Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Bloggy's '09

I'm always hesitant to do best of lists, both because they are subjective and because they are a pain in the ass to code. However, as a music fan I am also a fan of lists, so let me begin with some disclaimers. Firstly, I didn't listen to every album that came out this year, so it's tough to accurately rank them. Secondly, these aren't, necessarily, the "best" albums they're more like my favorites. Lastly, I'll probably end up forgetting something I loved, or you loved or we all love but that's the breaks once this goes up it's up and we'll all have to deal with the consequences thereafter. With that all said, I give you the Bloggy's for 2009:


Kings of Convenience - Declaration of Dependance


Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart


M. Ward - Hold Time


Whitest Boy Alive - Rules


Fever Ray - Fever Ray


Jack Peñate - Everything is New


Bad Veins - Bad Veins


Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms


Bat For Lashes - Two Suns


the XX - XX


Girls - Album


the Very Best - Warm Heart of Africa


Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion


Harlem Shakes - Technicolor Health


Surfer Blood - Astrocoast


Passion Pit - Manners


St. Vincent - Actor


Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix


Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca


Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

Ok, now you've seen the Bloggy's for 2009!! You may have noticed that the Surfer Blood album isn't officially released until 01/19/10, HOWEVER I purchased the album from the band when they played Beerland in October, so it's totally on the list. Also, I was somewhat hesitant to put the Passion Pit album so high on the list, they did become MTV darlings and my street-cred may now be tarnished but that's a fine LP GD it! If you have any thoughts, comments, etc. You know where to reach me.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Snafu Kitties Bid Us A Mew

If you haven't seen local, piano-indie popsters SNAFU Kitties before then you better head to Emo's inside stage Saturday night, 'cause it's your last chance. It's true dear reader, my information comes from a source very close to the band (the drummer) and he tells me the lead singer will be moving to Europe. I think he said Denmark but it might be the Netherlands or Germany I forget. So, in the interest of great journalism, I'm going with "singer moved to Europe" as reason for the bands...disbanding. Oddly enough, the final performance will also be a CD release party, so we can remember them as they were. Actually that's a great way of becoming a unicorn band that is more popular reunited than they were to begin with.

My friends over at 'Nites Blog are also a source close to the band. They've captured some really great SNAFU Kitties performances that you can find on their YouTube Channel as well as a slew of other great, and largely unrecognized, other, local, Austin bands. Here's a video they made for the Kittie's song Nerve:

SNAFU Kitties - Nerve video via YouTube

Here's all the pertinent information about the show and the CD direct from the band's release about the show:

SNAFU Kitties have officially been a band since our first show on May 22nd, 2007 at Beerland. Since that time, we've played steadily in and around Austin, and as far as Mexico City. We've had a good run. Sadly, all good things must eventually reach their end. Our wonderful singer, keyboardist, and songwriter, Jessie, will soon be off to Denmark to embark on an exciting new adventure with her husband, Mads, marking the unfortunate end of SNAFU Kitties. LET'S SEND HER OFF IN STYLE.

Your presence is sincerely requested at SNAFU Kitties' FINAL PERFORMANCE. It will be a wonderful opportunity to see the band you've "kept meaning to check out," or enjoy once more for the last time. Not only that, we will finally be releasing our long-awaited and laboriously produced self-titled album. This is a LIMITED RELEASE, y'all. Each one is hand-printed by our bass player, J.J., the Rural Rooster and will only be available at the show. Once they're gone, they're gone for good.

Mark your calendars, folks. Doors are at 9pm, and for a mere $6, you will enjoy a diverse lineup: We Aim To Try, Paper Shapes, Zorch, and SNAFU Kitties.

I don't really know about the other bands on Satuday night's bill but the line about "enjoy a diverse lineup" is a bit ominous. That could mean, "be prepared to see some crazy-ass shhh before we go on" but I'll enter Emo's with an open(ish) heart(ish).

SNAFU Kitties - Break Your Back video via YouTube

Thanks again to 'Nites Blog for the video embed. See you at the show?

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Phoenix Tonight - Sold-Out

I really debated whether or not to mention tonight's Phoenix show at La Zona Rosa considering it's sold-out and it starts in a few hours. However, I am so over-the-top excited to finally see them perform live that I felt like I had to mention it. Hopefully I'll have some exciting follow-up post about the show tomorrow. In case I slack on the follow-up, I'm betting my homeboys over at, the fabulous, Ultra8201 will be posting some fly video. If you're reading this Ultra may I request you film Armistice? Please and thank you. If you are really bummed about not getting tickets to this sold-out show, try checking Twitter Search after the show has started. You never know someone may have an extra ticket or some shhh.

Phoenix - Armistice (Live on KEXP) video via YouTube

The Phoenix show at La Zona Rosa tonight is sponsored by the repugnant, 101X, if you've ever read my site before you know that I have an extreme disdain for their music programming, but their concert programming seems to be pretty on point. I saw Bat For Lashes earlier in the year, at the Parish room and that was a 101X show as well. Unfortunately you rarely hear the artists who play the concerts on the radio station itself. They'd prefer to let you hear Pearl Jam's Jeremy than anything by Bat For Lashes. I have actually heard them play Phoenix on the station but only after they killed at ACL Fest. Speaking of bands I've never heard on 101X...

