Tag: Austin


Perhaps best known for stints drumming in several band including Shilpa Ray’s backing band, Robert Preston relocated to Los Angeles for a change of scenery and began his solo recording project Pink Mexico. And while in L.A., Preston wrote, recorded and self-released his solo debut pnik mexico in June 2013. Interestingly, pnik mexico caught the attention of Austin, TX-based indie label Fleeting Youth Records who re-released Preston’s debut effort the following December.

Preston then relocated back to Brooklyn to began writing and recording his sophomore effort while having quite a few things released last year including a split 7 inch with Los Angeles-based band SunLikeDrugs and a 12 inch vinyl pressing of pnik mexico by the Bordeaux, France-based label Big Tomato Records. And with a growing national and international profile, Preston caught the attention of renowned indie label Burger Records, who later signed him. Interestingly, his forthcoming, sophomore effort fool was written in windowless 10×10 rooms between Los Angeles and Brooklyn, reportedly fueled by nasty hangovers, cheap coffee and cigarettes. “Buzz Kill,” fool‘s first single has Preston and company pairing layers of buzzing guitar chords, propulsive drumming, throbbing bass chords and Preston’s ethereal vocals floating through a sludgy mix in a song that compares favorably to contemporary garage rock/fuzz rock/garage fuzz bands like Fuzz, Wavves, Thee Oh Sees and others — but with an underlying and infectious breeziness to the sludge and scum.

fool is slated for a June 24 through Burger Records here in the States and Big Tomato Records in Europe. Along with that Preston and company will be playing a number of local shows, including a big record release show on June 25. Check out the dates below and be on the lookout for a full tour using the fall.
Live Dates:
June 1 – Goldsounds
June 8 – Sunnyvale (Northside Festival)
June 25 – Shea Stadium (Release Show)




If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months, you may recall coming across a post on Austin, TX-based shoegaze act Bloody Knives. Initially comprised of Preston Maddox (bass, vocals, keyboards, samples and programming) Jake McCown (drums, noise, programming) — and now feating the featuring the contributions of recent recruits Jack O’Hara Harris (guitar), Richard Napierkowski (synth) and Martin McCreadie (synth) as touring members of the band, the Austin-based act have developed a profile both locally and regionally for a sound that meshes elements of punk, industrial electronica and ambient electronica with 8 bit glitches, bloops and bleeps — and much like My Bloody ValentineA Place to Bury StrangersThe Jesus and Mary Chain their sound and aesthetic frequently possesses a sublime and dreamy beauty underneath a bleak, punishing forcefulness.

I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This, Bloody Knives’ latest effort was released last week through renowned shoegaze label Saint Marie Records, and the album was reportedly inspired by the “forgotten places, the dark corners of empty cities, decaying buildings filled with vacant people” — the world of the lost and broken.” And although the album’s second and latest single “Static” beings with soaring synths and buzzing electronics, much like previous single “Poison Halo,” the latest single pairs scorching guitar chords played with towering layers of feedback, a throbbing bass line and thundering drumming. While both the album’s first two singles insistently push the boundaries of contemporary shoegaze towards darker and much more forceful territory, their overall sound reminds me a bit of My Vitriol as the material possesses an anthemic quality that belies its swooning and urgent nature.





Monikker is an Austin, TX-based producer, music blogger and emcee, who pairs thoughtful and socially conscious lyrics, a wicked wit and complex rhyme scheme and word play with golden era hip-hop production  comprised of tweeter and woofer rocking, boom bap beats, lush, soul and neo soul and old-school hip-hop samples that will remind some listeners of acts like Atmosphere and other indie hip-hop acts. The up-and-coming Austin, TX-based artist has been pretty busy over the past few years — her music blog and podcast focuses on the best indie and unsigned hip-hop artists locally, nationally and internationally; and as an artist she has performed at Dallas, TX‘s Grenada Theater and spent a stint with Austin, TX-based act Savannah Red and the Blueberries, before signing with Royal Lifestyle in 2014.

