Wednesday, October 7, 2009


As you can probably see, this site has not been updated in quite some time. I'm more interested in fresh starts than revivals, so rather than try to bring this beast back to relevance, I've started a new project. It's much simpler, much more to the point. You can check out that new start here. The new site is called My Life With....

Thanks for all of the support over the years!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Twilight Sad and The Calm Blue Sea at Mohawk this Sunday

Just wanted to drop a quick note about an awesome show at The Mohawk this Sunday night. Two of my favorite bands are playing the inside stage on the evening in question, one local and one decidedly not local. The evenings headliners are Scotland's own The Twilight Sad. I fell really hard for this band a couple years back when they released their jarring debut 14 Autumns and 15 Winters back in 07. It made it all the way to #2 on my best of list for that year and I think I saw the band 5 or 6 times that year (most of them at SXSW). It's been a while since these noisemakers were in town and since then they have kept busy, releasing a couple of EPs (Here It Never Snowed Afterwards It Did and Killed My Parents and Hit the Road). Both EPs find the band reigning in their sound a bit from the first album. While 14 Autumns and 15 Winters focused most of their attention on being as loud as PA systems will allow a band to be, their releases since have focused a bit more on the nuances behind the volume. I imagine we will be treated to a bit of both on Sunday.

Amply filling the opening slot are local Post Rock behemoths The Calm Blue Sea. If you've read this blog before you know that I love these guys. Fresh off their impressive take at scoring Fritz Lang's Siegfried at the Ritz last month (which I've been told was recently recorded at Cacophony and should see the light of day in the not too distant future) these guys promise to bring everything they have to the table. If you haven't seen them yet (seriously what are you waiting for) Sunday should provide the perfect opportunity. Don't fear the ominous clouds overhead, for this show will be taking place on Mohawk's intimate indoor stage. Should make the night all the better. Highly Recommended!! Opening the whole show up are Austin's own instrumental noise makers My Education

The Twilight Sad with The Calm Blue Sea and My Education
Sunday April 19th @ The Mohawk (doors at 9)
Tickets here (8 bucks advance, 10 at the door)

(mp3) The Twilight Sad - 24 Hours (Joy Division Cover)
from Killed My Parents and Hit the Road (buy here)

(mp3) The Calm Blue Sea - Literal
from The Calm Blue Sea (buy here)

Check out a recent interview/profile on The Calm Blue Sea from

Monday, March 23, 2009

SXSW 09: The Recap

SXSW is officially over and my feet are quite happy to be given a rest. The rest of me is just annoyed that I actually had to go back to work today. I'd call this year a success for sure. I avoided almost all of the terrible bands and saw some impressive performances from faces both new and old. I'll list some of my favorite shows and then I'll give some overall thoughts. These are in no particular order (although Caspian was the best).

1) Marnie Stern at Club Deville
She shreds. End of story. Her band is killer too.

2) King Khan and The Shrines at Bird's Barbershop on East 6th
James Brown is dead, King Khan is the new godfather of soul, or as he calls it "Psychedelic, Erotic, Gospel Music.

3) HEALTH at Ace's Lounge
So loud, so awesome. I was blown away by these guys' energy. Love all the random Floor Tom pounding too.

4) The Wrens at Mohawk
A really short set, but they packed it full. Best crowd/band banter of the show too.

The Wrens: We played SXSW for the first time in 1995
Random dude in the crowd: I was 4 then!
The Wrens: Jesus

5) Here We Go Magic at Mohawk
Another short set, but this got me super excited for their June show at the Parish opening for Grizzly Bear.

6)The Paper Chase at Club Deville
I hadn't seen John Congleton and Co. live in many many years and had absolutely zero expectations from this set, but they blew the tent off of Deville. Congleton is like a man possessed on stage. They haven't lost a step, see them any chance you get.

7) Irepress at Red Seven
Every year there is a band that I have never heard of before who leaves me with my jaw on the ground. This year it was Irepress. This 5 piece from Boston features one of the best rhythm sections I have ever seen and one of the best guitar duos I have ever seen, all in the same band. The keyboardist was kick ass too. Tons of energy and holy shit do they cover a lot of ground in their songs. If you like Post-Rock/Math-Rock/Post-Hardcore/Music check these guys out now.

8) Caspian at Red Seven
Caspian may be my favorite band in the universe to see live. There are several factors that lead me to this conclusion. Obviously, their insane musical talent is part of it, another part is how flawlessly they always play together, and yet another is that they absolutely destroy every time I see them, without fail. Finally, and this is something that I am sure will change in the future, Caspian is not hugely popular, so every time I see them I, and everyone else in the crowd, is sucked in and becomes part of the experience. It's pretty insane to get your mind blown by 5 guys who are standing 5 feet from you. It's insane to look around and see every single person in the audience being blown away too. And then after the show, there's the band, having a beer and hanging out. This part never lasts, but I cherish it every time I see Caspian, and any band that hasn't blown up yet, because some day the teeming masses will realize how amazing they are and they're going to be playing to packed rooms and the intimacy will be gone. Until then, this is the best ticket in town by a loooooooong margin.

