Archives for May 2019

KUT Weekend – May 31, 2019

Half of I-35’s main lanes through North Austin will close this weekend. Plus, the origin of the word “Texas” may be rooted in something other than friendship. And what’s the real story behind Dan’s and Fran’s hamburgers? Those stories and more in this edition of KUT Weekend!

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Rethink conspiracy through the appreciation of art, hard work, and beautiful music with Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe.

Instant Exorcism

It’s a question of the ages, though perhaps today’s technology far exceeds the imagination of individuals from past centuries. But here we go: Is humankind a slave to its technological devices? Many would argue yes – especially seeing people constantly on their iPhones, whether walking, driving or…at any social function – but this leads to another observation. How, in this crazed current state of accelerated information and instant gratification, are humans able to connect with one another on a more personal, emotional level?

Curse Mackey (Evil Mothers, Pigface, Grim Faeries) does some deep searching on this subject with his latest solo LP, the pulsating darkwave industrial/electronic Instant Exocism, an exploration of connection in a primarily disconnected existence.

Extra cool news: Mackey is supporting My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult on their Strange Affairs tour. Both Mackey and dark rock/electronic outfit SINE, riding high on their recent darkly-melodic and mesmerizing full-length debut INSOMNIÆ, will open for Thrill Kill Kult tonight at Elysium, 705 Red River. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Welcome the night. So recommended.

-Photo of Curse Mackey courtesy of the artist.

Poison Ivy

It’s all sunshine and good times until you discover you’ve brushed up against a patch of poison ivy. This Typewriter poem commemorates those times when you take a bit of nature home with you – the kind you definitely don’t want.

Texas Standard: May 31, 2019

A 5% tariff on all Mexican imports. What could President Trump’s latest effort to curb immigration do to the Texas economy? We’ll have the latest. Also, it’s a disturbing fact fairly well-known in East Texas, the area has a higher-than-average suicide rate. But what do we know about why? We’ll take a look. Plus, Texas school children got a boost from the latest legislative session. But did that focus take away from efforts to help kids in foster care? We’ll explore. And a Texas farmer is trying something new that’s actually very old. We’ll look at why. And Friday means the Typewriter Rodeo and wrap of the week in Texas Politics. That and more today on the Texas Standard:

Bourgeois Mystics: “Bourgeois Mystique” [PREMIERE]

Five years ago a group of…well…nutcases (in the best way possible) decided to blend art rock, jazz, funk, and hip-hop with sarcastic overtones, international languages and pulse-amplifying performances. Now flaunting even more larger-than-life personas, Austin ten-piece Bourgeois Mystics lies somewhere between Frank Zappa and OutKast, where superficial, profit-hungry lyrics balance out with serious instrumental grooves.

Be on the lookout for the sophomore record from Bourgeois Mystics, entitled Turn On, Tune In, Sell Out and catch a free video release party 9PM tonight at Oskar Blues Brewery! “What video?” you may ask…Embrace the musical mythos with a previously unheard single from Bourgeois Mystics, “Bourgeois Mystique“!

Texas Standard: May 30, 2019

The latest front in the culture wars? A game of political chicken, sandwiches? We’ll look at the backstory behind the conservative cry to save Chick-fil-a. AT&T is one of the biggest and best known brands in the world, but it ain’t your parents Ma Bell anymore. How the Dallas based phone company is morphing into a digital media giant. And a wake up call to save older buildings across the Lone Star State. Plus how Texas got its name: there may be more to the story than you think. All of those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Toebow: “Bed In Breakfast”

If you throw a bunch of animated personalities together in pursuit of psych pop, you’re definitely ending up with something wacky. There’s no exception with Brooklyn five-piece Toebow, whose quirky, upbeat flavors balance out with serious discipline when it comes to show time. Formed in 2013 by veterans of the indie dream-pop group BOBBY, Toebow’s name pays tribute to their first ever song, conceived as a representation of music’s abstract, often contradicting nature. And recently the quintet has taken that idea to heart once again for their debut full-length, Themes, which came out last Friday.

It’s an eight-track whimsical rollercoaster from Toebow that’ll weird you out but make you beg for more, so serve yourself up something extra playful with “Bed In Breakfast”!

Texas Standard: May 29, 2019

If another Harvey sized storm hit the Texas coast, could the state’s economy weather the hit ? A warning to Texas officials about the need to do something to protect the Galveston bay before the next so called 500 year storm event, we’ll take a look. Also a plan to get teachers to transfer to low performing schools, how’s it going? Plus how is it that a small texas town of 400 people is bankrolling projects statewide? We’ll explore. And has Texas government debt really risen 40 percent in 5 years? Politifact checks the numbers and more today on the Texas Standard:

This Song: The Bishops on “Soundtrack to My Life” by Kid Cudi

Our May Artist of the Month- The Bishops explain that hearing “Soundtrack to My Life” by Kid Cudi for the first time as middle schoolers changed what they thought hip-hop music could be. Kid Cudi spends the song highlighting his negative mental health, an idea that Cara and Troy Bishop hadn’t heard before in the artists they were listening to at the time like Lil’ Wayne and 50 Cent. It led them to write songs that have an emphasis on being lyrically vulnerable, a mission that they hope to continue with each new release. Explains Cara “I’ll always want to be vulnerable in songs because I know other people are too and the fact that they are means we can connect to each other.”

