Song of the Day

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September 5, 2023

Lion Heights: “Cool & Easy”

By: Jack Anderson

Here in the Lone Star State, the authentic “tropical” experience is pretty much limited to South Padre Island, about a six-hour drive from our city limits. But despite Austin’s central location, when it comes to less land-locked sounds (chiefly reggae), we’re actually pretty lucky to have strong local institutions; The Flamingo Cantina’s remained a major draw for fans of the genre since 1991, Austin Reggae Fest since 1994, and in terms of adjacent interests, we also have a relatively lenient (okay, decriminalized) herbal culture compared to our more conservative county neighbors. So it’s not a big shock that reggae acts like Lion Heights claim Austin as their creative den, especially considering their incorporation of “outlaw” (a term typically associated with Texas country rebels like Willie and Waylon) into an otherwise-idiosyncratic Caribbean style. A decade back Lion Heights crawled out as a cub with their debut EP Survival of the Richest, but really roared with higher production value and a vast cast of collaborators on 2021’s Blank Check Riddim. And with the release of the extensive 46-minute False Reality this past April, Lion Heights has clearly worked their way up the food chain to become one of Austin’s finest reggae ensembles. But what’s the point of making it to the top if you’re just gonna ride recent accomplishments? On that note, Lion Heights dropped their eight-track Not Done Fighting Riddim last Friday, a feature-filled pride that showcases Lutan Fyah, Chuck Fenda, Alan Moe Monsarrat, and more. Sure there are some explicit sensi-bilities with opening titles like “Herbsman” and “Love Marijuana”, but by and large this new record (true to its title) champions fist-in-the-air civil disobedience and resilience in our modern era of working class oppression. And fun fact: Lion Heights shakes off their regular crepuscular schedule for an afternoon show 3PM this Sunday at The Far Out Lounge ahead of a regional Texas-Florida tour later this month. Even if the triple digits in the forecast convince you to stay home, you can still counter our painfully noticeable lack of coastal breezes with a tune that instills a chill you just can’t kill, “Cool & Easy”. From its introductory timbale fill and guitar skank to its final full-band chord, “Cool & Easy” (featuring duo Roots Revealers) is like a coconut cocktail you can take anywhere with you; to work, to your home stereo, and of course…if you’re willin’…to the beach.

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May 24, 2024

The Cuckoos: “Dirty Pictures”

If you mainly draw inspiration from older generations, after taking a lengthy break, you may find that the needle on your tastes has moved forward in time too. At least that’s what we’re seeing unfold with Austin project The Cuckoos. Ostensibly the one-man band (who also operates as a four-piece) of flock leader/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer Ken Frost, […]

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May 23, 2024

Grandma Mousey: “When I’m Not There”

Ever since we first caught sight of them in 2022, we’ve continued to make room for Grandma Mousey in our wheelhouse, even after their initial nest expanded from three members to five. Yeah, Granny M’s grown on us so much over the past couple of years, that we don’t mind ratting on their talent again […]

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May 22, 2024

Carson McHone: “I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face”

No matter how much success a young artist finds down the line, there’ll always be opportunities to pay respects to their predecessors and contemporaries. Whether it’s an early choice (Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s Kicking Against the Pricks), a mid-career reset (Souxsie and the Banshees’ Through the Looking Glass), a later vocation salute (Bruce […]

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May 21, 2024

Indoor Creature: “Cross The Line”

Although we’re bound to find a silver lining eventually, when we take the time to really look at the world we live in – gross injustices, grievous atrocities, shared struggles and all – it can make staying inside super appealing. And for sonic creators, as long as the bleakness doesn’t make the music meek, the […]

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May 17, 2024

Barbara: “For Good Measure” (co-prod. Briana Harris)

Save for those with seemingly disposable resources, often nonprofits get stuck in their original stomping grounds. So when a local endeavor expands enough to inspire, incorporate, and impact folks far beyond their initial reach, it’s cause for celebration. That brings us back to Project Traction, spearheaded by our personal favorite philogynist audiophile – Spoon drummer/Public […]

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May 16, 2024

Stephanie Rodd: “Stronger Than Ever”

For us uncultured Americans, we tend to invent a caricature when we hear about a “French songstress”. Yes, we let our assumptions automatically paint a picture of a smoky nightclub against a traumatic war torn backdrop, a slender figure in haute couture wardrobe, cigarette in one hand, microphone in the other, and lyrics toutes en […]

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May 15, 2024

Wild Wren: “I’M A BIRD”

Back in the day, if you were to walk around downtown, you’d hear one predominant sound spilling out of at least every other 6th Street venue: blues rock. But as the landscape of the “Live Music Capital of the World” has evolved and diversified, frankly, so has the state of blues rock itself. And if […]

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May 14, 2024

Genuine Leather: “Getting Used to the Feel”

For a lot of self-made bedroom producers, lo-fi isn’t just a creative choice; it’s a necessity. Yeah, not everyone has the technical prowess, access to equipment, or funding to match the pristine masters of their commercial radio contemporaries. But when lo-fi folks like that gain the resources to make the leap up, it’s hard to […]

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