Friday, December 30, 2011

Free Week preview: Calm Blue Sea, White White Lights, Boxing Lesson, Hard Proof

Although we are not past New Year's Eve, Austin music fans should begin preparing for the annual FREE WEEK ( has a great list of shows) which features local bands in the Red River District and surrounding venues at no cost. The 2012 edition is loaded with great acts, like... Keep reading...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

New Year's Eve Live Music preview: All My Friends, The Black Angels, White Denim

With Christmas behind us tomorrow, it is time to look ahead to New Year's Eve in Austin and there are plently of shows to consider. LCD Soundsystem tribute band All My Friendsplay Beauty Bar, The Black Angels host an evening at Emo's East and White Denim headlines the Slacker Magazine launch party. Grupo FantasmaT-Bird and The Breaks and Russian Circles are on the books as well. There is no shortage of good live music concerts to choose from to celebrate the New Year.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Live music review: Hard Proof put the Afrobeat in KVRX's Local Live show Sunday

Austin Afrobeat collective, Hard Proof performed a live set for radio and internet listeners last night at KVRX radio at The University of Texas. The nine-piece band features members of The Calm Blue Sea, The EchocentricsOcote Soul Sounds and Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. The set was part of an ongoing series called Local Live produced each Sunday evening on 91.7 FM. The eclectic nature of the station programming is part of the appeal for listeners. Hard Proof's Afrobeat inspired sound was a departure for the normally punk and indie-rock guests the student-run station usually has in studio.

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Hard Proof, Live 1/14/11 in Austin, TX Move In-Lion of Mali from hard proof on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Live music preview: The Couch | Zlam Dunk | Little Radar at Mohawk tonight

San Marcos, Texas rock/blues/indie act, The Couch is performing tonight at The Mohawk with Zlam Dunk andLittle Rascals. The Couch has a sound similar to The Bright Light Social Hour that melds blues-rock and indie music with a danceable beat. The show is being presented by From the Mind of Adi and Transmission Entertainment


Show poster

Friday, December 2, 2011

Live music review: Wilco taped Austin City Limits TV, sold out ACL Live

Wilco appeared at The Moody Theater at ACL Live on consecutive nights this week. Wednesday evening was an Austin City Limits TV taping. Lead singer, Jeff Tweedy mentioned it was the band's fourth appearance on the show. The alternative rock band from Chicago followed up an elegant performance in front of the TV cameras with a rocking, sold-out ACL Live show last night that appropriately included a number of songs from "Summerteenth" (1999) an album primarily recorded at Willie Nelson's Spicewood Studios near Austin. 

Continue reading on Live music review: Wilco taped Austin City Limits TV, sold out ACL Live - Austin Concerts |

Is championship a possibility? Previewing the Austin Toros season with COO Peter Lubell

The Austin Toros of the NBA Development League begin home action Friday evening against the Tulsa 66ers at 8 p.m. at the Cedar Park Center. The Toros opened the season last Saturday at Frisco, defeating the Texas Legends 101-96 behind the strong play of point guard Justin Dentmon (29 pts, 7 ast), who was recently acquired by the Toros from the Legends on draft day. Second-year Toros forward, Lance Thomas (Duke) added 25 points and 6 rebounds for the Toros. Carldell Johnson scored 25 as the Toros pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the hosts 33-25 to start the season 1-0.

Continue reading at CultureMap Austin

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Live music review: The White White Lights and Black Pistol Fire at Emo's

With the construction of Emo's East completed last month, we have turned our attention to the original Emo's latley, feeling nostalgic about the venue that burgeoned the Red River indy-music scene in dowtown Austin. The end of the year will see the live music landmark close it's original location. Consequently, we have made an effort to catch a few shows over there recently. Saturday evening, incendiary act, The White White Lights performed followed by more great music by Black Pistol Fire

Continue reading on Live music review: The White White Lights and Black Pistol Fire at Emo's - Austin Concerts |

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Live music review: FFF Fest - T-Bird, Joy Formidable, Neon Indian, The Damned

