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If You Have Ghosts

Fun Fun Fun Live Shot: The Bots

The only overt signifier of the Bots’ adolescent pedigree at their early Sunday show was matching white t-shirts festooned with crude line drawings of breasts. The L.A. duo consists of brothers Mikaiah Lei (guitar) and drummer Anaiah Lei, but the miracle of modern effects provides more thunder than their ranks indicate on last month’s debut, Pink Palms. Read More | Comment »

9:30AM Mon. Nov. 10, Greg Beets

Fun Fun Fun Live Shot: Gary Numan

Research on well-being in the U.S. indicates unhappiness peaks in a person’s 50s. Don’t fault UK legacy act Gary Numan for his embrace of onetime protégé Trent Reznor’s trappings on last year’s Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind). His industrial catharsis proves a healthier choice than bottling it up. Read More | Comment »

9:35AM Sun. Nov. 9, Greg Beets

Fun Fun Fun Live Shot: Jello Biafra & Guantanamo School of Medicine

Blue skies and agreeable temperatures did little to temper Jello Biafra’s vitriol Friday afternoon. His voluminous fount of hardcore polemics can’t be separated from the now historic emergence of Reaganism, but modern times continue to provide ample fodder for the template. Read More | Comment »

10:00AM Sat. Nov. 8, Greg Beets

Austin Psych Fest Live (Sunday): Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band

With Mikal Cronin still raging on the Reverberation Stage, the crowd in the Levitation Tent was surprisingly sparse when Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band kicked off. TV On the Radio vocalist Tunde Adebimpe was keen to start on time, an especially admirable trait for someone with a tableful of electronic effects in tow. Read More | Comment »

3:17PM Mon. May. 5, Greg Beets

Austin Psych Fest Live (Saturday): Temples

“It’s really nice now that the sun’s gone down, I think,” said Temples vocalist/guitarist James Edward Bagshaw halfway through a solid Saturday night set. “It makes all the difference.” Read More | Comment »

1:50PM Sun. May. 4, Greg Beets

SXSW Live Shot: Habibi

Amid the deep-fried sugar punk chaos that was Burgermania III at the Eastside’s Hotel Vegas on Saturday night, Habibi was something of an outlier. Read More | Comment »

11:37AM Sun. Mar. 16, Greg Beets

SXSW Live Shot: Perfect Pussy

For most bands, following the innards-churning blast wave of Destruction Unit would be a fool’s errand. Syracuse, NY, quintet Perfect Pussy at least appeared to have the elements in place to make it a contest on Friday. Read More | Comment »

1:07PM Sat. Mar. 15, Greg Beets

SXSW Panel: Memphis Means Music

Imagine growing up in South Memphis and only knowing Stax Records as a vacant, bottle-strewn lot with a lonely state historical marker in front. “How could something so huge be wiped off the map for future generations?” asked Memphis hip-hop kingpin Al Kapone. “Why wasn’t it passed on to us?” Read More | Comment »

10:55PM Fri. Mar. 14, Greg Beets

SXSW Live Shot: Jimi Hendrix Tribute

When Jimi Hendrix died 44 years ago, the notion of the U.S. Postal Service honoring him with a stamp would’ve been laughable, but having MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer lead the official celebration would’ve been unthinkable. Yet there he was on a crisp Thursday night for a free SXSW concert in Butler Park, leading the charge with an American flag guitar. Read More | Comment »

12:59PM Fri. Mar. 14, Greg Beets

SXSW Panel: Lou Reed: A Rock & Roll Heart

In the wake of Lou Reed’s death last October at age 71, Thursday’s Bill Bentley-moderated panel offered a wide range of unique perspectives on a great American musical life. Read More | Comment »

11:49PM Thu. Mar. 13, Greg Beets

SXSW Live Shot: Mirror Travel

In the wake of a well-received set from epic dance rock dramatists the Black and White Years, fellow locals Mirror Travel had their work cut out for them at Wednesday’s Modern Outsider showcase. With a darker, more cutting style, the Austin trio formerly known as Follow That Bird could only do so much in the way of accessibility. Read More | Comment »

10:25AM Thu. Mar. 13, Greg Beets

SXSW Live Shot: Syd Arthur

Syd Arthur’s truncated Tuesday night set vividly illustrated just about everything that can go wrong when showcasing bands get shoehorned into non-music venues. Despite its air of puffed-up velvet rope-ism, Haven didn’t even afford Tuesday’s patrons the actual luxury of air conditioning. Read More | Comment »

10:53PM Tue. Mar. 11, Greg Beets

SXSW Interview: Neil Young

After writing extensively about his attempts to bring high-quality digital music to the masses in his 2012 autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, Neil Young’s PonoMusic is slowly moving toward fruition. Tuesday’s interview with USA Today’s Mike Snider was part rant and part sales pitch. Read More | Comment »

8:07PM Tue. Mar. 11, Greg Beets

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Sarah Silverman

Fresh air and elbow room were in short supply as Sarah Silverman took the stage Sunday afternoon with new material literally in hand. Rebuking the memory of Dave Chappelle’s Paramount debacle, the body-heated tent got remarkably quiet when Silverman began her act. It was almost possible to forget you were on the periphery of a loud music festival. Read More | Comment »

11:20AM Mon. Nov. 11, 2013, Greg Beets

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Descendents

Returning to Fun Fun Fun Fest for the first time since filling in for Devo at the last minute in 2010, Descendents summoned Saturday night pop-punk deliverance at a breakneck pace that more than held its own against the band’s adolescent legacy. Read More | Comment »

10:04AM Sun. Nov. 10, 2013, Greg Beets

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: White Lung

Mish Way makes a compelling frontwoman. Bleach blonde and clad in black, she cuts a striking figure, commanding attention with every minor hand gesture. And that’s before she sings a note. Like Penelope Houston and Kathleen Hanna before her, Way distills jagged punk rage with a nuanced emotive backdrop to create a singular vocal presence. Read More | Comment »

9:28AM Sun. Nov. 10, 2013, Greg Beets

ACL Interview: Dynamites feat. Charles Walker

The Sixties run deep on Love is Only Everything, the Dynamites feat. Charles Walker’s third album. Steeped in Southern soul, the album’s delineating factor is its incorporation of dynamics more akin to Chicago and New York. Between Walker’s intuitive vocal finesse and the Dynamites’ crack arrangements, anything’s possible. Read More | Comment »

11:00AM Fri. Oct. 11, 2013, Greg Beets

Austin Psych Fest Live (Saturday): Kaleidoscope (UK)

Prior to Saturday’s show, Kaleidoscope vocalist Peter Daltrey hadn’t played an outdoor music festival since an ill-fated appearance at Isle of Wight in 1970. “I can tell you this,” Daltrey said. “The vibe here is way better.” Read More | Comment »

2:29PM Sun. Apr. 28, 2013, Greg Beets

Austin Psych Fest Live (Saturday): Wall of Death

Texans love to hear complaints about the heat from European bands playing our music festivals. It swells our sun-scorched bosoms with a fleeting sense of heartiness. When Wall of Death keyboardist Brice Borredon innocently asked, “Is anybody hot?” on an altogether mild-by-local-standards April afternoon, one could only chuckle. Read More | Comment »

12:27PM Sun. Apr. 28, 2013, Greg Beets

Austin Psych Fest: Rain Parade

Between the Three O’Clock’s Coachella appearance earlier this month and Rain Parade’s Austin Psych Fest show tonight at Red 7 – 12:15am – it’s springtime all over again for the Paisley Underground. Read More | Comment »

10:47AM Thu. Apr. 25, 2013, Greg Beets

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