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Author Archives | John Laird

About John Laird

Show Of The Week

June 28, 2017

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In a weird turn of events, my SOTW is actually next week, but since it falls on a Monday and that Monday precedes a holiday, I’m rolling it out right now.  You get it?  I sort of do.  Anyways, go see STRFKR at Emo’s!  Since you (more than likely) don’t have to work on Tuesday, which is the 4th of July, you might as well blow it out on Monday and dance the night away.  Have fun.  Be safe.

Tix are $20.50.  Reptaliens will open.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Super Thief, Popper Burns, Lung Letters, Augra Nowhere at Beerland
- Shivery Shakes, Ladyfang, The Irish Exit at the Hole in the Wall
- Chon, Tera Melos, Covet, Little Tybee at Emo’s
- Deftones, Rise Against, Thrice, Frank Iero and the Patience at Austin360 Amphitheater

Thursday:
- Typical Girls, Hypoluxo, Planet Manhood, The Nymphs at Hotel Vegas

Friday:
- Hot Flash Heat Wave, Inner Wave, Summer Salt at the Mohawk
- Belcurve, The Lochness Mobsters, The Reputations, Magic Rockers of Texas at Cheer Up Charlies
- Starparks, A. Sinclair, Glass Grapes at the Hole in the Wall
- The Sour Notes, Junebug Spade at Oskar Blues Brewery

Saturday:
- White Ghost Shivers at Beerland
- Ringo Deathstarr at Hotel Vegas
- The Dan Ryan, Julia Lucille, Thor & Friends, Cowboy Crisis, Hospital Ships, Marijuana Sweet Tooth at Cheer Up Charlies

Sunday:
- The Rotten Mangos, Blackfoot Gypsies, Go Fever, Brother Wives at Cheer Up Charlies
- Bush, My Jerusalem at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater

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Cloakroom

June 27, 2017

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Want to get lost in something today?  If yes, then get ready to love Cloakroom’s first single off of their upcoming album, Time Well (due August 18).  It’s big and shoegazey and it will just swallow you up.  I’m very excited to hear more from these guys.  Enjoy.

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Movie Breakdown: Baby Driver

June 26, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Baby Driver looks like it’s going to be a real winner.  Not that this is in any way surprising, as it was written and directed by the one and only Edgar Wright.  That guy is just the best.

Post-Screening Ramble:

I can’t say that Baby Driver is as great as anything in Edgar Wright’s Corentto Trilogy or as quirky as his Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, but it is very entertaining and easily one of the best movies to be released in the first half of 2017.  The plot here is pretty simple – Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a wheelman because he owes a debt to Doc (Kevin Spacey), he meets Debora (Lily James), this proves to be life-changing – and there aren’t any real surprises, but that’s fine because Baby Driver is all about action and music.  The car chases in this thing are a blast.  Actually, just watching Baby walk to get coffee is fun, and that’s because the film doesn’t just have a good soundtrack, there’s a rhythm to the whole thing.  Gun shots, convos, strolls around town, whatever – it’s all set to specific songs and cues within them, and it’s pretty damn impressive.  Now I get why Wright had the entire soundtrack approved before he even started filming.

As I mentioned up above, Baby Driver may not be Wright’s best film – it does have a few things, namely the end, that feel a bit tacked on – but it is a clever, entertaining effort that you’d have to try really hard to not like.  Definitely see it as soon as you can.

One Last Thought:

I sincerely hope that Ansel Elgort is able to follow up Baby Driver with some good projects.  The kid is talented, and he shouldn’t be spending his time in drivel like Allegiant and The Fault In Our Stars.

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101X Homegrown Podcast

June 26, 2017

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Here’s the latest 101X Homegrown.  Enjoy.

A. Sinclair – Just Remind Me
Sweet Spirit – The Power
Alex Napping – Living Room
The Sour Notes – Ride It Out
Big Bill – Stand Still
Summer Salt – Candy Wrappers
Magna Carda – Angela Bassett
Ramesh – The King
The Dan Ryan – Guidance
Julia Lucille – Eternally
Adam Torres – Dusty Wing Spirit
Molly Burch – Wrong For You
She Sir – Private Party
Wiretree – Let Me In


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Generationals

June 26, 2017

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I’ve been steadily checking out the singles that Generationals have released this year, but until Mythical (today’s track and the fourth in the band’s series) none of them had really caught my attention.  I’m guessing I just like that it sounds like old Generationals.

