And now for something completely different…Evan Holm at SFMOMA.
Growl // No Years
For those that like their Weezer albums blue and their windows rolled down, introducing: Growl. The Austin four-piece debuted last year with the sweet yet meekly-recorded Gallery EP. Thankfully, they spent a few sessions polishing their follow-up, and it shows. No Years adds teeth to Growl’s power-pop roar, where the intertwining lead guitars are just as hummable as the melodies. Dig in.
Now That’s (Not) A Hit…
One Bob Pollard was a mean pitcher back in the day. A salty salute to him…
[via Carboard Gods]
Abram Shook // Sun Marquee
Abram Shook is a multi-instrumentalist who’s spent time with Austin mainstays Shearwater and the Low Lows, but before dropping anchor in the Violet Crown, he lived a passport-fueled existence. Shook studied jazz in the warm climes of SoCal, and his restless spirit took him from South America to Indonesia. Making his own music became a fitful experience too; Shook’s solo debut, Sun Marquee, took root in various studios around town, and he called on many of his friends to flesh out his songs.
Yet Sun Marquee is incredibly unfussy. Sure, it’s recorded in crystalline hi-fi—guitars sizzle, drums crack, and the fluid bass lines beg for a good set of headphones—but the songs are simple and immediate. The biggest lessons Shook has taken from avowed influences like Shuggie Otis and Serge Gainsbourg is a desire to not be boxed in. Sun Marquee gently sways across the pop landscape, bearing down on a blissed-out headspace but with a variety of ways of getting there. The fizzy disco-strut of “Distance” is a standout, as is the slo-mo glam ooze of “Coastal” (“If I ever get back to my California…” goes the open-ended chorus). But dig a bit deeper and you find gems like “In Mind,” its jangling motorik nodding towards Philly forbears Kurt Vile or the War On Drugs. The glitchy piano ballad “Hangover” easily earns its title, as does the escapist “Taken.” Shook has chops for days, making each of these excursions into his own intimate style. Here’s hoping he keeps staying restless.
Uncle Tupelo // Live On Critical Mass 11/15/89
Uncle Tupelo, live on the first episode of St. Louis’s local access show “Critical Mass,” November 15, 1989. Come for the psychedelicized Midwestern opening credits, stay for the terrible fashion, awkward interview, and kick-ass performance from a band just starting to find its way. Not forever, just for now.