Wednesday, December 21, 2011

15 Great EP's of 2011

By this point you should have already seen my best locals list, my best non-locals list, and Shivvy's best albums list. So, technically I don't have to post anything else for the rest of the year. That's how this works right? Well, I figured I also wanted to highlight some great EP's that came out this year. I'm not going to call it a best of and I'm not going to mention EP's that were included in the other lists from this site BUT when these bands become famous in 2012-2015 I want you to remember this list. Also, you can expect all or most of these bands to appear on Austin stage during SXSW 2012, or thereabouts.

As with all of the other lists, click the name of the artist to be brought to their homepage, click the title of the EP to go to a purchase page (lots of these are limited pressings in physical form so you may have to go with the digital option), listen to the song sample by pressing the play button. I have also created a Spotify Playlist to accompany this post. Let's begin shall we?

Read more!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Contest: Grieves at Stubb's

Ho ho ho! In the spirit of the Rick Perry's war on Christmas, I have some tickets to giveaway. Tomorrow night you can catch some live hip-hop at Stubb's inside room. Grieves is hitting Austin with his On the Rocks tour, you can buy tickets or you could win some from me. This could be your chance to see a star on the rise in an intimate space. His album, Together/Apart was released on the Ryhmesayers label and it features classic boom-bap hip-hop beats with tight, introspective rhymes over the top. If you haven't heard it yet, you can check it out on Spotify. Since I was so wrapped up in year-end lists I only have the rest of the day to pick a winner so send an e-mail to if you want to win. All you have to do is put GRIEVES in the subject and give me a brief reason why you should be picked. One person will get on the guest list with a +1 for tonight's show.

Grieves - On the Rocks video via YouTube

Like I said I only have a few hours to choose a winner for this contest so make sure you enter the contest and/or tell your friends about it NOW.

Read more!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shivvy's Best of 2011

This was my first complete year of not working in radio, but I got back into music in a big way. In the months that followed WOXY's demise, I honestly tuned a lot of music out. I was never big on indie buzz and the flavor of the month style way that indie bands are consumed these days, but I was exposed to pretty much all of it while working for the station. Now, with a rekindled passion in my heart, I find that my biggest sources for discovering music are Austin Bloggy and Spotify.

While I have friends who swear up and down that Rdio and other services are better, I subscribed to Spotify when it finally launched here the states earlier this year. Now that I'm working a more traditional office job, I have plenty of time to listen to whatever I want. I put my headphones on and listen to everything from old faves to the the newest releases. I can say that, as a result, my listening has moved back more to being album-based. My preference is always to support my local indie record stores by buying as much vinyl as I can. There is a happy medium there for me - I stream at work and in the car and play records at home.

However you are discovering new music, please make an effort to support the artists that create it. If possible, do it at the local stores that we want to thrive in our communities for a long time. For me, Record Store Day is a year-round event. If you aren't fortunate enough to live close to a great store like End Of An Ear or Waterloo Records here in Austin, there are links embedded here to buy from the artists/labels or from Insound.

Read more!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bloggy's Best of 2011

First off, I want to note that I think ranking art is ridiculous but, at the same time, I adore lists. It is always harder for me to decide what will be excluded rather than what will be included whenever I'm making these lists. It is so hard to say what deserves to be attached to what number, especially in a year that Radiohead have an album release. In the end, I had to make this a top 20 list since I had such a hard time narrowing it down to 10 or 15, but I could just have easily made this a top 50. I can assure you that I loved every album on this list and I ranked them based on how much I listened to them. In other words, this represents what my favorites were just as much as it represents albums with artistic merit. I have developed an evolving playlist that has samples from all of the albums I considered contenders for this list, which you can listen to on Spotify.

The last thing I want to mention involves the format of this post. Just as I did with my Best of 2011: Locals Only post, if you click the name of the artist it will bring you to their homepage, if you click the album title you will be brought to a page to purchase the album. Also, with one or two entries you'll see I have both an LP and EP listed under one spot. My reasoning for this is EP stands for "Extended Play" so I'm considering it to be an extension of the album. Now, with that all said here it is, The Bloggy Best of 2011:

Read more!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Digitalism at the Parish

It's been emeffin' cold in Austin this week. You know the best way to cure those cold weather blues? If you answered, dancing your ass off to German electronic music played through Austin's best sound-system over at the Parish then we are on the same wavelength. You can find me and the rest of Austin's coolest people sweating through our Threadless T-Shirts on the hardwood floors of the Parish tomorrow night. If you'd care to join us in seeing Digitalism then you should grab yourself some tickets while they're still available. Something tells me even if there are a few tickets left at the door Friday night they'll be gone early. The latest release from Digitalism is, I Love You, Dude and it's filled with big, industrial beats, edgy keyboard sounds and just the right amount of indie-minded live instrumentation. If you went to the Alamo Drafthouse this summer then you probably already heard the song Two Hearts, which was featured in one of their monthly trailers.

