Author Archives: Jessi Cape

Album Review: Matt The Electrician

The available puns and word plays on his former occupational hazard (see stage name for a clue) exemplify a mere fraction of the cleverness in Matt The Electrician‘s new album. Accidental Thief is the seventh studio album for Matthew Sever, and it’s shockingly good (see how easy cheesy that was?). Interesting accompanying instruments like the tenor banjo, glockenspiel, air organ, Wurlitzer, etc. only serve to enhance the slightly peculiar- yet endlessly endearing- poetic lyrics clearly representative of this man and his outlook on love and life. A romantic with a tendency to wrap his hindsight-steeped epiphanies in quirky folk tunes and decorate with vivid imagery, Matt the Electrician has summarily created an album perfectly suited to any stage of life or sort of relationship. Unapologetic but admitting in title track “Accidental Thief”, supportive during realistic crisis in “I Will Do the Breathing,” “crazy…dirty and kind” in traditionally inspired folksong “Pioneer Bride”, and tragically hopeful in “I Wish You Didn’t Feel Like My Home”, Matt The Electrician uses his slightly raspy tenor voice to completely entrance the listener. The music’s gentle nature is perfectly balanced and contrasted by the lyrics’ sometimes stinging twinge of mischievousness, and Sever pours his everything into this artistic display while somehow still remaining true to his gritty everyman roots.

 

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Gil Scott-Heron Tribute & Juneteenth Celebration

Gil Scott-Heron: Godfather of rap, Bluesologist, jazz poet, activist, and more.

From the Facebook page:

Saturday June 18 at 9:00pm – June 19 at 2:00am

“Help us celebrate the legacy and spirit of one of the most influential African American artists in American History, Gil Scott-Heron. At midnight, we acknowledge the 146th anniversary of the abolishment of slavery in Texas, Juneteenth.”

DJ sets by:

-DJ Sun (Soular Grooves/Houston)

-el john Selector (Thievery Corporation/ATX)

-Felix Pacheco (Cilantro Boombox/ATX)

Gypsy Lounge
1504 East 6th Street
(E 6th and Comal)
Austin, TX 78702

21+ | Doors 9P | FREE

Get educated :

Gil Scott-Heron

Juneteenth

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New Album Release & Waterloo In-Store: Matt the Electrician

Matt the Electrician– former electrician from Austin, TX turned world traveling singer songwriter- releases his 7th studio album today: Accidental Thief.

Head on over to Waterloo Records today at 5pm for the CD Release and In-Store performance (and free beer!).

Upcoming Austin show for Matt the Electrician:
June 18th – Wyldwood Shows – Austin, TX (SOLD OUT)

Album review to come SOON, but in the meantime, check out his video for “All I Know”:

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Emo’s Boat Party Series

What’s better than live music? Live music + Free Beer & BBQ on a Boat! That’s right: yet another creative and likely raucous way to beat the heat this summer. Emo’s is  sponsoring a Boat Party Series, and The Riverboat Gamblers are kicking it off June 27th. “Boat sets sail around 5pm from the dock at beachfront rentals next to Volente Beach, and comes back around 9 or 10. ” Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through Emo’s, The Gamblers, or by emailing [email protected] .  See ya there!

 

 

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Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan!

Today Bob Dylan turns 70 years old.

As a writer, and as an absolutely adoring fan, I feel compelled to give mention to his birthday. The problem is, there is no way I can feel satisfied or just by doing any of the standard TVD posts because well, it’s Bob Dylan. It’s overwhelming to attempt, and impossible to succeed, so I’ll just do what I know how to do: write as it streams out.

You cannot review Bob Dylan. Sure, you can discuss new tracks off of a new album, you can compare his latest works with some from 6 decades past, and you can even attempt to criticize. But in the end, Bob Dylan is far beyond us mere mortals in terms of songwriting, poetry, social commentary, and whimsical mockery of the most intelligently brutal kind.

