Daily Music
About Last Night
The round of apologetic phone calls was kept to a minimum, but that doesn't mean the night wasn't a success. Saturday gave me two of the best discoveries this week. Mika Miko are five young ladies from L.A. who encapsulate everything good about rock & roll. One red telephone used as a microphone was passed around like it was a slumber party, as guitar and saxophone birthed trashy, synthy little nightmares. They were on the cover of Maximum RockNRoll recently, and I would not fuck with any of them.

Then there was Dandi Wind, a Montreal singer who is sort of a younger and slightly more unhinged Peaches. On Beauty Bar's stage, she looked like a psychedelic Olivia Newton John, bouncing all over in what looks like an ostrich coat. The energy she and her band radiated, along with the unicorn piñatas and fake eggs filled with confetti that were thrown into the crowd, added a fragrant air of manic art-school dropout to the whole Festival. She also seems like she might cut you.

2:59PM Sun. Mar. 18, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Saturday's Metal Mania
As the entire music industry swarms Red River, pillaging everything in its path, Into the Void would like to lift its devil horns in honor of four local metal purveyors who punish ears year-round and who, coincidentally, all have showcases Saturday night that will leave your Sabbath blackened. I dub thee unforgiven.

Tia Carrera
10pm, Red 7
Like every good trip, the improvised instrumental jams of Tia Carrera take on a life of their own, following their metal muses (mainly the Melvins and Blue Cheer) through purple hazes laced with fleeting feats of ecstasy. Unrehearsed and unrelenting, this trio won’t stop until your mind is blown.

11:20pm, Redrum
Traversing through the cosmic universe with lightning speed and a tandem guitar gallop reminiscent of the new wave of British heavy metal, Austin’s Blackholicus embark on classically minded metal voyages led by the siren shrieks of bassist Margaret Myrick. The quartet’s galactic, self-released debut album, Variations in Death Minor , is fit for stadiums.

11pm, Bourbon Rocks
The bestial fury of Austin’s Lions is a hazardous combination of ZZ Top-inspired, Texas-sized boogie and heavier-than-thou Sabbath sludge. Scorching stoner metal. The quartet’s appropriately titled, seven-song debut, Volume One, marked the beginning of the end.

Giant Squid
9:30pm, Maggie Mae's
While Giant Squid may have left Red River in favor of the West Coast, the quartet continues to make waves with their debut leviathan, Metridium Field, which was released locally in 2004 and re-released late last year nationally, courtesy of the End Records. Produced by all-around metal savant Billy Anderson (Melvins, High on Fire, Neurosis), Field pulls listeners under. The recent addition of cellist Jackie Perez Gratz, formerly of Amber Asylum, adds to the submergence.

1:03PM Sat. Mar. 17, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Friday Night Crash
If it's possible to only get sunburned on the back of your left arm, it's happened to me. The sun and I have a history of passive-aggressiveness, but Friday's Turbonegro day party at Victory Grill offered one sight that made it worthwhile. No, not singer Hank Von Helvete's leather man harness but a young boy who couldn't have been more than 5, clad in a Dwarves T-shirt, and singing every single word to every song. During "Good Head," he threw up the devil horns and flicked his tongue around.

A quick wrap-up of Friday's highlights:

White Denim: Why is this band so good?

Jay Reatard: Methamphetamines sometimes don't translate.

Wooden Ships: Fog machines do.

Noxagt: Holy shit.

Jack-O & the Tennessee Tearjerkers: Holy shit part two. Plus, Greg Cartwright guested behind the skins for two songs.

Random sightings: Members of the Horrors at Greg Ashley's show; Bill Callahan and Joanna Newsom watching Thurston Moore; Perry Farrell looking like Golem; Thurston Moore at a house party at 3am, still raging.

12:22PM Sat. Mar. 17, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Whatever It Takes
Tom Morello may be igniting a One Man Revolution under the guise of the Nightwatchman, but he’s not against enlisting the occasional aid of his like-minded, A-list allies. Last night at the Parish, the Audioslave bookended his acoustic performance with appearances from Slash, Perry Farrell, and Wayne Kramer of the MC5, among others, using the music as a weapon to take the power back.

After a rousing introduction, the Nightwatchman quickly withdrew into the shadows of the larger-than-life figures gathered on the stage, allowing Farrell, who is launching his own star-studded Satellite Party at South by Southwest, to lead the ensemble, which included current bandmate and former Extreme shredder Nuno Bettencourt, through Jane’s Addiction’s “Mountain Song” and “Ain’t No Right,” each with a solo from Slash. Morello appeared all too happy, bouncing up and down in the background, strumming his acoustic guitar, and occasionally raising his fist in triumphant jubilation. Interestingly, it was Farrell, dolled up in a light-blue button-up shirt and black vest, who initially inspired Morello to trade his pedals for a pen.

“There’s a great quote from Perry Farrell in a Jane’s Addiction song where he says, ‘If you’ve got some big fucking secret, why don’t you sing me something?'" Morello said in an interview before the Festival. “I’ve got some big fucking secrets, and I’m not going to be scared anymore. I’m going to get out there and sing for the people.”

