KVRX Local Live Vol. 5
KVRX Local Live Vol. 5: Aural Fixation (KVRX)
Reviewed by Michael Chamy, Fri., Feb. 2, 2001
KVRX Local Live Vol.5: Aural Fixation
They've really outdone themselves this time. In celebration of this fifth Local Live set, in which KVRX annually cobbles together the best of its excellent, long-running Sunday-night live series, the production team has hand-picked a 2-CD, 32-track cross-section of emerging bands, most of them local. Disc one offers a hodgepodge stew of wildly disparate acts, with several bright gems in the rough: strong cuts by the Barkers, Adult Rodeo, Okkervil River, Subset, and Tamasha Africana, and the Orange Mothers' instantly classic take of "Heaven," are the exception rather than the rule. Disc two is a wonderfully cohesive unit, a revelation for those interested in the cluster of envelope-pushing psychedelic and improvisational bands Austin has to offer. This mostly instrumental disc represents a revelatory journey into the night, as the pastoral elegance of Li'l Cap'n Travis flows gently into Mandarin's dreamy caress, which in turn fades into one of the album's finest moments, Japancakes' "Vocode Inn." Here, the Athens, Ga., sixpiece, through sheer nuance and feel, builds a temple of floaty bliss on one lap steel riff repeated ad infinitum. Concluding this marvelous trip are showpieces by two of the freshest improv combos around: the Golden Arm Trio, who reprise last year's "Dead Man's Hall," and New York's Dylan Group, whose vibes-drum-trumpet workout "A Hugh From the Land of Plinky" creates an invigorating jam of Tortoisian proportion. Now more than ever, there's no better bang for the buck than Local Live.