New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
Music we’re playing
By Raoul Hernandez, Doug Freeman, Greg Stitt, Rachel Rascoe, and Kahron Spearman, Fri., June 12, 2020
Safe haven? Maybe only between the earbuds some days. Loulou Ghelichkhani and John Michael Schoepf – in collaboration with A-list local musicians and producers including Jonas Wilson, Adrian Quesada, Kyle Ellison, Ricky Ray Jackson, and Charlie Sexton – create head music, happily. "We're make-believe scientists experimenting with drum machines and a lot of vintage equipment," Ghelichkhani told the Chronicle for SXSW 2019.
As Night Glitter, the siren and her co-parent Schoepf dish after-dark ambience powered by electronic impulses both literal and of the continental pop variety. Queueing singles dropped like breadcrumbs throughout 2018-19, one iteration of debut LP Night Glitter from Austin imprint Nine Mile Records spins smoky blue vinyl, a creamy aquamarine with wisps of cloudy white translucent enough to reveal the turntable mat below. Once that gets up in your nostrils, inhale opener "Higher," deeply.
"If you wanna get a little higher, nothing's gonna stop us now," intones the mistress inside a dusky tempo blipped and clipped as if from crickets and cicadas. "It's a deep reflection of the human mind/ Complicated frame in time/ Spellbound by an obscure sound/ Mystified by common ground." Parisian night out, "Transparency (La Transparence)" swirls a buzzing French bap-bap ditty, whose flat percussion set against psych synths and Ghelichkhani's dance-floor pull summons an AIR-y spell.
That sets the kill for "Music for the Clouds," which sells the whole disc in sheer sequence perfection, its weightless drift triggering a flood of romantic ennui and endless desire again en francais. "Hanging on a Dream" refracts Mazzy Star and JMS's first vocal. Side two opens in "Space," gravity-free and in silence, save for the blinking lights and artificially intelligent virtual assistant, both faint echoes floating through the cosmos of some Arthur C. Clarke vision.
As the groove winds out, Night Glitter flickers fainter and fainter as it travels further through a "Static" belt until closer "Tunnels (Serpentine)" snaps the inner trip back to reality, a hot night in the Southwest. Here, the singer's Iranian roots go live wire amid Eastern accents and sitar. Someone obviously saved the best for last, like some ambient remix of the Rolling Stones' "2,000 Light Years from Home." – Raoul Hernandez
Built to Spill Plays the Songs of Daniel Johnston
Daniel Johnston rarely performed in the years before his death last September, but the brilliant and troubled pop savant managed a final high-profile tour in 2017 with backing support from bands influenced by his music. In January, Wilco's label released the Jeff Tweedy-backed live performances as Chicago 2017, and now Idaho heroes Built to Spill release recordings of their rehearsals before DJ's shows in the Pacific Northwest. Doug Martsch's languid, nasally vocals and the band's jangling guitar drive tuck magically into the material with an earnest, lo-fi ring, especially on highlights "Life in Vain" and "Bloody Rainbow." – Doug Freeman
Lost x Lost West
Conceived as an outlet for Austin musicians in the wake of SXSW's cancellation, electronic pop duo Zettajoule curates 76 tracks from 75 artists who couldn't let a pandemic keep them from writing/recording. The list of contributors is steep: Golden Dawn Arkestra remains offbeat with "The Ancients," Otis Wilkins provides a pop haze in "Electric Shower," Go Fever's power-garage bite loses no strength on "Sound of Me Leaving." And that's just the front end. Chances are you've seen an artist on the list, and for only $1 you can purchase the hours-long collection and find many more to support as live music returns weekly. – Greg Stitt
The Teeta + Teddythelegacy + Alesia Lani
Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify
Quick turnover following April LP The Quarantine, local rap standout Trenton Anthony (the Teeta) brings trademark intensity to two new collaborative singles. Reflections on the times continue on the simple, sinister trap "Stimulus Pack," meditating on the reprise "fuck quarantine." The Teeta's persistence matches the dreamier musings of local MC Teddythelegacy, aka Austin native Dom "Teddy" Woodson. Next up, sweet soul singer Alesia Lani packs tough-edged, no-holds-barred bite on recent single "What You Know About It." Matching the contagious confidence of prior 2020 single "IDFWU," the new Teeta cooperation kicks off with "Where the fuck I been? Yeah, I'm back up on my bullshit." With dark, lush R&B and shoutouts to Texas girls, place it next to Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé's "Savage" remix on your summer playlist. – Rachel Rascoe
