It took a moment to realize the guy drinking Coca-Cola in front of a van on Central Avenue was Ty Segall. By the time I snapped it would have been awkward to say "Ty Segall!" I did, however, notice that one of his fellow band members had a choice Gram Parsons record at his feet. My girlfriend remarked that Ty was much younger looking than his music sounded. In other words, the show last night was young, beautiful, older than its years—and in good taste.
The excellent Launchpad sound could have been a hundred times louder for my taste, but it was pretty loud. There were a couple complaints that Emily the drummer wasn't hitting her kit hard enough, but I have to disagree. All around groovy fuzz and beats with harmonies on top. The band played tunes from the Castle Face record to Melted, Sleeper and beyond. Please come back to 'Burque soon, Ty Segall.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Upon composing this week's column, I heard from friends and news sources about the tragedy that struck SXSW on March 13, around 12:30am local time. A driver evading police drove down Red River, a closed street and ran down numerous people, killing 2 and injuring 23. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo stated that the man will be charged with capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault.
'Member Stephin Merritt? Of the Magnetic Fields and other ventures? Yeah, the guy's fairly prolific, considering he's recorded enough material to be someone's deserted island go-to 'til the apocalypse comes. But now Merritt's coming out with a book of poems consisting of two-letter words from the game Scrabble. Mmhmm … you read right. The book will also be illustrated by The New Yorker's Roz Chast. You can read more about it at the New York Times, and you can hear one of my favorite Magnetic Fields tracks below … just for the hell of it.
The Magnetic Fields - “Two Characters in Search of a Country Song”
Speaking of musicians writing books, Keith Richards is writing a children's book. Get the details over at Stereogum.
A couple weeks ago, I posted a new track by Brody Dalle (formerly of The Distillers). And since then, Dalle has shared more details about the upcoming album—like its title and release date: Diploid Love comes out on April 29. And now the raging songstress has come out with a new track (“Don't Mess With Me”). You can hear that below.
Can you imagine The Stooges without Iggy? Well you're gonna have to because they're gearing up to release a new record sans Pop. Supposedly, after releasing last year's Ready to Die, Iggy wanted to take 2014 off; however his bandmates were like “nah.” So they hit the studio to record unreleased tracks from their Raw Power days with guest vocalists like Ariel Pink, Jello Biafra and Teri Gender Bender (of Le Butcherettes), among others. The album (Re-Licked) is still in the works, but guitarist James Williamson says he will release a couple tracks for Record Store Day. So keep your ears open for that. (Or not.)
Speaking of unreleased material, a collaborative track featuring Daft Punk and Jay Z has surfaced. Not sure where the track (“Computerized”) is from, when it was recorded or if it will be released, but music blogs are gonna have something to talk about for a spell. I mean … Daft Punk (along with Pharrell and Stevie Wonder) put on a fantastic performance at the Grammys and Jay-Z … well, he's Jay-Z. You can hear the track below.
Daft Punk feat. Jay Z - “Computerized”
I can't remember how I heard of War on Drugs, but Slave Ambient was a pretty good LP. And I was delighted to hear that Kurt Vile was one of the founding members before going solo 'cause … you know … last year's Wakin on a Pretty Daze was pretty stellar. I digress … now WoD is coming out with a new album (Lost in the Dream), and it's streaming over at Pitchfork. And while we're on the topic of streaming, you should also take a listen to Kevin Drew's new record Darlings. Drew is most known for his work with Broken Social Scene. You can hear Drew’s record over at NPR. Both albums hit stores this coming Tuesday.
I know I've mentioned Johnny Cash's upcoming album of lost recordings a couple times, but now there’s a reason to mention it again. For one, it's a lost Johnny Cash album. That alone bears repeating. Secondly, a new video for the track's single “She Used to Love Me a Lot” has surfaced. The video was directed by John Hillcoat (known for his directorial works Lawless, The Road and The Proposition). You can view that below, and look for the album on March 25. That's right around the corner, y'all!
Johnny Cash - “She Used to Love Me a Lot”
Real audio fanatics can attest that listening to mp3s or CDs can seriously diminish the sound quality of recorded material. But for most people, it's not practical to carry a record player around with them to get that realistic feel of a delectable ditty. That's why Neil Young sought to create a platform for people to hear portable music that still retains that real-sound quality. His platform, called PonoMusic, will let people listen to music digitally, but with the vibe of an original analog recording. And he's shared a video of legendary musicians talking about their experience of trying Pono out. You can watch that at Pono's kickstarter page. And thank Neil Young while you're at it.
