Song of the Day

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July 6, 2023

Velvet Rut (Austin, Texas) (prod. Karavelo)

By: Jack Anderson

Austin brands itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World” and for damn good reason; think about the thousands of players who fill our hundreds of event spaces over the course of any given month. But that artist multiplicity and venue ubiquity entirely within our city limits actually makes breaking out of the ATX “bubble” and gaining traction in other locations extremely difficult, even for those who’ve built reputations as tireless performers and songwriters.

Take for instance an outspoken member from one of Austin’s most fruitful family dynasties, Ben Buck. As a creatively voracious rapper/producer/beatboxer/cassette presser/event coordinator who’s been a major staple of Austin’s hip-hop scene for the past decade (who recently earned his own official day this past April), Ben’s bucked around long enough to find out that all that hard work does make him a god in the eyes and ears of locals, but unfortunately not too far beyond that. But for someone who clearly gets their biggest highs from gripping the mic on their favorite stage instead of staying at home and losing sleep over unsatisfactory streaming traction, this young Buck still excels when things are in his own hands.

Case in point: the Ben Buck Birthday Bash 7PM-2AM happening tomorrow night at The 13th Floor, featuring a hand-picked lineup of wholesome friends and heavy-hitting collaborators. The show precedes Ben’s next LP, The Back Burner ’23, a nine-song joint effort between Buck and sample-based beatmakers ranging from Austin’s Butcher Bear to New York legend Statik Selektah, plus two remixes of the album opener. Overall The Back Burner ’23 scorches with a gritty old school feel whose varied influences can be traced to all three coasts. On top of its status as one of the most poignantly honest songs written about the Austin scene we’ve ever heard, “Velvet Rut (Austin, Texas)” totes bemoaning homegrown references, a pensive vibraphone instrumental from Vancouver producer Karavelo, and a mellow-yet-aggressive verbal flow that’ll make you wanna blasts past the stanchions and blaze up the second you’re indoors.


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May 24, 2024

The Cuckoos: “Dirty Pictures”

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