11:52AM Fri. Mar. 16, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

No Man Purses
The first day of South by Southwest offered up a lot of folks in corpse paint and people with dressed-up dogs. However, nothing really sums it up like the photo here.

Elsewhere, Greg Ashley of Gris Gris debuted his Medicine Fuck Dream Road Show at Club de Ville with Brian Glaze and friends on various instruments. And it smoked. Ashley's new solo album, Painted Garden, trumps his last, and he's playing a bazillion places this week, so go see him fer the lovva God.

Anyone else notice guys in bands are now dressing like something out of Oliver Twist?

10:05AM Thu. Mar. 15, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Mastodon's 'Blood Mountain' Flows Into Austin
Like Iron Maiden and Megadeth before them, Atlanta’s Mastodon spew epically proportioned tales led by the spiraling twin guitars of Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher, filled with the buzz-saw drumming of Brann Dailor. Bassist Troy Sanders recently ventured Into the Void to unravel the band’s latest saga, Blood Mountain, and explain the difference between ligers and cysquatches. Catch them 8pm Saturday, March 17, when they wreck Auditorium Shores.

Into the Void: The first song on Blood Mountain, “The Wolf Is Loose,” begins in “The belly of the whale/Refusal of return.” In what way is the story that is interwoven throughout this album a metaphor for the band’s struggle to write a follow-up to Leviathan and about the writing process in general?
Troy Sanders: It’s just the next step. Even though we found out several months ago where we stood, at the base of the next mountain so to speak, things had been gradually ascending for our band. We’re still at the footstep of a giant slab of Mother Nature that we’re trying to scale. The struggle and quest on Blood Mountain is completely metaphorical to our true life journey, struggle, and sacrifice to achieve our goals, to the new record, to our new marriage with Warner Brothers, to the next year and a half of touring, to many things.

3:11PM Wed. Mar. 14, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

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An Attack in Geezerville
I just discovered I was attacked by John Conquest in the March issue of his monthly bird cage liner, 3rd Coast Music. Getting a late jump into the fray that was caused by my Mandy Mercier review, he’s thrilled to call me a "wanker." Typical of Conquest’s nonsense, he even complains about a positive David Rodriguez review that ran in December. As far as I can tell, it wasn’t favorable enough. Then he runs the full attack quote that Freddie Krc came up with after the Mercier review about what I imagine myself to be, which was semifunny, only if you knew that I’ve never had any aspirations of being a musician or a songwriter. In reality, a concept Conquest has never been familiar with, the only things I can imagine today are that Conquest’s brain is flea-sized, that Krc will take the hint and buy a vowel, and that maybe some day Mercier will make some music worth hearing.

11:37AM Wed. Mar. 14, 2007, Jim Caligiuri Read More | Comment »

A Pig Fetus + Robots + Pizza = This Weekend
Sure, there’s that festival coming up, but this weekend allows one big local lick of the underbelly. Flip off those soccer mom-i-vans with the Keep Austin Weird bumpers stickers on your way to Salvation Pizza for the Noise by No Wave Musick Fest. Midori Umi, Primordial Undermind, Low Red Center, and the Devil Bat rock Friday night; Rotten Piece, Stephen Marsh, and the supremely bizarre Night Viking take over Saturday. The return of headliners Order of the Crimson Owl will no doubt involve some sort of ritual sacrifice. One of their spokespeople provided this potential situation of mass destruction:

“Shortly after the beast appears with an actual pig fetus, all hell breaks loose. The strobe light illuminates the owl and a struggle ensues between the beast and the ordained one. He slays the beast and evil is conquered by evil for no apparent reason.”

Dorkbot takes place Saturday at Brush Square Park off Fifth and Neches, a circuitous festival of hackers, junkers, robot makers, and singing tesla coils. You might even meet your soul mate and become the human masters of a new robot race.

If you’re still ready to rage, then head downtown Sunday night for the annual Yeast by Sweet Beast experimental soiree at Plush. The lineup boasts headliners A Pink Cloud, featuring members of Rusted Shut, Helios Creed, and one former Pain Teen. It also goes down Monday night with headliners Aurora Plastics Company, Moray Eels, Chromosome Damage, and many more. And if you stand on the corner of Red River and Seventh at just the right moment, you can almost smell the vomit.

12:31PM Fri. Mar. 9, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Johnnie Taylor, Soul Man
If you have ghosts, Roky Erickson once posited, then you have everything.

I’m borrowing that lyric as the title for this bloggerly endeavor because we’ll be talking a lot about the ghosts of music’s past here – particularly the obscurities and curiosities that never got their due the first time around – along with an ephemeral frosting of everything else.

So let’s heat it and eat it, shall we?

Concord Music Group’s reactivation of Stax Records hits jamming speed Thursday night when Isaac Hayes, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, and Booker T & the MGs roll into town for the “Stax 50” SXSW showcase at Antone’s. It’s a shame Johnnie Taylor won’t be there with them.

Taylor died of a heart attack at Dallas’ Methodist Charlton Hospital in 2000 at age 62. Although he was born in Crawfordsville, Ark., Taylor lived in the Dallas area for many years and was a DJ on Soul 73 KKDA-AM. In Texas, that’s more than enough to claim an artist as our own.

11:55AM Fri. Mar. 9, 2007, Greg Beets Read More | Comment »

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