Laurie Gallardo

ACL Fest…And More

Bass Drum of Death

Looks as though your Austin Music Minute host got a little carried away again and got some dates mixed up, but didn’t want to waste a perfectly good Bass Drum of Death song (“Everybody’s Gonna Be There” from Say I Won’t). Click on the LISTEN button to hear how it went down…slightly erroneously:

Something for everybody. Go support the bands, even if you’re abstaining from those of the wrist variety.

ACL Fest Preview

The Mars Volta. Photo: Anthony Norkus.

All right, so this one’s a day early, but it’s good to have a little game plan for something as gargantuan as Austin City Limits Music Festival. Today’s AMM provides a short list of favorites to check out when the fest kicks off tomorrow at Zilker Park.

The afternoon is off to a great start with an early set by Devon Gilfillian, along with The Altons, Thee Sacred Souls and Studio 1A standout Abraham Alexander. Long Beach pop trio Half Alive is.a good lead into Portugal. The Man. But it’s a tough decision for your AMM host because two faves, Bass Drum of Death and the incredible Little Simz, play at the same time. Either way, follow it with Maggie Rogers, The Mars Volta (featured on today’s AMM), then make way for headliner Kendrick Lamar.

The madness begins tomorrow afternoon at Zilker Park, with Asleep At the Wheel greeting you with a set at 1 p.m. Welcome. Remember to hydrate.

Pendant World

One could compare the stark beauty of any given piece by instrumental ensemble Balmorhea to a vigorous inhale/exhale while standing before a gorgeous, never-ending landscape in the natural world. Breathing in the beauty, you’re overwhelmed by the majestic surroundings while simultaneously astounded by their quiet power. It’s unsettling and wonderful.

Such is the power of Balmorhea, who released their eighth studio album this summer – their second recording on internationally renown label Deutsche Grammophon – titled Pendant World. Balmorhea founders Rob Lowe and Michael Muller continue to expand their ensemble’s atmospheric range by elegantly shifting their ambient exploration into varied rhythms and percussive arrangements. Featuring collaborations with violinist/vocalist (and longtime AMM fave) Aisha Burns, cellist Clarice Jensen, and experimental jazz saxophonist Sam Gendel to name just a few, this beautiful experiment of sound and silence continues to evolve into something greater than ever before.

Experience the magic that is Balmorhea at their performance tomorrow night, Thursday Oct. 5, at the Paramount Theater, with special guest and Pendant World contributing artist Joseph Shabason opening the show. Doors at 7 p.m.

Joseph Shabason

Fox Street Blues

The forthcoming album Fox Street Blues by Buenos Diaz has a family story behind it, perhaps one that’s familiar to many generations of survivors. As songwriter/vocalist Nick Diaz explains, “These stories are unfortunately the norm and a large part of the American fabric.” But the album is a testament to how Diaz’ family persevered, and how music saved his life.

Fox Street is the Houston neighborhood his mother grew up in, where she lived with her mother – a single mom – and her older brother. Diaz’ grandmother worked most of her life to support her family, a pattern that would repeat itself when Diaz’ own father left his family. Despite the difficult times, the blues fueled a new fire in Diaz’ life. He took up guitar at age 17 and was playing the blues alongside a badass crew of older musicians to learn everything he could about his favorite music. Imagine learning from the best of the best. Albert Collins, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Gatemouth Brown, Billy Gibbons… All of it shaped the artist Diaz is today.

Here some of the new music from Fox Street Blues when Buenos Diaz performs tonight, Tuesday Oct. 3, at the Far Out Lounge and Stage. It’s another great line up featuring Lauren Gurgiolo’s musical project The Dialtones, and a set by Dylan Bishop. Doors at 7 p.m.

It Might Get Loud

BORIS

Earplugs are not optional for this one.

The double headliner at Mohawk tomorrow night, Tuesday Oct. 3, is over the top sick. Tokyo heavy sludge masters Boris share an explosive bill with one of the most influential bands in several things heavy, from sludge to grunge, noise to doom, Melvins. Like, what the hell?! Both of these bands in one night? Ridiculously awesome, but emphasis on the earplugs, if you’re interested in preserving whatever hearing you’ve got left, especially to witness the badassery of Boris guitarist Wata shredding into oblivion against a tower of amps. And whether you think Buzz Osborne‘s riffs remind you of Black Sabbath or Black Flag, you’re gonna need to brace yourself either way. And you just might get to witness Boris covering the very track that inspired their band’s name, so…

Doors open at 6 p.m. tomorrow for this outdoor stage event, with chaotic noise rockers Mr. Phylzzz (was informed it’s pronounced “flies”) opening the show. And don’t miss the afterparty on Mohawk’s indoor stage, featuring The Flood playing their album release show, with longtime AMM fave Bridge Farmers. Holy hell. Forget your ears. Your ribcage won’t make it.

