Category Archives: TVD Austin

TVD Live at SXSW: Brendan Benson at Cedar Street, 3/15

Brendan Benson is one of the finest singer-songwriters of my generation; I think of him as a modern day Paul McCartney. He consistently releases amazing records to critical acclaim, but somehow still manages to ride under the radar of the mainstream. It’s truly baffling to me that he is not a household name.

With that being said, the packed courtyard at Cedar Street last Thursday got to see Benson at his finest. Granted there were one or two miscues from the band (which I assume is because they are rehearsing for a long overdue, upcoming tour) but when all was said and done, this was the best showcase I had seen at SXSW 2012. The harmonies were flawless, the band was tight, and the songs sounded better than ever.

Benson releases his new album What Kind of World on his own Readymade Records label on May 1st. He treated the capacity crowd to a couple of new gems from the record which will continue to make those happy who celebrate his genius catalog of work to date.

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TVD Live at SXSW:
The Boss, Fiona Apple, Patty Griffin, and more

Day 1 of music at SXSW was absolutely incredible.

I started the evening off watching the always impressive Fiona Apple dazzle a packed house at Stubb’s. Next stop was the Austin Music Hall where we caught Patty Griffin as she treated the crowd to a brief but stellar acoustic performance before accepted her admission into the Austin Music Hall of Fame. And then next was Christopher Cross, who was surprisingly good, but I have to admit I was disappointed that he didn’t play “Arthur’s Theme.”

The real surprise came later in the evening during Alejandro Escovedo’s set. Alejandro brought Joe Ely out first, and they did a song, and then Joe asked if there were any other guitar players in the house. Curtain popped open, and here comes the Boss. Springsteen performed four songs with Escovedo’s all-star band, starting with “Midnight Train,” followed by Woody Guthrie’s “Blowin’ Down This Road,” Escovedo’s “Always A Friend,” and then finishing up with the Stones’ “Beast of Burden.”

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TVD Live at SXSW: Kasabian at Stubb’s, 3/13

SXSW Interactive ended last night, and the music portion of the legendary event kicked off in high style at Stubb’s BBQ. Kasabian played to an at-capacity crowd, and they sounded better than ever.

The show was absolutely incredible. It begs the question why Kasabian play arenas in their home country of England when they are still only able to fill theaters stateside. There is a disconnect, but it wasn’t apparent at this show.

Showcasing tracks from their last three records, these Brits showed how to mix elements of Oasis and the Jesus and Mary Chain with a T. Rex-style blast of high energy rock ‘n’ roll. The clear highlight of the night, though, was when the band revisited their now-classic self-titled first album and blew the crowd away with “Clubfoot,” which I consider the band’s defining moment. Clearly one of the finest live bands around today, I would see these guys live every day if I could. Check out the photos below and stay tuned for more updates from here in Austin!

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Gold Beach release s/t
7″ next Tuesday, 2/28

Austin Texas’ up-and-comers Gold Beach are set to release a gorgeous white vinyl 7″ via Velvet Blue Music next Tuesday (2/28), but pre-orders start shipping today.

The two tracks included feature powerful kit work over subtle vocals and a lovely chord progression fleshed out through acoustic guitar, some piano and theremin-like swelling tones. Sandwiched between two records, this single is a fantastic snapshot of where the Texans have been and where they are going.

With purchase of the 7″, music enthusiasts will also receive a download card with the material on the release, as well as an additional four songs.

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Fun Fun Fun Fest Announces Final

Like other purposefully common titles (The Who and The Band come to mind) Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, TX never has to worry about overusing its namesake. After all, the self-described “relaxed, creative and pioneering” event is just that, and everybody knows you can never have too much fun.

“Our goal is to keep things fun and to consistently deliver a unique and memorable experience every time fans come to this festival,” said FFF Founder Graham Williams.

This will be the 6th year for the festival, and it faces a new location in light of increased interest and attendance. There will be four stages at Auditorium Shores from November 4 – 6 showcasing some of the best independent, underground and progressive acts of today.

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All of Us Can Love. . . Live Music!

