Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Marrow to play Lambert's 1/31

The four members of Chicago group Marrow may all be in their early 20s, but this baby band has already racked up a pretty impressive list of name-drops from various musical projects. Liam Kazar (singer/songwriter/guitarist) spent the last year touring in Jeff Tweey's band, getting the opportunity to perform on The Tonight Show, The Colbert Report, and Conan. Macie Stewart (singer/songwriter/keyboardist) toured with Chance the Rapper in 2014. Macie, Liam, and bassist Lane Beckstrom were all in now-defunct hip-hop group Kids These Days with Vic Mensa. And all four members were featured on the new album from Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment.

Their newest offering and debut full-length, The Gold Standard, was recorded over a year-long studio session in Chicago and the result is an eclectic mix of jazz inspired rock songs, some leaning more bluesy and experimental and some pushing the boundaries of surf pop with driving kick drums, fast-paced guitar strumming, and Macie's unbridled vocals.

They're bringing the tunes to Lambert's on January 31 and I highly recommend you check out the show. Should be a trip! Snag your tickets HERE and check out the video for my favorite (and certainly the most upbeat) cut from the album below.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Django Django coming to Mohawk 10/28

On tour in support of their new album Born Under Saturn, UK art-rock quartet Django Django will be coming through Austin Wednesday, October 28 to bend minds at Mohawk. The group formed in 2009 making literal bedroom recordings in drummer/producer David Maclean's East London abode and released their acclaimed self-titled LP in January of 2012. After a three year wait, May 2015 saw the release of Born Under Saturn on Ribbon Music. Check out their trippy video for "Reflections" off said album and snag your ticket for the show HERE (get there early, Wild Belle are opening).

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Yassou release third in five video series

Late last month, the San Francisco based group Yassou released the first in a five video series. The concept is this: five videos for five songs, no physical release, no digital release, no music that's not tied to it's visual component. This sees the band capitalizing on the singles culture we've come to embrace and adding beautiful visual elements to supplement the music... Or is it the music that's supplementing the visuals?

This isn't entirely revolutionary, if we look back to a few years ago when iamamiwhoami introduced themselves to the world in a similar fashion, releasing a series of mysterious and beautiful videos leading up to their debut album release.

"To Sink" is the third in this video series from Yassou, and it's absolutely stunning. View it below, and if you need more (which you probably will) check out the first two installations "Fall Again" (YouTube) and "To Win / YoungBlood" (YouTube) and look out for #4 "The Woods" on Thursday, October 15 and #5 "In These Summer Nights" on Thursday, November 5.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Gardens & Villa to play the Parish 9/17

The first time I saw Gardens & Villa was on the Purgatory "stage" at the Masquerade in Atlanta. For anyone who may not be familiar with this venue, Purgatory is the middle level and the smallest of three showrooms at the Masquerade. It's really not a stage at all, more just an area in the back of a room where bands can set up to compete with the sound from the much larger lower-level room Hell and the much much larger upstairs stage Heaven.

So it goes without saying that this was some time ago, before G&V achieved the popularity that they have now. It was this shove into the mainstream that saw the band rethink their creative direction and retreat to a collaborative art space in LA to record their newest offering, Music for Dogs. According to their press materials, "Music For Dogs is a deeply personal album that pokes, prods, and even strangely celebrates the zeitgeist of music commerce, pleasure culture, technological advances and the new home they’ve found in Los Angeles." And you can hear it straight from the band in their single "Fixations" with the chorus, "My whole life fixation/see if we can make it underneath the radar."

The band will bring there "zen pop-Nihilsm" to the Parish this Thursday, September 17. Swirling and psychedelic with a lot of 70s influence but a modern enthusiasm and danceable beats, Music for Dogs is a perfect party record. Don't miss out; get your tickets HERE.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Class Actress shares video for "GFE"

Class Actress, lesser known as Elizabeth Vanessa Harper, is an LA-based synth-pop artist who recently released an EP Movies on June 23 via Casablanca Records. Movies was recoded in a bungalow in The Beverly Hills Hotel and produced by Giorgio Moroder. Quite the setup for Harper!

This particular track was co-produced by Neon Indian. And it's good. I don't dislike the concept for the video, either, which mocks the iPhone apps geared towards helping users deal with moral dilemmas. I get it; it's funny. But the dialogue and the lyrics clash, making it difficult to follow either. It's like reading subtitles for one film while watching a different one. Form your own opinion below!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

AVAN LAVA bringing the party to Austin on September 22

Brooklyn-based dance pop trio AVAN LAVA are self-described to be a "natural bridge between late night club culture and kaleidoscopic pop theatricality." They've released a handful of EPs (all stellar) over the years, most recently 2015's "Make it Real" which came out on J.D. Samson's Atlas Chair records earlier this year.

Noisey calls them, "one of the best live acts we've ever seen," so I'd suggest trying to catch them on tour this fall. They'll be in Austin on September 22 for a show at Stubb's Jr. and tickets are available HERE.

They also made one of my favorite videos... like maybe ever, which you should most definitely watch below.