The Homecoming

Put this in your 2024 calendar, in case you missed out this year. On Sept. 21, Mayor Kirk Watson officially declared the day as David Shabani Day in the City of Austin, presenting Shabani with “a proclamation for their craft and work in the industry both locally and abroad.”

This is meaningful for Shabani on many levels, coinciding with his Homecoming Tour, named in honor of a few cities on the route with a significant role in his life, as chronicled on the single “YUL to DFW”: Montreal, QC, where Shabani is originally from, and where he wrote his first ever rap-bars; Dallas, where he was raised; and Austin, where he’s built his musical career.

Shabani’s Austin performance is tomorrow night, Saturday Sept. 30, at Empire Control Room on E. 7th, opening for hip-hop artist Asher Roth, on a bill with Austin artist Kardinal Bloo’s hip-hop project Global Octopus. Doors at 7:30 p.m.

Worktape

Truly a Renaissance man. No exaggeration. Songwriter. Musician. Multi-media artist – which you’ll know first hand if you’ve ever been to Mobley performance. And now, in the recent words of Jonny Jukebox, “Are you ready for the next level?”

Mobley’s journey takes its next cue from a collection of demos titled Worktape, and that’s exactly what it is. The great and powerful musical wizard pulls back the curtain for a glimpse into his creative process, from lyric writing to piecing songs together, featuring rough cuts from Young and Dying In the Occident Supreme, and Cry Havoc!. Though none of these demos were meant for public consumption, Mobley describes Worktape as a retroactive voyeurism hopefully leading to a deeper insight and connection to the music.

It’s time for an unorthodox performance experience. Presenting Mobley | A Deconstructed Concert: No speakers, no raised stage, no physical barriers. Just a pair of headphones for each audience member for this astounding immersive event, culminating in a live track recording for Mobley’s next album. The concert is this Saturday night, Sept. 30, at Originator Studios, 718 Northwestern Ave., with special guests Urban Heat and the aforementioned Jonny Jukebox. Ticket info available via Mobley’s website.

Black Rainbows

We’re all guilty of building up expectations. So, you might spin Corinne Bailey Rae‘s latest blazer Black Rainbows and find it something of a departure for Rae, in terms of a style that incorporates R&B, jazz and soul. This one gets loud, bold, experimental in many parts, powered by guitar and unapologetic vitality, all inspired by Chicago’s archive of Black art. “But it sounds different,” you say, “so not like her music!”

Stop right there, pal. Rae’s story is rooted in rock. As a teenager, she played in a rock band and was inspired by women-led bands like L7 and Veruca Salt. Those were the formative years. Perhaps it’s different from previous releases, but Black Rainbows highlights another brilliant layer of Rae’s talent. Think about it; this one’s not so different. It’s unabashedly, wholeheartedly Rae.

Catch Corinne Bailey Rae at her show Friday night, Sept. 29, at The Paramount Theater. Doors at 7 p.m., and opening the show is an artist described by NPR as one who “embodies the soul of jazz: Exploration,” songwriter Melanie Charles.

Miles and Miles

Put the go-to retro label aside for a minute. The Heavy Heavy moves beyond that with a multi-layered ‘60s sound on their debut EP Life and Life Only. The way Georgie Fuller and Will Turner channel psych and mod influences with folk and soul in a timeless shimmer feels more instinctive than imitative. Then again, it’s also refreshing to see Fuller and Turner freely embrace the artists who’ve inspired them along the way, from the most obscure (do yourself a favor and look up The Action) to legendary figures like Paul Weller.

The Heavy Heavy is back in Austin to play a show tomorrow night, Wedensday Sept. 27, at The Far Out Lounge and Stage in South Austin, with The Mellows open the show. Doors at 6:30 p.m.

Zachariah…And Pamela Anderson

Sheverb

Truth be told, your nerdy AMM host is drooling like a goblin over Hyperreal Film Club‘s upcoming scary October screenings at Hotel Vegas. This Austin-based film lovers’ club, formed in 2016, does badass pop-up screenings of independent films of every genre at various spots around town, and provides a platform for guest columnists to write about the films they see – the good, the bad, and the seriously ugly. And October is looking terrifyingly awesome, with House of Wax, Event Horizon, Basket Case (Henenlotter??!! Yessss!!) and Ringu, not to mention a much milder nostalgic stroll through the jack-o-lanterns with Halloweentown.

