Austin Music Minute


AMM Oct. 30: Genesis Owusu at Empire Garage

The world is in mass chaos. The end seems close at hand. But every day, somehow…one manages to rise up and move forward. So observes The Roach.

Whether the protagonist of Genesis Owusu‘s latest release Struggler is a roach in the literal sense (a talking roach? most alarming), the follow-up to Smiling With No Teeth, taking a few existential cues from Samuel Beckett‘s Waiting for Godot, zooms in on the central character’s feelings of helplessness as he doggedly perseveres amidst the destruction surrounding him, all while dealing with what Owusu describes as a ‘mental crisis.’ In this case, that which does not kill us makes us a stronger roach, no longer held back by the past.

Following tomorrow’s performance in KUTX’s Studio 1A, Genesis Owusu has a show tomorrow night, Tuesday Oct. 31, at Empire Garage on E. 7th. Doors at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m.

LEVITATION: Saturday and Sunday

AMM Oct. 28 2023: LEVITATION Saturday & Sunday.
Brian Jonestown Massacre

Right. Do the hydrating. Get your caffeine on. There’s much more ahead at LEVITATION this weekend, and your AMM has a smidge of recommendations, if you’re so inclined. Make sure to check Levitation’s website for the full schedule. Let’s go.

Go forth for some quality not-behaving.

LEVITATION: Friday & Saturday

AMM Oct. 27 2023: A few AMM picks for LEVITATION Fri/Sat.

In addition to hosting performances at venues along Red River, downtown, and South Austin, LEVITATION has a new central wind down hub, Levitation Lounge at 809 E. 6th, where festival goers can take a break and maybe catch a few Levitation artists doing DJ sets. You’re gonna need it during this busy weekend. And you know how the AMM does this thing – here are a handful of picks for tonight, Friday Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28. So much going on that it hurts:

More LEVITATION selections from the AMM coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

So Very Curious, Indeed

AMM Oct. 26 2023: A Curious Mix of People release show at The Parlor.
Sixteen Deluxe

Surely you heard about it on an extra cool episode of My KUTX.

Your AMM host recommends A Curious Mix of People: The Underground Scene of ‘90s Austin by aforementioned My KUTX hosts (and former KVRX DJs, by the way), filmmaker Richard Whymark and writer Greg Beets. Both authors experienced the madness and mayhem firsthand, so this sharply crafted compilation of interviews with fellow ’90s scenesters, show and venue photos, and badass flyers provides a fascinating and entertaining oral history of Austin’s burgeoning underground scene.

Following a recent panel at Austin Central Library for the book launch, the celebration continues with several familiar faces reuniting for a big show Saturday Oct. 28 at The Parlor, 4301 Guadalupe. A few original bands, and some new iterations make one sick line-up: Glorium, the original Austin version of Gomez, The Living Pins, Jesus Christ Superfly, Yard Work, The John-Pauls, and Hammel On Trial. It all kicks off with a special invocation presented by Mike Henry at 3 p.m.

-Special thanks to Richard Whymark for use of the photos below (Sincola, Inhalants, Wannabes) and on KUTX’s homepage (Cathy Shive of Furry Things) for the Austin Music Minute.

Friday at Radio East

AMM Oct. 25 2023: Latasha Lee and Blakchyl at Radio East.
Latasha Lee

The new Eastside location of Radio Coffee and Beer has been open only a few days, and already it’s buzzing with so many upcoming shows. The AMM got word about a big one coming up this week, a spectacular benefit on Friday in support of the DAWA Fund, created to support BIPOC community frontliners financially and through culturally-relevant health-centered programming.

Black Live Music Fund and Radio will host two powerhouse performances for this event: Savor the classic R&B/soul vibes by the sensational Latasha Lee, and the absolute poetic force of a rap/R&B vocalist recently featured on a KUTX pop up set at ACL Fest, Blakchyl. And rounding out the night, all the high-energy spins courtesy of DJ Bad Apple.

It’s happening this Friday night, Oct. 27, at the new Radio East, 3504 Montopolis, in support of DAWA. Doors at 7 p.m.

