david thomas jones
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david thomas jones

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States
Pop Rock

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realize how much of a hipster this is going to make me sound like, but David Thomas Jones is the best new indie act off the block and he hasn’t even released an album yet. I know, I KNOW. But Jones’ new single “Our Lives” and his wide accretion of musical projects is well worth the premature praise and, more importantly, your time. While being the front man for the immensely entertaining and immensely lo-fi band Watch Out For Rockets, Jones has played drums for The Murdocks, played bass for Scan Hopper, and is currently co-producing Les Rav’s fourth record. Such a hardworking and talented individual should not go unnoticed. His new single sounds like The Talking Heads mixed with The Drums - if only David Byrne weren’t so disappointed with humanity in general. Its rhythm is energetic and the backup vocals are charming to say the least. Jones has shown that the typical indie dance song doesn’t have to be maddeningly unintelligent. - Taylor Browne
- The Deli Austin


Austin’s own David Thomas Jones just can’t stop. He’s got his fingers in more than a few musical pies here in town. But despite what he describes as “musical attention deficit disorder,” there’s no sign that he’s stopping anytime soon.

You may not recognize Jones’s name (yet), but you may recognize a few of the groups his moniker has been attached to. His main gig is as the frontman for lo-fi poppers Watch Out For Rockets, a group that began as a bedroom project for Jones and blossomed into a full-blown band. The group has released five records, and has another on the way this fall. Jones steps away from the spotlight as the drummer for The Murdocks and the bass player for psych-rockers Scan Hopper and recent song of the day spotlight band Les Rav. He’s also helping to produce Les Rav’s forthcoming debut record.

But in between all these projects, Jones has found time to step out on his own. He’s set to release his first solo record under his own name this fall. Except for string and horn arrangements, Jones recorded all the instruments himself. The currently-untitled record is peppered with Watch Out For Rockets flavor, but unfettered from that name Jones is free to flex his more experimental muscles.

Today’s song of the day, “Our Lives,” is a perfect example. With a dancey, New Wave rhythm pumping behind him, he builds a track that bubbles with a jittery, nervous energy that’s at times wide-eyed and dreamy and there are moments that evoke that unsettling feeling of a bad trip. It’s a perfect song to announce Jones’s arrival as a solo artist. - KUT


Man, this is exactly what I needed to hear today. David Thomas Jones, a current Austin resident has just released his Comfort Creatures EP, and if I’m going to judge the whole EP by this song, I’m going to blast this for some time to come. You can tell that David’s got an ear for catchy hooks, but he provides a rhythmic groove to his multi-instrumental construction that really seems to destined for dance parties. It’s a refreshing sound, as you can hear the emphasis on the layering of instruments rather than just repetitive loops of electronic beats. Welcome to the fold DTJ. - Austin Town Hall


Austin’s David Thomas Jones is a member of Austin band, Watch Out For Rockets. He recently launched his solo career, and from the sound of single “Our Lives”, he’s off to a good start. It’s taken from his Comfort Creatures EP, which was released today.

Bursting out of the seams with high energy, “Our Lives” is pure enjoyment in every which way. Theirs a bouncy tropical quality to the song, which has the whole indie pop thing done to perfection. “Our Lives” will make you smile, and feel a lot better about your day.

It’s my guarantee. - We All Want Someone to Shout For


Austin artist David Thomas Jones definitely keeps busy, fronting the band Watch Out For Rockets and working on Comfort Creatures, his new solo EP. The song “Our Lives” is the first single off the EP. “The song is about helplessly looking forward as distance and time work their entropic curse upon your best laid plans,” says Jones, “I don’t know why I chose such an upbeat rhythm for such a cynical message.”

You’ll actually find it pretty hard not to dance along to the dizzying rhythm. The track takes you somewhere warm and tropical — a jungle boogie perhaps. Enjoy, and make sure to grab the EP. It just released November 27th. - Pop 'Stache


#13.
DTJ has been around the music scene for a while, but only just released his debut EP as a solo act this year. Lead track “Our Lives” is like ear candy – there are so many delicious sounds going on that your mind easily gets overloaded. It starts off easily enough with synthesized drums and marimba sounds augmented by human backing vocals, but from there things get weird. An ominous but ambiguous noise heralds the opening verse and then there are shakers, handclaps, one of the sickest bass lines of the year, all sorts of guitar effects panning their way across your headphones. Jones keeps dropping in aural treats all over what also happens to be one of the danciest rock songs of the year. And don’t get us started on the existential crisis in the lyrics. - Ovrld


