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Movie Breakdown: Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

May 24, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Pirates Of The Caribbean 1 is a great movie.  Pirates 2 & 3 are OK movies.  I didn’t even bother with Pirates 4, but I heard it wasn’t good.  Frankly, I’m surprised (or disappointed, I don’t know) that there’s a Pirates 5, but people gotta eat and get their swashbuckling fix in, I suppose.

Post-Screening Ramble:

To be honest, I don’t even know what Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was about.  Franchise face Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is around but he’s got half a crew, no ship and is surprisingly sidelined for most scenes.  Series regular Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush) is present as well, but mostly just because he has a shoehorned connection to one of the main characters, a discount Keira Knightley (Kaya Scodelario).  There’s a budget Orlando Bloom (Brenton Thwaites) involved, too, but he doesn’t seem to have any particularly useful skills.  He just wants to bumble about until he finds some magical trident that will free the actual Orlando Bloom from a life of servitude aboard the Flying Dutchman.  Javier Bardem plays a cursed pirate killer who wants to take down Sparrow.  Or all pirates.  I’m not really sure.  There’s a somewhat perplexing Paul McCartney cameo, but it at least made me smile since everything up until then was confusing and one shade above awful.  On the action front, it’s all rather boring.  There are some neat designs, but none of them go anywhere and once the eye candy simmers, you realize you’re watching a bunch of bored actors in a tired franchise.  Seriously, there’s nothing here worth cheering for or remembering (obviously).  Hell, I can’t even call this film a misfire because all parties involved didn’t even bother loading the canon.  I think in most years this is the kind of movie that would kill a bunch of careers, but I guess in sequel happy Hollywood this will pass as solid filler.  What a shipwreck.  Skip it.

One Last Thought:

I’m willing to bet $20 that Johnny Depp was actually drunk during the making of this movie.  I couldn’t understand a damn thing he was saying due to all of the slurring.

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Movie Breakdown: Baywatch

May 24, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Baywatch looks like it was modeled after the very successful (and funny) 21/22 Jump Street flicks.  That’s exciting.  Hopefully it cracks me up.  If it doesn’t, I guess I can just stare at the very pretty trio of Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Alexandra Daddario.

Post-Screening Ramble:

There’s not much to like about Baywatch.  Mitch (Dwayne Johnson) is a detective/good samaritan/water lover in charge of Baywatch, a group of … lifeguards who watch over a … bay.  Annually, because previous employees get new jobs (or drown, maybe), his team holds a competition to accept a new member.  The tryout is meant to find ONE new co-worker, but because this movie is cluttered and generally doesn’t make a lot of sense, three are selected to join the crew.  These chosen ones include a bad boy former Olympian named Matt Brody (Zac Efron), the Baywatch-ready Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario) and the all-heart but out of shape and very dorky Ronnie (Jon Bass).  If you haven’t already guessed, Ronnie is the lovable goof, Summer is the moral compass and Matt is the guy who has to get yelled at and shamed a lot by Mitch so that he can learn to appreciate being a part of Baywatch.  They’re all shallow characters who never have a memorable moment on the screen.  Thankfully (but not really), the film has more at play than inter-team dealings, and it’s a whole other muddled plot about a lady (Priyanka Chopra) trying to force-ably attain real estate to build a shopping mall or something.  And she sells drugs, too!  Because why not!  Like I mentioned, this thing is a real jammed up mess.  My guess is that someone made the decision to just throw everything at the viewer to hide the movie’s extreme lack of laugh-worthy bits, but who knows for sure.

Don’t watch this sloppy, hollow, unfunny and eternally long film.  Find anything else to do.  Unless you just really like bad dick jokes, I guess.

One Last Thought:

At some point The Rock is going to have to dial back and go for more of a quality over quantity approach with his roles.  The guy is seemingly in everything, and most of it is forgettable garbage.

