The Sahara Lounge
"...Sweet Spirit, the high-energy pop group led by Giant Dog members Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen, are deep into a two-week tour opening for fellow Austinites Spoon. The former sent us dispatches from the road that she scrawled on toilet paper and delivered to the Chronicle via carrier grackle...."
"...As I gathered up the discs into a double, Quarter Pounder with Cheese-sized stack, one shiny circle gave me pause. The burned CD had been scrawled with a marker: “Sweet Spirit master 03/07/2014 at Superpop [Studios].” Oh right...."
"...Our felt friends suffer the harsh realities of modern America in Sweet Spirit’s video for “Baby When I Close My Eyes,” taken from the locals’ full-length debut last year, Cokomo. The clip, directed by local filmmaker John Valley, weaves together a series of chilling puppet vignettes that quickly left turn from cuddly to harrowing...."
"...Cokomo may not be a real place, but Sweet Spirit's all over the map on their first studio full-length: raising hell with broken hearts on melodic garage anthem "Take Me to a Party," dropping the disco ball for the passionate "Baby When I Close My Eyes," and evoking a beachside campfire jam with "My Poor Stupid Heart." It's a work that continues expanding the musical scope of Austin's heavy pop gang, dually fronted by born entertainer Sabrina Ellis and her punk counterpart Andrew Cashen, who've already logged a studio EP and live LP in 2015. Though Cokomo's stylistic variety results from bouncy horn sections and bold keyboard strokes by Jake Knight, the album's crucial cuts are those that land uncluttered in the pop/rock strike zone where scrappy guitars complement extravagant melodies..."
"...If any readers out there are skeptical that the Film Fight format is just a gimmick – an artificial disputatious environment between two otherwise agreeable souls – you’ll be happy to know that Kim and I spent a good chunk of last week railing at each other at birthday parties and other social functions. I don’t know if we were just getting ourselves back into the holiday spirit, or if we actually disagree that strongly about the value of a clean house or the relative virtues of my romantic philosophy, but few punches were pulled and fewer apologies were offered..."
"..."Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana's decade-old anthem, didn't translate literally into teen angst here -- the four members of Three Hourz Sleep are between 11 and 13, still innocent of the interpretations of Kurt Cobain's jaded command. At an average age of 12, to them, the song sounds good and feels good to play...."
"...Austin filmmaker Sam Wainwright Douglas' Citizen Architect: The Spirit of Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio, captures Mockbee's charismatic personality and vision, as well as the vitality of Hale County's denizens, in a fashion both moving and entertaining. If you missed Douglas' doc at SXSW 09, or even if you didn't, you'd be well-advised to catch its PBS debut on KLRU Monday, August 23, at 9pm..."
"...Choctaw Wildfire, featuring drummer Leland Potter, bass and tuba player Will Landin, and multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Barnes, celebrate Nowhere's release with a performance at Eastside lounge Stay Gold on Saturday night. Sweet Spirit's Spoon Diary..."
"...For Andrew Cashen, guitarist/vocalist for pop powerhouse Sweet Spirit and melodic punks A Giant Dog, the question’s long been which of his local acts will hit it big first? That remains undecided, but I’ll wager against option number three: Blood drooling, gimp mask-sporting, garage-metal Austin quintet Tear Dungeon...."
"..."Sweet Spirit's music is super-arranged and hyper-composed, because so many people's opinions and ideas go into it."..."
"...The singer smiles at longtime creative partner and guitarist/co-vocalist Andrew Cashen, seated nearby at a picnic table outside Big Orange Recording. Discussing the locals' third LP, Pile, their debut for über indie Merge Records (Arcade Fire, Spoon, Bob Mould), the prolific duo are actually at the East Austin compound putting finishing touches on their New Wave pop outfit Sweet Spirit's sophomore LP, recorded here with Stuart Sikes (Riverboat Gamblers, White Stripes, Loretta Lynn) and Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, who produced Grupo Fantasma's 2015 career-high disc Problemas...."
"...Clock struck 9:59pm when Spoon stepped onstage, so sure, according to whatever social media promotion posted by the seminal Austin act around 4pm Tuesday – when the newly realized fivepiece leaked news that it would break its 29-month gigging hiatus for a free show opening for local upstarts Sweet Spirit – they were as prompt as drummer Jim Eno’s snare hits...."
"...For peace to exist we need the knowledge to create it, the opportunity to experience it, and the heart to share it. The spirit of P.I.E..."
"...It would still be years before his work on Apatow’s Undeclared landed Mottola in position to direct 2007’s megalaugher Superbad, which was produced by Apatow and scripted by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Now back as a writer and director, Mottola delivers a movie that is closer in comedic spirit to the sweet and soulful Daytrippers than to the rad and raunchy Superbad, although all three films share an affinity for single compound-word titles..."
