Last year I was lucky enough to grab Olga Bell’s self-titled EP for a mere $5 and it was one of the most worthwhile purchases I had. Plus, it was for charity, and who doesn’t love charity, right? Nonetheless, Bell is an extremely talented musician who’s managed to rise to the top of the fray in the music jungle of Brooklyn. And her sound? Well, imagine if Bjork sat in on an Animal Collective jam session…it’s a great, beautiful weird-fest. She seems to have a real knack for musically filling space and using her classically-trained voice and piano skills to weave in and out of her compositions. It’s good stuff. She’ll be playing the Brooklyn Vegan-sponsored show in Austin, so check it out.
So, New Jersey is absolutely on fire these days. I could write up a whole post on why the Garden State has been kicking other states’ collective asses recently, but bands like the Gaslight Anthem, my boys Titus Andronicus, Fountains of Wayne, and the ever-increasing impact of the Boss tend to speak for themselves. In 2009, new kids on the block Real Estate are breaking out. They play a punked-up, fuzzed-out brand of shoegaze pop, and like their friends Titus Andronicus, their lyrics focus on the highs and lows of suburban life. Give these guys a look when they roll through Austin — they’ll be playing ALL OVER.