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Punk News: Braid: "Bang"
                                     
June 2014
Thomas Comerford
"II
"
mp3

Thomas Comerford has spent the last three years preparing for his second solo album, II, the follow up 2011's Archive + Spiral. The result is a thoughtful, introspective album filled folk and western sounds and themes. Most of the eight tracks are built from acoustic guitar and deep, rich vocals. The sound and style could be compared to Mike Johnson. Several tracks, "Silt and Dust", "Chrysalis", "Prefer Not To", and others, then build with twang and organic instrumentation into small southern symphonies. This is bedroom meets barroom but at times it swells into larger realms. This is most apparent in "Done and Done" with its lush full band sound. II will be released by Strange Weather Records on June 10th.


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austin

The Boxing Lesson Kick Off Their Summer Tour at Hotel Vegas Tomorrow Night

Austin psych-rock trio The Boxing Lesson will be kicking off their summer tour tomorrow night at Hotel Vegas with fellow Austin-based psychedelic/experimental groups Melogrand and Megafauna. The Boxing Lesson’s tour will take them across 13 cities in 9 states and will be highlighted by a June 15th set at the NXNE Festival in Toronto, Canada. The band’s latest 7”, Health is the New Drug, was released in February of this year and features a title track that masterfully toes the line between shoegaze, psycadelic and progressive rock, using spacy synths to accompany one hell of a shredding lead guitar.

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Major Major Major vinyl release party at the 29th St. Ballroom on 06.09

Austin based retro-pop combo Major Major Major will be entertaining the local crowds on June 9 at the 29th St. Ballroom, in occasion of the vinyl release of their latest self-titled EP. At times noisy and at times nostalgic, this is group's songs are influenced by a wide range of genres, going from the early 60s pop music to the lo-fi wave of the early 00s.

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Megafauna releases "Love Project" EP + announces full length

Austin based rock trio Megafauna offer an interesting melange of rock'n'roll (drums, guitar solos), pop (Dani Nelf's beautiful melodies and voice, at times reminiscent of Bjork) and psych rock (production and overall musical approach). It must be ssaid that Dani - originally from Brooklyn - also plays guitar with impressive dexterity. The band is prepping their full-length follow up to their 2010 debut album "Larger Than Human." and in the meantime they are releasing a digital 3 track "Love Project" EP (streaming below), which sounds very promising indeed, showcasing the diverse range of styles and influences that drive the band's sound. Don't miss these guys live!

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Can't Stop Won't Stop

There’s something to be said about making resolutions and sticking to them. The former is common, the latter is rare. Autry Fulbright is a guy who has put himself in the latter category. He’s one of the most ambitious, energetic guys I’ve ever met. His “day job” is playing bass for death jam band  ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. He fills the rest of his time (and then some) with a handful of side projects both in Austin and in New York. Why stop at music? The guy is even co-directing and scoring a film about beat generation writers portrayed as modern day demons in Brooklyn. And I promise, he’s just one guy with one head, two arms, and two legs. His ambition knows no bounds. Read the full article.


Caught at Austin's Pachanga Fest: Forro in The Dark, Outernational, David Garza, Girl in a Coma

This past weekend, Austin, TX’s Fiesta Gardens hosted the fifth annual Pachanga Fest on May 11 and 12, a celebration of Latin art and culture’s influence in America. Numerous genres were represented on the three stages, from rock, tejano, mariachi, cumbia, salsa, electronic, funk, hip hop, to indie, and although the origins or the artists were just as varied, all attendees were united by the appreciation of the vibrant and eclectic art. Day one started at sundown, and Peligrosa, Austin’s DJ troupe, entertained between Houston’s Chingo Bling, New York’s Outernational , and Puerto Rico’s Calle 13, a collaborator on Outernational’s latest, “Todos Somo Ilegales.” The second day began with Mexican alternative quintet, Umano Ache from Laredo, TX, followed by a second Outernational appearance. Half-New York-based, half Brazil- based, flautist-led Forro in the Dark, and acclaimed Chilean rapper, Ana Tijoux, followed suit on the Hierba Stage. Just across the park, pop singer/songwriter out of Austin, David Garza serenaded, and funky and psychedelic Brownout played the main Pavilion stage along with LA’s all girl, rock trio, Girl in a Coma. The weekend closed with a set by Latino blues-rock legends, Los Lonely Boys. Pachanga Fest was a sunny and inspiring weekend, full of sounds that any music enthusiast should check out in the future. - Meijin Bruttomesso



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Boundless ambition

There’s something to be said about making resolutions and sticking to them. The former is common, the latter is rare. Autry Fulbright is a guy who has put himself in the latter category. He’s one of the most ambitious, energetic guys I’ve ever met. His “day job” is playing bass for death jam band  ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. He fills the rest of his time (and then some) with a handful of side projects both in Austin and in New York. Why stop at music? The guy is even co-directing and scoring a film about beat generation writers portrayed as modern day demons in Brooklyn. And I promise, he’s just one guy with one head, two arms, and two legs. His ambition knows no bounds.

