LIVE REVIEW: Shakey Graves in Austin, TX

Alejandro Rose-Garcia, known as Shakey Graves, is my favorite Austin act of the year and possibly my favorite local performer ever. NPR just named him one of, “10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012,” and they couldn't have made a better selection. Aside from breaking hearts with his music, he played “The Swede” on Friday Night Lights a few years back as the heart throb life guard who lured little Julie Taylor away from Matt Saracen. As much as I was obsessed with the Julie/Matt love fest, I can't blame the girl for falling for his big ol' brown eyes and

ALBUM REVIEW: ¡Tré! by Green Day

On December 11, 2012, a month before planned, Green Day released the third installment of their 2012 ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré! album trilogy. Following suit with its sister albums, ¡Tré! is good ol’ pop punk with a touch of clearer, crisper rock-n-roll. Did Green Day need to release a whopping three albums in such a short span of time? I think they could have created one solid compilation with the best of all three, leaving out the numbers that run mindlessly into each other or awkwardly clash with any sort of mood the band was trying to create. ¡Tré! is by far my favorite

ALBUM REVIEW: “Coexist” by the xx

The xx released their second full length album, Coexist in September, adding to their stark, plodding collection. The British group's first album was intricate, with impulsive and full-bodied tracks leaving room for interpretation. Coexist follows suit, but is steadier, and less impactful. Singers Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim mesh well and allow room for imagining the scenes they create with their hopeless lyrics. The phrasing is relatable and almost solely focused on broad relationship pains. The lyrics pulse with desperation as they fall into phrases like, "We used to be closer than this," and "And now there's no hope for you and me." Swept Away is the

REVIEW: Austin City Limits 2012 Day Three

The skies cleared for the last day of ACL 2012 and some of the best acts were saved for last. Alt-J, a British quartet formed back in 2007, performed for the first time at ACL early Sunday to a smaller, but enthusiastic crowd. These guys are blowing up and we predict they'll be back in a few years performing to a huge audience, in a more coveted slot. Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull and solo artist Kevin Devine formed Bad Books and released their first folk and indie influenced collaboration in 2010. We spoke with them this weekend and fell for the bearded boys and

REVIEW: Austin City Limits 2012 Day 2

ACL Day 2 started out slow with festival attendees holding out hope that the muggy weather would clear up. Ironically, once everyone packed into the park, around 5 p.m., the heavy rains crashed in and left us soaked and muddy. In one of those, "you can run, but you can't hide," scenarios, folks flocked under tents and brought out the umbrellas, but after the third downpour, they embraced the storms and sloshed through the mud to the next show. The morning shows kicked off with Caveman, Quiet Company and Civil Twilight. B-Sides spoke with Civil Twilight yesterday and loved how humble the

REVIEW: Austin City Limits 2012 Day One

  Each year ACL brings some of the best acts in the world to our little/big town and what feels like the entire population of Austin takes over Zilker park. What's usually a quaint area to walk your dogs, jog by the lake or toss around a frisbee, turns into one of the most renowned festivals to ever hit the music scene. The park was more packed than we've ever seen it, making talks of a two-weekend fest next year not seem so crazy. Despite the crowds everyone was in high spirits and ready for the best weekend of the year. It's usually

ACL 2012: Fashion Guide

ACL is two days away and B-Sides is gearing up for the fest, scheduling interviews and planning our show schedule.  Even though it was FREEZING this past weekend, the forecast looks warm, if not a little muggy. Thankfully, we can leave the sweaters behind and pull out our favorite summer weather festival clothes one more time before winter really hits. Whether you've had your outfits picked out for weeks or you’re looking for some last minute shopping, we've compiled a few ACL fashion trends along with a list of local shops where you’ll find the perfect pieces for this weekend. 2343

ALBUM REVIEW: Mumford & Sons – Babel

Maybe because it's finally time for scarves and apple cider, but Mumford & Sons' second full-length album, Babel felt like the beginning of a beautiful fall season. Their first release, Sigh No More was a gorgeous compilation and initially put the spotlight on folk, but Babel's feverish swell will flood boundaries and touch the masses. As a literary nerd, I love Marcus Mumford's propensity to weave in references from his favorite books. He shared that literary touches appear throughout the entire album, saying that books help focus his mind. 2261

ALBUM REVIEW: No Doubt- Push and Shove

When I first heard No Doubt was releasing a new album, my first thought was, "Do people still listen to ska?" A whopping 11 years older, the band members are in completely different places in their lives, as are their original fans. Most of the lyrics are dumbed down to a painful, tedious point and I found myself wishing they'd added more depth and detail. In Looking Hot, Gwen Stefani says, "Go ahead and look at me. Cause that's what I want." And continues to repeat, "Cause that's what I want," over and over. We get it Gwen, you want people to

ALBUM REVIEW: Green Day- “¡Uno!”

