Instrumental ascension generally soars on six strings and ozone huffing, but My Education cracks the sky via avant-classical chamber rock. The Cinemascope Austinites’ eighth full-length since their new millennial beginnings, Schiphol swoons like a string quartet and bristles à la Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Fresh off South by Southwest, bass warlock Scott Telles and guitarist Brian Purington emailed back our post-festival questionnaire ahead of the group’s ambitious, two-stage album release convergence.
Austin Chronicle: Please recap SXSW 2017 for My Education.
Scott L. Telles: I was working for the Festival, so I’ll recuse myself on this one!
Brian L. Purington Jr.: We played two official showcases (the Loyalty Firm & the City of Austin) along with another official showcase as SoundMass, a collaborative/improvisational project we have with the Salt Lake City band Theta Naught. We also played a number of day parties, saw a lot of friends, and drank a lot of Lone Star.
AC: Did the band have professional goals for the Festival this year?
SLT: Mainly to get our new LP Schiphol as much attention as possible, and play our new material for as many people as we could.
AC: How’d the new material go over at the conference?
SLT: Very well! We had very good crowds at both of our official showcases, not to mention having Tuesday recognized as My Education Day and having our proclamation from the mayor read by Council Member Pio Renteria!
BLPJR: Oh yeah, we even received a nice write-up from a religious pop culture blog.
AC: Best thing y’all saw?
SLT: Robyn Hitchcock and Lift to Experience at Central Presbyterian; Suzanne Ciani on the Buchla in quadraphonic sound at St. David’s.
BLPJR: Mastodon, !!!, and Total Unicorn were the highlights for me.– Raoul Hernandez
Back when the original Antone’s occupied Sixth Street, guitarist Jimmie Vaughan and singing harmonica wizard Kim Wilson led their house band the Fabulous Thunderbirds. After considerable local and national success, Vaughan departed, but Wilson retains the mantle and returns to Austin’s Home of the Blues for the first time in years. Bolstered by local guitarist Johnny Moeller, his road warriors deliver devastating blues rock. And nobody blows harp like Wilson. Nobody.– Jay Trachtenberg
Formed in 1991 by death metal duo Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström, Stockholm smashers Katatonia fleshed out to emphasize melodic craft once chronic vocal injuries forced Renkse to abandon screaming. Last year’s tenth studio album, The Fall of Hearts, pumps lush, sprawling compositions treading the line between metal and atmospheric, progressive heavy rock. Massachusetts sextet Caspian churns dynamic, cinematic post-rock.– Bryan Rolli
Crucifix-breaking, cop-hating Dallas quintet Power Trip proved heavy hitters with 2013’s Manifest Decimation, smelting Slayer thrash and Cro-Magsian hardcore that appealed to skateboarders and Satanists alike. On fresh sophomore LP Nightmare Logic, secret sauce producer Arthur Rizk focuses riffs, attitude, and energy. Jason Tarpey’s local legends of thrash/speed/doom metal, Iron Age – increasingly agoraphobic since 2009’s classic The Sleeping Eye – opens after fellow hardcore favorites Glue, and youth crew the Real Cost.– Kevin Curtin