Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So you won't be going to see Country Strong, then?


Only 2 1/2 hours before that figurative whistle blows and I get to go see my girls. Tuesdays are always a little rough because, at best, I get to see my wife and child for about an hour after work before I head off to Quiet Company's regularly scheduled rehearsal/recording session. It's certainly better than not seeing them at all, and we really need to get the record finished so I'm sure we'll be in the studio more often and for longer hours in the coming weeks.

My dad came into town randomly for his work yesterday, so I got to meet him for lunch and then he took us to dinner after work. Harper was so excited to see him and behaved really well at the restaurant. She's often in the best moods for company. I'm sure she's very conscious of the impressions she makes.

When I got to the studio, the first thing we did was record the Vivogig podcast with Daniel, from Vivogig. He was British and it was fun. Thanks to anyone who submitted questions for it. It should be posted in a week or two, I don't really know.

After that, I re-tracked the guitar on a song called "You, Me, & The Boatman" which we're tentatively expecting to be the first single we push from the new record. I spent the rest of the night doing the main vocal for another song called "The Easy Confidence," which is easily the heaviest song on the record. I was screaming my balls off, y'all. It's not like Korn, or anything, lest anyone get the wrong idea, but it is very different.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the music that my friends make. I'm fortunate enough to live in a place where the local music scene can go toe to toe with the national scene (quality-wise) any day of the week, and more often than not, probably knock it on it's proverbial ass. All that to say, Austin has a lot of really good bands.

Lately, I've been finding music more rewarding if I actually know the person who made it, even if I barely know them. I guess my brain realizes that, "Any work of art is half of a conversation between two human beings, and it helps a lot to know who is talking at you," as papa Vonnegut said. Anyway, I wanted to blog about a few of the records I've been enjoying made by people I love, like, and/or have recently met.

Matt first told me about Stoney a few weeks ago. I don't know how Matt met him but he came to our show at Emo's and I met him there. Another nice British man living in the ATX. Matt had told me that Stoney's record was cool, so when I saw ran into him again at a mutual friend's show last weekend, I was pleased when Stoney gave me a copy of his EP, The Soar Before. I've been playing it incessantly ever since and my only complaint with it is that it goes by far too quickly. Four songs is not enough to satisfy me when something is this good.

The Rocketboys have been some of our best band friends for a long time. They are all genuinely lovely people and a phenomenal band. I've been especially impressed with their latest EP, Wellwisher. Brandon's lyrics are great, and there are a lot of really cool things about the production of this EP. Once again, my biggest complaint with this is the length. Fuckin' EPs, man! Four songs is just not enough.

Tommy began telling me about Buttercup almost immediately after joining the band over 5 years ago. They're from San Antonio, where Tommy went to college and he would regale me with stories about Buttercup shows he'd seen and the crazy shit they did on stage. Buttercup likes to periodically make their shows into strange events. For example, the first time we played with them, they took the stage in winter clothes and snuggies, playing slow, somber songs. As the night progressed, the tempo picked up and the layers came off, until they were dressed for summer and pumping out appropriate jams. It's weird. We've played with them a few times now and I finally got a copy of their latest record and now that I've had time to absorb it, I've realized how great their songwriting is. Joe has been sending me some demos of new stuff so I can also say that the best is yet to come for Buttercup.

Jason Poe is probably my favorite songwriter in Austin, which is saying a hell of a lot, honestly. On top of that, he's just one of my favorite people. I was also a big fan of his old band, Jets Under Fire, which had another one of my favorite people, Todd Meador, on bass. The songwriting hasn't changed drastically from Jets to this. Jason's more focused on piano than guitar now, but that's about the only change. If you enjoy thoughtful lyrics, emotive melodies, and distinctive voices, then Jason Poe is the man for you. I really can't say enough nice things about the guy.

The New Frontiers aren't a band anymore. Haven't been for quite some time. However, I'm including this album because it's simply that damned good. Their breakup is one of the sadder band break-ups in our band clique. They were great people, making equally great music, and they are missed.


  1. Glad to see you've finally been able to listen to Buttercup's "The Weather Here". If you ever get the chance, I hope you can catch up and enjoy their other previous releases too.

  2. Great list, and thanks for the mention. You guys were a great first interview. I am aiming at getting it posted during the first week of February.