This weekend, here in the town that delivers nightly open-mouthed kisses to the rock & roll lifestyle, there’s this big, huge, sold-out festival. Yep, the Austin City Limits Festival was sold-out before they even announced the performers — Yanni, Jimmy Buffet & Kenny G, FYI.

While contemplating the number of ways one could hacksaw / chisel though the layers of steely fencing surrounding Austin’s only performance by Stevie Wonder, the OTHER fests this weekend gave me pause. You can Ditch the Fest, even though with this summer’s drought you won’t have to worry about the Dillo dirt, at a number of venues on Red River and the Eastside. Or you can attend Art Disaster 13 at Beauty Bar tonight, or you can “cornfuse the acronym” by attending the Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta at other venues around town.

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Roxy Roca…The New Kid on the Block

I have been seeing the name Roxy Roca popping up a lot lately so I decided to head down to Threadgill’s last weekend to see who this Roxy Roca is. It turns out Roxy Roca is not a who, but a what—and the “what” is a nine-piece powerhouse of southern soul. Fronted by green-eyed soul shouter Taye Cannon and backed up by a crack team of veteran players, this band is the real deal.

Roxy Roca | Ain’t Nothin’ Fancy (It’s Love)

Roxy Roca delivered a tight, gapless set showcasing their obvious affinity for late ’60s southern soul like Al Green and Joe Tex mashed up with a slightly more modern pop sensibility, as heard in their Internet-only single, “Ain’t Nothin’ Fancy (It’s Love).”

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Live Music As
Life’s Blood

New TVD Austin Editor Buckley Wineholt remembers why live music is life’s blood.

Growing up in Baltimore in the mid-’70s, it was easy to see why a gritty scene like punk could develop. My tastes ran more towards the blues bars, and one Nighthawks show at the Famous Ballroom on N. Charles one New Years Eve really got me hooked. Arena shows that followed, like Zappa on the Overnight Sensation/Apostrophe tour, and Little Feat with Lowell George cemented my attraction to the live music scene.

Decades later, here in The Live Music Capital of the World, a yowza set by ’60s psych-era icon Arthur Brown (“Fire”) backed by Austin’s own Flounders Without Eyes, opening for DeadEye at Ruta Maya for a Jerry Garcia birthday show kept the fire burning this past weekend. (Ruta Maya, sold-out, at about five hundred degrees… ouch.)

Seeing Arthur Brown, so many decades on, and hanging out with this R’nR vet, watching him work his magic both onstage and off, really made my night. This cat played with the Dead, Zappa, and many others at the Atlantic City Pop Festival, the week before Woodstock. And he remembered it! His inspired vocals, many of them improvised, were wild, wild, wild.

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T-Bird and the Breaks New Album Out Today!

Summertime, especially in the heat of Austin, TX, seems to inspire an almost unquenchable desire for good tunes and good times. Reminiscent of those eras that produced mastered pieces of working man art and music, chalk-full of sex appeal and urban style and slang, this band’s music keeps it classy and cool.

Combine creative musicians- who have an obvious and admirable knowledge of soul and funk music from the greats- with irresistible move-your-body music and invade-your-brain catchy lyrics, and you have T-Bird and The Breaks‘ new album Never Get Out of This Funk Alive. Like a perfectly mixed cocktail, T Bird (Tim Crane) & The Breaks (billed as 19 musicians over various tracks on the album) have stirred together groove, break-beat, funk, soul, hip hop, and garnished it with a modern twist.

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Win Tickets to See RX Bandits at Emo’s!

I have three pairs of tickets to give away for the RX Bandits (final tour!) show at Emo’s this Wednesday (6/29). Also appearing on the bill will be Maps & Atlases.

To be entered to win, all you have to do is post a comment and I’ll select the three winners at noon on Wednesday. Previous commenters to this contest will also be considered. No need to re-enter!

Good luck!


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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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Bon Iver Listening Party

Head on down to End of an Ear tomorrow for the listening party of Bon Iver’s new self titled release that comes out tomorrow at 6pm. They’ll have a limited number of bonus CD’s with purchase plus free posters to give away. Also available for purchase exclusively at End of an Ear tomorrow will be copies of the “Calgary” 12 inch that will not be hitting other stores until July 5.

