Monday, July 30, 2007

New Kevin Drew video

Here's the new video for the song "Backed Out On The..." from Spirit If... The song features J. Mascis, of Dinosaur Jr., and Kevin Drew sharing guitar and vocal duties. Here's what Arts and Crafts has to say about the video:

This song was recorded with Joules Scott Key of Metric and Bang Lime on drums and J Mascis and Kevin Drew on guitar and vocals. The video happened last minute after a Dinosaur Jr show in Toronto where J, Lou, and Murph all came to the shoot to hang out. John Caffery from 'Kids on TV' was hired to come and dance his ASS off and a spontaneous party was put into effect.
There were seven mirrors, one disco ball, four lights, one bottle of rum, three bottles of tequila, 62 beers, four crew, and 17 people. It got put together on the day of the shoot and became the party of the year.
It cost three thousand dollars to make...
It was priceless

Can you imagine how cool it must be to have J. fucking Mascis playing guitar on your record. Goddamn, I can't even comprehend that.

Spirit If.. comes out on September 18th via Arts and Crafts.

Friday, July 27, 2007

St. Vincent on Minn. Public Radio

St. Vincent recently recorded a three song set for Minnesota public radio program The Current. The three songs she played ("Human Racing," "Your Lips Are Red," and "Marry Me") all appear on her fantastic new album Marry Me, which was released a few weeks ago on Beggar's Banquet. To listen to the stream click here, and you will find the link to the audio on the right hand side of the page. The recording is pretty high quality and Annie Clark's guitar playing is the real highlight here.
Annie Clark's pedal board

For those not familiar with St Vincent, it is the name under which Annie Clark, formerly of The Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens' backing band, records her solo efforts. Her music reminds me a lot of My Brightest Diamond, whose principal member Shara Worden was also a member of Sufjan Stevens' touring band. St Vincent is touring this fall in support of The National. The tour stops in Dallas at the Granada Theatre on September 14th.

Some videos for the weekend

The National (feat. Doveman) on Letterman performing "Fake Empires"

The new video for the Cold War Kids song "Hospital Beds"

Spoon performing "The Underdog" on Letterman

The trailer for Wes Anderson's new film The Darjeeling Limited.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wall of Sound Festival

The annual Wall Of Sound Festival is set to take place on Saturday, September 22nd at the historic La Grave Field in Fort Worth. Last year's festival was headlined by such bands as Low, Okkervil River, Midlake, and Dave Bazan to name just a few. this year the festival returns with another impressive lineups full of local acts and national touring bands. The lineup this year features such great bands as Explosions In The Sky, Ghostland Observatory, Midlake, Pinback, the Lemurs, and The Books. The full lineup can be found at the Wall of Sound Festival site. Tickets are $30 and are available through Spune Productions. Seems like a nice way to take in some smaller bands in a laid back setting, and the relative small size of the festival will be a welcome sight after the lunacy of ACL Fest the weekend before.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Black Before Red on Pitchfork

Yesterday cultural juggernaut Pitchfork Media put up a short piece on local band Black Before Red and put one of their songs, "Underneath Gold" from their forthcoming Belgrave to King's Circle LP due out 8/14 on local imprint I Eat Records, up for download and streaming in the Forkcast section. Kudos to the band for the fantastic song, I'm excited to hear the full length, and on gaining some fantastic exposure.

More new Rilo Kiley

Head over to Stereogum to check out another song from the new Rilo Kiley album Under The Blacklight (out 8/21). The song's called "Silver Lining" and it's about as far removed from "The Moneymaker" as a song can be. I have a feeling that this album is going to be all over the place.

ACL Fest Aftershows announced

Every year during ACL fest a few of the bands playing the festival decide to get together and schedule some one off shows around town. These ACL "aftershows" have been a highlight of the festival weekend to me. In past years I've seen such great shows as Built to Spill playing with The Decemberists at La Zona Rosa and I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness opening for Explosions In The Sky and Modest Mouse at Stubbs. Both shows were amazing experiences and a lot of fun. The list of this year's official aftershows has a few that sound really great. Here's the list.


  • Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Antone's (10:30pm)
  • Blonde Redhead and The National @ Emo's (9:30pm)
  • Queens of the Stone Age and Dax Riggs @ La Zona Rosa (10pm)
  • Heartless Bastards and White Denim @ The Parish (11pm)
The Blonde Redhead/The National show is the one that catches my eye immediately. Of course The White Stripes/Cold War Kids, Queens of the Stone Age, and Spoon/Sound Team shows will all probably sell out really quickly, justifiably, so I'd jump on the tickets when they go on sale at Frontgatetickets this Saturday (July 28th).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Young Galaxy

Montreal band Young Galaxy come to us from that seemingly bottomless pool of talented musicians releasing music on the Arts and Crafts label made famous by Broken Social Scene. Young Galaxy was founded a few years ago by Stephen Ramsay, formerly a touring guitarist with label mates Stars, and his girlfriend Catherine McCandless. The band have a very space-y sound that puts the synths right up front in the mix. McCandless and Ramsey's male/female vocal switch-offs add a nice element to the group and their vocals really compliment each other well. It's always such a drag when a band has dual vocalists that just don't sound good together, definitely not the case here. Young Galaxy's new s/t album is swimming in guest spots from many veterans of the Montreal music scene including members of Stars, The Dears, A Silver Mt. Zion, and The Besnard Lakes.

Young Galaxy - Outside The City
Young Galaxy - Wailing Wall

Young Galaxy Daytrotter session

Buy Young Galaxy's album here

White Rabbits

I was lucky enough to catch White Rabbits on Letterman the other night. They performed "The Plot" from their debut LP Fort Nightly. White Rabbits refer to their music as "Honky-tonk Calypso", and as bizarre a label as that is, it's somewhat accurate. I think they sound like Cold War Kids with some choppy reggae guitars and two drummers. I love it. Expect big things from this sextet who call NYC home.

White Rabbits - The Plot (MP3)

Check out the above video and a lot more at The Sound Of Marching Feet Youtube page.

Buy Fort Nightly here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Simon Dawes

Simon Dawes is not a person. Somewhere there may exist a person named Simon Dawes, but that person has nothing to do with this. Simon Dawes is a 4 piece rock band from California. The band (consisting of singer Taylor Goldsmith, guitarist Blake Mills, bassist Willy Slam, and drummer Stuart Johnson) are signed to The Record Collection, one of an increasing number of major label backed pseudo-indie labels that are popping up nowadays. Carnivore, the band's debut full length (they released the What No One Hears EP in 2005) has impressed enough people to get them opening slots on tour with Band of Horses and Incubus amongst others. The album is very good, but it wasn't really what I was expecting. I was introduced to the band via their live set on Daytrotter. When I popped in Carnivore I was expecting to hear the studio versions of the songs that I had enjoyed so much from the Daytrotter set but, surprisingly, none of them were on the album. Confused, I did a bit of research and found out that the band had decided to forgo playing any of their album material when the set was recorded, opting instead to play some new songs they had been working on. I think, looking back, that this was the main reason that I wasn't as impressed with the album. I was just disappointed that songs like "Blood and Guts" and "Wilderness" were nowhere to be found. All this really means is that the future is bright for Simon Dawes. It's a rare thing when a band can make you eagerly anticipate their new album, before you have even heard their current one.

Simon Dawes can currently be found in the opening slot on Incubus' summer tour.

Simon Dawes Daytrotter session

Simon Dawes - Behind The Bleachers (MP3)
Simon Dawes - Save Your Ticket (MP3)

Buy Carnivore
Buy What No One Hears

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Built To Spill tracks

Built to Spill just released 2 new songs kind of out of nowhere. It's the first recorded output from the band since You In Reverse came out last year. The two song ep contains a cover of The Gladiator's "Re-Arrange" and a Built To Spill original called "They Got Away". The casual fan may be surprised by the band releasing a 2 song ep of reggae music, but if you've seen Built To Spill live a few times you are probably aware of their propensity for throwing reggae jams into their sets. I remember seeing them cover "Cortez The Killer" in their encore and spending 15 minutes in the middle of the song on a reggae jam. I can also clearly recall them playing "They Got Away" a few years ago at Stubbs towards the end of one of their sets. The EP/single/whatever is available as a digital download and a 12" single.

Built To Spill - They Got Away (MP3)
Built To Spill - Re-Arrange (MP3)

Patton Oswalt - Werewolves and Lollipops

Patton Oswalt has a new CD/DVD out called Werewolves and Lollipops on Sub Pop. The album was recorded here in Austin last December at Cap City Comedy Club. It comes as no surprise that the album is hilarious. If you liked Feelin' Kinda Patton there is no way that you won't love this album. The one complaint I have is a universal complaint of comedy albums, I hate it when comedians use old material on a new album. It happens very rarely on this one, but it seems to happen all the time on other comedian's albums. I guess it's a rare thing when a comedian with really funny material just drops it all and does only new material at a show, so it's kind of a mute point, but it has killed some of my favorite comedians past albums (Lewis Black in particular). Sub Pop has had a really great run of comedy album releases since they released their first one (David Cross's Shut Up, You Fucking Baby) back in 2002 and Werewolves adds to their hot streak.

