Monday, August 24, 2015

Live music review: Appropriately our final Red 7 show was Death and they rocked

Once obscure punk pioneers Death came through Austin last Thursday, playing one of the last Red 7 shows before the venue shutters permanently on August 28. While the name of the band fit the venue's situation to a T, Death actually play an upbeat, rocking show bolstered by guitarist Bobbie Duncan, a session player from New York who joined the group when they reformed in 2009. The rest of the group, Bobby and Dannis Hackney survived founding member, David who ...Continue reading

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Live music review: Incubus and Deftones packed Austin360 Amphitheater Monday

If you thought legacy tours were a fading trend, guess again. Case in point, TheIncubus/Deftones/DFA 1979 performance at Austin360 Amphitheater on Monday sold-out well in advance of the date. The alternative rock bands from Southern California who were both popular in the early 2000s have different aesthetics and backgrounds. They also draw different crowds. The heavier, more metal Deftones led by Chino Moreno attracted a sizeable Latino contingent while the Calabasas (West LA suburb) bred Incubus' core fan appeared to be white, anglo-thirtysomethings reliving their college days. Thus the co-headliners played... Continue reading

Live music review: Intense Canadians Metz destroyed Red 7

Last May during LEVITATION aka Austin Psych Fest we got the chance to chat briefly with Hayden Menzies of Metz. The drummer was excited about being in Austin again to perform. The noise-punks from Toronto have been to Austin three times this year including their intense, captivating set at Red 7 last Saturday. It was one of the final shows for the venue that will close its doors on August 28.

Shortly after arriving at the venue we bumped into ...Continue reading

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Live music review: Snow Tha Product Brought Woke Nation to The Parish

If you are one of my seven subscribers then you know hip-hop shows are something I rarely review. The sad fact is most rap shows are not compelling to the audience (for various reasons) and therefore a challenge to cover. Atlantic Records' Snow Tha Product proved to be an exception to that notion akin to previously mentioned acts, Devin the Dude, Jurassic Five and Wu-Tang Clan. I know that is heady company for a relative unknown but this artist has worked with notables Tech N9ne, Too Short and Lupe Fiasco. The latter cut short his Fun Fun Fun Fest set (when his mic failed) before I could see enough to give him a real review. 

On Friday last week at The Parish, Snow and Audio Push  entertained over 200 fans on her Rest Comes Later tour. A good portion of those fans made their way over to her "WOKE" merch table after the set. WOKE is Snow's brand. Her fans are called Woke Nation and they grab anything the rapper from California (now Texas) puts the logo on. 

Though the Mexican-American rapper born Claudia Feliciano has stunning good looks, it is her chop style of delivering verses and a rough and tumble aesthetic that she uses to propel her career. She refuses to exploit her own sexuality. Not only does Snow challenge the notion of what a Latina artist is, but she brings an awareness of the glass ceiling every woman faces with her. 

“There are two sides to me. I want to go hard with tracks like “Holy Shit,” but there are female subjects that I want to talk about too,” Snow says. “The only thing I’m not rapping about is sex. There are plenty of other rappers to do that.”

Before she began her set, Snow let the crowd at The Parish know her voice was failing from the rigors of the tour. So she went as hard as she could for as long as she could with her hype man, dancer and DJ behind her. She lead the audience in sing-a-longs, crowd surfed, got her dancer to crowd surf and fast rapped her way through a roughly 45 minute set before her voice gave out and she laid down her microphone. 

The subject matter in her songs is real but not with the pseudo-gangsta attitude so many hip-hop artists employ. Her message feels real because it IS real. The tracks have an edge to them. Snow flows in both English and Spanish, staying true to her roots while exploring themes Latinas (and others) can relate to. Atlantic likes to compare her to Lauren Hill but I think she has more in common with Frida Khalo with her self-deprecating demeanor and sharp wit. 

Check the track below. I think you might like it. 

Special thanks to Kim Sorin