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Weird City Hip-Hop Live Shot: Phranchyze, Jean Grae, Homeboy Sandman

Saturday, kicking off Weird City’s inaugural year in the company of veteran, East Coast MCs, Austin’s locals delivered with passionate, political verse, and body-shaking grooves. Read More | Comment »

2:47PM Sun. Sep. 28, Nina Hernandez

Weird City Hip-Hop Festival: Jean Grae

Before her descent into Weird City cyphers Saturday at the Empire Control Room, New York rap idol Jean Grae talks femcees, the possible re-release of her pulled 2008 masterpiece Jeanius, and why she still considers retirement. Read More | Comment »

1:00PM Fri. Sep. 26, Nina Hernandez

Aretha Franklin: The Way We Were

The purse stashed under the piano Thursday night foretold Aretha Franklin’s arrival. Because the gospel priestess demands the AC be turned off for her performances, the 72-year-old Detroit native cut through the humidity with exquisite vocal power during another ACL Live at the Moody Theater sell-out. For 90 minutes, the crowd shivered nonetheless. Read More | Comment »

12:15PM Thu. Sep. 4, Nina Hernandez

College Tuition or Michael Bublé?

Wrapping his velvety voice around 9,000 fans at the Frank Erwin Center Sunday, Michael Bublé made good on the promise of a night filled with romance. Sliding downstage at 8:30pm, the Canadian crooner kicked off a two-hour production with pyrotechnics. All manner of females shivered in his wake. Read More | Comment »

1:30PM Tue. Aug. 5, Nina Hernandez

Kevin Gates: By Any Means Necessary

Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates returns to the Scoot Inn Wednesday, four months after his second South By Southwest showcase and with a new mixtape, March’s By Any Means. The 55-minute collection blends the rawness of a streetwise rapper with the dexterity of one who earned a masters in psychology during his four months in prison. Read More | Comment »

3:30PM Fri. Jul. 11, Nina Hernandez

Jimmy Scott: Always All the Way

When a new and powerful presence enters your life, it is time to be still and let it overwhelm you. There can be no resistance to stop it and it would be foolish to try. Read More | Comment »

6:11PM Thu. Jun. 19, Bill Bentley

Tell Me Who's Bad

Last week, hip-pop bad girl Iggy Azalea told Billboard that Lorde’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame performance with Nirvana was “inappropriate.” Azalea added that one of Kurt Cobain’s peers should have taken the mic for “All Apologies” instead of the Kiwi singer. The position made me laugh at the text posting on my cell phone. Read More | Comment »

1:13PM Thu. Jun. 12, Nina Hernandez

Untold Verve Rules Empire Control Room

Jack Dunning, aka Untold, took the stage at Empire Control Room Friday and nervously cleared away the beer bottles left atop his table of modular electronics, samplers, and synthesizers. He put his headphones on, scanned the knobs and LEDs, prepped a few samples, and walked offstage. Such an entrance epitomizes London’s post-rave bass scene. Read More | Comment »

2:00PM Mon. Jun. 2, Conor Walker

Johnette Napolitano, No Holds Barred

With the Sketchbook series, former Concrete Blonde frontwoman Johnette Napolitano finally makes the music she always dreamed about. Between songs on this tour, which stops inside at Stubb’s Saturday, she reads from her book Rough Edit, a project that satisfied five decades of yearning to be an author. Read More | Comment »

2:37PM Fri. May. 23, Nina Hernandez

Summer Fun: Jean Grae on the San Marcos River

None of my friends like floating the San Marcos River. Objectively, I get it. It’s a short float, a half hour to 45 minutes, with little to no turbulence, and a whole lot of prickly river weeds guaranteed to wrap around the ankles of unsuspecting swimmers. Read More | Comment »

