When I go abroad, meaning when I leave the Austin city limits (cwutidid), I like to check show calendars for the strange new land I am off to to see what bands coming through the same town I am to give me a reason to bring my camera with me. For my trip to Denver last week, I hyper-focused on arguably the most iconic venue in the US, if not the world, Red Rocks. Luckily, friends of the program from way back, The Head And The Heart (a band I have shot in the past at one of our iconic venues Stubb’s) were rolling through Denver at the same time, so the emails went out and I crossed my fingers. The approval to shoot meant controlling excitement while I was in day-job meetings; I was going to shoot at a bucket list venue for most concert photographers.
Read on for the story and plenty of pics.
Myself and Mr. Gray pretended like we were young again on a cool Thursday night in Austin and made it out to Barracuda to see the famed Appleseed Cast. We talked some soccer, shared too many beers, and discussed the validity of The Cast music as a soundtrack to major life events. It was a great bill with many hits played. Hit the jump for more words, full setlist and some fancy ass photos from B. Gray.
Operators is on tour right now. I saw them live. You should, too.
Current touring lineup is Devojka, Sam Brown and Dan Boeckner. It is a tight trio across the front of the stage letting you pick if you want drums, guitar/vox or synths front and center for your earholes. I will ruin any form of review by just telling you it was so good. The collision of this band, visuals from the display screen behind and outstanding sound in the venue made for a fantastic night for fans.
DOOMSQUAD, a Toronto trio of two sisters and a brother, laid down quirky disco grooves in their opening spot as a bonus.
Click through as needed…
I went to see Night Drive last week. They played the hits, they played new stuff. I got some intel. Rodney says they are working through the last bits of studio time to put together the next record. Now, will it be a really tight LP or a big EP? TBD, but the new songs I heard were fantastic. They carried an additional weight and had some interesting progressions and chord foundation shifts occurring over the mandatory synth pop bliss.
Honorable mention goes to Kae Astra. Eyes on her for the future, ethereal, but big voice.
Kae Astra track share and photos after the break.
Last weekend, we welcomed a new comer to the Red River Cultural District in the form of KVRX Fest. While KVRX has long been a staple in our Austin music scene, this was their first go round of a festival of sorts and they came in hot, booking 40 bands across two stages to tout the title of largest College Radio music festival. Brian and I served as emissaries for the ATH crew and ventured out for both Friday and Saturday of the festival. Follow the jump to see some excellent (as always) photos from B.Gray and some general thoughts on the first run of the fest.
Crushed. That is how we all felt when Sound On Sound was cancelled. Looking back at that lineup, you get a swell of what could have been, especially knowing what our local family doing the production work put into it.
One of the big gets was Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Even in 2017, it had been since the festival circuit in 2009 that I got to see them live, which I didn’t get to photograph. That ACL set was a headlining gig when the Beastie Boys had to cancel, accelerating their profile. I missed out on the 2013 SxSW NPR set shooting Iggy and the Stooges. As a music photographer, Karen O is a performer you want to shoot any chance you get (unless Iggy Pop is next door). FINALLY, the stars aligned and they made it back to Austin playing ACL Live and a photo pass landed in my mitts.
Photos and a few thoughts…
Sunday’s a hard sell to the Austin music-going community, but Barracuda hosted a powerhouse bill last night. Local act Lola Tried kicked things off, with Aussie duo An Horse closing things out, fresh off the release of their new album Modern Air. Brian showed up and got some great pics for us to share below!
…with Cherry Glazerr.
So, I always love it when a more mainstream band, a band that started with blog buzz and blows up, goes out on the road and brings along another band in the middle of that arc. CHVRCHES‘ current run through the States has Cherry Glazerr opening. Development of the two bands, though, has been quite different. CHVRCHES started to to quick synthy blog buzz with a lead singer that was just figuring out how to be a front person. Cherry Glazerr started out with a front person figuring out how to have a band. Just as Lauren has become a comedienne and story teller, activist and focal point, Clementine has progressed from lo-fi fuzz into a guitar driven three-piece band leader that no longer just relies on energy and distortion, the songs progress and evolve settling into grooves, much tighter in delivery, but still paying homage to the soundcloud four track jams.
Click through for the lovely images, this was a fun shoot…
We dodged the rain. In fact, it was a perfect night, the heavy air transmitting sound well. Scoot Inn was an odd selection for a pure electronica artist like Jon Hopkins, what with its wood paneling and gravel dance floor, but fans showed up and put the venue at capacity right when Jon took the stage. It was a drifting set of ambient tones that would build to grooves and break back down again with a set list spanning years of albums and collaborations.
Orthy put down a DJ set before hand, merch was bought, the sun set and the yard moved. Pics and show notes to follow…
As I mentioned in the preview, Wax Trax! had quite a bit of influence on my music in my late teens and early twenties. To that point, metal never flirted with my new wave. Industrial changed that. Wax Trax! was the conduit to the bands that had distribution in Europe, but no outlet in the states. That record store along with venues and musicians in Chicago invited over bands like Front 242, KMFDM, Laibach and others and then incubated new projects like Ministry and Revolting Cocks. Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records documents the rise and fall of one of the most independent labels and record stores. The story goes like this: An openly gay couple, Dannie Flesher and Jim Nash, from the midwest moves to a shady neighborhood in Denver to open an amazing record store, they snap and move to Chicago, grow to love and champion bands via a record label, foster a “sound” and ultimately fall apart because of the necessary, but unpleasant parts of the business before being lost prematurely.
House of Vans hosted an event tied in with Record Store Day in Austin for fans of the label with a screening of the movie, a show featuring Cold Cave and Ministry and brought along a ton of merch from the barn archives (see the movie). Pics from the event, Q&A and performances to follow.