Recording and Live Project 2008-2010
The Deaf Ears arose from the ashes of Austin’s acclaimed indie-pop quintet Tammany Hall Machine. Featuring three ex-members of THM, as well as ex-Halley drummer Scott Oliphant (who engineered and coproduced THM’s final album), The Deaf Ears are in many ways a leaner and more cohesive extension of the THM sound. In fact, some of the band’s songs are leftovers from the THM era.
The band’s debut album, Live Forever, was a critical smash. In an age when most commercial recordings are edited and auto-tuned to death, The Deaf Ears chose to leave their tracks raw and untouched—stray handclaps, closing doors, and all. Every track was recorded to 2-inch tape, and absolutely no computer edits were made. The result is the organic sound of living musicians playing real instruments in an actual room.
Written by Joel Mullins: http://www.joelmullins.com/
“Why beat around the bush. The Deaf Ears have crafted one of Austin’s best indie rock albums of the year…so refreshing and compelling that I haven’t taken [it] out of my car stereo since I popped it in two weeks ago…one of the best debut albums I’ve heard from a band…Every song on this CD is magical.”
“Former Tammany Hall Machine conductor Joel Mullins picks up right where he left off, opening his new quartet’s debut with an energetic, piano-pop punch…”
“Live Forever, The Deaf Ears’ debut album, is proof positive that sometimes when things fall apart, things can actually come together…sounds like it was poured out of a whiskey bottle and straight into a dive bar jukebox.”
Honorable Mention in the Best Austin Albums of 2009
Recording and Live Project 2003-2008
In a Blonde Wig
10th Best Rock Band in the 2006-2007 Austin Music Awards
9th Best Indie Band in the 2006-2007 Austin Music Awards
8th Best New Band in the 2005-2006 Austin Music Awards
“It’s not too long before Tammany Hall Machine will transform ordinary people into fanatical British school girls.”
–The Austin Independent
“…ensuring maximum transistor bliss for fans of pop with a capital P.”
“…the band combines the 60s pop of the Kinks with the art rock of David Bowie to create a refreshing pop sound with rock grit.”
–Austin Music Magazine
“…carefully crafted pop perfection, blending early ’60s Beatles and Kinks with a liberal helping of David Bowie and Queen…The resulting melody-centered cocktail goes down easy.”
–The Daily Texan
“Die-hard fans of purist pop should take this wild ride.”
“…really excellent stuff that deserves to be heard.”
“[Tammany Hall Machine’s] classic Brit-rock inspired sound could find favour in the UK.”
“…offering audiences an eclectic style of rock ‘n’ roll resulting from true innovation and genuine talent.”
–The Austin Independent
“…a rocking group that packs as much punch as a boxing kangaroo with Abbey Road blaring in his headphones.”
“…a marvelously textured, wide-ranging pop album that validates THM’s repute.”
Tammany Hall Machine began in 2002 as a recording project in a dusty garage in Buda, Texas, and grew into one of the most exciting live bands inhabiting the Austin music scene. Combining the “60s pop of the Kinks with the art rock of David Bowie to create a refreshing pop sound with rock grit” (Austin Music Magazine), the band gained a loyal following and earned a stellar reputation for both its originality and its raucous live shows.
The band released its self-titled debut album in December 2004, and the record received rave reviews from a variety of local and national publications. In 2006, THM was recognized by readers of the Austin Chronicle as one of the best new bands in Austin, and in April of that year, they toured the Midwest, playing a series of highly-successful shows, including an appearance at the International Pop Overthrow Festival in Chicago, Illinois.
Tammany Hall Machine’s second album, Amateur Saw, was recorded by ex-Halley drummer Scott Oliphant and was mixed by Erik Wofford. The album was released on January 26, 2007.
During their short reign atop the Austin indie-pop scene, THM shared the stage with a variety of local and national acts, including The Bangles, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Ghostland Observatory, The Black Angels, and Bob Schneider.
Bio written by Joel Mullins:
Recording Project 2014
I wrote and recorded this bass line for a song written by Ray Prim. Ray also provided vocals on a song that I was working on. He is a fantastic singer / songwriter in Austin, TX.
About Ray Prim
Imagine Ben Harper and Ray Lamontagne heading over to Abbey Road in a cadillac convertible to pick up John Lennon and Paul Mccartney so they can catch the tail end of The Reverend Al Green’s sermon…. There was no mistaking Ray Prim’s destiny as a child: he was born to make music. With lyrics that seep into your soul and acoustics that lovingly strum each song so they are firmly imprinted in your mind, Ray passionately enforces what it takes to be a great Singer-Songwriter. His melody-based approach sweeps you through a variety of emotions that touch on all of life’s great joys and tragedies, moments that echo within each of us that will leave you smiling with nostalgia. Based in Austin, Texas, Ray has a musical chocolate box to pick from when it comes to talent and has gathered the most incredible voices and instruments to record on his 6 albums. Performing with fellow band members April Stephens (violin), John Ray (percussion), Michael Stevens (bass), Kreole Randolph (violin), Mike Robledo (vocals) and Marianna Tanguy (piano), Ray’s live shows are inspiring collaborations where you can see and hear the mutual respect each person has for making sounds that touch your heart, connecting with the audience to ensure they are swaying along by the end of each song. From ‘This Ain’t Rocket Science’ to his latest album ‘It Take a Village to Make a Record’, Ray’s song-writing skills are constantly evolving, soaking up stories and experiences that ultimately contribute to music that will resonate eternally, much like Ray’s approach to making music in general. This guy has no plans to stop playing, so listen up and let Ray’s troubadour skills steal your soul, allowing you to go back and forth over this beautiful journey we call LIFE.