White Denim - I Start to Run video via YouTube

White Denim will be taking the opening slot tonight with Portland Oregonians, Hockey following. Hockey is probably a great band and everything but if you're going to call your band Hockey then you better be from Canada. When I discovered they were from Portland, OR it was pretty much over for me. I think the tweens will really get into the Hockey sound though and they'll probably become insanely popular in the near-future. This is not an endorsement, nor a shame statement just a thought/prediction.

Hockey - Song Away (Live on Jools Holland) video via YouTube

The buzz for White Denim has been bigger than the band itself. At this point they've been blogged to death, they keep running into problems distributing their music and more people have heard about them than have heard them. At the root of all that mess though, is what started the buzz to begin with, a raucous, passionate, killer, live performance. I feel like the Let's Talk About It Ep came the closest to capturing the frenetic energy of a live White Denim show. I haven't seen them perform lately, now that their sound has gotten a lot more prog-psychedelic ala King Crimson or Love so, I'm interested to see if they still have that coked-out party band vibe with the new tunes. You can actually buy the newest album from White Denim in U.S. stores now thanks to Downtown Music, which, incidentally, is the label that Sean "P. Diddy" Combs got his start in the record biz with.

Free Mp3 from the Let's Talk About It Ep courtesy of a hella-old link (64 Blog Years) that Spin probably forgot about, but Google didn't.

Free Mp3 ---> White Denim - Darksided Computer Mouth

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Blood, Girls, Randomness, Ya Know...

This is the time of year when all of us concert-going types, in Austin, get to collect our thoughts and breathe and mentally-prepare for SXSW 2010. That's right, the concert season is, relatively, slow this time of year. There aren't as many bands touring in the winter anyway, and the venues are all preparing for one of my favorite times of year, which is Free Week. Yay Free Week!! Woooo. Anyway, I mention all of this because I'm going to do something I don't, generally, do. I'm just going to hype this EP by the Middle East, I don't think it will make very many year-end "best of" lists since most of those focus on songs and LP's but I wouldn't be surprised if the song Blood from, The Recordings of the Middle East makes a lot of lists. I would rank it as a top 5 song of '09 for sure. I bought my copy of the EP from my friends over at End of an Ear for $3.99 so just glance around you'll see it somewhere.

the Middle East - Blood video via YouTube

Seriously, how gorgeous is that song by the Middle East?

I'm thinking this year instead of participating in the List-Culture with a best LP's of '09 list from Austin Bloggy Limits, I'll just compile some of my favorite lists. So, I suppose I'm still supporting List-Culture just in a more meta, pseudo-rebellious, hipstery kind of way. I do love lists, I think it is in the DNA of every music/film geek that you want your favorite things to be validated with a good number. We can't just love Radiohead's Kid A, we're not satisfied to just enjoy it as a beautiful piece of art. No, we need others to recognize and bow down to Kid A as one of the best records of the MF decade y'all! Seriously, people bow down, it's Radiohead. Anyway, I had a point here and it was about the band Girls their, appropriately-titled, Album has been popping up on a lot of year-end lists and I just want to throw my hat in the ring here. I proclaim Album by, San Fran band, Girls to be Bloggy-approved and worth your hard-earned ducats.

My San Francisco homies over at Rhino Knife Films shot some nice live videos of Girls this summer. The sound clips at a couple of points, but it's still a really nicely captured performance. It's also the first time this song was ever played in front of an audience. Check out the loud, drunken woman screaming at the beginning, it's kind of hard not to notice.

Girls - Solitude video via YouTube

If you haven't seen Girls perform here in Austin yet, you have another chance at the end of January. They'll be playing, one of my favorite venues, the Parish room. Tickets will set you back $12 before fees and the show is sponsored by, the loathsome, 101X. Have you EVER heard 101X play a song by Girls? I know I haven't, but I guess I don't listen very much anymore. I can only hear Hey Man Nice Shot so many times in my lifetime and 101X has already exceeded my limit on that song. Along, with the 12-16 other early 90's alt-stalwarts they refuse to relegate to classic-rock. But I digress.

Girls - Laura video via YouTube

I noticed, when I was looking at the calendar for the Parish that they'll be participating in free week this year! That's exciting, I love the Parish, it's wood floors and beautiful sound. Not to mention, I've never been to a show there where I thought to myself, "There are a dangerous number of people in here right now. If shh went pear-shaped we'd all be effed." (I don't even think swears I promise) Looking at you Emo's. What is the capacity of Emo's? 'Cause I think they sell like 50 more tickets than that and then the door guy has like 30 or so friends he lets in for free. I kid, I kid...don't beat me up Emo's I'm just s blogger.

I was trying to find a video that illustrates how bonkers and packed Emo's gets but most of the video I found are focused more on the stage than the crowd, who'd a thunk? Bands who play Emo's it is your mission to start filming the crowd so my out of town friends know what I'm talking about. I am finding some amazingly terrible videos from Emo's, seriously people leave the zoom alone! Don't effing touch it! Ok, I give up trying to find the perfect video to illustrate my point. Check this out out though, it's the Gossip playing Emo's in 2001. The sound sucks, I'm including it more for historical value.

the Gossip - Live at Emo's video via YouTube

Or how about this 13 seconds of Emo's nostalgia. Arcade Fire from January '01, mere months after Funeral came out...

