Texas®

Sorry. I have to. It’s really beyond me. MTV-U has been playing it on their cable channel a bunch and now it’s online for all of us to enjoy. I’m not going to promise that this will be the last you see or read about them here. Again, sorry. that’s just how it is!

Sorry, I can’t get enough of Ume, who we spoke about a couple of days ago. Hopefully, you all feel the same way. Here’s a couple of videos for you if in fact you do. Enjoy!

The post-punk group Ume, out of Austin, has certianly made a name for themselves recently as an act that can crank up the amps, yet still impress with substance beyond the simple exploding of eardrums.

The trio, led by hubby / wife duo Lauren and Eric Larson aren’t new to the scene, by any stretch. Sure, they’re ready to make their mark known nationally, but that’s thanks in large part due to their hard-working past. Before the recent release of their insanely incendiary new album Phantoms, Ume (pronounced Ooh-may) toured heavily behind their previously released EP, Sunflower, and the Urgent Sea LP from 2005.

Perhaps the unifying thread for each of the albums is that it’s hard to pin-down an easy sonic comparison. It’s natural to look for comparisons when trying to describe a band, especially one that rocks out in as many different ways as Ume does. The guitars are loud, the arrangements precise and the lead vocals of Lauren Larson are piercing and authoratitative.

Tracks like the full-throttle “Rubicon,” which seems to be the album’s standout track, and the scaled-back “Hurricane II” are examples of Ume’s deftness at speeding things up into a frenzy, and also to shift gears down when the occasion calls. This album isn’t about blowing away your stereo speakers, even if their well-received live-show seems to often be (which is fine by us, by the way).

Since Phantoms will be seen by folks around the country (hopefully) as their breakthrough record, Ume will certainly (alnd already has) draw comparisons to another arty post-punk band with an attractive blonde female lead, The Joy Formidable from Wales. Look, there’s more than enough room for both buzzed about bands. And the fact is, there will likely be room for both on a great deal of critic’s best-of-2011 lists when the end of the year rolls around.

 

Don’t look now, but yet another annual Texas-based music festival has become quite the dependable attraction. Now in it’s fourth year, the Dia De Los Toadies shin-dig has become perhaps the greatest showcase for Texas rock.

While the line-ups in years past have always focused on Texas talent, the genre lines were crossed with regularity. Previous bills have seen the indie-rock of Ben Kweller mix with the Honky Tonk country of 1100 Springs before the ferocious post-grunge fervor of The Toadies took to the stage. Yeah, a big ol’ mixing bowl of tunes.

That’s great and all, but this year’s line-up is likely it’s strongest and surely the most cohesive of the young festival’s history. Who’s ready to rock out with their Lone Star out?

Joining the Toadies this year are a couple of Austin-based rock kings that we’ve raved about in recent months: Doom metal purveyors The Sword and Psychedelic revivalists The Black Angels. You could stop there wit those three bands and be happy in knowing that you’ve likely been at the best triple Texas rock bill of 2011, but it doesn’t stop there. Joining those three titans are other balls-out bands like Ume, and Ft. Worth’s Whiskey Folk Ramblers.

It all goes down this weekend, Aug 26-27 at the gorgeous White Water Ampitheater in New Braunfels along the Guadalupe. For tickets and further information, just hit the festival’s offical website for the goods.

4th Annual Dia De Los Toadies from Kirtland Records on Vimeo.