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August 2, 2019

Cross Record: “The Fly”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

Remember our February 2016 Artist of the Month, Cross Record, the brainchild of Dripping Springs vocalist Emily Cross? Cross Record’s dark, unapologetic brand of indie introspection first started turning heads with their debut Wabi Sabi, an album that rooted the group as a haunting ensemble unafraid to defy expectations.

But in those three years, Cross Record has undergone some significant lineup changes and a major career shift, most notably the frontwoman’s newfound role as a death doula. These experiences with departure, mortality, fear, and separation had a notable impact on Cross, who releases her third and self-titled album today. There’s a lot to digest with Cross Record, and to get you in that ghostly, almost fatalistic, Kafka-esque mood, make way for “The Fly”!

February 23, 2016

This Song: Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater // Cross Record

This Song

By: Elizabeth McQueen

Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg grew up listening to his parent’s classical music and white bread pop. Then he heard Vic Chesnutt. In this episode of “This Song” you can hear how  Chesnutt’s “Big Huge Valley”  helped him realize there was a whole world of music bubbling beneath the mainstream. Plus, he makes the case that  Nina Simone is the “best popular musician of the 20th century, and maybe the 21st century too.”

Then Emily Cross of the KUTX Artist of the Month Cross Record  describes the effect Imogen Heap’s“Hide and Seek” had on her while her partner, Dan Duszynski, explains how King Tubby expanded his ideas of what music could be.

Listen to Shearwater’s Studio 1A performance

Listen to Cross Record’s Studio 1A performance

Listen to Cross Record’s MyKUTX guest DJ set

Subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher to get the new episodes of  “This Song” delivered to you as soon as they come out.

Listen to the songs featured in Episode 28 of “This Song”.

January 23, 2024

John Saunders and Irv Cross (Ep. 8, 2024)

In Black America

By: John L. Hanson

This week on In Black America, producer and host John L. Hanson, Jr. presents a look back at the state of African American presence in sports broadcasting, presenting interviews recorded in 1987 with the late John Saunders and Irv Cross, pioneering sports analysts who at the time were the only African Americans on nationally televised sports programs.

October 5, 2023

‘Good Night, Irene’ follows a courageous woman’s story in the WWII Red Cross

Texas Standard

By: David Brown

It was the second hottest summer on record for Texas, but is it safe to ask if it’s over? What to expect as a cold front pushes into Texas. Matt Lanza of Space City Weather with a look at whether today marks a turning point.

Gun violence numbers are changing how many feel about safety in a North Texas suburb. KERA’s Caroline Love with more from Allen.

Google launches an effort to combat spam, but will it work? Tech expert Omar Gallaga with more.

A border bottleneck raises red flags as Texas ramps up truck inspections.
And a Texas Book Festival preview with the author of ‘Good Night, Irene’.

September 29, 2023

Why homeschooling is on the rise across the ideological spectrum

Texas Standard

By: David Brown

Sean Theriault of UT-Austin with a look at why government shutdowns have become so common, and what needs to happen to avoid another come Sunday.

The summer of 2023 was the second hottest on record in Texas. But for renters, air conditioning isn’t legally required — at least not everywhere in the state.

Over the past couple of years, there’s been a shift in the way that many Texans school their kids, with more folks opting for homeschooling – for reasons that span the political spectrum, or lie completely outside it.

Writer Andrew Leland on losing his vision and the struggle to understand the changes, as told in his new memoir, “The Country of the Blind.”

August 16, 2019

What Is Your Wish?

Austin Music Minute

By: Laurie Gallardo

There is something unmistakably devastating about a kind of beauty that leaves one unsettled, unnerved. This is one of the only ways your humble Austin Music Minute host can describe the music of Cross Record.

Austin-based songwriter, vocalist, musician and death worker Emily Cross has a key to unlocking depths that are rarely visible from the surface. Your ears and mind are compelled to dive into the darkest waters to explore difficult emotions, or the oldest lessons rarely learned the first time around. But you’re drawn toward it, a singular truth to haunt you forever, even if it fades over time.