"...Mario VP clearly has a few issues still roiling from having grown up the son of this tough and obsessed man, and the portrait he paints of Melvin in Baadasssss! is warts-and-all. Nevertheless, Baadasssss! is a son’s ultimate tribute and gift to his father, promoting Melvin VP’s rightful place in the history of American independent filmmaking and lionizing the filmmaker’s indomitable spirit and vision..."
"...3) Sweet Spirit, St. Mojo (Nine Mile)..."
"...For starters, Toy breaks with Mike McCarthy, producer of last year's Pile and the debut long-player by A Giant Dog sister act Sweet Spirit, Austinites also led by Cashen and Ellis. Enter Stuart Sikes, helmsman of game-changing records for luminaries including the White Stripes, Modest Mouse, and Reigning Sound, who worked with Los Lobos' Steve Berlin on Sweet Spirit's recent sophomore disc St..."
"...Imprisoned glam rock pioneer Gary Glitter would be devastated to hear Sweet Spirit's new single. "The Power" not only unfolds with the same pounding floor tom as his signature "Rock & Roll Part 2," it threatens to unseat the 1972 opus as the genre's most compelling offering..."
"...I was there to see Sweet Spirit, a new band comprised of Sabrina Ellis and A Giant Dog bandmate Andrew Cashen, though I hadn’t known their name when I arrived. This was their first show – on the fourth day of bandhood..."
"...Sweet Spirit(Nine Mile Records)..."
"...Rey’s lovable monkey is worth recommending to audiences of all ages, especially fathers and sons. Lovingly rendered by executive producer Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment, the production is faithful to George’s gentle spirit while fully exploiting the possibilities of old-school, two-dimensional animation..."
"...Austin's music community barely contains its holiday spirit. Like department stores that begin playing Christmas jingles on December 1, we've already blown our festive wads with heavy metal Christmas concerts, hip-hop toy drives, and ugly sweater dance parties..."
"...Starring: Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Ellen Burstyn, Louise Lasser and Marlon Wayans. In Darren Aronofsky's sophomore effort, the human spirit does not prevail; it barely even endures..."
"...Carter that it glows. Young Willie is given ample appeal by Malcolm in the Middle's Frankie Muniz, whose irrepressible smile conveys his loving spirit and profound affection for Skip..."
"...As in other of his films, especially Matewan and Passion Fish, Sayles gets under the skin of the place, to a spot where the pulse of it can be felt and its beat is a steady sound. Here, he doesn't so much “capture” the rhythm and spirit of Irish coastal life as ride alongside them, matching their pace and rising and falling with them, like a seal through the tide..."
"...This Grinch suffers from something like PTSD following a rotten childhood, which is a lot less fun than him just being a cranky bastard. And while there’s no quibbling with the comedic timing and inflections of Benedict Cumberbatch’s voicework as the Grinch, I wish he hadn’t sanded down his British accent, so deliciously withering, into an American one, flatter and more benign, in step with a larger campaign to soften the Grinch up well before his come-to-Jesus moment when he embraces the Christmas spirit..."
"...3 text from its drummer Josh Wienholt ("next Friday will be our last"). Bobby Jealousy's news came later that same evening at Hotel Vegas, after Sabrina Ellis' new band Sweet Spirit played in place of her departed hard-pop crew..."
"...The snowman gets the film’s cleverest and best choreographed number, “In Summer,” a daft, winning ditty that, coming at mid-film, marks Frozen’s high point. Still, the spirit of the song – pure of heart, noble in intention – carries throughout the film...."
"...Starring: Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union, Faizon Love, Terrence Howard, Queen Latifah, Charlie Murphy, Katt Williams and Rachel True. Far from perfect and about as much fun as a holiday in Cambodia, this is lightweight yuletide fluffery, offensive neither in tone nor spirit but entirely unnecessary..."
"...Directed by: Tessa Blake. Among his abundant blessings Tom Blake should be most grateful of all for the generous spirit of his daughter, Tessa, who directed this film about the 89-year-old Houston lawyer and his influence on his extended family..."
"...After a slow, sweet build to an adventure in Amsterdam, the film dramatically plateaus, but not ruinously so: It is simply placid about other foregone conclusions. The film has a gentle spirit; it makes no sudden movements..."
"...Debut single "Get Loose" does one better with a party-down riff redolent of Brownsville Station's Detroit. The quartet's approach may be elemental, but they rekindle the glass-breaking Saturday night spirit of their forebears. – Greg Beets Beth Chrisman..."
"...Look, we know we’re just falling into the craftily set traps of a bunch of marketing goons, but nevertheless: National Tequila Day is Tuesday, July 24. We’ll be damned if we don’t find the best way for you to celebrate with deals on our second favorite cactus-based spirit (you’ll always be our baby, mezcal)...."
