Daily Music: La Vie en Rose
A Starry Night of Brian Wilson
Of the 11 musicians onstage Sunday at the Moody Theater, Brian Wilson sat the furthest away. At a baby grand piano, the Beach Boy’s brain added to pristine harmonies, layered like a croissant, he devised decades ago. Mostly, he plinked in no discernible fashion, stared blankly into the distance, and exited abruptly more than once during the show.

2:05PM Mon. May 15, Abby Johnston Read More | Comment »

Return of the xx
Four long years have passed since the xx sold out consecutive nights downtown at the Moody Theater. On Wednesday, first installment of this succeeding two-show stand, the general admission crowd on the floor pressed into the barriers to get up close to the London trio. Fueled by that energy and a fervent “oh-em-gees”-ness, the xx delivered.

12:05PM Thu. May 11, Abby Johnston Read More | Comment »

SXSW Music Live: Grandaddy
It’s 2017 and the guitars have survived the apocalypse. Not only that, they’ve thrived in this brave new world of machines and humanoids. Or at least that’s what we gathered from Grandaddy’s set Friday night at Stubb’s.

1:50PM Sat. Mar. 18, Abby Johnston Read More | Comment »

SXSW Music Live: Banks
There’s a certain ambiguity about Banks’ 2016 single “Fuck With Myself.” Does the Orange County native mean that she’s self-sabotaging, or is it a declaration of self-love?

1:35PM Fri. Mar. 17, Abby Johnston Read More | Comment »

SXSW Music Live: Solange
When her big sister sat down with her in January for Interview magazine, Solange Knowles explained her soft, clear tonality on recent Grammy winner A Seat at the Table. “It was very intentional that I sang as a woman who was very in control, a woman who could have this conversation without yelling and screaming,” she told Beyoncé.

12:25PM Thu. Mar. 16, Abby Johnston Read More | Comment »

SXSW Music Live: Kevin Morby
The back of the house at the Belmont on Tuesday night resembled Austin on a typical Friday: loud barflies with little to no attention span. From the middle of that throng, you’d have no idea a SXSW showcase was unfolding. A few yards up, down the stairs into the slightly lowered pit, Kevin Morby had the first few rows’ rapt attention.

11:00AM Wed. Mar. 15, Abby Johnston Read More | Comment »

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Stevie Nicks Soars
Mick Fleetwood sits for a South by Southwest interview on Wednesday, but otherwise, the members of Fleetwood Mac are still recovering from a 220-show tour 18 months ago. Not Stevie Nicks. “At my age, I wanted to put together songs that I haven’t sung onstage before,” announced the iconic Gold Dust Woman to a packed Frank Erwin Center on Sunday night.

3:55PM Mon. Mar. 13, Abby Johnston Read More | Comment »

Angel Olsen Entrances Mohawk
Despite a sea of bodies staring at Mohawk’s outdoor stage, it was quiet enough to hear laughter from the streets outside. Patrons looked on thoughtfully, leaning on the deck railings to soak it all in. Wine and cheese could have made it a gallery opening, but the house drank Lone Star at this first of consecutive sell-outs for St. Louis sensation Angel Olsen.

10:15AM Tue. Feb. 7, Abby Johnston Read More | Comment »

Dolly Parton Glitters Up Red River
Dolly Parton’s take on “Pure and Simple” looks like other people’s craft explosion. Thus named, the Austin stop of the singer’s tour began with a moment of tranquility. Billowing curtains hung in five columns, lightbulbs strung among them twinkling as the sound of crickets transformed the Erwin Center into the Tennessee backyard of Parton’s childhood.

12:55PM Wed. Dec. 7, 2016, Abby Johnston Read More | Comment »

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R.I.P. Jimmy LaFave Songwriter passes days after legendary performance
I Love You, Jimmy Nearly four-hour LaFave convergence petitions a greater good
Drum Dynamo J.J. Johnson’s Saving Grace Powerhouse Austin drummer strips down to his bare essence
R.I.P. George Reiff Cancer steals extraordinary bassist and producer