Let’s get this out of the way. No, I did not get to shoot Day for Night from the photo pit. In fact, my “media” approval amounted to a discounted 3-day wristband. It was disappointing, if I am to be honest; I was truly looking forward to shooting this year. The organizers saw it differently. I guess one day we’ll have to relent and buy fake followers on social media as an insurance policy.
Alas, the hotel was bought and paid for already, so off I went to make the most. Saturday, I left the camera behind as there was confusion, too much of it, about camera policies, etc. Turns out, I had a great time wandering aimlessly through the cavernous space, spending much of my time in the art installations, occasionally paying attention to the stages. I had no schedule and stumbled into people, sometimes standing in the crowd only to look to my right and realize a friend had been right next to me for a half an hour. Sunday, I mounted the trusty 55/1.8 to the a9 and revisited the installations and took in way more music.
The art ruled the weekend – I went to an art show and caught some bands. Pop through and read about highs and lows and discoveries and disappointments…
Bauhaus was a genre defining band. BUT, it was Love and Rockets, Bauhaus minus one Peter Murphy, that I really fanned out about. And then, Tone On Tail, Love and Rockets minus one David J., that created and whole new thing to one-up friends. The curious case where a group minus a member could improve or be a complete thing unto itself was on full display last Thursday night at The Mohawk when Poptone, Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins with Haskins’s daughter Diva Dompe, brought songs to life that I never thought I would get to see live. The fuzzed out basslines, the distant nearly monotone vocal, the ringing twelve-string or echoed out saxophone – this was as important a show to me as Belle and Sebastian would be to Nathan.
Click through for the rest of my thoughts and so many pics of not just Poptone, but the opener Geneva Jacuzzi and her girl in the bubble performance. …and holy crap it was cold.
Austin favorites, and one time ATH Records act, Big Bill have just released their excellent new album Stand By Your Bill. It’s filled with some of the best song’s the group has written to date, and the band aim to share those hits with you this evening over on a stacked bill at Hotel Vegas this evening. The line-up is fleshed out with some of Austin’s finest, such as Annabelle Chairlegs, Pollen Rx and the Infinites. That’s four incredible bands for one low bargain price, not to mention you’ll get your chance to pick up the Big Bill‘s LP on vinyl, released on their own First Human Records. Come one, come all…I’ll see you there!
Let this sink in: “Singer-guitarist Daniel Ash and drummer Kevin Haskins, who spent large swaths of the 80s and 90s performing in the seminal acts Bauhaus, Tones on Tail and Love and Rockets have reunited to form a new band called Poptone with Haskins daughter Diva from BlackBlack.”
Look, I never had the stars align to let me see Love and Rockets, let alone Tones on Tail. Of the half band revival tours going, this may be the best. I peaked at the setlist from previous shows and it makes me so happy, covers the bands covered back then, the best of Ash led songs from Love and Rockets and a Tones on Tail best-of.
If you weren’t affected by the Bauhaus, Love and Rockets or Tones on Tail, pretty sure one of the bands you love was.
Austin’s The Sour Notes have been fairly quiet, but all that will change when the band drop their new record, Darkest Sour, this Friday over at Hotel Vegas. They’ve shared this great little album promotional video, which seems to show the band delving into the realms of dreamy pop, fitting for the matching imagery in the video. If you want to preview the band’s live set, they’ll be over at KUTX doing a taping at 8 (Tix HERE). Not sold yet? Just check out the amazing line-up they’ve slung together: A Sinclair, Duncan Fellows and El Lago, who I’ve really been enjoying a lot as of late. A great week for The Sour Notes…let’s all be thankful!
While I was eating tacos and getting melt-faced over at Emo’s, we had an opportunity to send in a photographer to take in the magic of Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile performing at ACL Live. I was a little bummed to miss this one, but my priority was with the Sound On Sound team. I was supposed to be out standing in the field, after all.
Anyway, click through. You’ll get to experience the show via the lens of Rick Kern, bearded dude and all-around good human.
In 2016 Shana Falana released the most excellent Here Comes the Wave, and still riding high on the release; the band heads into Austin this evening at Cheer Up Charlies. You’ll get a steady dose of female-fronted dream-pop, akin to Wax Idols or Frankie Rose. They’ll be joined by several Austin acts, with our own Blushing joining the ranks of Lake of Fire and Angry Beige to round out the bill put together by the Nothing Song. The tune below is still my favorite Shana Falana tune off the last record…such a gem. See ya’ll tonight!
We all shed a tear when we learned that Sound On Sound was cancelled. We have a lot of good friends that put so much effort into making this year’s festival amazing, a quantum leap over last year.nnWe will not debate the valor of their efforts to save the festival or lament the missed opportunity of seeing Iggy Pop surrounded by a Ren Fair here.
The thing we may not understand about the festival circuit is that bands are on tour and need to use the festivals to home base around a few stops nearby before and after. Knowing this, the SoS team was able to schedule a few makeup shows to accommodate the travelers. One such show was for Lindstrom, a guy from Norway that was travelling a long way to hang with us. This set was high on my list for standing in a field with friends vibing. We replace the open spaces and axe-throwing for the friendly confines of Cheer Up Charlie’s.
As previously mentioned, I’d caught the Jesus and Mary Chain a handful of times since their return a few years back, but I had yet to catch them in an intimate indoor setting, such as Emos. Some brief thoughts below.
Thirty plus years into their career, and people, such as myself, are still clamoring to catch The Jesus and Mary Chainlive. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch the legendary act twice, though both have been at festivals, so perhaps the intimacy was missing…until now. Tomorrow night in Austin, the Scottish act will grace Emos, allowing those in attendance to get just a little bit closer to the band. They’re touring in support of their recent album, Damage and Joy, which was their first release of original material in almost 20 years. Even if you haven’t listened to that new LP, they’re guaranteed to play some of their “hits,” so fans will be sure to get a taste of nostalgia. Plus, the Dig are opening up, who’ve started to map out some solid performances in their own right, so be sure to show up early.