Green Day was essentially the sound track to my junior high years, so I was pumped to listen to their eighth studio album, “¡Uno!” released September 25, 2012. Main man Billy Joe Armstrong is struggling with personal issues and while his album is a party in itself, the current situation surrounding it feels like the cops showing up a little too early. Stay the Night, Oh Love and Fell for You are strikingly classic Green Day hits and serve as a reminder that no matter how many new-comers join the ranks, they own the punk space. They layer in rock elements and

ALBUM REVIEW: Stars – “The North”

Canadian indie-pop band, Stars release their 6th full-length album, The North on September 4. The 'Theory of Relativity' and 'Backlines' start with a punch and build excitement for the rest of the album with glittering pop beats and uptempo dance choruses, galvanizing fans with an anthem fit for music festivals or indie film soundtracks. 'The North' dives into slower, more thoughtful, traditional Stars, leaning heavily into each phrase and creating a warm descriptive scene wrapped up serenely by Torquil Campbell's soothing voice. Lovely lady, Amy Millan and Campbell tease back and forth throughout most of the songs, especially in 'Do You Want to Die Together'

ALBUM REVIEW: Bloc Party’s ‘Four’

After a long hiatus, British Rock group Bloc Party is releasing Four on August 20. The album hits you in the face with pain-inducing metal clashes and heavy rock riffs. It's a good pain, but it's different than anything the group's ever released before. Not shying away from loud, urgent pulses, the leading track, 'So He Begins to Lie' is full of Russell Lissack's droning chords, pulling influences from their early post-punk days. The band's goal this time around was to introduce themselves as a "live band," showing that they can indeed perform. '3X3' is ferocious and dark, with lead singer Kele

ALBUM REVIEW: Lykke Li, MGMT + More Join Forces on ‘A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac’

I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac in my dad’s truck and songs like “Rhiannon” and “Landslide” were staples in my childhood repertoire, but I never actively chose to listen to the group on my own. This week’s release of 'Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac' bridges the gap between our generation and our parents’. We follow artists like Lykke Li and MGMT and can relate to their style while still learning the lyrics and vibe from one of the most talented groups of all time (at least the 70s). 1926

PREVIEW: San Francisco’s Outside Lands 2012

This year’s festival circuit is full of old classics and a few new favorites and San Francisco’s Outside Lands is bringing the best to Golden Gate Park. Headliners Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young & Crazy Horse are obvious must-see acts and Foo Fighters, Beck and Jack White speak for themselves, but a few other stand-out performers deserve a little love. We could give a list of 30 bands that you "have to see" and we know that planning your festival schedule is always a tricky feat, but B-Sides wishes you the best of luck and we hope this gives you a

ALBUM REVIEW: Gossamer by Passion Pit

Cambridge boys and electro-pop group Passion Pit released their second full-length studio album, Gossamer, on July 24, 2012. After 2010’s Manners, I was jonesing for some new Passion Pit and the album brought me the electronic waves and falsetto glory I was craving. In true Passion Pit fashion, it rocks with synthesizers and dance beats, but there’s more behind the troubled lyrics this time around. The sound envelops you into its tumultuous world with shiny string instrumentals, peppy drums and clear melodies, showing that Passion Pit is king when it comes to our generation’s 80s-inspired obsession. Released back in May, “Take a

ALBUM REVIEW: Frank Ocean- Channel Orange

At a mere 24-years-old, Frank Ocean is one of the most talented and courageous R&B artists we’ve seen in years. His announcement last week that his new album, “Channel Orange,” offers a peek into his sexuality, received fairly positive remarks, with Beyoncé  even publicly sharing her support. 1595

Happy 4th! Today’s Greats in American Music

Whether our parents forced them on us or we discovered them on our own, we’ve all listened to American classics like Elvis, Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan. But what about today’s American greats? Who are the young talents coming up in the ranks to fill our jukeboxes and steal our hearts? Despite an alarming number of Canadian musicians, we’re graced with an ever-growing list of talented American artists. Below are the top five picks from the B-Sides’ team this 4th of July. 1455

Warped Tour Bands for 21+

Warped Tour is a pop-punk, teenage bonanza, attracting kids from far and wide to sweat profusely, dance on top of each other and discover new music. But what about the oldies? The 21+ crowd that still has spunk and might want to mosh occasionally, but needs a break from teen overload? We can appreciate bands like New Found Glory because they’ve been around for years and their albums got us through the tough times, namely all of junior high, but are there any new bands out there for us? Even though we’re old and grey (or in our mid-twenties) we can still

The Top Five Hottest Dads in Rock

  Being a dad is hard enough without worrying about tours, band mates and all the other pesky responsibilities that come with being a rock star. With Father’s Day this Sunday, let’s take a moment to celebrate some of the hottest dads in rock. 1177

ALBUM REVIEW: Synthetica by Metric

Toronto-based electro-rock group Metric’s 5th album, Synthetica, released on June 12, 2012 in the U.S. and Canada, came as a much needed methodical escape after over three years since their last album, Fantasies. Metric teased with the single released in early May, “Youth Without Youth,” giving fans and the B-Sides staff something to impatiently look forward to. Succinct beats paired with the dismal lyrics we’ve come to expect with Metric, offer an introspective glimpse into frontwoman Emily Haines’ dark outlook on life and society. Despite the gloom, it's an easy album to enjoy, filled with Metric's hard rhythm, steady hooks and candy-like