Graham Coxon

Happiness in Magazines (EMI)

SXSW Records

Graham Coxon

Happiness in Magazines (EMI)

Fear! Loathing! Acrimony! It's been two years since Graham Coxon's old outfit Blur headlined a packed-to-the-rafters SXSW showcase at La Zona Rosa, and the bile between former bandmate Damon Albarn and Coxon has finally receded (a bit). At least it's off the front page of NME's Web site, thankfully replaced by the exhilarating barrage of guitarist Coxon's newest, a far superior offering than any of the four solo outings he's coughed up before. There's nary a clinker in the lucky 13 here, all of them considerably more polished than what's come before, fewer lo-fi barrel-scrapings with the occasional pearl amidst the dross and more toe-tapping indie rock shouters. Single "Freakin' Out" is what the late, great John Peel used to call a barn burner, a four-on-the-floor, angsty opus that's as instantly memorable as anything in his former band's back catalogue, while "People of the Earth," with its distorted ranting and stop/start pace, recalls nothing so much as the Fall circa 1980. Produced, oddly enough, by Stephen Street (no stranger to Blur), Happiness in Magazines is a huge stride forward for Coxon, who here seems to have jettisoned his scattershot aural experimentation in favor of meaty melodies that actually stick with you. Even the bastardized spaghetti groove of "Are You Ready?" comes clean and proper and as memorable as a Leone fusillade. Ball's in your court, Albarn. (Thursday, March 17, 11:15pm @ Stubb's)


Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

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  

Friday Picks & Sleepers
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Obvious Picks and loads of not-so-obvious Sleepers!

March 20, 2015

Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
International hip-hop, or domestic, Modern Outsider sounds?

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

Texas Platters
Drastic Measures (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, May 3, 2019

More by Marc Savlov
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
Welcome back, Mister Wick: Everyone's favorite merciless killer gets more human and more intriguing

May 17, 2019

Carmine Street Guitars
Spend time with the quiet artisans who make the instruments that rock & roll is built upon

May 10, 2019

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

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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