ACL 2013: The Big Post of Good Stuff

We are wrapping up Austin City Limits 2013 coverage with this giant summary of links and a massive amount of photos not previously shared. We had a ton of coverage, from tweets galore to interviews of ATH faves. You can see plenty of pics from Weekend One. I didn’t have the fancy wristband that gets you up close and personal for big camera fun. I did have the most fun of any ACL I have ever been to thanks to a group of amazing friends I call fambly.

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More New Music From Smith Westerns

SmithYuck22The release date for new Smith Westerns album Soft Will draws closer this week, as we all eye June 25th to pick up our physical copy. With the release date close upon us, I’m sure many folks have had the chance to listen to most of the album (if not all of it).  Prior to the physical release, the band have offered up this new track “Idol” as a free stream on Soundcloud.  The bright, haze inducing pop is still a driving force behind this band.

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New Tunes From Smith Westerns


Smith Westerns are a band that have picked up plenty of coverage on ATH over the last couple of years, so you know we’re going to jump on the chance to share some new music from the band when it comes our way.  This new song that found it’s way to us today, “Varsity” is a great hazy pop song that seems to have a lot more brightness to it when compared to the band’s previous material.  I’m really into it and it’s got me excited for bigger and better things for the band.

Stay tuned for new album from the band Soft Will due out June 11th on Mom+Pop[soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]



ACL Aftershow Review: Cults and Smith Westerns @ Parish (9/16)

It’s a little late for ACL reviews, but after decompressing from the week I took a moment to write a few of my thoughts. Friday night in Austin during ACL weekend is an interesting one. The energy and presence descended upon Austin by visitors and the music brings a vibe that only SXSW and FFFF can trump. After the first night of the 3-day party at Zilker, a few non-fest goers gathered to catch a glimpse of two of the up and coming acts of this year’s line-up.  See more details after the jump.  Read more

Show Preview: Smith Westerns, Yuck @ Emos (2/7)

Date Monday, Feb 7th
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $12 @ the Door

This is possibly the hottest ticket we’ll see in town until SXSW ladies and gentlemen.   Smith Westerns have just released their latest album, Dye It Blonde, to great fanfare, including this very site.  They’re young and they’re sure to bring energy to their glam meets indie rock sensibility.  Then you include Yuck, a band that’s going to have an absolutely huge year one their album hits the States.  It’s one of the main reasons I’m so excited to hear guitars all over the world this year, and am scaling back on the dance beats.  So, you have two amazing young bands, but you also get Nic Armstrong, a Brit who resides in Austin, who’s been doing this for quite some time, so we know the guy can hold his own.  Pretty sure you need to be here folks. You won’t want to miss this for the world.


Download: Yuck – Georgia [MP3]

Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde

Rating: ★★★★☆

When the Smith Westerns first came about, I showed them a bit of indifference, and I think that was justified.  Vocals on their last album were really muddy, and almost hurt to listen to at point.  But dammit if the band just didn’t up and turn it around for their latest, Dye It Blonde.  Not only do the vocals feel vastly improved, but the music itself appears pristine at points, allowing the band’s talents to be presented to you in all their sonic glory.

“Weekend” really kicks things off on the right foot, and it even shines through with a bit of the musical nods to bands of the past.  That opening guitar squall, as well as many that appear throughout the record, definitely give me the feeling of “The Concept” by Teenage Fanclub.  Such a gentle vocal approach really sets the audience up for a warmer listening experience in comparison to the aforementioned early works; if you’re not hooked right away, just hold on a second. They give off a bit of an off-kilter vibe in “Still New,” using a steady drum beat to accompany the feedback of the guitar as it maneuvers sharply through your ear canals.  Personally, this is the song that grabbed me, but admittedly, I’m  a dork for classic power-pop, even if you can see Bowie/Bolan prancing around in the background.

You’ll find the band’s glam influences evolved, and they no longer feel as if that’s the sole inspiration for the writing on Dye It Blonde.  Sure, you can hear it in a track like “All Die Young,” especially with that high-pitch vocal touch, yet the band seems really bent on creating the perfect hodgepodge of all things pop.  If you can combine glam and Britpop, turn it on its head to make it sound modern, you’re bound to find winning tracks left and right; that’s just where Smith Westerns have gone beyond our expectations.  Besides, the fuzzed bass on “Fallen in Love” melded with some jangling guitar and cymbal work really provide you with everything you need in a solid pop album.

The thing I’ve noticed about Dye It Blonde is that its appeal is so large that everyone is going to discover their own personal gem, and I think that really defines this record in the long-run.  Personally, the whisper of the vocals on “Only One” grabbed at me right away, pulling me in as a listener.  It went on to move a bit away from the glam influence, almost reverting back to the days of pop that served as a precursor to the likes of T. Rex. There’s even a bit of a jammy breakdown near the end, so you know it’s going to be a rocking number live too!

You couldn’t have asked a band to do more in a short period of time than what Smith Westerns have accomplished.  They pieced together an album that utilizes their various influences, given those touches some nice fresh tweaks, and everything else dazzlingly fell into place. If you’re going to search for a record you can share with you and your friends, all of whom love different things from the rock n’ roll musical canon, then Dye It Blonde is assuredly the one for you.

1/29 Girls @ The Parish

girlsshow_bannerGirls brought the stoned out and sunny, but never too sunny, sounds of their debut Album to life at the Parish last Friday.  With support by The Smith Westerns and Magic Kids it was a night of bright shards of pop bouncing off the Parish’s newly re-decorated walls.  A great night for a reverb drenched acid trip lead by the eccentric weirdness of Christopher Owens and his mighty side kick Chet White.   Follow the jump.

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Girls In Austin (1/29)


Date 1/29/10
Location Waterloo/Parish
Doors 5pm/9pm
Tickets Free/Sold Out

Girls are making their triumphant return to Austin on Friday and you’ve got two chances to see the band.  First up is a free Waterloo in-store starting at 5pm with the usual free keg beer.  Second is a show at The Parish along with Magic Kids and The Smith Westerns.  That Parish show has been sold out for awhile so try the free in-store or buy a ticket from a homeless guy at Logans.


Download: Girls – Lust for Life [MP3]

Los Campesinos! @ Emos (8/14)

los-campesinos1We always get excited when Los Campesinos! come to town so we’ll be making a point to see them on Friday when they come to Emos.  We’re even more excited this time around because one of our new favorite bands, Girls, will be playing as well.  Chicago band Smith Westerns will be providing opening support.  Tickets are only $14 and doors are at 9pm.


Download: Los Campesinos! – Don’t Tell me to Do the Math(s) [MP3]