“Ray Prim’s voice is outstanding: warm, soulful, a bit reminiscent of Marvin Gaye with the high register of Al Green. As excellent as his voice is, it’s his eclectic arrangements, mixing folk and chamber with R&B, that make this otherwise straightforward record a worthy listen. – Paul Carrubba, Austin Monthly Magazine “Think a less hippie-dipped Ben Harper, or a more roots-ready TV On The Radio when you think of Ray Prim. This Austinite’s work is relentlessly pretty, to take a word out of Harper’s playbook.” – Craig Hlavaty, Houston Press “going to a Ray Prim show is like going to a party with one hell of a soundtrack and a room full of quirky new friends. It’s an interactive experience between jokes, appropriately placed anecdotes and the crowd swaying to the vocal blends of Ray and his backup singer whom he affectionately calls Mexican Chocolate” – Charise Sowells, The Austin Deli Magazine reposted from RayPrim.com
Recording and Live Project 2011-2012
The Asteroid Shop; the brainchild of Eric Brendo. Brendo is known
in music circles as the co-founder of Downtown, produced in London by
Flood and Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, The Killers, U2, Smashing
Pumpkins). More recently, he received rave reviews for his 2010 7″
release, Over The Dunes and Into The Cave. The Asteroid Shop’s
self-titled debut was recorded in Austin, TX @ Cacophony Recorders
with acclaimed Producer/Engineer Erik Wofford (The Black Angels, Grupo
Fantasma, Explosions in the Sky). Brendo, as principle songwriter, is
joined by an explosively talented lineup of Austin-based musicians in
Michael Kester (keys) , Todd Pruner (guitar), Jonathan Konya (drums)
and Mick Southerland(bass). http://www.theasteroidshop.com
Recording and Live Project 2011 – 2013
The Veers are an Austin, Texas based outfit that dig deep into the history of Texas music for inspiration. The Veers music is a blend of Folk, Country and Rock influences. The Veers feature the rich harmonies and songwriting of Jason Shepherd and Jason Kane White.
Live Project 2011
Tunnel Vision (Lenny Kravitz Tribute)
This was a one time gig for a friends tribute band at Hanover’s where we opened for Vallejo. I worked hard to get all of those Kravitz bass lines just right.
Lenny Kravitz – It Aint Over Till It’s over
Rock and Roll is Dead – Tunnel Vision Live at Hanover’s
Live and Recording Project 2007
After Tammany hall split, I hooked up with The Calm Blue Sea to play bass. We recorded an early EP and played a few shows. It was in TCBS that I met the incomparable drummer Stephen Bidwell who went on to start Hard Proof Afrobeat.
The Calm Blue Sea is a critically acclaimed instrumental “post pop” band in the tradition of Explosions in the Sky and Caspian.
Song Premiere: The Calm Blue Sea, ‘Mary Ann Nichols’
“‘Mary Ann Nichols’ — one of many enthralling epics on the group’s excellent second album, Arrivals & Departures, out Oct. 9 — packs in several songs’ worth of drama, as torrents of blustery guitars, atmospheric interludes and inscrutable vocals are fed into a single glorious swirl.”
Stream the Calm Blue Sea’s “We Will Never Be as Young as We Are Tonight”
“…a very ominous listening experience — perfect for anyone looking for some on-demand tension.”
Review: Arrivals & Departures
“…moody, minor piano and guitar interplay slowly escalating into a tidal wave of countermelodies and exceptional drumming so densely atmospheric that it can help you dissociate from reality.”
The Calm Blue Sea Album Release Show
“They’ve created this mind-blowing coalescence of elegance and explosiveness. Brilliant and breathtaking.”
Arrivals & Departures review
“On Arrivals & Departures, there’s no denying the musicianship of this band, especially from its monster rhythym section.”
Recording and Live Project 1994-1996
This was a project with great potential and a critical darling. We played at the 1996 SXSW where John Doe and Exene from X were in attendance. Britt Daniel from Spoon was also at the show to check me out, I was auditioning for them at the time. It took some searching to gig this stuff up. My auditions with spoon didn’t go over very well and this band ultimately broke up. This album was never released. The main singer/songwriter in the band, Aaron Blount, went on to form Knife in the Water.