From Our Living Room to Yours 11: Telepods, Concrete Robot, Good Talk

From Our Living Room to Yours

Each month, we’re showcasing three mostly unknown Austin acts we’ve discovered on Bandcamp or Soundcloud, in the hopes of bringing them From Our Living Room to Yours.

Telepods- “Blackout”



Insta-joke status of “Rock Lobster” and “Love Shack” aside, the B-52’s are an inarguably great band. I will fight you if you say otherwise. But I know for a lot of people Fred Schneider is the biggest obstacle to enjoying the B-52’s, which is why Austin’s Telepods are such a welcome throwback– imagine if David Berman of Silver Jews fame fronted the B-52’s and you’ve pretty much got the picture. On a self-titled three track EP, Telepods explore the full scope of that seemingly paradoxical pair of influences, beginning with dancier post-punk gems “Thrash” and “Simian Girl,” the latter of which could even be viewed as a response song to the B-52’s “Strobe Light,” with its crazed organ line and its “No fucking on the dance floor!” demand in the chorus. But the final track, “Blackout,” is the one I keep returning to, despite it being the least B-52’s indebted track of the bunch. A weirdo country song about losing your shit and witnessing the safety of your home crumbling as you give in to sexual perversion and self-defeat, “Blackout” is a curious mystery, a somber spotlight on the issues that were bubbling beneath the glittery surface of the previous two tracks that sports the EP’s most sublime melody. There’s some profound hurt here, even if the lyrics also feature a John Waters-like view on sex and flagellation, and maybe it’s the rawness of that depiction that seeps through the humor that keeps me coming back, like a wound you can’t stop picking at.

Concrete Robot- “Shoegazer”



A mostly solo studio project, Concrete Robot has Andy Castro functioning as frontman and backing band all in one, but you wouldn’t know it on a track like “Shoegazer,” with its Wrecking Crew-approved drum opening and tight instrumentation. The mumbly vocals and playful, power poppy guitar hearken back to indie at the start of the ’00s, though Castro has a clearer love of pop song craft than most blog rock bands ever did. The “Shoegazer” title itself is also a bit of a misnomer, since that has less to do with walls of sound and a heavy emphasis on delay than with actual shoegazing– it’s actually a song urging someone to not look down so much. Castro also enlisted the aid of Erik Wofford of Black Angels and White Denim fame for the production of “Shoegazer” and it shows in how full bodied the recording is. The drums pack quite a punch and the tone on the guitar is nothing short of luxurious. Castro could stand to get a little more confident on the mic, as his vocals don’t pack quite the same punch just yet, but “Shoegazer” nonetheless provides a tantalizing glimpse at what may soon be one of Austin’s best songwriters.

Good Talk- “Earthworms”



When Los Campesinos! blew up back in the last decade, their critical popularity was vastly out of proportion to their influence on other groups. I mean, even the fucking Libertines seem to have had a more enduring influence on their peers, which is some kind of bullshit if you ask me. On their new self-titled EP, Good Talk introduce themselves with a quirky bit of Los Campesinos!-style aggro indie called “Earthworms.” Building out of a decidedly wormy guitar lick, “Earthworms” uncoils and quickly reveals itself to be a brash, energetic blast of indignant but charming rage at the problem us Millenials are facing as we “Wait for all the old men to die.” There’s some Cap’n Jazz in the twisty guitars and rhythms, but Good Talk are custom built for sloganeering and singalongs rather than deconstructing jazzier indie influences, and that’s definitely a good thing. Good Talk also appeared on Vagabond’s Summer Nights series with “Half Asleep” but for my money, “Earthworms” is the single they should have led off with. What’s more summery than kids digging up earthworms in the backyard, anyway?

Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics.  You can also flip through his archives at  Comics Bulletinwhich he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culturewhere he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover