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Alt Rock





Pidgeons Playing Ping Pong Mesmerizes Audience at Emos

 

 
Maryland funk jam band, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, blazed the stage with two full sets at Emo's on Friday night with a spectacular light show and performance. Frontman, 'Scrambled' Greg Ormont, was full force in his theatrics and brought increasingly high energy to an eager crowd. 
 
The band kicked off their first set with "Whoopie", enticing the crowd to start grooving along with them. Their call was indeed heeded, and the dancing never stopped. "Julia" from their 2014 album Psychology, was undoubtedly a crowd favorite with it's beachy cabana vibes recalling an adolescent missed opportunity with a girl named Julia. It would be remiss of me not to mention the mesmerizing rainbow of stage lights that transformed the bare concrete inside of Emo's into what I can only imagine psychedelic dreams are made of.
 
The band returned for their second set, and Ormont acknowledged a blow up pickle prop and even performed a short, improvised and amusing song about the pickle. However, the apex of the night came halfway through their second set, when the band transitioned from "Burning Up My Time" into a cover of "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin. A bold move, but the cover was well received by a plethora of cheers and subsequently a mix of hands and cell phones shooting into the air to capture the moment. Jeremy Schon, on lead guitar, bravely ripped out a high energy solo before the band transitioned back into "Burning Up My Time," to the crowd's absolute delight.
 
The cheers for an encore were answered with, "Lowdown" and "Schwanthem." When the set finally concluded and the house lights came on, all eyes were wide and satisfied, adjusting back into reality and perhaps experiencing some light tracer sensations following a gratifying performance of sight and sound in equal parts.
 
-Amy Arnold
 

 





Men I Trust Exudes Sexy, Mellow Vibes at Emos

  

 

Men I Trust, the Canadian dream pop quintet, co-headlined with Turnover at Emos on Wednesday night. Emma Proulx stood center stage on guitar, wearing an oversized taupe trench coat and her blonde hair pulled back in a dutch braid. The rest of the band, all hip men, horseshoed around her. The crowd greets the band with a hardy Texas welcome, and Emma Proulx’s soft sweet canadian accent sounds almost too delicate and beautiful to exist.

 

The band is punctual and well-rehearsed, achieving a neat and clean sound that’s also sexy. Although the band is modestly dressed, their sound is as sensual as it is mellow. Songs like “Show Me How” could be the soundtrack to losing your virginity on prom night. But remember, this is dream pop, so this is dream prom (that isn’t lame) and the dream mood is scarves over lampshades and hot candle wax. The notes fall and linger while her words crawl up the back of your neck, “show me how you care/ tell me how you were loved before/ show me how you smile/ tell me why your hands are cold.”

 

Tunes like, “You Deserve This,” keep the mellow mood smooth and groovy, complemented by the soft disco dance undercurrents of the next song, “Tailwhip.” For this tune, Emma jams with Jessy on bass, their instruments facing each other and the sounds audibly bouncing off one another and throughout the venue. This is the intangible, intimate magic of music because at this point, duh, the audience lost it with hoots, hollers, and yelps. Someone even collapsed at the left side bar - woah, mad whammy skills.

 

As much as I wished they played hits like “Seven” or “Lauren”, I also admire them for not. It leaves me thirsty for more of their music, and it conveys their confidence as a band. They’re not limited to their hits. Their new release from this year, Once Jazz, boasts 24 songs, some new and old rerecorded. All of their music is self-released which gives this dream pop band a punk edge. 

 

- Mel Green

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New Forms debut raucous record "I don't want to live my life again"

Sore vocal cords, odd time signatures, and math-rock sonic corridors that lead to destructive instrumentals are all part of the norm for Chester, New Hampshire's New Forms. The group's latest album, I don’t want to live my life again, is a collection of post-hardcore tunes that are fast and furious. "Fortunato" viciously splits between thunderous noise and intricate electric guitar melodies in true Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde fashion. "Spirals" descends with finesse into moshpit-fueling insanity that is as cathartic as you want it to be. Where tracks like "Ember Twin" embrace the mighty spirit of screamo, other songs like "[Redacted]" surprise with their tough-atmospheric sounds. New Forms embrace the type of crushing sound you are glad to get hit with at home, or inside the pit. Stream "Spirals" below and drop into the post-hardcore madness. - Rene Cobar, photo by Kyle Musser

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Bay Babes: Tricycle Records Releases Compilation Vol. 9

Our friends at Tricycle Records released their 9th compilation album this month featuring a whole lotta women that we dig on. There’s Kendra McKinley, whose “Asleep in Winter” showcases her connective and empathetic lyrics in funky pop with looping pedal work (Performed by Kendra McKinley, recorded and mixed by Scott McDowell at the Henry Miller Memorial Library).

We dig on Micropixie’s “Dark Sight of the Moon,” with its Pink Floyd inspirations and the powerful push against modern day politics on the home front and beyond. It’s electro psych pop dripping with social justice narratives. If you haven't caught it yet, check out her video for "Como Minimo," shot at our beloved Lovejoy's Tea Room in San Francisco. 

Another favorite is Beckylin and Her Druthers with “You Ain’t Woman Enough”…to take my man. Damn straight. A nice and exciting find for any country fans. Beckylin and Her Druthers are bluegrass and twangin’ and powerfully sassy. -Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor





Levitiation: Emma Ruth Rundle Bangs Heavy Folk at Empire

  

 

From one night to the other during Levitation, the scene at Empire tonight feels drastically different but also the same. It’s still dark but dark rock, instead of dark wave dance, as Empire hosts a ticket of Sargent House Presents.

 

Emma Ruth Rundle is the penultimate performance of the indoor stage. The psychedelic grayscale light illustrations blanket over her body and guitar while the autumn breeze blows in feathering her bangs. Her silhouette is reminiscent of a young Stevie Nicks but her sound is uniquely her own. While the other bands of the evening fall on the heavy side of the spectrum, Rundle finds herself between metal and ethereal. Her voice soars from her trachea like a free bird or prey as she plays the goth folk anthem, “Shadows of My Name.”

 

The vibe of the night pivots beneath an undercurrent of rock as the heavy pull of her guitar and the war drum cadence of “Fever Dreams” spellbinds the audience into an amorphous bobbing of heads and knocking of knees. The subsequent song “Darkhorse” from her 2018 album, On Dark Horses, closes the set and seals the venue in a new covenant. With fests every weekend in Austin, one might forget that this is fucking Levitation fest and not just a regular Friday night on 7th street. The covenant of Emma Ruth Rundle makes this evening at Empire a timeless place of memory blessed by the deities of goth folk n roll in which we can return. Levitation isn’t every weekend, but you can still levitate daily and harness the residual energy and adrenaline of the festival.

 

-Mel Green

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