About a month ago, Autry caught my attention by publicly challenging himself to write a song a day, every day for six weeks. “It’d be remarkable if he actually did it,” I thought. That’s a lot of material in relatively not a lot of time. So I checked in with Autry after a month to see how everything was coming along--and, to see if he was really even serious about the whole thing. Turns out, not only was he serious about it, but he’s come up with more material than his original challenge called for and he’s extended the deadline to: forever, really. What motivates him to be so productive? What will happen to all of the songs he’s writing? How does he do it? Intrigued, inspired, and quite curious about it all, I met up with Autry to talk about all the things he’s been up to lately.

Pushing it real good

Sunday night and whiskeys in hand, Autry tells me that “six weeks” was just a number, a place to start. Really, he just wants to keep writing--to not stop and always keep that creative engine pumping. Like anything else, relentless practice keeps you sharp at your craft. With an engine like Autry’s, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight of side projects, one-off projects, and a slew of other new exciting things.

Midnight Masses, a New York-based “gospel gothic soul” outfit with a fluctuating cast of characters is possibly Autry’s longest-standing side project. Some of the songs that have come out of his recent push for constant creation will likely end up on Midnight Masses’ forthcoming LP. It will be their first recording since they released a great 4-song EP called Rapture Ready, I Gazed At The Body in 2009 and it will be their first full-length album.

Other songs that Autry is firing out like shotgun shells will land in Haunted Hauses, an under-the-radar psych pop group that like some supernova semi-supergroup, may build up steam, release one bright, shiny album at the end of the summer, and disband as Autry seemed to hint at when he referred to the group as a “one-off” project.

Much of the recent material will show up in some fashion on the next Trail of Dead record which is being recorded right now in Germany. And some will undoubtedly end up in projects or bands or art exhibits that haven’t yet been conceptualized. For Autry, limitations, redundancy, and love songs seem to be about the only things that he won’t consider.

What else you got?

What is a guy to do when gospel gothic soul, melty death jams, summer fun psych pop, playing music for a living, and touring the world to record albums just isn’t enough anymore? Co-directing and scoring a film about beat generation writers portrayed as modern day demons in Brooklyn, naturally. “The more you write,” Autry discovered, “the more new things you try and are willing to experiment.” The film in progress is to be called “Now Here is Nowhere” and will include some familiar faces from the music world. Jaleel Bunton from TVOTR, for one, will play the lead role. Scoring a film (and directing one, as far as I know) is something brand new for Autry--and that’s part of the appeal. It’s a chance to flex whole new creative and songwriting muscles and “break out of the conventional” means of expression to which he’s grown accustomed. “The time signatures are different,” Autry tells me of taking a more orchestral approach to film scoring, “there are rests and pauses that don’t occur in rock and roll.” He’s working with a classical harpist (Ellena Phillips) and drawing inspiration from groups like A Silver Mt. Zion and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. When the film is finished and ready for its debut, Autry will be able to cut a new “Demon beat poets in Brooklyn / directing / scoring” notch in his belt. What’s more valuable than a sweet-looking, notched-up belt? The process; the experience; putting inspiration into action.

What’s the secret?

There is no secret. Success, fulfillment, and fruitfulness at your craft comes the obvious, old fashioned way. As the age old musicians’ joke goes: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, man, practice. Perhaps one tip we can heed from Autry’s example is that along with the ‘constant doing’ part of pursuing one’s passion is to be fearless in trying new ways of doing it. We see constant change in many of the great artists of our time: Dylan, Prince, Thom Yorke--reinvention, embracing unchartered terrain. Trying electric. Trying electronic. Trying to create art as a nameless person. Doing the exact same thing over and over again is like “splitting the atoms of creativity,” Autry says, and there’s great truth in that. Couple that with a mantra of “no excuses” like Autry has--writing every day regardless of what the day brings--and the rest of life’s desirables haven’t any choice but to fall in line. “It doesn’t have to be perfect or involved,” he says about his everyday writing. Ever-expansive access to technology is also a huge help in capturing ideas. “The iPad, for example...can allow you to record on the spot.” Maybe it’s a song fragment, or just an idea; maybe it’s the whole thing. The tools and inspiration are everywhere. Just keep creating. Don’t stop. No excuses.

-Erin O'Keefe