the secret lives of prothros.

September 30, 2010

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter R

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 11:49 am

Here are the R Bands ranked (1-5) on my likeliness of seeing them at ACL. šŸ™‚ Happy Thursday.

Oh and today only you can get 90% off at restaurant.com [applied at checkout], you should get some gift certificates!

Rebelution- This is a group who defines their style as California reggae. Their sound reminds me so much of 311 and Sublime it took me right back to high school. And then I felt old. Reggae is always a great musical festival choice with all the swaying music, island beats and socially-charged lyrics. The crowds will be swaying, eyes closed with arms sprawling all over the place. On a side note: I don’t like when this happens, because the people swaying, eyes-closed are usually smoking and I feel like I’m constantly dodging cigarette burns from that middle-aged hippie lady that is so moved by the music she doesn’t realize she’s saber fighting me with her flaming cancer stick. I sound uptight, maybe I need more reggae in my life.
My Vote: 2

Richard Thompson- I feel like this guy is one of the biggest deals that I’ve never heard of before. He’s gotten a lifetime achievement award from BBC, been named one of the top 20 guitarists of all-time by Rolling Stone and influenced untold numbers of musicians. Maybe that is the disconnect. He is a musician’s musician and I am no musician. He is talented and I know I’m not fully appreciating him. I kind of want to fake like I know him and love him because I think he is the kind of musician that gives you instant street cred. And I like street cred. For when I’m on the street. The truth is though, I just like what I like.
My Vote: 2

Robert Earle Keen- This is another one of those artists that is a quintessential part of college in Texas. Shoot, he even went to A&M. He’s got a nice pure brand of country. Plain, simple, upbeat and fun. I think The Road Goes on Forever is somewhat of an unstated anthem for College Station. I’ve gotten to see him twice before and he’s great live. He’s good at banter and telling stories behind songs. I can’t really decide if I want to see him again. It all depends on who else is in the slot. So we’ll see when I get around to looking at the match ups.
My Vote: 3

Robert Randolph and the Family Band- Robert Randolph is another one that I’ve seen before, but I think I’d be more inclined to see him again. It’s rare that you get to see someone so talented with a pedal steel guitar, or someone playing one in general. There funk/soul/rock was heavily influenced by legend Stevie Ray Vaughan and you can hear it in their attention to technical excellence, amidst their jam sessions. Ā These guys just know how to get an audience moving, which I find especially impressive considering the leader of the band is sitting for the majority of the show. I hadn’t listened to their new stuff yet and its great too, so I may need to head over for a listen.
My Vote: 4

Ruby Jane- This girl is precious. She’s a fifteen year old kid with a sweet southern drawl, and Ā mad strings skills! Her voice is a bit like raspy, country Rosie Thomas. She’s like the girl version of a younger Chris Thile, my favorite bluegrass prodigy. Side note: love Chris Thile. I love watching the video of her because the transitions between her speaking like a typical 15 year old girl and then playing the violin like an accomplished pro. It is quite the juxtaposition. I’m really excited to keep an eye on her and watch her come into her own. Maybe she’ll make an album as amazing and original as Thile’s Deceiver.
My Vote: 3

Run with Bulls- This Nashville trio is definitely able to rock with long, loud guitar riffs and vocals that while commanding, keep a bit of almost soulful smoothness just underneath the surface. Since joining together they’ve kept an open attitude to music, trying to never shoot down any ideas and finding freedom in branching out into whatever genres pull them. In fact, the more I listened the more diversity I found, with the soft, ballad-like Follow the Light. They could definitely be worth a listen, especially if they bring that female vocalist. I like her.
My Vote: 3

Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses- I’m excited about this one. Ryan Bingham is the singer behind CrazyHeart’s The Weary Kind. There has to be a decent bit of pressure involved in singing a song that basically served as a character in and of itself throughout the movie. The song holds its own too. He has a lot of talent as a singer/songwriter and a voice that has quite a bit more maturity and heart than you’d expect from such a young guy, maybe it comes from the years he spent as a bull rider. He’s another one with a nice amount of rasp to his voice. You know how I love that.
My Vote: 4

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ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter Q

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 9:10 am

I have a schedule. I will finish. I’m feeling a bit accomplished. Also, I’m surprised that there were two Q Bands, but here they are ranked by my desire to see them at ACL (1-5).