As I've said before, I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with electronic music. It either hits or it doesn't, and for me, more often than not—it doesn't. But I did see Miike Snow perform at Antones in Austin for free because a friend who knew one of the members got us on the list. The show was pretty great, and the energy was there. It was just there. And now Snow member Christian Karlsson (also known for being one half of production duo Bloodshy & Avant) is part of a new duo, which also features Linus Eklow from Style of Eye. Together, they are Galantis. Their eponymous EP is set to come out on April 1, but you can get a taste of their sound by listening to “Help” below.
Hey Zeppelin lovers! Mark June 3 on your calendars because on that day, Led Zeppelin will reissue their first three albums (Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III). And those reissues are said to contain unreleased music. It's gonna be a good day. Head over to Consequence of Sound for more info on that.
Why'd you do it, Courtney? Why? Fall Out Boy? Really? You're way better than that. Granted, Courtney Love isn't exactly the most down-to-earth or stable personality, but you can't deny the woman has recorded and written some awesome stuff. Just listen to Live Through This. That entire album is magic. But now a video of Love's collaboration with Fall Out Boy (from their album Save Rock and Roll) has surfaced. The song (for those like myself who didn't waste time or money on the album) is called “Rat a Tat.” And basically the only reason worth watching or listening is Courtney Love. You can view the video below.
The music leg of SXSW 2014 is kicking off this week. What was it like 25 years ago? Take a look. (Thanks to our old pal and former graphic designer Ari for putting this on her Facebooks for me to steal!)
If y'all missed last night's sets by Maserati (at Sister) and Sad Baby Wolf (at Launchpad), don't fret, 'cause there's a whole lot more SXABQ goodness from whence that came. Tonight, The After After Show with Steven Michael Quezada house band/alt.soul outfit The James Douglas Show plays itself over Tejas way at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW), along with Lovers & Madmen, Christopher Leyva's Falling Doves, A House for Lions and Jack Littman. Sunday night finds Parenthetical Girls, Decker, Field Tripp, PALMS, Jared & the Mill and Red Light Cameras bringing the fest feel to Low Spirits. For those who find themselves in a midweek slump, Fort Hobo and Roñoso host Seattle powerviolence duo Iron Lung at Synchro Studio (512-B Yale SE) on Wednesday. Scope the deets in this week's Music to Your Ears. Peep relevant A/V below. Low Spirits • The James Douglas Show • Lovers & Madmen • Christopher Leyva's Falling Doves • A House for Lions • Jack Littman • Sat March 9 • 8 pm • $10 • 21+ • lowspiritslive.com
Before heading to SXSW, local pop rock band Red Light Cameras plays a show with some out-o-towners at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW). The lineup includes one-man band Decker, acoustic indie act Dry River Yacht Club (both of Arizona), and indie rockers Brown Shoe (California) and Nick Jaina (Oregon). The 21-and-over show happens on Sunday, March 11, at 8 p.m. Admission is $8. Happy birthday, Chris. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
DIY patron of the arts Derek Caterwaul on Albuquerque's SWxØFest
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Like so many of the world’s great ideas, the Southwest by No Fest began as a joke. It eventually manifested on some flyers last year, and in 2010 SWxØFest has morphed into something resembling a full-fledged festival. Events, which began last week, the convergence of a handful of atypical venues and the bounty of touring bands passing through town this month. KUNM 89.9 FM DJ and longtime promoter of local music and arts events Derek Caterwaul is among those at the helm of the endeavor. He says this month's fest is not so much a spin-off of the music industry spectacle that is SXSW but more a spinout inspired by a concentration of creative energy and counter-SXSW Austin events like Fuck by Fuck You and GAYbiGAYGAY.
Singer Liz McGrath garners comparisons to Debbie Harry for her sweet voice and fashion-model looks. Her stage ensembles resemble Harry's in the short-lived pre-Blondie band The Stilettos crossed with a razor-toting drum majorette. McGrath is also subject to misconceptions akin to those Harry suffered early on with Blondie, but make no mistake: Miss Derringer is a band, not the lead singer. From '60s girl group sounds to high-desert surf riffs, this L.A. outfit wears disparate influences on its Western shirt sleeves. There's more than enough here for the ear to rival what meets the eye. On the SXSW trail supporting acts like New York Doll Sylvain Sylvain and Reverend Horton Heat, Miss Derringer makes a stop at Warehouse 508 tonight, at the ungodly hour of 7 p.m. $5 at the door. All-ages.
During the last half of this month, various underground entities will do their best to jointly exploit the talents of local lunatics and the wealth of weirdos traveling to Texas in an event known as Albuquerque Southwest by No Fest. Show info can be found at www.myspace.com/albuquerquediy.
Q: Is Le Chat Lunatique performing at SXSW in March?
With some lobbying from the Alibi, but mostly just superhuman amounts of their own talent and hard work, organizers of the South By Southwest music festival tell us that Le Chat Lunatique made it into the official showcase in Austin. The music portion of the festival runs March 17-21 this year. Get the festival lowdown at sxsw.com.