Buy Patton's CD

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Secret Mohawk show *UPDATE*

I am now saying with 99.99% accuracy that Spoon will indeed be playing at The Mohawk on this Friday night. I did some internet sleuthing about the secret show and this is what i came up with.

1) On the Mohawk myspace events calendar, it lists the show on friday as a private event featuring the bands "Sweatband" and "Das Messer".
2) I did a google search for Sweatband and didnt really come up with anything plausible.
3) I did a google search for Das Messer Band and one of the top results was the wikipedia page for Spoon.
4) Within the History section is the following:

"The band was formed in 1994 by lead singer/guitarist Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno during a party on Kimbolton Avenue. The name Spoon was chosen as a respectful salute to the 1970s German avant-garde band Can whose hit song "Spoon" was the theme song to the movie Das Messer. Incidentally, the film title translates to another utensil (and band)—The Knife."

Now I'm not going to say that Spoon is 100% playing the Mohawk on Friday, but this is a pretty huge coincidence if they aren't. I'll keep snooping around about the Sweatband connection, so far all I have found is that Bootsy Collins released an album called Sweatband in 1980. Now that would be a ridiculous show.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another "Secret" show

So the rumor going around right now, mostly fueled by this article on Austinist, is that the folks at The Mohawk are going to be having a big show on Friday night. It hasn't been announced yet who the big band is, but I'd put my money on it being Spoon. They have a pretty sizeable gap in their touring schedule and it would just make sense for them to do some sort of homecoming type show to further promote their excellent album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. The other name that I've heard is that it might be a Butthole Surfers reunion show of some sort. I'll believe that when I see it. Another possibility is that this could just be another band that's in town for an ACL taping and decided to play a small show while they are in town. I'll be sure to update when it's either officially announced or leaked to the point of ridiculousness.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New Rilo Kiley

Rilo Kiley have a new album out on August 21st. It's called Under The Blacklight and the first song to hit the web for it is "The Moneymaker". The song has an accompanying video, and the word surprising is definitely applicable here.

The video is themed around an adult movie called "The Moneymaker" and takes place almost entirely in a Strip Club. I am in no way offended by any of this, and the video isn't all that risque' to me, but it is definitely pretty far from what I'd expect from the California group. The song itself, I'm not so sure about. I don't hate it, but it just doesn't grab me like the old Rilo songs did. Maybe it's a grower. It's certainly catchy, but so are lots of terrible songs on the radio. I'm reserving judgement for the moment. Now I'm going to go watch that video again.

Will Johnson Daytrotter Session

The wonderful folks over at Daytrotter have recently added a session with Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel) that was recorded in Rock Island, IL. They also recorded a David Bazan session at the same time. Both are available for download at the Daytrotter website. Will and his band of merry men in Centro-matic will be playing a show at The Mohawk with Jason Isbell, the recently departed Drive By Trucker guitarist, on August 14th.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Stereogum is awesome

Yep, awesome. I have been a devout 'Gum reader for years and they have really turned the corner lately from a homemade music blog to a completely professional media machine yet they haven't lost any of the personal feel that Founder Scott Lapatine instilled in it from day one. The latest in Stereogum's series of impressive features is OKX: A Tribute to OK Computer. The album, which was conceived and given away for free completely by Stereogum, features covers by such great bands as Doveman, The Twilight Sad, Cold War Kids, Dave Bazan, My Brightest Diamond, and many more. I am always so torn by the thought of covers. Some of my favorite songs of all time are cover versions (Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley and Cortez The Killer by Built to Spill being two shining examples) but the vast majority of them just leave me wanting to hear the original version. A cover should be an interpretation of another artists words and music, not a cheap advertisement for the original song. Sadly, most covers fall squarely in the second category. I'm not saying that every song on OKX is from category one but several of them fit the billing. The Cold War Kids completely strip down "Electioneering" to the bare bones and in doing so really highlight Thom Yorke's lyrics. The Twilight Sad throw layers and layers of the distortion and noise that made their debut album so good all over "Climbing Up The Walls" and really make the track their own. My personal highlight is Dave Bazan's Black Cloud's version of "Let Down". Bazan's sleepy vocals really work well with this song and it just seems like the song could have been written by Bazan. It would not feel out of place on one of the old Pedro the Lion albums.

It's definitely worth checking out, and though I doubt any of these versions will attain the lofty status of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" or Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer" in the upper echelon of the covers universe but it's still a unique project and it's free, which I fully support. Check it out.

