Monster Movie, Eau Claire, Hidden Agenda, and Linus Pauling Quartet


Texas Platters

With summer, um, approaching, and the smell of week-old barbecue in the air, weird shit is afoot in these hills. Monster Movie is Christian Savill and Sean Hewson, and their latest disc is Transistor on Chicago's Graveface Records. While they're from Chi-town, Rachel Staggs of Austin's Experimental Aircraft lends her vocals to several of the LP's wispy tunes, from the Radiohead-ish "Left" to the beach-friendly harmonies of "The Family Plot." Elsewhere in the sonic universe, Staggs has created Eau Claire, a duo with Chicago solo artist Jessica Bailiff. Produced by Alan Sparhawk of Low, the self-titled EP on Claire Records is an homage to all things lo-fi. The singers converge on opener "Freefall," with its Farfisa-driven beat, and then "Soaring," a tremolo backbend into Lush's Lovelife. Closer "Song For" simmers and boils for a lovely pop concoction. Austin's Hidden Agenda are back, sort of, with two completely different albums. Music That Hurts is their "best of," from the death metal send-up "Kurt Cobain Is Dead, I Wish It Were You" to the classic "Busload of Nuns." And don't forget "Betty Ford Baby," their (cringe-worthy) ode to hip-hop. Topographic Pictures of the Crimson Lamb's Tears, however, puts down the crank and picks up the dank. The first four songs are, of course, Yes-man outros that dive into the New Age gene pool. "Ne Vomissez Pas Sur Les Petits Gens" stumbles onto John Tesh in a dark alley and shanks him, the last half of the disc freefalling through soft porn soundtracking, Eighties dance, and, for some reason, sounding like Paul Simon's Graceland. The new Demo 2005 EP from Houston's Linus Pauling Quartet delivers more molten psych along the lines of 2000's Ashes in the Bong of God, including a cover of Syd Barrett's "Vegetable Man." Weird shit, indeed.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Spray Paint
Into the Country (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Dec. 13, 2019

Texas Platters
Graham Reynolds
Marfa: A Country & Western Big Band Suite (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Nov. 22, 2019

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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