2016 may arguably be Monikker’s biggest year to date as June 6, 2016 will mark the release of the Free Speech EP with her Free Speech, Vol. 1 mixtape slated for a release at the end of this year. “Heaven on Earth (Gotta Go)” a collaboration with fellow Austin emcee Kwamizzle is the first single off the Free Speech, Vol. 1 mixtape and as Monikker explains in press notes the track is “a nod to the boom bap style and East Coast lyrics, complete with samples and authentic turntable scratches. Lyrically ‘Heaven on Earth (Gotta Go)’ imagines a utopia where people are at peace with one another to achieve Nirvana here on Earth. At the same time, it’s a song that acknowledges one thing we all have in common — our similar fate as finite beings.”  Sonically, speaking the song’s lush and soulful production sounds indebted to the legendary J. Dilla — in particular, I think of The Pharcyde‘s “Drop” and Q. Tip‘s “Vivrant Thing” — while lyrically her flow is reminiscent of MC Lyte, Eternia, Rah Digga and others, complete with a wisdom beyond her youth. And Kwamizzle joins in with an equally hard-hitting and gritty and swaggering bars that fit the lush production perfectly. Certainly, this single will remind listeners that hip-hop’s golden era is still powerfully influential, and although finding conscious and thoughtful hip-hop can be difficult when mainstream super conglomerate radio stations inundate listens with empty, soulless and prepackaged nonsense, it’s out there waiting to be found if you make the effort.







Comprised of Leslie Sisson (vocals, guitar), best known as a member of The Wooden Birds, Matt Pond PA, Western Keys, Black Lipstick, Black Forest Fire, Tanworth-in-Arden, and Aero Wave, collaborations with The American Analog Set, Windsor for the Derby, Rhythm of Black Lines, RIDE‘s Mark GardenerDan Mangan, John Wesley Coleman, Snowden, and Broken Social Scene, as well as a solo artist; Rozie Castoe (bass); and Karen Skloss (drums), a member of Black Forest Fire,  the Austin, TX-based dream pop trio Moving Panoramas can trace their origins to when Sisson had returned to home to Texas to be closer to the members of her previous full-time band The Wooden Birds and her family. Sisson took on a job teaching music at School of Rock where she met Castoe, who was in an ’80s show that Sisson directed. And while this was going on Sisson was subbing on bass in Black Forest Fire with Skloss, who was a longtime friend and former graduate film school student. When each individual member’s various projects broke up, the trio of Sisson, Castoe and Skloss decided to form a band together, based on their mutual love of shoegaze.

The trio has been praised by the likes of NPRTom Tom MagazineAustin Chronicle and others, and as a result they’ve seen a rapidly growing local and national profile for their full-length album One, which possesses a sound that’s indebted to 4AD Records, 90s alt rock and classic shoegaze; in fact, the album’s first single and album title track “One” sounds as though it could have been recording and released in the 80s as the band pairs shimmering guitar chords, a tight groove, propulsive drumming and anthemic hooks with gorgeous harmonies with Sisson’s gorgeous crooning. To my ears the song reminds me quite a bit of The Sundays, The Go-Gos and even contemporary acts like Seapony. The album’s second single “Radar” is a shimmering and slow-burning ballad that employs the use of a gorgeous harmony, and sonically speaking the song sounds as though it draws from 120 Minutes MTV-era alt rock but with a subtly modern sheen. In some way, both songs evoke road trips — the sense of endless possibility and adventure; the regrets and mistakes you’re leaving behind; and the road and horizon rushing past your window . . .

Moving Panoramas will be on a rather extensive tour throughout the Spring which includes several SXSW sets and two NYC area dates. Check out tour dates below.

March 13th @ Spider House (Main Patio Stage) – 2908 Fruth St at 9PM
March 13th @ The Volstead – 1500 E 6th St at 1AM
March 14th @ Boat Show on Lady Bird Lake – 208 Barton Springs Rd – 3:30PM
March 15th @  The Sidewinder (Inside Stage) – 715 Red River at 12AM
March 16th @ Hotel Vegas (Patio Stage) – 1500 E 6th St at 2PM
March 16th @ Scratch House (Backyard Stage) – 617 E 7th St at 11PM
March 17th @ El Sapo Cantina – 1900 Manor Rd at 3PM
March 18th @ Maggie Mae’s – 323 E 6th St at 12:45PM
March 18th @ Guacamole Showdown – COLLiDE on Rainey at 3PM
March 18th @ Hotel Vegas Annex – 1504 E 6th St at 6:30PM
March 19th @ Street Legal Guitars (Storefront Stage) – 2200 E 7th St at 3 PM
March 19th @ TOMS Austin – 1401 South Congress at 5PM

Tour Dates:

