Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pure Ecstasy

Big thanks to David for the tip: In a discussion about the Austin music scene, the topic of our current favorites came up, and he mentioned Pure Ecstasy. There's very little information about them, but they already have three 7"s to their name (two of which are sold out) and a split 7", cassette, and LP are forthcoming. Currently they only have one show scheduled this summer in L.A., but let's hope they play sometime in the ATX. "Alexandria" is the b-side of their Voices 7", and judging from the smoky, minimalist psych, we could have a real band-to-watch on our hands. Check it below:


Pure Ecstasy--Alexandria

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kurt Vile

Each week, Spin This profiles the week's notable album releases via KUT's Texas Music Matters. This week: the unbridled creativity of Kurt Vile, timeless folk music from the teenagers in Sweden's First Aid Kit, and much, much more in our weekly rundown and podcast, available right here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Episode 17

[via mystic lady]

We're back to the odds-and-ends. This week, we've got previously unreleased Rolling Stones (as part of their recent deluxe edition of Exile On Main Street), and smoky psychedelic soul courtesy of Austin's Soft Healer. Plus, a new song taken from Department of Eagles' Archive, fiddle music recorded a decade ago at KVRX 91.7 FM, and another traditional folk song sung by Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold (as White Antelope). Check out the madness below:

Bob Dylan & the Band--"Odds And Ends"
The Rolling Stones--"Plundered My Soul"
April March--"Chick Habit"
Soft Healer--"Movie Light"
Department of Eagles--"Brightest Minds"
Serge Gainsbourg--"Melody"
Karen Dalton--"Same Old Man"
Possessed By Paul James--"Fiddle Shage (Live at KVRX)"
White Antelope--"Wild Mountain Thyme"

Total time: 36:45

Waterloo Sunset Podcast Episode 17

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spin This: May 18

The Black Keys

Each week, Spin This profiles the week's notable album releases via KUT's Texas Music Matters. This week: the grooviest album yet by the Black Keys, more intelligent dance rock courtesy of LCD Soundsystem, and much, much more in our weekly rundown and podcast, available right here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Woods--At Echo Lake

Our review of At Echo Lake, the stunning new album by Woods. Read below or at Prefix.

It took Woods several years and a befuddling number of vinyl releases, tour-only cassettes, and proper albums before knocking it out of the park with last year’s Songs of Shame. Their third album was a streamlined collection of psych-rock, moving away from lonely, tape-distorted sketches toward a full-band sound, albeit one still wrapped in a lo-fi haze. At Echo Lake, out on lead singer Jeremy Earl’s Woodsist imprint, continues the natural evolution in craftsmanship. This record is the band’s most cogent collection of songs to date, acting as the folk-rock complement to Shame’s fried guitar jams.

First and foremost, Jeremy Earl is a songwriter. Granted, his compositions tend to be buried beneath plenty of fuzz, but enough hooks peak through the hiss to keep the songs firmly planted in your mind long after the record is finished. On Shame, dueling electric guitars provided a noisy backdrop, but Lake features Earl’s lonesome warble front and center over skewed campfire folk. He’s a gifted lyricist, often tackling big-picture themes like death and time with a deft turn of phrase: “Death rattles in torn-up shoes/ Love lies in the cut-up roots” (“Death Rattles”). The dark folk fits the subject matter well, and the band incorporates tape loops, noise, and left-field sound effects on top of spare acoustic guitar and reverb-drenched drums.

The experimentation can’t hide the inherent sweetness of album standout “Time Fading Lines,” where golden harmonies share space with a din of psychedelic clatter. Likewise, songs like “Get Back” and “Mornin’ Time” play fast and loose with soulful country-rock, a style Woods only hinted at on Shame. It’s an extension of the band’s natural raggedness, and the demo-like quality adds to the breezy charm.

But Woods aren’t slaves to the “spot-the-influence” game. Their originality is apparent on the album’s lead-off track. “Blood Dries Darker” serves as a bridge between their past and present: It’s noisy but spartan, and this is what distinguishes Woods from their lo-fi peers. “Darker” is propelled by both distortion and an easygoing rhythm, with guitar squall diving in and out of the infectious melody. It sets the table for the rest of the album: While the low fidelity might initially suggest a tossed-off weekend jam session amongst friends, Lake reveals itself to be weighty, measured, and brimming with creativity.

At Echo Lake and its predecessor, Songs of Shame, act as a mighty one-two punch in Woods’s discography. They’ve built an intriguing sound that dips into the past but is firmly grounded in the present, a perfect balance between old and new, weird and accessible. Woods aren’t just kings of the current lo-fi craze: Their timeless music is built to last.


