Crosstalk: Take a Tour of UT's Moody Center, and More Music News
New business partnerships at the Paramount and Grapetree Records
The Paramount Theatre, with support from PNC Bank, debuts Launch, a live music series designed to assist Austin-based musicians with creating and releasing albums. The program will provide artists with financial assistance for record production, creative design and marketing assistance, and a venue for an album release party, located next door at the Stateside at the Paramount. Launch's first artist, "singer-soulwriter" Ray Prim, will celebrate the release of upcoming EP and inaugural vinyl effort Move On on September 15. Two months later, "Empress of Soul" Taméca Jones marks her Austin return with Plants and Pills via Launch's second iteration November 18. Tickets are on sale now at austintheatre.org.
Moody Center will offer 75-minute behind-the-scenes tours of the $375 million arena starting Monday. For $25, guests can visit parts of the venue typically not open to the public, including the back-of-house artist hallway, talent dressing rooms, and the Moët & Chandon Imperial Lounge. Venue tours will be available on select days throughout June, July, and August. Every venue tour ticket sold will benefit Red River Rising, Moody Center's community initiative, which directs funds to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Community First! Village, and the Red River Cultural District. Find tour dates at moodycenteratx.com/venue-tours.
Grapetree Records, Central Texas' Christian hip-hop label, has partnered with independent digital distributor Syntax Creative to celebrate the former's 30th anniversary. A 2000 Chronicle feature on the imprint read: "Grapetree's Knolly Williams has been using gangsta rap to deliver a positive Christian message since 1993. Today, his Round Rock-based label accounts for 85% of the Christian rap market." The collaboration will expand the reach of Grapetree's classic catalog, which launched the careers of rappers such as Lil' Raskull, Antonious, and Nuwine, and make room for new music while boosting marketing efforts. Major Houston artist Lecrae even praised the label on Twitter last year, saying, "no them no me."
Grits, Cross movement, Tunnel Rats, Gospel Gangstaz, Grapetree…no them no me.— Lecrae (@lecrae) December 27, 2022