Knock. You. Out.

The Returner

AMM Oct. 23 2023: Allison Russell at 3Ten
Allison Russell

As a child, Allison Russell believed she would lose her life at the hands of her adoptive father.

At age 15, she left home and began a long and arduous healing journey after suffering so much abuse. She emerged from the trauma with a life she never thought possible – a Grammy-nominated artist, an accomplished musician contributing to several great bands (including AMM fave Our Native Daughters), and a powerful individual who would not be buried by her demons. Instead, Russell faces them head on and, in the case of her second solo LP The Returner, does so with the most uplifting blues/gospel/soul grooves to cast them out. It’s an album of cathartic, transformative moments, filled with as much gratitude and joy as it is with regained strength, a celebratory new chapter in Russell’s creativity and personal experiences.

Russell brings The Returner Tour to Austin for a performance tomorrow night, Wednesday Oct. 25, at 3Ten. Doors at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m.

Haunt Me and Dark Shadows

AMM Oct. 23 2023 – Goth Gala at Sagebrush
Haunt Me

It wasn’t a terribly exciting soap opera in the beginning.

Dark Shadows was promoted as a “gothic” program, which mostly meant darkened corners, blowing curtains, and thunder and lightning around the Collinwood mansion, where the Collins family and all the drama resided. It attempted to cater to a specific gender normative audience – the “housewife” – with the usual 1960s daytime television fare. Then producer Dan Curtis, always envisioning more, added a ghost to haunt one of the old empty homes near the Collinwood mansion. Plenty of viewers may have said, “What the hell am I watching?!” But the supernatural themes drove the ratings up (“We had to go all the way with the spook-o…” Curtis once said). However, that was nothing compared to what was about to happen, an unprecedented move that would change TV forever. His name: Barnabas Collins, cousin Barnabas from England, portrayed by classically-trained actor Jonathan Frid. The Collins family are stunned by the striking resemblance between their mysterious new relative and the portrait of Barnabas’ ancestor on the wall at Collinwood. Little did they know a vampire was now in their midst.

The skyrocketing popularity was unbelievable, and overwhelming for Frid, who honestly had no idea that he’d become a sex symbol. And from this madness came the film based on the series, House of Dark Shadows (1970), maintaining the basic storyline but with more gore and fangs. Don your best cape and head to Sagebrush for a special screening of this classic at 7 p.m. tonight, Monday Oct. 23, at the Gothic Gala. It’s followed by a performance by AMM goth/darkwave fave Haunt Me at 9 p.m.

Full disclosure: Your AMM host is also host of this specially curated evening. Fangs out, homie. The Collins’ are expecting us.

Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) & Maggie Evans (Kathryn Leigh Scott) in House of Dark Shadows (1970).

Bienvenido al Laboratorio

AMM Oct. 21 2023: Carrie Rodriguez’ LABORATORIO
Carrie Rodriguez

A recent Instagram post by Alex Marrero encapsulated a perfect but all-too-familiar sentiment.

Marrero, known for his work in Brownout, Grupo Fantasma, Los Lobos and numerous others, is part of the multi-talented house band of Carrie RodriguezLABORATORIO, an ongoing musical project exploring and celebrating Latinx culture and its many contributions to the ongoing American experiment. Rodriguez, Marrero, Roscoe Beck, David Jimenez and Peter Stopchinski are the alchemic artists making every LABORATORIO collaboration a unique and magical experience, and tomorrow’s beautifully crafted set at Stateside will mark the series’ twenty-second installment. In a nutshell, it keeps getting more stunning and amazing with every uplifting performance.

All this circles back to Marrero’s wry observation: Enthusiastic inquiries made about LABORATORIO always seem to come his way after the fact. It’s time to change that.

Catch the next LABORATORIO tomorrow night at Stateside at the Paramount, featuring newly-signed Partisan Records artist Angélica Garcia (the compelling “El Que” is on today’s AMM – and you may recall Garcia’s vocals on Adrian Quesada’s “Ídolo”); and lauded writer/photographer Cat Cardenas, whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Washington Post and Texas Monthly. Doors open at 6 p.m. The show begins at 7 p.m.

