Monday, December 27, 2010
Do512 provides a convenient link for upcoming AFW events right here.
*Jan 1st :
at Beauty Bar
at The Mohawk :
The White White Lights
at The Mohawk :
The Boxing Lesson
Black Forest Fire
at Club Deville
She Sir w/ Candi & the Strangers
at US Art Authority
She Sir with Ringo Deathstarr
*Jan 4th :
at The Parish
STEREO IS A LIE
New Roman Times
*Jan 5th :
with Quiet Company (12:15a)
The Boxing Lesson (11:15p)
Smoke & Feathers (10:30p)
My Education (9:45p)
Red Leaves (9p)
with A Giant Dog (1a)
Shapes Have Fangs (12:15a)
Rayon Beach (10:45p)
Flesh Lights (10p)
*Jan 6th :
The Ugly Beats
*Jan 7th :
Club Deville : "AMP Night" -- a special 5pm-2am Free Week edition of FTMOA's First Friday Frolic
Doors at 5pm / Complimentary Big Red Retro sodas & Complimentary pies from Home Slice Pizza
6pm BK & Mr. E
7pm Eagle Eye Williamson
8pm Erin Ivey
10pm STEREO IS A LIE
11pm One Hundred Flowers
12am DJ I Wanna Be Her
1am DJ uLOVEi
What Made Milwaukee Famous
The Astronaut Suit
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The sound of Texas in 2010 had an excellent contribution from the San Antonio band, Hacienda and their record, Big Red and Barbacoa. Big Red and Barbacoa is their 2nd release and it continues to showcase their love for big 60s sounds ranging from The Beach Boys and The Beatles but also a little bit of 60s country from Buck Owens. Hacienda are also a great example of why family (the band consists of 3 brothers and a cousin) harmonies are so sublime.
Sometimes it's nice when old musical loves come back into your life. In 2010, that would be The Posies with their latest release, Blood/Candy. I was a big fan of some of their early 90s releases (Dear 23, Frosting on the Beater) but I had not kept up with subsequent releases. With Blood/Candy, it sure was a sweet reunion with their outstanding harmonies and solid songwriting.
This year also brought another fine release from Frightened Rabbit with "The Winter of Mixed Drinks." Melancholy, anger, and despair never sounded so sweet. But all hope is not lost in their songs.
Another release I absolutely loved this year was "Big Echo" by The Morning Benders. Once I heard the "Excuses", I was hooked -- again and again. For some folks, it was considered to be the only outstanding track on the album. No, that is certainly not the case. This is an absolutely gorgeous album filled with lush tracks such as "Stitches", "Wet Cement," "Promises" and "All Day All Light." A real keeper and you may find yourself listening to this one on repeat.
I also have a soft spot for a couple of certain male songwriters who are more well known for their bands than their solo output : Brendan Benson (My Old, Familiar Friend) and Fran Healy (Wreckorder). Their sweet, melodic tunes and vocals are my musical comfort food...and maybe just a little bit of crush, too ;).
Staying on that melancholy yet hopeful note, Crowded House came back in fine form with "Intriguer." This was their 2nd release after the band reunited in 2007. I've been a longtime, diehard fan so Neil Finn could sing the phone book to me and I would be happy. Their live shows promoting this album were an experience. This is a band that really connects with and respects its audience. With songs like "Amsterdam", "Twice If You're Lucky" and "Isolation", it shows that Neil Finn remains one of the outstanding songwriters of his generation.
For pure, unabashed fun, the releases from Free Energy (Stuck On Nothing) and The Thermals (Personal Life) struck a chord with me. Life's too short to waste more than 3 minutes on a song, alright ? ;)
Austin likes to keep things groovy and it was done in 2010 with help from The Black Angels (Phosphene Dream) and The Ugly Beats (Motor!). The Black Angels turned a little bit of light onto their signature dark drone with songs like "Telephone" and "Sunday Afternoon". The Ugly Beats have put out their finest release so far and you don't want to skip a track. With this band, "retro" is not a dirty word ; they have fun with their influences.
In my musical world, "pop" is not a bad word but it also doesn't refer to current Top 40 artists. To me, it means that melody and harmony are key elements to great songs that stick in your brain and make you want to sing along or just simply make you smile. A variety of examples from Austin this past year include releases from Hollywood Gossip (Dear as Diamonds) and Household Names (Stories, No Names) as well as more indie/electro pop from The Black and White Years (Patterns) and The Sour Notes (It's Not Gonna Be Pretty).
