ATX Thursday Show Spotlight: Carry Illinois & 101X

Letting Up Despite Great FaultsTrying to be more on the ball so you folks know where to go when your afraid the music’s dead, so wanted to point you in the direction of these two great local gigs tonight. I’ll be short and brief…sort of.

Carry Illinois got a lot of love from us earlier in the year, plus that show includes the esteemed Lindsey Verrill, Marijuana Sweet Tooth and Rain Collectors.  It’s over at Holy Mountain; it’ll have sort of a mellow/folk/pop vibe. Be sure to go to HM before it closes.

Or. You could find yourself over at Empire Control Room for 101X Homegrown. Say what you will about the radio station, Diedre’s got her finger on the local pulse.  Just look at all these rad bands: Sphynx, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Shivery Shakes, Alex Napping, Gold Beach, Slomo Drags, Young Tongue, Tamarron, Velo.

Young Tongue – Death Rattle

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Rating: ★★★½ ·

Still waters run deep. That colloquialism kept bouncing around in my head while listening to Young Tongue long overdue, much anticipated debut album. Why do I keep coming back to that phrase? Still waters run deep. Young Tongue isn’t a band that I would refer to as still in any kind of literal sense, going on short sprints with other great indie acts such as Mr. Gnome while maintaining a consistent gigging schedule in their hometown of Austin. This cliché has such resonance with me for this album because while most indie, local based artists seem to ebb and flow on a 1-3 year calendar, Young Tongue has been consistently plugging away for years and year Eight years to be exact – 5 of those in Austin. As a fan I’ve been following them just about all of those 8 years (they were one of the early pioneers of the musical flow from Asheville, NC to Austin, TX).

Musically Young Tongue leans heavily on the mid 2000s’ indie rock explosion – drawing inspiration from the likes of Interpol and Franz Ferdinand. Their sound relies heavily on the 8th note counterpoint between lead guitar lines and bass riffs. Daryl Schomberg’s intense, shifting drum patterns provide the backdrop while Stu and Liz Baker’s melodic and lyrical duets shimmer ontop. At it’s best all the parts fit into place like mechanical gears and seeing them perform live is like watching a well oiled steampunk machine. At it’s worst the gears don’t quite fit into place and the music can and machines lurches forward uncomfortably.

For a new listener of Young Tongue this album provides the truest and most exciting musical snapshot of Young Tongue. Young Tongue has long been a band plagued by the difficulty of capturing their live charisma and translating this to a record. Death Rattle unequivocally meets this challenge. Death Rattle provides more than enough fuel to continue the momentum Young Tongue has been gaining in recent years.

As a longtime fan and listener my only disappointment in this album is that feels like Young Tongue has been treading water. While the album only has one song – Matriarch – from their previous album as the Baker Family, a lot of these songs feel like a rewrite of old material and a lesson in habitual songwriting. The tunes that stuck out to me were the ones where I felt like they were reaching for new sounds, new styles. Heavy Metal Thunder – the 3rd track and the de facto single from the album – takes the best of their writing style and reaches for new terroritory. It keeps the driving rhythm of Nathan Ribner’s bass but the guitar lines and vocals refrain from getting sucked in the busy, insecure clutter that dominates other tracks like Sand Dance.  The song grows into a huge anthem, culminating in a vocal counterpoint that few bands can pull off.

For new fans, this album will be played over and over. For those of us familiar with the Young Tongue catalog, it provides us with a great touchtone but I know I will be waiting to see where the second album takes us.

Austin Spotlight: New Single from Young Tongue

YoungTonguePicIt’s been a really rad week for Austin music, whether you like the heavier side such as Flesh Lights or the poppier side of indie rock, such as this new tune from Young Tongue. Me? I fucking like both, so deal with it. I’m particularly fond of this new track, especially the way that band’s two vocalists work together to provide a rich tapestry of melody that stands in contrast to the darker work of the instrumentation that’s present, particularly the post rock guitar chords.  They’re heading out rather soon on a big little tour through the Midwest, then turning left. It’s all part of the celebratory for their debut, Death Rattle, which comes out on November 11th via Raw Paw/Punctum Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/YoungTongue_03v1_HeavyMetalThunder.mp3]

Download: Young Tongue – Heavy Metal Thunder [MP3]

Show Pics: Locals Only @ Mohawk (7/26)

Black Books…with a brief visit to Cheer Up.

So we talk quite bit about supporting the locals. We also suggested making supporting the locals easier with folding in the artists in smart ways. Our friends at The Mohawk had a great idea; why not fill a night off with an inside/outside show for a cheap cover to help you see a ton of local talent? Make it so.

Perfect excuse to have fun with the nifty fifty and spend a night milling about The Mohawk and saying hi to friends with a soundtrack provided by Little Radar, Wiretree, Young Tongue, Supermoon, Black Books, Modern Medicine and a quick trip next door to catch up with Shivery Shakes at Cheer Up.

Click through for thoughts and plenty of pics!

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Austin Weekend Show Spotlight

austin_live_music_retailrSometimes the madness that is the Austin music scene just never stops.  This week’s been pretty ridiculous as it is, but the great shows keep coming…and I’m not just talking about that Vampire Weekend or Cloud Nothings show; there are some incredible local bills to catch, including a pretty awesome release show.  Here’s my suggestions on where you might want to find yourself this weekend. Read more

Show Review: Bells & Parks @ Holy Mountain

bellsandparkVersailles, the ambitious and aptly titled EP of Austin new comer Bells and Parks, strives to create the detailed soundscapes and layers reflective of their self appointed Baroque/Dream Pop genre. A follow up to to the March 13th single “Streams”, Versailles is executed with the focus that was missing from the group’s freshmen effort. While “Streams” sounds like the excited songwriting effort of a new Micro-Korg owner, Versailles is more contained and thought out, with mature use of synth layers to inform the songwriter’s vision rather than overwhelm it.

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Austin Show Spotlight: Young Tongue Single Release @ Red 7 (2/22)

IMG_6338Everyone in Austin should be really excited about the incredible release show lined up for Austin’s Young Tongue.  They were known previously as The Baker Family, but they opted for a name change as they felt the new name better suited the music they’ve been creating in the last few years.  They’re celebrating the release of their incredible new single “Cat Calls,” which comes with three other incredible new songs; pick it up HERE. But, in case you’re not familiar with the act, the show also features The Del-Vipers, Hikes and Residual Kid, so it’s a pretty solid line-up all around.  The show is only going to cost you $6, which is a steal for all the incredible talent that’ll be gracing the stage. Be sure to show up early and catch all the groups, and clap really loud when you hear this awesome new single.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/cat-calls-master-1.mp3]

Download: Young Tongue – Cat Calls [MP3]

Austin Spotlight: Young Tongue

YoungTonguePicYou want to do what!?!  Many bands in the past have decided at one time or another to take the leap and change their name after copyright issues, lack of hits on google search, etc.  Today we’ve been told that local hit makers The Baker Family are moving on from their old ways and officially going by Young Tongue.  I personally think the change is for the better, but of course I never would have told them that before today….  So the band begin their new adventure with a new single called “Cat Calls” which can be found below.  I’d call it a great, driving, indie rock number that certainly won’t let anyone forget about these guys after the rebranding.

Young Tongue will be celebrating the release of their new single at Red 7  on February 22nd.  More info here.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/cat-calls-master-1.mp3]

Download: Young Tongue – Cat Calls [MP3]