Arcade Fire - Tunnels clip via YouTube

See I'm not totally hatin' on Emo's, I was just using them as an example of something typical, that you won't experience at the Parish Room (most likely). I've seen a lot of great shows at Emo's but that's another post or series of posts unto itself. I'll close this out with one most burst of randomness, I saw this band open for MGMT on Emo's inside stage the Tuesday night that Oracular Spectacular came out. I couldn't find footage from that night so I'm just going to include one of my favorite Yeasayer songs...ever.

Yeasayer - Tightrope video via YouTube

You can kind that Yeasayer song, on one of the greatest compilations in recent memory, Dark Was the Night. You should buy it, it's 2 discs, proceeds go to charity plus you'll get mad, indie-cred on the streets (2 Blogs years ago).

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

{{{Sunset}}} Tonight, Balmorhea Tomorheah?

As the "resident blogger"/"hipster-douche" at work, I'm expected to know the answer to the questions, "So, what's going on tonight? Where should I go?". Today, when posed with these questions I totally blanked out. It's effing Thursday in Austin so you know some shh is going down. My bloggy brethren over at the Peen Scene always have a great, comprehensive answer to what's the haps tonight, in case you catch me slackin' again. Check the blog list in my sidebar for other, informative, talented, witty, bloggy brethren of Austin as well. Tonight, Austin Bloggy recommends you check out one of my favorite, local acts {{{Sunset}}}.

I still need to get my ears on a copy of their latest release from Autobus, Gold Dissolves to Gray but as I've said in the past, the show is the best place to get the album y'all. Find {{{Sunset}}} at Aces Lounge tonight. The door will cost you a measley $5, show starts at 10? Presumably.

{{{Sunset}}} - Civil War video via YouTube

Have you ever heard anyone commit to a metaphor as whole-heartedly as {{{Sunset}}} does in that song, Civil War?

I wanted to mention a show for tomorrow night as well, give you a little more notice than the show at Ace's tonight. You should head on over to the Mohawk to see Balmorhea. I'm a big fan of both the artwork and the music of their latest LP, All Is Wild, All Is Silent. Not to mention, it's just as beautiful as seen in real life.

Balmorhea - Baleen Morning video via YouTube

To be honest, I know little to nothing about this Ola Podrida fellow, but I do know he's is playing the 'Hawk tomorrow night. The songs I found seemed pleasant and fitting for a chilly winter eve in Austin, TX. I also know, he's not to be confused with Olla podrida, which is something completely different. Also, check out this little blurb from the official Ola Podrida site.

After months of preparation, the live incarnation of Ola Podrida will play their debut show at The Mohawk in Austin, TX on December 11th with labemates Balmorhea. The live band features Colin Swietek on guitar, David McComb on bass, and Matthew Frank on drums, and David Wingo on vocals and guitar.

Intriguing, right?

Ola Podrida - This Old World video via YouTube

Get there early though, 'cause Martin Crane will be kicking things off, Frasier stylee with a Jack Russel Terrier, an easy chair and some Whiskey, neat, thank you very much.

Martin Crane - Nobody's Listening video via YouTube

You might be more familiar with Martin's other band Brazos. Hey, how come everyone in Austin is in at least 2 if not, 3+ bands?

Brazos - Tell video via YouTube

Tickets for tomorrow night's show at the 'Hawk will set you back $8. After that you can listen to as much music as you want (some restrictions may apply, don't be a d-bag).

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Quiet Company / Baroness TONIGHT!

I don't know if you're the type of person who goes out on a Monday night, but if you are you've got two pretty stellar shows to choose from. Local power-poppers, Quiet Company will be headlining the goings-on at the Parish Room this evening. I noticed that Quiet Company got a nice little feature on page D1 of the Austin-American Statesman today, to which I say, "Huzzah Quiet Company, huzzah". Seriously, no one expects the print edition of the Statesman to feature any relevant, local, non-prehistoric musicians so when they do, I say, "Huzzah". Grab yourself a copy of Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon at any of Austin's High Fidelity-esque record shops. Don't worry though, you can enjoy Quiet Company from afar as well.

Quiet Company - On Modern Men video via YouTube

That other video is prettier and newer and it's the second "single" but I still really <3 the first "single".

Quiet Company - It's Better To Spend Money Like There's No Tomorrow Than Spend Tonight Like There's No Money video via YouTube

If somewhat twee, jolly, power-pop isn't really your thing, you may want to head over to Emo's to check out Baroness. Or, hell, Emo's shows usually start late, you can probably catch both shows, since Parish shows end early. It is Monday though, so maybe you should just pace yourself there cowboy.

Baroness - A Horse Called Golgotha video via YouTube

I feel like the song title, A Horse Called Golgotha pretty much sums up any questions I might have had about Baroness now I clearly know what genre I'm listening to. I wouldn't dare offend anyone by being more explicit here but let's just assume these guys enjoy the Lord of the Rings series and that their music is epic-metal.

For me? I'm a pop person, I would rather have my face smiling than melting. Call me the "p word" I don't care. You may see whatever you want to see, dear reader, for this is not only America, it's Austin. muthaf**kin', Texas y'all!!!