Monday, December 20, 2010
In no particular order :
I first heard of Lawrence Arabia (musical alterego of New Zealander, James Milne) early this year. One listen of the album track "Apple Pie Bed" and I was hooked. Once I heard the rest of the "Chant Darling" release, I was smitten. I'm a sucker for lush harmonies and witty, sometimes offbeat lyrics. When I learned that he and his band were opening for Crowded House on their U.S. tour, I think I nearly exploded with delight.
One of the bands who helped indulge my affection for all things 60s mod and British invasion is The Len Price 3 (no one is named Len Price in the band but there are 3 members). Take one part Who, one part Kinks, one part Beatles and stir in other musical bits and bobs, you've got The Len Price 3. I don't care that they're not reinventing the wheel. You can't resist their exuberance and unabashed love for their influences. Their 2010 release, Pictures, is 31 minutes of jangly, crunchy goodness.
Their record was released in other parts of the world before this year but fortunately U.S. fans have not been left out. Let's Wrestle released "In The Court of the Wrestling Let's" on Merge Records in 2010. These 3 young men write about everything from their daily schedule to insects as well as tanks and the late Princess Diana's hair. It's sloppy garage punk on the surface but with the heart of a well -written 3 minute pop song beating strongly behind it. Go listen to "I Won't Lie To You" and you'll understand.
It's possible that The Futureheads have one of the best album introductions for 2010 with the title track for "The Chaos" as they shout out "5 4 3 2 1.....LET'S GO !" This British quartet from Sunderland deftly combines punk energy and tight songwriting and to keep your on your toes, beautiful acapella harmonies. You can't help singing and dancing along and maybe even pumping your fist. Amazing band who truly know how to rock -- so glad I was able to see them when they stopped in Austin back in September.
This year also featured another excellent release from Sunderland : "Measure" by Field Music. Field Music is the songwriting team of brothers, Peter and David Brewis. It's a double album/2 CD release so it takes a little patience to fully explore and enjoy their eclectic influences and styles. Their flawless brotherly harmonies tie it all together.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Quiet Company - Songs For Staying In
This EP has been a case of "the little EP that could". It became more than just a release to put out between full length records. This record received airplay on popular Austin radio stations (KGSR, KUT, and KROX) and it has put them on the radar as a band to watch while fans await the release of their next full length recording.
She Sir - Yens
This was released early in 2010 but as a latecomer to the band, I didn't hear it until this summer. After listening to its sparkling melodies, dual harmonies, and layered, swirling guitars, I was instantly smitten and wondered why I hadn't came across their songs earlier. "Yens" is merely a taste of what She Sir have to offer but it's a good place to start.
English Teeth - English Teeth, Two, and III
This Austin band proudly wear their Anglophile influences on their hearts and sleeves and that's what I love about them. Why should you hide your best influences ? Show them off loud and proud ! The 'Teef (as they nicknamed themselves) started off the year by releasing their debut, self titled EP including the wonderfully snotty, bratty nuggets"Catastrophe" and "Invasion". This fall, they released the aptly named "Two" EP containing 2 songs, Dear Caesar and Roadrunner. They close the year by releasing another EP, titled "III". The EPs are a certainly a fun listen but to fully experience the 'Teef, try to catch one of their live performances in Austin.
Gentlemen Rogues - self titled
This will predictably get comparisons to Green Day (the vocals are slightly reminiscent to them) but I think that Gentlemen Rogues are more "power pop" than "pop punk". Like English Teeth, they don't shy away from showing their British influences. I grabbed a copy of their EP at one of their shows earlier this month and it's been on frequent rotation. I'm certainly looking forward to hearing more from them in 2011.
The Hi-Tones EP
After being on the scene for a couple of years under a few different names and lineups, the band now known as The Hi-Tones made their debut release this summer with a self titled EP. They combine 60s British invasion with plenty of soul and R&B plus a pinch of power pop that provides the listener with an introduction to their infectious, energetic sound. You can preview their upcoming 2011 release here
The White White Lights EP
I became an instant fan of TWWL last year so I was excited to finally get my hands on their debut EP released in Feb 2010. If I'm asked to recommend a band to see in Austin, TWWL are always on my list.