David Thomas Jones, leader of the Austin rock troop Watch Out For Rockets, decided to go rogue for a few moments and do a solo record. His role in Watch Out For Rockets already entails most of the writing, recording and playing of instruments on said recordings, which have all been captured on a Tascam 4-track cassette machine. Jones, admittedly, isn’t too good with gadgetry. However, his songwriting prowess is a mean machine. Jones stepped into a real studio for his first solo EP, entitled Comfort Creatures. The 7 songs on this 24-minute mini-masterpiece cover styles ranging from rock, folk, psychy pop and even some fancy danciness. Keep an eye and ear on David Thomas Jones, the Austin, TX 3-name-man-machine of music. And it officially releases today. - Lost at E Minor


David Thomas Jones, taking after his better-known "Indiana" namesake, typically consorts with primitive relics of a bygone age. Namely, a 4-track cassette tape recorder. This was the man's go-to gear for recording his music, typically in the living room of his apartment. It's what his Watch Out For Rockets crew recorded on. They turned out 5 albums-worth of stellar lofi alt rock on that thing, catching attention and raising expectations all over the continent.

But we're using the past tense here (maybe you caught that), because Jones has managed to get in some time in a real recording studio, on real equipment. And rock-star producer/engineer James Jones manned the conn and caught it all in Protools. And the results confirm our best hopes - In a pristine setting, Jones did what he does best, and now we have, arguably, the best indie alt rock record of 2012.

Bold statement, that. But not a stretch, really. Go back and listen to those 5 lofi releases. Glimmering between the tape hiss and room noise and muddy tonal balance, it's hard to miss the budding compositional chops. Like John Williams, Jones has that knack for generating tunes from a wealth of genres that are familiar enough to hang a motif on, yet fresh enough to rivet our attention.

Our Lives, for example, is the opening track. A World-flavored, David Byrne-ish tune, with disco-danceable percs and a marimba-lead melody, then sealed tight with Jones' easy-to-sing-along-with chorused vox. It's a viral-inducing, irresistible piece of work, and a pretty far piece from your typical lofi stuff. This opening is followed up by the easy-in alt-rock "Diced Gold"; a vaguely familiar rock-pop number with definitely unfamiliar breaks and bridges. Then, the loveable straight-up rock of "Butcher In The Sky" enters as a moody & somber, yet easy-to-air-guitar-and-bellow-along-with rock anthem. Next, the cinematically-familiar "Perfect Knots" gives us a softer, jazzy, piano & drum & bass number, with Jones' vox gently luring us close before skewering us with a dramatic piano arpeggio - Surprisingly subtle stuff from a guy known for lofi.

The next track though, "The Deaf Words", obliterates the previous gentle touch with thick rock-steady guitar thrash, and then kills it with an almost-too-abrupt fake ending. "Alibi" brings intimacy as Jones' picks the acoustic guitar along folksy chord progressions, but not dipping into folk art. And the last track, "Coffin Electricity", seals and delivers the package with a more familiar driving-rock theme.

And when you look back over this collection, the alt rock and jazz and folk and thrashing-rock, the hard and soft motifs, the subtle and not-so-subtle, you see a variety of influences and sounds; none of which overpower, and all of which comprise a masterful whole. Stepping up his production game, Jones has deftly navigated past the Charybdis of indie releases - No track sounds like another. And all shine with the happy confluence of professionally-handled tech meeting masterfully-generated art. For a first step into a brave new studio-clean world, it's off-the-charts good, and one of the best Austin-based releases this year. -Scott Osborn

Comfort Creatures is due Nov. 27th.

Find out more on David Thomas Jones on Fakebook or on his website at www.davidthomasjones.com.
- The Deli Austin


I love finding songs that fit so perfectly with your mood that you hit the replay button on YouTube at least five times in a row. Such has been the case with David Thomas Jones' "Our Lives."

The song has tropical beats that make me forget it's cold and rainy out and the video has this Flight of the Conchords thing going on that I'm totally feeling. Plus, I can unabashedly relate to the solo dance party at the end of the video.

Jam, rinse, and repeat as needed: - This is Our Jam


A debut record can be a tricky thing to pull off. It’s the first moment you step out into the world and lay your creative soul bare for all to judge. What kind of first impression do you want to make? Fortunately for David Thomas Jones, he’s been involved in so many previous projects (namely Watch Out For Rockets) that he has it all down. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he arrives “fully-formed” but Comfort Creatures, which officially arrives today, is far more assured than you’d expect to hear from the first record to somebody’s name. And it’s a joy to experience.

