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Track-by-track: Quiet Company–Songs For Staying In EP

28 May

by Nina Chantanapumma

Maybe it’s due to the circles I run in around Denton, but has anyone noticed how serious the music seems to be here? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing that can be compared to a band that has mastered their craft of honest, heart-jerking lyrics and careful instrumentation so well that it leaves me breathless and in awe. But music doesn’t always have to break your heart, folks. It doesn’t have to drag your soul through the darkness at 60 bpm. It can remind you that love is a beautiful thing, something worth celebrating, and a great reason to sing. Enter the newest release from Austin-based Quiet Company, Songs For Staying In. Described as “a 27-minute celebration of love and … sex,” this should be a quick and fun track-by-track review.

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Track-by-Track: Friday Night Lights Soundtrack, Volume 2

7 May

By Nina Chantanapumma

Do you know what tonight is, y’all? It’s only the beginning of the fourth season of Friday Night Lights as aired on NBC(DirecTV viewers, keep your spoilers to yourself)! This television show captured the hearts of faithful critics and viewers that have championed to keep this show alive, overcoming obstacles such as the Writers Guild strike, terrible time slots and lousy ratings. I’ve already set my DVR to record their penultimate season, and I’ve had the pleasure of listening to their newest soundtrack which is available online now and in stores May 18th. Does it capture the stories of heart, hope, redemption and accidental murders of Dillon, Texas? Let’s find out as I’ve returned from the ashes for a new track-by-track review. Continue reading

The never-ending NX35 track-by-track: Week 3

5 Mar

So here’s the deal: we’ve been fairly light on the NX35 coverage due mainly to, well, some “involvement” with the festival. In an effort to provide some level of “countdown” coverage, we are going to go through 20 tracks from 20 bands at a time every Friday until the weekend of the conferette. (For those of you who are a little slow, there are three weeks left until NX35, which means we will be sharing 60 tracks with you.) Let’s hope this helps all of you have a better understanding of the music that is quickly approaching. If you like any of the bands, check out when/where they’re playing and find more info at NX35.com.

I can’t believe NX35 is just a week away. It’s seemed like this distant event that everyone around me would be perpetually toiling and stressing over (and that I was involved in, to a more moderate degree). But now the hard work is about to pay off. I think this year marks a new chapter in the NX35 saga. Things are about to get big for Little D. Anyway … enough of my sentimental ramblings … Here’s the third and final installment of the never-ending NX35 track-by-track (I guess it had an ending after all). –Jess

Jaime’s Picks

Pattern is Movement-Light of the World

One of the better live acts I caught last year was Pattern is Movement. I say that not just because of their amazing Beyonce cover, but because the band is made up of two first-rate musicians. They capably ply their trade, while managing to push themselves towards something greater.

Robert Ellis- Foolish Blues

Every region has thier own Ryan Ellis, a musician of such excellence that he can’t help but be apart of as many projects as possible, while still maintaining a excellent project of his own. Well, Robert Ellis seems to be that guy in Houston. And his roots-based solo work is indicative of an artist who knows where he comes from, and where he could go.

Julianna Barwick- Anjos

It’s really difficult not to label this as “angelic”, what with the lush sounds reverbrating off the walls of my office as I type this, but to do so would be weak on my part. So I’m forced to describe this as something close to capturing the moment when the surf beats the coastline, and all you feel is the wind washing over you.

Fergus & Geronimo–Tell It (In My Ear)

Man, does King Khan ever fucking rock.

(Note: I adore Fergus & Geronimo. This is all Jaime. But … they do sound a lot like The King Khan & BBQ Show. –Jess)

Frontier Ruckus–Mona and Emmy

There’s a rather great list in the AV Club’s Inventory book called “10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone“. If I ever had the chance to make a book of my own, this track would make my “15 Good Songs Made Great by Trumpet” list, as the opening segue instantly captivates you into wanting to stick with the song.

Horse Feathers- Belly of June

How the hell did they manage to pick this song out? Honestly, I know it can be precieved to be  rudimentry “folk picking”, but I find it to be excellent. I listen to this song quite a bit, trying to figure out how exactly they did this.

Icarus Himself–Sometimes I Can’t Stand You, But That Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Want You Around

So. Much. Fuzz.

Jesseca’s Picks

The Flaming Lips–Silver Trembling Hands

I think I can safely say The Flaming Lips are the most highly anticipated act playing at NX35. I still can’t believe they’re playing in Denton. For free. They’re one of a handful of bands to be together for over 20 years and remain consistently relevant and exciting. This song is from their latest record, Embryonic, and, like the rest of the album, it makes me freak out (in the best possible way) every time I hear it.

Sabra Laval–Can’t Tell Why

My first encounter with Sabra Laval was at The Majestic Dwelling of Doom last Saturday. I may have been hallucinating due to exhaustion, but her voice and music transformed that damp, graffiti-ridden basement into a Paris cafe in the 1960s. I can’t really explain more than that. See her live and you’ll understand.

Zorch–Zut Alore!

I love these guys and their music and I cannot wait to see them again for NX35 (and then SXSW, as we’ve been collaborating with them for that). I spoke a bit about their recording technique, and how damn nice they are, in a feature I did on them in November.