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Show Of The Week

May 24, 2017

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It’s a holiday weekend, so there’s a large amount of shows happening around town.  See below for extra recommendations.  If you’re just looking to go all out at one though, my pick is Ty Segall at Stubb’s on Saturday.  Here are there reasons.  1) He’s always a blast live.  2) His latest self titled album is a good one. 3) For $20 you get to see Mr. Segall plus Christian Bland, Meatbodies and The Zoltars.  What a deal!  Go have a blast.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- X, Folk Uke, John Egan at the Mohawk
- Cotton Mather, Wiretree, Slomo Drags at 3ten ACL Live

Thursday:
- The Black Angels at Waterloo Records
- Pearl Earl, Que Pasa, Pataphysics, Kay Odyssey at Cheer Up Charlies
- Bidi Bidi Banda, The Reputations at Hotel Vegas
- Metalachi, El Conjunto Nueva at Stubb’s
- Growl, Tres Ouis, Blushing at the Hole in the Wall

Friday:
- Otis The Destroyer, Blood Pumps, Think No Think, Magic Rockers of Texas at Hotel Vegas
- Black Books, Residual Kid, Slomo Drags, Modern Medicine, DJ Fitnez at Cheer Up Charlies
- Hard Proof, Greyhounds, Cilantro Boombox at the Mohawk
- Meat Puppets, Mike Watt & The Tom and Jerry Show at Barracuda
- The Joe Jacksons, Go Fever at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- Brownout, Tameca Jones, DJ Steven Lee Moya at Antone’s

Saturday:
- Meatbodies, Annabelle Chairlegs at Hotel Vegas
- Dream Machine at Hotel Vegas
- Dillinger Escape Plan, American Sharks, Illustrations at the Mohawk
- Teenage Cavegirl, The Ghost Wolves, Jamey Simms, Magic Rockers of Texas at The Swan Dive
- Brownout, Kalu James’ Electric Joint, Money Chicha at Antone’s
- Reverend Horton Heat, Flat Duo Jets, Rosie Flores, Clyde & Clem’s Whiskey Business at Come and Take It Live
- Abram Shook, Upper Deck Pets at Barrel O’ Fun

Sunday:
- Wavves, Kino Kimino at the Mohawk
- Star Parks, Birthday Club, Pearl Crush, Single Lash at Cheer Up Charlies
- A. Sinclair, El Lago, Elijah Ford, Sounds del Mar at Barracuda

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Beach House

May 23, 2017

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I’ve never been able to decide whether b-side/rarity/cover compilations are lazy or neat.  Maybe it’s just good fan service and I’m being cynical?  Regardless, Beach House have one coming that’s creatively called B-Sides and Rarities (due June 30 via Sub Pop).  The first “single” is a nice slow burner.  Enjoy.

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101X Homegrown Podcast

May 22, 2017

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Listen to the latest 101X Homegrown!  Enjoy.

The Black Angels – Currency
(NEW) The Ghost Wolves – Strychnine In My Lemonade
Otis The Destroyer – Cheatah
(NEW) Suspirians – Nocturne
(NEW) Hikes – Lit
Dream Machine – All For A Chance
(NEW) Kay Odyssey – Coming On
(NEW) Summer Salt – Revvin’ My CJ7
Growl – Date With Satan
Black Books – Golden OK
Wiretree – JF Sebastian
Abram Shook – Lisbon
Birthday Club – Having Too Much Fun
(NEW) Night Drive – Trapeze Artist Regrets


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The National

May 22, 2017

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The National have always existed in a sort of gray area for me.  Sometimes I really dig what they’re doing, other times I don’t.  Currently, I’m all about their driving new single (that I took forever to listen to because of the aforementioned stuff).  Here’s hoping there’s more of the same on their upcoming album, Sleep Well Beast, which is due September 8 via 4AD.  Enjoy.

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Movie Breakdown: Chuck

May 18, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Since the Rocky flicks seem to have run their course, someone decided to make a movie about the real life guy/boxer who inspired Sylvester Stallone to create the Italian Stallion.  Is this a story that’s worth telling?  Maybe.

