When we began this blog back in the day, I covered Gentleman Jesse quite a bit; his work as a power pop revisionist had my attention from the start, and I felt like Leaving Atlanta was tragically overlooked. So, here we are a good ten years later, and Jesse Smith returns; he quietly dropped Lose Everything last Fall, and now there’s a brand new EP he’s working on for Third Man Records. The EP features a cover of “True” by Atlanta band the Fans, as well as this stomping ripper co-written with Greg Oblivion. Grab the Compass EP over HERE.
Austin’s Video signing to Third Man Records might have come as a surprise to many, but what shouldn’t surprise you is how incredibly strong the band actually is at this point. Their “New Immortals” single had this huge power-pop feel, but in some way, it still felt rather dangerous. The B-Side, which is a live version of “Nothing Lasts Forever” brings on a barrage of noise and high-speed energy, punishing your ears in the best way. Singer Daniel Fried unleashes his best snarl through your speakers; he does so with such ferocity that one likely sees it as a call to incite a riot (in an orderly fashion; I don’t condone violence). Their full LP, The Entertainers, will be out via the label on October 30th, but you can grab the 7″ featuring this B-Side right HERE.
The band will be playing a release show too on October 28th over at Beerland.
The opening lines of this Video track had me completely fooled; I thought I had died and gone to a prog-rock heaven (or hell in my case). But, just be patient, as the group kicks in with their angst-laden rock n’ roll in a matter of moments, pushing quickly to the track’s finish. There’s definitely some lineage to members’ other acts like Wiccans, Radioactivity or Bad Sports, but you should instead focus on how infectious yet hard-edged this new tune feels. Look for their album, The Entertainers, to hit the streets on October 30th via Third Man Records.
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Okay, so it’s not like Kelley Stoltz has been completely absent from the world; he’s done production work for Sonny Smith and the Sandwitches. But, his own solo career has been fairly quiet since To Dreamers was released a few years back. We’re excited that he’s returned with a new song, and a new label! He’s signed on with Third Man Records to release Double Exposure, which has production duties from Eddy Current/Total Control’s Mikey…so it might have a different touch than the last album, which Kelley produced himself. The album will be released on September 24th, and the first single is now available for you to enjoy.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Kelley-Stoltz-Kim-Chee-Taco-Man.mp3]
Download: Kelley Stoltz – Kim Chee Taco Man [MP3]
Jack White‘s pretty much done everything musically speaking at this point: he’s played in various bands (White Stripes, Raconteurs, etc) and he’s produced/written with music legends. Heck, he even got to date Bridget Jones and marry a British super model, so what does he have left to prove to us? Absolutely nothing…and that’s the point of Blunderbuss.
Old fans of Jack’s will probably enjoy the album opener “Missing Pieces;” it seems like one of the simpler songs he’s written in a long while, not to mention the fact that his distinctive voice really takes the song’s focus. It’s also got a muddy feel with the chorus, which provides that raw energy his early White Stripes stuff carried with it. But, he then goes into “Sixtine Saltines,” a tune that I could probably do without. It’s a definite rocker, so if that’s the Jack you’re looking for then it’s in this song; I just hate that it comes off as braggadocio rather than fragility and ingenuity. The juxtaposition of the many faces of Jack White is something you’ll encounter time and time again on Blunderbuss.
“Love Interruption” was the first single from the album that really grabbed hold of me because of it’s stripped down structure. Ruby Amanfu’s presence provides Jack with a familiar female counterpart, but the delivery of the two vocals is something that varies greatly from the work he’s done with other ladies. There’s something about this tune, as well as “I Guess I Should Go To Sleep” that demonstrates White’s ability to work others backing vocals easily into his songs. What amazes me is that on Blunderbuss they all sort of seem to come off as a bit of impromptu jams, which probably isn’t too far from the truth in the end. These are great songs that any fan will add to their favorites list.
There’s probably some songs on this album that most people will find appealing that just haven’t sunk in as of yet. “I’m Shakin” and “Trash Tongue Talker” delve into White’s fascination with traditional blues-influenced rock n’ roll that first won over teenagers in the early years. It’s definitely clever, and his voice is more than fitting, but these songs don’t seem to be his strength–still, you can’t blame anyone for wanting to throw a rocking stomper out there. Funnily, these two songs (my least favorite) move right into what’s my personal standout, “Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy.” This tracks is centered around a nice bit of barroom piano, and what I suspect is a bit of banjo in the background. It stands out to me because it illustrates just how strong a voice Jack White actually has (no matter how often I forget). It’s not even the most complex song in the world, but you better believe it’s a sweet tune all around.
With Blunderbuss you get sort of a mixed bag of Jack White. He throws in a few rockers (not my cup of tea) to appease that side of his fans, but for the most part these are blues/country/bluegrass/barroom influenced tunes that are by and large pretty successful. I guess there’s only a few stunning tracks on the effort, but he’s still able to accomplish a lot more in one album than most people will do in an entire career; I’ll gladly take a solo Jack over 99.9 % of the rest of the music out there. Such are the gifts of one of America’s finest songwriters.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/04-Love-Interruption.mp3]
Download:Jack White – Love Interruption [MP3]
We’ve all been running a little lethargically with the holiday season upon us, so I thought I would kick start Monday with a bit of amplified heat. We’re bringing you a new single from Pujol, and this one’s got the backing of Jack White, seeing as he’s the man who produced it, not to mention the man putting it out on Third Man Records. You’ll find furiously pounding drums in the forefront, with some really clever guitar work going on throughout, all bringing some powerfully energetic rock n’ roll. This kid can play, which is no surprise, as you wouldn’t expect Jack to back someone who can’t play their instrument. If you dig it, get your hands on the Black Rabbit 7″.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Too-Safe-1.mp3]
Download: Pujol – Too Safe [MP3]