Before embarking on a September tour, Cross Record performs on an outstanding double bill featuring another much-beloved AMM favorite, Lomelda, tonight at Radio Coffee and Beer, 4204 Manchaca Rd. The music starts at 8 p.m. Very recommended.

-Photo courtesy of the artist.

January 11, 2024

Futon Blonde: “Goodbye, Goodbye”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

An obvious understatement, but music’s taken some huge leaps in the past century-plus of sound recording. So while the simple lyrical structures and repetitive chord progressions of pioneers like Robert Johnson or Lead Belly may seem laughably basic to some nowadays, that’s only because we’ve become spoiled by one integral element – the groove. In the modern era, ranging from pop to hip-hop, rock, and beyond, lyrics and chords alone don’t cut it; you gotta put the hook in listeners with an infectious groove. And although one could argue that indie rock is one of the least groovy genres, the mere presence of a groove separates the best from the rest.

For examples of such right here in Austin, we can fall back on Futon Blonde. Initially framed around songwriter Janson Sommers, Futon Blonde’s since gone on to quadruple their groove capacity thanks to fellow songwriter-vocalists Mark Webb (lead guitar) and Ben ‘Beng’ Goodman (bass), not to mention drummer Steve Zamora. Now in their tenth year of the affair, Futon Blonde’s cushioned their groove-dominant formulas around funk, alternative, and psych rock over tours, EPs, and one full-length. And as they kick off a second decade together, the Futon’s converting once again – this time with streaks of 2010s R&B.

Bouncy bass lines, soulful vocals, smooth six-string, and a plethora of pulsating percussion choices permeate throughout Futon Blonde’s next EP Multiplier. It’s certainly a departure from last Spring’s Something That We’ve All Experienced Together Before, and even more so from 2019’s Uppercut, but based on the latest batch of tunes (mixed by Loma/Cross Record collaborator Dan Duszynski), we sure as hell aren’t complaining. So especially since it’s that time of year everyone turns a new leaf, instead of succumbing to couch lock, catch Futon Blonde 8PM tonight at Hotel Vegas for a single release show with openers Hex Boyfriend at 7PM. The new single in question? “Goodbye, Goodbye”, which, as you might’ve guessed from its title, was inspired by the end of a relationship. On top of some tasteful drum programming steaming up the background, sensual rhythm guitar cutting through like a butter knife, baby-makin’ bass, plus the usual gusto of luscious lead guitar and grounded percussion, Webb crushes vocals on this expansive original of his. In other words “Goodbye, Goodbye” bids farewell to that old fling and says “hello” to this new era of groove for Futon Blonde.

February 15, 2022

Good Looks: “Vision Boards”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

With South By South West 2022 just a month away, the “must-see” previews are beginning to pop out. And if you’re the type that prefers to soak up as much Austin music as possible during SX, you’ll want to check out the Keeled Scales official showcase on March 17th at Cheer Up Charlie’s. Among the roster of great talent on the bill that includes Sun June, Katy Kirby, and Lunar Vacation is indie four-piece Good Looks, founded by South Texas singer-guitarist Tyler Jordan after a bold stint of 6th Street busking.

These poltically-minded Replacements-esque rockers enlisted producer Dan Duszynski (who’s worked with KUTX favorites Cross Record, Jess Williamson, and Loma) to help realize Good Looks’ debut album, Bummer Year, out April 8th. Good Looks is currently taking the record on the road for the Midwest leg of a two-part national tour. So if you like arid indie rock atmospheres and a healthy amount of tongue-in-cheek lyrics, make some room in your collection for Bummer Year and its head-bobbin’, “yeah”-inducing sophomore single, “Vision Boards“!

January 20, 2022

Love Austin Music: Good Looks

Austin Music Minute

By: Laurie Gallardo

We’re steppin’ up to represent with Love Austin Music Month, a friendly reminder to show love for your favorite Austin music artists. Today’s Austin Music Minute presents a new favorite making their debut on Keeled Scales, Good Looks. Led by vocalist Tyler Jordan (Tyler Jordan and the Negative Space) and longtime collaborator Jake Ames, the band worked on their new LP Bummer Year with producer Dan Duszynski (Loma, Cross Record), set for release April 8.