W00000, I got so carried away there I forgot to give you some ticket links:

Quiet Company $12 tickets @ the Parish room

Baroness $10 tickets @ Emo's

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pack of Wolves this Weekend

So, Pack of Wolves will be at the Mohawk this weekend and if you were wise, you'd be there too. See, what I'm discovering as all the best LP's of '09 lists are coming out, is that a lot of these albums are easiest to buy directly from the band when they come to your town. I just tried to buy a copy of the LP by the Smith Westerns at End of an Ear to no avail. I haven't tried to buy the latest LP from Pack of Wolves but I'm guessing it will be at the merch table on Saturday night. Also, isn't it just cooler to buy an album directly from the band themselves? No? Fine, be that way but that's what I'm going to do, so there!

Pack of Wolves - Concession video via YouTube

As you know, I don't normally endorse such aggressive/angry music but something tells me that seeing these songs live (with ear protection) is going to be pretty intense. By which I mean, face-meltingly awesome.

In all honestly, the Smith Westerns are much more my style of music, but hey they're not playing the Mohawk on Saturday are they? No, they played Emo's a few months ago, but that's neither here nor there. Chances are when I check at Waterloo Records for the Smith Westerns LP they'll probably have it. I just like shopping at End of an Ear it's so small and nerdy and it smells like musty old records. It's so dreamy, le sigh.

Smith Westerns - Girl In Love video via YouTube

Anyway, if you want to get tickets to see Pack of Wolves get all aggro on your ass at the 'Hawk too bad, you're going to have to pay $9 at the door. Unless you can buy them at Waterloo ahead of time, in which case they're $7. See you there?

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Del, Metric, Tuesday

Have y'all been to this place Ace's Lounge yet? I'm somewhat dismayed that the banner on their website says, "The Official Live Music Venue of College". Does that appeal to you? 'Cause it doesn't appeal to me in the least bit, does it mean that I should invest in some Ed Hardy gear? Will all the people in the crowd refer to me as, "that old dude who's not dancing"? I like Del tha Funky Homosapien but if the sound is muddy and I'm surrounded by chatty college kids, I'm out! On a plus side Tuesday night's show at Ace's featuring Del, among others, is presented by my friends over at Knuckle Rumbler so I'm thinking they'll take care of any muddy mic issues that may ensue. You can grab yourself some tickets for $18.

Deltron 3030 - Virus video via YouTube

So, if you're thinking, "I don't want to hang out with a bunch of college kids trying to hear Del", fret not! Metric is playing over in the warehouse district at La Zona Rosa at the same time. Tickets for Metric will set you back $23 , but you can get a tall well drink for $4 so it will balance out. Besides, the latest Metric LP, Fantasies is pretty killer and promises to be really good in person.

Metric - Sick Muse video via YouTube

While I'm bitching and whining about different venues in the city, what's up with Radio Room/Bourbon Rocks? I just drove down 6th St. in daylight, which is quite depressing by the way, and I noticed the old Radio Room still sitting vacant. I thought Trannymission Entertainment bought that joint? So, how come it's for sale/lease and still not fabulous? Remember when we saw that band there at SXSW? That was cool.

Passion Pit - I've Got Your Number video via YouTube

Also, I think that Symphony Square should be utilized more. Seems like a great place to see a quiet(ish) artist like Bon Iver or Kings of Convenience. The biggest problem is it's such a small seating capacity (350), but that could be solved with multiple nights by an artist or tough luck mo fo buy tickets faster. Imagine seeing Sigur Ros at Symphony Square?!?! What Austin venue could suit a band like Sigur Ros? I've seen them several times and the best venue was at the Berklee College of Music. The space has perfect acoustics and the audience was so reverent and quiet, it was like the waiting room in heaven.

Sigur Rós - Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása video via YouTube

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Real Estate at the 'Hawk

I'm excited to hear this band, Real Estate on Friday night. I've heard a song of their's on satellite radio but I'd like to grab their LP when I see them. These dudes hail from Jersey and most of their fans are more famous than you or I, or even they, are. Their sound is gentle, reverb-soaked, indie-surf-pop. It's a little retro and pastoral but still sounds fresh and inviting just like most of the people you meet downtown. They'll be playing the Mohawk's inside stage after, the impeccable, J.Tillman performs at the outside stage. As of the writing of this post, tickets can still be consumed for, a mere, $10. Leave the left-overs at home kids, let's go downtown. Hooray!

Real Estate - Fake Blues video via YouTube

Free J. Tillman Mp3's courtesy of Yer Bird, thanks.

Free Mp3 ---> J. Tillman - Evans and Falls

Free Mp3 ---> J. Tillman - Ribbons of Glass

Free Mp3 ---> J. Tillman - When I Light Your Darkened Door

The above Mp3's are, essentially, demos that were released on now-defunct 7" records but they have been gathered together and re-released. They're calling the collection Cancer and Dellirum. Tillman also has two LP's released in '09 on the Bella Union label and/or Austin-bad-asses Western Vinyl. That's all in addition to being a member of the Fleet Foxes so obviously he's got some deep pockets full of folk to unleash on the 'Hawk Friday night. There's also more free Mp3's if you click that Western Vinyl link.

