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

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mojo Nixon celebrated 10 years of SiriusXM Outlaw Country gig with guest artists

Retired psychobilly singer, Mojo Nixon celebrated 10 years of being at the helm of the SiriusXM Outlaw Country satellite radio show Thursday with a special appearance in Austin. Broadcast from a makeshift radio control room at ACL Live, Nixon's tenth anniversary party show was joined by Austin acts Joe Ely, Dale Watson, Paula Nelson, Justin Townes Earle, Jessie Dayton, Bruce Robison, Kelly Willis and Rosie Flores among others.

Nixon is known for his bawdy humor and bombastic personality on air. The man who once had a hit with Debbie Gibson is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child is prone to loud fits of laughter, off-color jokes and signing off each segment of the show yelling... Continue reading at

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Music festival preview: Six buzz bands to see at Fun Fun Fun Fest

Fun Fun Fun Fest is less than 48 hours away. We know festival-goers are planning 
their schedules and plotting their musical attack and we want to help. While it is easy 
to figure out headlining acts to see, finding the hidden gems in the lineup can be a 
guessing game. That is why we are here recommending six buzz bands 
(two for each day of FFF Fest) to put on your list this weekend. If you are watching at 
home, check out these bands on YouTube and your favorite streaming service. You'll 
likely add them to your playlists and pine for the opportunity to see these acts when they 
roll through your town.

Below is a short list of bands to put on your radar with ...Continue reading at

Monday, November 3, 2014

Live music review: Duran Duran performs exclusive set for F1 Grand Prix Saturday

 the eve of the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) Grand Prix race in Austin Sunday, legendary '80s rockers, Duran Duran performed an exclusive set at ACL Live at the Moody Theater for race fans. The VIP-style event featured open bars, cocktail tables and buffets of food offerings. The two-time Grammy winners ran through a hit-filled 90-minute set while shrieking female fans voiced their excitement at seeing the Englishmen in the flesh.
While the band rests largely on the laurels of their first five albums (all released in the '80s), Duran Duran have admirably continued to record new albums releasing their 13th studio album, All You Need is Now in 2011 when they could have easily slid into being a retro-act like so many other aging bands. Also laudable was the absence of backing tracks which the synth-heavy act could have easily employed without complaint from their rabid fanbase. Instead, with ...Continue reading at

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Music festival preview: COTA Fan Fest to bring Joan Jett, family fun to Austin this weekend

The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) hosts a big Grand Prix race every fall. While everyone may not be race fans, most people in Austin like free live music, food trucks, beer gardens and activities for kids. At least that is what COTA and event sponsors are betting on as Fan Fest begins Friday in downtown Austin. The lineup of musical acts is impressive for a free music festival. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, De La Soul, Black Joe Lewis, Devotchka and many other international and local acts are slated to perform through Sunday.

Fan Fest will take place October 31-November 2 across ten city blocks of downtown Austin from the Warehouse District to Republic Square Park beginning at 4 p.m. Friday. Live music acts... Continue reading at

Live music preview: Utah indie rockers Desert Noises return to Stubb's Friday

Last March during South by Southwest we were invited to the Do512 Lounge to watch a few bands the entertainment site invited to perform. One of those bands, Desert Noises was so impressive for a young, unknown group we struggled to get them out of our head after the show. Fortunately, we never did get that foursome out of our head and we watched the indie rockers from Orem, Utah twice more after seeing them at SXSW. On Friday lead singer and songwriter, Kyle Henderson and company return to Stubb's BBQ to play on the inside stage.
We asked Henderson why the band likes playing Austin. He replied... Continue reading at

Monday, October 20, 2014

Live music review: American Authors, Mowgli's packed Mohawk for Honda Civic Tour

On the surface, American Authors appear to be like most bands that appeal to the teen music fan set and to some extent that view is correct. The Brooklyn-based band that headlined theHonda Civic Tour at Austin's Mohawk last night goes deeper than that though. In fact, the band has impressive credentials as the members met at the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston in 2006 before launching their music career as Blue Pages. The hundreds of teen girls who packed The Mohawk likely know all those details and more. Most of the young ladies near the front of the stage could be seen mouthing lyrics to all their songs (and covers) as the band ran through their ...Continue reading at

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ACL festival review: Weekend two - Lorde, Pearl Jam, The Replacements, Avetts (photos and set lists)

Austin City Limits Festival (ACL Festival) felt like a repeat of weekend two last year. There was plenty of rain overnight on Saturday... just like last year. Except conditions were not nearly as bad and officials were able to get Zilker Park ready for the approximately 70,000 people who came to see Pearl JamLorde, The Replacements, Iggy Azalea, The Avett Brothers, AFI and more acts at Austin's largest music festival which concluded Sunday evening after six days of performances and countless after shows.

