Violet Crown and Standing Waves

Texas Platter

Phases and Stages
Phases and Stages

Violet Crown

These Are the Days (Herkermer)

Standing Waves

A Short History of Standing Waves Part 1 (Classified)

Reviews of Larry Seaman's recordings often reference his Raul's-era endeavor the Standing Waves, so it's serendipitous that his current band Violet Crown released These Are the Days at the same time as new retrospective A Short History of Standing Waves. These Are the Days is an apt title for Violet Crown's debut, as it gives weight to his quiet, lengthy career. Yet what Days most puts into perspective is the way Seaman's songwriting has grown and is so neatly defined by the collaborative efforts of his bandmates in Violet Crown, notably Frank Kammerdiener's melancholic cello and Cindy Toth's bass. It's pop, yes, but it's pop with bite ("Shadow," "Liar," "The Man Who Would be King," "Nothin' to Say"), much like Seaman played in his youth with Standing Waves ("And I Fall"), which makes the timing of Short History all the more relevant. The Waves were one of the most popular and danceable bands of Austin's Seventies punk scene. Seaman shared songwriting and vocal duties with bassist David Cardwell and guitarist Randy Franklin, but it was Shona Lay on keyboards who lent the band its authentic garage rock sound. It's also a sound that's dated today, though that doesn't diminish Short History. The unseasoned, tentative vocals and loose arrangements are part of the sweetness and charm of these nearly 25-year-old recordings. The band had a respectable output for its time (three vinyl EPs), most of which appear on this collection ("No Judy," "Integrating Circuits," "Vertigo"), and are refreshingly pre-techno/pre-synth ("Crash & Burn," "Love Why Not," "Early Warning"). Better yet, just about the time this collection is ready to be filed away, songs like "The One You Love," "Every Step," and "Lifeball" get lodged in your brain and won't leave. (Standing Waves reunite at the Saxon Pub, April 19.)

(Both) ***

The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle