How the Gods Kill

Make no mistake about it. Transmission Entertainment is going for broke with the fourth annual Fun Fun Fun Fest, Nov. 7-8, in Waterloo Park. The line-up marks a quantum leap from year’s past and easily parallels that of the Pitchfork Music Festival. Quite frankly, the names are a little overwhelming at first: The Jesus Lizard, Danzig, Flipper, Death, Ratatat, Of Montreal, Mission of Burma, No Age, and the Riverboat Gamblers. Suffice to say, get your early bird weekend passes now for $67.50. Here’s the full color-coded breakdown. The Orange Stage Ratatat, Of Montreal, Crystal Castles, Les Savy Fav, Yeasayer, Mission of Burma, Lucero, Why?, Broadcast, Atlas Sound, Death, No Age, Red Sparowes, Shonen Knife, Fuck Buttons, Times New Viking, This Will Destroy You, Crystal Antlers, Growing, the Black & White Years, Royal Bangs, the Laughing Read More | Comment »

Off the Record 1:49PM Tue. Aug. 25, 2009, Austin Powell

No Dagwood

This Friday, Aug. 28, at Antone’s, it’s Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Blondie Chaplin (with the extraordinary Stephen Barber and special guests), and the Lee Boys. Let’s forgo modesty here and just talk credentials. The Lee Boys are American treasures, a powerful six-man family band playing blues-driven gospel recently tagged as ”sacred steel” for its innovative use of pedal steel guitar. Elements of country, world music, rock, funk, and more make a soulful hybrid, taking cues from Robert Randolph and the Holmes Brothers. Of late, the Miami-based band has toured with the Allman Brothers and Michelle Shocked, testament to their wide appeal. Dumpstaphunk’s lazy origins as a throw-together band for the formidable Ivan Neville at Jazz Fest only add to its Big Easy groove, as dependable as the Mississippi rolling to the Gulf. With roots in the Neville Bros. and the Meters (not to mention almost the entire history of modern New Orleans music), Neville and his estimable cohorts have made music alongside the likes of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Etta James, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, and Bonnie Raitt. When it comes to cool cats, Neville is on his way to being one of the chairmen of the board. Read More | Comment »

Girlie Action 3:28PM Mon. Aug. 24, 2009, Margaret Moser

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Yeah Yeahs

After weeks of rather pointless speculation, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are, in fact, replacing the Beastie Boys at the 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival. The cultish NYC trio already filled in for the Beasties a few weeks back at Lollapalooza and have yet to tour the south behind its dance floor makeover, It’s Blitz. In lieu of Lily Allen, soulman Raphael Saadiq and Ben Sollee have also been added to the bill. Read More | Comment »

Off the Record 12:57PM Mon. Aug. 24, 2009, Austin Powell

The Lineup

The Lineup 3:09PM Fri. Aug. 21, 2009

The Long and Winding Road

The Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium in Arlington is large enough to house the Statue of Liberty or one gift anointed by the Queen of England: Sir Paul McCartney. Anticipating the release of Rock Band: Beatles and the Fab Four’s forthcoming reissue campaign, McCartney rolled out a two-and-a-half hour hit parade that proved all of his Liverpool schoolboy charm is still intact on the last night of his US tour. The set selection was more of an anthology, spanning Wings (“Jet,” “Band on the Run”) his solo career (“Flaming Pie,” “Only Mama Knows”), and Fireman project, last year’s Electric Arguments’ (“Highway”). That amounted to a bit of a lull during the first half of the show, especially given the echo-chamber acoustics, but the stadium pogo of “Mrs. Vanderbilt” provided an unexpected jolt midway through. Later, “Let Me Roll It” segued into McCartney’s fiery instrumental riff on “Foxy Lady” and a story about Hendrix covering Sgt. Peppers two days after its release at a club in England and calling on Eric Clapton to tune his guitar for him – priceless. Sir Paul paid tribute to both George Harrison – a beautiful ukulele-led rendition of “Something” – and John Lennon – the doubts still lingering in “Here Today” – though symbolism aside, the latter remains a rather bland eulogy. The real surprise of the evening was a spry cover of Buddy Holly’s “It’s so Easy,” performed with the starry-eyed enthusiasm of the ‘63 Beatles. “When we were kids back in Liverpool, one of the biggest influences on us was a man from Texas,” McCartney prefaced the selection, a noticeable lilt to his vocals throughout. The last 90 minutes past almost too quickly. Highlights included the serene “Blackbird,” acoustic “Eleanor Rigby,” a medley of “A Day in the Life”/ Give Peace a Chance,” and the unmatchable piano trifecta of “Let It Be,” “Live and Let Die” (complete with a Super Bowl halftime fireworks display), and “Hey Jude” that closed the first set. The frantic soul & roll double shot of “Back in the U.S.S.R” and “I’m Down” was topped only in the second encore by the still-blistering hysterical madness of “Helter Skelter.” Who needs Rock Band: Beatles? McCartney still electrifies on command. Read More | Comment »

