austin music

Mental Health During the Pandemic

Hear from mental healthcare providers and people in the Austin Music Ecosystem about mental health during the pandemic.

You’ll hear from Kalu James from Kalu and the Electric Joint , Vanessa Burden of Los Alcos, Austen Bailey former Talent Buyer for Mohawk, Patty Bouressa from The SIMS Foundation, Brandee Smith MS, LPC, LCDC, Austin Mental Health Care Resources, The Sims Foundation

Austin Texas Mental Health Resources

Pause/Play: Episode 8

Other Information:

National Independent Venue Association
Save Our Stages

Music By:

Kalu and The Electric Joint
Los Alcos

Check out Downfall —  the latest song from Kalu and the Electric Joint.

King Air: “Last of a Breed”

As the city continues to change, a comparatively few amount of veterans from the old school scene have stuck around to release new stuff in 2021. But for four talented musicians that’ve performed in Austin since the ’90s, they’ve merely adopted a new handle and begun to share fresh material at this turn of a decade.

Channeling the likes of alternative pioneers Velvet Underground and R.E.M., King Air cast forth their debut EP Tracks Made in Dust on Christmas Day, staking their claim of atmospheric royalty with just as many songs as members and rounding out the record with a real trance-inducer, “Last of a Breed”!

Luke and the Lonely: “My Baby Loves Heavy Metal”

What with quarantine, cabin fever, and yesterday’s surprise amount of snow in the Lone Star State, you might’ve developed a need for company over the weekend. That’s why we’re easing you back into the workweek with Austin four-piece Luke and the Lonely. First sparked in 2017 and finalized in the summer of 2018, this indie pop rock quartet dropped their debut EP The Age of Enlightenment just under two years ago, but’ve decided to hit 2021 running with one of several Chris “Frenchie” Smith-produced singles.

Their first-of-the-year “My Baby Loves Heavy Metal” came out on Friday, giving us all the refined but aggressive strength to help us coast through to see another weekend.

The Los Sundowns: “Al Final de La Tarde” (feat. Alex Chavez)

For more than two decades, Grammy-winning guitarist and producer Beto Martinez has imprinted Austin with his Latin-leaning outputs: Grupo Fantasma, Money Chicha, and Brownout. And though psychedelia’s always been a major factor in Martinez’s formulas, with some conceptualizing on behalf of Dos Santos drummer Daniel Villarreal, the two have dawned on a new Latin psych-soul project, The Los Sundowns.

In a little over a month The Los Sundowns will release their debut self-titled EP, stacked with a roster of talented collaborators from Villarreal and Martinez’s combined rolodex and issued through Beto’s new label Lechehouse Music. And while we all anticipate auspiciousness from The Los Sundowns when drops on February 12th, the group’s tided us over with their lead single, featuring fellow Dos Santos veteran Alex Chavez, “Al Final de La Tarde”!

Lost Cat Magnet & Joshua Thomson: “Moon Man”

When you find an ideal musical partner but touring schedules keep you apart, sometimes a lockdown can be a blessing in disguise. At least that’s how it’s gone for Californian-turned-Austinite Lost Cat Magnet and former Michigander Joshua Thomson, two star-crossed collaborators who’ve finally had a chance to create something new and extraordinary between themselves.

Between LCM’s beat-making finesse, Thomson’s expansive ability to improvise and interpret melodies on sax, and a shared universe of influences and tastes dating back a half century, these two built their Low Orbit EP from the ground up, only using a computer to touch up analog recordings. Co-produced by Brazilian music aficionado Tiago da Silva and releasing tomrorow, Low Orbit is sure to keep you gravitated into its field with exotic electro-jazz and funk-house inspired grooves, even on tracks that can’t be identified under any one genre, like “Moon Man”!

The Consequentialists: “Puzzle”

When it comes to philosophy in punk music, raw always wins the luck of the draw. Take, for example, Austin outfit The Consequentialists, who knocked out the pre-production for their debut EP under the primitive restrictions of an iPhone’s built in microphone and the entry-level limits of Garage Band, over-dubbing only what they needed to pack a punch after the fact.

The resulting self-titled record is an unfettered offering of aggressive energy, putting The Consequentialists high up on our list of artists we can’t wait to see live. And with The Consequentialists finishing at a compact fifteen minutes, you definitely have the time to pilfer through its five tracks, starting with the album opener, “Puzzle”!

Cosmic Convoy: “Up For Grabs”

You’re no doubt looking for some new music to complement the new year, but without trying to get nostalgic over 2020 (how could you?) we’re actually going to spend the next couple days looking back at some stuff you might’ve missed. Enter Cosmic Convoy, an Austin-based quartet founded over a mutual love of vintage genres, whether it be it outlaw country, ’60s R&B-soul, or classic rock. The four began playing covers back in 2017 but have finally passed the limen and progressed into writing and performing their own tunes.

In November of last year Cosmic Convoy saddled up with their debut EP, Together Again for the First Time, channeling the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Son Volt, and Gram Parsons across six songs. We’re hoping that this is just the first entry into these fellas’ discography, so climb aboard the Cosmic Convoy with one of Together Again‘s boldest, “Up For Grabs”!

Was it Worth it Wayne?

In this episode of The Breaks:
  • Hosts Confucius and Fresh talk about Lil Wayne’s recent legal troubles and wonder if the rapper regrets endorsing Donald Trump.
  • Both hosts talk about the upcoming Verzuz battle between E-40 and Too $hort.
  • In this weeks edition of “Random Hip-Hop facts,” Confucius and Fresh focus on Biz Markie and Lupe Fiasco, Twista and Spice 1.
  • Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that the recent focus on white representation in hip-hop journalism actually discounts the many contributions of Black journalists.
  • In his Confucius Says segment, Confucius encourages people to give The Breaks the credit they deserve for elevating Austin’s hip-hop scene.

