Monday, January 31, 2011

Give Me A Beat ! : The Ugly Beats at Carousel Lounge, Sat Feb 5th

The Ugly Beats playing at the Carousel Lounge on a Saturday night in Austin is a beautiful thing. Something magical happens in that tiny room with the big pink elephant. This Saturday night, it's time to put your worries aside and dance them away with the Beats at the Carousel. Below I've posted video (and an audio link for their entire set) from a recent gig at The Mohawk that was recorded by the folks at Austin Music Weekly. Kudos for their full coverage (photos, video, and audio) of this amazingly fun and hardworking band. The Beats give it their all. Seriously. This Saturday's show also includes The Transgressors. $5 cover. If you can, bring some extra $$ and buy The Ugly Beats latest record, Motor!. It'll inspire dance parties in your living room after you go home from their show :) Link The Ugly Beats live at The Mohawk 1/14/2011

The Hi-Tones TransAudioStasis Record Release Party

This coming weekend is already shaping up quite nicely. It's time to shake off the winter blues with The Hi-Tones. They're celebrating their new record release, TransAudioStasis, and kicking off a U.S. tour at Club Deville. Their show on Fri Feb 4th will be their last Austin show until SXSW. TransAudioStasis was produced by noted Austin-based producer, Chris "Frenchie" Smith (previous Austin band credits include ...And You Will Know Us By Trail Of Dead, Ume, Electric Touch, The Steps, SPEAK). Frenchie also wrote 1 track on this EP, All Roads. You can preview their EP above and download it for $5 from their Bandcamp page or come to the release party and buy it directly from the band. The Battlemen will also be celebrating their record release and Megafauna rounds out Friday night's bill of bands. Bring your dancing shoes !

Monday, January 24, 2011

Free Energy with The Postelles and The Midgetmen at Emo's, Feb 2nd

I've been looking forward to this show since this tour was announced late last year. Free Energy released their album, Stuck On Nothing, in early 2010 but I didn't discover them for myself until last October when I went to see Hollerado open for them at The Mohawk. I went into their set without any expectations and left a new fan. Their songs and stage presence touched on things that I appreciate : catchy melodies, spot-on harmonies, crunchy guitars, having fun onstage, and making sure the audience enjoyed themselves and left with a smile. I last saw The Postelles at SXSW 2009. I can't remember how I first heard of them but I've enjoyed their catchy brand of garage rock/power pop/Motown soul. They've had countless comparisons to The Strokes (Strokes member Albert Hammond Jr produced their first album). That comparison is not entirely off-base. To my taste, they capture the sunnier sounding, upbeat side of The Strokes. As for The Midgetmen, although they've been around Austin for years, I haven't ended up at any of their shows (except for their set at a recent Neil Young Hoot Night). I've only listened to a few of their songs. But based on what I've heard, they're a perfect fit to join the bill with Free Energy and The Postelles. I think this show is going to be a great excuse to shake off any winter blues. Yes, it's on a Wednesday night but sometimes you just need a reason to allow yourself to smile, dance, and sing along. Free Energy sings about it clearly and simply in their song, "Hope Child", "We broadcast hope."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Goldenboy - Sleepwalker

I've been eagerly awaiting the latest record from Goldenboy for a few years now. I've been a fan of Goldenboy since their debut release, Blue Swan Orchestra, in 2003. Their 2nd album, Underneath The Radio, was released in 2006. I was introduced to Goldenboy's tunes shortly before that time when lead singer and songwriter, Shon Sullivan, was a member of Neil Finn's touring band. Shon Sullivan also played with the late Elliott Smith who gave Shon the nickname of "Goldenboy". While a member of Elliott Smith's band, Shon began developing his own material and thus Goldenboy was born first as a solo side project and later evolving into the current lineup as a quintet. Goldenboy's 3rd release, Sleepwalker, will be released on Feb 8th on Eenie Meenie Records. Sleepwalker continues to showcase Shon's songwriting charms. The album makes its introduction with the driving guitar and vocals of "Different Moon". Sleepwalker also contains Goldenboy's signature gentle, romantic harmonies in songs like "She Belongs To Me", "He Liked Cloudy Weather", "Anna Said", and "Spark." There are also more uptempo, playful songs like "Rock and Roll All Night", "Chelsea Girl", and "I Like You Because" (which contains the smile inducing lyric of "you're so first class/the girl kicks ass") which highlight Shon's skills as a guitarist. There's also the jazzy piano shuffle of "Lilac Afternoon" and the soothing lullaby vibe of the title track. With "Holiday" (a bonus track on the physical CD), you can hear a little bit of the Elliott Smith influence along with the vintage keyboard riffs and wistful vocals. Overall, the songs on Sleepwalker provide lush, engaging indie pop to warm and comfort the soul. Goldenboy will be touring through 2011 and that includes a SXSW 2011 showcase. They kick off their Sleepwalker tour on Feb 1st. Go to for details.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Getting To Know : STEREO IS A LIE

