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Archive | April, 2017

Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

April 28, 2017

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Sometimes it feels like we’re entering another Golden Age of hip-hop, where the records released elevate the art form and challenge other artists to produce better music, and the albums consistently redefine the genre’s edges and limits. Of course, as a result of the speed at which new hip-hop is produced, it feels like we get a new Golden Age a couple times a year. In fact, I’m sure I’ll look back at this playlist in six months and see it as a time capsule of what we thought the last Golden Age would be, and I’m sure I’ll be wrong then, too. Oh well.

I’ve pulled together some Kendrick, of course, and Joey Bada$$ but there are some gems in there that you won’t want to miss, including Your Old Droog’s intense track with Danny Brown, the frenetic grime of Stormzy, and the melodic tilt of Austin-based …&more… with Clifton Dukes. Check out my playlist of Best Hip Hop of 2017 (So Far) here:

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Filthy Friends

April 27, 2017

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While I would prefer that she churn out another album with Sleater Kinney, I am pumped to see that Corin Tucker has a new project.  It’s called Filthy Friends, and it also features R.E.M.‘s Peter Buck and Bill Rieflin, Minus 5′ Scott McCaughey, and Fastbacks’ Kurt Bloch.  Neat!  Today I’m sharing the indie rockers’ first handful of tracks – two are from a Record Store Day 7″, and one is from a political comp called 30 Days, 30 Songs.  Turn ‘em up.  Enjoy.

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Show Of The Week

April 26, 2017

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This is one of those fun sort of weeks where I couldn’t pick just one show to tell you to attend, so I’m going with two.  Thankfully they’re on different nights, so you can totally do both!  Anyhow, throw on your serious face and catch the legendary PJ Harvey on Friday at Stubb’s, then go with your party face for magnificent rockers Peelander Z on Saturday at Barracuda.

PJ Harvey tix are $60.
Peelander Z tix are $12.  Residual Kid will open.

PS – Round 2 of the booked-by-me 93.7 KLBJ’s Sunset Series is this Sunday at Ernie’s On The Lake. Come see Emily Wolfe, Otis The Destroyer and Cory Reinisch (of Harvest Thieves).  It’s FREE!  Music starts at 5pm.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Dengue Fever, Red Baraat, Hard Proof at the Mohawk
- BUHU, Critical Dad, ANDY at Cheer Up Charlies
- Little Dragon, GoldLink, Kronika at Stubb’s
- Otis the Destroyer at COLLiDE atx

Thursday:
- Crooked Bangs, NIKE at Beerland
- Bee Caves, Abram Shook, Roaring Sun at the Mohawk
- Desert Culture, Buenos Diaz, Lola Tried, Skyline, Jack Ferrera at Cheer Up Charlies

Friday:
- The Sour Notes, Go Fever at Stubb’s
- RF Shannon, The Dan Ryan at Stay Gold
- The Dizzease, Golden Daze, Andy Grant at Cheer Up Charlies

Saturday:
- Moving Panoramas, Mean Jolene at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- The Midnight Stroll at Hotel Vegas
- Xetas, The Hex Dispensers, Missing Pages, Gabi at Beerland
- Batty Jr., King Warbler, Tres Oui, Poly Action at Spiderhouse

Sunday:
- Growl at Waterloo Records
- Sinkane, Eric Slick at Empire Control Room
- Elijah Ford, Harvest Thieves, Jonathan Terrell, John Evans, Kevin Galloway at Barracuda

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Perfume Genius

April 25, 2017

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Time to get caught up on Perfume Genius!  The act will be releasing a new album, No Shape, next Friday (May 5) via Matador, and I’m excited for it.  Both of the LP’s singles are down below.  The “oldest” is a rather infectious effort titled Slip Away, and the newest is an interesting little blip called Go Ahead.  Enjoy.

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101X Homegrown Podcast

April 24, 2017

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Check out my latest 101X Homegrown! Enjoy.

Wiretree – JF Sebastian
Tres Oui – Prince Of Pop
Abram Shook – The Hours
(NEW) Go Fever – This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Mean Jolene – Bump The Rump
Growl – New Sincerity
RF Shannon – Had A Revelation
The Black Angels – Half Believing
Emily Wolfe – Atta Blues
Otis The Destroyer – Cheetah
(NEW) The Ghost Wolves – Whettin’ My Knife
Crooked Bangs – No Future
Bad Sports – Living With Secrets
The Dizzease – Sticky Hand


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The War On Drugs

April 24, 2017

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You guys grab anything rad on Record Store Day?  I got a couple of cool things (like Dolly Parton’s first recordings), but since I didn’t get up at 3am, I didn’t even see the “bigger” releases. This includes the new single that The War On Drugs put out.  Thankfully though, there’s a stream!  The 11-minute track is immaculate, and I highly advise that you slap on some headphones before you hit play.  Enjoy.

PS – If you need this 12″, re-sellers will allow you to overpay for it on eBay.  Boo!

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Movie Breakdown: Unforgettable

April 21, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

I’m 100% certain that Unforgettable is going to be terrible, but I’m really hoping that it’ll be fun-terrible.  I’m also very down to watch Katherine Marie Heigl play herself.  Zing!

Post-Screening Ramble:

I thought for sure that Unforgettable was going to be trashy and hilarious, and that didn’t quite turn out to be accurate.  This isn’t to say the movie is good, because it isn’t, but it’s not near as terrible as I was expecting it to be.  Here’s what you need to know about its story – Tessa (Katherine Heigl) is not yet ready to let her ex-husband go, so she sets out to ruin his new girlfriend, Julia (Rosario Dawson).  She does some catty things at first, and then that escalates into some wild, dangerous shit.  Oh my!  Honestly, if you’ve seen the trailer, then you’ve seen the movie.  It does everything by the numbers and in general feels like a Lifetime movie with an actual budget.  There is one bright spot though, and it’s Heigl.  She is absolutely perfect as Tessa, and it’s her intense performance that makes the movie worth anything.  Now, I wouldn’t recommend running out and seeing it just to witness Heigl at peak bitchiness, but in a few years when the movie is on TBS at 1am, maybe give it a bit of your attention.

One Last Thought:

If you’re planning on seeing this movie and don’t want it spoiled, then stop reading right now!

For those of you that stayed, here’s my idea for a different ending.  In the film it’s just simply confirmed that Katherine Heigl’s character has mental issues, and then there’s a big fight that she loses.  How boring!  I think that instead it should have been revealed that Heigl’s young daughter had been her puppet master the whole time, and then Rosario has to defeat them both.  But they’re too much, and she loses.  Then the movie ends with Rosario locked up and the little manipulator on the loose with Heigl as her brainwashed pawn.  Can you imagine?!  That would have been … unforgettable.

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Raised Eyebrows: Choice Ra Cuts (Randy)

April 21, 2017

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Sun Ra was an artist who was way ahead of the curve. He was so ahead of the curve, that we may never catch up to his music or his views in our lifetime. But it’s fun to try! This month I’ve got some choice cuts from the realm of Ra spanning from 1956-1970.

Photo courtesy of lib.uchicago.edu

“Sunology Pt. 2” from Supersonic Jazz (1956)

This is an all-timer for me. The head on this tune is absolutely timeless. Sun Ra does not get credit for being an absolutely brilliant hard bop composer/improviser.

“Angels and Demons at Play” from Angels and Demons at Play (1960)

This album is where the Arkestra jump ship and begin going into their own territory. Without a doubt, one of Sun Ra’s finest moments on record.

“New Horizons” from We Travel the Spaceways (1961)

A beautiful ballad (recorded in 1956!) that makes a left turn towards funk/fusion.

“And This is My Beloved” from Bad and Beautiful (1961)

One of Sun Ra’s most accessible records. This tune (not a Sun Ra original) achieves a raw and haunting kind of sound. Brilliant playing across the board on this album.

“When Angels Speak of Love” from When Angels Speak of Love (1963)

This album is where Sun Ra and the duo of Marshall Allen and John Gilmore begin to veer farther from bop and more towards freedom jazz than ever before.

“Mu” from Atlantis (1969)

A very playful meditation from Sun Ra and his solar sound organ. A joyful noise.

“The All of Everything” from The Night of the Purple Moon (1970)

A wonderful record featuring the rare small Sun Ra group session. Roksichord and flute abound!

Sun Ra recommended albums:

Angels and Demons at Play

Bad and Beautiful

Interstellar Low Ways

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Movie Breakdown: The Lost City Of Z

April 20, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Theaters are currently loaded with The Fate Of The Furious, Ghost In The Shell, Power Rangers and the like, so I have no idea who Bleecker Street is expecting to run and out see The Lost City Of Z, a heavy-looking two and a half hour film about a fella stumbling around in the jungle.  With that being said, I’m excited for it.

Post-Screening Ramble:

The Lost City Of Z takes place in the early 1900s, and it tells the tale of Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), a real life British explorer who made various trips to South America in search of a lost civilization.  Well, he eventually gets to looking for ancient stuff, but first he just goes to help draw borders for a couple of countries on the verge of war.  It’s then that he discovers some busted pottery and decides that there’s no way such things could randomly be way out in the jungle on their own.  This leads Fawcett to forever trying to convince his countrymen and others that there are great discoveries to be had in the Amazon.

I enjoyed this film.  It’s patient, wonderfully shot, interesting and well acted.  However, The Lost City Of Z is definitely one of those efforts that teeters on the edge of pretentiousness, so someone could easily flip that and say that the movie is a slow, thick affair that’s not particularly accessible.  In other words, only head to the theater for this one if you feel as though your patience won’t bow out on you halfway through its heftiness.

One Last Thing:

Remember way back when Charlie Hunnam was all set to star in those 50 Shades Of Grey flicks?  What a bullet he dodged there.  On the flip side of that, I actually feel as though he would have elevated those films.  Probably not to a point where they would have been “good” or whatever, but he definitely would have made them more entertaining.  The guy is a legit talent.

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EMA

April 20, 2017

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When EMA let slip that she had an album so political that Matador didn’t want it, I immediately imagined something way overdone and unlistenable.  I suppose the rest of the LP could still turn out to be this way, but the first single is pretty rad.  Check out the anthemic track below.  Exile In The Outer Ring is due August 25 via City Slang.  Enjoy.

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Show Of The Week

April 19, 2017

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This week is a show I’ve been looking forward to since early March.  It’s Wiretree’s album release party at Lambert’s!  The band’s new LP, Towards The Sky, is very good and currently available, so you can dive into it now in preparation for Friday.  Do it.

Tix are $8.  Good Field will open.  Also, this one is presented by my radio show, 101X Homegrown.

PS – 93.7 KLBJ’s Sunset Series is back, and I’m going to be booking it again.  This year it’ll be happening at Ernie’s On The Lake, and the first show is this Sunday. Come on out and see Sphynx, Moving Panoramas and Christina Cavazos.  It’s FREE!  Music starts at 5pm.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Loteria, Altamesa, Night Glitter at Hotel Vegas
- Bayside, Say Anything, Reggie & The Full Effect at Emo’s
- Darkbird at COLLiDE atx

Thursday:
- Bee Caves, Marmalakes, Small Houses at the Mohawk
- American Sharks, Crypt Trip, Hidden Ritual at Oskar Blues Brewery
- Old Settler’s Music Festival with Billy Strings, The Peterson Brothers, Mandolin Orange, Session Americana, American Dreamer at the Salt Lick Pavilion and Camp Ben McCulloch

Friday:
- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Laura Gibson at The Sidewinder
- Botany, Corduroi, Limalo, Brainwave, Win 1995 at Barracuda
- The Zoltars, UVH, Grivo, Talkies at the Mohawk
- Booher, Wes Coleman, Apopka at the Hole in the Wall
- MCG at Oskar Blues Brewery
- Old Settler’s Music Festival with Shakey Graves, Leftover Salmon, Anders Osborne, Gregory Alan Isakov, Sam Bush, Reckless Kelly, Gaelic Storm, California Honeydrops, Lil’ Smokies, Session Americana at the Salt Lick Pavilion and Camp Ben McCulloch

