Archives for March 2020

Live Stream Pick: Brendan Benson

By now, it’s no secret: You’re aware of your Austin Music Minute maven being a fan of The Raconteurs. Der duh. But it’s time for a little revelatory spotlight on Raconteurs co-founder Brendan Benson‘s solo work, as both outstanding songwriter and badass producer. If you know, you know. If not…time to dig deep, sister. Lose yourself in a CV of numerous collaborations, awesome album credits, and an impressive six-record solo discography. Now, it’s time for number seven.

Benson’s Dear Life, set for release April 24th via Third Man Records, is showing Benson at his strongest and most inventive. To give you a preview of the awesomeness, Benson is presenting the “Boy In A Bubble” daily live stream series. He’ll perform a track off the forthcoming album every day at 4:20 p.m. Central on Instagram Live. Find all the deets you need and tune in on Benson’s Instagram profile.

-Photo courtesy of Third Man Records.

The Kraken Quartet & Adobo: “Hold My Breath”

There’ve been a lot of collaborative recipes for success in Austin over the years, but by far one of the most intriguing team ups in town is The Kraken Quartet & Adobo. Since forming in 2012 The Kraken Quartet has become an intense percussive and electronic beast and with the added technical expertise of Hikes/kellen/Monté guitarist-vocalist Nay Wilkins (billed in this iteration as “Adobo”), these five have landed themselves in a sea of sounds, somewhere between brooding indie, math rock, and avant garde fusion.

Adobo’s breathy falsetto and electric guitar prowess provide a perfect marinade for The Kraken Quartet’s already masterful sense of dynamic range and breakneck tempo and time signature changes, and you can hear them together across five new tracks on Backdrop out next Friday. But for today, in the midst of everything going on, have Adobo and the KQ put your mind at ease with the gorgeous “Hold My Breath”!

Texas Standard: March 25, 2020

They are the toughest measures yet to deal with Coronavirus in Texas. What’s the real world significance of new stay in place orders in cities across the Lone Star State? We’ll take a closer look. Also, the tenth biggest economy in the world asks Washington for help. What Texas wants to do with that disaster money. And how even NASA’s trying to shelter in place, while preparing for liftoff. Plus maintaining faith amid quarantine, how communities are staying together while keeping their distance. All those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

AMM Live Stream Pick: Leo Rondeau

Greetings from the Austin Music Minute‘s social distancing HQ!

Your Austin Music Minute maven is trying something a little different to help keep you on top of the live music scene, via AMM-recommended live stream performances by local and touring artists, to enjoy from the safety and comfort of your own home!

Today’s pick: Longtime AMM fave Leo Rondeau! Originally from North Dakota, Rondeau spent a lot of time in Austin before relocating to Nashville, where he recorded his album, Right On Time. There are a few familiar faces contributing to the LP, including Gary Newcomb on guitar and pedal steel, and the one and only Margo Price providing some vocals.

Join Rondeau for his solo live stream performance tonight at 7 p.m. on Facebook. And you can show your support with donations to Rondeau via Venmo @leorondeaumusic and at PayPal at

More live stream selections on the way!

Texas Standard: March 24, 2020

The state’s top financial officer tells lawmakers to brace for impact. Our conversation with Comptroller Glenn Hager. With more shelter in place orders kicking in, the state’s Comptroller says he’s seeing a major hit to Texas coffers as a result of the Coronavirus crisis. But how big a hit and what can be done? We’ll explore. Plus museums statewide try to deal with a drop off in foot traffic, virtually. And is it possible a sticker could help stop the spread of pathogens? West Texas researchers see quite a market. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Corduroi: “Cherrywood Spring”

There’s been a “synth scene” slowly burgeoning here in town over the last few years, and although we can certainly point to Soundfounder‘s Exploded Drawing label as a major catalyst, we could never overlook the output from native Austinite Cody Wilson. Since his formative post-college days as Thelonious Krunk (and intermittent years with Grundle in the Bronx) Wilson’s retro-inspired bleeps, bloops, and natural sense of production has been heard in Sip Sip, as one half of all-analog duo Trax Rebo, briefly through a one-off stint as Battle Toad, and most notably under his own moniker, Corduroi.

Corduroi’s got a huge discography that hops between dance-y, aggressive, and chill, going back to the beginning of the past decade, so tracking his various styles, interpolations, and tastes won’t be too tricky. However you’d probably miss the fact that Wilson is an outspoken advocate for a lot of resources in the Austin music community, and though his songs tend to lack lyrics, Corduroi’s never missed a reasonable opportunity to donate proceeds from his album sales in support of local establishments.

