Friday, April 22, 2011

Jessica Lea Mayfield Plays Emo's Inside

I see you there, planning your weekend trying to figure out where to spend your money and get your indie-rock on. Well, if you don't have tickets for CSS/Sleigh Bells, that's out so, might I steer you over to our friends at Emo's? Sure it's not dance-rock but it's still a show loaded with indie-cred. Alt-country siren Jessica Lea Mayfield is playing a $10 show and I think you should get yourself a ticket. She'll be playing a string of dates with the Avett Brothers in the near-future which, means next time she rolls through Austin the ticket's going to cost more than ten bucks and/or it'll be an Austin City Limits TV taping. That's mere conjecture but I'm usually right about this kind of stuff. Mayfield's second LP, Tell Me is out now on Nonesuch Records and those in the know, know it's a gem.

Jessica Lea Mayfield - Sometimes at Night video via YouTube

Taking the stage before Ms. Mayfield on Emo's inside stage tomorrow night is Mr. Nathaniel Rateliff, he plays hardcore death-metal with a tinge of gangsta-rap. No, that's a lie can you imagine how amazing it would be to have a band that played gangsta-rap/death-metal and pair them with a rootsy singer-songwriter? That would be the worst booking ever. No, Mr. Rateliff plays heartfelt, acoustic tunes that will have the mothers and bear-loving gay men (like myself) swooning. His latest LP is out now on Decca, that's right muthaphuckin' Decca he fancy and shit. Anyway the album is called Memory of Loss and you can pick it up now, at the show or ya' know, whenever.

Nathaniel Rateliff - Shroud video via YouTube

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CSS and Sleigh Bells Play Sold-Out Show

Part of me hates to keep bringing up these sold-out shows since the majority of you won't be able to attend or already have tickets and thus don't need this little preview post. However, I know that some of you who are reading this right now aren't in Austin and aren't necessarily hip to every blog-buzz band to hit the interwebs. It is for you folks that I mention the sold-out show featuring CSS and Sleigh Bells at La Zona Rosa Saturday night. From the moment the show was announced it, instantly, became the hottest ticket in town. I'm not sure how these artists are received in other markets but in Austin both CSS and Sleigh Bells are bona fide rock stars. Those of you who have followed along with this site for a few years know that I featured Sleigh Bells as an artist to look out for at the SXSW 2010 music fest and I also had the chance to chat with them at SXSW this year. Their music is powerful, abrasive, raw, dance music with a punk-rock attitude and their shows are loud, propulsive experiences filled with energy. If this is your first time hearing about Sleigh Bells do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a copy of their album, Treats.

Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill video via YouTube

CSS is a great match for Sleigh Bells their music is definitely not as in your face but it is certainly dance-rock. I, last, caught them at Stubb's where they played to a sold-out crowd opening up for Gnarls Barkley. They bring syncopated dance rhythms, bouncy keyboards, staccato guitars and some wild body-clinging uni-tards. Their latest album is their first since leaving Sub Pop and I haven't heard much from it but I'm guessing it doesn't sound like Bon Iver or anything. If you already have tickets for Saturday's sold-out show I highly-suggest you bring something to get sweaty and wear your dancing shoes. Oh, and you should probably bring some ear protection because both acts, especially Sleigh Bells, like their beer cold, and their music LOUD! If you're reading this outside of town you should do your best to try and catch these artists when they hit your area or at least rock 'em out in your car whilst sitting in traffic or rolling down the freeway.

CSS - Left Behind video via YouTube

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers

In typical Austin fashion there are a buttload of great shows to see tomorrow night. There's night 2 of Cut Copy at Stubb's or the french electro-pop sounds of Yelle at the Mohawk. But, I'm not going to really highlight those shows, not because they don't interest me. I would be down to attend either or both of those shows but to be honest they really don't need me to draw attention to them. For one, the Cut Copy show is sold-out so even if you wanted to go it's too late now. If Yelle is not sold-out yet it probably will be by the time you read this. Also, those artists are already pretty well-established at least here in Austin.

It's for those reasons that I'd like to draw your attention to a little band called, Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers. Now, with a name like that you can bet that this band means business. Their music is brassy, sassy and has rock 'n roll balls to boot. Like most great music these days Shilpa doesn't really fit neatly in any genre boxes, the rhythm is propulsive the guitar sounds are gritty and the vocals growl, soar and purr depending on the moment. All I can tell you for sure is that if this is the first time you're hearing about Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers I can assure you that it won't be the last. If you want to have one of those stories about seeing a band before they were big then you should get yourself to Red 7 tomorrow night. Shilpa are not headlining so make sure you get there by 9 p or 10p at the latest.

Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers - Heaven in Stereo video via YouTube

Now, if you're reading this and thinking, "Oh shit! I already have tickets to both Cut Copy AND Yelle I can't make it to Red 7 for Shilpa Ray as well, don't stress. Consider yourself blessed to have such first world problems and save the day for May 5th when Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers return to Austin playing at Emo's. That show is actually an opening slot for Man Man, which should give you an idea of the career trajectory for Shilpa's Happy Hookers. Yeah, so if you want to check THAT show out you should just snag a ticket NOW because Man Man shows in Austin ALWAYS sell-out. People effing love them here.

Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers - Venus Shaver video via YouTube

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Foals with Freelance Whales

Last week we had British Sea Power at the Mohawk, tomorrow we get Foals at La Zona Rosa. If you're like me and you get to jonesin' for brit-pop then you're in heaven right now. Sure Foals are a little angular/proggy/post-punk to be straight-up brit-pop I am definitely putting them under that umbrella. Besides, if you have heard anything from their latest album, Total Life Forever then you know they have mellowed out quite a bit. They haven't lost their sound but they definitely ease into the grooves a lot more. Where before they were most definitely trying to get you to pogo and dance now they are equally interested in having you listen. Foals are on Sub Pop Records so I'd suggest head on over to their site and download some sample music and videos. I hate to keep doing this to y'all but unfortunately Thursday night's Foals show is sold-out. I'm tellin' ya La Zona Rosa is kickin' ass with this week's bookings!

Foals - Blue Blood video via YouTube

Playing the slot before Foals tomorrow night will be, Bloggy-favs, Freelance Whales. Those of you who have been loyal readers of this site know that I highly-approve of Freelance Whales and their anthemic indie-rock music. I have had the pleasure of seeing them perform several times and they seem to get better with each trip through Austin. If I were you I would listen to your copy of Weathervanes several times before the show so you can sing along with everyone else. Call me a sicko but there's something very magical/cathartic about joining a mass of people in singing "Flesh! Into the ground again!"

Freelance Whales - Generator ^ Second Floor video via YouTube

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Kills with Cold Cave

I have to give it up for the bookings at La Zona Rosa this week, they have a great show every night! Tomorrow night is no exception with both The Kills AND Cold Cave performing. The tickets for this show are sold-out but if you really want to see this line-up I'd take the trip down to fourth street and see what you can finagle. I know that I have, personally, gifted a ticket outside La Zona Rosa in the past and while I'm against paying scalper prices, I'm all for offering those d-bags a $20 to take a ticket off their hands. You could also just hang-out at the Backstage Bar and try to hear the show from there. For those of us who do have tickets already, the doors open at 7:00p and you can (probably) expect opening act The Entrance Band to begin at 7:30 or 8:00.

Blood Pressure is the name of the The Kills latest album, which just came out earlier this month and they are in top form. The tunes are vicious, they expand upon the bands established sound but are still, uniquely, The Kills. I can not wait to see these songs road tested. After touring with The Dead Weather you can bet that Alison Mosshart is ready to get back in her Kills groove. I had the chance to catch them at Stubb's during SXSW and I can assure you that this show is NOT to be missed.

The Kills _Satellite video via YouTube

Taking the stage before The Kills tomorrow night will be Cold Cave. I'm excited to see what incarnation of Cold Cave is touring right now. The band is kind of just a name for music conceived by Wesley Eisold and the touring members tend to change. I have yet to hear the latest album, Cherish The Light Years but all the feedback I've heard has been overwhelmingly positive. In any case, in any incarnation, Cold Cave always puts on unique and engaging performances so I'm definitely arriving early enough to catch their full set.

Cold Cave - Love Comes Close video via YouTube

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Fitz and the Tantrums at LZR

Super-fun 80's prom band Fitz and the Tantrums hit La Zona Rosa's stage tomorrow and tickets are still available! Alright, so they're not an 80's prom band but the first time I saw Fitz and co. at SXSW 09 that was the first thought that came to mind. They make me want to cut the sleeves off all of my t-shirts and acid-wash my jeans. I know it's a Tuesday night and you probably have work the next morning but shows at La Zona Rosa are, generally, done by midnight so you can still get a power-nap in before work the next day. Also, since LZR is away from the Red River district a savvy person can find gratis street parking. If you've never heard Fitz and the Tantrums before that's your problem! No, but seriously, I highly recommend checking them out, their live-set is full of fun and energy and you'll be humming the songs all the way home. Also, you may THINK you have never heard Fitz before but their pop-soul-indie-rock has been licensed quite a bit in the last year or two so you've probably heard at least a couple of their songs and didn't even realized it was them. For instance:

Fitz and the Tantrums - Moneygrabber video via YouTube

Doors for tomorrow night's show open at 8pm I'd expect April Smith and the Great Picture Show to start around 9pm. Although, it is possible there will be a local opener before April Smith takes the stage, I'm not privy to that information at the moment. Anyway, I'd get there by 9pm just in case, you don't want to miss April Smith. It's a name you'll be hearing a lot more in the months to come.

April Smith and the Great Picture Show - Terrible Things video via YouTube

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