Ringing in the New Year With Raw Paw
Austin art collective parties out 2014
By Kevin Curtin,
12:30PM, Mon. Dec. 29, 2014
A good party is a piece of art. Don’t believe? Just look to Raw Paw, whose upcoming New Year’s Dance Revolution creatively unites sound and style with the purpose of overthrowing inhibitions as the calendar flips past 2014.
Raw Paw, the multi-dimensional collective of local artists whose exploits in zines, poetry, and comics were detailed in last week’s Chronicle cover story, capitalize on their burgeoning popularity with an impressive New Year’s Eve booking at Mohawk, which they’ll take over with a dance party starring local bands.
The ball drops on Mother Sip Connection, a first-time convergence of alt-classical ensemble Mother Falcon and futuristic funk party starters Sip Sip; the two projects already share 10-or-so members. That collaboration, set to include over 20 musicians and expected to source material from both bands, dares to end the year with something new. Also transmitting: synth pop standouts Speak, joyous eclecto-rockers Calliope Musicals, lighthearted new wave songsmiths Big Bill, chilled-out garage poets Milezo, and guitar-wielding instrumental loop duo Chipper Jones.
The latter two acts pull from Raw Paw’s own roster. The organization, long connected with local musicians, extended its artistic umbrella last year with the formation of a record label, operated by young musician Paul Grant. Raw Paw Records also reps Hikes, Young Tongue, Corduroi, and Eyelid Kid. Grant promises plentiful Raw Paw vinyl in 2015 with platters on the horizon from Young Tongue (co-released with Punctum Records), Chipper Jones, and Corduroi, plus recordings by Milezo and his own project Eyelid Kid planned for later in the year.
Those who attended Raw Paw’s fake-blood-stained Halloween concert at Cheer Up Charlie’s or mesh-ceilinged Ditch the Fest shows at Empire, will count on the collective to transform Mohawk with art and light installations, rumored to include bottom-lit dance platforms and liberating the greenroom and inside stairwell to the public. They’ve also tapped the venerable DJ crew associated with JuiceLand to spin fresh squeezed dance tracks between bands.
Such extracurriculars hold higher significance than a mere party theme; more so, it’s about the careful cultivation of a feeling.
“It’s about freedom, dance, and revolution,” outlines Grant. “We’re approaching this with the goal of getting people to let loose and dance at all times. Especially the people who usually aren’t dancing, we want to make them comfortable in this space and allow them to be themselves and dance – that’s why it’s called Dance Revolution.”
That magic minute: The last gasp of 2014 – when we count backwards at the top of our lungs, hug our buddies, smooch our squeezes, and look with promise to the next 365 – is one Grant and the Raw Paw collective take seriously.
“We want it to explode,” he says. “We want everyone to feel their life, their loves, and their dreams. That moment will be beautiful and powerful.”