Archives for January 2021

Live Forever

In a recent interview Bartees Strange did for NPR Music, the D.C.-based songwriter and producer talked about the music he grew up with, running the gamut: From his opera singer mother, to performing in church, to the funk and R&B his father shared with him, and, as a teen, all the punk he got to hear – thanks to friends with cars.

It was all of it, everything, that shaped his own music. Of course, he also saw the glaring absence of Black and brown artists in the indie scene. His 2019 EP release Say Goodbye To Pretty Boy, songs he covered by The National, was inspired by not only this lack of representation in the music, but in indie audiences as well. The artists are out there, he thought. They belong in the spotlight. Like, now already.

Bartees Strange’s debut LP Live Forever (2020) brings that uncompromising expansiveness of boundless influences – cathartic, heart-filled, angsty and brilliantly disparate, the story of an artist who will not be pigeonholed into narrow expectations placed upon artists of color.

Bartees Strange will perform Live Forever in its entirety on a livestream performance at 9 p.m. (Central) tonight, Saturday Jan. 30, on Memory Music’s YouTube channel. One for the books. Don’t miss out.

KUT Weekend – January 29, 2021

Challenges of the coronavirus vaccine rollout in Bastrop County. Plus, what is the future of the Broken Spoke now that its founder James White has died? And why it takes years for some Central Texans to develop cedar allergies. Those stories and more in this edition of KUT Weekend!

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Texas Standard: January 29, 2021

Could you draw a map of the state of Texas? Try drawing the political maps. This year, it promises to be tougher than ever. As redistricting begins in Texas, what to look for in what is likely to be another highly contentious process. Also, are you having trouble getting the COVID-19 vaccine? Many are. Our own Terri Langford set out to try to navigate the journey to get vaccinated in Texas, and it wasn’t pretty. We’ll hear what she learned firsthand. And the story of a Texas-based video game store stock that rocked Wall Street: a morality tale? The truths not quite so simple. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:


The distribution of a vaccine is providing some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. While that light is still in the distance and what we’ll find when we get to it is still unknown, this Typewriter Rodeo poem is focused on the hope of drawing nearer to it.

Solace in the Wild

You recently got a sneak peak of Solace in the Wild with “Where Have You Been All My Life?” on the KUTX Song of the Day. The new album by Erin Ivey comes out today, seven years after her last full-length release, and for Ivey, it’s meant more than just getting an album out.

Solace in the Wild explores the gravity of human connection, from which stems the solace needed to keep moving forward. Produced by guitarist extraordinaire Chuck Pinnell, Ivey describes the album as being tied together by natural elements surrounding us all – every ebb, flow, storm and clear sky, light and darkness. “There’s lots of navigating competing tides,” Ivey says. “How do you find solace in the wild? How do you find joy in the darkest hours? How do you stay grounded when you fear you might float away?” In turn, creating something like Solace in the Wild has kept Ivey connected to music, and ultimately, to the community.

Join Erin Ivey for a special livestream release celebration kicking off at 7 p.m. (Central) tonight, Friday Jan. 29, on Facebook Live.

Cameron Knowler & Eli Winter: “Strawberry Milk”

Acoustic instrumental is one of those sounds that’s perfect to just zone out in a hammock too. And if you’re hard-pressed for some hammock fodder these days, look no further than Cameron Knowler & Eli Winter, two Texas guitarists who adore the Lone Star State and its natural gifts.

After an inspiring trip through the Trans-Pecos, Knowler and Winter recorded their album Anticipation largely over the course of a single nine-hour session, with several of the songs completed in their first take. An exceptional eight-track of soothing six-string, Anticipation will certainly live up to its name in the coming weeks, but well before the LP’s release on March 12th, you can pour yourself a hefty helping of “Strawberry Milk” and enjoy some sweet instrumental tryptophan going into the weekend.


Behold! It’s queer pop boldly going where no cosmic cabaret has dared gone before! And she has the killer choreography to prove it. If you ain’t dancin’, check that pulse…

Making its debut this week is GIRLS LIKE US, a live music video series presented by Austin-based celestial pop princess p1nkstar, and musician/DJ/performance artist Y2KiKi, in a tremendous star-swirled celebration of trans and queer music artists throughout Texas. The first livestream episode features performances by Loreli K, Belladonna, and Quentin Arispe, with appearances by Gavilán Rayna Russom, Ariel Zetina and more.

Picture it: Cinematic, futuristic fabulousness proudly presented by Hotel Free TV. Catch P1nkstar’s GIRLS LIKE US at 8 p.m. (Central) tonight, Thursday January 28, on Hotel Free TV’s YouTube channel, and at Hotel Free TV’s website.

