Friday 25 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Hayes’ code

Hayes’ code

How did Hayes Carll earn ‘next big thing’ status? By doing the kind of country Willie Nelson used to do.

Joshua Boydston March 30th, 2011

Hayes Carll with Shovels & Rope
8 p.m. Friday Wormy Dog Saloon
311 E. Sheridan, 601-6276

You may be surprised to spot a country artist like Hayes Carll residing between the respectively pop and alternative-friendly pages of Rolling Stone and Spin, but you wouldn’t be the only one — Carll included.

The singer/songwriter and terrible vacuum salesman had a failed go at a music career in Austin, Texas, before returning home to Houston. For years, he made his way across the country, playing along the likes of The Old 97’s and Steve Earle to fanfare outside the realm of die-hard Americana enthusiasts. He never expected much press or recognition, let alone being labeled “The Next Big Thing of 2011.”

Carll guessed that’s what happens when you are doing something no one else is doing … which is doing something that’s been done for decades.

“For the most part, I think it’s the songwriting that’s helping me,” Carll said. “There’s no Willie or Waylon out there in the mainstream anymore. Not that I think I’m comparable to them, but people have seemed to responded to the songs and the substance there, instead of pop filler.”

His approach straddles a line between folk, Americana and altcountry, not knowing himself which way he leans.

“It’s a weird thing to try and label. I’m a singer/songwriter who sings with a bit of a twang, but I’ve never worried too much about how it comes off,” he said. “Whether it’s indie-rock kids or old country bands or the coffee shop crowd, I’ll take them all and hope there is a little something for everybody.”

He’s applied a follow-your-gut philosophy through four full-length albums, including this year’s “KMAG YOYO,” which saw him taking a few strides out of his comfort zone.

“I had a closer relationship with the music as I was writing. In the past, it was me sitting down on the porch with a guitar, and jotting down ideas and trying to make it complete musically,” Carll said. “Me and my three chords is a little limiting in some ways, and going into the studio and trying to make something out of it can be a little challenging. I just wrote with my band as we were on the road, and it was a fun exercise, for sure.”

The one thing that hasn’t changed?

His razor-sharp lyrics and often self-deprecating narratives.

“I’ve never been able to take myself too incredibly seriously. I’ve always written because I want to translate some moment in time or some emotion I had and share it with other people, but I approach it like I do my life: with a smile,” he said. “I’ve never felt the need to hit people over the head with the depth of my genius.”

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