03/23 – Dallas, TX – Crown & Harp
03/24 – Tulsa, OK – The Vanguard
03/25 – Springfield, MO – Outlands
03/26 – Kansas City, MO – Replay Lounge
03/27 – Lincoln, NB – Duffy’s
03/28 – Rock Island, IL – Rozz-Tox
03/29 – Madison, WI – Mickey’s
03/30 – Chicago, IL – Tonic Room
03/31 – Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club
04/01 – Fort Wayne, IN – The Tiger Room
04/02 – Grand Rapids, MI – Pyramid Scheme
04/04 – Toronto, ON – Silver Dollar
04/05 – Montreal, QC – L’Escogriffe
04/06 – Boston, MA – O’Brien’s Pub
04/07 – New York, NY – Pianos
04/08 – Brooklyn, NY – Union Hall
04/09 – Asbury Park, NJ – The Saint
04/10 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter
04/11 – Asheville, NC – The Mothlight
04/13 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre Roof
04/14 – Atlanta, GA – 529
04/15 – Nashville, TN – TBA
04/21 – Austin, TX – The Scoot Inn – w/ Brass Bed
05/13 – Austin, TX – Barracuda
05/14 – Marfa, TX – Lost Horse
05/15 – Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room
05/16 – Los Angeles, CA – TBA
05/18 – San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge
05/20 – Portland, OR – Kelly’s Olympian
05/21 – Seattle, WA – The Black Lodge
05/22 – Missoula, MO – TBA
05/24 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater *
05/25 – Kansas City, MO – Crossroads *
05/28 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater *
05/29 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall **

* w/ Nada Surf
** w/ Nada Surf, Flaming Lips, Roky Erickson, Lucero, Title Fight, Diiv

Over the past 15 years, singer/songwriter and musician Jordan Geiger has developed a reputation for being incredibly prolific — he’s been a member of several renowned indie rock acts including Shearwater, The Appleseed Cast, Des Ark and Minus Story, and he’s released three albums with his solo recording project Hospital Ships. Geiger’s fourth full-length Hospital Ships effort, The Past is Not a Flood is slated for a March 11, 2016 release through Graveface Records, and the album features a myriad number of Austin, TX-based collaborators including longtime friend, Swans‘ Thor Harris — and is Geiger’s sixth album with renowned producer John Congleton, best known for his work with St. Vincent, The Walkmen, Modest Mouse and others.

Thematically speaking, The Past is Not a Flood reportedly draws from Geiger’s own battles with mental illness, anxiety and depression, which will arguably make his fourth full-length album his most personal one to date. The album’s first single “You and I” possesses a gorgeous painterly quality as layers of twisting and turning piano chords undulating and chiming percussion and ominously ambient electronics are slowly added like brushstrokes upon a canvas — and then they’re paired with Geiger’s achingly tender vocals expressing vulnerability, shame, regret and confusion over a dysfunctional and fucked up relationship that’s at an impasse. While sonically bearing a resemblance to Amnesiac-era Radiohead, Remember Remember and Mogwai‘s most recent ambient experiments “You and I” manages to feel like a lingering and anxious fever dream.




Comprised of founding member Hugh Matthews (guitar and vocals), Drew Schapper (drums and Johnny Moretti (guitar) Melbourne, Australia-based shoegaze trio Pretty City can trace their origins to when Matthew sent demos to Schapper and Moretti, who all knew each other from Melbourne’s music scene. And as the story goes, after two rehearsals the newly formed trio began playing shows around Australia and receiving attention for a sound that’s indebted to The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and The Smashing Pumpkins; in fact, their Heights EP was released in 2013 to critical praise from several national outlets including The Music.

Building upon the success of Heights, the band recently finished a tour of Australia’s East Coast to support the release of their critically applauded single “Mary Go Round” and to build buzz for the forthcoming release of their full-length debut effort, Colorize. The album’s latest single “Running Around” is an enormous, arena-friendly song with equally enormous and anthemic hooks paired with dense, fuzzy, feedback slathered power chords, thundering drumming and earnestly sung vocals in a song that channels classic Brit Pop and shoegaze — but with a modern sheen and earnestness that ensures that their sound and aesthetic isn’t derivative.

The Australian trio plans to make their Stateside debut during next month’s SXSW in Austin, and I suspect that we’ll be hearing quite a bit more about them over the next few months.