Last week Corduroi dropped Wind Your Spring, a collection of twenty previously-unheard songs from the past five years whose disjointed yet immersive atmosphere will surely take your mind off the news for the record’s duration. Corduroi’s offering Wind Your Spring for whatever price you can afford, so show some love if you can and enjoy an intrinsically Austin title, “Cherrywood Spring”!

Jackie Venson: “Make Me Feel”

As we’ve all learned from these past couple of weeks, breaking out of time-tested routines and formulas can be sometimes a necessity. Take native Austinite Jackie Venson, who switched from piano to guitar after a dissatisfaction with the overly competitive and formalized environment while receiving her degree at Berklee. Since then she’s taken her composition and studio production skills and re-created herself as one of Austin’s most talented solo acts.

Last year Venson’s sophomore album Joy helped earn her Best Guitarist at Austin Music Awards, proving a milestone as the first African American woman to do so in the program’s multi-decade history. Now Venson’s rolling with the momentum and trying out some new stuff on her next project, Vintage Machine, out in September. You can expect even more explorations into the electronic realm alongside Venson’s signature guitar virtuosity, as heard on Vintage Machine‘s recently released lead single, one that finds Venson in a higher vocal register than we’re accustomed to. And while Jackie Venson might not have been a Prince protégé, we have a feeling she’ll be giving Miss Monae a run for her money in a matter of time. Hear for yourself on “Make Me Feel”!

Texas Standard: March 23, 2020

Dallas County becomes the first in Texas with orders to shelter in place. Reporters statewide join us with the latest on fight against the Coronavirus. Plus as Texas braces for economic fallout, how to plan in a time of uncertainty. Also the new school order across Texas, a return to college in a season of lockdown leaves some students adrift. And the connection between COVID-19 and a rise in domestic violence, how shelters are filling and in need of help. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Sean Durant and Regina A. Mason (Ep. 16, 2020)

This week on In Black America, producer and host John L. Hanson, Jr. concludes his conversation with Sean Durant, producer and director of Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes, and Regina A. Mason, author of The Life of William Grimes, The Runaway Slave.

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Texas Standard: March 20, 2020

The latest on efforts to develop a Cornonavirus vaccine and speed up research on medical treatments. Also with stay at home the order of the day, some tips on how to get more work done, even with the kids around. And diversionary tactics that don’t involve a screen. They call them books. Hot tips for cool reads, plus the the week in Texas politics and more today on the Texas Standard:


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Monophonics: “Run For Your Life”

San Francisco’s historically been a hub for exciting musical innovation, a that legacy lives on with Monophonics.

Going back to the beginning of the last decade, this quartet has put some serious weight on the classic soul style while taking the best heady elements of psychedelia to even out. They’ve captured both the Cold War uncertainty and Civil Rights Movement optimism of the ’60s into their psych-soul style, and with the release of the third full-length, It’s Only Us, last week Monophonics has once again ingrained a sense of unity and perseverance in reflection of the modern era. It’s Only Us is officially available for everyone, and although this track has an almost alarmist title, we guarantee it’ll take your mind off the news: “Run For Your Life”!

This Song: Kathy Valentine

Kathy Valentine, bass player in the seminal 80s all-girl rock group the Go-Go’s, recently wrote a memoir titled All I Ever Wanted. In the book, Valentine explores her unconventional childhood, her time with the Go-Go’s, and her journey to sobriety. In this episode of, Kathy explains what “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream taught her about herself when she was 9 years old,  describes how she found her creative process as an author and details how music and storytelling intersected in her new book.

Kathy Valentine’s April Book Tour dates are currently being rescheduled, but you can buy a signed copy from one of the bookstores where she was scheduled to appear. Find out where to buy your copy of All I Ever Wanted

Kathy also wrote a soundtrack to accompany her book. Check out the soundtrack to All I Ever Wanted on Bandcamp.

Listen to this episode of This Song

Listen to Songs from this episode of This Song

Texas Standard: March 19, 2020

Some states say cases of Coronavirus reaching a tipping point. What do emergency officials see for the next 72 hours in the Lone Star State? Our conversation with the chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Also, real life goes online across much of the Lone Star Star, how well is teleconferencing keeping us connected?
And schools in rural Texas struggling to put together next steps in places without lots of internet access. Plus love in the time of Coronavirus. All of those stories and more today on the Texas Standard: