Clearly, based on the name of our site, we’re always down to represent Austin, and while I feel like releases were down in the city this year, there was tons of great stuff to be devoured. Rather than rank and file our friends; we’re just here to uplift the scene, and maybe remind you of some Texas music that might have (it shouldn’t!) slipped under your radar. Black Pumas got the deserved love, but there’s tons bubbling beneath the surface. I mostly broke it into labels, as they’re the heart and soul of this city. Comes with a fancy playlist.
A few years back ATH Records dropped Slack Capital Comp, a sort of snap shot at the weird side of Austin; Pataphysics, of course, were part of that. Now, a few years later, there’s new music on the way via First Human Records; we’ve got their first single below. It’s a jittery bit of synth-driven pop music, spastic in the best way, though the story’s woven around the hook-laden line “swiveling around in my computer chair.” I’m also a huge fan of the way the band has always included what I’d call “found sounds,” whether that’s this song’s use of Internet dial-up or the vocal samples; they continue to keep things interesting.
Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the greatest bands in Austin. All proceeds go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. To make sure every one of these artists gets the attention they deserve, we’re unveiling one song per day.
Song of the day: Pataphysics – “Carrasco”
Spend any time in the Austin music underground and you’re bound to encounter a strain of music that seems to come from an alternate universe in which The Big Bopper was as popular as The Beatles, and where Buddy Holly lived long enough to start a New Wave band. This sub-genre of music is sometimes called zolo, or zonk (zany punk?), and when you see it, it feels like a direct link to the oddball punk legends of Austin history like Big Boys and The Dicks. You kind of laugh at yourself, standing there with your arms folded, and think, “Oh yeah, music can be fun!”
Pataphysics, led by former Zom Zom frontman Pat Healy, is definitely one of these bands. Their contribution to SC2, “Carrasco,” is an addictive synth-pop ode to Tex-Mex “Nuevo Wavo” legend Joe “King” Carrasco, whose fun-loving songs “Party Weekend” and “Man Overboard” Healy used to play back in the day as a dee-jay at KVRX. Healy says “Carrasco” is about a fictitious party thrown by the King. The best detail–“his friend’s Michael Jackson!”–turns out to be true, as the King of Pop himself supposedly sings background vocals on Carrasco’s reggae tune “Don’t Let a Woman (Make a Fool Out of You).”
Recommended for fans of Oingo Boingo, The B-52’s, and the black-out rush of getting off the couch too fast. –Eric Braden
Pre-Order Slack Capital 2 HERE.