Oct 22 2012

Quarterly Review – July-September 2012

Once every three months I list the best of what I heard in albums/songs/remixes for the quarter. I do this to personally keep up with all the awesome music I hear, as it ultimately helps me at the end of the year when I do my overall listing for the previous twelve months. I also do it to introduce you cool cats to tunes you may have missed independently.

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Oct 4 2012

New Deftones – “Tempest”

In case you haven’t heard, Deftones are planning a new release – Koi No Yokan (I assume that’s the album cover above) is dropping November 13th, and we’ve already heard the very-heavy “Leathers.” This one’s a lot more atmospheric. Think Saturday Night Wrist era Deftones. It’s pretty incredible, and if previous interviews are any indication, we can expect more like this on the album.

Sep 19 2012

New Deftones – “Leathers”

Koi No Yokan drops November 13th, and Deftones’ first single has me all kinds of pumped for the new album, their first since the excellent Diamond Eyes back in 2010. “Leathers” picks up where the previous album left off, and it likely means the group will continue to ride this wave of amazing output. Download the track at Deftones.Com for free.

Aug 31 2012

Ten Anticipated Albums of the Rest of 2012

Dwight Yoakam – 3 Pears (September 18)

Listen to “Heart Like Mine,” co-produced by Beck.

Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind (September 18)

Ringo Deathstarr – Mauve (September 24)

Green Day Trilogy

Uno! (September 25)
Dos! (November 13)
Tre! (January 15)

Tame Impala – Lonerism (October 9)

Pinback – Information Retrieved (October 16)

Kendrick Lamar – good kid m.A.A.d. city (October 22)

Major Lazer – Free the Universe (November 6)

Deftones – Koi No Yokan (November 13)

Big Boi – Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (November 13)

Aug 30 2012

Deftones Announce New Album – Koi No Yokan

November 13th is already earmarked for the release date of Dos!, the second Green Day album in the upcoming trilogy, as well as releases from Big Boi and Soundgarden, but you can add another high-profile album to that list. Sacramento metal crooners Deftones have announced the official release date and title for their first long-player of new material since 2010’s best album Diamond Eyes. Koi No Yokan is guaranteed to be “very dynamic,” according to frontman Chino Moreno in a recent Billboard interview. No other info just yet, but you can listen to two new tracks premiered live, “Roller Derby” and “Rosemary.”

Jul 28 2012

New Deftones – “Rosemary”

This is a live recording of a brand new Deftones track, possibly from their upcoming album produced by Nick Raskulinecz, who also helmed Diamond Eyes, the Culture Greyhound Best Album of 2010. The as-yet untitled album is tentatively slated for an October release. Go here to read frontman Chino Moreno’s interview with Billboard wherein he describes the band’s unique mix of aggression and beautiful soundscapes, and how the new album perfectly captures the mix of those two dynamics.

Feb 21 2012

The Top 50 Albums of the 2000s – White Pony

Today I continue a series of posts dedicated to the best albums of the last decade, posting analysis of one album at a time.

28. Deftones – White Pony

I wrote about this album almost two years ago in great detail, and you can read that here. The previous writing serves as an in-depth review, so today, instead of retreading what I’ve already stated, I’ll give you my personal reflections of the album and why it ranks so high on this list. Granted, that has a lot to do with the fact that it’s the Deftones’ most successful album, a mega-selling, Grammy-winning high point in the band’s illustrious career, released during the nu-metal mainstream peak. But, as with most Deftones material, to compare it to its assumed peers is myopic and just flat-out wrong.

I was anticipating exactly what I got from White Pony, a metal band reveling in the fact that the sound they had helped pioneer was now the toast of the town. It’s always a thrill for me to see a bold, genre-bending band achieve much-deserved success. The Deftones were one of the first I can remember: I witnessed a band I had loved for years prior finally earn major accolades, and it felt (and sounded) oh so good. And though the band has never made a bad album before or after White Pony (especially recently with the excellent Diamond Eyes), this album is considered the mark of Deftones’ glory days, when FM radio airplay still mattered and Ozzfest and Family Values Tours still existed.

Funny that the sound they honed was everywhere in 2000, because by the time the public caught on, the Deftones had moved away.  There’s less screaming, less rapping, more crooning, and more textured ballads here.  The raw sound of previous outings is polished and expertly executed.  These guys, even though they were just now receiving attention, had become elder statesmen at this point.  The precise White Pony only serves to support that argument.

Listen to White Pony on Spotify.

Dec 15 2011

My Year In Live Music – 2011

Compared to my first year as an Austin resident, I took it pretty easy this year. I suppose the combination of budgeting, starting grad school, and just generally growing old has slowed me down a bit, but I still saw some cool shows. And with M83, Radiohead, Drake, and Born Gold all coming in the first half of 2012, looks like I’ll be getting a head start on this list for next year. In the meantime, here are some highlights, at least ones I could remember, from 2011.