You cannot write a comprehensive or all-inclusive piece on Bob Dylan. Countless biographies, a memoir, analysis of every morsel of Dylan word candy, complete discography discussions, and so on and so forth all float around. Even today, headlines read of a supposed new discovery that Dylan was addicted to heroin as per his own admission from a 1966 interview. And this weekend, a good friend sent me a link to a Dylan poem entitled “My Life in a Stolen Moment”, which is exactly that, and then some. Yet even the man himself leaves out key pieces (uh, wives and children) and snippets, and apparently includes some that may or may not be entirely true (held on a murder charge?!). Who knows?

Any sort of Top 10 Best Dylan albums, songs, compilations, etc. are incomplete, unfair, biased, and generally pointless. You can base a list on your own favorites, the tracks that changed your life, the albums that saved/ruined/created your best/worst relationships. You can base it on the number of iTunes downloads, pop culture references, the albums that went Gold. You could even create a list of Top 10 Dylan lyrics by Dylan himself based on commentary he has been recorded saying; but again, this may or may not be accurate or even true. In case you were curious, two of my favorite Dylan albums are Blonde on Blonde and Blood on the Tracks and it’s because of almost all of the aforementioned reasons.

At one time or another I have owned every Dylan album available, because that’s what you do when you discover the greatest living poet also happens to be a kickass songwriter, musician, stage performer, and generally fascinating human being. Unfortunately, over the years and through relationships gone awry and a new puppy (named Zimmerman) and a new baby, I’m down to the streaming songs in my memory and about 6 albums left. Don’t worry, I’m rebuilding, and I probably will be forever.

Bob Dylan has been included in the Norton Introduction to Literature for his lyrics, nominated for the Nobel Prize for his poetry, and is regaled as perhaps the finest living lyricist and poet- the Poet Laureate of America by some. I consider him an enigma, a gift, a Master of Words, but I am willing to bet that simply having a beer with Bob Dylan would probably be a life-altering event. Or not. He’s probably just a regular, 70 year old dude.

So, here’s to you Bob Dylan, on your birthday, and always.

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Album Review: Calhoun

Fort Worth’s prize band,  Calhoun, proves its lyrical and musical chops with their third album, Heavy Sugar. Lead singer and song-writer Tim Locke nimbly weaves through storyline lyrics with his polished tenor, and the rest of the band- Jordan Roberts, Toby Pipes, Nolan Thies, and Taylor Young– propels  the natural bounce of these refined pop-rock tracks into a perfectly contained pinball machine of intelligence and emotion. Catchy hooks and sensitive, universally understood emotions of heartache and regret all contribute to the album’s grand appeal. Enough poetic poignancy to give it substance and just the right amount of bob-your-head, “Indian Melody” is a fantastic song of thrones, memories, and soul; and it leads directly into “Ryders”, an indie ballad with some sense of hope despite mention of bombs and pills. The beautiful harmonies and heartbeat drum introduce “Lioness” as one of the most memorable tracks of the album, but the vivid imagery and melodic explanations throughout Heavy Sugar keep this album in heavy rotation and make it impossible to sit still. To say this band has potential would be an understatement.

Also, don’t forget that Calhoun will be playing at Skinny’s Ballroom this Friday night. Click here for you chance to win tickets to the show and a copy of their new album.

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Album Review: The O’s

If Del McCoury and Conor Oberst had a lovechild, the bluegrass pop folk duo known as The O’s could be the auditory likeness. The sophomore album Between the Two (Idol Records) again wields guitar and banjo as weapons of choice for Taylor Young and John Pedigo, along with their signature well-matched and nicely twanged vocal harmonies. Adding a single kick drum, steel guitar, harmonica, and lowebro to the lyrics about life, love, and the pursuit of the party makes this album a success. The album ebbs and flows through a spectrum of emotions and life lessons like a mountain stream turned white water rapids whooshing by a late-night campfire, and back again. Tracks like the determined “Pushin Along” roll into the happy-go-lucky party “Everything’s Alright” and back to lovey dovey “Remember You”. Idiosyncrasies of the uniqueness that is the banjo are almost overshadowed by the smoothness of the mastering, but this actually serves to pique curiosity about their notoriously fun live performances. The O’s are headed to Austin in July, and TVD Austin will certainly have our eyes and ears peeled.

