Monthly Archives: October 2012

Though most of you probably celebrated this weekend, there’s still one more shopping day until Halloween.  What’s your costume?

My costume is nonexistent   That’s either because I (a) hate fun, (b) am over the age of 13, or (c) am just too lazy.  Still deciding what the right answer to that test question is.  In the meantime, I’ve been digging on all the Halloween music around the blogosphere.

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For any indie band or musician that’s attained even a moderate amount of success, the threat of “selling out” looms large.  Not actually selling out – though that’s always a possibility – but of being deemed a “sell out” as your sound changes of the years.

I have to think that’s something John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats has spent some time thinking about over the years.  His early, lo-fi cassettes gained a cult following, but over the course of more than a decade, his music has changed.  The heavy themes and complex lyrics remain, but the solo acoustic guitar has been replaced by more elaborate music arrangements.  And these changes have lead many to proclaim, “I liked his earlier stuff better.”

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It’s been over a year since M83 released Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, and he’s still releasing new videos from that album.  But I’m not even mad at it because it gives me an excuse to post one of my favorite tracks, “Steve McQueen.”

The video, created by Balthazar Auxietre & Sylvain Desrosne, mirrors the tensions and build within the song itself.  About the clip, Auxietre said, “We wanted to make something of pure visual and musical entertainment, which shows the kind of power you have when you’re a child and you think you’re invincible.”

Check out the video below:

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With every new release, TRAILS AND WAYS makes me fall a little bit deeper in love.  Their ability to blend music and radical politics without turning into Tom Morello is no easy feat (sorry Rage fans, but you know its true).

The first song I heard from them, “Mtn Tune,” was in support of activists fighting mountaintop removal.  Then they released a cover of Miguel’s “Sure Thing” with lyrics like ” you’re the suffragette, and I’m the new vote.”  And their latest release, “Border Crosser,” is in support of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.   The band says, Read More

Sometimes, I think air travel gets a bad rap.  Sure, there’s the TSA agents, the delayed flights, and the general terribleness that comes with being around so many people at once.

But once the plane actually takes off and you are tens of thousands of feet in the sky, chilling with clouds, even the cynics (myself included) have to be a little bit in awe.  I put on a pair of noise-canceling headphones, cue up my of my favorite albums, and bliss out for the next few hours.  In a way (and with enough Valium), it can be paradise. Read More

How are people feeling about the new xx record, Coexist? I don’t feel like I’ve been hearing my reviews, positive of negative.  This is probably the result of me neglecting Twitter for the last month of so.

For me, the verdit is still out on Coexist.  Don’t take that the wrong way – it’s a great album.  But I haven’t fallen madly in love with it like I did their debut.  Of course, I’ve only had a couple months to get to know Coexistso it’s not really a fair comparison yet.

You can consider (or reconsider) your opinion on Coexist with this new video for “Chained.”  It’s directed by Young Replicant in conjunction with The Creators Project, which is a partnership between Intel & VICE. (I’m not the only one that thinks that corporate partnership is a little icky, right?)  Either way, check out the video below: Read More

It’s fall!!

I’m excited. In texas we don’t have what others refer to as ‘seasons.’ We have very degrees of hot and then sometimes we have a week of nice weather and then maybe some rain. Though we’ve been in drought conditions for like 12 years now so we really don’t even get the rain anymore.

Whatever! The point here is that it is a beautiful day outside. Like 55 degrees and high today of only 81 degrees. That’s some pretty sweet weather!

When the weather changes, the most important thing is to know what to wear. But the SECOND most important thing is to know what to listen to. And Milk Eyed Mender is a fall classic.

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Katy Goodman’s La Sera has a new video for “Break My Heart” from her 2012 release See The Light.  The Cassandra Lee Hamilton-directed video features Kickball Katy hanging out in her room when all of a sudden, the room starts attacking her.

Look, I don’t want to tell anybody how to live their life, but if your scissors come to life, you need to flee.  Everyone knows you can’t defend yourself against scissors with a pillow. Only rock beats scissors.

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Today’s song comes to you from Austin’s own The Eastern Sea. This really is a “better late than never” for the band’s whole catalog, because I’ve been jamming on them for a long time, but I haven’t let all of y’all in on the fun.  Clearly, I was being selfish.

But as we’re in the season of giving (Halloween is the ‘season of giving,’ right?! Because we give candy to strangers!), it’s time for me to share.

The first time I saw these dudes was at a show several years ago in Houston, where they played a cover of Extras Glenns’ “Going to Marrakesh,” and Dan (of throwback thursday) fell deeply, deeply in love. After that, their EP was on heavy rotation in our car, and we were able to catch the band at shows in Houston and Austin pretty frequently for a while.

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