When it comes to the law, I wouldn't think him a purist

Interesting that you like TOD because they don't sound like Austin. I'm a fan of theirs too (particularly their Source Tags and Codes record), but my favorite Austin bands are Spoon, Cotton Mather, Lil Cap'n Travis, Grand Champeen, and Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom. LCT and GC sound like Austin, but in the best possible way; I don't think the others do.

Spoon are the masters of rocking in a minimalist way. They strip down their songs well beyond what most bands would be comfortable with, which makes the little production and arrangement touches much more powerful. There's all kinds of space in their music. For example, The Beast and Dragon Adored -- it builds off that Bonham-style drumming beautifully.

Cotton Mather produced some of the catchiest, rockingest pop music of the '90s. These are pop songs on a par with The Beatles, The Kinks, etc. 1997's Kon-tiki remains their high water mark, but this one (the only MP3 of theirs at hand) is a re-recording of one of their earlier, Squeeze-ier songs.

Grand Champeen rock out in a ferocious Replacements/early Soul-Asylum kind of way, with some of the poppiness of Sloan occasionally leavening things. Lil Cap'n Travis take folks like the Flying Burrito Brothers and late '60s Stones as a launching point, creating psychedelicized country rock music with Bacharach/Spector touches. Only in Austin.

And Twang-Twang Shock-a-Boom -- well, it will take someone more eloquent than me to find les bon mots required to elucidate their manifold charms. Great bass playing, though.

Fill yer boots, folks!

MP3: Spoon -- The Beast And Dragon, Adored.
MP3: Cotton Mather -- Lost My Motto
MP3: Grand Champeen -- That's Never Why
MP3: Lil Cap'n Travis -- Natural Fool
MP3: Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom -- It's No Secret


Blogger sonnet said...

How totally nerd-tastic is it that I'm picking the same favorite Austin bands that Alex chose? I guess it's just proof that his indoctrination of me is complete.

I am a huuuge Spoon fan. I totally dorked out on Britt Daniel at the Arcade Fire show last year and told him that his music made me love rock music.

Lil Cap'n Travis is one of my favorite bands to see live. They are always look like they're having a good time.

And of course I love me some Twang. How can I not?

6:12 PM  

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