I Remember Halloween!

The season of the witch is upon us! Devil’s night offers up no shortage of options when it comes to creating a soundtrack for tricking, treating, and pumpkin carving. From the “Monster Mash” to “Thriller” to pretty much anything by The Cramps, hymns of horror abound. I like to kick off my Samhain celebration with the Elvis via Vincent Price sounds of “Halloween” from the Misfits.

What’s your favorite jack-o’-Lantern jam?

Simple Circuit. Boarded Up Houses.

Simple Circuit live up to their name by bashing out no-frills garage rock that electrifies the Austin bar band scene. Recent 7-inch, “Boarded Up Houses b/w “Moon Druggies,” out now from Super Secret Records, mediates a late-night, ice chest-emptying conversation between The Clean and the Buzzcocks with distortion driven precision.

Grab a copy from the label here. Or call up the folks at Trailer Space and talk them in to sending you one.

Check out some rock and roll, Simple Circuit style, here.

Buffalo Springfield–Again!

photo: tim mosenfelder/getty

Back in May, at the end of my review of the latest and greatest from Phosphorescent, Here’s To Taking It Easy, I dubbed the album my likely candidate for album of the year–short of a Buffalo Springfield reunion. Well, it looks like ol’ Neil’s been readin’ los grillos again, and, unwilling to cede the coveted top spot on my year end list to Houck and his travelling band, Shakey got the band back together. Sharing the stage together for the first time since 1968, the remaining members of Buffalo Springfield–Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young–reunited at Neil Young’s annual Bridge School Benefit concert for a set filled with classics and obscurities. (Rick Rosas subbed on bass for the late Bruce Palmer, and drummer Joe Vitale manned the drum kit for Dewey Martin, who passed away last year.)

Sure, a one-off reunion gig for a worthy cause does not a new, year-end-list-topping album make, but the year ain’t over yet. So watch your back, Phosphorescent.

Here’s a couple of videos from the performance…

For some more performance highlights, check out Stereogum here.

Wild America. The Sea.

Listening to The Sea, the debut 7″ ep from Austin rockers Wild America, it’s easy to hear why Matador Records co-founder and Austin resident, Gerard Cosloy, hand picked the band for inclusion on Matador’s recent regional survey of what’s happening in Austin music, Casual Victim Pile. Wild America’s brand of straight up pop/punk with a bar-band chaser rounds out the current Austin garage/punk scene, circa now, with big guitars and tight melodies.  The band’s earnest delivery via overdriven amps recalls eighties underground legends Husker Du and The Replacements, and, in doing so, hearkens back to such garage/punk greats born from Austin’s own eighties underground such as the Wannabes and Doctors’ Mob.

The Sea is out now on Freedom School Records. Grab it there, or call the fine folks at Trailer Space, Austin’s haven of good times and great music–maybe you can talk Spot into mailing you a copy. And while you’re at it, you might as well add a copy of Casual Victim Pile to the order.

Here’s Wild America rockin’ the Casual Victim Pile selection, “Drink it Dry,” live…

Riley. Grandma’s Roadhouse.

Grandma’s Roadhouse, a true treasure from the lost and found that has been saved from the dustbin of history by archivist Mark Linn and released by his Delmore Recordings label, lives up to its (awesome) title by serving up a round of smooth, soulful americana with a country rockin’ bite. Riley was a one-off project that came together in 1971 when bar band rocker Riley Watkins hooked up with future King of the Honky-Tonks, Gary Stewart, and recorded some songs at Bradley’s Barn–legendary Nashville producer Owen Bradley’s iconic studio. At times recalling the easy groove of the The Band and at others embracing vocal harmonies that soar with The Byrds, this album will sit on the shelf comfortably next to albums by Riley’s contemporaries who so clearly influenced its creation. And more than a couple of tracks will complement any mix tape that features songs by chicken shack era Link Wray or Gram Parsons and his Flying Burrito Brothers. Grab yourself a copy and impress some Sweetheart of the Rodeo with your mad, country-rock, crate diggin’ skills!

Learn more about the album’s origins and recent unearthing here.

Riley “Field of Green”

Riley “Drinkin’ Them Squeezins”

Thanks to the folks at The Rising Storm for the heads up on this sweet release.