@ZackTeibloom I clearly over-thought my bracket. I had Young the Giant as my #1 overall song and then had them not making the finals. Whoops. Now only My Morning Jacket stands in their way. If you’re reading this on your lunch break, try not to have food in your mouth as you read Andy’s reasoning for why you should pick MMJ. I had some stir fry in my mouth that almost went flying. The winner of this match-up has the challenge of taking down returning champion The Black Keys. I think if either song has a shot, it’s Young the Giant, but My Morning Jacket has surprised me time after time in the last few years, so who knows what they’re capable of. Let’s get to it. Seriously, don’t be eating something. I warned you… Read the rest of this entry »
Favorite Song of 2011 Contest: Semi-finals: My Morning Jacket “Outta My System” vs. Young the Giant “My Body”
@ZackTeibloom Simmons asked if he should pull his starters and throw in the reserves for his column this week. I told him I’d read every word, so he better make it his best stuff. Well, I feel his pain. It’s the Friday before New Years and you’ve likely checked out somewhere around Christmas, but we’ve got two worthy songs who deserve out attention, so let’s give it to them. These are two passion bands for Andy and I. Justice had Andy doing car dances that got attention from everyone else on the road. He went through a number of favorite tracks off the new album before settling on “New Lands” and he’s picked a winner, but I’m not sure it’s going to top Young the Giant. “My Body” catapulted them from a band getting some attention at SXSW ’11 to selling out two nights of Stubbs in ’12, and they don’t even have to play the fest. I sure wish Justice would come by Austin some time, SX or not. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom We’re going live for this round. Why not? Andy and I have both seen these bands live, though never together. I was lucky enough to see MMJ at Lolla and M83 at Fun Fun Fun. I’ve already got tickets for M83′s May show at Stubbs and after watching the video below, it solidifies my wish that it was an indoor venue. Both are headline worthy, even though MMJ is the only one who gets the slot at this point in their careers.
Andy picked seeing Emimem over My Morning Jacket at Lollapalooza while Caitlin and I were confident in our MMJ pick. Andy also picked Stevie over MMJ at ACL, but after Stevie had sound issues, he caught about 5 MMJ songs, including some with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Caitlin and I chose option c), The Arcade Fire ACL Live taping. If MMJ and M83 were playing at the same time, I’d have a really tough time deciding. I do have an opinion on which song I’d rather hear though.
@ZackTeibloom Today is a match-up of a band on the rise and a band standing still. That said, the band standing still is in a good place. I’m talking about Coldplay, who headlined ACL and Lollapalooza among others, and even taped an ACL live taping which wasn’t on New Years, but will appear to be on New Years if you watch on TV. I think Coldplay made a pretty forgettable album, while M83 made a bombastic double LP that seems pretty universally loved. I was surprised that I gave both of these bands the same score for their live show. Actually, I gave Coldplay a 9.5 and I gave M83 a 9.3 or 9.4 depending on which day you asked me. OK, no one asks me. I just rated it twice in two different articles. Caitlin and I own the two latest M83 albums on vinyl, but no Coldplay. Sure, we have all the early CD’s, but they’re treading water, at best, on the new album. “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” is a bit of a stand-out, and the only new song they played at the Steve Jobs Apple memorial show, but it doesn’t hold up to their classics. M83 is doing their best work to date, and “Midnight City” is perfect any time of day. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom I was lucky enough to win tickets to see Wilco’s ACL live taping last night. I’m completely happy I went and got to take Caitlin to her first Wilco show. It was quite good. I’m seeing the word “incredible” thrown around a lot from friends reviewing the show in a sentence on social media. I disagree. It was entirely credible. This was Wilco’s 4th ACL Live recording, and my 5th or 6th* time seeing them. And aside from Jeff Tweedy telling us which songs had or had not been on an ACL taping before**, this was not a ground breaking show. It was nice to hear “I Might” from the new album, but this was easily the least exciting show I’d seen at Moody Theater (behind Yeasayer, Arcade Fire and Robyn) and barely snuck into the top 5 shows I saw this month.
The entire balcony*** sat for 99% of the show. A number of people near me left before the encore. There was a lot of toe-tapping. We gave Nels Cline a well-deserved encore for his wild guitar solo on “Impossible Germany” when he channeled Duane Allman, while playing his guitar. We politely cheered for an encore and yelled out “Well done, Wilco.” Tweedy got excited. And it was well done. Maybe I just prefer my rock shows rare.
@ZackTeibloom I had no intention of crying at the Arcade Fire show. Even as tears were streaming down my face, only a song into their set, I didn’t know why I was doing it. There were enormous expectations for the night. Was it the hours and hours of build up coming out in a moment of pure ecstacy? Was it Win coming into the crowd? I’ve always had a thing for singers coming into the crowd and getting right in my face. Was I just that enchanted by Win and Regine and Will? I know this ranks right up there in the 9.7-9.8 range with LCD at Stubbs and Phoenix at La Zona Rosa, for truly pantheon Austin performances at our biggest venues, but why did it resonate more than any others? I’ll start at the beginning and try to figure it out.
