Far Far Future is an original rock band out of Austin, TX led by Jakob Clark, formerly of BOY. While spending some time in his hometown of Jackson, MS, Clark wrote and recorded Things of This Nature, his first solo album after years of playing in various groups. Upon his return to Austin, Clark recruited vocal support from Paul Banks and Brian Patterson, with their addition of synthesizers and guitar to the mix, respectively. After filling out the rhythm section with Bryson Duhon on drums and Harrison Yeager on bass, the solo project became a full band by the end of 2014. The indie rock sound sends Bowie-like vibes on the vocal front, augmented by the interplay of psychedelic guitars, shimmering synth lines and lush vocal harmonies. Far Far Future's new single, Affect Affection, is the first song written and recorded by the full band, and a sign of what is to come.
Austin rockers Schwein have just released a new album available for purchase. You can check the tunes on their bandcamp.
by Chris Guevara
Rain sucks. Drought does too as any thirsty central Texan knows. But it’s all about context:
which facet of the gem you’re looking at. Rain on a weeknight sucks for all bands involved, so I was glad
to see a large crowd huddled underneath the canopy outside of Holy Mountain. Almost as soon as I
arrived I heard a synth climbing what sounded like a modular scale turned inside-out and upside-down;
a reverb-soaked noise-feast snapping into sudden clarity with quick jabs from the guitar and springing
group vocals reminiscent of the B-52’s. This is the music of Zettajoule, a lean quartet which rose from
the ashes of another local band called My Russian Princess. It’s indie-pop filtered through the
kaleidoscope of psychedelic rock.
What struck me immediately was the vocal prowess of the group; everyone save the drummer
was singing in practically every song. The group uses their vocals less as run-of-the-mill lyric delivery and
more as a texture device, ranging from harmonic coos to pile-driving shrieks. Primary vocalist Carney’s
voice bends and takes on an almost Theremin-like quality at some points, as springy guitar jabs wrap
around it like vines.
I chatted with Greg Hagan, the bassist, while Floridians were setting up on stage. My Russian
Princess split with their rhythm section and brought on Hagan and drummer Nick Lombard,
rechristening the group as Zettajoule. The common denominator in the rhythm section, Greg says, is the
shared love of 70’s prog-rock. I can see that in their music, especially the throbbing How a Tree Grows.
The drums and bass shine brightly here, acting as the engine driving Carney’s vocals, punctuated by lean,
walking riffs courtesy of the guitar.
Zettajoule isn’t just a wall of sound. The song Be Nize really shows off each moving part of the
band. The sum is greater than the parts as they combine to form a rickety, funhouse-like arrangement.
The guitar positively mocks Carney as she delivers the verses, with skeletal riffs snaking up and down the
fretboard. The rhythm section spastically keeps pace until the arrangement flowers into a lush chorus.
The song-structure here is impeccable.
This grooving quartet is an entertaining act well worth your attention. If you missed them at
Holy Mountain, you can catch them melting some faces this coming Monday the 17th at the Mowhawk.
Floridians released their debut album Settle Down in August. It’s a polished pop album but an
intelligent one. However, I cautiously took my place among the crowd after I heard that this was their
first show ever. You see, bands follow a typical trajectory that is so obvious it probably has never been
typed out: 1) play a bunch of shows; 2) cobble together some sort of following; 3) release an EP or an LP.
You can record and release first; there aren’t any hard and fast rules to music besides “have fun” and
“don’t lose your drink tickets.” That doesn’t mean that daydreams in the bedroom come across well
when shouted through a hissing PA. I wasn’t sure that this sleek and shiny record would carbon-copy
well through the mic and the PA. And I was right: It sounded more raw and energetic live.
My date commented that the music Floridians make has a cinematic quality to it. I generally
agree with that, but I feel that it’s more dramatic than anything. They carve through the air with an 80’s
synth and soaring, delay-soaked guitar to sculpt lush sonic landscapes. Live, the band is a force to be
reckoned with. The keyboardist works overtime, banging out synth lines with the left hand and walking
bass riffs via keyboard with the right.
For me, the standout song of the performance was Doormat. That track showcases the strong
pop sensibilities of the group coupled with the knack of creating atmosphere. The vocal melody of the
verse in that is positively infectious, and it has a warm growl to it live. And that’s where Floridians’ front-
man really shines as a singer: somewhere between indie-rock sincerety and old fashioned rock and roll
belting. It’s a combination that swallows you whole.
I broke from the crowd to get a picture of the group up close. Like an asshole, I think my flash
was on. It caught the attention of the singer and his eyes drilled through the lens of my shitty phone
camera and into my soul. The combination of this and the weight of the arrangement nearly made me
drop the damn thing in front of the stage.
Maybe you won’t get what I’m saying. I know I am going to keep an eye out for the next time
this cathartic trio hits the stage. Yes, you can’t throw a stick in this town without hitting some starry-
eyed hopeful who’s slapped some drums and bass to his bedroom recording project. But that’s not what
this is. Floridians is a group that’s really on to something.