Decemberists Secret Show at Mohawk

(The above photo and many more can be found over at the fine folks from Austinist's Flickr page)

Last night The Decemberists played a secret (more a title than a reality) show at The Mohawk here in Austin. News of the show was spread via the Decemberists Myspace page, Austinist, and about a bajillion personal myspace bulletins in my inbox. The show was part of the Myspace secret shows series.

I went with a few friends and we decided early on that gaining entrance to this event was of paramount importance to us, so we showed up at 1pm, 6 hours before the doors were to be opened, and a 7 and a half hours before the Decemberists were set to take to the tiny inside stage at The Mohawk. When we arrived there were 15 or so brave souls sitting out in the midday sun alongside the Mohawk fence. They all seemed pretty well prepared with coolers, chairs, umbrellas, and water bottles aplenty. We managed to survive on a deck of cards and several trips to the gas station for bottled water. 6 hours, and several dozen games of Gin Rummy later, the gates were opened and we were ushered in to the Mohawks inside room.

The line was separated at the door into an over 21 line and an under 21 line, luckily the over 21 line moved much quicker than the under 21 line, so I was even able to stop by the bar and get a beer from Mark, one of the best and friendliest bartenders in town, before the rush of underagers came in. I got a pretty good spot a few people from the Mohawks newly built inside stage. The mirrored wall behind the stage was beautifully decorated with lots of Decemberist-y drawings. Images of birds and other woodland creatures surrounded "The Decemberists" in big fancy lettering.

When we had first arrived at 1pm there were signs posted explaining how the entrance process would go. It worked as follows; 500 people would be admitted to the venue, the first 200 of which would be allowed into the inside room, after 200 were inside, the door was operated with a One In/One Out policy. Til We're Blue Or Destroy and Dj Markus with a K entertained the masses outside while they waited to enter the inside room.

By the time Colin Meloy and Co. (in this case Co. consisted of Jenny Conlee on Accordion, Nate Query on Upright Bass, Chris Funk on Guitar, Mandolin, and Banjo, and John Moen on Drums) took the stage the room was packed and it was absolutely sweltering inside. The windows that looked into the room were also packed with people. Colin made sure to acknowledge these outsiders, even taking a request from a fan outside. The show was just fantastic. Quickly upon entering the room Colin told the crowd that they hadn't made a set list and so people should feel free to request songs. This was of course met with nearly every person in the room shouting his or her favorite song as loud as they could. All of the shouts merged together to form a cacophonous din of humanity. My request for "The Legionnaire's Lament" unfortunately fell upon deaf sweaty ears, oh well, can't win 'em all. The band played a discography spanning 90 minute acoustic set that included such highlights as "The Island", "Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect", "16 Military Wives", and "Eli The Barrowboy". The mood was light and aside from the heat everything went off great. The band sounded really good, and it's just so much fun to be so close to a band when they play. After fulfilling several crowd requests, covering The Doobie Brothers, and making a few body odor jokes the band left the stage to a raucous applause. The crowd was not ready to end the night there however, so the band returned to the stage amidst some of the loudest cheering I've ever heard at such a small show. Colin grabbed his guitar, stepped to the mic and suggested we take the show outside, since it was so hot inside. And with that the band grabbed their instruments, and paraded the 200 strong crowd out into the considerably cooler evening and played a majestic, unamplified version of "The Mariners Revenge Song". Til We're Blue or Destroy watched intently from the outside stage and The Decemberists played on the ground in the center of the crowd. At the songs whale chomping crescendo Meloy jumped on a table and did their trademark pantomiming of the whale eating the Mariner with his arms. The flashbulbs were popping left and right and it truly was a magical sight. The constant flashes gave a strobe light effect that was just marvelous. At the end of the song Colin thanked the crowd for coming and turned to the stage to give Til We're Blue Or Destroy the cue to go on.

At the end of the day, this was well worth the wait. I have sunburn in a very strange pattern on my legs, and I was exhausted and drenched in sweat by the end of my 9 hour day at the Mohawk, but it was well worth it. I was somewhat disappointed with the last Decemberists show I had seen at Stubbs last fall, but the intimacy of this show reminded me of the wonderful Decemberists shows of a few years ago, when crowd interaction and witty banter to a small room full of people made every show a memorable one.

Kudos to the band and the Mohawk for doing a wonderful job with everything. From Mohawk owner James Moody passing out water bottles to the 30 or so fans in line early in the afternoon, to the wonderful door staff and bartenders, to the band itself, everyone did a great job and I and 199+ other people really had a great time. Well done all.

© Blogger Templates | Webtalks