Full disclosure: Your AMM host will serve as emcee for this spectacular event. Avoid ruminating after the fact. See you Sunday night.

Get It

AMM Oct. 20 2023 – Tomar and The FCs at C-Boy’s.
Tomar and The FCs

AMM fave “Enough is Enough” from Rise Above by Tomar and The FCs is today’s featured track, but make sure to add the sensational “New Way” to your library, a single that’s turning 1 year old this weekend. Another burner with killer horns and Tomar Williams killing it on vocals, as always.

Music is a family affair for Williams. He started his career with his family’s bands in the late ‘80s along the Chitlin Circuit, and though the young Williams had never performed before, he carried a natural ability that shined immediately. He picked up various instruments with an instinct and versatility that was mind-blowing, in addition to having a voice beyond his years. In the early 2000’s, Williams and brother Salih became more involved in the production and songwriting end of music, but it was clear that those vocals belonged front and center. Tomar and the FCs was launched in 2015, a far different time from Williams’ first Austin gig in ’86-’87 with his sibs at a place called the Cave Club at 7th and Red River. But that award-winning voice was better than ever and ready to go.

It’s a show that must be experienced live. Tomar and the FCs takes over C-Boy’s Heart and Soul at 10 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night, sharing the bill with Go Machine this evening, and with The Soul Supporters tomorrow.

Come Around and Love Me

AMM Oct. 19 2023 – Jalen Ngonda
Photo: Rosie Cohe

KUTX has been spinning “That’s All I Wanted From You” by Jalen Ngonda, but today’s AMM shares the title track to Ngonda’s album, Come Around and Love Me. Perhaps “nu-soul” is the easy reference point for describing the incredible sound of this London based artist, but clearly there are greater forces at work here. Genres like R&B and soul are present, but free-flowing and nebulous, weaving between classic and modern. The style is uniquely his own, and though it also goes without saying, Ngonda’s vocal talents are unmeasured. What an incredible addition to the Daptone roster.

Don’t miss Jalen Ngonda tonight, Thursday Oct. 19, at Empire Control Room and Garage on E. 7th. Doors at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m.

Toda Esta Musica

KVRX Presenta Un Show Hispano
Sabrina Ellis and Nelson Valente of Como Las Movies.

Today’s AMM includes a shout out to our colleagues at UT’s student-run station KVRX 91.7. It’s important to note that “None of the hits, all of the time” includes lots of musical discovery at KVRX-hosted live shows, too. There’s one this week at Chess Club in honor of Hispanic/Latine Heritage Month, KVRX Presenta Un Show Hispano, putting the spotlight on Latine artists in Austin.

This is a sick line-up: Como Las Movies (featured on today’s AMM with the new track “La 6” including vocals by Sabrina Ellis), songwriter/vocalist Marylynn Alvarado, rock en Español/rock independente con Jabalí, and cosmic cumbia reggae provided by Roleros Cosmicos, plus a set by KVRX DJ Hierba Malita. It’s all going down tomorrow night, Thursday Oct. 19, at Chess Club on Red River. Doors at 6 p.m.



It goes without saying. But for the curious newbies: Acid Mothers Temple will rattle your ribcage and all organs contained therein. In other words, this is one of the most fulfilling live performances your soul will witness, an ensemble wholeheartedly committed to its magnificent craft, a mind meld of psych, metal, drudge and sludge weaving you into a trancelike state. Though at first one may be convinced it’s a wall of sound and nothing more, the gargantuan grooves make their way into the thundering, pulsating mass. This is why you’re swaying in time. As one reviewer stated, this badass band from Japan doesn’t just look like a troop of wizards. They are wizards.

Acid Mothers Temple returns to the ATX to melt faces tonight, Tuesday Oct. 17, at Hotel Vegas in the patio, with The Stargazer Lilies and Grandmaster on the bill. Doors at 6 p.m. Then join Neon Lemon and ST 37 for the afterparty on Hotel Vegas’ indoor stage, starting at 10 p.m. Bring the earplugs – but stand in front.