Song of the Day

Song of the Day > All Episodes

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.


Episodes

June 21, 2024

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Subpar Snatch: “Juicy Booty”

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June 19, 2024

Daniel Fears: “Home” (Live from the Draylon Mason Music Studio)

Happy Juneteenth! While it’s now a national holiday, it’s always been a celebration here in Texas, where historically Black hubs like Houston were notified of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War’s end later than the rest of the states. And it’s Houston that gave us our July 2021 Artist of the Month Daniel Fears. […]

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June 18, 2024

Luke Smith: “Jimmy”

We’re right at Pride Month’s midpoint, so just as a refresher: no matter how you identify, be proud of yourself! At the same time, it’s worth acknowledging our place in a progressive city, a quarter century into the 21st, because not every Queer person’s been blessed with those privileges; more often than not, it’s a […]

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June 17, 2024

Alexi 8bit: “You Don’t Have to Be Alone Anymore”

In the world of singers, acting cutesy doesn’t necessarily negate sophistication. Like, we’ve seen a lot of success in going north of mere infantile novelty and co-opting that puppy love naivety in a way that’s accessible to all age groups. And while we can point to a major movement of such with jazz-pop hits from […]

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June 14, 2024

Molecular Steve: “Wolfman”

Depending on who you ask – a coworker, a friend, or a family member – they’ll all have slightly different takes on your “character” based on previous interactions and observations. But what about those parts of our identities that never reach the surface? Those personality traits that stay buried deep within us? Well, we won’t […]

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June 12, 2024

The Wild Kindness: “No One Belongs Here More Than You”

Random acts of kindness: we can’t recommend ’em enough. Because it’s those little gestures you catch in the wild that help us make new connections (no matter how brief or passing), break past malaise and monotony, and recognize the world as a more compassionate place. And new connections are also a key component to what […]

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June 11, 2024

Mark Hallman: “Bright Star”

When you’ve spent decades making great records for other people, you’ve got all the tools to do it on your own, right? Yeah, although producers often get relegated to a “man behind the curtain” position for other artists’ critical success, at the end of the day they’re some of the strongest shapers of sound. Take […]

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