J. Tillman - Firstborn video via YouTube

Opening up for J. Tillman on the outside stage will be, Pearly Gate Music, literally that's the name of the band. Like Tillman, Pearly Gate Music hail from Seattle. Unlike J. Tillman they were just signed to Barsuk Records so, chances are they'll be back through Austin again in the near future. Here's another interesting little tidbit about Pearly Gate Music, they have a member named Zack Tillman intriguing, yes? Actually I think Zack Tillman is "Pearly Gate Music". We'll find out Friday.

Pearly Gate Music - 2 Songs Performed Live video via YouTube

Don't forget though, you need to stick around AFTER the outside show, cause we need to check out Real Estate. Also, there's a band, which features members of Okkervil River, playing the inside stage too. They're called Brackett & Co. and I really don't know shh about them yet. By the looks of the Mohawk website, Brackett & Co will be playing the inside stage after Real Estate.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friendly Fires + the XX = Mohawk Thursday

Hipsters start your fixed-gears, Friendly Fires and the XX hit the Mohawk's outside stage tonight! If you weren't aware of this already then you're probably not going to get a ticket, at least not by the usual means, as the show has been sold-out since Monday. Friendly Fires have always put on a solid-show but the buzz for their latest material being played on the current tour has been loud. Their latest release seems to be a Deluxe re-issue of their Eponymous, debut LP. You can check it out here if you wish.

Friendly Fires - Kiss of Life video via YouTube

I wouldn't say the XX are opening for Friendly Fires I'd say it's a split-headliner. Sure, FF have been around longer but the XX are current UK darlings, or at least they were this summer when their single, Crystalised was pretty much everywhere. I haven't checked but I'm sure there are a billion or so remixes of the song. I have also noticed that the XX have been tagged to remix a lot of other artist's as of late. Personally, I don't try to keep up with what Carles calls the remix-economy. It's pretty much a full-time job these days keeping track of who is remixing whom, when and how to get an ear on the songs once they're supposedly out. But I digress, here's Crystalised in case you somehow escaped it this summer.

the XX - Crystalised video via YouTube

If you're cool and you get there early tonight you can also catch, recent XL Recording signee, Holly Miranda. I'd expect her to start around 9:15, this whole thing has to be done by midnight so we're packing it in early kids. By the way, whether you're cool or not you should probably get to the 'Hawk early unless you want to see the backs of people's heads whilst listening to Friendly Fires.

Holly Miranda - I Go To Sleep + Hymnal video via YouTube

Oh snap! I just checked Holly Miranda's official page and it says canceled for her appearance at the 'Hawk but I'm sure there will be some kick-ass local act instead, which is just fine by me. Or maybe U2 will show up and everyone will be excited at first then they'll get their hipster on and throw their Lone Stars at Bono. Then Bono will turn on the spot and disappear in cloud of shamrocks leaving behind, only, a pair of black wrap-around shades. Whoa!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Wufus Wainwhite

The music of Rufus Wainwright is so precious I just want to squeeze its little cheeks. As you probably know by now, he is playing two nights in our fair city. Tonight and/or tomorrow night you can catch him at the historic(ally uncomfortable seats), Paramount Theater, just a few blocks from the Capitol building. Allegedly they "just released [more tickets] for sale to the public". But what does that mean? They're like, "You know, maybe we should sell all the available seats instead of just the odd numbered ones?" Myself, I love the young Mr. Wainwright but I can't pay my bills whilst attending $30-$60 concerts every night now can I? Ruf Ruf if you're reading this put me on the guest list so that you might serenade me tonight and/or tomorrow night. Otherwise, I'm counting on the dedicated bloggy-masses to attend the show without me. I know, it won't be the same but when you hear Cigarettes, and Chocolate Milk think of me, for those are just a couple of my cravings as well.

Rufus Wainwright - Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk video via YouTube

Actually that song is pretty old, Rufus may not even play it much anymore. Although, if I had two 45-70 minute sets in one town I'd probably dig pretty deep into my catalogue. Who knows, maybe he'll even play his gorgeous cover of the Origin of Love from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Rufus Wainwright - the Origin of Love video via YouTube

Look it's the sing-a-long version...sorry it's unofficial you should buy the album this song comes from, the proceeds benefit the Harvey Milk School.

In more current Rufus Wainwright news, his latest release is a CD and/or DVD featuring highlights from a string of performances in Wisconsin. It's aptly title, Milwaukee At Last!!!, and is made available via Decca Records. Did you know that Decca is part of the Wal-Mart of record companiesssss, Universal Music Group. I'm not a fan of UMG 'cause they don't "get" what blogs do for their artists so they won't let us embed videos or offer free Mp3's. So, even though I love Rufus Wainwright you won't be gettin' nuffin' fo free. PS. Offering me a widget, I can embed, that streams your artist's content makes me want to choke UMG.

This is one of my favorites from Want One and come to think of it I never did check out Want Two don't be made at me Ruf Ruf.

Rufus Wainwright - I Don't Know What It Is? video via YouTube

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Japanther Red 7 Tomorrow or Japandroids?

Let's go to Red 7 Sunday night and check out Japanther y'all! I've been hearing their songs on Sirius XMU for a while now and I seem to remember being amused by their name during a few episodes of SXSW. Now, the buzz for their upcoming LP has been building and I want to hear the songs live first. The LP is tentatively titled Rock N' Roll Ice Cream, which would help to explain this creepy promotional photo...

