Beach House – Forever Still
I precisely remember opening Beach House’s newest album Bloom in the back office of the radio station just when it came out. While flipping through the booklet I happened upon an image that I immediately recognized: a star illuminated upon the side of a mountain under the night sky. This star in question is located in the West Texas desert, in my hometown of El Paso. It was then I remembered a friend mentioning that the band had taken residency at Sonic Ranch, a world-class, live-in studio located in the outskirts of the city on an old pecan orchard. Now, upon the release of the short film “Forever Still,” Beach House shows how they captured the landscape of the vast West Texas desert, and how that desert in turn captured them.
WQHS’s Top 10 Albums of 2012
With 2012 drawing to a close, the DJs of WQHS give to you their top ten albums of the year.
Check out the entire list after the jump.
From West Texas No. 5 - WQHS Interview with The Lusitania
In my continuing series covering music in West Texas, my home base for the summer, it was essential for me to introduce some of the outstanding music and musicians that the area is producing. None can embody the spirit of the area, the desert, the people, the heat, like the Lusitania, a raucous alternative rock/country outfit that was formed in 2005 by brothers Michael and Blake Duncan. The band went through a few lineup changes before coming to their current cast of the Duncan brothers, Charles Berry, Adi Kanlic, and the latest member, Will Daugherty. The Lusitania has shared the stage with Deer Tick, Old 97’s, Beck, MGMT, Crystal Antlers, Zech’s Marquise, Tim Kasher (Cursive), As Tall As Lions, and Drag The River in the past. The band released their first full-length studio album Rain and Rivers through Civil Defense League Records in early October 2010 and will follow it up with a new record soon. Keyboardist Adi Kanlic was cool enough to chat with us about the band, touring, and the future.
From West Texas No. 4 – The Royalty Interview
Over the past couple of months, El Paso alt-rockers The Royalty has been gaining steam across the country. Features in New York Times, YouTube’s Vevo, and MTV Buzzworthy have fueled the excitement for this self-described Rock and Soul troupe, and with reason. Singer Nicole Bourdreau’s full and enormous voice pairs wonderfully with the sound the band provides, giving the listener a refreshing take on alternative and pop music which has been popping up on a lot of the TV shows that you probably watch. While finishing up a leg of their recent tour, I caught up with the band on a under the beating West Texas sun.
From West Texas No. 3: Wild Nothing at The Lowbrow Palace, El Paso, TX
There is a wonderful unraveling of the true nature of music in the most unwanted of circumstances. Last week, Wild Nothing was forced to play a show on a slowly dying stage in a small bar in West Texas, to quite the wonderful result. What do I mean by this? Well, as the show went on, parts of the stage would slowly loose power, causing band members to surrender their electronic instruments for shakers and tambourines. After every couple of songs, the band’s sound became more intimate, crowd participation grew, and the novelty of the event seemed more and more welcome.
From West Texas No. 2: Interview with Class Actress
With the hot sun beating down in West Texas, Class Actress braved the heat for a just as hot afternoon performance. After the set, we found some cold drinks and air conditioning and hung out with frontwoman Elizabeth Harper to talk about the group’s standout album Rapprocher, the wonder of Depeche Mode and Madonna, and how to write good dance music.
From West Texas No. 1: Neon Desert Music Festival
Neon Desert Music Festival, run by El Paso, Texas and Austin, Texas based Splendid Sun Productions, is in its second year as West Texas’ major alternative music festival. Like so many others who have followed in the footsteps of major music festivals around the world, organizers have brought the festival experience to El Paso as a way for the budding music community to experience its full potential. The festival included five stages and featured indie, electronic, and Latin artists and with its setting just down the street from the Mexican border in idyllic downtown El Paso. Headliners included Moby, a recently reunited Sparta, and A-Trak as well as Latin groups like Babasonicos, and Mexican Institute of Sound.
Sleigh Bells: Reign of Terror
The crowd screaming in anticipation of Alexis Krauss’ candy pop voice and Derek Miller’s bleeding guitar start off Sleigh Bells’ Reign of Terror. It’s an apt metaphor for the excitement that this band’s new album is generating. Sleigh Bells roared into the blogosphere in late 2009 and became critic darlings with 2010’s Treats, an audial assault that took the entire music industry by storm. After such success, the task thus became creating a consistent yet evolved sound that recaptures the ethos of Sleigh Bells.
WQHS’s Best Albums of 2011
As 2011 comes to a close, the DJs of WQHS give you their top ten albums from this past year.
Check out the entire list after the jump.
[photo via birdswitharms.tumblr.com]