This year ACL Festival was not exactly a repeat of last year's fiasco. Sunday was not... Continue reading at

Sunday, October 12, 2014

4 great moments from day one of Austin City Limits Festival 2014 weekend two

Day one of Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Fest) weekend two was filled with many great moments as waves of music fans descended on Zilker Park yesterday. Beck delivered yet another outstanding set at the Samsung Galaxy Stage to close out the day. St. Vincent thrilled fans at the smaller Retail Me Not Stage. UK upstarts, Temples played swirling psych rock at the Miller Lite Stage mid-afternoon as the sun shone brightly on crowds. We got to spend a few minutes with some of the guys from Temples at their Waterloo Records autograph signing. Find complete autograph signing schedule here. We also discovered ...Continue reading at

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ACL festival review: Pearl Jam, The Replacements thrilled Sunday crowds on day 3

Much like New Orleans' Jazz Fest and Chicago's Lollapalooza, day three at Austin City Limits (ACL Festival) featured the largest crowds of the weekend. The huge turnout was for good reason. Hugely popular act Pearl Jam may have topped their incredible ACL Festival 2009 performance. The Replacements played the same Samsung Galaxy Stage earlier in the day. The legendary garage-rockers are back touring after a 21 year hiatus. Fans also had an opportunity to see local legends Spoon at the opposite end of the park at the Honda Stage. Spoon are taping another ACL TV show this week. An epic day of live music took place yesterday during an equally epic weekend.

Although the rare appearance of The Replacements on the main stage was a hot topic of conversation, the electric undercurrent of excitement around... Continue reading at

ACL Festival review: Day 2 - Eminem, Skrillex, Iggy Azalea, Trombone Shorty photos

More fantastic fall weather graced the second day of Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) this weekend at Zilker Park. We grabbed photos of EminemSkrillex, Interpol, Trombone Shorty, Lucius and much more as the largest crowds of the weekend took in all the music. We spotted Adrian Grenier enjoying Snowmine at the BMI stage. The actor and music aficionado has good taste. Snowmine impressed with indie rock hooks and great vocal performances. Iggy Azalea commanded a gigantic crowd at the Retail Me Not Stage. Lucius invited Head and the Heart to guest with them for a chillingly good sunset show. Headliners Eminem and Skrillex battled it out for supremacy at the cost of... Continue reading at

ACL festival review: Beck recap, St. Vincent, Childish Gambino and more pics

C3 Presents, the company that produces Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Festival) could not have ordered more perfect conditions to kick off the 13th edition of the annual event yesterday at Zilker Park in the center of Austin. An overnight storm brought a cooling front to Central Texas early Friday morning and daytime temperatures peaked in the mid-80s with a light breeze.

The great weather meant fans got out early, crowding the lawn at the Four Seasons for KUTX's breakfast shows with Hard Proof, Lake Street Drive and Temples. Later in the day, Beck repeated his... Continue reading at

Friday, September 19, 2014

Live music preview: Weekend picks - Bob Mould, Sebadoh, WOBEON, RVRB Records

It has been too long since we posted a weekend preview primarily because there have been so many events to cover in Austin recently we can hardly keep up. With students back in town and the Texas music festival season heating up, we thought it prudent to offer recommendations on the top shows of the weekend. There are plenty of them. Garage-rock buzz band, OBN IIIs play Empire Control Room tonight to kick off Weekender Austin, a four day mini-festival. Friday evening 90's alt-rockers, Sebadoh will appear on the Red 7 stage while local Afrobeat sensations, Hard Proof keep the party going at Holy Mountain. The latter head out of town following the show for their first ...Continue reading at

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Live music review: Sixth year a success at Utopiafest

The little festival that could. That is the tagline Utopiafest should adopt to describe the music festival that produced their sixth event this past weekend in a remote part of Central Texas while limiting attendance and booking great national and local acts. One reason for the success of the festival is the vision of co-founder Aaron Brown who basically put together a show that possess all the ...Continue reading at

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Live music review: Sub-Pop act Washed Out sold-out return to Mohawk Tuesday

The best live acts always seem to defy categorization. Sub-Pop solo artist Washed Out (Ernest Greene) is a perfect example. The Georgia native sold-out his appearance at The Mohawk on Tuesday. Their previous two performances at the venue sold-out too, in part because the music could be easily labeled a number of different genres (chill wave, synth-pop, electronic, alternative, indie rock), thus he is... Continue reading at