As of this moment, I can't find any ticketing info on the official Red 7 ticketing site but I'm thinking if you hit Waterloo Records or End of an Ear in person, they may have the hook-up. If not, expect $10ish at the door Sunday night.

Japanther - Bumpin'Rap Tapes video via YouTube

Whilst, writing this post about Japanther one of my Tweeps mentioned the band Japandroids and I got all confused and had to re check all my info. Turns out I like Japandroids too! Like Japanther, Japandroids are a 2-piece band but their music is closer to pop than punk. Which, isn't to say it's pop but there's a spectrum y'all just go with it.

Japandroids - Young Hearts, Spark Fire video via YouTube

There aren't any local Japandroids shows listed as of today, but I'm guessing we'll have a chance to gaze upon them in March when SXSW steamrolls us again. In the meantime, let's focus on the Japanamed band that we do have in town.

Japanther - Challenge video via YouTube


Check out Japanther's Mp3 page, it's quite clever. ----> Clever

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thao + La Snacks at Mohawk Tomorrow

I don't know if y'all caught any of the buzz about Thao & the Get Down Stay Down during SXSW this year but you should hop on board the buzz train Thursday night. Thao is based in D.C. and comes highly recommended by our homies over at the D.C. Rock Club. So, if you want to have a good time AND probably meet @JumboSlice in the process get your tickets for Thao now.

Free Mp3 courtesy of Kill Rock Stars, thanks.

Free Mp3 ---> Thao & the Get Down Stay Down w/The Portland Cello Project - Tallymarks

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down - Cool Yourself video via YouTube

Thao will be headlining the outside stage at the Mohawk so expect their set to start around 10pm or so. Make sure you stick around afterwards to see my friends in La Snacks headline the inside stage. This will be La Snacks' first show with their new line-up, which seems to have shifted 3 or 4 times now. Let's hope this combination of members is the one that sticks.

La Snacks - Roman Yell video via YouTube

I don't know what the story is with the Portland Cello Project but I did find this old-timey video to be both intriguing and entertaining. They'll be hitting the outside stage before Thao gets down and stays down. From what I can tell they might be on stage WITH Thao as well since they recently collaborated. But only time will tell if they get their own set as well or what the deal will be.

the Portland Cello Project - the Big Tour video via YouTube

Here's one more from Thao & the Get Down Stay Down for good measure.

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down - When We Swam video via YouTube

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

FunFunFun Day 2 Pix/Review

Alright, so I needed Monday to decompress/de-mudify from FunFunFun Fest day 2. The weather gods were not kind to day 2 of the festivities, I blame Danzig and their worship of the occult. Why can't they be nice like those Christian Hardcore kids? Anyway, it was pretty miserable being rain soaked, and mud caked. I actually fell down backstage, which was certainly a highlight for those who got to see it. For me, it was watching a cup full of Whiskey fly into the air, slow-motion stylee as I planted my ass in the mud. All in all, rain and mud is something one should expect when attending a festival so I tried to suck it up. I didn't end up staying for the headlining acts though. Sorry Danzig, Kid Sister and Of Montreal but I just really needed to full dry and surrounded by fluffy cottony things in that moment.

Unlike day 1 when the weather was beautiful and I had forgotten to bring my camera, day 2 was marked by shite weather and the presence of my shite digital camera. You'll find some photos and wrap-up after the break. But, I want to highlight a local band I caught on day 2 here above the break.

Strange Boys - Who Needs Who More video via YouTube

I feel like I saw a lot less music on day 2 of FunFunFun Fest compared to day 1 but that's probably just cause I was a wuss about the weather and hunkered down in the covered areas more. I felt bad for the stage hands who had to plug and unplug electrical stuff that was sitting in or near puddles of water on the stage. King Khan & BBQ Show couldn't even perform on the Yellow stage because there was too much water. They ended up doing a free show at Red 7 Sunday night.

Going through my photos, I didn't take as many as I should have but here are some highlights.


Astronautalis killed it on the Blue stage. He even did a freestyle, letting the crowd choose the subjects. I think it ended up about Squirrels, Syphilis, and Losing your Sack Lunch.

I wasn't super-impressed with Atlas Sound's set. I'm still a fan of their music but they played right after I fell down so it was hard to like much of anything. I must say though, that the Karen O and the Kids record that Bradford Cox, of Atlas Sound, produced is a totally stellar album.

Mika Miko put on a really fun, high-energy set. It had a Vivian Girl or two singing along side-stage, which is always nice. If you've never seen or heard Mika Miko picture a shitty version of the The Go Go's and I mean that in the lovingest way possible. By "shitty" I really mean, looser, less pop-oriented version of the Go Go's.

Mika Miko are part of L.A.'s noise-rock, "smell scene" home to No Age and Health, both of whom also played the festival this weekend. I didn't get any photos of Health but they are one of my favorite live acts touring right now. I can't really listen to their albums because it's just so damn noisy. But in person their is something transcendent about seeing them create that noise on stage. There sound is just so ahead of its time that it's hard to hear the beauty in it at first but I swear it's the music your kids will listen to just to make you mad twenty years from now.

Health - Crimewave video via YouTube

Why? is one of those bands whose music is so diverse you might only like bits and pieces of their set but they brought it to a wet crowd. I saw lots of people shaking and bobbing along to their hypnotic beats.

Broadcast is a band that you either love them to death or you'd never really listened to them before. I was in the group of those who were aware of the band but hadn't really listened to them. All the folks in the know told me I had to see them perform. As far as performance goes, they don't jump around stage or throw confetti but their music was haunting and beautiful. I may not rush out to buy tickets to see them play again but I will pick up their albums and give them a thorough listening.

I ran over to the Blue stage 'cause my friend kept texting me saying, "Nu-Mark is killing it over here! Hurry!" Turns out he was right.

I had to include this picture of me with Astronautilis even though y'all know I like to stay relatively anonymous. But seriously, how cool is this?!?! Yeah, I chatted a bit backstage with Andy aka Astronautilis he's about to hit Europe opening up for Tegan and MF Sara y'all! How bad-ass is that?

So, my FunFunFun Fest '09 final thoughts are, I had fun but next year it would be nice to have free Wi-Fi in the park. Also, if you are thinking you might want to attend next year, you should absolutely shell out the extra bucks to get the P.I.P. pass. There are different levels, and you should spring for the top-tier. That way you get all the perks the media and artists get PLUS you can stand on the stage and watch your favorite performers. I've also realized I'm not really a festival person in general since I much prefer an intimate show where I can more easily heckle the bands. But that's your call.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

FunFunFun From Memory

So, yesterday was day one of FunFunFun Fest. I had been to the festival in '07 and had a great time and yesterday was no exception. It seems like every year the festival organizers add a few more thoughtful perks and areas in which to make the festival a uniquely enjoyable experience. This was the first year I have been granted the elusive media access as well so I'm going to talk to y'all about how that was. Oh, but I do want to apologize in advance for not having a camera with me yesterday, what the eff was I thinking right?

So I walked through the gates around 1:30 and was immediately pulled towards the Blue stage where Austin's own L.A.X. was pumping out the disco jams. The crowd wasn't very large at any of the stages at that point but the folks who were there for L.A.X. were definitely shaking their groove thangs. Toward the end of their set I decided to check out the whole media access thing so I walked toward a get to the right of the stage and walked behind the magic green fencing. As I walked through the gates L.A.X. was walking off stage and I got to give a high five and a little praise and this is when I knew it was SO on.

One of the most clever things about FunFunFun Fest is the whole P.I.P. ticket/wristband/badge scenario. Sure, I have a media pass so I can go backstage but folks with P.I.P. passes can actually get on the side stage and watch from the wings, which I can not. Isn't this a great idea for h-core music fans? They can hang backstage and mingle with their favorite artists just like us jaded media types. Today I plan to ask some of the artists how they feel about letting the masses in their private area. I'm guessing they don't mind because most of the artists I saw yesterday could be spotted on both sides of the fence. This is not your typical snob-fest these are salt of the Earth crusty punks types.

I feel like I still haven't found all the free schwag available to me as a member of the press but I will list you some of the things the P.I.P.'s and I have been secretly enjoying. For me the biggest perk is just that it's SOOOO much easier to move between stages from the backstage area so I spent all day hopping from stage to stage, also backstage porta-johns...THANK YOU! As far as free shhh, let's see, I'll just make a list: Sweet Leaf Tea, buttons, neckerchiefs and lip balm, free breakfast tacos, Red Bull, Bottled Water (Somewhat illusive), drink tickets, power outlets, energy bars, I feel like there is more but I'm blanking.

Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms video via YouTube

As far as mingling, I sat next to Alan Palomo of Neon Indian, Vega fame. He was making two lists of the equipment he was going to need for each of his two bands that were performing. I told him how the song Psychic Chasms from the Neon Indian LP of the same name, reminds me of the movie Flight of the Navigator. He seemed pleased with the comment but didn't necessarily understand the reference I think. I asked him when we can expect a Vega LP, he said probably next summer but the EP will see a re-release. Palomo also told me he'll be holed-up in the studio in January working on the Vega records with a very well known producer. I'm going to keep that on the low though, I don't want to jinx anything.

Flight of the Navigator - Music From the Film video via YouTube

I also chatted with members of Foot Patrol after their, killer, set on the Blue Stage. They had 7 +/- 3 members, all in various costumes that may or may not have been related. Apparently their band name is some reference to foot fetishism or insists or some shhh like that. All I know is I was watching the crowd as much as the band and they were drawing people in and those people were dancing. Sadly, our chat was somewhat insignificant it went something like this:

Me: "Hey I really enjoyed your set."
Them: "Thanks we had a lot of fun."
Me: "I could tell, you really drew a lot of people in."
Them: "Yeah."
Me: "Late"

I had a similarly awkward conversation with a Vivian Girl. I was behind the Orange stage watching Crystal Antlers and I look to my left and I saw the Red-Headed Vivian Girl with some tall, dark rocker dude, probably from Brooklyn, probably a band we know and <3 and I have this inspired moment.