While you’re there check out some of these new releases available at the store:

Pop / Rock

Black Country Communion “2” CD (J&R Adventures) 2011 sophomore album from the English-American Rock supergroup featuring bassist-vocalist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze, Black Sabbath), blues rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa, drummer Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin) and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater).
Bonnie “Prince” Billy “There is No God” 10″ (Drag City) Limited.
Cliffie Sawn “Memories Come True” LP (Drag City) Previously known as Lights. Sophia Knapp and Linnea Vedder sing with the voices of angels dragged through Nashville and Laurel Canyon in the ’70s.
Dolly Mixture “Remember This: The Singles Collection 1980-1984” LP (For Us) Now available on vinyl. Collects all four singles plus the “Fireside” 12″ EP.
Glasgow Smile “Precious” CD New noise walls from Houston. Harsh.
Jesus and Mary Chain “Automatic” LP (Plain) Now reissued on vinyl.
Junior Boys “It’s All True” CD (Domino) Their 4th album.
McCartney, Paul “McCartney” CD (Hear Music) Recorded within months of the Beatles official breakup, this has aged really well. Up there with “Ram” in terms of light yet charming pop music.
McCartney, Paul “McCartney II” CD (Hear Music) A seriously underrated record, this one is from 1980 when Paul was definitely smoking maximum amounts of weed. There’s a happy-isolationist quality to the proceedings that gives it a pretty unique feel. Plus hearing the ex-Beatle sing in a variety of falsettos over a bed of Arp synths and tape-sped drum fills is utterly amazing. Now remastered with a bonus disc of tracks that will leave you laughing and confused… in a good way.
Neil Young “A Treasure” CD (Reprise) 12-track live album, includes songs (5 of which are previously unreleased) recorded during Young’s 1984 and 1985 U.S. tours.
Sebadoh “Bakesale” CD/LP (Sub Pop) Reissued on vinyl and CD.
Segall, Ty “Goodbye Bread” CD/LP (Drag City) His 5th album.
Segall, Ty “I can’t feel it” 7″ (Drag City)
Thin Lizzy “s/t” LP Debut album reissued.
Vetiver “The Errant Charm” CD/LP (Sub Pop) Their 5th album.


Axemen “Three Virgins” 2LP (Siltbreeze) The second entry in Siltbreeze’s Axemen reissue series, Scary! Part III originally saw light as a cassette-only release in 1989.
Cramps “De Lux Album” LP Early 7″ and 12″ tracks.
Crazy Spirit “I’m Dead” 7″ (Mata La Musica) New 2-song single.
Eskorbuto “Eskizofrenia” LP (Munster) Reissue of debut 1985 LP. Spanish punk at it’s finest.
Hygiene “Public Sector” LP On their debut album, Hygiene take the listener on a post-pub stagger through the concrete walkways and underpasses of Britain’s decline. Equal doses of stark minimalism and plodding post-punk fury.
Isterismo “Tokyo Crusties” LP (540) Ear-bleeding Tokyo noise punk in the vein greats like Confuse and Disorder.
Just Urbain “Everybody loves” 7″ (540) Classic Aussie teen punk, originally issued on the legendary Savage/Shake label.
Nerveskade “Noise Pollution” 7″ (540) New single from young Portland noise punks.
Shitty Limits “Speculate/Accumulate” 12″ Debut album from ‘Britain’s best punk band’. Combining influences from 60’s garage, 70’s punk and 80’s hardcore.
Slaughter “Nocturnal Karnage” LP (Agipunk) Includes tracks from the Nocturnal Hell 7″ and the Bloody Karnage demo.
Slowmotions “Operation Anagram” 7″ (540) New single from Japanese punk band.
Wire “1976 Demo” LP Early, raw and totally awesome as you would guess.
Young Identities “New Trends” 7″ (540) Classic Aussie teen punk, originally issued on the legendary Savage/Shake label.

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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


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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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