Daily Music
More Virginity
Baltimore, the self-proclaimed "Greatest City in America," is better known for its ever-rising murder rate than its musical culture. But underneath the grime and crime there is, in fact, a thriving local scene, evidenced by the recent Whartscape 2007, a three-day festival that spotlighted local artists like Spank Rock, Dan Deacon, Cex, the Dirty Projectors, xbxrx, and the Death Set, supported by killer indie music retailers like the Sound Garden.

Contrarily, the second annual Virgin Festival, held this past weekend at the Pimlico racetrack, is a more corporate affair. There were no surprises or collaborations, just big name bands delivering their best to more 70,000 fans over two days. Here are a few photo highlights from the weekend.

3:16PM Thu. Aug. 9, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Happy Birthday Buck!
One of the most anticipated events of the summer, the 16th annual Buck Owens Birthday Tribute, takes place tomorrow night at the Continental Club. With a band led by drummer Tom Lewis and guitarist Casper Rawls, Billy Joe Shaver, Jim Lauderdale, Dallas Wayne, Rosie Flores, Monte Warden, Jesse Dayton, Sunny Sweeney, Mike Barfield, Mary Cutrufello, the Derailers, Damon Bramblett, Brennen Leigh, Dave Insley, Bobby Earl Smith, Jann Browne, and Roger Wallace pay their respects to a man who has become the patron saint of the Austin country music scene.

Proceeds benefit the Center for Child Protection, a children's advocacy group dedicated to reducing the trauma for children during the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases.

In a fit of good timing, the Derailers have just released Under the Influence of Buck (see "Texas Platters"), a 13-song tribute to Owens that’s both lovingly produced and one of their most cogent efforts in years.

12:50PM Wed. Aug. 8, 2007, Jim Caligiuri Read More | Comment »

Back to the Future
More than 40 years after the first British Invasion, the four members of Chicago’s the Redwalls average less than half that number of years in age. No matter how they got there, the young quartet breathes fire into its Sixties-style garage punk and power-pop. They’ve had some label problems in the past, dropped by Capitol at the beginning of the year. But with youthful vigor on their side, it apparently hasn’t affected their stage presence or mix-and-match sound one iota.

At Saturday's Mohawk show, the Redwalls proved they're not just Beatles imitators. Styled as if it were 1966, with pointy shoes, skinny jeans, and poofy hair, they jangled and harmonized through a set that was dominated by songs from 2005’s De Nova (Capitol).

And there were new tunes from their upcoming self-titled, due in October. “Edge of the Night” set guitars abuzz for a near perfect pop tune, while “Build a Bridge” showed off brotherly harmonies.

4:01PM Mon. Aug. 6, 2007, Jim Caligiuri Read More | Comment »

Some Velvet Morning Eternal
Sometime-Texan Lee Hazlewood passed away Saturday in Nevada at age 78 after a lengthy battle with renal cancer. His latest, Cake or Death, was essentially his death album, his sign-off, but not his swan song. The Haze wasn't that kind of cat. His self-deprecating sense of humor and lyrical tongue solidified much of his career. I only recently got into Hazlewood's early albums, but the lyrics to 1966's "My Autumn's Done Come" seemed eerily prescient:

Kiss all the pretty ones goodbye
Give everyone a penny that cry
You can throw all my tranquil pills away
Let my blood pressure go on its way
For my autumn's done come
My autumn's done come

11:45AM Mon. Aug. 6, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Lions
Pride. A pride of Leo’s nest at the Chronicle. August is our month. Today one departs, a good one – a fierce, passionate one. One we’re sorry to lose. Another one turns 27 today, one who’s all claws and balls. Sexy beasts both.

I’m a Leo, textbook: big, vain, incisors at the sharp. We’re also all pussycats, Nilsson through and through. Pet us and we purr. Millenniums we’ve been domesticated.

Berkeley, Memorial Day weekend, in the Spoken Word vinyl undersection of Amoeba Records, $2: Signs of the Zodiac: Leo, A&M Records, 1960. Artwork to die for. Mine.

12:28PM Fri. Aug. 3, 2007, Raoul Hernandez Read More | Comment »

Doing the Continental
Until I heard them at the NAMM party on Saturday night at the Continental, I’d forgotten how good the LeRoi Brothers sounded. We were hanging out with actor-musician Chris Mulkey, who’s playing the new coach on NBC’s Friday Night Lights, when the LeRois cranked up and damn, they smoked their hipshake Texas rock like it was 1982.

That’s partly because Steve Doerr and Mike Buck have held the guitar and drums down since they were a trio with Don Leady on bass. That means I think of bassist Pat Collins and guitarist Casper Rawls as “the new guys.” Which is in no way true but makes me feel better about feeling old because I remember when Joe Doerr was the young buck in the herd. But there they were, 25 years on, kicking ass with “Chain of Love” and other songs heavily cobwebbed in my memory. It's like running into an old friend you didn’t owe money to. I made a note to dig out my vinyl copy of Check This Action.

2:13PM Wed. Aug. 1, 2007, Margaret Moser Read More | Comment »

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Ear to the Underground
Local label Misc. Music - "the dysfunctional music corporation" - hosts another monthly installment of noise therapy under South Congress at Ego's tonight. Gil San Marcos, Mastertape, Ugly Luggage, and Aliens help clean out the wax, starting at 9pm. Check "Off the Record" for more on the label in Thursday's issue.

3:03PM Mon. Jul. 30, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Psych-Out
The combination of Boris' Pink, and the Japanese trio's recent collaboration with guitar god Michio Kurihara, Rainbow, unlocked a spectrum of sounds and hues previously unimaginable to Off the Record, some of which are encapsulated in haiku form below, along with a few notable psych releases.

Boris is scheduled to hit the Scoot Inn on October 19, while Kurihara's band Ghost is scheduled to appear at the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans Halloween weekend. Breathe in, breathe out, and jump.

3:05PM Fri. Jul. 27, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

The Beat Goes On: R.I.P. Uncle John Turner
My job sucks today, as it does on any day when the world tilts to one side and then straightens, one soul lighter. At least that’s the way it felt to hear about Uncle John Turner’s death on this sky-is-crying Thursday morning.

There’s so much to be said about Turner’s legacy to Texas music and the blues that if I were queen of Austin, we’d already have a statue of him next to the statue of Clifford Antone next to the statue of Biscuit next to the statue of Doug Sahm next to the statue of Stevie. While you most likely know those last four names, chances are that Uncle John Turner’s name draws a blank.

There’s a bit of irony to the announcement I heard on KUT while driving home, thinking about Uncle John. Jay Trachtenberg was saying that today is Mick Jagger’s birthday as well as the day that Emotional Rescue went No. 1 in the U.S. 27 years ago. It reminded me that the Stones made their initial foray on the rock scene as a blues band, as did the Animals, the Yardbirds, and numerous other British Invasion bands circa 1964. It would take the stateside bands another few years to reclaim the blues, and that was done in large part by two Texans: Janis Joplin and Johnny Winter. And what Johnny Winter knew about the blues, he learned from Uncle John Turner.

3:36PM Thu. Jul. 26, 2007, Margaret Moser Read More | Comment »

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