The Austin Chronicle

Off the Record

music news

By Austin Powell, July 25, 2008, Music

OK Computer

Until there's a microchip hardwired into each of us that instantly gratifies our every musical whim, local acts are encouraged to upload one or more original MP3s to the Chronicle's Musicians Register ( Doing so will generate a music player each time the act's name appears on our site, allowing the songs to be streamed or downloaded. Oh, the wonders of technology.

Let's Talk About it

What's the latest fashion craze to sweep the UK? White Denim. The local psych-pop juggernaut recently returned from a monthlong jaunt in support of the European release of its debut LP, Workout Holiday (Full Time Hobby), which comprises the group's Let's Talk About It vinyl EP plus eight new tracks. The trio recorded a few BBC Radio sessions and also taped an episode for producer Nigel Godrich's From the Basement series, while garnering critical praise from the likes of The Guardian, NME, and MOJO magazine, which deemed the band one of the "10 Acts You Need to Hear Right Now." "The Glastonbury Festival was definitely the pinnacle," relays bassist Steve Terebecki. "There were 173,000 people there. It was its own civilization." White Denim now gears up for the release of its U.S. full-length, Exposion, which teams seven new tracks from Workout Holiday with four previously unreleased tunes.

Harder, Faster, Stronger

For those that only know Jimmy Welsh and Cory Kilduff from the screaming electro-thrash of the Rise (see "The Goose & the Gander," Jan. 21, 2005), Kilduff describes the sound of their joint venture Ocelot as "what disco turned into" and, for those more versed in the realm of electronic music, "dirty house." "There's a good chance the synths are going to have some distortion on them, and the kicks are going to be really loud and heavy," Kilduff adds. "We end up playing more rock clubs than dance venues." For the past three years, Kilduff and Welsh, who now resides in Leeds, England, have constructed certified bangers and remixes piecemeal through countless iChat sessions, occasionally getting together for live shows on both sides of the Atlantic. In order to sign to the renowned Wall of Sound Records (Mogwai, Röyksopp, Soulwax), however, Kilduff has to ship out permanently to the UK. "Most of the labels over there just aren't interested in America when it comes to dance music," says Kilduff, who bids farewell on Saturday with a solo set at the Black & Tan Seventh Street Lounge. "They would only work with us if we were both living over there, which has really always been the goal." Ocelot's impending debut LP, which will be released stateside through IHeartComix, is tentatively titled Radio Fantasy and features guest vocalists Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy and the Nation of Ulysses' Ian Svenonious. "We've got Clarke [Wilson] from Those Peabodys reprising one of his famous lines – 'Why is the party always at my house' – over a house track," Kilduff concludes. "That's our way to nod back to Austin and what we grew up with."

Boy in da Corner

"We've got a fucking legend in the building tonight," Dizzee Rascal of East London announced 15 minutes into his stunning set at Emo's on Monday. Thankfully, he wasn't referring only to himself, as Bun B heeded his call with a riveting rendition of "Where's da G's." For the remainder of the hour, Texas' King of the Trill seemed more than pleased to take a back seat to the unabashedly international affair, posting up against the stage-right pole and offering occasional gestures of approval while Dizzee worked the sparse crowd like an aerobics instructor with the hyper, syllabic grime of "Sirens" and current UK chart-topper "Dance Wiv Me." "I know I've got a thick accent, and you probably can't understand a word I'm sayin'," the former Mercury Prize winner prefaced "Jus' a Rascal." "But before I leave here, you're going to know my fucking name." There was no forgetting it.

Bringing it all Back Home

There's nothing like a chanteuse with a guitar to lure stragglers to the Lone Star State. Eclectic local songstress Suzanna Choffel leaves this week for a trek through the Midwest as part of Texas on Tour, a state-funded, mobile marketing exhibit that promotes tourism to the area through activities like virtual kayaking. "I'm really excited to just get out on the road and expose my music to people that probably wouldn't hear it otherwise," says Choffel of the campaign, which is distributing 100,000 copies of a tour sampler that features Trish Murphy and Will Sexton, among others. "I'm looking forward to eating a lot of funnel cake and corn dogs, too."

Random Play

• Catch Dan Dyer live while you still can (Saturday and Tuesday at the Continental Club, Wednesday at Momo's). The local soul-man, whose self-titled new album lands outside of city limits on Aug. 26, is now being booked nationally by industry heavyweights ICM.

• South Austin is losing two eccentric music hubs with last week's closure of Austin Enchanted Forest, due to a lack of various permits and sound violations (see "Naked City"), and the August closing of South First's nonprofit gallery the Opera House. More on the former next week.

• Despite issuing two of this year's best local albums, Horse + Donkey is going on indefinite hiatus. "I'm still writing songs on a four-track, but I'm hoping to concentrate more on visual art and stop going to bars every night," confides singer/guitarist Jaime Zuverza, who moved to Chicago earlier this month. Bassist Oliver Valdez and drummer Luis Martinez will continue working together locally in some capacity, and both are joining Zuverza this weekend to back Bill Callahan at the Calgary Folk Music Festival in Canada.

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