Q Brothers- This is the biggest enigma of ACL for me so far. Mostly because I’m having trouble finding much of their music. They’re playing at the Austin Kiddie Limits stage, so I was expected some folked-out kids’ tunes or something but I’m just finding rap from them. And not kids’ rap. No singing about brushing teeth or robots. The ACL site said they adapted some Shakespeare for an off-broadway play and have done lots of hip/hop sketch comedy. I’m just confused. Are they a kids’ band? Why are they singing about bourbon? Wrong stage? Eh. Who knows.
My Vote: 1

Qbeta-This group from Sicily blends together their local musical scene with Latin influences and a horn section that waivers a bit between traditional folk style music and a more big band type feel. They sing in Italian, another language I don’t speak fluently. On the slowest of songs it’s so pretty that I don’t even care but it’s harder for me on the quicker songs. It loses some of its beauty which I can’t combat by having a clue what they’re singing about.
My Vote: 2

September 29, 2010

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter P

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 5:26 pm

I’ve had the slightest bit of bitterness toward the letter P ever since its top-heavy awkwardness made my wedding cake adornment look off center but I think I’ve come to a place of peace with the P, maybe even a place of love. So it’s a good time to review the P bands based on my likeliness of of seeing them at ACL (1-5).

Pat Green- Funny thing. Pat Green is actually playing in my living room as I sit down to write this. Evan and some guys from work are hanging out in the backyard and there is a Texas Country Pandora station going. I think it’s hard to make it through college in Texas without growing a soft spot for Pat Green. His music ends up being the unintentional soundtrack for so many happy memories. He does has a good ol’ country voice and rhythm guitar and I don’t think I’d regret seeing him.
My Vote: 3

Pete Yorn- I love Pete Yorn. His musicforthemorningafter album is one of my favorites. I enjoy the entire record. His voice is contemplative, wistful and a little raspy. The right amount of raspy-ness in a voice is one of my favorite qualities. I had mixed feelings about his latest album with Scarlett Johansson but I just really enjoy him. He is a staple on my night driving playlist (a very high compliment).
My Vote: 5

Phish-I totally forgot Phish was going to be at ACL, which is odd because they’re headlining. I don’t gravitate toward Phish and I think it’s because their fans are so loyal and so enthusiastic that I feel a bit like a cheat just going to giveĀ them a casual listen. I know they’re iconic. They’re talented. Heck, they have a Ben and Jerry’s flavor all their own. I just missed the train. Of course, there’s no better time to jump on the train than a live show, since they’re a jam-band capable of rivaling the Grateful Dead.
My Vote:4

Ponderosa- This is a band of delicious old Southern rock. If I had to guess, they’d be drinking whiskey while they performed. I like their southern lap steel, banjo sound. They’re not an all new sound but they’re a good sound, it’s hard to go too wrong with influences like The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. I think a lot of these bands with earlier time slots will be really great discoveries.
My Vote: 4

Portugal. The Man-I guess this trio would fall into the category of experimental or progressive rock. They’ve been compared to Pink Floyd but I’m not sure I see it. They mix in falsetto and spacey synth sounds beautifully with their smooth swaying vocals. Two bonus point issues: they encourage people to download their music for free but you wouldn’t want to because their cd jackets are beautiful works of art and you’d totally be missing out.
My Vote: 3

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter O

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 4:37 pm

Why not do four letters in one day? I’m behind anyways. Here are the O Bands ranked by my likelihood of going to see them.

Okee Dokee Brothers: Ok dokey, so Okee Dokee Brothers are definitely my favorite of all the Austin Kiddie Limits bands so far. I really want to have at least two boys and they sing about robots. And that’s all a mother could ever want from a band for her boys. In fact, I think I know a few little boys who would enjoy this music in the upcoming years. Will I see them at ACL? No. Will I try really hard to remember that I like them when I have kids? Yes.
My Vote: 1

Ozomatli: This band describes their style as the kind of mix you get from hearing all the different radios through the rolled-down windows on Sunset Boulevard. It’s a mix of Latin and hip hop and funk and rock and salsa. I thought it was a good description. Of more importance is the fact that their concerts often involve full out Conga lines through the crowds, and that’s just fun.
My Vote: 2


ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter N

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 3:30 pm

Welp, no matter how you slice it, I am more than halfway done. M is the halfway point alphabetically and N is the halfway point numerically. So here are the N Bands ranked 1-5 on my likelihood of going to see them at ACL.

NINJASONIK-This Brooklyn-based trio definitely elevate rap to another realm, mixing in anything and everything they feel like. Their lyrics are quick, smart and well paced and intermixed with lot of f* bombs. Call me what you will but I just think it’s harder to enjoy music when cussing is such a big component. They did do a cover of Daylight by my beloved Matt & Kim though, so bonus points for that.
My Vote: 1

Norah Jones-I always thought Norah Jones was from Austin and wished I had been here to see her before she became famous. Well, turns out that dream was misplaced because she actually grew her Texas musical roots in Grapevine and then later at UNT. I love her though, that hauntingly beautiful voice full of soul. Her iTunes playlist is always one of my favorites for romantic dinner background music. I’ve seen her once before and her concerts are definitely just about the music, which she can pull off.
My Vote: 4 (since I’ve seen her before)

Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich and Fussible-Nortec is not only their name but also their style, a combination of tradition Northern Mexican music and techno. There sound is definitely something quite original and again, I think if I spoke Spanish more fluently I’d be much more inclined to jump on board. Maybe instead though I’ll again be inspired to watch a soccer highlight reel.
My Vote: 1

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter M

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 11:50 am

My goal is to knock a few letter out today so that I can catch up. Then get this behind us all and enjoy the mess out of ACL next week.

As always, bands are ranked by my likliness of seeing them at ACL.

On a side note, I’m trying not to look at the schedule in advance and compare bands until the end. I think it keeps things pure.

M.I.A.-As with most R&B artists, I really love some of her songs and then others just seem like fillers between the hit songs. The songs I like I really like, the beats combined with her British accent and the Indian influence is just like little else. I adored the sounds and imagery of Slumdog Millionaire and I know some of her songs were a big part of that. Ultimately, I’d love to get to sneak over for a few good songs but I’m a bit worried because I read a comment about her not being great in concert and after some research it seems to be a popular opinion.
My Vote: 2

Manchester Orchestra: I’ve been enjoying listening to Manchester Orchestra. I haven’t heard much from them but everything I’ve heard is good. Their songs are clean and tight, as opposed to some other indie rock groups where I feel like things blow up into a minor chaos every time they hit the lyrics and guitars harder. Ā I don’t know much about producing. Or anything for that matter but I’m sure that could also be the mark of good production rather than a good band. I certainly think they could be worth a listen though.
My Vote: 3

Martin Sexton: Martin has a smooth, versatile voice with lots of meat to it. He’s got vocal range and beautiful falsetto backed up by good ol’ finger pickin’ guitar, and I have a special kind of love for that. Oh, and did I mention he beatboxes? That is another one of my soft spots. I’m a sucker for a really great beat boxer. Really the more I listen to him, the more impressed I am and he’s purported to be even better in concert. Bands that are better live than recorded? Another soft spot. That is a trifecta.
My Vote: 3.5

Matt and Kim: Yes! Yes! Yes! Ever since my lovely Lyndsey Hefer sent me a surprise mix cd in the mail including a few of their tracks, I have been obsessed. I’ve even determined a newly coined genre all my own to categorize Matt and Kim and it is clap rock. You may have experienced clap rock before, perhaps from Ben Lee. It’s generally very upbeat, with simple beats, simple music and it will give you the uncontrollable urge to clap (even though it wouldn’t sound right with the song at all!) and dance in a circle with a smile on your face. And I will.
My Vote: 5

Maxim Ludwig and the Santa Fe Seven: I had to look harderĀ for his music that for most of the other bands but I wasn’t disappointed. He sounds like a folk singer that lives in a little country town. He’s not country per se but the sounds surrounding him are and his voice is standing up in opposition. This isn’t true because I’m pretty sure he’s from California but it’s the imagery I get. I have a strong feeling that I will be pleasantly surprised. If not, I’ll go get a chicken cone. It’s a win-win really.
My Vote: 4

Mayer Hawthorne and the Country: I first heard Mayer a few days ago when Wes gave me the assignment to listen to Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out and then look at a picture of him to see how it compared to my mental perception. Pretty funny really. I also decided that he kind of looks like Dwight. Neither hear nor there though. He has a 70’s soul vibe to him, with a good back-up horn section and beats a la peppy keyboards. Oh and he makes heart shaped vinyls.
My Vote: 4 (bumped from a 3 on Wes’s recommendation)

Midlake: Should I have heard of them already? They’re from UNT, right here in Texas. They were jazz students there. I didn’t know that was even a thing. They’ve got a lot of musical prowess. I’m probably paying extra attention because I know they’re music students but their mix of instruments and sounds is astute, which I’d guess is tricky when mixing delicate synths with the occasional 80’s style guitar jams.
My Vote: 3

Miike Snow: This band is made up of people with lots of experience producing hits for other people. So they definitely know what’s involved in making hit songs. It’s refreshing to see that making hits isn’t their main goal, it’s more about making music they enjoy. All that to say, it’s a far cry from Britney’s Toxic, it’s much more toned down and esoteric, appealing to an entirely different audience.
My Vote: 4