The second day of Fun Fun Fun Fest (FFF 6) included a diverse array of acts from the hilarious and bizarre Captured by Robots to a Wu-Tang/Fugazi mash-up duo, Wugazi  to Donald Glover alter-ego, Childish Gambino and the UK'sThe Damned. The day belonged to The Joy Formidable and Neon Indian both of whom delivered excellent FFF Fest 6 performances Saturday at Auditorium Shores on  the south bank of Austin's Town Lake.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Live music review: FFF Fest ~ Day One | Ocote | BJL | Four Tet | Public Enemy

When Fun Fun Fun Fest organizers announced the independent Austin live music festival was relocating to Auditorium Shores last year, many fans were concerned. They liked the intimate setting Waterloo Park provided. The artists appearing at the venue had been increasingly more high profile up to the move. Friday's Day One lineup was an improvement over an already impressive booking list last year. Any fears proved unfounded as Transmission Entertainment ratcheted up the quality...

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Ocote Soul Sounds @funfunfunfest #fff cc: @jgwoulla

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Slide show: Fun Fun Fun Fest 6 Photos

Ocote Soul Sounds @funfunfunfest #fff cc: @jgwoullaYachtDanzig Legacy B&WPublic EnemyGiant inflatable Spider-man at Major Lazer @funfunfunfest #fffNeon Indian @funfunfunfest #fff
Ra Ra Riot @funfunfunfest cc: @mikedatxBMXer getting big air @funfunfunfest #austinT-Bird and the Breaks @funfunfunfestCaptured By Robots (w/ real live bots!) @funfunfunfest #fffPhilm, Slayer drummer, Dave Lombardo's side project. #progrock cc: @seanclaes@myeducationatx is playing new material from their yet to be released album

Fun Fun Fun Fest 6, a set on Flickr.

Images from the first two days of Fun Fun Fun Fest 6 at Auditorium Shores - Austin, Texas

Friday, November 4, 2011

Live music preview: FFF Fest 6 | Kool Keith | Lykke Li | M83 | The Damned

fter scouting out Empire Automotive last night with a thumping Passion Pit DJ set and seeing My Education open for Philm (Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo's side project) it is official, FFF 6's Nites aftershows are a welcome addition to the event. Today's preview picks up where we left offyesterday, with Friday evening shows like Kool Keith andThe Thermals. Saturday, Fun Fun Fun Fest shows we like are Austin acts, Shapes Have Fangs and T-Bird and the Breaks for those festival foot soldiers who manage to make it to Auditorium Shores early. M83, Swedish electro-pop sensation, Lykke Li and UK punk legends, The Damned play sunset and headlining sets tomorrow. 

Continue reading.... Yes, I want to keep reading

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Live music preview: FFF Fest 6 | My Education | Reggie Watts | Danzig Legacy

Fun Fun Fun Fest 6 is this weekend which means Austin's best progressive music festival is about to kick off the first three full day event in it's history. Several notable additions to the festival include a new venue, Auditorium Shores (previously at Waterloo Park), Nites aftershows, and an iPhone app. Festival producers, Transmission Entertainment have made the aftershows free for 3-day pass holders.

Continue reading here...

Breaking music news: Quiet Company on Last Call w/ Carson Daly November 2

Examiner has been notified Austin indy-pop upstarts, Quiet Company will appear on Last Call with Carson Daly on November 2nd (tonight) at 12:30am CST. It will be the first network television appearance for the group who recently released "We Are All Where We Belong" to critical acclaim. The band has secured a promotional deal with Grooveshark  announced in June after the streaming music service noticed a high volume Quiet Company tracks streaming on the site...
Continue reading Quiet Company on Carson Daly

Quiet Company - Fear and Fallacy, Sitting in a Tree - Official Music Video from Digital Shakedown on Vimeo.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Live music review: Concrete Blonde and Johnette Napolitano impress at new Emo's

Do you remember the hit, Joey by Concrete Blonde? Last night, the Los Angeles-based alternative act from the 80's, made an appearance at Austin's newest venue, Emo's East. The amazing thing about their leader and vocalist, Johnette Napolitano is she still has the same sultry, smoky voice she did over 20 years ago.

