The Austin Chronicle

Be Like Bastrop: Tour Music Capital Satellite in New Jonas Wilson Long-Form Video

By Raoul Hernandez, October 23, 2020, 10:10am, Earache!

“Be Like the Water,” today’s second drop from the upcoming solo debut by Jonas Wilson, delivers a double barrel curl. Most importantly, inside the guitarist’s Science Fiction Post Blues dwells all the right ghosts in the machine. That the aqua reverberator simultaneously courses through a 20-minute tease of Bastrop distributes justice for all.

Documenting an altogether more still but chill music capital satellite 30 minutes east of Austin, the film by Jonathan Horstmann, synth stoker of darkwave Austin trio Urban Heat and formerly punk circuit breaker Blxpltn, takes us out on the town for a 100% safe live music experience.


Wielding a bass, neck harmonica, and a looped beat and keyboard figure, Wilson delivers “Milk & Honey” in the middle of still-open vinyl treasury Astro Record Store à la Neil Young: “This ain’t the land of milk and honey/ It’s just the land of guns ’n‘ money.” Around the corner at the Tough Cookie Bakery – your second stop anyway after Astro – the producer, label owner, frontman, sideman, journeyman performs a keyboard/trumpet duet with brass handler Mike St. Clair on a retro-futuristic reverie titled “It’s Always Taken From the Blues.” For an encore, today’s new single happens live onstage at the Bastrop Opera House behind a breathy vocal and gothic the Edge riffing atop pre-recorded noir rhythms.

“Yes, I’m playing to multiple tape machines,” emails the one-man-band and collaborative force in Lomita, White White Lights, and Midnight Stroll with Ghostland Observatory’s Aaron Behrens. “So rhythm tracks are recorded on tape machines and I use ambient reels of drones in keys and synths linked to the machines. The only part I had to punch in post-production due a bad mic line is the bridge on ‘Be Like the Water.’ Rest is all live.

“It was tough as I was recording it and performing.”


“We shot each performance on its own over the course of three days, and added a fourth day for some pick-up shots of walking around Bastrop,” writes in Horstmann. “It was surreal to move through this historic old town during the ghost vibe of a pandemic.”

Thank the Visit Bastrop campaign and Texas Music Office “Music Friendly community” program for sponsoring the beautifully self-contained clip. Black Angels frontman Alex Mass, coming out with his own revelatory solo bow, tapes a segment next month. Wilson hopes Lone Star piano rustler Robert Ellis hops aboard the Live in Bastrop series as well.

“My favorite part is during ‘It’s Always Taken from the Blues,’” shares Horstmann. “I just adore Mike St. Clair and all of his work. You hear his trumpet before you see it, and there’s this reveal of him blowing the horn behind Jonas as he sits at the piano and the camera turns this corner. It's a very small moment, but an extremely gratifying one for me to watch.”

Watch it here first.

“Hope you enjoyed the episode,” signs off Wilson, whose Science Fiction Post Blues arrives Nov. 20. “I hope you enjoy the record as well. It’s a very new aesthetic for me.”

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