Off the Record 1:21PM Fri. Aug. 21, 2009, Austin Powell

Salute Your Jorts

August. It's like the Sunday of summer, isn't it? Your inner thighs are chafed, you have no energy, and water consumption has been replaced with two new food groups: Tecate and Twang. The "I don't waaaaaaaaannaaa" is palpable. Tomorrow, a way to channel that feeling comes via Misprint magazine's Summer Jortacular. Jorts, aka the denim vasectomy, aka the jean shorts bike dudes wear. And it wouldn't be a Misprint joint without kegs, DJs, the Austin Facial Hair Club, a bikini bike wash, centaur rides, and the inevitable wet jorts contest. Starts at 4pm. Read More | Comment »

Schadenfreude 12:15PM Fri. Aug. 21, 2009, Audra Schroeder

Leon's Clinic

Rock legend Leon Russell rolled into Threadgill’s last night for his annual Austin stopover and gave a clinic on how to entertain an audience. Of course, the freaks were out in force, some with beards to rival Russell’s, others more than proud of their stylish, immense beer guts. But for nearly 90 minutes the old-time Okie and close personal friend to Willie hit nearly all the high points in his career, smashed his way through some classic rock standards, and seemed genuinely pleased to be in South Austin. After opening with a booming medley of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and “Kansas City,” Russell proclaimed, “I don’t do no new songs," then rambled all over American music, covering the likes of B.B. King, Jimmy Reed, and Lester Flatt. He spoke a bit about hanging with Willie and playing with members of the Grateful Dead at the Armadillo, before ending up in Los Angeles with Gram Parsons, who turned him on to “Wild Horses.” He dove into the song, but with a lilting, almost reggae beat. The Beatles were covered too, with a country take on “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” His solo version of “Song For You” hit a sweet spot and “Delta Lady” was appropriately rollicking. Russell ended with a fervent one-two of “Great Balls of Fire” and “Roll Over Beethoven” that showed at 67 he still knows how to rock and can still leave ‘em wanting more. Read More | Comment »

Geezerville 12:06PM Fri. Aug. 21, 2009, Jim Caligiuri

ACL Festival Aftershows

The 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival, Oct. 2-4, is completely sold out, all the way down to the VIP passes. Thankfully, for those a bit a slow on the uptake or hoping to beat the heat, C3 Presents announced its official afterparties this week. OTR is particularly stoked about the pairing of Rodriguez with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, backed by local favorites Hacienda at Antone's on Saturday, Oct. 3. While there are some big stages to fill (Bon Iver at the Paramount and Ghostland Observatory at Stubb’s, both on Sunday, Oct. 4), chances are they’ll go fast. Presale tickets are on sale now here. See the full schedule after the jump. Read More | Comment »