Ola Podrida–Cindy

Despite the fact that I’ve been trying to avoid sad music lately, I keep wanting to play this song. It’s beautiful and heart-wrenching. Even more heart-wrenching: deciding between seeing these guys at the Western Vinyl showcase and seeing Fergus & Geronimo at the Weekly Tape Deck showcase next Friday.

Br’er–Painted Lady

This reminds me of a Björk song, like it would fit perfectly on Vespertine. Br’er (aka Benjamin Schurr) opened Sleep Whale’s Houseboat release show at Jupiter House a few months ago and it was absolutely captivating. The intimate venue will again showcase Br’er’s music at NX. Definitely an act to catch.

The Middle East–Blood

Australia has some astonishingly good musicians, and The Middle East is no exception. At first I thought this song was sweet, sappy even, with its soft acoustic guitars and sweet vocals, but it builds into this epic, gorgeous tune full of whistles, glock, horns and harmonies. And although it’s about death, it still makes me want to run out and enjoy life (perhaps that’s the point … to enjoy life while we can).

Glen Farris–The Edge of Town

At least half of the young women in Denton are in love with Glen Farris. I’m not one of them (which is a surprise if you know my taste in men), but I do love his music. He’s one of Denton’s finest lyricists and he’s got the vocal chops to do his lyrics justice.

Nina’s Picks

Birds and Batteries–Out in the Woods

This genre-blending group from San Francisco mixes a bit of rock, country, funk, electronica, and pop, never conforming to a specific sound. “Out of the Woods” is their funkier track, but make sure to hit up their Myspace page to listen to the variety of styles they have to offer.

Nicholas Altobelli–Northern Lights

It’s hard to believe that Nicholas Altobelli is originally from sunny Southern California. His dark, slow-tempo brand of folk is more of a soundtrack to the long winter we just experienced in Texas–sad, reflective, yet somehow a bit warm.

The Phuss–Preacher, Preacher

This duo formed two years ago with the intent of making “dirty Texas devil rock.” With their recently dropped debut album, Wanted, covering the life of a murderous outlaw through their fusion of blues, rock, and alt-country, I’d say they’ve definitely succeeded.

Stardeath and White Dwarfs–I Can’t Get Away

This song’s groove makes me feel like a badass.

Sore Losers–Bizarre Celebrations (Fizzy Dino Pop Remix)

What do you get when you combine one of the best hipster-hop acts in Dallas with the eight-bit beeps and boops of Fizzy Dino Pop? A flippin’ party, y’all.

This Will Destroy You–The World Is Our

Sometimes you just a little post-rock instrumentals in your life. The ability to invoke a range of emotions without lyrics is what This Will Destroy You accomplishes, and beautifully so.

The never-ending NX35 track-by-track: Week 2

26 Feb

So here’s the deal: we’ve been fairly light on the NX35 coverage due mainly to, well, some “involvement” with the festival. In an effort to provide some level of “countdown” coverage, we are going to go through 20 tracks from 20 bands at a time every Friday until the weekend of the conferette. (For those of you who are a little slow, there are three weeks left until NX35, which means we will be sharing 60 tracks with you.) Let’s hope this helps all of you have a better understanding of the music that is quickly approaching. If you like any of the bands, check out when/where they’re playing and possibly find out more info at NX35.com.

Note: This week the newest addition to the DBB staff, Nina Chantanapumma (aka The Neener), joins in on the fun.

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The never-ending NX35 track-by-track: Week 1

19 Feb

So here’s the deal: we’ve been fairly light on the NX35 coverage due mainly to, well, some “involvement” with the festival. In an effort to provide some level of “countdown” coverage, we are going to go through 20 tracks from 20 bands at a time every Friday until the weekend of the conferette. (For those of you who are a little slow, there are three weeks left until NX35, which means we will be sharing 60 tracks with you.) Let’s hope this helps all of you have a better understanding of the music that is quickly approaching. If you like any of the bands, check out when/where they’re playing and possibly find out more info at NX35.com. Continue reading

Track-by-Track: Smile Smile–Truth on Tape

19 Feb

by Nina Chantanapumma

I hate to say it but I like it when two musicians fall in love with each other … then break-up. Musicians are sensitive and passionate people (whether they admit it or not) so when their hearts have been broken, it’s not uncommon to see a breakup song or two to follow. And when the two musicians happen to be in the same band? In the case of  Hamilton and Jencey Hirunrusme, the indie folk-pop duo known as Smile Smile, they wrote their hearts out and created their break-up album together. We’ll sift through the pieces in their newest album, Truth on Tape, in this track-by-track review.

1. “Tempo Bledsoe” – The first time I heard this song was when I watched the music video, which is as cute and sugary sweet as the lyrics. However, the “Swanee River” introduction seems to give you a heads up that this song is more a wishful memory than a current state of affairs. Either way you look at it, you’ll be humming this later. Continue reading

Track-by-Track: Basia Bulat – Heart of My Own

5 Feb

(In an attempt to provide a broader coverage on the material we’re submitted, we’ve decided to do one full album review each Friday in place of the Track of the Day. Stealing the ever so popular Track-by-Track format allows us to tack a closer look at the album. Also, thanks to Nina for kicking this off for us. -Jaime)

by Nina Chantanapumma

Advertising works. Last year, thanks to some product I don’t remember, I was introduced to Canadian singer-songwriter Basia Bulat. She recently released her second full-length album, Heart of My Own, and I have gladly chosen this folk-pop sophomoric effort to kick off this new track-by-track series. Continue reading