Wednesday, December 28, 2011

NYE Pimpout

You've got plans for New Year's Eve, sure. And what else, pray tell, would you be doing besides catching some of our great indie bands live here in the Live Music Capital of the World?
How about Texas Microphone Massacre and Scorpio Rising? They'll be burning down the Dave & Buster's house, along with DJ Radioactivist. Read all about it here.

Over at Skinny's Ballroom we'll have Miles Zuniga, Danny Malone, and Union Specific tearing it up. Get the Skinny (har har) here.

There's gonna be a 9-act blow up at Cheer Up Charlies - Ringo Deathstarr, TV Torso, Marmalakes, Sleep Good, The Zoltars, The Sour Notes, Young Girl, Gold Spine, and Mouthfeel DJ. Find all the gory details here.

GOBI's going to help knock the new off of Rocco's with their "Dead Celebrity Mixer", with a little help from Dungeons and DJs. The details be here.

The good folks at Zenify and Slacker Magazine are throwing a White Denim-powered shindig. Add in Royal Bangs, Oh Look Out (members of Built by Snow), Megafauna and Sphynx, and the total is Killer. Read all about that smash-up here.

In a last-minute switchup, the Beauty Bar's NYE party with Grupo Fantasma, Maneja Beto, and DJ Chorizo Funk has been moved to over to Club DeVille. Mo Betta Details here.

Last but definitely not least, the good folks at Momo's are putting on Sole Train, one of those "wish I could be two places at once" events, powered by Foot Patrol and everyone's favorite Panjoma! Details here. Cool.

Shirley, we probably missed someone's gig. So on 12/31/11, jump on over to our "Who's Playing Tonight" page for a Songkick-powered listing of who's playing where in our fair city.

Go. Infest some of our world-famous live music venues, have a great time, be safe, and support your local musicians.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CD Review - The Pon's "The Blackest Shine"

Like a lot of you guys, we've been following The Pons since... Well, a while.
There ya go. On the left is Ruby Painter, she's got bass, vocals, and, as need arises, the trumpet. In the middle there is drummer Steve Sanders, and on the right is Thomas Mazzi, the voice and guitar of the band. (Not pictured: Joel Mullins on keys.)

That's them, and their latest release, "The Blackest Shine", will, in all probability, make it's way onto your heavy rotation list:
And Nope, we're not the only folks saying this. Check out this superb review up on The Republic of Austin, then give this great piece up on Ovrld a read, then give this interview up on KUT a ride.

It's rock in the mainstream, Coldplay sense - Guitar, bass, drums, vocals; the keys key, but not dominating; all wrapped in shiny, crystal-clear production values.

And it's absolutely brilliant.
The title track has pole position; a wave of relentless rock-steady beat, in classic, Springsteen-ish style, with Mullins' staccato piano filling in between acoustic rhythm guitar strums and rhythm section. Topped off with Mazzi's lower-keyed, growlingly-expressive vox, it's a cool-handed standard in the making, and has made 101X's Next Big Thing playlist 3 weeks running.

#2 is "Someone Else's Voice", an urgent, perc-punctured number that undulates with Mazzi's vocal emotional range and chorused with some extra-sweet reverb.

Followed by "Impossible Love", probably the most radio-friendly in this collection; a snare & guitar-chorded piece with an easily-felt and more easily-followed chorus - "possibly impossible love" - that seals it.

"Can't Get Through" and "The Future's Past" are rock solid rock numbers burgeoning with emotional baggage; sure to conjure sympathetic pains in any listener with a few years behind them. "Sleep Soundly" is an excellently-modern lullaby; softly sung and interlaced with sections that soar to epic heights. "Death of the Peacock", a bass-lead number punctuated with bluesy guitar riffs, transports you to said mythic venue with it's brick-wallish reverb; then "Gene Hackman Dream" plops you into the land 'o nod with it's dreamy keyboard melodic lines and eerie pad-like noises.