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Live music review: Night Beats return to Austin for mind blowing Sound Select gig

This past Saturday at Hotel Vegas, Seattle trio Night Beats packed Red Bull's Soundselect show. The group plays an amalgam of psych, blues and garage rock that has attracted a legion of fans since they performed at Austin Psych Festival in 2013. Red Bull's monthly event is hosted at various Austin live music venues and typically features a stellar local lineup. The undercard had two Austin bands on it, Sea Lion and Mirror Travel. Headliner, Night Beats was the sole ...Continue reading at

Friday, August 22, 2014

Live music review: Robert Rodriguez, Chingon put Latin twist on Sin City party

Robert Rodriguez    Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro
Director Robert Rodriguez took center stage in Austin Wednesday night with the premiere of his film, "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (3D) at the Paramount Theater. Following the screening, attendees headed to The Rattle Inn for a VIP reception which featured music from Chingon. The group is comprised of members of Del Castillo and Rodriguez who formed the band to record music for his film "Once Upon a Time in Mexico." The event was one of several fundraisers the Austin Film Society hosts each year.

Prior to Rodriguez arriving at the venue, there was a... Continue reading at

Monday, August 18, 2014

4 Austin bands you need to see from the Vagabond Collective Summer Nights finale

On a warm August evening that boasted a bevvy of good shows in Austin, Vagabond Collective hosted their final Summer Nights show at Empire Control Room Saturday. It was an opportunity to showcase an impressive cross section of local music. A talent heavy, seven acts were booked inside the Control Room and on the back patio. Headliner Marmalakes, along with Shivery Shakes,Chipper Jones and Yum played tantalizingly good sets. It was an evening that highlighted how... Continue reading at

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Live music review: Mars Volta offshoot Antemasque sold-out Mohawk

While Austin's music scene is well documented, El Paso has their own vibrant music scene as evidenced by the sold-out crowd on hand at The Mohawk Sunday for ANTEMASQUE. The new band is an offshoot of the now defunct The Mars Volta, led by guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, an El Paso native. Nadie Sound (Rodriguez-Lopez's record company) label mates, Le Butcherettes opened the early-evening show in front of a nearly... Continue reading at

Friday, August 1, 2014

TV preview: Arts in Context to feature The Octopus Project on KLRU, streaming August 1

By now readers of this column have gotten used to seeing reviews of live tapings at Austin City Limits television which airs nationally on PBS. What folks may not be aware local PBS affiliate, KLRU produces Arts in Context a show that delves deeper into the work of artists and how they create, collaborate and incorporate elements together. Emmy award-winning producer, Mario Troncoso, makes the documentary show.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. (CST) KLRU will air an episode on The Octopus Project, an Austin electro-pop band that has been... Continue reading at

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Live music review: Nick Cave taped first Austin City Limits TV show Sunday

Since last Sunday we have been mulling over the first Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (NCBS) episode taping at Austin City Limits TV. Even if you are not a rabid Nick Cave fan, one thing is certain, the man will make you feel something. For most of the audience members, seeing the Australian impresario live was the zenith of a cult-like reverence for the singer. Cave sold-out the same room the previous evening for an ACL Live performance that had fans filling our Twitter feed with over the top superlatives. Judging from an informal survey we conducted, the tv taping was a bit more... Continue reading at

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weekend music preview: Nick Cave, Quiet Company, Nicole Atkins, Quesoff IV

While Austin waits for the summer temperatures to dry up the roadways from flooding and heavy rain Thursday evening we were busy choosing the best live music and events to recommend this weekend. Besides Nick Cave performing back-to-back evenings at ACL Live and ACL TV there is a ton of fun stuff happening around town. Much of the events listed are free or... Continue reading at

Monday, July 14, 2014

New music: Residual Kid charity single drops July 15, free show Saturday

Tomorrow Austin garage act Residual Kid drop a new single, "Friday on My Mind" an Easybeats cover from 1966. The locals have been enjoying national buzz since SXSW 2013, recording with J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) and performing all over the country. All proceeds from the sale of the new record will be dontated to Hospice Austin and Livestrong. The all-under 18 band was inspired by fan, Miriam "Miri" Hyman who requested they record the song before she... Continue reading at

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Weekend music preview: Polyphonic Spree, Sam Pace CD Release, Mellowfest, Old Crow Medincine Show, Wheeler Brothers

One would think with summer here and students headed home for the break that things would slow down in "The Live Music Capital of the World" but one would be wrong. This weekend is a perfect example. There are a couple of big shows out at the Austin360 Amphitheater; Rascall Flats with Sheryl Crow followed by Kiss and Def Leopard. But there is even more goodness happening in and around downtown Austin Friday and Saturday. The Polyphonic Spree, Mellowfest, Sam Pace and the Gilded Grit and Old Crow Medicine Show with Ray Wylie Hubbard and... Continue reading at

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Video premiere: my education final video from 5 Popes reissue released today

Austin post-rock act my education has released the final video from their 5 Popes reissue that dropped in February on Beat Imprint Records. The entire album was remastered for the re-release. The video was made for the song, "Deep Cut" which originally was released in 2004 on Thirty Ghosts Records. The live band footage which features original members from the roster when the album was made was shot by former Austin Chronicle film critic... Continue reading at

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Live music review: rare Hardcore Devo performance thrilled Austin fans

Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro

Pioneering new wave act Devo has enjoyed cult status since breaking through with commercial hit, "Whip It" in 1980. When founding member Bob Cassale (Bob2) passed away unexpectedly this year the surviving members decided to embark on a ten city tour featuring music from 1974-77 when the band first formed in Ohio. Proceeds from the tour were donated to Cassale's family. It is telling the band chose Austin to finish their tour at the award-winning ACL Live at the Moody they sold-out when they last played the venue. Gerald Cassale has mentioned how much the group likes... Continue reading at

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Music festival preview: Third Red White and Blue Ball takes place Saturday

The third annual Red, White and Blue Ball (RWBB) is set for this Saturday at the Ball Farm located near the Circuit of Americas racetrack in Dale, Texas. The event features headliner, Shinyribswith Kevin Russell (The Gourds) and more Austin talent in a daylong Fourth of July themed music festival with a huge water slide, free camping and a family friendly atmosphere. If you missed Shinyribs due to their Blues on the Green being postponed last night, this is a chance to see them perform with other Austin bands. Notable acts appearing at RWBB include... Continue reading at

Monday, June 23, 2014

Live music review: Supergroup Spanish Gold sold-out The Parish Thursday

Last Thursday night one of the hottest new bands of the year,Spanish Gold sold-out their first show of their debut tour. The supergroup featuring Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket, local guitarist and producer, Adrian Quesada (Brownout, Grupo Fantasma) and San Antonio musician Dante Schwebel (City and Color, Hacienda) have been getting buzz since debuting at SXSW last March. It was a sort of homecoming for the band who has been touring with Austin artists... Continue reading at

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Weekend music preview: Jeff Tweedy, Spanish Gold, Spirit Animal, KUTX SummerJam

As Texas weather heats up with the official first day of summer this weekend, so do the number of free live music events in Austin. If you are not planning on staying on the couch watching World Cup you can take advantage of gratis performances by Sour BridgesDale WatsonHoliday Mountain and Cilantro Boombox among others. Brooklyn by way of Los Angeles indie rockers, Spirit Animal return to Austin Friday.
Fans snapped up tickets to super group... Continue reading at

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Interview: Sound Mass - my education and Theta Naught to play rare Austin gig

Readers of this column may be aware of our love of progressive, experimental or post rock music. Genre labels aside, what we like is fantastic, orchestrated music that steps outside the boundaries of traditional musical forms. When it is done right it sounds like the music Austin act, my education and Utah's Theta Naught make together with their Sound Mass project. The group will... Continue reading at

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Live music preview: Neon Indian, Octopus Project headline Scootenanny Saturday

This Saturday is the first Scootenanny at The Historic Scoot Inn in East Austin. Neon Indian (DJ set) and The Octopus Project headline the event which runs from 4 p.m. to 2 p.m. Also performing at the show is Night DriveIshiHoliday MountainThe Black and White YearsOrthy,Corduroi, Wrestlers and AJ Vincent. With a list of great, local bands like that, Scootenanny looks to be an... Continue reading at

Nyjah Huston dominated Men's Skate Street for gold at X Games Austin

Heavy favorite Nyjah Huston set an X Games record scoring a 95.00 on his second run of the Men's Monster Energy Drink Skate Street final at the Circuit of Americas racetrack in Austin on Sunday to win gold. Huston dominated the field of six skaters who made the final from the start, scoring a 89.33 to take the lead after his first run. A packed grandstands (the venue reached capacity) loudly supported every rider who made the final echoing the traditional goodwill between riders in professional skating.
With Huston leading when his third and final run came, the gifted skater who turned in a near-perfect second round missed a... Continue reading at