Great songs, a strong female singer, solid, powerful drums, and one of the best live guitarists I've seen (plus charismatic stage presence), they simply kick ass :)
TV Torso - Status Quo Vadis
After hearing their previous 2 7" inch releases, I was eager to hear more. Forget the Spoon comparisons, Matt Oliver creates distinct, shimmering guitar pop tunes of his own and with songs like "Slouch Hat City, "Two Glass Eyes", and "Slanderers Stew", you will be sure to keep TV Torso on your musical radar (and go back and pick up those outstanding 7 in" singles on their Bandcamp page). Their live set is also definitely worth catching.
Love at 20- To Have and Have Not
In late 2009, Love at 20 debuted with their full length, Time To Begin, which was offered as a free download on Bandcamp (now available for purchase on Amazon.com and iTunes). They spent part of 2010 staying active on the live music scene as well as taking time to write and record their follow-up EP released in November. It's available as a free download on Bandcamp. It's catchy as hell and some of you might be a little shy to admit you like their sound. Think Muse mixed with a little bit of Weezer, Interpol, and Jimmy Eat World but with a little extra class and panache. Raise your martini glasses and rock !
The Steps - Flight Path
Classic rock meets modern rock (or take a good musical upbringing and add their own contemporary musical choices) and you've got The Steps. "Flight Path" was their follow up after their 2008 full length self titled debut. This summer 2010 release was perfect for the season - loud, strong, singalong worthy, and carefree.
International Waters - It Felt Like
The band describes their sound as "jangly anger" which is fitting since there is some bite and sharpness behind the sweet sounding vocals and guitars. It's a limited release (only 300 copies pressed) on 10" vinyl. You can purchase it directly from the band's website. I've only heard 2 out of the 4 tracks since I don't have a turntable yet. I've enjoyed the slightly ominous, somber "Cycle of the Chain" and the brighter, sweet tones of "Olympia".
The Seas - Head of Snakes
Now I remember why I'm not the biggest fan of making lists. I always end up forgetting something I wanted to include. The band released this EP this summer shortly before frontman, Nurk Njorksen, left for adventures in S Korea. The digital only EP features slinky yet bubbly tunes like "Stars Don't Shine Just For You", the lush and dreamy "Lullahello", and the unexpected, singalong anthem, "Suicide" ("We don’t need no suicide for the two of us to get high").
The Ripe - man with no eyes
Formed while still a member of The Ugly Beats, Jake Garcia branched off and started a new project, The Ripe, with friends from other local bands. The Ripe put together a tasty combination of 60s/70s power pop, folk, and psychedelia. Sunny melodies and jangly and crunchy guitar licks serve as an introduction to their sound. Look out for their upcoming full length recorded this year in Spain.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I know that The Pons are looking forward to showing off their new songs as well as playing favorites from their first album. Their songs reflect a range of emotions : sweet and light, dark and moody, and shades in between. I also have a soft spot for harmonies, melodies, and hooks that stay in your head. Chances are you'll hear these songs in your head when you least expect it and once "The Blackest Shine" is released, don't be surprised if you find yourself hitting the repeat button. Yes, that's my prediction and I'm sticking to it.
For this Saturday's show at The Ghost Room, The Pons will be joined by friends from STEREO IS A LIE and Red Falcon. An all around fantastic local triple bill. $6 (21 +, sorry kids).
The Pons - 11:30
STEREO IS A LIE - 10:30
Red Falcon - 9:30
$6 for 3 bands on a Sat night is a pretty good deal but if one lucky winner and a guest would like to go for *FREE* (courtesy of whitesiren), send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with "The Ghost Room" in the subject line and I will choose a winner on Friday.
Below I've posted videos from their June 26, 2010 performance at The Ghost Room : 2 new songs, Death of the Peacock and Someone Else's Voice along with their amped up cover of Wreckless Eric's, Whole Wide World. Videos were filmed by ATXLive.
Vote for this event on Do512.
Listen to the title track and rough mixes from "The Blackest Shine"
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I can't get enough of this gorgeous new tune from their upcoming "Kusama" EP. Liela Moss' voice really shines on this track and credit also due to the dual guitar attack and solid rhythm section.
A few years ago, the band recorded a bunch of covers including the 60s Love classic, A House Is Not A Motel. Their version can be found on the "Covered In Love" EP.
Earlier this year, the band contributed a song to a compilation that was released in celebration of Doc Martens 50th anniversary. The original is by the 70s/80s UK punk band, Sham 69. The Duke Spirit provide a chilled out, organ fueled version instead of the original rowdy, "Oi !"styled punk anthem.