Indie-Country weirdos, THE ELECTRIC FRIENDS have eased effortlessly into the Austin music scene playing with the likes of local favorites such as The Bad Lovers, Rolland Hazzard, and The Motel Ball Band. A tasteful mix of early Americana along with the ideals of Laurel Canyon 70's folk-rock steeped in a large vat of heavy guitars and psychedelic undertones. RSVP on facebook here.
Wanna Tickle the Eardrums? Check Out The Sounds:
Once or twice a month we chat up with bands and throw together a killer showcase. Tomorrow is one of those days. After booking JoyCut for a showcase downtown during SXSW, we kept in contact. Fast forward eight months later, they're back in town on tour across the states and the rest is history. With the help of (Holy) Mountaineer James Taylor, we stirred up a pot guaranteed to please. Thanks to local talents Mighty Mountain, Floridians, and Zettajoule joining the bill, we're happy to present a night with eclectic sounds and invigorating rhythms.
Italy’s JoyCut, named for the conceptual conjunction between the song ‘Joey’ from Nick Drake and Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut, was formed in 2001. This post-rock, dark-wave outfit weaves powerful sonic moments using electronic melodies and percussion with found objects from the urban landscape. Often experimental but always accessible, JoyCut have found a loyal fanbase in Italy and the UK as well as most of Europe. Having opened and toured with such bands as The Editors, Art Brut, Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire and Sebadoh, the trio won over North American fans on their first proper US Tour in February, March and April of 2014. A North American return in the fall of 2014, fresh off their first ever dates in South America, will take them to new cities as well as have them return to some where they had great success this past Winter and spring. The band continues to tour in support of their third album, 2013’s Pieces Of Us Were Left On The Ground (released on Italy’s largest record label IRMA and available in the US on iTunes). For fans of; Fuck Buttons, The Cure, Joy Division, A Place To Bury Strangers, Godspeed You Black Emperor. Check out their latest here
Mighty Mountain has quickly garnered a reputation as one of Austin's 'must see' live acts. Their ferocious and upbeat performances have landed them spots on bills with the likes of Grouplove, Erykah Badu, Of Montreal and Spandau Ballet. Their recent SXSW showcase was featured on Yahoo Music and Fuse.TV. They were recently voted #5 Best New Band and #6 Best Indie Band in the 2014 Austin Music Awards. Check out the sounds here
Floridians are just dropping into the scene with their brand new debut album "Settle Down". Check it out here
Zettajoule recently finished a residency as "Artist of the Month" in Austin's northern chill rocker haven, Spider House Ballroom. You can check out more here
Believe the hype. Cheer Up Charlie's November 1st.
The list has just been released for the confirmed bands for the 2015 SXSW cluster fu---estival. Austin bands confirmed so far are:
The Boxing Lesson, East Cameron Folkcore, Colin Gilmore, Danny B. Harvey, Institute, Jitterbug Vipers, Krypol Haze, Ben Kweller, Kydd, Love Inks, Mr. Kitty, Nakia, Noveller, The Octopus Project, Residual Kid, Sertified, Silk Rodeo, Sleep Over, Sorne, The Sour Notes, Ume, Warm Soda, Jess Williamson, and Emily Wolfe.
You can check out the entire list over on Brooklyn Vegan
CMJ is happening all around New York City, but lets face it, everyone's going to Brooklyn. Started in 1978, the College Media Journal began as a bi-weekly trade magazine aimed at college radio programmers. The CMJ Music Marathon began in 1980 and started in only a few NYC venues. It has grown into the only thing comparable to the much bigger local SXSW with a boast of 80 venues and 1300 artists over 5 days (October 21 through the 25th), compared to the 15,000 to 20,000 registrants here in Austin for SXSW over the course of three weeks.
Locals are starting to pack up and take planes, trains, and automobiles en route to the Big Apple to showcase what we've been so lucky to experience week to week. If you're going to CMJ this year, keep a look out for some of these guys hitting the stage: Holiday Mountain, Emily Wolfe, Residual Kid, East Cameron Folkcore, Pageantry, Milezo, and Wildcat Apollo.
Besides seeing the local acts, a couple biased suggestions from elsewhere to keep an eye out for include: Erel Pilo and Fiona Silver from Brooklyn if you like cutesy girls playing soulful folky rock. Cheerleader from Philadelphia for some electro infused rock and roll. Gringo Starr from Atlanta for your rock with psych sensibility.
As for me, you can catch me at the Trash Bar Thursday, supporting Austin's Residual Kid as well as AIN's next headliner, JoyCut.
Check out the full lineup for the CMJ Music Marathon here: http://www.cmj.com/schedule/
Please add any other locals in the comment section.
In a city so rich with music, you owe it to yourself to get a little taste of everything. This Sunday at the swank Firehouse Lounge mosey over and get a craft cocktail and listen to a little gyspy swing. Check more music from Yemima and the Flying Balalaika Brothers.