When you take a day off work, pay above cover for a ticket and find your way to Bee Caves two hours before the doors even open, you better pray the show will be worth it. You hear a rough and unpolished, brand new band doing sound check as you sit in the dirt outside, realize there’s another band coming before Explosions in the Sky, and hope for the best. “We Used to Wait for It.” We’re used to waiting for it. You kill another hour in the dirt, rationing out water and sunscreen. You sweat, holding sweatshirts for the thirty degree temperature drop on the way. The doors finally open. You’re told not to run, so you hop, skip and jump your way into the venue and settle in. Three rows back, dead center. The kids that got there at 11 am, 5 hours before you, got themselves an extra 5 feet closer than you. You get a perfectly cold beer and a cold enough water bottle as last supplies and hunker down. You joke that you wish you could take a number and go further out of earshot for Schmillion and be laying down, staring up at the sky for Explosions in the Sky, but you know that if you want Win Butler singing into your face, you’re going to have to stay right where you are. And you most certainly do want Win Butler singing in your face. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom Look, I was there. I was there when Local Natives broke out* with a series of shows at SXSW in March. I was there, running to catch them at Coachella. I was there for the in-store at Waterloo and night show at Antone’s for their double dip in Austin. Andy was there when the LA natives put the F Yeah in the FYF fest. We listened to that album so much we almost forgot The Talking Heads were the ones who do “Warning Sign” originally. 2010 was a big breakout for Local Natives and they certainly deserve it, but this was no LCD Soundsystem in 2010. I’m telling you, I was there. They played the show of the year at Stubbs. I was there when Andy went from not a fan at all to having LCD be his favorite show at his favorite festival of the year. This was their year. Front-man James Murphy said this album would be their last and he’d take it for a two year victory lap of a tour. God damn, it sure felt like one with my shirt drenched in sweat, pressed up against the guard rail. LCD is winning this contest. This is happening. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom Consider this the opening tip-off to start our December madness tournament. The #1 seed Cee-Lo takes on Spoon, a Cinderella story out of Austin. Our hometown heroes played this song everywhere from ACL to Lollapalooza, Coachella, SXSW and the Waterloo (Austin’s biggest record store) parking lot. We couldn’t even find an official video of it, but we most certainly found Cee-Lo’s video. And watched it on repeat to the point that we’d find ourselves singing “Fuck You” at very inappropriate times throughout the day. My favorite clip I could find of “Got Nuffin” was from Lollapalooza and they tear it up. It would be easy to cast an automatic vote for “Fuck You,” but Spoon has something here. Give Spoon a chance and watch as Britt manages to sweat in January as his band mate slaps maracas and a tambourine together and ends with a flurry of activity in the final minute. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom A crash like this proves that you don’t need to do anything more than just show up at the venue. It truly is that simple. Freelance Whales and Miniature Tigers were playing a sold-out show at the ND just down the street from me. I had Meg on the inside letting me know it was a square stamp on the right hand the size of a quarter with a blotch in the middle. First things first, I didn’t have my ID. I mean, I had it, but it expired on my birthday and two failed DMV attempts (grr Veterans Day) left me without valid ID. I dropped Meg at the door and drove back to see if I could dig up my passport from a drawer overflowing with festival guide books, magazines and wristbands.
I come back home to see @Shiftywhiteguy engrossed in his NBA 2K11 Pacers season on Xbox and he seems disappointed in me that I’ve returned so soon. Not to worry. I dig up the passport and head back. I quickly stamp my hand in the car and it’s barely registering. It may be time for a new stamp. This thing has carried me for three years, but I have to get it wet just to make any kind of mark. I attempt a small square on my right hand with a blob in the middle and head in. The set-up inside is a door guy right at the door who is just checking ID’s and giving you the stamp. OK this is important. I didn’t need any kind of stamp, just the passport. He stamps over my feeble stamp and it’s on to round two. One guy checking a will call list and a second guard blocking the entrance. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom Two things I never thought I’d see at an LCD show: 1) opening with obvious opener “Dance Yrself Clean” (they shockingly leave it off most set lists) and 2) Andy loving every minute of it (He has been strongly against them ever since Coachella. Both happened Saturday night.
Last festival they were sandwiched between Atoms For Peace and Jay-Z andended up feeling like filler from the position we had. This time they were opening for a Deadmau5 and Muse combo that appealed to us far more. From this position, LCD was the best show of Saturday night. From this position, Andy was yelling “They sound like a completely different band than Coachella!” From this position. Read the rest of this entry »