Monday, November 22, 2010
When this tour was announced, I think I nearly squealed with glee. I've been a fan of The Posies since I was in college. I first saw them 2 decades ago (yes really it was that long ago) when they opened for The Replacements at the Texas Union Hall at UT. At that time, I adored their record, Dear 23, chock full of soaring harmonies and singalong power pop gems. I admit that I haven't consistently followed their career but still remain a fan. There have been glowing reports from the current tour and I'm looking forward to hearing tunes from their latest record, Blood/Candy . I think my power pop loving head nearly exploded when I learned The Posies were doing double duty by playing their own headlining set as well as acting as Brendan Benson's band. I've been a fan of Brendan Benson's solo career for almost a decade now. After 2 albums with The Raconteurs, he returned with his 4th solo release, "My Old Familiar Friend". This show should be an excellent remedy after a Thanksgiving food coma.
Below I've posted links for "The Glitter Prize" by The Posies and "Feel Like Taking You Home" by Brendan Benson. If you click "Like" for the event on do512.com, you have a chance to win a pair of tickets.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
In Nov 2009, I attended the Austin Bleet Up not as a blogger but as a fan of some of the bands who played the event (Built By Snow, Corto Maltese) and to meet up with friends. Was this event a source of inspiration for me ? Maybe...but it took a little longer before I officially created my blog. It debuted in April 2010 as "Beautiful Beat" but I changed it a few months later to "Superpop!".
It looks like next month's Bleet Up is bigger than ever. Bloggers and blog readers will be gathering on Dec 3rd at Whole Foods downtown rooftop terrace for music, food, shopping from local boutiques and craft shops, and ice skating (memories of my Minnesota childhood is excited about this). This year's event will also honor the winners of the first ever Austin Blogger Awards. The awards will be nominated by and voted upon by readers. You can find the nominees and vote on the following site : http://austinbloggerawards.com/. Some of the categories include : Best New Blog, Best Overall Music Blog, Best Blog to Discover Local Music, and Best Photoblog/Flickr Feed.
Do512 is holding a ticket giveaway for clicking "I Like It,": http://do512.com/event/2010/12/03/the-austin-bleet-up
Remember to bring $7 for door cover, and if you Tweet / blog about the Bleet-Up, don't forget to RSVP: http://www.eavesdropper-pr.com/rsvp/
Here's a short, "getting to know you" interview I did in June 2010 for the Austin Blog Jam.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Remember when indie pop actually made you smile giving you that fuzzy, giddy feeling ? Well, it still exists with the new Austin quartet, The Villas. The title track, Jamie, is a fun combination of Weezer meets Fountains Of Wayne, full of crunchy guitars and ba-ba-ba, oh yeah singalong harmonies. The next 3 tracks, "Babybomb", "Pin You Down", and "Ripy" proudly display the band's unabashed love for classic powerpop sounds and even a bit of Britpop (bands like Blur and Ash). The EP reaches a melancholy, somber end with Fading In My Mind and a clean version of the title track. This EP is available for download from Bandcamp for $4.99. A great deal for indie/powerpop fanatics to add to their music library and playlists. For Austin fans, you can catch The Villas this weekend, Fri Nov 5th, at Scoot Inn for the Austin Indie Pop Spectacular which also features White Hotel and The Stan Laurels. $5 cover plus a Britpop/Indie DJ set afterwards.
Friday, October 29, 2010
As an avid fan of The Duke Spirit, I was very happy to hear this new song from their upcoming "Kusama" EP slated for December 2010 release. Their 3rd full length will hopefully be released early next year. This song has certainly whetted my appetite for their new material. I love how their range of influences from R & B, psychedelia, garage, and even Motown and soul come together to create a distinct sound. On a lighter note, if you haven't developed a crush on lead singer, Liela Moss, after watching this video and/or listening to her smoky, sweet vocals, check your pulse please.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Best Excuse To Leave Work Early On Friday Award (in Austin) goes to : seeing The Ugly Beats celebrate their new release "Motor !" at Waterloo Records Fri Oct 22nd at 5 pm.
Take great garage rock along with 60s British Invasion sounds and add a pinch of Texas flavor, you've got The Ugly Beats. If you've never seen them, this is your chance to see one of the best bands around for FREE, enjoy some free beer, and maybe even pick up a copy of "Motor!" to listen to this weekend. If you've seen them countless times like me, you can never get enough of the Beats !