Woods--Blood Dries Darker
Woods--Time Fading Lines

Friday, May 14, 2010


Another great video, this time courtesy of Here We Go Magic. "Collector" has already been getting some serious spins around these parts; the driving rhythm and weird, buoyant harmonies sound great paired with the warmer weather. This video was directed by Nat Livingston Johnson, and "Collector" comes from Magic's sophomore release, Pigeons, out June 8. Watch and download below:

Here We Go Magic--Collector

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Let's Write A Book

Insane new video of Field Music's "Let's Write A Book," directed by Oliver Murray. Field Music's ambitious, prog-pop double-album Field Music (Measure) has been out a few months; repeated spins might make this a sleeper Best of the Year candidate.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spin This: May 11

Each week, Spin This profiles the week's notable album releases via KUT's Texas Music Matters. This week: Willie-inspired country-rock courtesy of Phosphorescent, another excellent release from the consistently-great the National, and much, much more in our weekly rundown and podcast, available right here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Episode 16: Mom's Day

[via the swinging sixties]

It's a special Mother's Day edition of the WS podcast. She was a big part of my own musical education--leaving that cassette of Neil Young in the car (one of my first posts), taking me to see The Band's The Last Waltz when it was re-released in theaters when I was in high school, and teaching me the classics--and I like to think I've paid it back with introductions to the Old 97's, Spoon, and the New Pornographers over the years. Thanks, mom.


Neil Young--"Tell Me Why"
The Band--"Up On Cripple Creek (Live)"
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings--"Nobody's Baby"
The Rolling Stones--"Mother's Little Helper"
Spoon--"Something To Look Forward To"
The Beach Boys--"God Only Knows (1967 Rehearsal)"
The Old 97's--"Mama Tried"
David Bowie--"Changes"
The New Pornographers--"Testament To Youth In Verse"
Beck--"Where It's At"
Rod Stewart--"You Wear It Well"

Total time: 37:50

Waterloo Sunset Podcast, Mom's Edition

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spin This: May 4

Each week, Spin This profiles the week's notable album releases via KUT's Texas Music Matters. This week: a double-dose of power pop courtesy of the New Pornographers and Free Energy and much, much more in our weekly rundown and podcast, available right here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

R.I.P. Floyd Dakil, 1945-2010

[via garage hangover. floyd dakil is 2nd from left, in the snappy suit]

Rock and roll hits hardest when you're a teenager. For me (and many, many, many others) it offered an escape from a sometimes difficult period of life. Yet it could still feel intangible, music created by weird others a million miles away for your community, life, and livelihood.

And this is what makes a hometown musical hero so special. Floyd Dakil is probably the best known musician from my alma mater, a high school more known for churning out future business majors and lawyers than raving rock and rollers. Even though a forty-year gulf separated me from his music, it still hit extra hard because of his ties to the very streets I once roamed.

Floyd Dakil formed the Floyd Dakil Combo in Dallas in 1963 and produced a handful of singles on a few tiny, regional labels. Besides some generous local airplay, they never received too much notoriety outside of North Texas, but the songs add to the general garage rock tapestry. As any frequent reader of this blog can tell, garage rock is my favorite genre: it's wild, fun, and uniquely American (albeit with a little help from our British cousins). For Dallas teenagers in the 1960s, the Floyd Dakil Combo were bonafide rock stars, heroes to a microcosm of a microcosm. Just a momentary flash, but big enough to warrant thoughtful words and strong memories half a century later.

The Combo's big 45 was "Dance, Franny, Dance" b/w "Look What You've Gone And Done," released in '64. It was recorded live at the Pit Club in Oak Cliff, and drummer Geoff West, later reminiscing on "Dance," remarked how long it took to get "several hundred teenagers to clap together!" The two songs are rocket-fueled rock and roll, no doubt earning just as much disapproving parental scorn as teenage adulation in their day. Close listeners of my radio show on KVRX probably recognize these; whenever I needed a mid-set pick-me-up, I'd spin some hometown pride.

Floyd Dakil later went on to play with his idol, Louis Prima, and he had a bit of a solo career, but like many of that era, he faded into the footnotes of rock history. Hopefully he'll provide another dash of local excitement to some future Dallas teenager as he did for me.

I got much of my supplementary info on the Floyd Dakil Combo from this write-up at Garage Hangover, the Smithsonian of all things garage rock. Also, a small obituary is located here. Big thanks to big sis for alerting me to the sad news.

Floyd Dakil Combo--Dance, Franny, Dance
Floyd Dakil Combo--Look What You've Gone and Done