The Austin music scene through the eyes of a programmer/music enthusiast/show-goer

Monday, January 30, 2006

New Centro-Matic: Fort Recovery

Ru reminded me that Centro-Matic has a new one coming out March 7th on Misra Records. It's called Fort Recovery, has 12 songs, and is quite good, as most of their records are. Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers had this to say:

"Centro-matic is my favorite band that is still vital and intact. All four of them together for ten years now. Their brand new album is their best yet. My un-mastered CD copy is my favorite album of 2006 and honestly my favorite new album of the past five years. I have listened to it several times a day for three weeks straight and like those great masterpieces of old I still find new things to love at every listen.

Centro-matic's Fort Recovery is a masterpiece, and I don't use that word often."

Wow, that has to be most compelling unpaid endorsement I've ever seen. Triggers and Trash Heaps is the current single out now, which will also be on the full-length:

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Here's a hodge podge of news nuggets for you to chew on:

Don (the guy in the bright green shirt in the back) from Dead Whale Tide emailed last week with great news, being that a DWT album is still somewhat in the works. Justin (the singer) may come down in February and/or March to tie up loose ends with the music, after which Don plans to master the recordings and have a disc for all and any that would like one. There will be 8 full-band tracks and possibly a couple of instrumental jams thrown in. I'm crossing my fingers that this works out.

Single Frame has a new, full-length remix album in the works, due out on Volcom late March/early April! Who the hell ever knew they had this coming!? I'm dying for more details on this, which the band promises will come soon. Also, for a full photo recap of their last tour with Mixel Pixel, go here.

Stereogum has announced the details of their first sxsw showcase for this year's festival. It'll be a Thursday day show at The Parish, with free goodies and liquor already being promised. What the hell has this to do with the Austin music scene you ask? Well, besides the event being a part of sxsw which is a part of the Austin scene, our very own What Made Milwaukee Famous is on the bill, playing after Aloha and before Thunderbirds are Now!, Rogue Wave, and Ted Leo! This should be a great opportunity for them to get some larger exposure that they've been needing.

Passover, the debut LP from The Black Angels, will be released by Light In The Attic Records on April 11th, pushed back from March 28th. It will be ten tracks, six of which have been previously released on one (or both, in the case of Black Grease) of these EPs. Without further adieu, here is the album cover and tracklist:

01 - Young Men Dead
02 - The First Vietnamese War
03 - Sniper at the Gates Of Heaven
04 - The Prodigal Sun
05 - Black Grease
06 - Manipulation
07 - Empire
08 - Better Off Alone
09 - Bloodhounds on My Trail
10 - Call to Arms

The Paper South is a new shoegazerish Austin band, comprised of three parts ex-Winslow and one part ex-American Analog Set. They have a six song EP in the works and will be playing during sxsw, at which time I will finally get to check them out. I'll be profiling them in greater detail later. In the meantime, go check out a couple of their first tunes at their myspace page.

Finally, and this isn't really news, go check out this video of The Arm absolutely ripping it up on their KVRX Local Live performance. It's a rather large download, but I promise it's worth it. I must have watched the damn thing 10 times by now.


I've added a small section over on the right (under the venues) with your standard links to a bazillion other sites. However, you won't find a painfully long list of every blog in the known universe. Rather, I have on display a mere 8 links to my absolute favorites, all of which are worth checking out at least once, if not with regular frequency. Quality over quantity is always preferred, right?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Black Angels @ The Parish, 1/21/2006

So yeah, I'm back! It was tough, but I managed to emerge from the sleepless trenches of work still alive and breathing. I even managed to make it to a show this last weekend during the chaos of it all, and damn am I glad I did. One of my local faves, The Black Angels, put on one hell of a set last Saturday at The Parish, my favorite Austin venue. The dark atmosphere of the venue in combination with the droning walls of reverb provided by the band made even a dork like me feel like I was at the hippest event in town.

Anyhow, enough with my silly attempt at describing the scene... how bout I just let these pics speak for themselves?

On the way up to the venue (cameo by Sam's shoe)

Alex Maas (aka Jim Morrison reincarnate)

Kyle Hunt rocking the floor tom

Nate Ryan on bass

Jennifer Raines and Christian Bland (who also makes
some wicked gig posters)

Kyle working the moog (+10 cred points for such a sweet synth)

The guest(?) violin player. He was very good, but isn't listed as an
official member. Also, he liked Greg's beard. Greg
really liked the fact that he liked his beard.

Jennifer on "the drone machine/organ"
(I wonder who their influences are?)

Last, and definitely not least, Stephanie Bailey on drums.
Even if she sucked on the kit, she would still be hot. However, she's
about as far from sucking as a drummer could be, which pretty
much makes her a rock goddess.

Bringin' the rock

And talk about some cool projector work via Richard Whymark

So yeah, the bottom line is that these guys (and gals) are amazing live and are not to be missed when they roll through your neck of the woods. I'll be seeing them again in February in Seattle at the KEXP John in the Morning @ Night benefit with Film School, Silversun Pickups, and others. The Angels will be headlining... and it will be awesome.

And finally, if for some reason you've been living under a rock for the last few months, check out these tracks from their KVRX local live session

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Threadless SXSWi Winners Announced

Peep that hot banana action! I dig the shirt, but what's even cooler than the shirt are these pictures of this big husky dude wearing it. I'm not a big yellow fan (or banana fan, for that matter), so I might end up reneging on my promise to buy the winning shirt. All the submissions were good, but I personally thought there were better shirts than the winners.


While SXSW is still on the brain, check out See You In The Pit for some tunage by a bunch of bands that will be descending on Austin during spring break. I'll be doing some of this on a variety of local Austin acts as the festival draws closer.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I Love You But I've Downloaded Your New Album

Yeah, sorry about that guys, but I couldn't resist... and you know I'm gonna buy that shit when it comes out anyways (March 7th via Secretly Canadian). So, am I forgiven (since we all know you will be reading this)?