The Breaks are on every Saturday 10pm-1am on KUTX 98.9.You can hear the latest full broadcast of The Breaks Saturday night show.

The Return of Live Music Part 1

Live Music has returned to Austin, even as COVID cases continue to surge in Texas. Hear about three live music experiences from the perspective of a fan, three musicians and a promoter.

Listen to this episode of Pause/Play

In this episode you’ll hear from:
host Elizabeth McQueen stepping into the role of a fan
Greg Gonzalez, bass player for Money Chicha & Grupo Fantasma
Tomar Williams from Tomar and the FC’s
Geoff Earle from Stiletto Feels
Walker Lukens from Walker Lukens and the Sidearms. He’s also the co-host of the Song Confessional Podcast

Love and Lightstream
Antones
Central Machine Works 

Pause-Play: Episode 5

Listen on The Apple Podcasts AppSpotify

Listen to Songs from this Episode

Jackie Venson Artist Feature

For the first 50 days of quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic, Austin musician Jackie Venson live-streamed hours of musical performances from her home. She awoke at the end of the meditative marathon to a new normal for Austin musicians: no touring, no in-person shows, and no idea of what would come next. But in her calmed state of mind, Venson focused on her practice and her music, and used her platform to stand for Black musicians and Black lives. Last month, she received the honor of playing her first ACL Live performance – a culmination of her patience and perseverance in this uncertain year.

Video by Julia Reihs.

The Venues

In this episode, you’ll hear from the owners two Austin venues. Brodie Elkins tells the story of Scratchouse which closed due to the pandemic. Then Maggie Lea and Tamara Hoover talk about how they’ve kept their venue, Cheer Up Charlies, afloat and explain what it’s been like to get ready to reopen.

Listen on The Apple Podcasts App, Spotify

Follow Cheer Up Charlies: Instagram and Twitter

Resources:

Music Venue Alliance Austin

Red River Cultural District

National Independent Venue Alliance

Amplified Sound Coalition

Austin Texas Musicians

Pause/Play: Episode 3

Prepared for the Worst: Being a Musician During COVID-19

From finances to healthcare access, being a musician during a pandemic isn’t easy – even in the Live Music Capital of the World. In episode two of Pause//Play, the new podcast from KUT/KUTX Studios, Austin musicians Mobley and TEDDYTHELEGACY tell their stories of survival and creativity. Video by Julia Riehs

The Pause

What happened to Austin’s live music scene after the shutdown of SXSW?

On March 6th, 2020 the Austin City government canceled SXSW.  That decision had an economic ripple effect throughout the city. It also marked the true beginning of the COVID-19 crisis for Austin. In this episode, hosts Miles Bloxson and Elizabeth McQueen explore why Austin calls itself the Live Music Capital of the World.  They’ll look at the effect that the cancellation of SXSW and the subsequent shut down of the bars had on Austin through the experiences of some of the musicians, venue owners, venue staff, and music non-profits who make up this live music ecosystem.

Listen on The Apple Podcasts App, Spotify

Pause-Play Episode 1

Armadillo Bonus: Springsteen, Zappa, & More

Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Armadillo World Headquarters, the music venue that helped put Austin on the musical map. In this bonus episode, hear first-hand stories of some of the most memorable Armadillo shows: An unknown kid from Jersey named Bruce Springsteen plays for hours–and the show cost one dollar. Jerry Lee Lewis destroys the Armadillo’s piano. Joan Armatrading shows the power of musical discovery. And Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart bring the “weird” to Austin.

Armadillo Bonus: Punk Rock and New Wave

Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Armadillo World Headquarters, the music venue that helped put Austin on the musical map. In this bonus episode, hear how the Armadillo became the unlikely home for punk rock and new wave in Austin: Joe Ely blows away the Clash. The Ramones put their bodies on the line. The Runaways inspire an Austin musician to form one of the most popular bands of all time. Hardcore punk gets a Texas flavor. And the Armadillo crowd won’t let the Police leave until they play their entire set–again.

Back Home To The Armadillo

In August of 1970, a music venue opened on the corner of Barton Springs Road and South First in Austin, Texas. The building was an old National Guard armory—no air conditioning, no seating, just a giant cavernous space that frankly, was not well suited for music. Yet this local eyesore would go on to change the identity of Austin, culturally, politically, and artistically. Its reverberations would be felt far and wide, helping turn Austin into the Live Music Capital of the World. This is the story of how that happened. This is the story of the Armadillo World Headquarters.

Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this historic music venue. Hear an hour-long oral history featuring staff, musicians, and fans. They trace the Armadillo’s immense impact as a music incubator, community gathering space, and home to hundreds of life-altering concerts: Willie Nelson to Frank Zappa. The Runaways to the Ramones. Freddie King to the Clash. You’ll learn why 50 years later, the Armadillo World Headquarters is still a beacon for Austin’s past, present, and future.

Armadillo Bonus: Blues, Jazz, and Funk

Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Armadillo World Headquarters, the music venue that helped put Austin on the musical map. In this bonus episode, hear first-hand stories about the blues, jazz, and funk greats that made the Armadillo such a live music destination: the supernatural abilities of Freddie King and B.B. King, the Pointer Sisters in their funk heyday, and the raucous welcome given to jazz icon Count Basie.

 

Armadillo Bonus: Cosmic Country, Artwork, & More

Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Armadillo World Headquarters, the music venue that helped put Austin on the musical map. In this bonus episode, hear how Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings turned the Armadillo into a cosmic country destination. Plus, first-hand stories about the iconic artwork, Leon Russell’s home base, a particularly memorable John Prine show, and seeing the Austin Ballet at the Armadillo–complete with a pitcher of beer.