Various Artists

Casual Victim Pile: Austin 2010

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Austin, TX has more bars per capita than any other city in the U.S., and on any given night, live music pours from the hundreds of doorways on 6th street, so being the entrepreneur that he is, co-owner of Matador Records and four-year native of Austin, Gerard Cosloy took on the laborious task of documenting his city’s impressive underground music scene. Over a year in the making, with submissions dating back to 2008, Casual Victim Pile (taken from a rearrangement of Austin’s motto "Live Music Capital") is not Cosloy’s first attempt at making a city sampler, and his professionalism shows. His first release, 1984’s Bands That Could Be God shined a light on Boston hardcore bands, and 1991’s New York Eye & Ear Control featured great bands from N.Y.C. Like these other endeavors, this comp takes a historical snapshot of a specific time and place; an exquisite one at that, documenting a scene that, while unpublicized, holds up with the greatest D.I.Y. movements. In the way that N.Y. No Wave: The Ultimate East Village ‘80s Soundtrack exposed art-skronk to the masses, This Is Boston, Not L.A. encapsulated hardcore, or The Stiff Records Box Set captured the sounds of British pub rock, Casual Victim Pile reveals a secret surplus of raw, underexposed talent. Wisely, Cosloy skips over the dime-a-dozen Lyle Lovett-esque acoustic soloists and the many, many SRV-influenced electric blues acts, and instead focuses closely on the tight niche of Austin garage punk (with a few exceptions from Denton, TX.) All the bands fit the bill wonderfully and it’s a consistent, gritty listen throughout. As always, Cosloy’s a consummate tastemaker, and considering his role in boosting the careers of indie staples Pavement, Yo La Tengo, fellow Austinites Spoon, and the high caliber of music onboard, it wouldn’t be surprising if this one broke the Lone Star underground wide open.

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