With so much work and whatnot I haven't had the time to actually give this a proper listen yet, despite it being one of my most anticipated releases of the year. That means I'm counting on you guys to tell me what you think (Greg, Sam, Ru... need I name more names?).

I loved both tracks on their Artikal Records 12", one of which has been re-recorded for the new record. Download that mug right here:

::: I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - According To Plan :::

I actually like the original better (possibly because it's the first version I heard; more likely because it oozes with a thick, dark atmosphere that has been partially stripped from the new recording). Go get a taste of the Showgazer-approved original at the Artikal Records site (it's the second track in the audio player) and then, if you're as intrigued as I am about these guys, have a listen to Garrison's interview with the band over at Indie Interviews.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

For Those Who Don't Know

For the unacquainted, it is my pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite new Austin bands, For Those Who Know. I caught these guys for the first time at the Get Him Eat Him show last night at Beerland. Unfortunately we made it downtown in extraordinarily late fashion and arrived just as GHEH were tearing down their gear (those guys are all unbelievably young, and nice, by the way).

Bummed about missing their set, I sulked with a beer and tried to look forward to seeing a band that I practically knew nothing about. However, Adreon from Single Frame had dropped their name to me as the guys that lived next door while I was checking out some of his art a few weeks ago. He also mentioned that Sub Pop had sent down some of their cronies at some point to scope them out. With his recommendation and a sidenote like that, I was pretty confident it would be an enjoyable set.

And hot damn, enjoyable it was. I was nodding my head and tapping my foot right into the first track (a rarity for me)... and then the second... and then the third. You get the picture.

So, on to what they actually sound like. For me, they reminded me alot of one of Austin's finest, deceased rock bands, Dead Whale Tide (R.I.P... but seriously, cut the crap and get back together already). They've got a great shoegazer vibe, with shimmering, crystalline guitars and Steven Hablinski's hushed, emotive vocals, backed by solid bass lines and sharp, driving beats. In fact, I think I already like these guys better than DWT, seeing as how their songs are tighter, more focused, and have much smoother (and more frequent) transitions.

Anyhow, check out this tune below (thanks to the band for letting me host it) and then go stream a couple more at their myspace page.

If you dig, buy their self-titled EP here, released on upstart Austin label Christmas Mountain. Then, when you love them as much as I do, check them out at these upcoming shows (via The Austin Showlist):

Friday, 1/20 - Emo's w/The Ugly Beats, Faceless Werewolves, and Tran Tram

Thursday, 2/16 - Flamingo Cantina w/Single Frame, Peel, and Eagle*Seagull!!! (who are drawing comparisons to The Arcade Fire) - Damn, what I wouldn't give to be able to make this show! I'll be skiing in Canada, missing the best show lineup so far this year. You all better make it out (you know who you are).

Thursday, 3/16 - The Parlor Unofficial SXSW show w/Red Leaves, .belville, and Things That Go Pop!

Added Treat:

Check out a couple of my favorite Dead Whale Tide tracks for old times' sake:

Friday, January 13, 2006

SXSW Updated Band List

Yeah, I'm posting this late as shit, but whatever. Anyhow, something worth checking out that you might not have seen is Angry Robot's Parsed SXSW Band List, which is considerably kinder on the eyes than the list on the official site.

A whopping 104 Austin acts made the cut! Below are some of my favorites:

The Arm, Belaire, The Black Angels, The Glass Family, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, Jana Hunter, Knife In The Water, Moonlight Towers, My Education, The Paper South, Shearwater, Single Frame, Sound Team, Voxtrot, Weird Weeds, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Zykos.

Right off the top of my head, I noticed no listing for Cue, Clap! Clap!, or Peter And The Wolf, but this list is just preliminary. Here's hoping they'll show up in due time...


While we're on the subject of SXSW, check out Threadless' SXSW hearts threadless competition page. I'll most likely be buying the winning shirt.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Zykos Gets Dumped On

So, I go through my daily routine today of showing up to work at 10:00 and reading through my list of blogs, zines, email, more blogs, torrent sites, etc. until about noon. Then, right when I feel like I might be able to pull off some work, it's time for lunch. Sweet.

Anyhow, we go to the always fantastic Foodheads and I spot the new Chronicle and start thumbing through it. I hit the music page and am excited to see a short recap on Emo's free week. Into the second column I surprisingly hit upon this little nugget:

"For every convert the Glass Family made Saturday night, someone else swore Zykos would never invade their eardrums again."

Wow, that is harsh. Being one of my favorite local bands and having seen them many times, I was more than shocked to read this. Mike Booher and Co. usually put on an intensely great live show, but recent new recruits at the drum and guitar positions might have made this a shaky show. But then again, I read that blood was literally shed during this show over at their Myspace page, so how could it have possibly sucked!?

I have yet to find anyone that actually saw this show to get an accurate report. All my friends either flaked out or got there too late after the venue was already at capacity. Did anyone out there actually attend?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

First Post

First post, first blog. Setting this puppy up was a lot easier than I thought it would be. However, it still looks like total piss, but give me a break... I set this sucker up last night while I was falling asleep in bed.

Anyhow, with this page I plan to cover my experience in and with the Austin, TX (mostly) independent music scene, including spotlights on local bands, venues, record stores, live shows, posters, festivals, and so forth.

Posts will likely be infrequent (or maybe not, we'll see) the first few weeks as I try and remodel this place into something worth looking at. Maybe I'll even buy my own domain and a MovableType setup and produce somethin' real snazzy. I can only hope... we'll see what time allows.