Texas Standard: January 28, 2021

As the governor announces a plan to get more COVID-19 vaccines to rural Texas, a major urban county could be reaching a vaccination milestone. El Paso is fast approaching vaccination levels of 10 percent, though it’s a trade off that could leave many in areas hardest hit by the virus without being vaccinated. That story coming up. Also, the impediments to getting vaccines to people in more rural parts of the Lone Star State. Speaking of: president Biden under growing pressure to do more at the federal level to reach out to help rural communities nationwide. And is tech trendsetter Elon Musk getting into the Texas gas biz? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Mr Hymn: “Magnolia”

The name Dominic Sena may not ring any bells right off the bat, but if you’re on the prowl for some tantalizing dream pop, his solo project Mr. Hymn definitely preaches to that choir. Though the multi-instrumentalist has been releasing material under this handle since the mid-2010s, Mr. Hymn’s managed to avoid any sort of litany with his growing artistry, instead challenging the institutions of the dream pop genre itself with each new single.

Mr. Hymn’s latest came today with one of his strongest songs to date, and between the tune, its music video, and a live performance 8PM tonight at Far Out Lounge, “Magnolia” might just be the best thing to prep you for a chill weekend.

Lyndon Johnson’s Gifts To Texas

For me, Lyndon Johnson did more for Texas in his lifetime than any other politician, except for Sam Houston. And Houston’s greatest gift was given to Texas in the form of a resounding victory at San Jacinto, before he began his political years as president. Two of Johnson’s most enduring gifts to Texas are NASA, and the electricity for rural Texas, especially for the inaccessible hinterlands of the Hill Country. LBJ said, in 1959, that “nothing had ever given him as much satisfaction as” bringing electricity to the rural people of his region.  

By the end of his life he had a new achievement he was proudest of and believed would be his greatest legacy. That was the founding of the LBJ School of Public Affairs in tandem with dedicating his Presidential Library at the University of Texas at Austin.   In this academic year the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Library are both celebrating the 50th anniversary of their founding. The school welcomed its first class in 1970 and the library was dedicated in May of ‘71. These separate institutions represent a fitting legacy.. After all, he said when he was president, quote —At the desk where I sit, I have learned one great truth. The answer for all our national problems – the answer for all the problems of the world – come to a single word. That word is ‘education.’”  

Johnson also believed in the education provided by the school of hard knocks. He liked to quote his father who told him that quote — “You should brush yourself up against the grindstone of life and that will give you a polish that Harvard and Yale can’t give you.”  

LBJ did not have the eloquence of King or Kennedy, but he was a master of personal persuasion. When he had a congressman in the corner of a room at a political breakfast, and a lawmaker’s hand firmly enveloped by his, Johnson could sell abstinence to an alcoholic and even civil rights to a segregationist. No President ever pushed more legislation through Congress than he did, not even FDR. And his focus was on equality for all, in education, in economics, in voting, in opportunity, and in life as a whole.     

He was a complicated man. He said some racist things in his life, but he was simultaneously an iconic force in the Civil Rights Movement.

He passed the Civil Rights Act of ‘64 and the Medicare and Medicaid Act of 65 as well as the Voting Rights Act of ‘65.

Consequently, years later,  LBJ saw the founding of his school of Public Affairs as the greatest chance he had at fostering the continuation of good works for mankind through government. Unlike many today, he believed that government could in fact do the big things that the little guy couldn’t do for himself – like deliver electricity to rural farms and make sure the color of your skin didn’t determine where you could eat or sleep. 

When he spoke to a group of students at his School of Public Affairs in Austin about a month before he died.  LBJ told them that a life in public affairs, one of helping your fellow man, is the most rewarding of all paths one could take in life.  He said, “The greatest known satisfaction for human beings is knowing – and if you are the only one that knows it, it’s there and that’s what’s important – that you’ve made life more just, more equal, and more opportune for your fellow man – and that’s what this school is all about.”

Texas Standard: January 27, 2021

6 days into the Biden Administration and Texas’ Attorney General has successfully, if temporarily, reversed a deportation ban. Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against the Biden administration puts a temporary stop on the president’s attempts to change immigration enforcement. What happens next? We’ll explore. Also, for many the symptoms of COVID-19 don’t last very long. Now, what Texas researchers are finding out about those who suffer long term. And another take on the impact of increasing the minimum wage, more harm than good? We’ll explore. And a day of remembrance for a time we must ‘never forget’. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Villains Wear Black

Something wicked this way comes. Reach for the black ensemble in your wardrobe and join the fiends.