The biggest disappointment of the whole fest was definitely Explosions In The Sky at Auditorium Shores on Saturday. This disappointment has nothing to do with the band, as they played earnestly and excellently, but the PA kept cutting out, it seemed like the overhead mics on the drum kit weren't on, and it just seemed like a general clusterfuck sound-wise. It should have been amazing, and I'm pissed at whoever fucked up the sound for ruining it for me.

The Pure Volume House sucks. The lines are long, the drinks (while free) are super weak and require yet another abhorrently long line and I just really disliked the place in general aside from the Austinist party which was fun.

The best show I saw all week was The Goodbye SXSW party at Red Seven on Sunday that Radar Recordings and Giant Steps put on. They put on the best show last year too. The line up was just flat out insane and I think i speak for everyone in attendance when I say that I hope they keep doing it. This town is sorely lacking in shows like this one. Kudos to all the bands as well as to Radar and Giant Steps for putting together the lineup of the fest, if not the year.

That about wraps it up. I saw 47 bands all told, and spent an insane amount of time on my feet. I wouldn't have it any other way and I can't wait for next year!

Thanks to my super talented sister Liz for taking all of the awesome photos you've seen on here all week. Check out her awesome blog here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cymbals Eat Guitars

I fell hard for a new band this week, and that band is Cymbals Eat Guitars. You've probably heard the name this week since their debut album Why There Are Mountains was awarded the coveted Best New Music tag by Pitchfork. I'm far from a Pitchfork fan boy, but as a rule, I generally check out anything that makes their list and holy crap am I glad I decided to check this band out. First off, how great is that name? It's so perfectly evocative of how Rock and Roll should be. I've heard many a review cite Pavement, and it's an apt comparison here as Cymbals Eat Guitars sound like the band both musically and vocally at times, but there is more here than just Malkmus wanking. Why There Are Mountains perfectly rides the line between enthusiastic and sloppy and betwixt the two lies a plane of perfectly constrained energy that I just can't get enough of. They aren't playing any SXSW shows (boo!) but I can't see them escaping nationwide touring for too long, so let's hope we see them coming through town in the next couple of months.


Cymbals Eat Guitars - Another Hazy Sea

Buy Why There Are Mountains here

The Decider Party @ Mohawk 3.16.09

I ventured over to the Mohawk last night for the free Decider party. The place was packed for a loaded bill of local and touring acts. Opening the show were Low Line Caller. They really seem to be coming into their own, fully incorporating vocalist Marc Ferrino into their fuzzy reverb laden sound. I enjoyed their set, as usual. Following Low Line Caller was another local act, The Lemurs. Before The Lemurs took the stage we were treated to a brief comedy set by Eugene Mirman that was disappointingly met with loud conversation and some heckling. I really hate people some times. I really enjoyed Eugene as usual and was glad to see his act. After the heckling came The Lemurs. A lengthy set change between bands meant that they only had time for a couple of songs, all but one of which were brand new. Their new songs are very interesting. Traditionally, The Lemurs were the purveyors of all things poppy dance-rock, but with these new songs the band appears to be going for a more substantive, experimental sound with lots of vocal interplay and many layers of sound. I really enjoyed the new stuff and look forward to hearing more in the future. Next up was the highlight of the night, Oklahoma's Evangelicals. Evangelicals are exactly the type of band I can't get enough of right now. They make really interesting and beautiful noise. Walls of guitars, a bass player who plays like he's the lead guitarist, a solid loud ass drummer , and some earnest yelping all came together perfectly and the crowd seemed to respond in kind, with lots of jumping around going on during their set. Two parties in, Evangelicals are the best thing I've seen thus far. Closing out the night were the new band Wooden Birds, featuring Andrew Kenney from American Analog Set and Michael Bell from Lymbyc Systym amongst others. On another night, with less noisy and energetic opening acts, I may have really enjoyed them, but last night their music was putting me to sleep. I'm not going to say they were bad, I didn't get that impression at all, but honestly, after Evangelicals all out assault on that stage and the audience, I just wasn't feeling Wooden Birds. I'll definitely try to give them another shot on a less raucous night.

The Lemurs


Eugene Mirman throwing a Magazine

*All Pictures by Elizabeth Fraser Photography

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Austinist's Local Music Is Sexy VII at Pure Volume House

Last night I went to my first SXSW related event of the week, Austinist's Local Music Is Sexy VII at the Pure Volume House. They opened the doors late, and the line was sooooooo slow moving, but once inside I had a blast. Free beer and vodka, plenty of room so I never felt uncomfortably crowded, the PA was loud and the bands were good. Can't ask for too much more. Below you can find some pictures from the night including the events opening band, The Calm Blue Sea.

*All Pictures by Elizabeth Fraser Photography

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Break out the earplugs.

April 21st, 2009
Austin Music Hall
My Bloody Valentine

Get tickets here ($43.50 per with fees included)

I just bought mine. So fucking excited.

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