Featured on today’s AMM is album opener “Almost Automatic,” officially out with a single release show tomorrow night, Friday Jan. 21, at Hotel Vegas. The line-up includes Pelvis Wrestley and The Juniper Berries. Check the venue for COVID safety protocol, and remember to bring your mask.

December 13, 2017

Jack Wilson: “In My Way”

Song of the Day

By: Taylor Wallace

Photo by William Barton

Austin native Jack Wilson, despite a four-year rest since his last record, has built a reputation that’s kept his name buzzing around this city (you may have heard of a little South Austin gem called Radio Coffee & Beer). Now a full-fledged father and steady business owner, Wilson makes his return to the stage backed by his third album, Kami, Coming to Get Me. Largely inspired by fatherhood, Wilson plays with a number of sounds throughout the record, reflective perhaps of the mix of sounds and emotions that accompany new parenthood.

“In My Way” makes use of “the white space,” stripping down the layers and letting the ones in place breathe and be heard. Wilson’s deeper drones are softened and complemented by another local favorite, Emily Cross of Cross Record. Even when the layers build on top of each other and the folk aesthetic blends with a bit of electric energy, every sound stands its ground, fitting neatly into its own place on the song’s sonic tapestry.

“In My Way” appears on Kami, Coming to Get Me, out Saturday via Banana Pop Records.

Jack Wilson Upcoming Events:

  • Performing this Saturday at Empire Control Room with Batty Jr. and Marijuana Sweet Tooth.
  • Playing live in Studio 1A Thursday (Tune in at 3PM)
  • Hosting My KUTX this Saturday at 6PM

 

-Taylor Wallace // Host, Thursdays 8p & Saturdays 11p; Producer, Eklektikos with John Aielli

March 27, 2024

James Mastro: “The Face of the Sun”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

It’s well-known that we here at KUTX have a soft spot for Alejandro Escovedo – a love affair that’s lasted far longer than we’ve even been a station. So it’s our due diligence to let you know that Señor Escovedo does have a new record entitled Echo Dancing dropping this weekend. That said, we’re not just talkin’ up Al today.

No, we gotta jump in and tip our hat to Escovedo’s returning tour mate, Mr. James Mastro. A fellow pioneer in the early days of punk rock, this singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer’s already had the privilege and pleasure to perform across the globe more times than we can count, including in the company of Patti Smith, Ian Hunter, Judy Collins, and Robert Plant. This year, Mastro’s been riding high off his latest LP Dawn of a New Error, which dropped the final week of February.

Over the next month-plus of national touring, Escovedo and Mastro will likely be playing some of these new tunes in front of a live audience for the very first time. So as the pair escape the clouds and thunderstorms dominating Austin’s forecast for the next fortnight, familiarize yourself with “The Face of the Sun” and all the other cuts off Dawn of a New Error and Echo Dancing with the shared tour kickoff 8PM this Friday at Antone’s.

March 22, 2024

SPRINTS: “Literary Mind” (KUTX Live at Scholz Garten)

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

The taste-ranging genre gastronomy of our latest Scholz Garten lineup alone made it one for the books. And that A.M. affair simply couldn’t have been complete without SPRINTS. Because…yeah, the pairing of a Dublin four-piece – garage grit, post-punk precociousness, and all – against a full KUTX crowd at one of Texas’ oldest venues was exactly what you’d expect: a pre-St. Paddy’s blast.

SPRINTS just made Letter to Self public this January, and the eclectic, confessional record has already reached millions of streams worldwide – no small feat for any up-and-comers’ big debut. But sudden success clearly hasn’t killed frontwoman Karla Chubb’s of-kilter candor, since she expertly steered her quartet through a mad dash of lyrical honesty and aural adrenaline. SPRINTS heads back to the UK next week, so fingers crossed when they’re planning their next tour, our KUTX-clusive live recording of their show closer, “Literary Mind” preserves the memory and inspires another Austin appearance some time in the future.