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Listen to Songs from this episode of This Song


Michael Paul Lawson: “Wolf By The Tail”

For Americana singer Michael Paul Lawson, the corporate middle chapter of his life is best left closed. Lawson’s since doubled down on his familial roots as a musician, swapping out the NYC suit-and-tie grind in favor of the idyllic Norfolk, Virginia. This welcome change of scenery prompted a new era of songwriting for Lawson, whose lyrics evoke tried-and-true artists like John Prine as much as they do contemporaries like Jason Isbell.

After linking up with Noah Gundersen producer Daniel Mendez, Lawson jumped locations once again to record his debut album right here in Austin. It was here that Lawson endured a tumultuous relationship with his father sixteen years before and where he now began to reconcile that on his debut full-length Some Fights You’ll Never Win. The seven-song EP is out July 12th and to put you in Lawson’s head beforehand, sit back and soak up “Wolf By The Tail”!

Texas Standard: May 28, 2019

The 86th session of the Texas legislature is history, but is it one for the history books? We’ll take a look at the highs and lows, the winners and losers and more on a special edition of the Texas Standard. At a time of bitterness and division in national politics, a funny thing happened on the way to the Texas legislature in January: the three most powerful figures in Texas politics resolved to get things done without playing to the political extremes. From property tax and school finance reform, mental health care and beyond…we’ll look at who won who lost and how it affects all of us on our special edition of the Standard:

Lee Ann Womack: “Hollywood”

With six million album sales, fourteen Grammy nominations, and two decades of straight excellence, Texas native Lee Ann Womack is one of the finest acts country music has to offer. And while Womack may be best known for the 2000 hit single “I Hope You Dance”, her ability to wander across the country genre from Parton-esque traditional style to pop, gospel, blues and Americana has kept her material fresh with each new record.

Womack’s ninth full-length, The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone, was met with critical acclaim when it first came out in 2017 and just last month she shared a music video for the album’s second single. Lee Ann Womack plays an intimate acoustic set tomorrow and Thursday night at the Cactus Cafe and today you can tear into some of her latest with “Hollywood”!

Texas Standard: May 27, 2019

It’s a day to remember: those who gave their lives in service of the nation. But it’s also the end of the 86th legislative session. We will look at the state’s budget and what’s in it. Plus, a bill in Congress that stalled and it has money for Harvey recovery, what’s next? And how could 5G interfere with predicting the next Harvey? We’ll explore. And we’ll take a look at how restorative justice could restore more than individual lives and revive neighborhoods. And the little computer program that could… COBOL has been dismissed but is still going strong. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Sorcha Richardson: “Don’t Talk About It”

For Dublin-born singer Sorcha Richardson, the seed of music was sowed early. She started her first band at just ten years old and between her ever-growing talents on guitar and vocals, has become one of Ireland’s most exciting solo acts. And though pop may be at the forefront of Richardson’s songwriting, she incorporates enough styles to both satisfy the formulas of modern music and still keep you guessing one track after another.

Dating back to 2012, Richardson’s already got a slew of singles under her belt and this fall she releases her debut album, First Prize Bravery. The record was only recently revealed with its lead single last Friday, shaking up a bedroom pop cocktail of infectious synth, atmospheric reverb, and the dangers of non-confrontation. Here’s “Don’t Talk About It“!

Photo: Cáit Fahey


There is something unique about the vibe and feel of summer. In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about how jazz can help us open up and connect as we move through this season.

Alicia Olatuja (Ep. 25, 2019)

On this week’s program, In Black America producer and host John L. Hanson, Jr. speaks with vocalist, composer and arranger Alicia Olatuja, who combines elements of Classical, Jazz, Blues and R&B in her latest recording, Intuition: Songs From the Minds of Women.

Growing Pains

Fine. Your Austin Music Minute host has no shame, endlessly babbling and gushing like a fangirl when it comes to the music. Deal with it. And that’s definitely the case on today’s AMM with the spotlight on Charlie Belle. For over a decade, sibling duo and founding members Jendayi Bonds (songwriter, guitarist, vocalist) and Gyasi Bonds (drummer, vocals) determinedly shaped the course of their superb pop prowess from an early age, but their youth has nothing to do with the maturity, the depth…the verve of their sound.

A lot has happened since the release of Charlie Belle’s 2015 debut EP, Get To Know – line-up changes, leaving their label, and school, to list a few things. Yet their musical style is as captivating as ever. Their 2019 release, Like I Love This, is another glimmering example of this incredible, almost uncanny connection they have with an ‘80s UK pop vibe.

And we’re talking about an Austin band here.

Don’t miss out. Catch what might be Charlie Belle’s last performance for a long time (dang it!!) tonight at Cheer Up Charlie’s, 901 Red River. The line-up marks the return of Eyelid Kid, and an EP release by Indoor Creature, as well as sets by Hey Cowboy, The Irons, and Synthemesc. The music starts at 9 p.m. So recommended.