Before your AMM host overdoses on horror galore, let’s rein it back in to the here and now for an ultra cool happening tonight at Hotel Vegas. Welcome to the 1971 wild contemporary western outlaw adventure Zachariah, though this is not your daddy’s gunslinger movie. Hailed by many as the original gay western predating Brokeback Mountain, Zachariah brings sharp shooters, electric guitars, drummer Elvin Jones as a bandit in the most badass ensemble, and starring John Rubenstein and Don Johnson as the worst bank robbers ever. It all starts with a mail order gun…

Tonight’s screening features a music video release performance by Austin-based psych-western outfit Sheverb, featuring the fabulous Brigitte Bandit, for “Pamela Anderson Was a Prophet”; and western-infused baroque pop courtesy of KUTX’s June 2023 Artist of the Month, Pelvis Wrestley. The event starts at 8 p.m. this evening. Let those spurs sparkle.

Bootcut

The humor is just as beautiful as the damn album, and the album is gorgeous. It starts as soon as you drop the needle on “Girls Bugging Me” on BOOTCUT. You clearly hear Afie Jurvanen, better known as Nova Scotia-based artist Bahamas, attempting to record something, but his young daughters are not having it.

“…Can it wait ’til I’m done writing this song?”

“NO.”

“It has to be right now?”

“Yes, it has to,” a tiny voice intones with great command. So much for the perfect melody, but as Jurvanen says with a shrug you can easily visualize, “Greatness will have to wait.” Then, it’s a lovely slide into the twangy steel of “Just A Song.” Holy hell, this is awesome.

Step aside, mister Sad Hunk (that title alone should clue you in on the humor your AMM host raves about). Following Bahamas’ rich funk-n-soul adventure comes a dream adrift in a big time country-inspired vibe known as BOOTCUT, right at home with your boots. Jurvanen’s sixth release is a collection of ballads taking it all the way with a cast of Nashville musicians and a special guest appearance by Vince Gill. Soak in all the twang, warm tones, and badass steel, but understand that that rich Bahamas soul remains at the heart of it all. And of course, no Bahamas album would be complete without Jurvanen’s dry wit, delivered in quiet and understated touches that sometimes makes you laugh out loud.

Bahamas will be in Austin for a performance tonight, Saturday Sept. 23, at Mohawk on the outdoor stage. Fortunate Ones opens the show. Doors at 7 p.m. And don’t forget the Mock-Up! babes, on the indoor stage with Jonny Sanders‘ magic spell Prehuman and the spins of DJ Black Leche.

Crew Vs. Crew

In any exploration of the origins of bboy subculture and its crucial role in the development of hip-hop, one of the best rabbit holes to dive into is the work of Bronx street photographer Ricky Flores. The stark black and white imagery from these formative years carries a unique fluidity and exuberance, but Flores was capturing something more than just innovative dance moves. Breaking was the phoenix rising from the (literal and figurative) ashes of Bronx neighborhoods in decay, left to crumble after property values declined, oftentimes intentionally set ablaze by unscrupulous landlords for insurance payoffs. Bboy subculture was, and continues to be, the survival, rebellion and joy keeping youth alive and moving forward.

“It’s a story about art and human beings’ resilience, and their ability to use art as a tool to rebuild themselves and create beautiful things out of tragic situations,” Flores told VICE in a 2019 article by Cassidy George about the bboy emergence in 1970s New York. It’s something totally worth checking out as an excellent starting point to exploring bboy history and relevance.

In present day Austin, we have the BBoy City and Hip Hop Culture 5-Day Unity Event, honoring the bboy/bgirl roots, 50 years of hip-hop culture, and celebrating the 29th anniversary of BBoy City, the longest-running breaking/hip-hop convention in the South. Everything kicked off Wednesday night with the Breakin’ Austin – Can’t Be Stopped art exhibit at Riches Art Gallery, and continues today through this weekend with events showcasing DJs, breakers, art and graffiti artists. The entire event culminates with the Snipes Pro Breaking Tour finals competition at 3 p.m. Sunday at Waterloo Greenway at Moody Amphitheater, featuring a performance by Brownout.

Tonight, the BBoy City and Hip Hop Culture Unity Event continues with the first annual block party at Riches Art Gallery, 2511 E. 6th St., starting at 7 p.m., with a street wear fashion show, live painting, art installations and more.

*Special thanks to Fresh Knight of The Breaks, and to M.A.S. Cultura, for insight and information inspiring today’s Austin Music Minute.

Brownout performs at the BBoy City XXIX main event: Snipes Pro Breaking Tour, Sunday at Waterloo Greenway.

Gather Round

Xavier Shannon

If you know, you know. Interestingly, it took a friend originally from Alabama/Tennessee to explain it to your Austin Music Minute host. In addition to any shows presented by Eastside Kings Festival at various locations, Skylark Lounge is the spot to witness incredible blues shows. And it’s the spot where the Austin Blues Society Gathering presents performances by local and regional blues artists for musicians and fans alike to celebrate everything they love about the music. It’s the intimate atmosphere of the Skylark Lounge that also makes the experience an exceptional one every time.

The tradition continues with another Austin Blues Society Gathering tonight, Thursday Sept. 21, at the Skylark, 2039 Airport Blvd., starting at 9 p.m. This evening’s jam will be led by musicians Xavier Shannon (pictured above) and Kendall Harrison, with backing band The Brand. Get there early for a set featuring drummer Ernie Durawa with guitarist Murali Coryell at 7 p.m.

Faces of ACL

David Ramirez. Photo by Dave Creaney.

Overwhelming. ACL Fest 2023 is literally only a few weeks – really, days – away. How the hell does the time fly by so quickly? But today’s AMM has details about a special ACL Fest retrospective, from the eye of a wonderful Austin photographer.

Perhaps your AMM host’s opinion is slightly skewered for various reasons, but Dave Creaney truly has an instinct for capturing the essence of an attitude, pretty much with all of his subjects, but most especially with the music artists he’s worked with. Creaney pulled together a few of his favorite ACL artist portraits from two years’ worth of shooting at the festival for the Austin American Statesman, blew each photo up to an impressive size, and collaborated with Central Machine Works to create an exhibit at their East Austin space. Dave Creaney Presents: Faces of ACL features a mix of local and touring artists caught in the wild, taking a moment to pose before diving back into the madness.

Get up close to these spectacular portraits at the Faces of ACL opening party at 8 p.m. tomorrow night, Thursday Sept. 21, at Central Machine Works, 4824 E. Cesar Chavez. And see live performances by Flora and Fawna, Jake Lloyd, and…a secret special guest. No idea who the special guest is. No, they would not share that info with the AMM. You have to be there to find out. Go for it.

-All photos in this post courtesy of Dave Creaney. Pictured above: David Ramirez. On the KUTX homepage: THEBROSFRESH.

HAAM Day 2023

Primo the Alien. Photo: NaStacia Ellis.

Your AMM host hears a lot of stories from local musicians about HAAM. These are praises shouted from the rooftops. “If it wasn’t for HAAM, I wouldn’t have been able to see a doctor…” “Without HAAM, I wouldn’t have been able to get this dental work I needed…” “If HAAM wasn’t here to help me, I would not have been able to get my surgery…”

The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians provides access to affordable health care for the population that makes this city the Live Music Capital. Since 2005, HAAM has helped thousands of musicians across seven counties with everything from eye exams, to out-patient procedures, to referrals, to basic health needs. Even a musician working several gigs a week or working multiple side jobs may not be able to afford insurance, let alone rent or groceries. With community support, HAAM has essentially saved lives.

Today is HAAM Day 2023, a citywide celebration featuring live music performances at venues and other spots around town, while participating businesses and restaurants donate a portion of today’s sales to HAAM. Check HAAM’s website for a full schedule of today’s shows, which include Live at Geraldine’s with Chief Cleopatra; a huge Paul Simon tribute show at Sagebrush with Akina Adderley, Bonnie Whitmore, Dossey, Graham Wilkinson, Dawn and Hawkes and more; the Ephraim Owens Experience at The Continental Club Gallery; Tameca Jones and Money Chicha at Antone’s; HAAM Day Live at Volstead with A. Sinclair, Thor and Friends, Danny Golden, and Tearjerk; Zach Person at Still Austin; and a show at The ABGB on W. Oltorf, where KUTX’s Susan Castle will host performances by Shinyribs, Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda, and Primo the Alien, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

…You Who Enter Here

Whether accompanying the marvel and wonder of ‘The Red Balloon,’ complimenting the stunning imagery of Enchanted Rock, or adding an extra jolt of irreverence to a hilarious revised edition of ‘The Return of Draw Egan’, Montopolis delivers a unique storytelling experience with incredible scores by composer Justin Sherburn.