Digitalism - 2 Hearts video via YouTube

Taking opening band duties tomorrow night is up-and-coming electronic duo, Data Romance. They hail from Vancouver and have been compared to The XX and Bat for Lashes so you know I'm sold. Also, the fact that they are coming out of the Vancouver scene speaks very highly of them, they've been churning out some amazing electronic music in the great, white North lately. I mean, have you heard Blood Diamonds? It's tiiiiight! Anyway, if you get to the Parish around 10p you shouldn't have any problem catching all or most of Data Romance's set. I expect it will be one of those, I'm glad I was here for this moments, like when Warpaint opened for Akron/Family. Remember that?

Data Romance - The Deep video via YouTube

Damn, that Data Romance video was creepy y'all! Even though it's, mostly, unrelated I'm going to include this jam from Blood Diamonds too. Vancouver represent!

Blood Diamonds - Grins video via YouTube

Read more!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Best of 2011: Locals Only

Alright, I'm going to start this list with the usual disclaimers about how art is subjective and ranking one piece of art above another is just silly. However, as a music nerd I love lists, which is why this is my favorite time of year. You can look forward to my albums of the year list next week along with Shivvy's. For now, I thought I'd shine a light on some Austin and/or Austin-area artists who had enjoyable music releases this year. Click the name of the artist to go to their homepage, click the name of the release to go to a purchase page. I'm sure there are lots that I will leave out, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy that band, it just means I didn't include it in this list. In other words, you can save your gripes for Oprah's return 'cause I ain't even interested grrrl! In the spirit of, "oh shit I forgot about that one" I present to you the Bloggy Top 11 Austin releases of 2011:

You can find most of these artists if you're a Spotify user and want to hear more. Frank Smith has his previous releases on Spotify but, the songs I posted above are from an album due out in 2012 so you won't find them there. For the other 10, I've made a little playlist for you to enjoy. So, there you have Best of Austin 2011. Feel free to leave your thoughts, concerns, etc in the comments or tweet @AustinBloggy.

Read more!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Sea and Cake Thursday

Living in Austin, it seems that every few months a band comes along that I adored in college but never really thought I'd be seeing perform live. Well, this Thursday one such band is gracing the Mohawk's outside stage and I am very excited. The Sea and Cake are one part jazz band, one part indie-rock group and when I was in college radio I had never heard anything like it. Their latest release is called Moonlight Butterfly, it was released this year to little fanfare but I recommend you check it out. With 6 tracks it's not quite an LP and more than an EP but regardless of how it's classified it's great music and you can expect Thursday night's show at the Mohawk to be excellent. Tickets are only $15 and given that this is an outdoor show you can expect it to start and end fairly early. I really have no idea how popular The Sea and Cake are in Austin but something tells me that this show will be sold-out before the doors open at 7pm. In other words, you should probably grab some tickets while you still can.

The Sea and Cake - Weekend video via YouTube

Like I said, Thursday night's show is going to start and end early so you should arrive before 8p if you want to catch local band, My Education's, opening set. Their sound is more shoe-gaze than jazz but they don't really fit into either of those categories. I think they're a great fit for The Sea and Cake show even though they don't just like them, their music should still appeal to the same audience. You can listen to My Education's music, which is streaming over on their bandcamp page.

My Education - Sunrise video via YouTube

Read more!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wilco in Austin

I know it's late in the day, so I'm late to the party in writing about last night's Austin City Limits taping featuring Wilco. Those other blogs had lots of fancy words and lots of fancy pictures but I was waiting tables at 6am today so, not only is my review late but I'm fucking surly y'all! Let me start by saying if you have tickets for tonight's Wilco show at ACL Live, then you are a very lucky individual because I thoroughly enjoyed last night's performance and I'm sure the dynamics are much different for performers without cameras in their faces. Last night was my first time seeing Wilco perform, I had heard many great things from many great, to moderately great, people so I had high expectations. As far as I'm concerned Wilco completely delivered, as usual my only complaints were with the crowd and not the band or the venue.

The sound was superb, not too quiet, not too loud and everything perfectly in balance. The patrons were generally well-behaved but as usual people need to shut their fucking yaps while a performance is taking place. Also, what's with people taking photos of themselves while at a show? The caption should read, "This is me disturbing people around me in a crowd." It's one thing to take the photo in a way so the artist ends up photo-bombing your self-portrait but when it's just two drunk bitches squeezing their fat faces in the frame of their iPhone it makes no sense to me whatsoever. The other thing that bothered me is, somewhat, specific to Austin City Limits TV tapings but also kind of applies to any venue charging more than $5 for poor quality beers. Must you continuously drink while watching a show? Like the whole time? Each minute of each song? You think maybe you could just get beers before and after, maybe at a neighboring bar so you don't have to keep moving past me in both directions? This would not only save me from getting annoyed by you, it would save you money. Get off my lawn!!!

Back to the performance, since last night was Wilco's fourth taping of ACL, I was expecting to hear mostly new to newish tunes and I was perfectly ok with that. I'm not one of those people (assholes) who insists that anything after a band's first 1-3 records is total crap. In fact I think Wilco's latest album is really great. Much to my surprise the set list had lots of "classics" peppered in with the new tunes so even if you are one of those assholes you still got to hear some of your favorite songs. For the full set I'm going to refer you to the handy-dandy instagram photo from the official Austin City Limits TV Twitter.

