Austin Music Minute

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October 21, 2021

On the Fringe

By: Laurie Gallardo

Ethan Azarian, Jeff Johnston & Lindsey Verrill.

Surely you’ve seen the sweet and unassuming Blue Cow. It’s a magical image, unmistakable. The Blue Cow can be spotted on artwork and murals all around Austin, a gentle cerulean creature most likely caught in mid-float as he continues his adventures in the city and across the land…

If you know the Blue Cow series creator, Ethan Azarian, all of that makes perfect sense. Singer, songwriter, painter, and icon. Azarian is a wizard of visual whimsy, a lo-fi poet who observes the quirks of our bewildering planet and its deranged inhabitants with genuine wonder. He is fearless in his vulnerability. The warmth is real.

It also makes total sense that Azarian grew up in a musical and artistic family. Born in Cabot, Vermont, and influenced by his parents’ friends performing in cafes around Boston in the early ’60s (count Judy Collins and Taj Mahal amongst those friends, by the way…), Azarian took punk rock to heart in his ‘20s and was playing in his own bands before making the trek to Austin in the late ‘80s. This paved the way for the much-loved Austin treasure The Orange Mothers, formed with friend and longtime collaborator Jeff Johnston.

Azarian has been performing with Johnston ever since, from cozy residencies at Hole In the Wall to house shows, and the Longplay East, as well as contributing to Azarian’s solo works. Speaking of which, it’s time to rally around Azarian’s newest release, On the Fringe, an incredible set of recordings produced by Will Courtney, showing the artist at his beautifully offbeat best, winding with wordplay, marveling at all that unfolds in the journey.

To celebrate the new music, Azarian is having a release show this Saturday, October 23, at Wyldwood Shows, 4204 Wyldwood Rd. Opening the show is special guest Little Mazarn, featuring Lindsey Verrill and Jeff Johnston. It’s a socially-distanced event, for your safety.

Ethan Azarian kindly asks that you write to for ticket reservations, or find him on Venmo.

-Special thanks to designer and songwriter June Higgins for inspiration on today’s AMM.


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