Jon Langford

Gold Brick (Reach Out International)

SXSW Records

Jon Langford

Gold Brick (Reach Out International)

Jon Langford is as busy as an octopus at a handshaking festival. Founding Mekon, Pine Valley Cosmonaut, and Waco Brother, the Welshman is an established solo act as well, soon to publish Nashville Radio, a collection of bold writings and paintings, some making an appearance at Austin's Yard Dog gallery. Throughout, Langford does one thing best: shine a hot, white light on the American Dream. More cohesive than his earlier solo work, Gold Brick benefits from Langford employing some of the best Windy City musicians. The piano, violin, mandolin, and bass help the country-singer-trapped-in-a-punk-rocker's-body paint broad, political, and poetic brushstrokes. Themes hit like Langford's 1998 solo debut, Skull Orchard: helpless victims of crass commercialism, music as fly-by-night commodity, and soul-sucking industrial jobs. Oh, and the American Empire gone terribly wrong, highlighted by album subtitles "Lies of the Great Explorers" and "Columbus at Guantanamo Bay." Short and softly-strummed, "Buy It Now" is a carpe diem country tune, while epic closer "Lost in America" is its own mini album. The high point is a finely orchestrated rendering of Procol Harum's criminally underrated "Salty Dog," song title and possible new tag for this hard-working firebrand. (Saturday, March 18, 10pm @ Opal Divine'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  

Saturday Showcases
Saturday Showcases

March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
William Harries Graham
Jakes (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, April 12, 2019

Texas Platters
Rebecca Loebe
Give Up Your Ghosts (Record Review)

Christina Garcia, April 12, 2019

More by David Lynch
Rock & Roll Summer Reading
How Can I Keep From Singing?: The Ballad of Pete Seeger

May 30, 2008

Texas Platters
That Damned Band
999 Surreal Eyes (Record Review)

Feb. 15, 2008

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