Yes! The return of one of my favorite festivals/events in Austin. Long ago, Levitation was once Psych Fest, and it was glorious. Then it switched from Psych Fest to Levitation, then switching from one giant beautiful field to multiple venues, and honestly its been like the best part of SXSW! It’s the part where you get music heads chasing great bands like this year’s line-up featuring Black Midi, Chicano Batman, Tinariwen, The Hives, Japanese Breakfast and more! But, at least the 2019 version, it was pretty absent the free-swag army chasing beers and keychains. This year, the event will be spread out over four days, across venues like Stubbs, Mohawk, Cheer Up Charlies and Empire.
You can grab yourself some tickets right HERE, with more bands to be announced as the date draws near. And then check the recap of the 2019 experience!
I’ve been writing about Good Morning for several years now, but since Prize//Reward, the band really seem to have found themselves on a quick rise to popularity, leading us to the very recent release of Basketball Breakups. Tonight, the Aussie bunch bring their sounds to Austin for the first time (as far as I can remember), and why not celebrate them for just making it overseas, as it’s getting super hard for those overseas acts to make it onto our shores. I think the casual pop of the band has them poised to breakout over here, so tonight might be your chance to catch them on the ascendancy. Plus, they’re supported by two of our favorite locals in Daphne Tunes and Pelvis Wrestley. Tickets are scarce, so hunt one down if you dare!
Earlier this Summer, Sun June member Michael Bain released Tidal Ways; it had some slight sonic nods to SJ, but clearly he’s found a sound entirely his own. You’ll find that guitar lines are sharp and crisp, while his vocals have a little studio growl to them; the percussion seems almost entirely played on the rim of the drum. It almost seem to have this nice haze upon it, which at times, seems matched by the imagery of the accompanying video. If you fancy the sound, you can find the whole album available HERE. But, if you’re super lucky and live in Austin, you can catch Michael playing at the Mohawk tomorrow night; he’ll be joined by our dear friend David Israel, as well as Thank Light; more info HERE.
Austin act Genuine Leather always seem to have something up their sleeve, and this week’s no difference as they’ve just shared a brand new track from their forthcoming EP. At the moment, the band seems super-intent upon just rocking anthemic pop songs. I can hear little hints of Elvis Costello curl in the vocals delivered, while also hearing a nod to power-pop heroes across the board. It’s infectious and hits hard, especially if you’re willing to let your speakers hit full blast. You’ve got appreciate the band’s push to craft a pop song within the confines of 3 chords…and pull it off no less. Their EP is slated for release later this year, but you can catch the band at Mohawk tomorrow night (9/21) with Blood, Nick Adamo, Reen & the Renegades.
If you’re looking for some alternative 4th of July plans, the best show in town on Thursday night has to be the Yeasayer show on the Mohawk outdoor stage. Always a great live band, this show is sure to bring the house down. Make sure you show up early for an opening set from locals Zettajoule followed by a direct supporting spot from L.A. based Steady Holiday.
Also here is Yeasayer’s latest single “Let me Listen in on You” off the new album Erotic Returnsout now on all platforms.
Browsing through my emails on a Sunday as an electric storm rolled through Austin, I kept coming back to press play on Sungaze‘s latest single. It’s a tune that seems infinite, as if it’s able to escape the confines of present time; it drifts, casually, spiritually, carrying you on a cloud in and out of consciousness. Dream pop number such as this are rare, but the clear elegance of the band’s songwriting is definitely putting me in this otherworldly mood. Take a minute, or five, from your day, let your mind drift, let those troubles fall to the side and immerse yourself in this journey. I expect Light in All of It to let us all escape the world when it drops on July 19th (with an Austin tour date in one week!).
You ever hear a song and immediately you swoon, wondering where they’ve been all your life? Okay, so perhaps that’s a touch too hyperbolic, but I felt right at home the moment I pressed play on this new video from Cincinnati’s Sungaze. While there’s this natural softness to it, almost as if it’s lulling you to sleep, a beautiful emotion sort of pervades the entirety of the tune, aided by the way the video was shot; it’s that ringing guitar line lurking beneath the haze that really drives it home for me. The band will release their debut LP, Light in All of It on July 19th…and include some Texas dates, including one here in Austin with our friends She Sir on 6/16 (who also recently released a new EP–shameless plug).
This weekend is filled with a ridiculous amount of good shows to catch and seems to be slated to remind you why it is you choose to live in The Live Music Capitol of The World. With an extra day to your weekend, there’s really no excuse not to get out and see some quality local and touring acts. Here are my picks for the next three nights for a killer time out for the holiday weekend.
Last year Shawn Jones returned from a brief hiatus to bring us Shake the Shadow, his latest album under The Lovely Sparrows. It would seem that the process, and reception, reignited the writing bug for Jones, as he’s already returned with a brand new pair of songs slated for cassette release via Mr. Pink Records. One of the things that struck me on the latest LP that’s present in these songs is the arrangement work; I love Shawn’s voice, but there are just some little touches like the jangling guitar chord and beautiful sax in “Fortune Tellers and Strange Dogs” that puts the song over the edge. It’s the sort of song that pulls my ear close to the speaker trying to pick up on every possible sound. If you’re in Austin, the Lovely Sparrows play with Jonas Wilson and PocketSounds at the Mohawk this Saturday night!
I’ve enjoyed my ACL and SXSW Gimme 5 playlists from artists so much that I’ve decided to start running some at random times during the year. Well not totally random, as I plan to focus on artists coming through Austin soon to help build up some hype for their show. It’s also interesting for me to find our what other musicians are listening to before, or even after their show. Kicking off my newish feature is Nashville based songwriter Lydia Luce who is stopping through town on Friday at Mohawk. Hit the jump for some words from Lydia and her 5 song playlist.