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.
B. Gray’s note: We have a little bonus show coverage for you today, Guided By Voices played The Mohawk and we got Raphael Umscheid out of the studio and into the crowd with the simple task of enjoying himself in a shower of Lone Star.
“Shit Yeah, It’s Cool!”
Everyone knows the lyrics to Guided By Voices’ songs and they are eager to sing loudly as a flurry of beer suds ascend into the air. Guided By Voices took the stage in the early Summer Texas heat, in support of their latest album “Space Gun”, in coordinated shiny gold jackets with the album title affixed to the jacket backs. Within the span of a typically short GBV song, Pollard was removing the jacket for the comforts of cotton. The band followed their leader’s queue within a song or two. The energetic 60 song set covered a wide range of albums and hits. Pollard worked the old school rock cliches to full effect.
Photos of GBV and opener Park Doing with show notes after the break.
Levitation 2018 was not really a festival; it was a series of curated shows that happened to be on the same weekend. The environmental experience of marching across fields and pivoting from stage to stage was removed for ticketed shows at established venues. Hopefully, this will be a one time thing to keep the concept of Levitation alive. There was a time when it was the most unique fest going, whether in a power plant and by the river…
Anyway, when the lineup was announced, I was down for the deconstructed Animal Collective show with Panda Bear and Geologist at Mohawk. My interest increased when Lou Rebecca was added as an opener. It has been some time since our friends move out west to LA and there have been several mini-tours taken. How has the live set progressed and how do the new songs land?
Let this sink in:
“Singer-guitarist Daniel Ash and drummer Kevin Haskins, who spent large swaths of the 80s and 90s performing in the seminal acts Bauhaus, Tones on Tail and Love and Rockets have reunited to form a new band called Poptone with Haskins daughter Diva from BlackBlack.”
Look, I never had the stars align to let me see Love and Rockets, let alone Tones on Tail. Of the half band revival tours going, this may be the best. I peaked at the setlist from previous shows and it makes me so happy, covers the bands covered back then, the best of Ash led songs from Love and Rockets and a Tones on Tail best-of.
If you weren’t affected by the Bauhaus, Love and Rockets or Tones on Tail, pretty sure one of the bands you love was.
NB: Saturday night was another one for the books as Austin was lit up as ever with great bands and crazy antics on Red River. My main event was at Stubb’s for The War on Drugs, touring incredible latest album, A Deeper Understanding. B. Gray was on double duty–taking killer shots of The War on Drugs and then bouncing over to The Mohawk to catch King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard. Follow the jump to see his pretty pics and read some brief thoughts on a night at the gravel pit.
BG: Click through, y’all.
It’s that time of the year when the college kids flood into town, the weather cools down to a breezy 90 degrees…and there’s shows that request your attention. So figured I’d run down some suggestions for you, so you can make the best decision possible. Read more