Post-Screening Ramble:

It’s 1975, and there’s a top 10 fighter by the name of Chuck “The Bayonne Bleeder” Wepner (Liev Schreiber) who has been given the chance to take on the Rumble In The Jungle winner himself, Muhammad Ali.  Naturally, no one thinks he has a shot at anything but getting KO’d, but through sheer determination (and with the help of a thick skull), he lasts 15 rounds and becomes a hero to everyone in his hometown.  Then, of course, he goes about ruining his life because he’s an impulsive, selfish fool.

Chuck is a fairly brief hour and a half.  You see some lead up to the fight, the fight itself and then the downfall.  I’m sure there’s more story that could have been told, but the film works as is because what’s there is grounded and relatable.  It’s full of real people doing real things, and there’s something oddly charming and warm about the way its generally unfortunate plot unfolds.  I give all the credit to Schreiber, who turns in a great performance on the screen and as the film’s narrator.  He really does well to make you feel like Chuck’s collapse isn’t because he’s a bad person, it’s because he’s an idiot.  And let’s face it, we’ve all been there.

If you want a nice matinee (that doesn’t feature superheros and explosions and whatnot) this weekend, Chuck is a solid option.

One Last Thought:

I’ve always found Naomi Watts to be an alluring presence, but something about her in this film is just intoxicating.  Maybe it’s the red hair.  Or the don’t give a fuck attitude.  Or both.

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Lo Tom

May 18, 2017

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David Bazan is having a great year.  His recently released album, Care, is really good, and now he’s got a fancy new project called Lo Tom.  The group also features Trey Many (Velour 100, Starflyer 59), TW Walsh (Pedro the Lion, The Soft Drugs), and Jason Martin (Starflyer 59), and their debut will be out on July 14 via Barsuk.  I’m loving the catchy first single.  Enjoy.


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Show Of The Week

May 17, 2017

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Know what I’ve really been digging this year?  Conor Oberst’s Salutations.  It’s a great album with a slew of comfy country tunes on it, and I’ve left it on repeat a lot so far in 2017.  If I’m lucky, he’ll play most of it at ACL Live this Friday.  Or he won’t and I’ll have a good time anyways because its Conor Oberst, man of many great songs.  By the way, be sure to show up early to see the fantastic Julien Baker.  That girl is a legit talent.

Tix are $35-46.

Side note, also on Friday (and just below the Conor Oberst gig) is The Wild Now’s EP release party at 3TEN at ACL Live.  If you’re going to see Oberst, you should hop down and watch some of this local act’s set.  They have some fantastic pop tunes.

Tix are $10.  Shoot an email HERE for a chance to win a pair of guest list spots for The Wild Now!

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Thurston Moore Group at the Mohawk
- Basketball Shorts at the Mohawk

Thursday:
- Crooked Bangs, Hidden Ritual, Lung Letters, Autlier at Hotel Vegas
- Hot Luck Festival with Black Lips, Big Bill, Surfbort at Barracuda
- Ringo Deathstarr, Krista Van Liew, Ultraviolet, Knifight, This Cold Night, ANDY, Graffiti Trials, Jacob Green, Scorpio DJ Sets at Cheer Up Charlies
- Lowin, Star Parks at Stubb’s
- Genuine Leather, Magic Rockers of Texas, Sun June at the Sahara Lounge
- The B-52s at ACL Live at the Moody Theater

Friday:
- The Damned, The BellRays at the Mohawk
- Bad Sports, UVH, Xetas, Super Thief at the Mohawk
- Flesh Lights, Street Eaters, Nameless Frames at Hotel Vegas
- Ben Millburn, Girling, A. Sinclair at The Sidewinder
- Hot Luck Festival with Shonen Knife, Mean Jolene, Missing Pages at Barracuda
- Hot Luck Festival with Rayland Baxter, Jonathan Terrell, Carson McHone at the White Horse