Hooray For Earth @ Emo’s Inside – 10/1

I believe this was the last show I saw at Emo’s Inside (I remember seeing Twin Shadow around ACL time on the outside stage just before they shut it down), and I’ve yet to see a show at the new locale on East Riverside. I had been dying to witness Hooray For Earth for many many months, and finally seeing them rock out was rewarding, as was a nice conversation with the lead singer afterwards.

Deftones @ Austin Music Hall – 6/4

Call it making up for lost time; I’m not a huge fan of AMH – actually, I hate it quite a bit, but I’m never missing a Deftones show. I finally saw them for the first time last year, and as long as these guys make it to Austin, I’ll be going. The crowd was awful, as was the case last time, but Deftones more than make up for all the teenage rudeness.

Bill Maher @ ACL Live – 3/26

Not a music show, but man was it hilarious. My second show in the ACL Live venue, and Bill proved he loves Austin. The crowd was mostly receptive, but I did get some looks for applauding loudly at the atheist jokes. Do people know who they came to see?

Robyn @ ACL Live – 2/17

Robyn is incredible, see her live the first chance you get. High energy, tons of dancing, great acoustics, great venue. The crowd up front was crazy annoying, especially during Diamond Rings, but what are ya gonna do?

Sleigh Bells @ The Glass House – Pomona, CA – 4/13

The Glass House is a weird little venue; I honestly had no idea how far Pomona was from West Hollywood, but we drove a long way to see this awesome awesome show. It was all ages, no alcohol. Not that I had a lot of cash anyway. Sleigh Bells killed, as is the routine.

The Go! Team @ Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA – 4/19

The Echoplex was closer, but it felt like a shady neighborhood. The venue, however, is pretty damn awesome, and the Go! Team were just as fun as I could have imagined. Hopefully these guys make a new album, because I’m betting they’ll make a stop here in Austin if they do.

Primus @ Stubb’s – 5/24

It’s so great to have these guys back and playing new stuff. Have I said that lately? Great show in one of the best venues in town, and we met Les (again!) and got a pic with him afterwards. Swell fella!

Dwight Yoakam @ ACL Live – 7/21

Another strong showing from the hillbilly king, this time at a venue within walking distance. Now if he would just get back in the studio!

Austin Psych Fest @ Seaholm Power Plant – 4/30-5/1

I really had no idea what to expect, but this ended up being a pleasant surprise. I got sufficiently drunk and listened to some crazy great psych music from all around the world, in the most appropriately creepy place to see a show in Austin, the echo-riffic Seaholm. Capping off the fest with Roky Erikson providing the soundtrack to the news of bin Laden’s death is a memory I will never forget.

Fun Fun Fun Fest @ Auditorium Shores – 11/4-6

I was a bit concerned for the future of my beloved FFF when they announced they were moving to the Shores, but in hindsight I feel ashamed for not having faith in the Transmission crew. Not only was this the best lineup I’ve ever seen in the fest’s six-year history, but the change of venue actually improved the overall experience. Great vendors, great music, not too crowded….best music experience of 2011, hands down.

SXSW 2011 – Spring Break and Beyond

The best week of the year did not disappoint, though this year I focused a lot of energy on getting into shows I didn’t think I would be able to get into. There’s certainly an extra feeling of reward when you’re granted access to an exclusive party with A-list bands and free food and booze. My personal highlights were the Zynga party (flyer above) and catching Queens of the Stone Age at La Zona Rosa. Another great free party showing as well this past year, especially Mess With Texas, which never disappoints. Saw the Strokes at the Shores, too, which was great. While 2010 might be remembered as the year of mini-riots and ridiculous overcrowding, for me it was just a regular old SXSW, fun, booze, catching up with old friends, and seeing some great music.

Aug 23 2011

Back to School

Today is my first day of grad school; I haven’t been to school officially in about two years, give or take some randomness at ACC last winter. So I suppose my mood today is one of excitement, anxiety, and tons and tons of nervousness. Not really in the mood to post anything of substance today, so here’s a classic from one of my favorite groups, who slayed Austin Music Hall back in June.

Apr 27 2011

My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 30-21

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

30. Johnny Cash – Hurt

Some artists are so talented they have the capability to make a cover song sound like their very own creation.  The Beatles, Tom Waits, and, most recently, Lissie, come to mind.  But no one did it like the Man In Black.  Johnny took Soundgarden’s grunge-ridden “Rusty Cage” and made it a Wild West, gun slinging, outlaw affair.  And then he took Nine Inch Nails’ haunting, spooky “Hurt” and turned it into a somber deathbed lamentation.

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