Monsters of Folk: This is a combo of members from indie bands that had all already made successful names for themselves: Bright Eyes, She and Him and My Morning Jacket. I like them but I’m having a hard time because any time I hear one of them singing I start wanting their old band. That’s my bad. I don’t love change. As I listen I can tell they’re great, and that I would love them if I’d heard them first. I just need some time.
My Vote: 3

Muse: Oh.dear.sweet.goodness. This may be the one I am the most excited about. I am a lover of variety and new things so it’s odd that I’d be most excited about a band I had already seen but it was the best concert I think I’ve ever seen. They’re amazing in general and only better live. I was in utter awe of Matthew Bellamy and his Kaoss pad. Awe. They are the one band that always make me run faster the second their tracks hit my ears. I find this to be their most impressive accomplishment of all.
My Vote: 5

MyNameisJohnMichael: I tried to look for them on wikipedia since I hadn’t heard of them before and wiki said their page was deleted in 2008 due to lack of “importance or significance”. Ouch. Well I guess this New Orleans band is showing wiki what’s up, booking gigs at Lollapalooza and ACL. His band started based on a resolution to himself to write and record a new song every week for a year. Reminds me of someone else I know who starts big projects for no real great reason. They’re a little bit of New Orleans style Arcade Fire and apparently were hailed as one of the top 5 bands to see at the CMJ music festival. Take that wikipedia! (Just kidding, I love you.)
My Vote: 4

Okay, the big letters are really getting to me. I think I’ll have an aneurysm when I hit T. Also, I’m not checking for typos. I don’t usually catch them until weeks later anyways.

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter L

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 9:27 am

Here we go again, the L Bands scored on a scale only important to me, my likelihood of seeing them at ACL.

LCD Soundsystem-If you listen to their songs (or watch their music videos!), you can’t help but think they’d be a fun group to see in concert. Talented, eclectic and a bit crazy. Just to clarify, when I say talented, I mean grammy winning. They have three for dance/electronic. Now those aren’t genres I’m generally into but they have a very universal appeal. So it’s a go.
My Vote: 4

Lissie-This folky singer from Rock Island, Illinois has got a voice. And I mean a voice. It’s the kind of voice that you almost have to close your eyes to listen to, so that you can give more priority to your sense of hearing. Her songs are kind of hit or miss for me. I definitely prefer her less countrified songs. All in all, love the voice but just like the music.
My Vote: 3

Local Natives-I like this California quintet. I always get excited about the harmonies that come from bands where so many of the members are capable singers. With their quick and quirky drum beats, and ethereal voices, they’ve got a good sound. I keep wanting their songs to have a bit more energy and I think they will live, since they did pretty well playing at SXSW earlier this year.
My Vote: 4

Lucero-This group from Memphis, Tennessee would fall into to the Country Rock category. Lead singer Ben Nichol’s voice has mood and rasp that hints at a life deeply lived. I remember starting to listen to them in college, and always enjoyed their sound. It’s weird but I’m pretty sure I even saw them in concert before. Have they been at ACL before? I feel like I’m losing my marbles.
My Vote: 3


September 27, 2010

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter K

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 10:18 am

Two weeks to go. Here are the K Bands, ranked by my likelihood of seeing them at ACL. I’m almost halfway to my perfect ACL line-up. Also, this little cold front has made me extra excited for ACL. The thought of spending the day at Zilker without my entire body melting into a giant amorphous blob is so appealing.

Kings Go Forth: This is a large band (in quantity, not size) from Wisconsin, of all places that is united by one thing: a real love for 70’s funk. While it is fresher and much more well-produced than actual 70’s funk, it is incredibly authentic. No “funk with a bit of pop-rock” or “funk with country overtures” here. Just pure authentic 70’s funk produced in the 2000’s. With a full range of horns, strings and vocals and an electric organ it will definitely leave audiences with lots of groove.
My Vote: 3

Kinky: While Kings Go Forth offer that pure funk sound, Kinky only uses funk as part of there sound. This Mexico based band mixes together funk, rock, and dance electronica to create something far different. Oh, and did I mention they’re from Mexico? I did. But did I mention that they sing in Spanish? They do. I only mention that because it significantly impairs my ability to sing along. Singing in Spanish also makes me instantly watch soccer, specifically a highlight reel of Lionel Messi. That is what I am going to do now, with Kinky in the background. Try it.
My Vote: 2

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