My, personal, highlight moments were Nels Cline's guitar solo during, Impossible Germany and Nick Lowe guesting with Wilco to play, Cruel to be Kind. I have been to lots of concerts from a variety of artists playing a variety of genres. Many of these shows have brought tears to my eyes but I have never been so verklempt from a guitar solo. I can't even explain to you what made it so great but when Nels' solo wound down and Impossible Germany got back into its main riff, I lept from my seat, with tears in my eyes and clapped until my hands became chapped. I wasn't the only one moved by his guitar work. During the solo itself you could see each member of the band looking at Nels like proud papas. It was the most earnest and well-deserved standing ovation I've ever participated in and when I was trying to explain the scenario to someone at work today I started crying again. It was like that. Do I even need to explain what was so cool about Nick Lowe playing Cruel to be Kind with Wilco as his backing band? I feel like my hipster cred jumped up like 10-20 points just because I was in the room for that. If you were even near the W last night your hipster cred jumped 5 points just for being in the same zip code while that happened. Did that really happen?

All in all, I would say if you ever get a chance to see Wilco anywhere, you should go. If you are lucky enough to see a taping of Austin City Limits featuring any artist (except Bob Schneider(fuck that guy)), then you should go. Oh, and if you have any influence over who gets to go to Austin City Limits tapings then you should call me, we need to hang out more.

By the way, I don't know who took the shitty cell phone photos in this post but it wasn't me, I would NEVER break the rules like that. People are so rude.

Read more!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Planning Ahead: Ticket Round-Up

Yee-haw! It's time for the ole ticket-roundup kiddos! It's that post that I do monthlyish that takes me hours but you seem to find very helpful. *insert sympathy* 2011 is coming to a closer before you know it and there are a few note-able shows that you should snag tickets for before they're all gone. I like to explain that my mention of a show in this post does not, necessarily, equal an endorsement of the show, artist, venue etc. There will be things I list here that I couldn't care less about if I tried. I, also, do not consider this to be comprehensive. Consider this your virtual highlighter. With that all said, the format is, click on the name of the artist, for the ticket page, click on the name of the venue for the venue's homepage. Oh, also, if it just says "Emo's" that implies the Red River location and "Beauty Ballroom" is the new E. Riverside location. The fun begins after the break.

Wilco - Born Alone video via YouTube

Thursday, Dec. 1st

Friday, Dec.2nd

Saturday, Dec. 3rd

Sunday, Dec. 4th

Tuesday, Dec. 6th

Wednesday, Dec. 7th

Thursday, Dec. 8th

Friday Dec. 9th

Digitalism - 2 Hearts video via YouTube

Saturday, Dec. 10th

Tuesday, Dec. 13th

Wednesday, Dec. 14th

Thursday, Dec. 15th

Friday, Dec. 16th

Saturday, Dec. 17th

Sunday, Dec. 18th

Wednesday, Dec. 21st

Wednesday, Dec. 28th

Thursday, Dec. 29th

Friday, Dec. 30th (My birthday)

Saturday, Dec. 31st

Saturday, Jan. 14th

Cass McCombs - The Same Thing video via YouTube

Tuesday, Jan. 17th

Friday, Jan. 20th

Wednesday, Jan. 25th

Friday, Jan. 27th

Sunday, Jan. 29th

Twin Sister - Kimmis in a Rice Field video via YouTube

Friday, Feb. 3rd

Saturday, Feb. 4th

Saturday, Feb. 11th

Friday, Feb. 17th

Tuesday, Feb.21st

Saturday, Feb. 25th

Wednesday, Feb. 29th

Grimes - Vanessa video via YouTube

Saturday, March 3rd

Wednesday, March 7th

Tuesday, March 13th

Thursday, May 3rd

Friday, Mar. 23rd

Saturday, Mar. 24th

Sunday, Mar. 25th

Read more!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giveaway: This Will Destroy You w/Tactics

I know it's only Tuesday but a lot of you will be away from the internet (gasp) in the latter part of this week so I'm giving you the early heads-up on a show going on at Emo's this Saturday night. You can catch This Will Destroy You at classic Emo's on Red River, tickets are $15-$17 depending on when you buy them but I have 3 pair to giveaway. Not only that, one of those 3 sets of tickets will come with, Tunnel Blanket, the new album from This Will Destroy You pressed on colored vinyl as well as an 11 x 17 poster. To win is simple, all you have to do is e-mail with "TWDY" in the subject and tell me why you want to win. The winners will be chosen at random on black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). All 3 sets of winners will get in to the show free of charge and one of the lucky winners will get the prize pack with the vinyl and the poster.

This Will Destroy You - Communal Blood video via YouTube

In what, could be, the most perfect musical pairing to date, Tactics will be playing the support slot at this Saturday's show. The latest release from instrumental rock group, Tactics is the single, Titan. If you think it sounds good on their Bandcamp wait until you hear them perform live. There really aren't very many opportunities left to see shows at Emo's Red River location but this show is the perfect sort of last hurrah. Local bands, with a big sprawling songs, cheap beer in hand that's the way I want to remember classic Emo's.

Read more!