Jones is a real talent with an undeniable gift for melody and songcraft, as is evident throughout his debut EP. The record is overflowing with an incredible number of ideas. It plays almost like a Greatest Hits album – each song is great, but quite distinct from the others on the record. Lead track “Our Lives” is a real hit: a great electro-flavored beat, interesting arrangement, catchy melody. It simultaneously evokes placid Hawaiian beaches and frantic modern city life. Its verses lead effortlessly into its understated chorus, giving the whole song a sense of one continuous rush forward.



From there, Jones jumps into numerous directions. “Diced Gold” takes the upbeat pop of “Our Lives” to a more rock-infused place, and “Butcher in the Sky” jumps full-bore into sleazy 70s classic rock. It could be mistaken for a lost T. Rex demo. “Perfect Knots,” though, combines doo-wop with other languid modern R&B styles, and then “The Deaf Words” bring the atmosphere back to a dark garage rock. “Alibi” comes back down to a slow, finger-picked acoustic guitar ballad before ending the record on another pure hit in “Coffin Electricity.” It’s a steady build into a euphoric and irresistible rock chorus.

And yet, each track is more than just these simple synopses, with interesting elements spicing everything up. “Diced Gold” ends on a seventh chord that just refuses to resolve, for example. “Butcher in the Sky” resolves with one final chorus but only after an abstract, ambient bridge gives way to a contrasting rousing rock solo passage. “Perfect Knots” begins with a meandering piano line over what sounds like found footage of a random conversation. Various tape effects color the song throughout. “The Deaf Words” returns after it supposedly ends essentially in order to just skip on one note for a seconds before vanishing again.

Over the EP’s 24 minutes, two things are clear. One is that Jones loves all aspects of 70s rock, but that he has processed those influences into a series of more contemporary sounds. Second is that Jones ultimately is playful. He loves toying with song structure, expectation and recording possibilities. Comfort Creatures, as with the title of the record, takes the familiar and twists it slightly. At first glance we think we know what we’re getting, but then it dawns on us that there’s a lot more beneath the surface.

You can buy Comfort Creatures starting today at Jones’ website or through the iTunes store.

- Carter - Ovrld


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Some people play guitar, some play bass. Others choose the drums or piano. David Thomas Jones plays them all…relentlessly. Hailing from Wisconsin, the singer/songwriter/ice cream scooper now calls Austin home.
Jones’ love of all things music began when he played guitar for a pop-punk band in junior high. It wasn’t long before his curiosity led him from the path of two-chord mayhem to the music of Sebadoh, Sonic Youth, and Guided By Voices.

In 2008, Jones and brother, Aaron Rimbley, formed Watch Out For Rockets: a lo-fi, punk-psych band. Proficient with guitar, drums, bass and piano, Jones recorded a majority of the Watch Out For Rockets albums on a 4-track cassette recorder. With the albums receiving critical acclaim, Jones quickly realized, “Nobody pays attention to you in Austin unless you play live.” It wasn’t long before his band expanded and began to perform his home recordings to the local scene.

In 2011, a chance encounter with producer James Jones (Love Inks, Hundred Visions, TV Torso, Hardproof Afrobeat) resulted In the recording of Jones’ first solo EP, Comfort Creatures.

“The recording process, when you’re playing all of this by yourself, is a journey of discovery,” Jones explains.

“You never know the final product. You have the general direction, but you’re still just grasping in the dark. Whereas most bands rehearse something a thousand times, I generally just have ideas and start by throwing down the drums.”

The result of writing and recording simultaneously culminates in an eclectic set of tracks. The songs possess their own personality, melding into a cohesive collection of sounds spanning from throwback pop-rock to indie folk. Although Jones plays most of the instruments on the album, he did find help from friends and fellow Austin musicians such as, Richard Galloway of Moonlight Towers, Nick Smith of Foot Patrol, Jenni Wieland of Minor Mishap Marching Band, and Caleb Polashek of Les RAV. After a tumultuous year of starts and stops, Comfort Creatures came to fruition in September 2012.

Comfort Creatures is already creating notable buzz around Austin and beyond. The album’s first single, “Our Lives,” was KUT’s song of the day and featured in Deli Magazine’s “The Austin Scene Blog.”

Currently, Jones stays busy working on a new Watch Out For Rockets release. He also drums for acclaimed indie rockers The Murdocks, plays bass for orchestral avant-folk group Les RAV, as well as the psychedelic wizardry of Scan Hopper.