It's gotten awfully quiet over at the city's proposed teen music space, which will occupy the former Ice House building Downtown. But the project hasn't gone away. On the contrary, it's having an open house this Saturday, Dec. 8.
The most promising metal act in town is not staffed by tattooed, beer-guzzling, sweaty men in their late 20s/early 30s. Amanda Castillo, Channing Concho and Melynda Montaño draw their inspiration from the ’80s metal that infected their childhoods.
It's unfortunate that Iron & Wine—Florida native, former film and cinematography professor, and Austin resident whose real name is Sam Beam, that is—is best recognized for his quiet cover of The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights." His original work tops any cover by far. Not-quite-folk, yet not-quite-rock ’n’ roll, not fully characterizable at all, Beam seems to have accomplished the impossible task of forging his own style. This is especially true of his overwhelmingly lovely late-September release, The Shepherd's Dog. His most recent collection, which is aided by Calexico (á la their 2005 collaborative release In The Reins), hangs on to the absorbing melancholy of Beam's previous recordings, yet twists it into something more mature and slightly happier. Try tracks No. 1, "Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car," and No. 9, "Boy with a Coin" (where flamenco fans may note a nice use of palmas).
When psychedelic mod-rock outfit Mei Long decided to go electric, the growing pains ached enough to make the band question whether the transition would work at all.
A litany of Solid State/ Rise Records bands— My Children My Bride, Every Bridge Burned and Oh, Sleeper—feel emotional, then enraged, then emotional again this Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Compound (all-ages, $10). With locals Death of a Legend and Last Fifteen, who generally feel peeved. (LM)
Bands of the noise music persuasion must always be wary of making noise for noise's sake. They can cause as many headaches as they wish, but the second they become mundane, they're as forgettable and annoying as a jackhammer on the street. Through the Panama's title track is indicative of the album's constant dilemma, beginning with genuine suspense generated by an unfulfilled expectation of melody and cohesion, followed by a safe and predictable climax and conclusion. The record, produced by Andrew W.K., is constantly shifting from the brilliantly irksome to the easily ignored. (SM)