SXSW Interview: Whitney Ballen

Every year we get super-excited about SXSW, and it’s hard to cover everything we want. So, we’ve come up with our annual SXSW questionnaire, and each year we change the questions just a bit, then throw ’em out to everyone we know. Today, we’re happy to share the responses from Whitney Ballen, who released her latest with Father/Daughter Records last year. Read more

Show Preview & Interview: Photo-Ops with Tracyanne & Danny at 3TEN ACL Live 2/8

Friday night has some great options for you this weekend here in the ATX, and while it’s going to be a bit chilly out, I’ve got the perfect show to keep you nice and warm. Tracyanne & Danny are bringing along Photo-Ops to 3TEN ACL Live for a night of indie pop that is bound to dispel all bad vibes from the cold front. Opener Photo-Ops dropped a killer single that I shared with you last week, and has new materials in the works that are all sunshine. Tracyanne (of Camera Obscura) & Danny put out a killer record last year that checks the box of bedroom pop with stunning vocals and a little bit of bluegrass-ish swagger to it. You can buy pretty cheap tickets here, which I suggest you do, as it’s gonna be a great evening. Terry Price, the man behind Photo-Ops, obliged us to give us some brief answers to some random questions. Tunes and interview are after the jump!

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Stream Kevin Hairs’ Freak in the Streets

I was a big fan of the Hairs, the indiepop act starring Mr. Kevin Hairs, so when we thought about posting the stream of his new EP, I reached out to toss a couple of quick questions his way. Don’t forget to stream the new EP…out today via

ATH: You’ve been working with the name The Hairs for nearly a decade, so why the change to Kevin Hairs? Any particular reason?

KH: I got tired of playing behind a band name and working with that expectation. I felt like I was getting to that point where I just wanted to write and make music by myself and have something that was more intimate. I wanted to play out more with ease. Getting a band around town and practicing…. it’s too much stress. I love the idea of “Kevin Hairs” being flexible and playing by myself or with a bit of a band or a drum machine. It seemed easier and fun. I’m just at that age… but essentially, it’s easier to play by yourself and being a solo artist seems cool to me now.

ATH: How does Freak in the Streets fit in to your catalog? For you, do you see it as a continued progression from While I Hated Life, Barbarian?

KH: “Freak in the Streets” feels like when I started to be myself. It feels like a continuation of the Hairs, but now I feel like I can just get a lil’ deeper with the songs.

ATH: If you can think back to the recording of this EP, what was the one band or album that you were listening to on your own that might have seeped into the sound subconsciously?

KH: I really love “Crab Day” by Cate Le Bon. The way she sings. The music is batshit crazy at first. The lyrics are just bizarre and psychedelic and like free association. She feels like a modern day Syd Barrett. I’m just attracted to that kind of vibe.

ATH: You and I have talked about this a bit…but where do you see physical media going in regards to smaller artists? If you had a preference, where would you like to see it go? Any ideas on how to shake it all up?

KH: Mmmmm – all of my musical listening is streaming. If there would be physical media, I’d prefer it to be useful like shirts (clothing) with a download code attached. Maybe a postcard can be good…to hang on your wall. That band Rocketship was selling postcards with great art on it and a download code. I thought that was beautiful. I find myself being anti-stuff. I don’t like having things. I like the essentials. I think it would make going to shows more necessary. Streaming should be more shared. That’s about it.

ATH: Did Kevin ever get a dog or find something to believe in?

KH: I used to have a dog when I was a tween into my young adult life, she passed away years ago. HAVING SAID THAT…..I think I found something to believe in. Haha. I believe in focusing on positive things. External things come and go. So I think I’ve learned to just focus on how I feel.

ATH: An EP is sometimes thought of as a stop-gap between album cycles…can we expect a Kevin Hairs full length in the near future?

KH: To be honest, I haven’t really thought too far out about Kevin Hairs. I certainly want to make more songs and eventually another short album / long EP. I’m having fun doing what I’m doing. Honestly, I find music to be fun again and I don’t wanna burden myself thinking like that. I’m sure there’ll be other songs and stuff. But I don’t know.

SXSW Awards – 2018

Your friendly neighborhood ATH staff members have emerged from SXSW week and I think we’re all finally ready to reminiscence on what transpired. As we’ve done in the past, it seems like a perfect time to hand out some awards for the festival with superlatives that we made up like 5 minutes ago. Keep in mind we saw a lot of bands, had a bit to drink, and ventured out to more venues than we can possibly remember. So buckle up, hit the jump and see who we deemed worthy and deserving of our very prestigious awards.

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SXSW Interviews: Common Holly

Who is awake this morning? Not this guy. Myself and the entire ATH crew have emerged from the week of madness known as SXSW and are somehow all working today. It was hella fun, but this is surely the worst Monday of the year. As always, we will be recapping our week here soon, but before that, I have one more interview to run which somehow slipped through the cracks last week. This last one comes from Brigitte Naggar and her Montreal based project known as Common Holly. Hit the jump to read more.

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