The Postelles hit the Parish 10/30



Sometimes, there’s nothing to do but dance. Whether it’s in my bedroom while I make the bed, or on the street with a guy dressed as a pirate and another one dressed as a banana*, I find that this is practically my life’s mantra. Dancing makes me feel good, puts a smile on my face, and gives me energy to go out and accomplish what I want. Luckily for me, there are bands like the Postelles, who craft solid, sweet and peppy pop tunes just begging you to shake your hips to.

I’m only just getting familiar with the Postelles, but these four snappy dressers from New York City make music with a quick beat and soaring guitars. If you’re a fan of Two Door Cinema Club, this band would fit in perfectly on a split 7″ with them. They’re from Manhattan, so they chalk up their sound to influences like the Ramones and Television. They lean a lot more pop than punk, though, like if Hanson and We Are Scientists had a kid brother who idolized them both.

The Postelles put out their debut album this year, and have been touring around the world ever since in support of it. Now they’re bringing their sound to Austin, playing a gig with the Wombats guaranteed to make you sweat. Sunday is the day before Halloween, so dress up as your alter-ego and lose your inhibitions with the Postelles.

*When I met Zack over a year ago at the end of the Austin City Limits Festival, I offered him a ride to his apartment. As we were walking to my car, there was a spontaneous dance party going on at the corner of a sidewalk, with a guy dressed in a banana suit that I’d see around the festival grounds all weekend, and his buddy in a pirate costume. I was in the middle of saying something to Zack, but I stopped without finishing my sentence and made a “dance face” I inherited from my mom, and grooved a bit before continuing on. What can I say? I’m a dancing fiend.

Snot rockets & spit with Deer Tick



A Deer Tick live show is not for the squeamish. Even though the band hit the stage dressed to the nines in gray suits and coifed locks Tuesday night in Austin, by the end of their set, we’d seen all manner of sweat, snot and saliva exchanged. This didn’t deter the raucous Emo’s East crowd at all — if anything, it only seemed to spur them on into a wilder frenzy, hooting, hollering and crying every word at the top of their lungs. It felt like an authentic, gritty rock ‘n’ roll show, which is what I’ve come to expect from Deer Tick.

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The Drums Hit the Parish



The Drums are magic. I don’t really have any other explanation for it. They appeal to the hip, apathetic modern youth population, and yet they take all of this group’s self-consciousness and crossed arms, and turn them into dancing maniacs. They seem to have tapped into the same feeling that The Beatles did with their upbeat, breezy pop tunes — and no, I’m not comparing the Drums to The Beatles. I think it’s arguable that we’ll never see another Beatles (see:  digression on niche culture, fractured interests). But they do write songs that play into an old-school vibe that owes some of its sound to the late 50s and early 60s, and they definitely have stage magic. I witnessed it with my own eyes Sunday night at the Parish in Austin, Texas.

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Save the bug spray – Deer Tick hits Emo’s East 10/25



As a self-diagnosed music nerd, I tend to make mix tapes for people a lot of the time. If it’s a birthday, holiday, anniversary or initial meeting, I will probably slap a mix onto the occasion. From the fall of 2009 onward, I discovered this funny habit of mine where I’d sneak Deer Tick’s “Ashamed” into mixes for everyone. In fact, I think I ended up accidentally putting it on my boyfriend Zack’s first three mixes that I created for him. There was something about its sweet simplicity and raw emotion that got me every time, and it was just this little sigh of a song — over as quickly as it began. It always put me in the mood for crunchy leaves and fuzzy sweaters.

Especially after seeing the wild and raucous boys of Deer Tick tear it up in Brooklyn, I couldn’t get enough. While I was living in New York in summer ’09, I would listen to tunes that had enough country twang in ‘em to take me back home to Texas. Deer Tick had all the piss and vinegar I was looking for, and since my first experience seeing them live also included lead singer John McCauley proposing to his girlfriend, Nikki Darlin, with a toe ring, they endeared themselves to me eternally.

The band’s first album, War Elephant, had subtle folk elements to it, where Born On Flag Day was far more rock ‘n’ roll, and The Black Dirt Sessions returned to classic pop-rock melodies. The band’s latest release, Divine Providence, is being touted as a rock record that encapsulates the meaty, real feeling of a Deer Tick live show — sounds like a perfect set of songs for an Emo’s gig to me.

Whenever you catch the band live, there’s a great balance between heavy rockers and upbeat, fun-loving jams, and McCauley’s personality is made for the stage.I have yet to attend a show at the newly opened Emo’s East, but I can’t think of a better christening than a performance by the grungy Deer Tick boys. If you’re in the mood for fall, Deer Tick will take you into the season, hollering and crooning all the way.

Doors for this show are 9:00PM, with Dead People and Virgin Forest opening.

UTOPiAfest – Name Says It All



After the Austin City Limits Festival this year, I had a discussion with my mom about the changing vibe of that weekend. I was happy that there were bigger artists coming through Austin to perform, and still had a blast, but from my first year in 2005, a lot felt different about the festival. My mom said that it seemed to her that the weekend was becoming less rock “n” roll, and more corporate. This has been a commonplace complaint for ACL purists who remember its first year, but now I”m starting to agree. It felt as though there was a void for a truly family-friendly, laid back, welcoming and positive festival for Texans, not to mention a lack of camping festivals. Enter UTOPiAfest.

Out in the middle of a ranch in Utopia, Texas, this festival felt right from the word “Go.” When Zack and I drove up, we parked our chassis in a dirt-and-rock parking lot and walked up the dusty road toward what felt like an oasis. Beautiful green rolling hills surrounded a camp of teepees, tents and trailers as children ran around all over the place, and their parents relaxed in the shade.  Zack and I, as members of the press, were treated more kindly than I ever have been — we were fed and given an endless amount of water, coke and beer (pick your poison), and even if we hadn”t been, everyone was so friendly on the campgrounds that they probably would have taken care of us, anyway. Although we were very sad not to have been able to camp at the festival overnight (curse you, adulthood and jobs!) we decided we wanted to really make a day of it Saturday, and see as much as possible before the three hour drive back home so Zack could work at 6:00AM.

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