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Album Review: Adam Faucett


Adam Faucett is Crooner meets Rocker meets Singer-Songwriter Extraordinare. His new album More Like A Temple is stuffed full of head-scratching creativity and raw talent, and displays a man unafraid to be original. Electric guitar and drums back the star instrument: Faucett’s incredible voice.

Ranging from other worldly vocal soul rides to lonesome pleadings and haunting laughter to hot summer day poetic head trips to pure modern romance, this full-bodied album runs the gauntlet. Track 3 “Morphine” is exactly what a perfect morphine dream is like: soulful, contemplative, and backed with an eerily smooth trance-inducing melody.

The fourth track “Man’s Not The Answer” really showcases Faucett’s vocal chops and unique style. He  opens with an Arlo Guthrie timbre and story-telling tendency, cruises through to a well-placed and well-executed falsetto curve-ball, rests up on spoken word, and then hits it out of the park with his signature lung-fulled gorgeous power vocals. The perfectly controlled yet free-spirited vocal power, combined with a perceptive view and pinpointed yet graceful articulation, all on top of kick ass music make Adam Faucett pretty rad.

Check him out at The Ghost Room tonight, May 5th, and tomorrow night at Skinny’s Ballroom on Friday, May 6th. You’ll thank me.

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Waterloo In-Store Mania!

This week is jam-packed and fun-filled at Waterloo Records. Head downtown (600A. North Lamar, 78703) and enjoy this gorgeous weather with a (free) beer and some rad music. Oh, and buy the dang albums and get them signed!

May 4, 2011 @ 5pm
Steve Earle:  Book signing and performance for his new book and album, both titled I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive

May 5, 2011 @ 5pm
Man Man: performance for new album Life Fantastic

May 6, 2011 @ 5pm
Brett Dennen: performance for new album Lover Boy

May 9, 2011 @ 7pm
Okkervil River: performance for new album I Am Very Far.


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What’s Happenin’ (Hot Stuff) This Weekend

In the city of dreams, live music, and falcon-sized mosquitoes, check out some of these events going on in beautiful Austin, TX this weekend:

Friday April 29, 2011-
Austin Psych Fest @ The Seaholm Power Plant
Nocturnal Festival @ Apache Pass, Rockdale, TX
Citizen Cope @ Cactus Cafe
Brave Combo @ The Continental Club
Ruby Jane @ Iguana Grill

Saturday April 30, 2011-
Austin Psych Fest @ The Seaholm Power Plant
Nocturnal Festival @ Apache Pass, Rockdale, TX
Citizen Cope @ Cactus Cafe
Record Convention @ North Austin Event Center
Willie Nelson’s Birthday Bash @ The Backyard at Bee Cave
Groupo Fantasma @ Paramount Theatre
The Decemberists @ Stubb’s

Sunday May 1, 2011-
Austin Psych Fest @ The Seaholm Power Plant
Citizen Cope @ Cactus Cafe
Record Convention @ North Austin Event Center
Lauryn Hill @ Stubbs
Foot Patrol Cd Release @ Playland Skate Center
Jane Monheit @ One World Theatre
The Derailers @ The Highball

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Slowtrain Album Review

The music is delicious, but please don’t lick the band.

Living in a music-filled and artist-oriented town such as Austin, TX means the constant barrage of new music can be overwhelming. There are the veteran musicians who play to sold-out shows in familiar and nostalgic locales because their 20-plus year career has earned more than a full house of fans; and there are the brand new starry-eyed dreamers who would sell their soul for a record contract, deserved or not. Somewhere in between, there are a handful of individuals who are musicians by birth, who live and breathe music, who simply exist in a normal realm that happens to be incredibly artistic. These last treasured few are the ones to watch; Adoniram Lipton- front man of Slowtrain– belongs in this category.

Bound To Find You Out is the first full-length album from Slowtrain, and in short, it is awesome. Mastered with obvious, tedious precision the 10 tracks are full-bodied, well-rounded and endlessly interesting. The layers are fascinating: laid down neatly and stirred up with the highly skilled musicians’ endeavors in piano, organ, harmonica, and guitar.  The lead vocals and accompanying harmonies soar through the well-written lyrics, yet somehow envelope the listener with emotion by allowing tiny squeaks and tweaks to remain. And the whistling is like icing on top of an already delicious treat. This is smart music.