If you’re in the know (really, if your entire closet contains mostly, if not all, black clothing), you may have seen the dark and decadent announcements for Villains Wear Black making your social media feeds far more fascinating. Villains Wear Black got its start as a networking group for Austin-based band SINE, but as interest grew, it eventually evolved into a television series on Austin Music Television’s Channel 16. Led by songwriter, musician and producer Rona Rougeheart (SINE), the series explores the more eclectic, darker side of music, film, art and fashion.

All genres of music are welcome to this unique series, and this week, you the viewer will experience the alchemy on Villains Wear Black: Episode 4, putting the dark spotlight on Austin-based artists. The bill includes Missio, Mobley, Peelander-Z, Pleasure Venom, BLXPLTN, Blacklight, Bloody Knives, Curse Mackey, SINE and more.

Spend the night with Villains Wear Black, starting at 10 p.m. (Central) tonight, Wednesday Jan, 27. Watch on Channel 16, Roku, Apple, Fire, and on the Austin Film Society’s Watch Public page.

Nané: “Ladybird” (KUTX Social Distancing Pop-Up)

If you’ve kept up with us in the past month then you’re no stranger to the name Nané. Initially designed as a duo on the UT Campus back in 2016, the group’s since evolved into a quintet, whose R&B-soul-soaked indie rock has earned them the spot as our January 2021 Artist of the Month.

Nané recently released their eponymous debut full-length, thereby starting off 2021 on an extremely positive note. The band seems like they’re just now hitting their stride, be it in-studio or out and about (safely), making it the perfect time in their career to record a Social Distancing Pop-Up video with us. Add this exclusive version of “Ladybird” to your library and enjoy Nané performing as a trio in the song’s visual counterpart on, filmed at The Goose on Lime Creek in Leander!

Ley Line Vibes

This week, the Good Vibes Only stream series, presented by The Long Center, features the global sounds of Austin-based band Ley Line, a phenomenal four-part harmony of voices delivering a multi-lingual experience of Brazilian, Latin American and West African musical influences that transcends genre. (Today’s AMM track “Respiração” is from their album We Saw Blue.)

Set a reminder to catch Ley Line on Good Vibes Only, starting at 8 p.m. (Central) Wednesday, January 27, on Luck Stream. A must-see performance.

Texas Standard: January 26, 2021

In Texas’ most populous metro area, a rethink of how the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed, we’ll have the latest. Plus, when the Texas capitol city cut the budget for its police department by almost a third last year, Texas’ governor warned there would be a price to pay. Now, with the Texas legislature in session, what the governor plans to do to keep other Texas cities from following Austin’s move. And the Biden administration’s plan to increase the minimum wage. Is now the right time and do the numbers add up? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Why Margin Walker Closed

Graham Williams, the founder of Margin Walker, discusses his journey in the Austin music scene and explains why nine months into the pandemic he decided to close Texas’s largest independent concert promoter for good.

Pause/Play: Episode 9

Music in this episode by Sailor Poon

Beth Lee: “I Won’t Give In” [PREMIERE]

Depending on what kind of person you are, news about breakups can either be tremendous or devastating. And though we were definitely fans of Austin’s Beth Lee & The Breakups going back to their 2013 LP One More Time Again, we’re eager to see how the eponymous frontwoman handles herself in this new chapter as Beth Lee.

Lee’s deeply personal lyricism and powerful vocal presence haven’t diminished one bit since The Breakups last album in 2016, and at just shy of a dozen new tracks, Beth Lee continues to push the envelope of her artistry on the upcoming full-length Waiting On You Tonight. Recorded in California and produced by Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express drummer Vicente Rodriguez, Waiting On You Tonight brings a whole new layer of Lee’s talent to her expansive take on alternative rock, with languid tempos, subtle percussion, melancholy chord progressions, and of course, some stellar vocal performances. True to its title, you’ll still have to do some waiting for Waiting On You Tonight, but today you can get an exclusive first listen to the record’s fourth single, “I Won’t Give In”!

Was Lil Wayne Right?

This week on The Breaks:

  • Hosts Confucius and Fresh discuss former President Trump’s pardon of Lil Wanye, and ask whether the rapper was right to support Trump during the election.
  • Both hosts talk how Lil’ Flip might fare if he did a Verzuz with T.I.
  • Confucius and Fresh interview Austin based producer and DJ Mason Flynt about the closing of Music Lab and his thoughts on how to improve Austin’s hip-hop scene.
  • In this week’s installment of Random Hip-Hop facts the hosts talk about the beef between Cash Money and No Limit, the issue that Nas had with Biggie and more.

You can hear the latest full broadcast of The Breaks Saturday night show.