Off the Record 12:24PM Wed. Aug. 19, 2009, Austin Powell

Through the Past Brightly

The real allure of rock & roll is that it’s the fabled fountain of youth. It keeps you young, makes it all okay again. The world can be bitter and glum and here comes that one song, shooting like a sunbeam through the dark clouds, zapping you into the past. Ah, you’re 15 again and the world’s all right. That’s me, anyway, at least right now, in a stage where I’m playing 45s on a turntable for fun. For the last few months, I’ve been part of the Teen Canteen reunion committee, organizing a reunion show in San Antonio for bands that played the Teen Canteen in the 1960s and 70s. Come Sunday, Aug. 23 at Floore’s Country Store, we’re trying for that magic one more time. San Antonio isn’t Austin, and I don’t just mean that glibly. Their music scene operates on such a totally different level than Austin, it’s not even comparable. Way back in the 1960s, though, San Antonio was positioned as prominently as Austin. San Antonio’s Sunken Gardens Theatre was the scene every Sunday afternoon for rock and psychedelic bands of the day, a hippie lovefest that featured bands like Shiva’s Headband, Virgil Foxx, and Homer. San Antonio also had the Teen Canteen. Forget the cute, silly name – the Teen Canteen was the staging ground for San Antonio’s vibrant rock & roll scene, from before the Beatles until the dawn of punk. Owner Sam Kinsey opened the first Teen Canteen in 1960. It moved around to several locations, including a ballroom dance studio, settling at Wonderland (now Crossroads) Mall in 1963. In 1968, the Canteen moved to its last location on Bitters Road across from Northeast Stadium, the place it would occupy until it closed in 1977. Read More | 1 Comment »

Girlie Action 2:56PM Mon. Aug. 17, 2009, Margaret Moser

The Lineup

The Lineup 5:21PM Fri. Aug. 14, 2009, Audra Schroeder

His Year

It’s been more than five years since Colin Gilmore released his last full length disc, The Day the World Stopped and Spun the Other Way (Squirm), but 2009 is shaping up to be his year. It began with the Flatlanders – Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and his father, Jimmie Dale – deciding to include one of his songs on their latest, Hills & Valleys (New West). “They had recorded most of the album,” he recalls. “One morning my dad called me and said, ‘I kind of like the idea of using one of your songs. Is that OK?’ I was like, 'Of course it is.’ He said, ‘There’s a couple of them that I’d like to do, and I want to ask the band about them. I’m headed over there right now and it’s going to be a split second decision. Can you send me a mp3 and lyrics?’ So I did and maybe two hours later, tops, he called me up and told me they already recorded it. They just whipped it out. They actually recorded a couple of them but they ended up using 'The Way We Are' and did a beautiful job of it.” Read More | Comment »

Geezerville 12:53PM Wed. Aug. 12, 2009, Jim Caligiuri

American 'Bandslam'

The local premiere last week was a hit, the L.A. premiere kicked butt, and now two of our home team bands get to see themselves on the silver screen locally when Bandslam officially premieres this Friday, Aug. 14, in Austin theaters. The Daze, who play themselves in the film, are also celebrating the release of their CD Straight Jacket Hymns at Waterloo Records tomorrow, 4:30pm. At Jovita’s on Friday night though, the Daze will be joined by Joker, the Austin power trio also featured in Bandslam. In the film, Joker plays a competing band called Glory Dogs, but this weekend, it’s strictly fun. The two bands each perform two sets to accommodate the moviegoers. Cover is $2 or free if you bring your ticket stubs from the movie. Filmed mostly in Austin in early 2008, Bandslam also features local hip-hop artists Zeale, Phranchyze, and Candice Jackson. Read More | Comment »

Girlie Action 5:16PM Mon. Aug. 10, 2009, Margaret Moser

Off the Record - 33 RPM

In this edition of Off the Record's 33 RPM, Room 710 goes out with a bang, roundball ruckus takes over Red River, and more confirmations for the 2009 Fun Fun Fun Fest. Read More | Comment »

33 RPM 4:03PM Mon. Aug. 10, 2009, Austin Powell

In the Monitor

Local punk/pop/country trio Darling New Neighbors is not only releasing a new disc later this month, it's also in the running to contribute the theme song for former Sleater-Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein's NPR blog, Monitor Mix. They are currently in the lead, and deadline for voting is tomorrow, so get to it here! Update: They won! Read More | Comment »

