Saturday, May 31, 2008

Drone Rock Spaces-Out Hipsters

I caught the Black Angels' CD release party at Emo's last night. The doors opened at 8pm but the Black Angels didn't go 'till around midnight. Whenever you read about the Black Angels you always see the words psych-rock and I think they must embrace that idea. Their merchandise was very trippy, without being tie-died. They even had a 3-D poster dude.

As far as the music itself I would say that it was the drone of psychedelic music more than the agitated freak-out part. As soon as the band took stage and the 16mm films from the 60's began projecting on the stage behind them I knew I was going to get what I came for. All of the sounds coming from the stage were drowned in reverb/echo. The driving bass parts were matched up with pulsing floor toms beats. And lead singer Alex was holding court with his eery sing-speak vocals, and maracas. Think The Black Angels Death Song by the Velvet Underground.

The crowd in the armpit at front stage seemed transfixed, some of them had obviously altered their consciouses to "enhance" the Black Angels sound. They were nodding and swaying, lots of people with eyes-closed. Personally I could only stand in that section of the audience for about 3 songs. It was probably 1000 degrees or so, with drunk people dropping beer bottles, stoners passing blunts (with very nice filters), and smokers lighting cigarettes off one another.

All in all I'd say I was certainly not disappointed by the Black Angels live show. I would say it was like going to a post-9/11 acid test. A less optimistic sounding psychedelia, than the one our parents knew. This age of acid freak out is more about escaping reality than enhancing it.

It was really hard to snap good photos due to the fact that I don't have a digital SLR camera, and the whole two films being projected on the band +/- stage lighting. But you can see the 4 mildly viewable ones I took here.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Black Angels Emos Tonight

Local Psych/Prog Rockers, the Black Angels, will be headlining Emo's outside stage tonight. The show is in celebration of the release of their latest LP, Directions to See a Ghost.

It seems to me that the Black Angels are already much bigger in Europe than they are here. But expect big things from this band in the next year or two. If you're reading this from Austin, you're probably thinking duh, they're already huge. But trust me, to the rest of the U.S. these guys are still up and coming.

Their sound is dark, hypnotic-rock that, at times, sounds shoe-gazy and at other times sounds like molten metal.

Sample a song from their previous record, Passover:
the Black Angels - the First Vietnamese War

Video after the jump...

Watch their video for Black Grease, also from Passover

the Black Angels - Black Grease via YouTube

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Reagan Era Rock Politically

Maybe their singing about politics, maybe their singing their grocery list, it's hardcore, get into it!! Seriously though, Reagan Era is local, loud and playing tonight. Head on over to that mythical place known as East Austin and get visceral with Reagan Era @ The Broken Neck. The cover is only $5 and it's BYOB (sorry straight-edge kids) so you can go out and get drunk cheaply.

Reagan Era has songs available to DOWNLOAD or stream at their MySpace
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Snafu Kitties Bring the Melody

Local pop-rockers, Snafu Kitties, are playing tonight and tomorrow. That's two chances to get in on the melodious, keyboard-driven sounds of Snafu Kitties.

Tonight's show is at the fabulous Beauty Bar. Snafu Kitties will be featured fairly early in the evening as part of a fashion show/magazine launch/rock concert. I suppose it should be mentioned that the magazine is called the Lipstick Pages and it's an online feminist zine. Snafu Kitties has a female lead singer, hence the feminist angle.

Tomorrow night you can catch the Kitties at, South Austin-staple, Trophy's. If you've never been to Trophy's you should know that it's a beer bar, which means if you got a flask they ain't lookin'. Try not to get obnoxiously drunk and distract people from the Kitties though, come on man...seriously.

Stream Snafu Kitties tunes at their MySpace
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Monday, May 26, 2008

Fleet Foxes Love Alliteration

Have you heard Fleet Foxes yet? Chances are if you read Pitchfork you have. I downloaded the Sun Giant EP by Fleet Foxes about 6 weeks ago. I gave it a few listens and enjoyed it but it kind of fell back in my music collection. They are releasing their first full-length LP this Tuesday via SubPop. It is self-titled but I can't tell you much else about it, since I haven't heard much from it yet.

The music of Fleet Foxes is gentle finger picking guitars, mixed with lush vocal harmonies. Sun Giant starts quietly but the tracks build into larger, more epic sounds. I would compare it to My Morning Jacket, with some Wilco crossed with Stephen Stills.

Speaking of Wilco, the band has tapped Fleet Foxes for a few opening slots in August. So if you're planning to see Wilco in August, leave the parking lot early to catch Fleet Foxes.

Well now it's summer time, which is tour time and I noticed that Fleet Foxes will be hitting one of my favorite Austin venues, The Mohawk, in July. Check their MySpace for more detailed listings but here are most of the cities they'll be hitting this summer:

  • Jun 26 SAN FRAN, CA
  • Jun 27 SAN DIEGO, CA
  • Jun 28 LOS ANGELES, CA
  • Jun 29 LOS ANGELES, CA
  • Jun 30 TUCSON, AZ
  • Jul 2 AUSTIN, TEX
  • Jul 3 DALLAS, TEX
  • Jul 5 HOTLANTA, GA
  • Jul 12 Marymoor Park, Washington
  • Jul 14 CAMBRIDGE, MA
  • Jul 15 MONTREAL, QC

Preview a track from Fleet Foxes new eponymous record:

Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal
(link via SubPop)

Watch them perform at SXSW 2008 filmed with someone's camera phone:

Fleet Foxes video via YouTube.

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