March 21, 2024

Sinkane: “How Sweet Is Your Love” (KUTX Live at Scholz Garten)

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

We’re still recovering from the flood of foreign artists that turned our fair city (and Scholz Garten) into an international exhibition last week. And if that worldwide melting pot of genres is best embodied by any SXSW 2024 performer, multi-instrumentalist Ahmed Gallab definitely makes the short list.

Born in London, Gallab spent a chunk of his childhood in Sudan and the remaining rearing in Ohio. The Buckeye State’s rich punk culture rubbed off on Gallab, whose multi-faceted talents and one-of-a-kind musical perspective led to session work with the likes of Caribou, of Montreal, and Yeasayer. Through his solo focus Sinkane, Gallab was able to refine his kitchen sink of sounds, but a dozen years down the line from their debut record MARS, we haven’t heard a lot of new studio stuff from them on this side of the pandemic.

Well, with the release of Sinkane’s eighth LP We Belong on April 5th, we know exactly what we’ll be sinkin’ our teeth into next month. And that cross-genre sense of acceptance was strong when Sinkane wrapped up our the morning’s live lineup last Friday at Scholz Garten. A shining specimen of modern gospel soul spiced up with that idiosyncratic Sinkane twist, the new album’s second installment, “How Sweet Is Your Love” was a solid standout of their live set. Oh, how sweet it was…

February 12, 2024

Tommy Taylor: “Ghost Town”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

Here in Austin, we like to make a big fuss over our Central Texas music icons, erecting statues and renaming streets in their honor. So while the respective likeness and namesake of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Willie Nelson have become local landmarks, in reality, our city limits have several legends just hiding in plain sight.

Like Tommy Taylor, whose deft drumming on Christopher Cross’ ’79 debut undeniably helped make it the timeless classic it is today. But that’s just scratching the surface; on top of a longtime spot in Eric Johnson’s band, Taylor’s played with the likes of SRV, Charlie Sexton, Jerry Jeff Walker, Shawn Colvin, Ray Benson and many more over what must be an incredibly fulfilling career. Turns out though that Tommy Taylor wasn’t too keen on just letting those records speak for themselves, since after several years of encouragement, he recently put his voice front and center of his own tunes.

Created in collaboration with fellow legend and multi-Grammy winner Michael Omartian, Across the Stars came out last September. Between Omartian’s top notch production techniques and Taylor’s well-seasoned sense of songwriting (fleshed out characters and all), Across the Stars is an astronomical entry for this pair of yacht rock royals. So don’t expect any tumbleweeds or crickets when the silence comes at the end of this nine-song journey, because even early pieces like the album opener “Ghost Town” just sound plain great. Since we’re guessing there’s a galaxy’s worth of other material under Taylor’s belt, here’s hoping Across the Stars won’t be a standalone in Tommy’s discography.

January 30, 2024

Muchacho Sanchez: “First Mind”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

Thanks to a nationwide renaissance, Chicano Soul’s been getting a lot of recent praise for its bridging of Mexican and American, of Spanish and English, in a way that blurs national and ethnic boundaries. And if we’re talking about musical movements in the same ilk, right down to its name, Tejano has to be be towards the top of that list.Of course, to authentically contribute to that sound, an artist has to have substantial experience on both sides of the border. Which brings us to Muchacho Sanchez. Sanchez split his early days between the L.A. metro and the majestic ranchos of Durango before spending a chunk of his twenties traveling across the country, soaking up every inspiring sight and unique sound in the process. Well, even though Sanchez settled down in Austin back in 2012, that nomadic drive is still alive and well in Muchacho’s music, as heard and seen in the backdrop of a trío of YouTube demos.This morning we received the debut studio single from Muchacho Sanchez, one that proves this young troubadour’s already shaping up to be a rad hombre. Recorded and produced by Charley Crockett/Sentimental Family Band collaborator Billy Horton, “First Mind” is a passionate primer paso empowered by Sanchez’ pure soul and road-wise experience. So if you’re craving some quality Tex-Mex but only have time for a quick two-step, turns Muchacho’s volume up to the max and let loose, because “First Mind” absolutely hits the spot in three minutes flat.

