SXSW Superlatives: RayRay

Young BuffaloIt’s always a struggle to get back to work after over a week of play time.  Reminiscing helps ease the sleepy eyes and doldrums so lets have another look back at the awesome week of music that was.  Nathan kicked us off yesterday with some fine observations and I’ll continue the opinions today about the SXSW music week.  Follow the jump for my awards.

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Show Review: We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The Mohawk (11/12)

We Were Promised JetpacksAfter a short day of rest from festivaling, the ATH crew was back at it again on Tuesday night, braving the cold weather for an evening of Scottish indie rock music outside at The Mohawk. The bill was stacked for a great night–The Twilight Sad‘s heavy indie rock and the more poppy sound of We Were Promised Jetpacks offered a mixing of genres for the evening, but kept it rock and roll. It was a special evening for all, but an even more special evening for B.Gray and Nathan, who were celebrating their Manniversary. Read on for a double perspective of the show from Nathan and Nicole, as well as pretty pictures from B.Gray.

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Dark New Track From The Twilight Sad

14957292691_8fcb196b49I’m sure some of you heard this track yesterday so I apologize for my tardiness in sharing this if you’ve already heard it.  That’s okay by me though because The Twilight Sad has long been an ATH favorite and this new track called “There’s a Girl in the Corner” is just too good not to share.  The band yet again highlight their special way of blending dark pop with heavy bass lines and emotionally packed vocals.  These guys continue to get better and better.

New album, Nobody Wants to be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, is due out October 28th on FatCat Records.

I Like This Song By Errors

You may have noticed that I am randomly sharing songs. This one by Errors was added to my playlist of tunes that are regularly cranked at the Gray Manor a couple weeks ago.

This gem, “Pleasure Palaces”, is from Have Some Faith In Magic with a mini-LP called New Relics landing in mid-October. They’re opening set for Mogwai was excellent. Currently on the road in the UK, Errors will play Red7 11/13 opening for The Twilight Sad and I will be there.

Check their latest track called “Relic” here.

BGray’s SxSW Reflection

I had my camera. I took almost 4,000 pictures. That seemed like a lot, but once I factored in the number of bands, the odd things that have to be documented, the friends gathering for shenanigans and the eight long days involved, it really wasn’t surprising. I haven’t done the final tally, but it would be fair to say that I saw part of a set from around seventy bands.

It is my turn to give a rundown on bests and worsts of The Conference. The many highs were tempered by very few lows. I chased that BUZZ that drives the relevant music fan. My summary will be a little different because I did the whole damn thing; twelve movies, several Interactive and film panels and of course all the music.

So, plenty on the movies, panels and bands and a flurry of pics to accompany all that 411 after the break…

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Twilight Sad @ Emo’s (6/11)

Date 6/11/10
Location Emos
Doors 9pm
Tickets $11 @ Ticketweb

One of our favorite bands Twilight Sad will be making their way to the inside stage at Emo’s on Friday night.  To make things more enticing, our local friends Calm Blue Sea will be providing the opening support.  This should be a great night with two awesome bands on the bill.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/reflection-of-the-television-1.mp3]

Download: The Twilight Sad – Reflection of the Television [MP3]

Holy Fiction – Hours From It

holy

Rating: ★★★ · ·

Somewhere on the long stretch of HWY 290 between Houston and Austin, Holy Fiction was formed from the ashes of various other bands who’d been playing in their respective local scenes.   After countless demos and honing of their own musical voice, the band is now set to release Hours From It, their debut LP.

Turning on Hours From It, you’re bound to recognize Evan Lecker’s distinctive voice.  It dwells somewhere in the land between The Twilight Sad and Shearwater, though we’ll lean more towards the latter since the band hails from Texas.  You can’t help but ignore the comparison, however, as the way he carefully extends certain syllables and seems to hold notes just a second longer than most define a great portion of the album.

It seems that the story of Hours From It relies upon sweeping movements and accentuated elements.  Take “Song 10,” which holds onto a somber emotion, but it’s fleshed out by orchestral touches and keyboard notes in all the right places.  Such light notes take what would seem an ordinary song and carry the tune unto another level entirely.  These are insights into the careful planning the group spend in crafting their debut.

The title track, “Hours From It,” provides listeners with the opportunity to hear what the band may sound like in a live setting, or on future recordings.  It’s a grittier tune, with the vocals coming across less pristine, which actually does a lot for the emotive quality of the song itself.  Then, just as the song seems to fade away, it begins in an entirely new direction, but with the same unrefined sound alluded to earlier.  Holy Fiction backs that up by closing the album with another similar track, “Yes They Were Here.”  As unfortunate as this may sound, Lecker’s vocals are at times too pristine.  Just a little bit of scratchiness makes him all the more enchanting, and that is precisely what the last two album tracks offer listeners.  The music, too, benefits from this dynamic, as the vocals no longer seem to be simply hiding within the song; they stick out a lot more, giving the lyrics a bit more definition.

As debuts go, Holy Fiction has to be pleased with the work they’ve put into Hours From It. The record shows careful thought in the way the songs were pieced together, which demonstrates that this won’t be the last we hear from this band.  All the clarity in the instruments creates vibrant soundscapes that rise and fall with Evan Lecker’s voice, leaving listeners yearning for more.  Keep your eyes on the road ahead, as this shows a bright future for HF.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/05-Song-10.mp3]

Download: Holy Fiction – Song 10 [MP3]

2009 Top 50 Albums

bestof2009cover_albums

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

FT50: Songs of 2009

bestof2009cover_songsWe have to start this list off with a disclaimer.  We have three writers, all with different tastes, so the list should reflect that a little bit.  Also, these are our opinions, and by no means, are they meant to be seen as an “end all be all” to the question of what were the best songs of 2009.  That being said, we like our list quite a bit.  Sure, it’s got some expected numbers at the top, but the rest of the list is genius.  We’ve got some of the songs streaming for you, and the rest take you straight to youtube.  Follow the jump for full list.

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Frightened Rabbit @ Mohawk (9/24)

frightened_rabbit

Date 9/24/09
Location Mohawk
Doors 8pm
Tickets $10 from Frontgate

Mohawk is the place to be on Thursday night with solid bands playing on both the inside and outside stages.  The outside stage features headliner Frightened Rabbit along with The Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks.  After the outside festivities shut down, the inside stage lineup includes locals Corto Maltese and buzz band Division Day.  Now that’s how you get your monies worth.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/frightened-rabbit-last-tango-in-brooklyn.mp3]

Download: Frightened Rabbit – Last Tango in Brooklyn [MP3]

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