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On The Record: Bluebonnets, Trail of Dead

Peter Blackstock


Bluebonnets, “Play Loud.” The all-female quartet’s follow-up to their 2010 debut “Boom Boom Boom Boom” further establishes the Bluebonnets as one of Austin’s best guitar-bass-drums bands with a consistently engaging blend of gutsy blues and rootsy rock ’n’ roll. Guitarist Kathy Valentine (formerly of the Go-Go’s) and bassist Dominique Davalos are the primary songwriters take the lead on vocals, though everyone in the band sings. The album’s 10 original tracks range from the urgent attack of “She’s Got Thorns” to the more rhythmically engaging “I Like Lies.” Guitarist Eve Monsees’ fierce blues chops shine on the lone cover, is a well-chosen romp through Roy Head’s Texas classic “Treat Her Right.” Release show Nov. 15 at Continental Club, in-store Nov. 16 at Antone’s Records.

…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, “IX” (Superball). Titled as such because it’s the long-running indie band’s ninth studio album, “IX” mixes hard-charging fare with moodier moments (“The Ghost Within,” the string-accented “How to Avoid Huge Ships”). The band, which now consists of founders Conrad Keely and Jason Reece and newer additions Autry Fulbright and Jamie Miller, also connects with some instantly catchy pop-leaning songcraft, notably “The Dragonfly Queen.”

Moonlight Towers, “Heartbeat Overdrive” (Chicken Ranch). The latest from the local indie-pop foursome features nine songs built on chiming guitars and the clear tenor vocals of frontman James Stevens. In-store Nov. 12 at Waterloo Records.

Young Tongue, “Death Rattle” (Punctum/Raw Paw). Former members of the Baker Family regrouped in this new indie outfit releasing its full-length debut after an EP earlier this year. They made the clip below for the album track “Cat Calls” as part of the recent 48-hour “Music Video Race” event. Playing Dec. 3 at Stubb’s indoors.


NOV. 18: Danny Malone, “SpeedDreamer,” release show Nov. 14 at Cheer Up Charlie’s.

NOV. 20: Scott Zuniga, “Language of Ghosts.”

NOV. 22: James Leonard, “Love Like Methamphetamine,” release show Nov. 22 at Ginny’s Little Longhorn.

NOVEMBER: Timberos Del Norte, self-titled.

DEC. 2: Willie Nelson & Sister Bobbie, “December Day (Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1),” Legacy.

DEC. 4: These Mad Dogs of Glory, “Isle au Haut,” release show Dec. 5 at the Mohawk.

JAN. 13: Charlie Belle, “Get to Know.”

JANUARY 2015: T-Bird & the Breaks, “Harmonizm.”

FEB. 10, 2015: Robert Earl Keen, “Happy Prisoner” (Dualtone), playing Dec. 19 at ACL Live.

FEB. 24, 2015: James McMurtry, “Complicated Game” (Complciated Game Records).

Are you an Austin-area act with a new record coming out? Let us know at