Saturday:
- JD Clark, Moving Panoramas at Hotel Vegas
- Star Parks, The Battlemen, Silver Ships at The Sidewinder
- Jr. Jr. at Empire Control Room
- Food Group, Thor & Friends, Botany, Smile, Zettajoule, Roaring Sun at Cheer Up Charlies
- The Black Angels, A Place to Bury Strangers, Gonn at Stubb’s
- Hot Luck Festival with Black Joe Lewis, Bad Lovers, Payton Andrew Green at Barracuda
- Hot Luck Festival with Robert Ellis, Harvest Thieves, Altamesa at the White Horse
- Big Bill, Ladyfang, MAMIS at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- Mastodon, Eagles of Death Metal, Russian Circles at ACL Live at the Moody Theater

Sunday:
- Carson McHone, Jonathan Terrell, Booher, Motion Hotel at Barracuda
- Go Fever, Blood Pumps at Kebabalicious
- New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul, Boyz II Men at the Erwin Center

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Quickdraw: Tancred, Broken Social Scene, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Michael Nau, Tops

May 16, 2017

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I was really looking forward to seeing Tancred next month, but all of that crazy stuff with PWR BTTM killed that tour.  Bummer.  At least I got a catchy new song though to hold me over until they can manage to make it back to Austin.


If you had asked me if Broken Social Scene were still a thing, I would have said no with a fair amount of confidence.  Yet here they are.  And they sound fantastic!  Shows what I know.  Anyhow, look out for their new album, Hug Of Thunder, on July 7.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have a new album, The Echo Of Pleasure, coming on July 14.  This first single is the best thing I’ve heard from them in a long while, and I’m saying that as a fan of their recent efforts.  Great stuff here.


This track from Michael Nau makes me want to grab my lady and slow dance around the living room.  What an infectious and warm effort.  Look for his new album, Some Twist, on June 16.


Sugar At The Gate is the name of Tops’ upcoming album, and it’ll be out on June 2.  You’re broken if their new tune doesn’t make you want to move.

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101X Homegrown Podcast

May 15, 2017

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Check out the latest 101X Homegrown!  Enjoy.

The Octopus Project – Cuidate
A. Sinclair – Suit Up
Abram Shook – Lisbon
The Wild Now – Run For Your Life
The Eastern Sea – Boy In Blue
Food Group – Could I Be
Football, etc – Save
The Dizzease – Stix N Stones
Flesh Lights – No Longer
The Sour Notes – Loose Leaf And Bleak + Parallel Action
Lowin – Best Laid Plans
Big Bill – Every City
Basketball Shorts – Looking
The Black Angels – I’d Kill For Her


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Mogwai

May 15, 2017

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After watching the great Mono play a sweeping set of post rock gems at Barracuda last night, waking up to a new Mogwai single seems more than fitting.  The track is cleverly titled Coolverine, and it’s off of their upcoming album, Every Country’s Son, which is due September 1 via Temporary Residence.  Let it calm your Monday.  Enjoy.

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Movie Breakdown: King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

May 12, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

The trailers for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword haven’t been all that entertaining, but I like Guy Ritchie and the cast he assembled, so I’m at least mildly interested in the film.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Here’s the setup for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.  Uther (Eric Bana) gets betrayed by his brother, Vortigern (Jude Law), and this leaves a very young Arthur floating in a boat all on his own.  Eventually he’s found by some ladies of the night and they take him in and raise him.  Whilst Arthur is coming of age, his evil uncle begins building a tower that’s supposed to help him rule the world or something, and – of course – he can only be stopped by the Born King and Excalibur.

