2/26 Tegan and Sara @ Bass Concert Hall

We here at Austin Town Hall were fortunate enough to get our hands on some tickets for the much anticipated Tegan and Sara at Bass Concert Hall on Friday night.  Touring in support of their latest release, Sainthood, the girls were accompanied by the beautiful Holly Miranda and Steel Train.  A sold out crowd filled the hall, and you could hear the buzz as all the fans anxiously awaited the beginning of the night. Follow the jump for the full show review and pics.

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2009 Top 50 Albums

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Creating a Top 50 Albums list is never easy.  You have to battle with what you think the world believes, and what you truly believe in your heart, to be solid jams.  We have even more trouble because we have to three writers, all who have different ideas, and we have to make those ideas fit into a neat box.  Well, we got it done, and honestly, our criteria was based on two things: how great we thought the album was, artistically speaking, and how long we listened to it without getting bored.  That’s it. It’s fool proof; you might not like it, but it’s our list, so here it is… Read more

Tegan & Sara On The Interface

tegansara_coverSuhweet.  Spinner’s the Interface hasn’t had too many bands recently that I care a lot about or at least not enough to tell you guys about.  That changed this week with an in studio performance by our favorite Quinn sisters Tegan & Sara.  The girls perform 4 songs all from their new album Sainthood which has been growing on me more and more with each listen.  Maybe these live videos will help you to decide if that big ticket cost for their show at Bass Concert Hall in February is really worth it.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/teganandsara-hell.mp3]

Download: Tegan & Sara – Hell [MP3]

Tegan & Sara – Sainthood

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Rating: ★★★★ ·

My affair with Tegan & Sara began when I first got my hand on the largely acoustic-based So Jealous.  When they switched it up on The Con, I could sense a move in a new direction, and while I liked the album, it didn’t seem like the girls had quite gotten to where they wanted to be. Now, with Sainthood, you can finally see the progression as its come to fruition.  From the opening moments of the album, you can see that they’ve continued to progress, and the production throughout is spot on.

“Arrow” opens the album, and you can hear the poppiness pumping from your stereo, and the emphasis from the bits and pieces of electronic samples (or sounds) brings out the strengths in the song.  You can feel the turning and whirling of the song as it grabs ahold of you, refusing to let you loose until you’ve absorbed all the pop goodness it has to offer.

And the first single, “Hell” is one of the hardest hitting songs the girls have ever put together.  Initially (as in a few weeks ago) it seemed out of place on its own, but when placed in the whole of Sainthood, it’s one of the best songs the girls have written.  The stutter step delivery of the lyrics propels the song forward, and the backing vocals fit perfectly into the greater spectrum of the song.  It might be awhile before you get this song out of your head.

Suddenly, the pacing of the album seems to take a step.  After rushing forward with their stories of love and loss (and possibly the role of playing the martyred lover) they seem to put on the brakes.  “On Directing” through “The Cure” are classic Tegan & Sara, stripped to some of their basic elements, the girls continue to find a way to draw you into their storytelling and catchy melodies.  Then they move into some new direction, a place we haven’t seen them.

“Night Watch” is a short number, backed up to one of the most straightforward pop-punk moments of their career with “Northshore.”  There is a brooding quality here, and the music seems so sparse that you have no choice but to focus on the lyrical value here. The dual vocal delivery of the chorus is precisely what makes this song attractive, although it’s the fact that the girl’s explored some empty space that will fascinate many.

From this point on, the rest of the album runs from hit to hit until the end.  Personally, “Sentimental Tune” reminds me of a great Albert Hammond Jr. (get well buddy) driving song.  Jangling guitars and captivating hooks provide diversity that other albums have lacked.  It proves that Sainthood is one of the most complete albums the Tegan & Sara have put together.  Their maturity shows, and with lyrics that everyone can relate to, this is the record when everyone will truly fall in love with Tegan & Sara, if they haven’t already.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/11-The-Ocean.mp3]

Download: Tegan & Sara – The Ocean [MP3]

New Music From Tiesto

tiesto_jet1So I’m not really sure who this DJ Tiesto guy is, but apparently he was some sort of big deal in the techno/trance scene in the 90s. We bring him up because he’s about to drop a new album with a star studded guest list including indie popsters (and ATH fave) Tegan & Sara. We haven’t heard much from the Quinn sisters recently, so we’ll have to settle for this dance hall jam with DJ Tiesto. You can also expect brand new LP Sainthood from the twin sister duo in late October. This track, “I Feel it in My Bones”, is not confirmed for the girl’s album but will appear on Tiesto’s upcoming album Kaleidoscope due out October 20th.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/i-feel-it-in-my-bones.mp3]

Download: Tiesto (ft. Tegan & Sara) – I Feel it in My Bones [MP3]