January 25, 2024

Alma Jette: “Demons”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

When an artist spends precious set time talking about a song’s inspiration, they’re sometimes met with the demand of “less talk, more rock”. Which is pretty unfair, because when your tunes are left up to interpretation, setting the stage for your lyrics is just as important as contextualizing an ajar journal entry.

So we gotta applaud the admirable candor of Mary Bryce, who, on top of keeping her Substack regularly updated, is also quite the accomplished poet, painter, and singer-songwriter, best known in the latter category among locals as a member of long-gone Austin outfit SMiiLE. Like the best of us, Mary seized the start of the pandemic to begin working on a new creative outlet – Alma Jette (alongside a solo album recorded straight to tape) before re-locating to Los Angeles with her then-partner/SMiiLE frontman Jake Miles. But that brief period between the LP’s affectionate origins and the present hasn’t been without tumult; just last year, Bryce’s long-term relationship with Miles ended shortly after the pair’s L.A. home burned down.

Fortunately, those circumstances haven’t left too sour a taste in Bryce’s mouth. At least not enough to scrap the whole project. Instead, like a phoenix, those ten intimate snapshots have taken on more, wiser nuance with Alma Jette’s debut full-length, I Found A Reason, out late April. And since Bryce now splits her time between LA and ATX, it’s definitely worth catching Alma Jette in town for a single release this Friday ’round midnight at Sagebrush after openers Sammy G at 9PM, Other Vessels at 10PM, and Harry & Emmy at 11PM. That single – “Demons” – cuts straight to the chase of its title in its first handful of seconds before an enchanting orchestral arrangement pushes emotions to the top. It’s almost like a just-discovered Joni Mitchell folk rock single at a thematic midpoint between Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour and Star-Crossed. Just don’t blame Bryce when the waterworks start flowing…

November 28, 2023

Parker Woodland: “True Love Will Find You In The End”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

First thing’s first. Parker Woodland isn’t a person; it’s a band. More accurately, it’s an Austin-based indie rock collective captained by activist/singer-songwriter Erin Walter. And although Walter, guitarist Andrew Solin, and drummer Keri Cinquina comprise the group’s core trio, Parker Woodland always welcomes a revolving cast of contributors both in-studio and on-stage for inclusive arrangements that complement the band’s hefty emotional weight. Between their placement at Rock the Park and as of last weekend, The Breakfast Boogie, clearly Parker Woodland’s earned their keep as a KUTX favorite and a can’t-miss curator of the Austin Music Experience in 2023.

As for next year, the gang’s been working towards the full-length follow-up to their February 2021 debut EP The World’s On Fire (And We Still Fall In Love). And as Parker Woodland passes the half decade mark of their run, we’re positive that this LP will leap off streaming services and warm hearts citywide. In the meantime, to wrap up this month, you can get a taste of the live portion with an all-ages, stage-filling affair 8PM this Thursday at The Mohawk with Sabrina Ellis and Sheverb. Sure, Live from Love Hill offers an honest representation of Parker Woodland’s in-concert chops, but obviously, the in-person experience is the real deal.

Fingers crossed we get a fuller preview of this new record, whose tunes like the Daniel Johnston folk-punk re-work “True Love Will Find You In The End” have already promised the inevitability of affection and adoration for listeners of any kind. To the naysaying loners, just try not to feel warm and fuzzy after pressing “play”, because this indie-folk fleur blossoms with gorgeous harmonies and optimistic orchestral flourishes before a final-minute sprint into punk-rock-inspired passion.

November 6, 2023

Shane Renfro: “Come On Down”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

Aside from professional full-timers who can realistically sustain themselves with their craft, it’s easy to assume that musicians are putting all their extracurricular hours towards songwriting, recording, touring, and performing. But of course, musicians are as humans as the rest of us, and will take every bit of recreation they can get.