Me: "Hey, aren't you a Vivian Girl?"
Her: "Yeah."
Me: "Oh."
***Both look back toward Crystal Antlers***

See people, this is why I'm a blogger and not a journalist haha. Speaking as a blogger I also would like to say that I'm surprised, given all of the little details that Transmission Entertainment thought of, that there isn't free Wi-Fi. To me that is the only, legal, thing that would make FunFunFun Fest a little better next year.

This post is getting out of control long, and I know your attention span is getting increasingly shorter (if you've even read this far) so here's a list of bands who I watched for at least 3 songs. I'll rate them with *.

* = That set was aight
** = That set was cool
***= That set was crazy good

L.A.X. **
Crystal Antlers **
Sugar and Gold **
Foot Patrol **
Times New Viking *
The Night Marchers **
Shonen Knife **
Vega ***
The Sword ***
MC Chris **
No Age **
Melt Banana ***
Death **
7 Seconds **
Neon Indian **
Yeasayer **
Les Savy Fav **
Face to Face ***
Ratatat *
The Jesus Lizard **

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bloggy's Whiskeytown Beerland Bonanza

So I saw Surfer Blood at Beerland last night and I can pretty much guarantee you didn't. I would say there were maybe 40-50 people, possibly fewer I'm a bad guessturbator, and y'all missed out as far as I'm concerned. At this point the guys only have about 10 songs so their whole set was only about 40 minutes but it was 40 minutes of indie-pop bliss. Think Weezer meets Vampire Weekend but not really all that precious or twee. The T-Shirts they were selling at the show reference Joy Division, which I don't see as being coincidental either. They certainly didn't remind me of Joy Division very often but there are those key guitar tones, which definitely point to their influence.

Speaking of the merch booth, I was psyched to see they were selling their full length LP, Astrocoast, which isn't due to hit stores until January. I bought a copy from the lead singer who told me this was Surfer Blood's first visit to Austin but they plan to "Take over SXSW" in March. Last night's show was day 4 of 45 that the band will be on the road so be sure to check their page linked above to catch 'em in your part of the U.S. of A (holes).

There aren't official videos out yet, at least not to my knowledge, but I want y'all to hear a song or two that I didn't post already. So, apologies for the pseudo-video but I want you to hear studio quality-ish.

Surfer Blood - Swim video via YouTube

I didn't catch all four bands who played Beerland last night but I did see the Cowabunga Babes. Their set was really fun and even inspired a few hipsters to break out in some nifty sock-hop dancing. To me they sounded like a messier, updated version of the B-52's and I like me some B-52's. However, I feel like they either need to tighten up or go more overboard with the sloppiness. Either be slick and polished or be the drunkest house-party band ever that's your call Cowabunga Babes but in the meantime keep rocking 'cause that was a fun-ass set! Just for the record though, I think Harlem are the current Austin crown-holders for drunkest house-party band and that's a good thing here.

[This is where I would put another Cowabunga Babes video but I already posted the one that they have at the moment and it doesn't feature the full band.]

I suppose I should explain this post's title a bit before I sign off here. I'm not much of a drinker but when I go to a show at a bar I will buy a drink of two. I'm also very frugal, shall we say, so I have been buying Lone Star when I go downtown. Well, recently I discovered that if I don't call my liquor I can get a tall Whiskey and Coke for roughly the same price as a damn Lone Star. At Beerland a tall Whiskey and Coke was $4 and a tall PBR was $3, you do the math! But stay away from the meth!

Here's one more from Surfer Blood, then I will leave them alone until SXSW.

Surfer Blood - Fast Jabroni video via YouTube

Oh, and in case you hadn't heard the hype yet/thought I was pulling this band out of thin air...

Nylon.Tv - Best New Bands: CMJ Pt. 1 video via YouTube

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on Friday

There's almost too much to blog about this week y'all. I feel like FunFunFun Fest is on the national/international map this year more than any other. So, now there are all kinds of side events, after-parties and the like to keep up with and it all makes Bloggy very happy. If I didn't want to be constantly overwhelmed with indie-rock, I wouldn't live in Austin right? Anyway, my whole point here is with all the FFF related festivities you may not have even noticed that Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are playing the Independent Friday night. Now, I've never been to this venue so I can't give you the down and dirty on the atmosphere but for a $15 ticket I'm willing to check it out.

You've probably already heard the lead single Home about a thousand times but there are lots of really nice tunes on Up From Below, which is on sale (in digital format) all month over at Amazon for $5. Those of you who saw Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at SXSW can attest to what a good, fun show they put on. For those of you who somehow haven't heard the future-classic Home I'll put it here, for those of you who want to sample something else, it's below the break.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Home (Demo Version) video via YouTube

If you liked that, you can preview the Magnetic Zeros live over at KCRW. And/or you can watch this other video or two.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Desert Song video via YouTube

Maybe you already knew this but Alex , the lead singer for the Magnetic Zeros used to be in the band Ima Robot remember them? I used to spin some of their songs on my college radio station back in the day.

Ima Robot - Creeps Me Out video via YouTube

Can't you hear the musical similarities? I'm glad he went pastoral rather than retro. Also, playing Friday night's bill at the Independent will be the Deadly Syndrome and Family of the Year.

the Deadly Syndrome - Emily Paints video via YouTube

With a name like the Deadly Syndrome that song was surprisingly fun. I may show up earlier than I had planned.

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