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