St. Vincent Loves PB&Js and Billy Ray Cyrus Loves Jonathan Tyler.
How do you feel about artists releasing advanced streams of their albums in their entirety weeks before the official release? Sure, it's cool not to have to wait quite as long to hear albums you've been really anticipating, but doesn't it kind of take the steam out of the album's actual release day, doesn't it?
For example: Does the fact that we've been streaming St. Vincent's new self-titled LP on repeat for a week now make today's official release feel pretty anti-climactic? I'd say yes.
And that's kind of a shame, too. After repeated spins, we're still sticking with our knee-jerk assessment that the Dallas-native has got an early album of the year candidate on her hands. But, now that simply releasing albums on their actual release days isn't enough to garner appropriate levels of excitement, artists these days are having to find other ways to generate some last-minute buzz. In the case of St. Vincent, this bump meant the artists participating in an Ask Me Anything session yesterday on Reddit. Unfortunately, this too proved more than anti-climactic.
So what did we learn from St. Vincent's AMA? She loves Swans, Death Grips, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Dr. Dre's The Chronic, Janelle Monae and The Beatles song “Happiness is a Warm Gun.”
On the other hand, there was, in fact, lots of other local music news this week actually worth getting excited over. For instance? There's this new collaborative EP project from Austin's Borrisokane, which features new songs from a pair of North Texas acts. For the aptly named Versus Project the band plans on releasing a six-disc box set that'll also feature tracks from Dallas' Home by Hovercraft, Denton's Pageantry and fellow Texas acts Major Major Major, Knifight, Yum and Young Tongue. Per the band, each disc in the set will feature a new track from the band, as well as one of the featured bands covering a Borrisokane track, Borrisokane covering one of their tracks, and another brand new track from each. Even better? The cover art for all six discs will feature original collages from Home by Hovercraft's Shawn Magil. Currently that project is still in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to fund itself.
On the other hand, this Kickstarter project from San Francisco startup tech company Avegant recently reached its $250,000 goal a full six times over. The reason for the resounding success? Everyone from CNN to CNET has given effusive praise to the company''s innovative, high-end audio-video headphones. Mostly, though, we bring it up as an excuse to post the following video featuring the former Dallas–based Giggle Party guitarist Aaron Eash, who works for Avegant, showing off the product to a more-than-impressed Snoop Dog.
Moving on, there are a number of other locally-tied new releases out today worth mentioning.
Out today on Frenchkiss imprint Mock Records is the blistering debut effort from Fort Worth punks The Longshots. The disc was produced by Jordan “Son of Stan” Richardson, who recently won a Grammy for his work on Ben Harper's last effort. The new Longshots disc can be streamed in full here.
Meanwhile, following recent shout0outs from places like Impose and Earmilk, Denton's Def Rain released its debut full-length today via Pour le Corps. Stream that one and/or order a limited edition cassette version here.
Then there's Dallas ice cream punks Street Arabs. They already made vinyl copies of its new Bruised Fruit LP available at Good Records, way in advance of the disc's expected April release. That one, which was recorded by Mark Ryan and Jeff Burke at their Cool Devices Studio, features much of the same lo-fi ethos and driving rhythms of Ryan and Burke's own Radioactivity and Mind Spiders projects, but with elements of soul and doo-wop sprinkled in for good measure. Go ahead and stream that one here ahead of an official release show set for March 8 at Crown and Harp.
Speaking of new releases: Mystery Skulls offered up a heap of new remixes for his new “Ghost” single, Parallel Play released this behind-the-scenes clip of the band working on their just released sophomore effort, and Sealion passed on word that they'll soon be entering the studio to work on their Hovercraft Records debut with Brit Robisheaux.
Elsewhere: Jonathan Tyler not only released a new solo jam backed by the Texas Gentlemen, but he also recently joined Shooter Jennings and Billy Ray Cyrus onstage during a rendition of “Achy Breaky Heart” in Los Angeles; Rhett Miller sat down for a lengthy and insightful interview with Salon; the Richardson Wildflower Festival announced that Cheap Trick, Kool & The Gang, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, and a bunch of other has-beens will be heading up its lineup this year; and Parade of Flesh announced the set times for its upcoming Spillover fest here.
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