"...16, Auditorium Shores, 7pm Second LP in two years for super indie Merge, Pile drove indie rock straight in a turnbuckle with the theatrical élan of front duo Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen. Also the Sonny & Cher behind the equally electrifying Sweet Spirit, not only was the pair's "Disneyland on LSD" video among the Chronicle's highest viewed posts last year, A Giant Dog's Austin Music Award for Best Rock last month got retrieved by Ellis impersonator John Valley and Chronicle columnist Kevin Curtin subbing for bassist Graham Low..."
"...Vasquez, lead singer and songwriter for indie rock favorite Delta Spirit, spent years feeling rootless. He grew up in Central Texas and attended Dripping Springs High School for a year..."
"...A socialite, mortified by the actions of her husband, moves in with her estranged sister, a free spirit whose limited financial means are a source of embarrassment. In time, she loosens up, learns to love and lose again, and discovers the inherent value of family and friends..."
"...Kloves, who has written all but one of the series' screenplays (and frankly bobbled in the last one, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), goes off book to write an original, incandescent scene between Harry and Hermione that wordlessly elides a raw mix of emotions, and he gives Ron, now plainly in love with Hermione, a monumental monologue that is at once tender and winning and ripe for later ribbing. (Too bad Harry has no romantic equivalent; while all the other child actors aged quite brilliantly into nimble emoters, Bonnie Wright, as Harry's intended, Ginny Weasley, is, as ever, a wet blanket.) Deathly Hallows has been stripped of the series' tendency to mug hamlike for laughs; what remains is genuinely funny stuff that is still truthful to the spirit of these decent, sometimes goofy kid-characters, whom we've watched grow up in the course of 10 years..."
"...But, at its heart, Luff Linn is a very sweet love story between Colin and Lulu, punctuated by absurdity and a specific type of humor that (as I’ve referenced before) brings to the screen the spirit of the work of famed graphic novelist Daniel Clowes. But here, Hosking has ascended to his own indelible style..."
"...Sweet Spirit got slapped with next big thing status right out of the gate, and it’s easy to see why. Outside of frontwoman Sabrina Ellis’ obvious charisma, part Florence Welch, part Lucille Ball, the locals bring giddy fizz to classic pop, allowing the energy to mask the hard work that’s clearly gone into the songwriting..."
"...The venerable Hudson's on the Bend is the granddaddy of Austin's Southwestern-style fine dining and, after almost two decades, continues to set the standard for imaginative and beautifully presented regional food in elegantly casual surroundings. The rustic stone ranchhouse, graced by paintings, white tablecloths, and candlelight, perfectly captures the spirit of its literal and figurative position at the cusp of urban Austin and the Texas Hill Country...."
"...That bastion of middle-American consumer conservatism achieves almost mythic status in the film -- when Novalee is forced to give birth to her child in the sporting-goods aisle, she becomes a totem of unwed mamas everywhere, though it's hard to see the point. Bargain prices on Asian sweatshop-manufactured tennis clogs just don't have the can-do spirit the film ought to be going after..."
"...The sad, uncomprehending look in his eyes both confirms his words and foreshadows the ones that follow: "… someday, I swear, I'm gonna bite back." Wade, an ill-paid and ill-regarded small-town cop in New Hampshire, is a guy we all know only too well. Middle-aged in body but utterly used up in spirit, his main source of satisfaction in life appears to be a grim commitment to slogging robotically through his remaining years -- if only to spite the ill-defined outside forces he blames for his failures and disappointments..."
"...The Deedles (Phil and Stew) are twins, a pair of latter-day Moondoggies whose love for the surf and wahines has gotten them expelled from school on their 18th birthday. Daddy Deedle is disappointed, and sends the boys packing into the Wyoming wilderness to be straightened out by his ex-Army buddy, a Rambo-like wildman who runs Camp Broken Spirit, a boot camp for languishing rich kids..."
"...An older gentleman with a James Brown step to his drawl introduces the group as his five daughters, two sons, and a grandson. Twelve-year-old Ian Wade then kicks it off with a fierce snare; the sisters in matching lime green shirts and jean skirts start to sway as if moved by a spiritual wind..."
"...Darkbird at its most swaggering, sonic, and sweaty can be glimpsed in the video for “Bad Self,” from an end-of-summer 7-inch single dished by the Austin quintet. The clip finds the group collaborating again with John Valley, the actor/filmmaker known for making wondrously twisted music videos for Sweet Spirit and Whiskey Shivers..."
"...Sweet Spirit welcomed Har Mar Superstar to duet on Pulp's "Common People" during Friday's sold-out album release show at Barracuda. A socially diverse crowd, including Mayor Steve Adler, who proclaimed April 1 "Sweet Spirit Day" then watched the whole set, proved Austin's heavy pop favorites have crossed over...."