After forming in late 2008, Austin's men in black are finally ready to unleash their self-titled debut album. It's officially released on Feb 8th and they're going to have an album release show at The Ghost Room on Feb 12th with The Strange Attractors and The Astronaut Suit. It's a going to be an evening that will shake the rafters as well as send shivers up your spine. In advance of the show, I sat down with frontman, Glynn Wedgewood, to get the facts and a bit of insight into the band. Profile : STEREO IS A LIE Year Formed : 2008 Members/Instruments Played : Glynn Wedgewood (vocals and guitars), Danny Stapleton (guitars), Marcus Pina (bass guitar), Davy Hamrick (drums), Justin Scott (keyboards) Former Bands/Side Projects : Glynn was previously in IV Thieves, Mr and Mrs Mays, and Viterbo. Marcus previously in Alta May and Love Battery. Danny was previously in Our Black Love Song. Davy was previously in Lomita and currently also plays in The White White Lights. Album : Self-titled ; It is scheduled to be released on February 8th on Monolathe Recordings. Influences : The songwriting is influenced by topics such as bleakness and the manipulations of society, government, and politics. Contemporary musical influences include bands such as: The Duke Spirit, Constantines, These New Puritans, The La's, Six By Seven, Interpol, Longpigs, Sigur Ros, Radiohead. Strangest comment or comparison ever made about your band : In a conversation with Glynn Wedgewood, the frequent SIAL comparisons to Oasis came up. He doesn't really see the musical similarity but views the Oasis mention as an attempt to help the music reach certain audiences. Favorite local bands : Ringo Deathstarr, Hardproof Afrobeat, The Strange Attractors, New Roman Times, She Sir, The Astronaut Suit, White Dress, dead black hearts, Ross Dubois, JBE, DD Dagger, Intimate Stranger Favorite local venues : The Ghost Room, The Parish, The ND and The Mohawk Upcoming shows : Album Release Party at The Ghost Room on Sat, February 12th (with The Strange Attractors and The Astronaut Suit) and A Local Night For Local People at The Ghost Room on March 5th. Details TBA. MR Fest (KTSW Fest) in San Marcos TX, April 30th Favorite albums from the past year : A few favorites that Glynn Wedgewood shared : Interpol - s/t, The National - High Violet, The Nervous Wreckords - Valuminium, The Society of Rockets - Future Factory Ideal band (past or present) to open for on a national tour : Past : Led Zeppelin, U2 (on the Achtung Baby tour) ; Present : Interpol

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dean Fertita (Hello=Fire, The Waxwings, Brendan Benson)

About a decade ago, I became a fan of Dean Fertita's songwriting when he fronted the Detroit band, The Waxwings. I adored their blend of psychedelic pop, folk rock, and garage rock with their first release, Low To The Ground. The video clip below, Steady as Starlight, is from their last release, Let's Make Our Descent, which was produced by Brendan Benson (he also filled in as a band member when Dominic Romano left the band). Following the end of The Waxwings, Dean toured with Brendan Benson on solo tour dates and later with The Raconteurs. He also kept busy by touring with and becoming a member of Queens of the Stone Age and The Dead Weather. Between all these bands, he found the time to write and record songs for his new solo project called Hello=Fire. It became available in 2009 on Schnitzel Records and was finally released in the U.S. in late 2010. One of my favorite tracks from the Hello=Fire release is "Parallel". On this record, he enlisted contributions from Brendan Benson and fellow members of Queens of the Stone Age. The first video released as Hello=Fire, the gentler sounding "Nature of Our Minds" The brand new Hello=Fire video for "Certain Circles" has Dean a bit tied up at the moment :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trumpeter Swan/The Ashes/English Teeth at Club Deville, Fri Jan 14th

As my friend, Clay (who is the lead singer and songwriter for The Ashes) told me, it's like this bill is made just for me. Simply said but very true. This triple bill gives you a glimpse into my musical tastes - singer/songwriter, indie pop, power pop, alt-country, garage rock, British invasion - all rolled into a tasty little package. Trumpeter Swan is the musical alterego of Drew Patrizi. Drew is currently based in Brooklyn but he previously resided in Austin and was a former member of What Made Milwaukee Famous. He branched out on his own by releasing "Listen For The Clues" recorded with the help of some friends (engineers Erik Wofford and Danny Reisch and players from Voxtrot, the Lemurs and the Polyphonic Spree). I've posted a couple of video clips below but you can also preview some of Drew's songs at In the summer of 2009, I stumbled across English Teeth when they opened for a couple of favorite local bands. They've become a steady favorite of mine by combining solid, catchy tunes along with a fun, engaging stage presence. Since Jan 2010, they've released 3 EPs - the 1st self titled EP, followed by "Two" and "Three" (yes, those are the titles) for your listening pleasure. Take at least one of these EPs home - you'll be glad you did. The Ashes is only just one of the bands in which Clay Fain plays. I think it was 3 bands the last time I counted :-). For brevity's sake, you can describe The Ashes as acoustic alternative pop. If you want to use band names, it's like Wilco combining brains with Elliott Smith and Nada Surf. Just watch and listen to the clip below. It's one of my favorite Ashes tunes - an unreleased nugget known as "Darrel, I Was On My Way". I'm not certain about the band order or cover charge for Friday night at Club Deville. I'm guessing that the music will start at 10 pm and cover charge around $5 or so. Whether you see 1 band or 3, it's worth braving the chilly temperatures to hear some quality songwriting from really great people.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crawling With Kings at The Mohawk, Austin, TX - Jan 12, 2011

Crawling With Kings were one of those Austin bands I became really excited about a few years ago. But it seems as soon as I did, they broke up. The silver lining since they called it a day is that they've had at least 1 reunion. This week, they're dusting off the cobwebs for another reunion show at The Mohawk this Wednesday, January 12th. Below you can check out a show they performed at The Mohawk in December 2006.