Levitation Festival – Wrap Up

And just like that, Levitation 2022 has come and gone as fast and powerful as a Slift guitar interlude. With absolutely no remorse for ear drums, the entire billing unconditionally brought their fucking A game. Earsplitting, breakneck, and with style points in spades, this years fest was one for the record books. 2 nights of Gizz, 4 nights of the Osees, La Femme and Black Angels closing things out, what is not to like? If you were following along, your ATH crew enlisted amongst the thronged masses in the Red River Cultural District this weekend to get a massive dose of culture. We spread out as much as possible over the weekend and below are our major takeaways and favorite shows you should be listening to and seeing live if you get the chance. Until next time, hit the jump.

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Levitation Interviews: Babe Rainbow

“There’s no formula for happiness that’s guaranteed to work”, sings Angus Dowling on the opening line from “Open Up Your Heart,” the latest release from Babe Rainbow. “It all depends on how you treat your friends, and how much you’ve been hurt. But its a start, you open up your heart, and try not to hide what you feel inside.” Throughout the new album, The Organic Band sets a strong tone of acceptance, respect, and speaking truth to love. Gone are the blase, stoner surf-pop days which so often tends to lead to apathy and negative connotations from a judgmental listening community. Babe Rainbow is taking up the reigns to make a statement and cultivate positive energy in all forms. Read more

Babe Rainbow – The Organic Band

Rating: ★★★★☆

Turn your gaze up. The naked stars are out. The boombox is cranked to 11, salty air on the fresh breeze, and cool sand squeezes between your toes. You enjoy friendly conversation at length and share some laughs. It is “Smile Time”…so much so that your jaws hurt. Find the cooler covered in wet sand and grab some cold beers. Time to wax up the Hobie longboard for tomorrow A.M.’s rally, and gather ’round a warm fire dug into the sand. After a long sunny Saturday in the surf, that sounds epic to me. Now picture this vibe in album form. That is the newest effort from Babe Rainbow, The Organic Band, wrapped in a tight wetsuit. It is Saturday Night.

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Show Review: Khruangbin + The Mattson 2 @ The Mohawk (3.30.18)

Aside from the inevitable grooves, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Khruangbin show at Mohawk on Friday night, afterwards it became very clear. It was my first time to see the trio live and here’s my three main takeaways: 1.) Nobody is still quite sure how to pronounce the name…and just forget spelling it correctly, 2.) That 70’s inspired psych jams from Southeast Asia and the Middle East can induce a dance party in ATX for the ages, 3.) That something with roots so strikingly foreign to Texas (and even today’s stateside music scene in general) can come across as spellbindingly authentic. All that and more after the jump. Read more

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio / Ike Stubblefield Trio @ Antone’s (9.29.17)

Rarely does the opportunity arise when a living legend makes their way through our fair city. Even rarer when 2 living legends happen to share the bill. Rarer still is the unlikely scenario where both legends are vastly proficient on the same instrument…in this case the Hammond B3 Organ. This perfect storm of unfathomable talent and unrivaled musical accomplishment took the stage at Antone’s on Friday night with Dr. Lonnie Smith and Ike Stubblefield showing in no uncertain terms why they are considered some of the best ever. Follow the jump for more on the show. Read more

Balmorhea / Caroline Says @ Stateside at the Paramount (09.22.17)

Whenever the opportunity arises to catch local instrumentalists, Balmorhea as the 6-piece live incarnation of Rob Lowe and Michael Muller’s cathartic project, we at Austin Town Hall jump all over it. Friday night’s album release party at the fantastic Stateside at the Paramount Theater stage for the band’s enthralling sixth LP, Clear Language was no exception. Follow the jump for more on the show. Read more

Show Review: Band of Horses ACL Taping (10/2)

boh2As the ACL Music Festivities came to a close a stones throw away from downtown Austin on Sunday evening, Seattles Band of Horses found themselves hanging in the balance between two very different musical settings. On Friday night, the band performed for the mass festival crowd in front of thousands at Zilker Park which brings a certain degree of exuberance and community, yet still slightly impersonal vibe. Struggling with sound bleed from adjacent stages, the quieter moments which the band is well known for dont lend themselves well. Sunday night however, they graced the Austin City Limits stage for the second time (Season 36, 2010) for a deeply personal and cathartic experience for audience and band alike, showing that the band is a true master of dynamic range when given the proper venue. Hit the jump for more.

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Show Review: Florence + the Machine @ Austin City Limits (5/20/16)

florence-2On Friday night, the Moody Theater hosted one of the strongest and well-renowned acts in the music world on the ACLTV stage. Florence + the Machine brought their trademark flare for the dramatic and pumped out an epic and high-energy 12 song performance in the midst of their How Beautiful World Tour. The night prior the group hit an evening at the Circuit of the Americas Amphitheater to a much larger audience, but the element of subtlety and artistic restraint are nowhere to be found within the front woman’s agenda. When she gets on stage, it is laid out for all to see and bare witness like an emotional tsunami; unpredictable and unrelenting.

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Show Review: My Morning Jacket @ Austin City Limits (5/1/16)

jamesOften when it comes to the Austin City Limits Television program, performers can come across as coy or taken aback at just the honor of being invited. With 42 seasons running, the tapings do hold a certain special quality all their own. For My Morning Jacket however, this was just another show in a new leg of their extended tour. Another show of which they absolutely commanded from the final introductory syllables from Terry Likona’s mouth. Read more

The Mad Caddies @ Red 7 (04.11.14)

Mad CaddiesThere are many reasons why bands tend to take a hiatus. Reasons such as conflict within the group, lack of creativity, and loss of direction. Sometimes life just gets in the way of a music career, but it’s not a forced or unwelcome break; it’s a much more positive experience. Such is the story of the Santa Barbara based septet, The Mad Caddies, who graced a stage in Austin at Red 7 for the first time since 2006.

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