ACL 2015 WE2 In Pictures: Friday Edition

ACLSo, let’s start with the photo portion of our ACL coverage. I have a confession; I sold my soul to take photos of the Foo Fighters. Yes, I signed a release. If the Foo people read this, please try to keep up to your end of the bargain and leave the watermark for ATH and send a little credit our way “as allowed”. I’ll probably never check if you guys use my pics, but be nice.

The Friday edition of photos starts with Avers and ends with the Foos, Son Little, Royal Blood, London Souls, Albert Hammond Jr., Billy Idol, Run The Jewels and Tame Impala in between.

Click through and gaze…

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ICYMI: Levitation Schedule Released

LEVITATION-2015-SQUAREWhat’s up, nerds?

Late last week, Austin Psych Fest announced the schedule for this year’s Levitation Festival. I love it. Even if you have a conflict, you will have an opportunity to meander in the fringes and bolster you festival band count. If you don’t want to meander, you’ll have nice breaks between bands to allow for extra-curricular activities like, ya know, eating and drinking and not dehydrating and shrivelling. It is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

Can’t wait to be miserably tired when The FLaming Lips take the stage on Sunday at 11:45pm…

Click here to start planning your weekend.

Another Spacy Number from Au.Ra

1799080_618982538233960_3618200909817826660_oA few weeks ago Nicole tossed out a track from Au.Ra, who specialize in a spacier version of the Australian psych sound that’s been popularized by the likes of Tame Impala.  But, while they hold true to that sound, the duo’s delivery has a special approach that uses the negative space, filling it with smooth washes of electronic flourishes.  There’s a relaxation to it, which allows the music to move in a quieter direction that I think you’ll appreciate.  It’s just another reason to keep Jane’s Lament on your radar as we move towards the March 3rd release date.

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Wicked Hit from Sunflower Bean

sunSunflower Bean is a fairly new act if one was to go by the information passed our way, but I’m already interested to see what direction they’re heading.  This single has two souls, though they both seem to be haunted by different directions.  You’ll get the female fronted post-rock, with this entrancing yelp at the end of the syllables.  Then they switch it into more of a psychedelic realm, with a different twist on the music; these moments have more of a brooding fuzz to them, rather than the emphatic yelping of it’s counterpart. It’ll be interesting to see what comes next; there’s lots of room for them to grow.

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Show Preview: Tame Impala @ Stubbs (2.26) + After Party

tameimpala

Date Tuesday, February 26th
Location Stubbs
Doors 6:00 PM
Tickets SOLD OUT


It should be no surprise that Tuesday’s show with Tame Impala has sold out. The band has been universally praised with their two albums, the most recent being Lonerism.  It’s weird to see a band burst forth with such enthusiastic praise, but I assure you, having spent hours upon hours with the band’s music, it’s more than deserved.  I actually haven’t seen them live, so I’m looking forward to see what they have to offer in the live setting.  They’ll  be bringing friends The Growl with them from Australia.

And, immediately following the show, there is a killer set inside the venue featuring our local favorites Feathers and the Sour Notes.  I say go for it all.  Six hours of perfect music to make your perfect Tuesday.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Apocalypse-Dreams.mp3]

Download: Tame Impala – Apocalypse Dreams [MP3]

Check Out Pond (w/ members of Tame Impala)

pond620I know everyone out there is all about the hype associated with Tame Impala, and it’s much deserved, for the most part.  What I like is the brother band, Pond, who seem a bit more experimental sonically, shooting all over the place musically.  I guess it’s sort of the same landscape where Tame began, shifting between genres left and right, often in the middle of a track.  We’ve really been digging this tune over at ATH, and if you’re into it, you can find their new album Hobo Rocket at your record store this Spring via the folks over at Modular.  All good thigns come to those who wait, and this will surely be a good thing.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Giant-Tortoise.mp3]

Download: Pond – Giant Tortoise [MP3]

Top Albums of 2012: 50-1

Here it is.  I know you’ll hate it; I know you’ll disagree, but that’s not the point in making an arbitrary list.  We here at ATH worked really hard to fit in the tastes of the four of us, and when we decided upon our Top 50, it really boied down to simple math.  What albums did we love when they came out?  Do we still enjoy spinning those records months later? If they’re in the Top 50, then the asnwer is probably yes.  I mean, our Top 2 records came out in January, and still play a vital part in my weekly listening.  There’s no disclaimer here.  We are who we are, we like what we like, and we hope that’s okay with you. If not, drop us a line and let us know where we went wrong.

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Tame Impala – Lonerism

Rating: ★★★★☆

When Tame Impala burst onto the scene, they were pretty much atop everyone’s list for their creative first effort, Innerspeaker, but while the adoration has remained, the music seems to have shifted.  Lonerism is almost absent of guitars, choosing to craft songs out of layer upon layer of electronic samples and drumming, rather than fill your speakers with shifting guitar noises.  If you can discern the beauty herein, you’ll find a record worthy of repeated listens.

Statements are made almost immediately, with “Be Above It,” opening to a propulsive drum beat and repetitive vocal sample.  Musically, that’s about all you get from the track, though the drum begins to echo a bit more and the vocal is replaced with a more sincere pop lyric.  It’s a pretty empty track when you look at it musically, yet somehow the vocal grew on me as I listened time and time again.  Similarly, “Endors Toi” takes an approach filled with beeps and bloops and break-beat drumming.  It’s as if you’re listening to early DJ Shadow run through a mixing board by the kids in Black Moth Super Rainbow.  But, at the heart of the track is this glorious chorus, showing that while the Tame Impala has altered their sound, they’re still nearing perfection.

Personally, I still find myself gravitating towards the tracks that feature a more prominent guitar line, such as “Mind Mischielf.”  It’s got a crunchy bit of guitar that doesn’t seem to carry too much musical construction, almost as if it was placed atop the music in post-production.  For me, the vocal’s tone closely resembles the pop explosion that I set out looking for in Lonerism, even as it seems to fade out far too often.  “Elephant” is another such song, using a chugging guitar line that plugs away in your ears rhythmically throughout.  The darker tones of the guitar are perfectly juxtaposed with the flow of the lyrics, making the song neither grim nor overly happy, although that keyboard mid-track definitely brings up the spirit quotient.

Even with an absence of guitars for the most part, or minimized guitar work, there are still songs that evoke traditional songwriting, in both structure and melodic approach.  My favorite is perhaps “Keep On Lying,” which opens with a fade in that rather appears like a fade out.  Somehow Tame Impala have managed to organize the structure of the track where the beats almost resonate as guitar stabs or downstrokes, applying the traditional formula, albeit in their own way.  And, as the song unfolds, a guitar does come noodling its way into the track, providing yet another layer of sound to push the jam further, even when the lyrics disappear.

Honestly, Lonerism is a far more adventurous effort than what I originally expected.  I almost hoped that it was a re-hash of the first album, knowing that would more than satisfy me, but as I’ve spent more time with Tame Impala, I can see that this might be more rewarding in the long-run. It’s not something you’ll immediately “get” or fall in love with, yet the nuances of construction make it pretty brilliant.  Only time will tell the story of this record’s longevity, but for now, I don’t really want to listen to anything else.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Apocalypse-Dreams.mp3]

Download:Tame Impala – Apocalypse Dreams [MP3]

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