Red Dead Redemption

Texas Platters

Red Dead Redemption

(Rockstar Games)

Friends of Dean Martinez alert! Austinite Bill Elm's been caught soundtracking video games, slumming to the tune of last spring and summer's PlayStation/Xbox multiplatinum hit, Red Dead Redemption. (Voted No. 2 game of last year by the Chronicle.) Instrumentalism, thy name is virtual reality. Whistling a spaghetti Western tune in service of early 20th century outlaws, Elm (B-3, steel guitar, piano, drone) and wingman Woody Jackson (guitar, bass, Dobro, jaw harp, coffeemaker) lead a lithe posse of rattling and rumbling atmospherics down a crimson path. Ghostly gallops ("The Shootist") turn into miles and miles of tundra mowed by a chasing crane sweep ("El Club de Los Cuerpos"). Nifty percussive jangle from "Horseplay" rallies Leone gone Kurosawa. Tambourine can only go so far on obvious score fills like "Luz y Sombra," and the RDR theme itself whiffs of musical smoke and mirrors, but "Redemption in Dub" begs for 10 times its two-minute runtime in its classically cinematic Trainspotting/Tangerine Dream mode. A last act ponies up the singers, José González, Jamie Lidell, and particularly William Elliott Whitmore, whose a cappella dust eddy blows out the candles of Red Dead Redemption. Its red, double-vinyl counterpart, with an exclusive 20th track, resequences the bloodshed.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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  

More Music Reviews
Memorable Moments From ACL Fest Weekend One
Memorable Moments From ACL Fest Weekend One
Some of our favorite performances that you can revisit this weekend

Abby Johnston, Oct. 14, 2022

Review: The Bearer's <i>Chained to a Tree</i> (Silent Pendulum)
The Bearer's Chained to a Tree (Silent Pendulum)
Chained to a Tree (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 23, 2022

More by Raoul Hernandez
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Urban Heat, Jonathan Terrell, Dayglow, Marcia Ball, and a smattering of metal headline our recommended shows

Dec. 2, 2022

Top Texas Drummer Ernie Durawa Turns 80
Top Texas Drummer Ernie Durawa Turns 80
The Sunday Antone's celebration benefits nonprofit HOME

Dec. 2, 2022

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

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

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