Schadenfreude 3:52PM Mon. Aug. 10, 2009, Audra Schroeder

The Lineup

The Lineup 12:30PM Fri. Aug. 7, 2009

Always Coming Back Home to You

"Most of the shows we play, the back of the venue usually starts at that tree and runs straight across to that light over there,” Slug said late into Atmosphere's throwdown at Stubb’s Wednesday night. “You have no idea how good it is to see all you ugly people all the way the fuck back there.” Atmosphere wears its underground status like a badge of honor, but that claim that may not ring true in Austin any longer. The Minneapolis duo's usually found down the street at Emo’s when they roll through, but it became painfully obvious during last year’s two-night sold-out affair that the love connection between Atmosphere and Austin deserved a larger setting. Enter Stubb’s, a venue that at first glance looks like no place for a Rhymesayers reunion. Slug (Sean Daley) and DJ Anthony “Ant” Davis stayed on point. Beefed up by the presence of guitarist Nate Collins, singer Mankwe Ndosi, and Erick Anderson on the keys, Slug showed the love straight from the onset, wearing a red Texas Rangers hat he later gave to a fan. The throngs of Ugly people, a term of endearment to anyone who knows Slug and Ant, soaked up two tracks from 2002’s God Loves Ugly – the title track and “One of a Kind” – before Slug’s first vocal profession of Austin love (a recount of their SXSW debut in 1998 and his exploits with Murs and Blueprint). “Puppets,” “The Rooster,” “Shoulda Known,” “Painting,” and “Like the Rest of Us,” from last year’s When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint that Shit Gold, dove even deeper into the character sketches of beat-up, beaten-down head cases Slug knows too well. Read More | Comment »

Check Yo' Self 4:57PM Thu. Aug. 6, 2009, Chase Hoffberger

Willie Bob Cougar

If there was ever a lineup made for Geezerville, this was it. Songwriting icons from three generations – Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and John Mellencamp – each with an indelible imprint on American music, came to Round Rock last evening and delivered a sturdy version of where they stand today. OK, it was hot. It’s August in Central Texas. What did I expect? But the Dell Diamond had a festival atmosphere. The stage was set up in center field with the infield and dugouts roped off. There were lots of oldsters, of course, but more than a few children under 14 got in free with a ticket purchase. Gen Y was represented as well, texting and playing with whatever was on their phones no matter who was on stage. Like a baseball game, there were vendors in the crowd hawking beer and nuts and cotton candy. I chose to sit in the stands behind third base, in the shade. Brooklyn’s Wiyos took the stage at exactly 5:30 and delivered an animated, if less than impressive, half-hour set of hillbilly jazz. At this point, the foursome’s blend of Wayne Hancock and Asylum Street Spankers has been done to the point of caricature, and while they seemed to be sincere, they didn’t bring anything new to the ballpark. Read More | Comment »

Geezerville 12:15PM Wed. Aug. 5, 2009, Jim Caligiuri

Get in the Van

NYC promoter Todd P's free all-day South by Southwest shows at Ms. Bea's have become destinations for those looking for more underground sounds. This year, some of the bands on his lineups filmed their treks to Austin for a new documentary, Todd P Goes to Austin. Check the trailer below.

Read More | 1 Comment »

Schadenfreude 4:43PM Mon. Aug. 3, 2009, Audra Schroeder

Camp's Out

I had the honor and privilege of being invited to this summer's Girls Rock Camp Austin to talk to girls about music and writing and being a music writer. After a discussion with aspiring writers/campers P.J., Kat, Andrea, Reyna, and Monse about three of our most inspirational songs, they set out to interview San Antonio's Girl in a Coma after a performance on Thursday. Read what went down here, and weep. Also, check out some shots from Saturday's showcase showdown to the right. Read More | Comment »

Schadenfreude 3:30PM Mon. Aug. 3, 2009, Audra Schroeder

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