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Punk





April Artist of the Month Poll: Shook, Halfways, THREE BONES, Xetas

Well y’all, the bell rung on the epic bout that was our last Artist of the Month poll about a week ago, and heavyweight hip-hoppers LNS Crew found themselves the last men standing in the ring to take the title. Many congrats to LNS on their win!

For this next bout, we’ve got a hip-hopless roster for the first time in a while, with a singer-songwriter-producer, two psych bands and some damn fine Austin punk slugging it out between the virtual ropes for the completely imaginary but nonetheless glorious Deli Austin Weekly Champion Belt.

We’ll do a deeper post on each of these guys over the course of the contest, but for now, here’s a little on our current contenders and why they particularly caught our ear this month:

 

Abram Shook

Sound: Indie singer-songwriter with quite high production value

Qualifications: Lovely little single “Understood” and its equally pleasurable music video were just released as a preview to Shook’s sophomore album and are making noise around town, earning Shook KUTX’s Artist of the Month. Perhaps more importantly, recent photos of Shook reveal that he is almost definitely Austin’s premier wizard in training, what with that peppery hair/beard combo.

 

The Halfways

Sound: Psych pop straight out of the era that birthed it, but with a dab of the new post-Fleet Foxes psych sound

Qualifications: A string of recent shows coupled to new output from the band, who has been doing hard work in the studio. Track “I Don’t Mind” bodes quite well for the rest of the new stuff coming from this group, which has certainly become a pillar of the ATX psych scene in the last couple of years.

 

THREE BONES

Sound: Psych blues with soul to spare and a riveting lead singer/lead guitarist duo in Victoria de Benedicty and Dalt Jacob

Qualifications: Only one of the oddest, strongest, 60s-est music video ever to come out of the local psych scene, plus the promise of more music and some big-time shows (including one with fellow nominees The Halfways at Scoot Inn not long ago). The vid for triumphant, soul-packed track “Hold On to Ya” is exactly what you want out of retro psych, in that its influences are obvious (that projection is pure 60s), but it’s very self-aware and thoroughly fun. These dudes also just won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for a Valentine’s Day love song for other new track “Love is the Only Way,” which is some pretty major shit.

 

Xetas

Sound: Punch-em-up, no stops, unfuckwitable contemporary punk

Qualifications: This is a band everyone in Austin should know, even though they themselves probably don’t give a shit if you do or don’t. This is as close as Austin gets to a supergroup, with each member an undoubted veteran of the Austin music thing, but even though we’d nominate these guys just about anytime for the quality shit they’ve consistently been producing in their relatively short time together, they particularly make the cut for this month’s poll on the utter, pounding strength of their new single “The Point,” released as a lead up to soon-to-come LP “The Redeemer.” They also just wrapped one big-ass, quick-ass tour all over the nation, which is more’n enough to get them the nod in our poll this month.

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The Two Koreas @ Magpie

The Two Koreas call themselves glacial-garage. I call them pure rips! Their latest EP "LP Winner" kicks off with a straight rockin' title track. You could rock the QEW from Hamilton to Toronto in about 15 minutes with this EP on. You could actually go straight through the Gardiner nonsense and not get caught. The organ that comes in hot near the end of the title track adds a whole different level to an already mind spinning track. The rest of the EP keeps the blood flowing. They're at the Magpie Taproom on Friday. If you can handle some in your face rock n' roll I suggest you go see what The Two Koreas are all about. -Kris “Big City” Gies

 

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TEENANGER @ Steamwhistle Brewing Co.

I was watching an intense hockey game when I threw on Teenanger's latest record EP LP. It opens up with "Fly on the Wall" which fit the frantic mood of the hockey game perfectly. A throwback to punk rock of the 70s and 80s it is a reminder that rock n' roll is all about the energy. I had to skip to the last track on the album because it had such a sweet name... "Hot Rods At The Loser Convention." It had a groovier beat to it and I don't think they're very impressed with whoever inspired the track. Teenanger has honed their craft since 2010 and they'll be taking their show across the pond next month. You have the opportunity to party down with them on Friday April 17th @ the Steamwhistle Brewing Company. Crush beers and bang your head like a teenager with Teenanger on Friday.- Kris “Big City” Gies

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Expert Alterations change cassette EP to 12", tour.

In early 2014, Expert Alterations self-released a self-titled cassette EP. Now they've teamed up with Slumberland Records for a limited edition vinyl release. It's as solid a collection of contemporary post-punk as you can hope to hear. It's got jangle and drone, energetic guitars and lackadaisical vocals. The low-fi sound and vocal delivery are reminiscent of Sebadoh, but the songs are quick, their structure and the rhythm section, alternately bouncy and insistent, channel punk like Minutemen and Wire. They jam econo, and the EP is over much too fast, prompting repeated listens.  

You can pre-order now for a June 1st release. In the meantime, Expert Alterations are going on a short tour, starting April 18th at Baltimore Soundstage (where they will be opening for The Buzzcocks--Yes!). You can also catch them April 21st at Metro Gallery (w/ Peach Kelli Pop--also Yes!--along with Baltimore's Boy Spit and Moist--mmmmm), before they head to the boroughs of NY for some Fests.  --Natan Press

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The Hunt is On: Record Store Day 2015

Record Store Day is on Saturday—the best day of the year to stand in line and fight over rare vinyl releases while supporting local businesses. This year, Portland record stores will stock hundreds of RSD exclusive releases, including some local treats.

In October, Blitzen Trapper recorded Neil Young’s Harvest in full at the Doug Fir. Score the live album Live Harvest on Saturday. Listen to their take on “Heart of Gold” before you buy the record.

Eyelids, Portland’s psych-pop super group, are releasing a split 7” with The Phoenix Foundation, produced by Peter Buck.

Pickathon partnered with Easy Sound Recording Company to release a split 7” of Those Darlins and Diarrhea Planet (both from Nashville) recorded live at the festival last summer. Preview the tracks here.

Jackpot Records is releasing a limited edition record of short-lived Portland band No. 2’s No Memory. Mixed by Elliott Smith, the album is “the missing link between the end of Heatmiser and the beginning of Elliott Smith’s major label debut,” according to Jackpot.

In store performances abound throughout the day. Everyday Music on the Westside will feature DJ sets by members of Typhoon, Modern Kin, Laura Veirs, Summer Cannibals, and more, plus performances by Edna Vasquez, Ryan Sollee (Builders and the Butchers), Sam Coomes (Quasi), The Shivas, The Ghost Ease, The Ganders, and the Dandy Warhols. See the full schedule here.

Tender Loving Empire will host an officially unofficial RSD party at their SE Hawthorne store featuring Genders, Ali Muhareb, and Run On Sentence.

Jackpot will pour you free coffee if you peruse their shop or stop in for their DJ sets.

Across town, Music Millennium will host Portland punk legends, Dead Moon.

Make sure you check out early opening times for your favorite record store, and study the release list ahead of time.

Happy Record Store Day!

-Zibby Pillote

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