Saturday:
- US Weekly, Crooked Bangs, Sailor Poon, Daniel Francis Doyle, Filthy, Sass at Cheer Up Charlies
- Pile, Gnarwahl, Black Boxes at The Sidewinder
- Harvest Thieves, Billy Broome at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- Old Settler’s Music Festival with Shinyribs, Los Lobos, Old 97′s, Sarah Jarosz, Nikki Lane, Del McCoury Band, Peter Rowan & friends, The Lone Bellow, The Travelin’ McCoury’s, Elephant Revival, Wood & Wire, California Honeydrops, The Honeycutters, Vasen, Griffin Carter at the Salt Lick Pavilion and Camp Ben McCulloch

Sunday:
- Semihelix, Sounds del Mar, Booher, Miranda Brown at Barracuda
- Sallie Ford, Molly Burch at Stubb’s
- Night Drive, Boyfrndz, DJ Space Cadet at the Mohawk
- Old Settler’s Music Festival with Shinyribs, Elephant Revival, The Last Bandoleros, River Whyless, Vasen at the Salt Lick Pavilion and Camp Ben McCulloch

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Movie Breakdown: Free Fire

April 18, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Ben Wheatley (High-Rise, A Field In England) is a buzzy director and the list of actors he’s assembled for Free Fire includes Brie Larson, Arnie Hammer, Sam Riley, Cillian Murphy, Sharlto Copley and Michael Smiley.  Seems like a winning combo to me.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Ostensibly, Free Fire isn’t a movie with a whole lot going on.  Some shady folks meet up in an abandoned industrial spot to swap some cash for some guns, things go awry, and then they start shooting the shit out of each other.  That’s it.  Thankfully though, writer/director Ben Wheatley’s latest effort features what can be tagged as nuanced violence, and that makes it a lot more than just a film with a bunch of smart-ass goons in a blood bath.  There’s actually something to be learned with each shot – from either a mouth or a gun – that gets fired!  How neat.  And let’s face it, Wheatley could have easily delivered a longer, more elaborate film that takes an in-depth look at who is doing what and why, but instead he allows the characters to quickly show their true selves via how they act in a spontaneous gunfight  – sort of like providing a backstory without providing an actual backstory – and in the end it’s a decision that really pays off.  Expect to have a really fun time picking out little things about each character and then using that to determine who might actually make it out alive.

Definitely go see Free Fire.  It’s violent, really funny and surprisingly crafty.

One Last Thing:

Hollywood really needs to start casting Sharlto Copley in more comedies.  He’d be great as the kooky sidekick for someone, or as an eccentric lead … or really, just whatever in anything that will allow him to ramble about.  He’s so hilarious that I’m sure he could take any comedic role and make it work in wondrous ways.

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Ratboys

April 18, 2017

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While there’s nothing particularly sweet about the name Ratboys, that is the word I think best describes the first single off of their new album, GN (due June 30 via Topshelf).  On another note, I love that the band’s press release notes that they were influenced by the “down-to-earth sincerity of late-90s Sheryl Crow.”  No one would have admitted such a thing a few years ago.  90s nostalgia continues to rule all.  Enjoy.


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101X Homegrown Podcast

April 17, 2017

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Here’s this week’s 101X Homegrown!  Enjoy.

Summer Salt – Candy Wrappers
Sweet Spirit – Pretty Baby
Abram Shook – The Hours
(NEW) Wiretree – Didn’t Know Your Name
Good Field – Necessary Feeling
Quin Galavis – Me To Me
Solid State Dream Suit – Nervous
(NEW) Hovvdy – In My Head
(NEW) The Black Angels – Half Believing
American Sharks – White Witch
US Weekly – Creative Class
Crooked Bangs – No Future
Boyfrndz – Going Under
Darkbird – Poison Arrows


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Do Make Say Think

April 17, 2017

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One of the nicer things that 2017 has delivered (so far) is the return of Do Make Say Think. The post-rock act was pretty quiet for a good eight years, and now they have a new album, Stubborn Persistent Illusions, coming on May 19 via Constellation.  I can’t wait to spend lots of time with it.  Below you’ll find the second, sprawling single off of the LP.  Enjoy.


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