Tour dates:

Mon 9/21 - Houston @ Rudyards HERE
Tue 9/22 - Austin, TX @ Stubbs Jr HERE
Wed 9/23 - El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace HERE
Thu 9/24 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom HERE
Sat 9/26 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo HERE
Sun 9/27 - San Francisco, CA @ Folsom Street Fair - FREE
Wed 9/30 - Denver, CO @ Lost Lake HERE
Thu 10/1 - Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
Sat 10/3 - Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen HERE

Thursday, September 3, 2015

My Roommates are Better than Yours

This is a post where I say nothing and just post 5 random yet awesome videos my roommates played for me last night.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Purity Ring play Austin Music Hall next weekend

Purity Ring is the Calgary-based electropop duo of Megan James and Corin Roddick, whose newest album Another Eternity basically made my year upon it's release on February 27. However, the prospect of seeing them perform it live six months later might go for the win.

A year ago, I probably wouldn't have referred to them as an electropop outfit at all, but Another Eternity is without a doubt more "poppy" and less "creepy" than their 2012 debut, Shrines. This is neither a good or a bad thing, as both albums are stellar on their own. And while the releases have their differences, Purity Ring at it's core make some of the most captivating music of our time (imho).

The charming single "Push, Pull" I won't argue with, but for me, the album standout is "Flood on the Floor", one that's gotten slightly less attention. The breakdown on that track is unmatched, and though it's unlike me to go nutty at a show, you can probably bank on that happening next Saturday night.

They'll be at Austin Music Hall on September 5 with support from LA pop singer HANA. Tickets are available HERE and you better also snag your copy of Another Eternity on beautiful clear vinyl HERE.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Review: Cayucas and Hibou at The Parish

Cayucas, helmed by twin brothers Zach and Ben Yudin, named themselves after “a sleepy little seaside town” in California, and you can almost hear those rolling waves in their music. It’s dreamy, sunny, and just plain makes you feel good, the same way an ocean breeze kisses your cheek and puts a smile on your face.

They brought their summery vibes to the Parish in Austin last Sunday night, with Seattle surf-rock band Hibou opening the night. Hibou is the new project of 21-year-old Peter Michel, former drummer of Craft Spells. The energy these kids brought arguably stole the night for me, at least in terms of surprise. I wasn’t familiar with their music previously, but with Michel dancing around the stage barefoot and his lead guitarist in old-school Adidas flip flops and a massive grin stuck on his face, I couldn’t help but be enchanted. Keep an eye out for these guys; their debut record is coming out this fall on Barsuk.

Cayucas carried some of that energy into their headlining set, opening with their most recent single, “Moony Eyed Walrus,” and heading straight into another fairly upbeat track “Hella,” both off their new album Dancing at the Blue Lagoon.

The rest of the evening felt a bit more subdued, moving through a nice selection of their sway-enducing singles including “Cayucos” (the name of the city from which they take their name) and “Will, “The Thrill”” (one of my personal favorites… something about the line “oh my God, is this really happening to me?” gets me every time).

The definitive song of the night may have been “Blue Lagoon,” which saw Zach Rudin back on guitar after a few songs on keys and one which he provided only vocals. It’s super sharp, jangly guitar sounds had the entire crowd swaying along and it seemed to be one of the most recognizable for the room.

The next song, “Ditches,” slowed things down in a big way, followed by “Deep Sea” and “High School Lover,” which was written about Zach’s high school lover, who has apparently gotten married since and doesn’t know the song was written about her. This was one of the rare moments of banter between the band on stage; they weren’t a very talkative bunch. They did, however, make time to shout out Hibou before leaving the stage. There was mention of a Matt Damon impression, which we were not treated to, but watch out for the Hibou bassist busting that one out somewhere down the road.

Cayucas may not have provided the most energetic of performances, but it seemed to fit with their hazy tones, perfect for lazy summer days, and appropriate for the lethargic tendencies that Austin’s summer heat can bring.
Originally published a Vinyl Mag HERE.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Chvrches release second single from new LP

Photo: Michelle King
Chvrches are continuing to tease us leading up to the release of their sophomore LP Every Open Eye, due out September 25 on Glassnote. They shared the triumphant first single "Leave a Trace" a day before their Pitchfork Festival performance earlier this summer, where they also played two other cuts "Make them Gold" and "Clearest Blue" which will appear on the new album.

Today they have released the lyric video for the slightly more subdued "Never Ending Circles" which deals with similar themes as "Leave a Trace," discussing how to deal with the end of a relationship.

Preorder the album HERE and check out the new video below. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cayucas set to play The Parish August 9

LA-based indie pop band Cayucas recently released a new record, Dancing at the Blue Lagoon, on Secretly Canadian and they are on tour in support this summer and fall. The group is made up of twin brothers Zach and Ben Yudin and their jangly, sunny sound is noticeably influenced by the California sea-side, from which their name is appropriately taken (Cayucos, CA).

They'll be at The Parish tonight with support from Seattle band Hibou. Doors are at 8pm and it's an all ages show. Get your tickets HERE and sample some tunes from both bands below.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Good Graeff to play Holy Mountain 7/31

Twin sisters Brooke and Brit Graeff (pronounced "grayf") make up the appropriately named chamber pop/folk duo Good Graeff, who will be playing Holy Mountain this Friday night in support of their new EP Good Job Go (July 10).

The sisters began playing music together as kids, busking the streets of Sarasota, FL after teaming up to compete (and win) in their high school's Battle of the Bands. Both moved on to respective grown-up life paths in different cities before reconnecting in Vietnam six years later and reincarnating the collaboration. Since then, they've returned to the states, toured relentlessly, and released a couple EPs, gaining them an ever-increasing following.

Tickets for the show are available HERE and you can check out the official video for their single "I Want That" below.