Victrola

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Victrola

Live as You Like

As their name suggests, Victrola is more a cabaret act than your typical Austin band. That makes sense, as vocalist Alice Spencer fronted nouveau cabaret group the Barkers. In Live as You Like, she comes into her own, bolstered by pianist Justin Sherburn (whose tenure in 8 1/2 Souvenirs informs the band's sound), drummer Rob Kidd, upright bassist Lindsay Greene, and reed player Ben Saffer. Leading off, "Big Thinker" finds Spencer ruminating over life's lesser moments without giving in, while the jaunty "Out of My Sight" sees her opting out of a no-win relationship. Both songs make good use of the singer's light-jazz vocals, which blow smoky rather than torchy, cool rather than fiery. The restraint she exercises is mirrored by the band, especially Sherburn and Saffer, from whose "When I'm 64" keyboard-clarinet blend Victrola draws their eclectic sound. No less vital are guest appearances on Sherburn's "Sin" by Glover Gill (whose innovative efforts with Tosca and 81/2 Souvenirs cleared the path for Victrola) and Danny Levin, while John Speice and Ephraim Owens lend their percussion and trumpet talents to Spencer's title track. Live as You Like closes with Spencer-Saffer's moody, movie-soundtrack instrumental, "Dr Chumley's Night Out," a tune Tom Waits might enjoy. The album practically begs for a cigarette and glass of wine to accompany its sidewalk cafe ambience. Got a light?

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle