Chimera Music Night
Sean Lennon's first Austin visit for SXSW coincided with the 1998 release of his debut, Into the Sun. Although the album didn't set the world on fire, 13 years later, it seems like a prescient blueprint for his latest venture, his label Chimera Music. The stylistic diversity of Lennon's initial release is mirrored in the label's artist roster, most of whom join Lennon for his Elysium showcase.
Breezy pop, avant-noise, jazz, and folk will all be represented at the gig, most notably by the first artist whose CD was released on Chimera: literal and figurative matriarch Yoko Ono, who will do a brief set sitting in with members of her Plastic Ono Band.
Along with appearances by Lennon's former Cibo Matto bandmate Yuka Honda – paired with Petra Haden in If By Yes, as well as part of the duo Fig with her new husband, Wilco's Nels Cline. Another highlight includes a performance by the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Lennon's full-tilt collaboration with his multi-instrumentalist girlfriend, Charlotte Kemp Muhl. The GOASTT's winning concoction of fanciful psychedelic sonics and whimsical lyricism earned a standing ovation at the Cactus Cafe in January and has no equivalent among SX's thousands of performers. Is Sean Lennon gearing up for next-big-things?
"I know that my dad owns the biggest restaurant in the world, and you expect me to be chef in that restaurant and make some kind of whatever, fancy soufflés, but I'm not going to do that," Lennon told me a few years back. "I'm going to make some cookies, and they're going to be oatmeal. And there's only going to be 12 of them. And that's what I'm about. I want to make them by hand. From the ground up."