"Black Twin" closes out the set on a hopeful note, sweeping us in with a gentle-handed acoustic guitar before taking us on a thoughtful, psych-inspired jam session suffused with chorused vox and verbed, outer-world strumming.
In total, "The Blackest Shine" is an emotionally-charged powerhouse of pop rock that doesn't stoop to histrionics or pour on syrupy saccharine. Go ahead and pick it up via iTunes or Amazon. Then be sure to catch them at Swan Dive on 1/7/2012.
For completeness' sake, here's their ReverbNation embed. Give it a spin man, it's worthy of a complete listen (the first 9 songs are "The Blackest Shine"):


Find out more about The Pons on Facebook, BandCamp, ReverbNation, MySpace, and Home Base.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CD Review - Western Ghost House's "Kaleidoscope Tower"

We've had the rare pleasure of taking in some of the very latest Western Ghost House music, their just-in-time-for-Christmas "Kaleidoscope Tower" -
This ain't your mama's alt rock. Western Ghost House brings fresh, soulful, haunted western-twang-styled numbers. But before we walk too far down the review road, a bit about our players:
There they are. Left-right it's guitarist/vocalist Andrew Romero, drummer Adrian Carrillo, vocalist/guitarist Jesse Pantoja, and bassist/vocalist Steven Garcia.

Forming back in '08, WGH has wandered down divergent experimental musical paths before finding their current sound, which has been called "Baroque Pop" but is perhaps a bit more rockin' than that label implies.

"Kaleidoscope Tower" opens with an appropriately-spooky "Varicose Veins", a stoic, twanging number highlighted by Pantoja's verberated vox; held up with some cavern-deep percs, soaring guitars, and somber backing vocals.

"Branded" sweeps us into more rock-standard territory, with some nice vocal harmonies and straight-ahead rhythm; sure to transport you back to the early 70s, followed by the marching "Smile", a classically-riffed melodic chord progression outlined with slower acoustic breaks.

Skipping ahead a bit, "You Don't Scare Me" ends up in a sweet jam session, "Words" builds from soft vox to a hypnotic groove. Special mention for the final track, the excellent "Yesterday", that starts with softer, acoustic guitar-ed ballad-esque crooning, builds to a cool cacophony of groove, highlighted with some lower-in-the-mix brass, then drops you there. Nice.

The CD release party will be this Friday, 12/16, at 29th Street Ballroom, and it's a happenin' event - The Zoltars and Follow That Bird will open up, and the proceeds go to help out Attendance Records.

So gear up for the party by taking in these preview tracks from "Kaleidoscope Tower":

Find out more about Western Ghost House on Facebook, Twitter, and Home Base.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CD Review - The Couch's "Old and Touchin' Blue"

Up until this weekend, you could only find some of The Couch's music up on Bandcamp. But that changes pronto, more specifically - this weekend, 12/14/11 at The Mohawk, when they unleash "Old and Touchin' Blue" on the world:
If you like your rock solid, danceable, well-produced, and on the bluesy side, then you should pull the trigger on this deal: Get your ticket for the release party from the good folks at Eye in the Sky Colletive, and they'll throw in the download code, and you'll end up with the LP and a great jam session in one of Austin's finer venues. No-brainer.
So there they are. From left-right, we've got percussionist Jud Johnson, bassist Kyle Robarge, and guitarist/vocalist Taylor Wilkins. [And since this pic was taken, they've recruited multi-instrumentalist Sara Houser (keys, piano, guitar, vocals), so don't be surprised to see her onstage at Mohawk too.]

They come from yonder San Marcos way, but have moved to Austin, so we're claiming 'em. They've done damage all over the place, doing Stubb's, Texas Music Theater, the Wild Frontier Fest; plus done opening duty for Dia De Los Toadies (three times), The Bright Light Social Hour, etc. And this release party won't be the first time they've darkened The Mohawk's door, either.
What to expect? "Shakin' Cause It's Hard to React" opens up the CD quietly, with just bass, electric piano, and Wilkins' vox painting a sedate note, before being obliterated by their more characteristic crunchilious guitar and rockin' drums; setting the tone, as it were, for what's coming your way.