Continue reading on Live music review: Concrete Blonde and Johnette Napolitano impress at new Emo's - Austin Concerts |

Monday, October 24, 2011

Live music review: All My Friends packed ND for return gig after year absence

LCD Soundsystem tribute band, All My Friends performed their first show since disbanding last year to a packed house at the ND at 501 Studios Friday. It was a glorious evening of dance-punk and DJ sets kicked off by Chris Heckendorn (AMF vocalist) on the decks followed by Ricky Jean Francois who were quite good. After AMF's set which included some surprises, DJ Richard Gear kept the party going until the venue closed with some classic 80s and 90s tracks. From the size of the crowd, our assesment is Austin music fans were thrilled the band decided to reform. 

Continue reading on Live music review: All My Friends packed ND for return gig after year absence - Austin Concerts |

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend music preview: All My Friends | Battles | Hacienda | Zombie Uprising

A bye week for the University of Texas football team this weekend means there are a ton of Festivals happening in Austin. The Gypsy Picnic Tailer Food FestivalThe Austin Film Festival and the Texas Book Festival are all happening over the first "real" weekend of Fall. Along with an event-packed schedule, there are so many great shows over the next couple of days; our live music preview only scratches the surface.

Continue reading on Weekend music preview: All My Friends | Battles | Hacienda | Zombie Uprising - Austin Concerts |

Monday, October 17, 2011

Texas Rangers back to back: The World Series with hope for a different result

For the second consecutive year, the Texas Rangers have played their way into theWorld Series by easily defeating the Detroit Tigers at The Ballpark at Arlington 15-5 on Saturday to win the American League Championship Series 4-2. Although Texas lost to the San Francisco Giants in last year's Series, before last season the club had not won a post-season game since relocating to Texas from Washington, D.C. in 1972.

Continue reading the story on CultureMap Austin.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Weekend music preview: Utopia Fest | The Soldier Thread | Nightfever Vol XVII

This weekend the live music options are as diverse as Austin. There is alt country, psychedelic rock, indie rock, cutting edge DJ tracks and Latin tunes all on tap. Friday, Utopia Fest, a different kind of music festival begins and Grateful Dead cover to beat all cover bands, Dark Star Orchestra is slated to perform at ACL Live at the Moody. Saturday, fans have a choice between and all-acoustic show featuring The Soldier Thread or the Nightfever Vol XVII J Boogie album release party. We are going to try to hit both shows because we dislike having to choose between the two. Sunday, arguably the greatest Latin percussionist alive, Texas-born, Poncho Sanchez will be in town. 

Continue reading on Weekend music preview: Utopia Fest | The Soldier Thread | Nightfever Vol XVII - Austin Concerts |

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Weekend music preview: Calm Blue Sea | Boxing Lesson | White Denim | BB King

After spending most of last week out of town (and feeling a bit left out) it seemed appropriate to pen another weekend preview with all the great live music on tap in Austin. There is an exceptional double-bill, The Boxing Lesson and The Calm Blue Sea on Friday. Saturday our favorite local, progessive, rock band, White Denim is performing and Kebabalious is picking up the tab. Possibly the most famous blues guitarist alive, B.B. King will grace the ACL Live Moody Theater stage Sunday. Even a novice music fan could accidentally stumble upon a great show in the "Live Music Capitol" over the next few days. 

Continue reading on Weekend music preview: Calm Blue Sea | Boxing Lesson | White Denim | BB King - Austin Concerts |

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What was I Doing Fasting for Ramadan?

Yantra Interfaith Mandala

With Rosh Hashanah just ending and Yom Kippur approaching, I have had a chance to reflect on my experience fasting one day during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. The idea for the interfaith, online group fast was the brainchild of my friend, Amanda Quirishi whose work in finding common ground among members of various faiths encouraged the event. She also urged participants to share their experiences on Twitter which is where I first heard of the event.

Q as she is commonly known on the internet is a prolific writer and social media specialist who uses her online influence to connect folks together in new ways like the dawn til dusk Ramadan observance she organized. Q warned us we would run through a gamut of emotions while fasting and we should reflect upon those who routinely battle hunger.  The primary purpose of the month-long observance in Islam is to understand what it means to live with hunger and appreciate the bounty most of us enjoy.  A few other things happened as well…

After carefully setting my alarm, for 5am in the morning (before the sun rose), I slept though the alarm and missed my opportunity to eat a meal before my day began.  I was not to drink water, brush my teeth (that was gross) or even drink the water in the shower.

