Wednesday, October 3, 2012

ACL Festival Preview: Infantree

Are you one of those people who doesn't like to miss a moment of ACL Festival? If you're someone who likes to be at the gates the moment they open then you will be amongst those lucky enough to catch a set from Infantree. This California band doesn't seem to be on anyone's radar yet but you know who is already a fan? Neil fucking Young that's who. He chose Infantree to tour with him, which is partly how they ended up playing ACL Festival to begin with. It's difficult to define Infantree's sound but I would say they walk that fine line between jam band and roots-rock, think early My Morning Jacket with a slightly more laid-back stoner vibe and you're getting close. Their latest record is called Hero's Dose and you can listen to the whole thing now on Spotify.

Infantree - Here Goes Nothing video via YouTube

As I mentioned above the break, if you want to see Infantree at ACL Fest you'll have to arrive at Zilker early. They play the Austin Ventures stage at 11:20am on Friday the 12th. That means they are the first band to play that stage this year. If you can't make it to the park that early on Friday don't fret, I'm sure they'll be back in Austin before you know it, just keep your eyes peeled for their next show.

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Dinosaur Jr. with Shearwater

Well kiddos, as expected, tomorrow night's Dinosaur Jr. show at the Mohawk is sold-out. Their latest record I Bet on the Sky was released last month and it's the first new record from the band in 3 years. For better or for worse, the newest record still sounds like 90's college rock. Don't get that confused with the complete and total bullshit 90's "alt rock" you'll here on 101x. Dinosaur Jr. helped define a genre for a generation, they played louder, they melded styles and influences and they managed to excite audiences while sounding bored. In other words, they are your prototypical 90's-era college rockers. They're a bit aged now but they haven't compromised their aesthetic and rumor has it that their as loud as ever. If you missed out on your chance to see Dinosaur Jr. at the Mohawk Thursday, you should at least listen to their latest LP.

Dinosaur Jr. - Watch the Corners video via YouTube

It's sort of a strange pairing to have Shearwater open for Dinosaur Jr.. One band plays grinding, visceral guitar music, the other band features a dulcimer. I'm a big fan of Shearwater and I think their 2012 release Animal Life is one of their best to date. However, when you consider that Shearwater started as a side-project to feature the songs that were too quiet for Okkervil River it does seem like maybe Dinosaur Jr. + Shearwater might be a bit strange. I will say that Animal Life is much more rollicking than their previous releases. I also imagine this new song cycle takes on an even more energetic tone in the live setting. Although, I suppose any doubts I had about this pairing were quelled when I remembered how fucking balls-to-the-wall the song Immaculate is.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

ACL Festival Preview: The War on Drugs

Photo Credit: Graham Tolbert

It seem crazy that Austin City Limits Festival is almost upon is but it is. Two weeks from right now the whole thing will be but a memory. That means you have less than two weeks to do all of your homework. Hopefully, if you're reading this blog you are already well aware of The War on Drugs. This Philadelphia-based band makes some of the best straight-ahead rock 'n roll of our generation. Kurt Vile used to be in The War on Drugs but has since split off to become an indie-star in his own right. Slave Ambient is the latest LP from The War on Drugs and it is their best effort to date. It was released last year and the band has been touring in support of it ever since. When I saw them perform at the Mohawk during SXSW this year, their performance was truly transcendent. It is music that will make you want to quit your job and start smoking cigarettes just so you can light up while driving down the open road, the setting sun in your rear view. This is Neil Young music for the modern man.

The War on Drugs - Baby Missiles video via YouTube

Don't take my word for it though, watch The War on Drugs at ACL Fest. They play the Bud Light stage at 2:30pm on Friday, October 12th. It's very early in the festival and could be a great tone-setter for your whole weekend. Their set does overlap with Delta Spirit, which will be a tough choice for some people but as someone who has seen both bands perform live I STRONGLY suggest you choose The War on Drugs.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Menomena and PVT at the Parish

Whenever a good touring act is booked at the Parish an angel gets its wings. I'm not privy to all of the politics of booking a show in Austin but I get the feeling that touring bands only get booked there if they specifically request it. With that all said, I'm thinking Menomena specifically requested they play The Parish on their trip through Austin. Their latest record Moms has been out for a month and it continues in the same logical progression from where we last left Menomena. It's a Wednesday night show so dirty 6th won't be in full-on frat-dog mode and you won't have to pay for a parking meter until midnight. Factor in one of the Pacific-Northwest's best touring bands in the best sounding room in the city and you're looking at a great way to spend a Wednesday night. Tickets are only $16, which could be considered a bit steep but I had the chance to see Menomena at SXSW and they are truly phenomenal performers so you should really consider prying open your wallet for this show.

Menomena - Pique video via YouTube

Playing the opening slot for Menomena Wednesday night at the Parish will be PVT. They used to be signed to Warp Records but they have jumped to a more indie, indie label for their next album, which isn't due out until next year. I had the pleasure of listening to half of the upcoming album and I think this is a really good pairing for Menomena. It's musically adventurous, driving, music that will make you want to move. I wouldn't call it dance music but it isn't, sit in a dark room with headphones on music either. Listen to the first single from the upcoming album and decide for yourself:

PVT - Shiver video via YouTube

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