Kydd Jones Sees a "Goblin"
Apple Music, iTunes, SoundCloud
"Who wanna be Black in America?" asks Kydd Jones on the heels of protests against police brutality and calls for defunding APD. The rapper/producer expressed on Instagram that he felt "suffocated and exhausted," but also "motivated" during the making of "Goblin," a solemn bar session concerning America's long history of racial brutality: "I feel like George Floyd when I hit the floor/ If they don't keep us all, they gone kill some more." He says he named the track such because "that's how they view us, someone not worthy of love or life." – Kahron Spearman
DJ La Moon, "Damawan"
Alongside her outpost behind turntables citywide, DJ La Moon (Kristiany Vissepó) continues reggaeton-inspired work as a solo artist on "Damawan." Local rap duo Tribe Mafia and Puerto Rican songwriter Sam Sage clarify the title amid Latin trap production: "Damn, I want that." Sage's melancholy, pop-tuned vox last landed on May album Always SAD, while Chinasa Broxton and Dashawn Daniels debuted high-energy instincts as Tribe Mafia on Teepee Gang. A host on Round Rock's Enchufe Radio Digital, Vissepó holds the chorus of contributors together under her slick, bilingual lead. Bite-size ad-libs and extra-bouncy beats by producer Zelbock support. – Rachel Rascoe
Ephraim Owens' Final installment of #ProjectSafetyNet
Facebook, Tuesday 16
Austin trumpet great and Continental Gallery regular Ephraim Owens closes out his livestreamed Facebook concert series that benefits #ProjectSafetyNet, a contingency grant program for the city's most vulnerable jazz musicians who lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event is the first from Owens since April's Views & Brews session, "Jazz and the Art of the Solo," with jazz historian Rabbi Neil Blumofe and KUT's Rebecca McInroy. – Kahron Spearman
Benefit Compilation for Six Square
Uniting 39 coast-to-coast artists offering brand new or unreleased material, local experimental label Aural Canyon showcases their unique roster of deep listening, meditative drone, and ethereal electronic music (Primary Mystical Experience, Akkad the Orphic Priest, Flower & Frequency, Future Museums, Sunbeamer, Heavy Stars, Andrea Cortez, and More Eaze are only a handful) among a mostly instrumental cavalcade from across the state and country. Clocking in at four hours and utilizing horns, strings, and classical guitar fingerpicking across its breadth, the comp proves essential for those seeking headphone tunes while working, studying, or seeking relaxation. The namesake beneficiary is Six Square, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit for Austin's Eastside Black cultural district, and the first of its kind in the state of Texas. – Greg Stitt
Adrian Conner, "Super Human"
Apple Music, iTunes, SoundCloud
Atop a fat, chunky beat, where you can practically feel the bass drum moving air in the room, "Super Human" unleashes a hooky, aggro, guitar rock nugget like all those Nineties riot grrrls reigned supreme for a reason. Lashing out at both boob jobs and man buns, A-town's six-string supercollider pleads, "Give me a super human loving being/ A goddess, a Jesus, someone who doesn't need me." Second single advancing next week's LP Hiss Kiss Hiss, "Super Human" follows April's heartbreaking spring ditty "Butterfly." The Hell's Belles guitarist fundraises at www.accelevents.com for its vinyl release by auctioning off Angus Young's shorts: "I got [them] from Angus and Malcolm's dressing room in the Tacoma Dome 2009," she writes. "All of Hell's Belles got to meet Angus, Malcolm, and Brian Johnson." – Raoul Hernandez
Band of Heathens' Good Time Supper Club
Difficult to put Band of Heathens in a box, but they manage quite well in passing the virtual spotlight within their video conference squares. The eclectic roots songwriters, led by Gordy Quist and Ed Jurdi, offer up plenty of laughs, stories, and background on their songs during a weekly 90-minute song swap. Special guests pop in to sit for a spell, such as recent Zoom bombers Hayes Carll and Charlie Starr, and the Austin quintet remains game for left-field requests. The band members also offer private virtual house concerts for you and your friends. – Doug Freeman