So, I know that your summer sucked Kyle. Mine did too. Let’s face it, it was hot. You pretty much nailed that one down. But let’s look at the bright side of things. Despite spending most of my waking ours in an air conditioned Pontiac Montana with the plushest of leather seats, my lower back sweat was way over the legal limits most days. And while that can only be attributed to the awful heat and it was uncomfortable, my love handles are a little less grippable these days. (My spell checker is giving my angry questionable red squigglies under grippable… Is that a word? Should be.)
The other bright side of things for me anyway, is that the end of the summer means that I’m very, very close to my favorite weekend of the year. I get to go to Austin City Limits Music Festival in a couple of weeks. That means that it’s time to check out who is playing and get to know some new music. There are always bands there that I know nothing about, so it keeps me somewhat current with the kiddies.
So here it goes, the new music that I acquainted myself with this summer.
Fitz and the Tantrums
You’d think that all of the old pop music had already been rehashed. Think again. I don’t know that these guys do anything new per se, but they sound so freakin’ good. They do the old R&B and they do the stuffing right out of it.
Infectious. Not to mention sonically interesting. There are lots of bands now-a-days doing the harmony thing. It’s great. I really do love that it’s being done, but Fleet Foxes can only take me so far. Give me a little dissonance people. What? Yellow Ostrich is already doing that? Thanks Yellow Ostrich.
Mariachi El Bronx
A punk band from the Bronx called themselves “The Bronx.” Then, one day, they decided to try one of their songs out via mariachi style for a radio appearance. Then they decided to keep it up and do a whole album of new mariachi songs. I’ve only listened to live recordings of the band, and it sounds like they are pretty serious about it. So, it could be stupid and gimmicky, or it could be awesome.
I can’t say that this is music that I’d normally be excited about, but there’s something to be said for retracing our steps. By that I mean that when you consider yourself to be a fan of something like rock and roll, film, or any other kind of art, it’s generally rewarding to look to its beginnings. Wanda Jackson dated Elvis when they were on Sun Records together, and still carrys his ring. She’s a walking, breathing, trembly voiced museum of rock and roll. Jack White produced her last record and can be seen on the second video below.
Chris Friemel is a guest writer for Groove Sandwich and a very tall man.