I will say this for Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur, it’s different.  Usually, the tale is told in a … well, knightly way, but Ritchie flips that on its head by turning Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) into a sort of back alley street brawler with a fast mouth.  This gives the film a nice edge, that’s for sure, but it makes it difficult to root for Arthur.  He’s essentially a thug and he doesn’t ever come off as anyone that should even be a knight, much less a King.  I assume this wasn’t Richie’s intention and that he actually was just trying to make Arthur cool, but it’s one of two fairly large flaws that keeps the film from being good.  The other issue is its breakneck pace.  This thing barrels along as though it’s a race to the finish, and you’re never really given any time to get to know anyone (outside of the generally unlikable Arthur) or to fully understand what the hell is going on.  Maybe a longer, more patient cut will emerge one day and fix everything, but as things stand now, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a very mediocre definition of all style and no substance.  You should wait and watch this one on your couch.

One Last Thought:

There are enormous war elephants in this film, and they made me roll my eyes.  That’s already been done and done well.  It’s time for another large creature to shine.  Maybe a rhino?  Or a hippo?

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Sheer Mag

May 11, 2017

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First of all, the artwork for Sheer Mag’s debut album, Need To Feel Your Love (due July 14), is really rad.  I just keep staring at it.  Secondly, the new single is fantastic.  That band just doesn’t know how to write anything that isn’t incredibly catchy.  Enjoy.

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Show Of The Week

May 10, 2017

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Here’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a while now – The Octopus Project’s Memory Mirror gigs!  There are three happening on Friday (7pm, 9pm, 11pm) at the Bob Bullock Museum, and they all promise to utilize “multi-sensory special-effects and experimental digital, electronic and instrumental sounds in 9-channel surround sound with immersive multi-screen visuals, rumble seats, indoor weather effects and much more.”  Oh boy.  It’s going to be rad.  Don’t miss it.

Tix are $18.  By the way, there are only tickets available for the 11pm show, so don’t wait to jump in.  Also, full disclosure, this one is presented by my radio show, 101X Homegrown.

PS – My longtime favorites Mono are playing Barracuda this Sunday.  I know that’s both the end of the weekend and Mother’s Day, but they’re always awesome.  Come hang.  Tix are $15.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- The XX, Sampha at ACL Live at the Moody Theater
- Sondre Lerche at Antone’s
- Girl in a Coma at 3ten ACL Live
- Borzoi, Leche, Unknown Relatives, Talkies, Popper Burns at Beerland
- Mitski, Helado Negro, Jesika at the Mohawk
- Grivo, Wildfires, Record Lows at the Mohawk

Thursday:
- The XX, Sampha at ACL Live at the Moody Theater

Friday:
- The Besnard Lakes, The Life and Times at Barracuda
- Tres Oui, Roaring Sun at Beerland
- Big Bill, Pollen Rx, Mean Jolene, Leather Girls, Go Fever at Hotel Vegas
- Carry Illinois, Star Parks, Lex Land at the Mohawk
- Borrisokane, Shmu, Ramesh, Young Tongue, Honey Son at Cheer Up Charlies
- Tycho, Khruangbin at Stubb’s
- Chevelle, Aeges, Silver Snakes at Emo’s
- Night Drive, Yes Ma’am Brass Band at Mueller Lake Park

Saturday:
- Tamarron, Lochness Mobsters, The Sun Machine, Soaked at Hotel Vegas
- Molly Burch, Julian Neel, June West at The Sidewinder
- Eagle Claw, Amplified Heat, Ladykiller, Salo at The Swan Dive
- Soda Lilies, Birthday Club, Critical Dad, Stretch Panic at The Electric Church
- Brian Wilson (playing Pet Sounds) with special guests Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin at ACL Live at the Moody Theater
- Index Fest with Local Natives, Frenship, Grizfolk, Calliope Musicals, DJ Mark Markus at the Austin American Statesman
- Weird City Festival with Sweet Summer featuring Cupcake, Magna Carda, LNS Crew, Scuare, Space Camp Death Squad with Bird Peterson, K-Rino, Killa Kyleon, Wallaby and Bobbes, Black DaVinci, Worldwide, Bamsworth Belli, T.Y.E. at the Mohawk

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