Saturday 26 Jul
CD reviews

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

SXSW: Oh Look Out / Whiskey Shivers

Geek-inspired power pop and magnificent bluegrass

By Stephen Carradini March 19th, 2012

Oh Look Out
Credits: Stephen Carradini

On Oh Look Out's debut album Alright Alright Alright Alright Alright, the band's geek-inspired power-pop is a blast of alternately sincere and tongue-in-cheek fun. Their live performance of the material from the album is perhaps even more entertaining. The band, which sported four different keyboards in addition to their guitar/bass/drums standards, created a cheery, upbeat environment with their performance and stage banter.

The audience in the tiny bar responded with glee; a woman "in her 60s" danced jubilantly, while other younger audience members gobbled up the free CDs that the band offered from the stage. With clear vocals, interesting melodies, solid songwriting and palpable enthusiasm, there wasn't much to dislike. Closer "Bass, Not an Eight-Track" is a perfect nostalgia anthem; it's got pounding choruses, yell-along verses, and that x factor that makes a song a hit. If you're a fan of Weezer, Dr. Pants, Anamanaguchi or video games, you'll be really into Oh Look Out. I look forward to hearing more from them and seeing their audience grow (as it should and will). 

I rushed across downtown to check out Holy Fiction's set, and was treated to about half of Whiskey Shivers' set. The audience at the bluegrass five-piece's set was even more enthusiastic than at Oh Look Out, as multiple couples were two-stepping, swing-dancing and slow-dancing to the band's vibrant sound. I'm a big fan of bluegrass that draws cues from modern melodies, and Whiskey Shivers delivered a home run on that template.

Whiskey Shivers\' barefoot bluegrass ruled.
Credits: Steph
In addition to being incredible instrumentalists and vocalists, the band had a remarkable sense of humor. One of the band's tunes was diverted in the bridge into a three-way conversation that functioned as a small, hilarious play with everyone talking over everyone else. It felt impromptu and lively, even if it wasn't; the band was clearly having a blast. Their cover of Tom Waits "Long Way Home"  sounded magnificent, as well; It was an incredibly apt and well-performed choice. Even though I only caught half their set and hadn't heard of them before, Whiskey Shivers delivered one of my favorite sets of SXSW; it's hard not to love a band that has earned the adoration of everyone else in the room, especially while witnessing what made them adore. And they were all barefoot. What's not to love?

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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