Electric Lounge 20th anniversary show w/ Sixteen Deluxe (11:30), Pong (10:30), Gay Sportscasters (9:30), Wannabes (8:35), Hamell on Trial (7:40), the Horsies (6:45), Cher U.K. (6:00), Kevin Russell (5:10), Graham Reynolds (4:15), Ethan Azarian & Jeff Johnston (4:00)
Although it existed for a mere seven years, the Electric Lounge (1993-1998) enjoyed an outsize impact on the Austin music scene, nurturing a generation of artists from Graham Reynolds to Spoon. That legacy informs the venue’s double-decade reunion, a benefit for Mosaic Sound Collective, ailing local artist Jason Austin, and the SIMS Foundation.
“That was our Liberty Lunch,” says Shinyribs leader Kevin Russell, here performing songs by his alt.country stars the Gourds, who established locally behind a residency at the venue. “It’s where the Gourds took off. Before that, no one knew who we were. Those Tuesday nights more than anything, and opening for Lucinda Williams.
“We’d open for Richard Buckner, or someone coming through who needed a little help with the crowd. At that point in our career, no one was telling us we couldn’t play too much. It was a great time, before managers and booking agents and all that stuff. We grew up there.”
Despite the Lounge’s influence, its history has largely been subsumed by ensuing music progress, notes Russell.
“It was a short period of time, and a certain slice of Austin people,” he adds. “It’s not as ubiquitous as the Armadillo. Our generation, we’re not as well known for our formative music venue, but maybe this’ll be good for that – to look back and think this was a good thing happening. It made a positive difference in the life of the city and the lives of the people involved in it.”
See the full Kevin Russell Q&A at austinchronicle.com/daily/music.