This week, the ensemble presents a special preview of an arrangement for the 1911 Italian silent film L’Inferno, Italy’s very first feature-length film, based on the first canticle of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Montopolis takes this work on the road next month along the West Coast, but you can experience the preview tonight, Monday Sept. 18, at Me Mer Mo Monday at Dada Lab, 2008 Alexander Ave. The event starts at 7 p.m., with a line-up that includes Sunray Project, R. Lee Dockery, and DJ sets by Chris Polcyn, with visual art by Drip/Cuts.

Diez Y Seis

Easy Compadre

It’s a common thing to see a lot of bars and businesses bringing the party on Cinco de Mayo every May. It’s also a bit odd, considering it’s not the biggest celebrated Mexican holiday.

May 5 commemorates an 1862 victory against the French in the Battle of Puebla, but a day of much greater importance is 16 de Septiembre, Mexican Independence Day, when Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla gathered his parishioners at Dolores Guanajuato to urge them to fight for independence from Spain. Mexicans honor the day with Hidalgo’s address to the people, El Grito.

Following this CliffNotes version of a specific chapter in Mexico’s history, the AMM brings you details about a grand Diez Y Seis celebration tonight at the Far Out Lounge and Stage. Es un Sabado gigante con música y baile de Adriana Rosso, Easy Compadre (“Besos de Menta” is featured on today’s AMM), Grupo Frackaso, Chico Selfie, y La Fermata. Doors at 5 p.m.

Adriana Rosso

Worse For Wear

Track by singular track, Alain Paradis edges closer to the 2024 release of a new Holy Wire album. Paradis’ dark synth electro-pop creation from Brooklyn, now a full band in Austin, unveils another sonic piece coursing in an ’80s darkwave/post-punk vein, “Worse For Wear,” an irresistibly upbeat melody drawing you into melancholic brooding over a past paramour. “I wanted you to know / I don’t hold anything against you / and maybe I should / but I try not to…” So danceable, and yet so devastating. Perfect combo.

Hear the new single at Holy Wave’s show tonight, Friday Sept. 15, at Mohawk on the indoor stage, with sets by Austin noisegaze shredders Witches Exist, and the mad avant-electronic scientist that is Body Tape. Doors at 9 p.m. Holy hell, this is awesome.

Catharsis

Bedroom pop project Skateland is the creation of songwriter Dorian Williams II. Earlier this year, KUTX’s February 2023 Artist of the Month released the EP New Wave Revival, as haunted in its melodies and vocals as it is lyrically. It’s not necessarily sadness that dominates the overall arch, but Williams has described creating music as a cathartic experience, which may be why this collection has a touch of melancholy in its beauty. Still, Skateland’s sound is always evolving, and there’s more to come.

Tonight is a special night. On the same night that legendary electronic music wizards Tangerine Dream are gracing Mohawk‘s outdoor stage with composer/multi-instrumentalist Mari Maurice‘s More Eaze opening the show, Skateland brings New Wave Revival and much more to Mohawk’s indoor stage. Doors for Skateland at 8 p.m., and the line-up includes Die Mart, Chicago garage rock duo North By North, and Sweet Regime.

Havoc

It’s understood that certain platforms are commonly utilized for a significant amount of musical exploration, but your AMM host prefers Bandcamp, which is where your aforementioned host had a field day with a bunch of Gus Baldwin releases. Full volume, full throttle, starting in all caps with “LOAN SHARK” and “KILLER OF THE MAN II,” rattling the skull with Thriller II in its entirety because it reminded me a bit of Machine Gun Etiquette-era Damned, and kinda wishing I’d been a fly on the wall at the live-to-cassette recording of Live Bugs at Indian Roller. Damn. Plus “More War,” “Silk Sonic Blue” and today’s AMM featured track “Burglar For You” – every last mutilating riff. Generally speaking, it’s the sensation of feeling like it’s all about to careen out of control with this manic staccato speed, but then you swerve sharply round the corner and peel out into pop/garage punk power hooks. The shreds are ridiculous.

Remember to pick your jaw up from the floor as you check out Gus Baldwin and The Sketch tonight, Wednesday Sept. 13, at Hotel Vegas on E. 6th. Doors at 9 p.m., and the show starts out with a set by garage/shoegaze outfit Party Van. Stick around for a special treat afterward: Just before playing tomorrow night at the Parish, LA psych-punk quartet Frankie and the Witch Fingers will be at Vegas for a late night DJ set, starting at 11 p.m.