 I thought, “I am Jewish, I have fasted for Yom Kippur before, this will be a snap…I think”

I could not have been more wrong.  First, Yom Kippur allows us to break the fast at sundown after one day of fasting. The dawn to dark rule actually makes for a longer fast.  Reform Jews like me often drank water even though it was officially not allowed.  It was a challenge fasting in strict Islamic tradition while attempting to go about my day like it was any other. By mid-morning, I was already wondering if I could make it until the sun went down after 8pm that evening. I had a couple of stories to write, a client meeting and a game to cover for the newspaper that evening. 

How the heck Muslims do this for an entire month, I wondered? One day fasting was a trial. An entire month? Now THAT is commitment to your faith. Already, I had a newfound respect for Islamic folks. They must have a deep understanding of human suffering that non-Muislims could only imagine.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, various participants were comparing notes with each other and offering support.  Participants shared their experiences on Twitter in real-time at Q’s suggestion. She hoped the online encouragement and support would make it easier to negotiate the day while running on empty. 

Here are some examples I pinched from Q's Blog:

I had a similar experience

Seeing others having the same thoughts helped somehow

While the tweets above demonstrate the physical difficulties of fasting while trying to carry on a work day, the mental demands seemed greater. I found myself reflecting upon others experiences more. The homeless folks at traffic intersections begging for money, vagrants downtown waiting outside Caritas and comparing their lives to my own rather blessed one.

I realized once again, the differences between people were far less significant than the similarities. Our religions, cultures and values as human beings are rather close in ideology regardless of religion or race. 

This is a realization one often arrives at after traveling overseas for any length of time. The exercise had it's intended effect. I marveled at the Islamic people around the world who did this for an entire month. One day of Ramadan was a trial enough for me.

 In the end, I found myself covering a preseason football game as the sun set over Central Texas. I wandered down to the snack bar and ordered a water and hot dog. Not sexy, but it was just about the best thing I could imagine at the time. 

Thanks to Amanda Quirishi, Jennifer Jones, Holly from Seattle, GenevieveJaime Weaver and Sarah Vela for sharing the experience with me. 

Have you ever fasted for religious purposes? What was your experience like? 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Live music preview: Quiet Company CD release party at the new ND tonight

Do you like power pop with great lyrics, rousing choruses and intensity? We do too, which is why you should head to the remodeled ND at 501 Studios to see Quiet Company, Saints of Valory and Whitman at for QC's album release party tonight. Aside from visiting the new ND, the lineup features three up and coming Austin bands. Quiet Company has exploded in popularity this year and last after their EP, "Songs for Staying In" got heavy radio play on Austin radio last year culminating in a landmark deal with Grooveshark a few months ago.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Live music preview: Classical piano stylist Reuel to perform at straw poll event

Sunday, classical piano stylist, Reuel Meditz is slated to perform at a straw poll event organized by the Travis County Republican Party in Lago Vista. The 23-year old Reuel plays an improvisational style that allows the performer to compose pieces while playing. The event will feature a candidate forum for the newly created 23rd Congressional District in addition to Reuel's unique piano music. The musician uses his improvisational skills to write film scores when his is not performing. 

Continue reading on Live music preview: Classical piano stylist Reuel to perform at straw poll event - Austin Concerts |

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Live music review: Manu Chao's frenetic pace at Stubb's ACL Fest after show

One of the first official Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Fest) after shows to sell-out was Manu Chao La Ventura, the French performer with Spanish parents who sings in multiple languages (primarily Spanish). Chao is known for his high-energy shows often pushing the tempo to a frenetic pace leading fans to crowd surf, mosh, pogo and get crazy.

Continue reading on Live music review: Manu Chao's frenetic pace at Stubb's ACL Fest after show - Austin Concerts |

Monday, September 19, 2011

Live music review: ACL Fest Day 2 - Stevie Wonder | Fitz and the Tantrums | Chancellor Warhol

If there was any doubt Stevie Wonder was headliner material at Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Fest) this year, the performer quickly put those to rest by making a dramatic entrance Saturday night at Zilker Park. The 61-year old, blind, pop musical genius made his entrance holding a keytar while he walked on stage, a funky intro emanating out of Wonder's intstrument

Continue reading on Live review: ACL Fest Day 2 Stevie Wonder | Fitz & Tantrums | Chancellor Warhol - Austin Concerts |

Sunday, September 18, 2011