Then you're treated to the stomping-good, neo-classic "The Way You Came", then the radio-friendly, vox-harmonizing "Close To You". Shift a bit, 'cause next up is "New Roman Buffalo", a bluesy thrash-happy rocking piece, with some slower, intimately-pining sections. "Farhan" and "DOKAT" give some serious guitar-slamming sections, and the rest of the tracks walk the bluesy, pop line, all up to the high standards set by the previous tracks. Special mentions: "Milk Thistle" for some exceptional rocking riffs, and "Indian Doctor" for it's creatively-constructed perc lines, string, and harmonizing parts that break away from the blues mold without destroying the blues feel.
If you find you can't wait until that aforementioned Mohawk gig, go here and hear.

Or stay here and dig on the New Roman Buffalo EP, which has 3 of the tracks from the new release:

Find out more about The Couch on Facebook, BandCamp, and Home Base.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Maybe you've been there, maybe you haven't. But chances are good that this won't be the last you hear about DeliRadio.

"So", you say in your most jaded drawl, "another web site with 'Social' in the title. I'm riveted."

Hold your horses there, pardner. Don't diss this until you've thought it all the way through.

First, notice that it's labeled "Radio", which implies a passive experience. It's not. You heard of Pandora, correct? It's like that, a kinda user-controlled traditional radio.

"So? I got Pandora, now I need another one?"

OK. Getta load of this widget on their front page:
This is the thing you use to generate or "crunch" your radio station. See that big "Location" label? Guess what that means. You can tell DeliRadio to play bands only from or that will only be playing within a certain geographical area. Or go ahead and get completely control freakish and tell it to give you bands that are only playing at a specific venue and time.

Sigh. Yawn.

OK. We'll spell it out - This is the fattest bridge between radio play (ie., fan discovery) and venue attendance yet created.

How about a hypothetical? Johnny wants to take Jane somewhere downtown Austin this Saturday night. Jane loves live music. Johnny turns on DeliRadio, generates a station that's based on Austin. Sets the proximity at 15 miles, sets the time at "this week". BOOM, he's listening to bands that are playing in Austin this week. He hears something cool, he drills down on it. Now he knows who to catch, where they're playing, and what time to get there. AND, in some cases, he can go ahead and buy tickets in advance. Studly. Jane is impressed.

Or Trevor the jazz aficionado decides to browse the local market. Generates a station, limiting the genre to Jazz. Listens to those he's unfamiliar with, quickly discerning the posers from the gifted. Makes a note on his iPad of the gifted's time and locale.

Now, we here at Austin Independent Music are, maybe, slightly more educated about the local music scene than Johnny or Trevor. We could, conceivably, pick the appropriate gig to catch, given any given night. Might. After digging around SongKick and Facebook and Twitter. And calling our friends. Both of them.

So if you're not a student of the local venues and bands? Where ya gonna turn, the Chronicle? You think they have the same taste (or agenda) that you do?
Now we've never met a single indie who didn't want to be on the radio, be it Internet-based or otherwise. And unlike terrestrial stations, or Pandora, getting on Deli is a snap.

And it's free.

So, if you're a gigging band, playing those same venues that Johnny was perusing a minute ago, we're thinking it's a no-brainer - You're wanting on the radio, now you're getting on the radio, and you're playing for people looking for a show to catch.

And (maybe we mentioned this already) it's free.

So go here and Join DeliRadio. Then go fill in the consent form. And it wouldn't hurt to go check out the handy tips here.

And while you're at it, you might want to update your SongKick account too, it's where DeliRadio is getting a lot of their event info. [WHAT?? You're NOT on Songkick? Sigh. Guess we have ANOTHER blog post to write now.]

We'll leave you with, perhaps, our most banal vid ever - A how-to on creating your own location-based radio station. Cool.

Find out more about DeliRadio on Home Base.