And here's a bonus track that didn't appear on Motor! but you'll often hear during their sweaty, rollicking live sets.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Hollerado is returning to Austin this month (Sat, Oct 23rd at The Mohawk) as part of their autumn tour opening for Free Energy and Foxy Shazam. I've never seen Free Energy or Foxy Shazam but I wouldn't be surprised if Hollerado steal the show but I'm a bit biased here.
Their new video for "Americanarama" has been getting some well deserved attention. It's quite addicting. You can't help watching it more than once or twice. The second clip I posted is from SXSW 2010. They play their own tune, Fake Drugs, but close out their day party set with their version of Neil Young's Rockin' In The Free World. One of my personal highlights of SXSW. I've managed to convert a few friends into Hollerado fans and I wouldn't mind converting a few more. Check their list of tour dates and other fun treats on the band website (http://www.hollerado.com). Don't miss your chance to see this band. I'm sure Menno, Jake, Nick, and Dean would love to see you. They're touring through the U.S. and Canada in October and November with Free Energy. Here are the dates :
10/12/10 – Portland, ME @ Space
10/13/10 – Providence, RI @ Jerky’s Music Hall
10/14/10 – Burlington, VT @ Club Metronome
10/16/10 – Toronto, ON @ The Horseshoe
10/18/10 – Columbus, OH @ The Summit
10/19/10 – Nashville, TN @ The End
10/20/10 – St. Louis, MO @ The Old Rock House
10/21/10 – Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar
10/23/10 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
10/25/10 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room
10/26/10 – San Diego, CA @ 710 Beach Club
10/28/10 – West Hollywood, CA @ The Troubadour
10/29/10 – San Francisco, CA @ Slims
10/30/10 – San Jose, CA @ The Blank Club
11/10/10 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
11/11/10 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile Café
11/12/10 – Vancouver, BC @ The Media Club
11/14/10 – Edmonton, AV @ The Pawn Shop
11/15/10 – Calgary, AB @ The Republik
11/16/10 – Saskatoon, SK @ Amigos
11/17/10 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Pyramid
11/18/10 – Minneapolis, MN @ 400 Bar
11/19/10 – Chicago, IL @ Shazam
11/20/10 – Indianapolis, IN @ Radio Radio
11/21/10 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
11/22/10 – Albany, NY @ Valentines
11/23/10 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
11/24/10 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
11/26/10 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
11/27/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of Living Arts
12/01/10 – Washington DC @ Rock And Roll Hotel
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
There are a lot of touring shows coming to Austin this fall. One of those shows I'm looking forward to is Field Music. They're playing at Emo's on Wed, Sept 29th. I first heard of them in 2006 and became an instant fan. The core of Field Music are songwriters and brothers, David and Peter Brewis. They've been touring this year in support of their 2010 release, Measure. I've only seen Field Music once before and I could barely see and hear them through a sea of people under a tent during SXSW 2007. David and Peter Brewis were also at SXSW in 2009 with one of their side projects, The Week That Was. I'm a fan because I'm completely charmed by their brotherly harmonies and their ability to transform their influences into something fresh and original yet familiar. The tracks "Them That Do Nothing" and "Let's Write A Book" are 2 of the highlights (and videos) from the Measure album. If you're charmed as I am by the Brewis brothers, I highly recommend seeing them at Emo's for a rare appearance in Austin.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
My taste leans more towards melodic and pop sounds and Jennifer Marchand's taste is more brazenly rock (or should I say ROCK !). I've recently became a fan of She Sir and I admit I'm such a sucker for dreamy vocals and jangly, yet fuzzy guitar sounds. They're not just for bedroom listening ; their live sound packs more of a punch that you might anticipate. Ideal Soul Mart are proof that you don't need a lot of fuss to create memorable pop songs. They're only a two-piece band, switching off instruments, and often playing multiple instruments at the same time. The result is a surprisingly big, full sound. I've heard of Tiger Thrust through my friend, Misti Watkins, who is also the drummer. She formed the band with her friend, Ben Fleming. But I haven't had a chance to see them yet so I'm looking forward to hearing their new project.
The lineup is completed with the addition of The Vitamins and Sex Dragon who are bringing the ROCK so don't forget your earplugs.