12:30PM Wed. May. 14, Nina Hernandez

Explosions in the Sky Debuts in Bangkok

Even on her best behavior, Bangkok remains a hectic, gritty, tropical sauna of 15 million souls. Often it seems everyone’s going in opposing directions, both literally and metaphorically. It’s less a city than a dream of a city enhanced, possibly, by a few ccs of the neurotoxin from the Gulf of Thailand’s deadliest resident, the box jellyfish. Read More | Comment »

11:30AM Tue. May. 6, Marc Savlov

Austin Psych Fest Live (Friday): The Zombies

In the decades they were absent from the scene following their breakup in 1968, the Zombies retained a powerful mystique. The original UK quintet’s autumnal, baroque-pop masterpiece Odessey and Oracle continued to gain prestige amongst a growing legion of admirers. Read More | Comment »

11:30AM Sat. May. 3, Scott Schinder

Austin Psych Fest Live (Thursday): Flamin’ Groovies

In its two most significant incarnations, R&B-loving Sixties garage rockers and Seventies power-poppers, the Bay Area-born Flamin’ Groovies went against then-current mainstream tastes in creating timelessly resonant rock & roll. All three sounds were on display Thursday night at Red 7 for the first night of Austin Psych Fest. Read More | Comment »

11:00AM Fri. May. 2, Scott Schinder

Festival International de Louisiane

The streets of Lafayette, Louisiana, a quaint college town, explode the last weekend of every April for Festival International de Louisiane, a free celebration of the music, arts, and food of the French-speaking world – Africa, Caribbean, Quebec. Austin was represented by Black Joe Lewis, Hard Proof Afrobeat, Gina Chavez, and the Preservation. Read More | Comment »

4:47PM Tue. Apr. 29, Jay Trachtenberg

Bobby McFerrin Gets Happy – Tonight!

In this last tumultuous semester of my UT undergrad tenure, February melted into March in a haze of Menthols. The only indication to my bleary eyes behind smudged Ray-Bans was my desk piling up with empties of Ruby Red grapefruit juice. Scurrying to myriad appointments, a familiar whistling rang in my ears. Look at Bobby McFerrin – he’s still happy. Read More | Comment »

1:30PM Thu. Apr. 24, Nina Hernandez

SXSW Live Shot: Suzanne Vega

When the top hat goes on, the magic starts. Well, nearly. In the seemingly acoustically perfect Central Presbyterian Church, the stylishly chapeau’d Suzanne Vega had the traditional technical problems as she stop-started with brokenhearted “Marlene on the Wall.” Read More | Comment »

12:12PM Sun. Mar. 16, Richard Whittaker

SXSW Live Shot: Take Me to the River

Like the new documentary that inspired it, Saturday afternoon’s all-star Take Me to the River revue at Butler Park as part of SXSW’s free concert series celebrated the musical traditions of Memphis by teaming veteran R&B and blues performers and players with young rappers and singers. Read More | Comment »

10:15AM Sun. Mar. 16, Scott Schinder

SXSW Panel: Artists & Homeland Security

Cognitive dissonance is a terrible affliction, especially this deep into a festival. So after a SXSW that saw Julian Assange and Edward Snowden Skyping in to talk about freedom, it was a 540 spin when Homeland Security Committee Chair Mike McCaul turned up to talk music. Read More | Comment »

9:17PM Sat. Mar. 15, Richard Whittaker

SXSW Live Shot: Garland Jeffreys

While a galaxy of stars were paying tribute to Lou Reed a few blocks away at the Paramount Theatre, Reed’s former college classmate and fellow urban poet Garland Jeffreys, who had performed at the Reed show earlier, was back in club mode, delivering a lean, mean showcase set with the grace and class that one has come to expect from him. Read More | Comment »

2:33PM Sat. Mar. 15, Scott Schinder

SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek

You get the sense that Mark Kozelek doesn’t spend a lot of time writing his songs. At least not the crop on Benji, his latest under the moniker Sun Kil Moon, from which he pulled the majority – if not the entirety – of his SXSW showcase Friday night. Read More | Comment »

11:37AM Sat. Mar. 15, Michael Bertin

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