See: Shane Renfro, who’s floated all across Texas, from Grapeland to Marfa, and even to L.A. before settling back down in the Lone Star State. As the frontman behind our August 2019 Artist of the Month RF Shannon, Renfro’s spent a considerable amount of time here in Austin, but his home base is decidedly a stone’s throw away out in Lockhart. And it turns out that Renfro’s become somewhat of a slugger in recent times. Alongside his fellow Lockhart creatives, Shane Renfro co-founded the Lockhart Sandlot Baseball Club last year, who have since gone on to fundraise for community non-profits, volunteer for political rallies, and even ump local little league games. And yeah, unsurprisingly, between all the clean hits, beer-shotgunning tie breakers, and post-game pizza and BBQ, Lockhart Sandlot’s gone on to release some great collaborative records off the diamond.

Last Friday they knocked ten central Texas-bred tunes right out of the park with Sandlot Season One: Lockhart. If you manage to snag a copy of SSO:L on vinyl, you’ll notice that Renfro is first up to bat on both sides; following this May’s Red Swan in Palmetto, Side B starts off with a demo version of RF Shannon’s “Tangerine Marigold”, and the Side A welcomer “Come On Down” serves as Renfro’s solo streaming debut. Capturing that iconic Texas twang from its first downbeat, “Come On Down” is a grand slam of mellow sounds somewhere between Mac Demarco, T. Rex-era Marc Bolan, and classic country Americana.

October 3, 2023

Click-Clack: “Welcome To Texas”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

By design, the world of hip-hop is full of braggadocious personalities. But even the most prolific boasters can get tripped up by a perfectionist approach. Take for instance Austin rapper-producer-brandmaker Eric Mikulak, better known by his creative handle Click-Clack. Back in the early 2010s, alongside his role as frontman for rap-rock outfit Karmatron, Click-Clack used to crank out tracks nonstop from his home studio, sometimes writing, producing, and recording up to three tunes from scratch in a night. And the scorpio that he is, there’d typically be a roisterous social media presence before and after each new single release. Of course, as the genre’s evolved over time, Mikulak’s only matured, and it’s safe to say that making hip-hop entirely on his own is no longer a challenge. So while the confidence is rightfully still there, Click-Clack’s shifted focus towards fine-tuned, full-length collaborations with a rolodex of producers from across the globe, and entrusted mixing-mastering duties to other industry pros. As a matter of fact, Click-Clack just shared his second LP of the year, Hypercritical, last Friday. At just shy of a dozen tunes, Hypercritical offers yet another candid look into Mikulak’s complicated mind, flaws, insecurities, and all. Seven of the eleven enroll at least two outside producers in a sprawling sonic tapestry draped behind Click-Clack’s idiosyncratic verbal formulas, including “Welcome To Texas”, which enlists olly and fr4ud for a two-minute chop-heavy chipmunk soul masterpiece.

September 25, 2023

Katherion: “Roses and Daisies”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

Song of the Day is finally back from a much-needed break! And as a token of appreciation for everyone’s patience in the interim, we’ve got some great new picks to catch y’all up on, one of which made an inaugural streaming appearance just last weekend.

We’re talking about Katherine Yuna, also known as Rion Reed, but best recognized by their stage name amalgamation Katherion. This Houston native with growing Austin exposure has been singing their whole life and penning tunes for the past decade, but didn’t unlock and realize their true form as Katherion until a semi-recent, life-changing experience in guided psychoactive therapy.

True to their handle (pronounced “Kath-e-Ryan”), this project provides a healthy balance of masculine and feminine, spiritual and emotional, and sonically speaking…indie and alt-rock. In fact, ahead of their upcoming debut album 33, Katherion teamed up with indie-alt-rock innovator and Song of the Day favorite Walker Lukens to co-produce the record’s lead single, “Roses and Daisies”. So before we’re blessed with the full bouquet of unbridled acceptance on 33 later this Fall, which’ll also include the sophomore single “Thank You” in about a month’s time, bask in the refreshing fragrance of “Roses and Daisies”, whose authentic aromas alternate between vulnerable solo verses and defiant double-tracked choruses. By the time you get across the bridge and into the final hook, you’ll better understand Katherion’s admirable mission of empathy, uplift, and humanity’s mutual bonds, no matter how you identify.