The Vitamins (w/ Erik & Jamey of Tia Carrera) : http://www.myspace.com/the
She Sir : http://www.myspace.com/she
Tiger Thrust : http://www.myspace.com/tig
Sex Dragon : http://www.myspace.com/sex
Ideal Soul Mart : http://www.myspace.com/ide
$6, $5 if you bring 2 friends
9:15pm TIGER THRUST (30 min)
10pm SHE SIR (45 min)
11pm THE VITAMINS (45 min)
12midnight SEX DRAGON (45 min)
1am IDEAL SOUL MART (45 min)
Saturday, August 28, 2010
You can watch Frightened Rabbit's performance here : http://revision3.com/frightenedrabbit
Another thing I've enjoyed listening to this week is a set of demos from my current favorite British band, Pete and the Pirates. I'm not sure how to articulate why I like them without going into embarrassing gushing fangirl mode. All of the members are songwriters with different musical tastes which results in a cohesive yet diverse sound without being too over the place. In the "Precious Tones" EP, you have the punk flavored, Selina, followed by harmony laden, Blood From A Stone, soothing melodies in My Sun Hat, and ending with the melodic, multilayered plea of Where Did You Go.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
International Waters : http://www.internationalwaters.net/
TV Torso : http://tvtorso.bandcamp.com/album/status-quo-vadis
STUNTS : http://stunts.bandcamp.com/
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I haven't heard Agent Ribbons entire album, Chateau Crone, yet but their tune "I'm Alright" has me hooked. The guitar riff has the gritty jangle reminiscent of 60s garage rock combined with girl group harmonies. A pretty sweet combination indeed.
You can check them out in Austin TX on Fri, July 30th at the Continental Club as part of Lucy The Poodle's Summer Dance Party. Additional 1960's girl group sounds will be supplied by The Carrots. They're one of those local bands I've heard about for a few years but I've always missed the opportunities to see them.
The boys will also get their turn to show their stuff courtesy of the R & B/soul infused rock of The Hi-Tones and the British Invasion swagger of English Teeth.
4 bands for $8 on a Friday night at the legendary Continental Club sounds like a great way to kick off a summer weekend and support your local music scene.
Monday, July 12, 2010
They're playing this Wed, July 14th at 10 pm, at Antone's as part of Antone's 35th Anniversary celebrations. Other bands on this bill include Johnny Goudie with Spencer Gibb (8 pm), Shane Bartell (9 pm) who is returning to performing after 2 years), and Cover Girl (11 pm). You never know when there will be another Real Heroes gig so catch them this week if you can.
You can RSVP for this show at do512.com for $5 cover and the chance to win free tickets :
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Thanks to Twitter (and the One Track Mind music blog), I discovered Lawrence Arabia earlier this year (the musical name of New Zealand songwriter, James Milne). The first track that I heard was the incredibly catchy, Apple Pie Bed. But another favorite is The Beautiful Young Crew. It combines singalong likeability, sunny harmonies, and stinging social commentary ("we love each but we hate each other/we're afraid of each other because we want to screw each other"). The video is also a treat. It looks like an homage to political campaign ads and documentaries from the late 70s/early 80s. It utilizes its own series of familiar images you might see in a campaign ad but with the witty lyrics providing most of the commentary. You can find "The Beautiful Young Crew" on his most recent record, Chant Darling.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
"How Do You Do It ?" : Video captured by Cindy Royal on 2/24/10 at Emo's, Austin TX
Based on my favored pop/rock tendencies, I should have been an instant fan of Quiet Company. I can admit that this was not the case. This does not mean that I ever hated or completely dismissed them. I sort of filed them away in the back of my mind to revisit later. Things started to turn in the right direction when I saw them at Beerland last July when they shared a bill with one of my Austin favorites, Built By Snow. I did proscratinate for reasons I don't recall at the moment to see them perform again until Free Week back in early January. It was absolutely freezing that night at Emo's so my patience paid off in waiting for their set. The musical lightbulb in my head finally lit up and declared "Yes, I like this band !"
What do I like about their songs ? Pardon me while I borrow some words from one of my all time favorite songwriters, Neil Finn (from Split Enz and Crowded House if you didn't already know). In an interview, he listed several ingredients for a good song : 1) seamless melody and hooks 2) texture and atmosphere 3) subtle lyrics 4) light and dark moments.
Quiet Company have become one of those bands I'm eager to recommend to friends. If you like the song above (How Do You Do It from their new EP, Songs For Staying In), I hope you'll pass on the good word and recommend them to your friends.