Broadcasts Vol. 18
Broadcasts Vol. 18 (93.3 KGSR)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Nov. 26, 2010
Broadcasts Vol. 18(93.3 KGSR Radio Austin)
Now that KGSR personality, identity, and Broadcasts architect Jody Denberg has ceded the sound of Our Town to local airwaves still void of his absence, the FM frequency's annual 2-CD smorgasbord of Triple-A chronicling tweaks its formula ever so subtly. More than 2½ hours of intimate, mostly acoustic performances are sequenced on Broadcasts Vol. 18 no longer chronologically, but vertically – according to live/local/2010 circumstance. KGSR tapes 'em, but 40 different Austin and beyond acts mash up into a communal mixtape. Leadoff Alejandro Escovedo used to fill the role of ATX's Lou Reed for his self-abusive songwriting, but now he's the Boss thanks to a Springsteen management tie-in and subtle shift from the musically avant-garde (The Boxing Mirror) to declarative rock (this year's Street Songs of Love). "Anchor" lives up to Escovedo's title, especially anticipating the Avett Brothers' echoes of the Band on "I and Love and You." Mississippi hopeful Charlie Mars bridges that opening one-two to a capital city pair as tried and true as Austin City Limits: Joe Ely ("Midnight Train") and Robert Earl Keen, whose vocal sensitivity on "Village Inn" proves his George Strait-like monarchy of Texan songcraft. Blitzen Trapper's campfire indie roots ("Black River Killer") dovetail into the speakeasy twang of young Kiwi Gin Wigmore ("Oh My") just ahead of a stream of sensitive boys – Utah theologian Joshua James ("Coal War) and beguiling gals (Lady Day-kissed local flower Kat Edmonson). Bland (Mat Kearney), overripe (Quiet Company), wretched (the Temper Trap), they come in all stripes. Brandi Carlile stepping up as the old/new Bonnie Raitt warming up the right reverend Billy Joe Shaver ("The Get-Go") lets loose a Lone Star whoop. Cover boys Spoon are "Written in Reverse" off their Austin City Limits taping this summer. Disc two offers the better of the pair: new millennial true grit (Ryan Bingham), crushes (She & Him), discoveries (Aussie Ry Cuming), break-outs (Amy Cook), and even Griffin House's laughably condescending but catchy "She Likes Girls." Hippie throwbacks (Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros), ancient vox (Citizen Cope), and timeless testifying (Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears) join perennials (Crowded House), the better with age (Rosanne Cash) and lack thereof (Sahara Smith), and spirit walkers (Texas Tornados). Please go away: Sheryl Crow – guitarist Doyle Bramhall II ought stay. Asleep at the Wheel goes on just before closer Lyle Lovett. Your town.