Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Live music review: Touchpants jams and lowbrow gags with Phish drummer Fishman

When we learned drummer Jon Fishman (Phish) scheduled his musical comedy side project,Touchpants Monday night at The Parish before his "other band" was slated to play the Austin360 Amphitheater Tuesday, we hardly knew what to expect. Was this going to be a revelation like Tenacious D or akin to Macaulay Caulkin's ill-advised Pizza Underground? The answer was both. Lowbrow, often offensive shock humor was tempered by what amounted to a killer jam act anchored by Fishman's clock-like precision timekeeping. Colby Dix handled lead guitar (and some vocal) duties while his comedy partner Chris Friday delivered... Continue reading

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Live music review: Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson revisit 90s at ACL Live

It seems as though everything 90s is cool again. Electronic music, flannel, Dave Grohl and a legacy act tour featuring two of the most popular bands of the era,Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson. Musically the groups have little in common apart from topping the Billboard charts around the same time. Both acts chose stage designs true to their personas. Shock rocker, Manson went with an uninspired but theatrical production while the Pumpkins' Billy Corganopted for a simple stage design choosing to allow his music to be the centerpiece of the performance at ACL Live on Sunday evening.

Manson opened his set with... continue reading

Monday, July 13, 2015

Live music preview: The inimitable Buddy Guy returns to ACL Live Friday

Photo: Matt Roberts / Getty Images

Blues guitar legend Buddy Guy returns to ACL Live this Friday, July 17 for his only Texas stop on the current leg of his tour in support of "Born to Play Guitar" which drops July 31. The new material has some Texas connections with collaborations from Kim Wilson (The Fabulous Thunderbirds) and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top). The album will be released on Silvertone/RCA Records. The record follows Guy's most successful release in recent years, 2013's "Rhythm and Blues" that reached number one on the Billboard Blues Album Chart.

Guy's shows are... Continue reading

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Interview: Sweet Spirit on local music industry woes, touring with Spoon

Examiner caught up with Sabrina Ellis the front woman for Austin buzz band Sweet Spirit over the holiday weekend. Ellis answered a few questions about touring with Spoon, new material the group is releasing and she had lot to say about the challenges facing the local music scene. Ellis is dynamic on stage and an intelligent, funny young woman when she is not rocking fans' socks off.
If you are not familiar with the band, you may have heard about their previous incarnation, Bobby Jealousy or their garage-punk project, A Giant Dog. Perhaps you heard about this fantastic live band opening for Spoon on a recent tour? Or maybe this is the first you have heard of one of Austin's best... Continue reading

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Live music review: Dawes returned to Austin bigger and better

Photo: Tammy Perez

When Dawes front man Taylor Goldsmith addressed the audience at Stubb's BBQ last Thursday, he recalled the band's first visit to Austin in 2009 when they opened for Delta Spirit. Later in the set it was with genuine awe he informed the nearly sold-out venue this was their biggest audience ever in Austin. The observation could just as well be that of the arc of growth Dawes has earned. Their new album, "All Your Favorite Bands" is number one on the Billboard folk chart and working its way up the Billboard 200 (currently 37) less than three weeks after the record dropped. This will be their best-selling work at this rate.

The band arrived with a talented new member since their last stop in Austin... Continue reading

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Live music review: Musical genius Brian Wilson and friends graced Bass Hall

Photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

It is difficult to know what to expect when Brian Wilson comes to town. The Beach Boys founder has been waging a long and public battle with mental illness while producing a body of work any musician would envy. If he is crazy, he's a crazy genius, a savant of sorts. Touring in support of his new album, No Pier Pressure Wilson was joined on this tour by fellow Beach Boys alums, Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin.

Tuesday's performance was moved from the cavernous Erwin Center to the more appropriate Bass Hall on the University of Texas campus and featured no less than 11 band members including... Continue reading at

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday gift guide: 10 Austin albums for your favorite music fan

Rather than reading another top records list, consider supporting artists who help "The Live Music Capital" live up to the slogan by purchasing their music for the holidays. The recommendations below are exclusively Austin bands who have put out albums in the last few years we think music fans will love listening to. Included are new releases out this year from Spoon, Brownout and Spanish Gold. There are records from The Wheeler Brothers and The Octopus Project in our gift guide that dropped a couple years ago because they are... Continue reading at

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Live music review: Spoon shines at sold-out KGSR 24th anniversary show

Indie rockers Spoon let music fans know guitar rock is still relevant despite media claims to the contrary last Friday at their sold-out KGSR 24th Anniversary show at ACL Live.  The tour kick-off performance highlighted a several songs from their acclaimed recent release, They Want My Soul. It is no surprise Spoon is still a leading Austin rock band. What is surprising is the band appears to have hit a new peak 20 years into their career when most bands are playing album anniversary shows. Instead, Britt Daniel and company put out what may be their best... Continue reading at

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Music festival preview: Austin Psych Fest reveals Levitation 2015 lineup

Austin Psych Fest marked the rebranding of the eighth annual event as Levitation 2015 by revealing a stellar lineup today. Flaming Lips, Spiritualized, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Tame Impala and festival founders, The Black Angels top the list of bands announced. The renaming comes as the festival welcomes new partners, Transmission Events, the same people who produce Fun Fun Fun Fest. The festival takes place... Continue reading at

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Live music review: The Black Keys powered through ACL TV taping Monday

Photo: Scott Newton

Traditionally bands recording an episode of the Austin City Limits (ACL TV) televison show leave the stage near the end of the performance and return for an encore. The Black Keys intended to do the same but when the set came to a close Monday night band leader, Dan Auerbach shrugged his shoulders and told the crowd they were going to keep going. As if the momentum from the rollicking performance kept the Akron garage rockers from taking a break. Instead the band powered through a... Continue reading at