Sunday, May 16, 2010

Give Me A Holler !

I first saw Hollerado in late 2007 when they were on a bill with one of my favorite local bands, The Ugly Beats. They played to a nearly empty venue but I liked them enough to remember them. I missed them at SXSW 2008 but patience paid off when they returned for SXSW 2009. By that time, I took advantage of the free album download of Record In A Bag that they had offered on their website ( I was hooked by their infectious, harmony filled guitar rock. Whether you see them play live or listen to their songs at home, you'll be charmed by their sense of fun and impressed by their tight performance and songwriting. They also like the audience to be part of the fun. You can now buy Record In A Bag in stores. It does come in a plastic bag filled with confetti and other fun items selected by the band members themselves. At SXSW 2009 and 2010, they invited fans to join them onstage. At SXSW 2010, their official showcase fell on the same day as drummer Jake Boyd's birthday. Confetti poppers were made available to the audience so there was confetti flying everywhere along with a purposefully out of tune version of "Happy Birthday" as directed by lead singer and guitarist, Menno Versteeg. The band lineup is completed by guitarist Nick Boyd and bassist Dean Switzer. These lovely Canadians are returning to Austin this week. They're playing at Emo's on Tues 5/18 with Fang Island, Zlam Dunk, and Agent Ribbons (

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quiet Is The New Loud

"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.