Read More »

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‘Between Two Speakers’ With Adoniram Lipton of Slowtrain

Slowtrain frontman Adoniram Lipton and I exchanged emails prior to their album release party Friday night at the Continental Club. Tomorrow, I will be posting a review of their new album, Bound To Find You Out.

1. What was the first album you owned?

I fall into that age bracket where my parents stopped listening to vinyl before I was born and I didn’t catch on until just after high school. So the first actual album I ever purchased was The Band’s self-titled record, the brown one where they look all scraggly.

First tape was  Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em back when cassette tapes were displayed in those enormous plastic pieces of scaffolding. I kind of miss the excitement of watching the clerk take off all those trappings to reveal the cassette tape within. It’s kind of like your wedding night when you think about it.

The first CD I ever purchased was Dylan’s Greatest Hits 2. I was 14 years old and driving up I-95 in my father’s truck. There was some NPR type program doing a radio biography of Dylan and talking about the iconoclastic electric tour and subsequent retreat to the country. The next song they played was “Lay Lady Lay” so as soon as we got home I bought the first record I could find with that song on it.

2. Favorite album of all time? Why?

Ahh yes, the second most difficult question in the world (the first being “what does your band sound like?”). Looking ahead to question 6, I’m going to exclude any Dylan albums. I’ve loved Joe Cocker’s With A Little Help From My Friends since I first bought the tape many years ago. I still listen to the record front to back all the time so let’s go with that.

3. How/when did your band form?

Slowtrain has had an evolving and fluid membership for many years now. I always hate solo artists who give themselves a band name even though it’s just them so let’s be clear that this isn’t some Bright Eyes thing, more like The Jayhawks. The lineup we’ve got now is the best we’ve ever had incidentally.

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Blue Bird EP Review

Blue Bird-Metamorphosis

Self-described as “make-out” music, the debut EP, Metamorphosis, from Omaha’s 7-piece band, Blue Bird is making retro-infused waves. Sweet songstress Marta Fiedler croons lovey-dovey sentiment through a skilled rollercoaster of vocals on top of a band with a full wingspan of sound. This EP is well-written music that seems to hit the target mark of love song meets bicycles on a nature trail. Blue Bird incorporates everything to be missed about the untainted innocence of generations past and combines it with the exciting prospects of the future, all while holding your hand. Aptly-named title track, “Metamorphosis”, is the most progressive and fully blossomed on the EP, and perhaps the most fascinating with its intriguing harmonies and mentions of a lover changed.  Overall, the la-dee-dahs and lovebird tunes are perfect for, well, makin’ out.

1: Don’t Leave Me
2: Everything Can Change
3: Metamorphosis
4. New Year’s Song
5. Give Me Light

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TVD Austin Reviews Jay Nash’s ‘Diamonds and Blood’

Jay Nash- Diamonds and Blood

Reminiscent of a young Lyle Lovett, with a little grit and quite a bit of heart, Jay Nash strikes a chord with his 6th studio album, Diamonds and Blood.

Balanced vocal melodies supported by an All-Star cast of musicians (David Immergluck, Rob Wasserman, etc.) that are occasionally enhanced with lovely female harmonies (Garrison Starr, Sara Watkins). Lyrically, the listener gets a glimpse into the soul of a man who has loved and lost, and loved again.

This Los Angeles based singer-songwriter provides just enough romance and intrigue to counterbalance the everyday shuffle of work boots. Covering a fairly wide scope of possibility, Nash croons an imperfect, but wonderful “River Prayer”, and then turns the wheel and hauls ass down an alt-country road in a song about girl on “Lights Come”. Jay Nash covers a significant amount of ground on this album and fortunately he’s gentleman enough to let us ride shotgun.

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Jessi’s Picks For SXSW

Disclaimer: This list is not all-inclusive and I won’t be able to go every one of these shows. That would be physically impossible because of time, and beer. Also, I love getting distracted and finding myself in new venues listening to surprisingly cool bands with strangers….that’s the whole point.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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