and sharp.  A few 7″s came our way, and now the band have released their debut, Unlearn, for Hardly Art.  After honing their chops, it seems like the band have finally landed on some consistency with their sound, and it’s one that fits in with the modern scene.

Kicking things off with “Girls with English Accents” is a solid way to start off this record.  It’s got a little bit of psychedelic twang in the guitar lines, a repeated chorus line, but it’s the verses that demonstrate my favorite parts of Fergus and Geronimo. They’re sort of off-kilter and unhinged, all done in a playful manner.  Then you move right into “Wanna Know What I Would Do,” which has great elements, yet doesn’t quite fulfill the promise the morning.  Really, it’s just one part that sort of gets me in a funk, and it’s the delivery of “hahahaha.”  Throw that in with some loose lyrical focus, and you can see that at times, great songs get in the way of the band’s playful approach.

Fans of the more R&B influenced garage sound will find a gem in “Powerful Lovin,” using that crooning sound you’ll find on King Khan and the BBQ Show releases.  At this point, you’re bound to appreciate the band’s tendency to sort of shift all over the place, using a great deal of musical diversity to provide a great deal of listening diversity.  “Unlearn” is similar in this fashion, though it introduces a bit of spoken word from a female counterpart.  Part of me is reminded of listening to my mother’s classics from the doo-wop era of classic rock, and that’s not a bad thing by any means, mind you.

Fergus and Geronimo‘s bread and butter though seems to be their more amphetamine influenced jams.  “Baby Don’t You Cry” fits perfectly in with the likes of Ty Segall or a dirtier version of Nobunny.  Beneath it all lives sweet bubblegum pop, but it’s coated in abundant energy, giving the sound a bit of garage stomp, almost as if the band is hanging on by the seat of their pants.  “The World Never Stops” is another such jam, though it does have a nice little instrumental breakdown in the middle that really takes the track to the next level.  Perhaps it is just a hint of restraint, but it’s enough to give Unlearn yet another nice twist in the grand scheme of things.

Fergus and Geronimo have shown a lot of promise through the release of their 7″ work, and through that of their live shows. Now that they’ve got Unlearn out here for the masses, we see that talent come to fruition.  Styles are traded in and out from the get go, letting you get a taste of the band’s influences.  Sure, it’s a bit disjointed at times, and next time around the band might put more effort into the lyrical development, but this is one hell of a start from a band we truly think will do excellent things.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Fergus-Geronimo-Girls-With-English-Accents.mp3]

Download: Fergus & Geronimo – Girls With English Accents [MP3]

Nobunny – First Blood

Rating: ★★★½ ·

It’s funny, but Nobunny is probably more known for his stage antics, mainly wearing a bunny mask, than his music, but that’s all going to change.  His latest album for Goner Records, First Blood, has a sparkling sheen, erasing a touch of that garage sound that he hit you with on his earlier works.  But, this isn’t a bad thing by any means, rather it puts his songwriting on display, which you’ll finally realize is quite solid.

There’s a classic rock n’ roll sound ringing from the guitars on “Ain’t It a Shame,” sort of like Chuck Berry, but the jangle that continues brings a clean vibe with guitars, while his slightly off-tune vocals bring a touch of modernity.  He’ll continue the hint of swing on First Blood with “(Do the) Fuck Yourself,” which uses a nice little piano slide at key points to bring this track out of the garage and into your favorite dive bar.  Listening closely, you’ll probably realize that the “Fuck Yourself” is sort of a nice throwback bop.

You’ll get that sharp-knifed grit you’d recognize at his live shows once you arrive at “Gone for Good.”  It’s a fast paced number that just pushes ahead quickly, all the while Nobunny sort of gives the vocals a bit of a squeal–then you meet up with a nice little horn solo.  While he’s known for garage sounds, the influences here show that he’s really just out to have some fun, no matter what rock n’ roll cliches come about.  “Motorhead With Me” is almost exactly the same, though this is surely one of those tracks that will feature in the live setting.  Snappy drum rolls give the sense that you’ll be clapping along as the percussion bangs away, not to mention that catchy little chorus that’s easily sung loudly whilst spilling your Pabst on your neighbor.

Even though you’ve got bits and pieces of rock n’ roll history throughout, its the garage pop on First Blood that really stands out.  That opening guitar line on “Live it Up” just sucks you in, and right when the drums kick in, you’ll immediately be tapping your toes on the floor.  During the chorus, he has sort of a speak/sing delivery, which when placed alongside that killer opening guitar line just sounds sugary.  Still, if you want some evidence of solid songwriting, you can turn to the album’s closer, “I Was On (the Bozo Show).”  It’s a twangy strumming guitar that really holds the listener throughout here, slowing things down to let you reflect on the whole collection of tracks here, so just soak it on up.

You’ll probably won’t see shattering record sales for First Blood, which is sort of unfortunate, as almost every song on this has some classic appeal.  You also get the added bonus of knowing that the whole affair will be done in under a hour, so you really don’t have a thing to lose.  Since cleaning up the production quality, Nobunny has emerged from playing dirty pop in his garage to writing great songs you can sing along to while you and your buddies are drinking beer looking for the best night of your lives.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/03-Blow-Dumb.mp3]

Download: Nobunny – Blow Dumb [MP3]

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