A Giant Dog
Imagine The Righteous Brothers abandoned their smooth, melodic crooning and screamed into the microphones like wild beasts. Imagine they hadn’t been laid in a while, couldn’t get dates to the high school dance, and lived in Spring, TX in 2003. This is how it looked when Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen got their start, under the moniker “Youth in Asia,” a cover band that played school functions.
Four years after this under-aged musical fling, Ellis and Cashen reconnected in Austin and began writing songs on a rooftop on the East Side. The early songs were inspired by bottles of cheap red wine, The Slackers, Ty Segall’s one-man band, and Kurt Vonnegut novels. Enlisting their former high school buddies Andy Bauer (guitar), Graham Low (bass) and Orville Neeley (OBNIII’s, Bad Sports, Youth in Asia), on drums, they formed A Giant Dog. The band moved into a house together and hosted frequent garage parties. There, Neeley began recording A Giant Dog on a half-inch Tascam, producing their first full-length album, Fight. The young band played almost weekly at Beerland, clueless that their early shows would become local legend.
Tempered in the flames of countless drunken house shows, A Giant Dog learned to harness the wild energy of their front-bosswoman into a tactical nuclear weapon. They were soon out on the road, bringing shock to the towns of America. The band next found an ally in prolific Austin producer, Mike McCarthy (Spoon, White Denim, Trail Of Dead). He brought the band into his studio to make their second record, Bone.
Since the release of Bone, A Giant Dog has played Hozac Blackout Fest, the Atlanta Mess-Around, toured supporting Spoon, and were recently anointed by NME as one of “50 Artists To Set The Storm in 2015.” Always leaving a bullet in the chamber, they just wrapped up their third album with McCarthy. You’ll know it when you hear it
The Ripe has sprung forth from it’s roots in power-pop, folk, garage, and psychedelia while still being nurtured by contemporary sounds and influences. Born in 2007, the Austin, Texas quartet consists of Jake Garcia on guitar and vocals, Gian Ortiz on bass and vocals, and Nick Yaklin on drums. Cultivated by the energy and hooks of power-pop favorites such as Big Star and The Nerves, and consciously trying to bring to real life the Beatles White Album, these guys also feed upon equal doses of Forever Changes era LOVE and The Kinks at their Village Green best. They are but saplings. But students of rock and roll will want to take a stroll through this forest.