The band hasn’t yet announced a new album, but I’m assuming that at some point all of these songs will end up on an official release.  Enjoy.

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Filthy Friends

June 22, 2017

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Sleater Kinney’s Corin Tucker, R.E.M.‘s Peter Buck and Bill Rieflin, Minus 5′ Scott McCaughey, and Fastbacks’ Kurt Bloch are Filthy Friends, and they’ve just announced their debut album, Invitation (due 8/25).  As you may recall, I shared a couple of their tracks back in April.  Below is the LP’s first official single.  It’s a rocker that makes good use of Corin’s howl, so (of course) I really dig it.  Enjoy.

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Show Of The Week

June 21, 2017

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This week there’s a show that I’ve been excited about for a bit now, and it’s Magna Carda’s Good Friday (Part 5) at the Mohawk.  Presented by 101X Homegrown Live (that’s my radio show!), it also features Bobby Sessions, Zeale + NGHT HCKLRS (as Blastfamous USA), Kydd Jones and DJ Charlie.  It’s going to be fantastic.  Come on out and let’s get sweaty with some of Austin’s best hip hop acts.

Advance tix are $12. Day of show tix will be $15. Doors 8:00pm. ALL AGES.


BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Lee Ranaldo (of Sonic Youth), Steve Gunn, Meg Baird at The North Door
- Pretty Shitty, A. Sinclair, Bond Twins, Talkies at Fine Southern Gentlemen
- Boogarins at The Sidewinder

Thursday:
- Ancient River, Westerners, The Sour Notes at Cheer Up Charlies

Friday:
- Young Tongue, Belcurve at Barrel O’ Fun
- Future, Young Thug, Tory Lanez, Kodak Black, Zoey Dollaz at Austin360 Amphitheater

Saturday:
- Knife in the Water, The Crack Pipes, Will Courtney at Hotel Vegas
- Croy & The Boys, Bad Lovers, John Schooley, DJs Corey & Caleb at Hotel Vegas
- Jonathan Terrell, Strahan & The Good Neighbors, Shane Cooley & The Midnight Girls, Batty Jr. at Hotel Vegas
- A Giant Dog, Missing Pages, Dead Flowers at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- Booher, Whalers, Corvette Summer, The Dizzease, Brother Superior at Cheer Up Charlies
- Danny Malone, Sydney Wright, Color Candy at Cheer Up Charlies
- Abram Shook, Good Field, Ruby Fray at the Mohawk
- Star Parks, The Belle Sounds at 3ten ACL Live

Sunday:
- Murder By Death, Tiger Army, Tim Barry at the Mohawk
- Jacuzzi Boys, The Zoltars, Crocodile Tears at the Mohawk

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Movie Breakdown: Transformers: The Last Knight

June 21, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

There’s not a single part of me that believes Transformers: The Last Knight is going to be worth my time.  With that being said, I really feel like Michael Bay and Co. have to eventually get one of these right.  They just have to!

Post-Screening Ramble:

I try to avoid labeling things as awful or amazing (because most of the time they’re not either), but Transformers: The Last Knight is a truly awful movie.  It’s not fun, and it’s confusing as hell.  From what I could gather, here’s the story.  Back in the Dark Ages, Merlin (Stanley Tucci, for some reason) was a drunk who stumbled upon a derelict spaceship.  In it was a transformer who gave him an all powerful staff and the ability to control a three-headed robo-dragon.  Sloshed Merlin then used both to save all of England.  Afterwards his actions became myth and the super staff (and accompanying dragon) went missing.  Flash forward to now-ish, and Optimus Prime is floating in space and transformers have been outlawed on Earth.  There’s a unit called the Transformers Resistance Force (TRF) who hunt down robo-kind and destroy them because people are tired of having their homes and stuff blown up.  Inside of the TRF are double agents (namely a spikey-haired Josh Duhamel) who also work for the Army (but in a different branch?) and they’re kind of OK with transformers, but they also want to see them gone.  In addition to these guys, there’s Cade Yeager (a bewildered Mark Wahlberg), and he spends his time saving transformers because he believes they should be allowed to live on Earth.  There’s also a young girl, Izabella (a spunky but annoying Isabela Moner), who Cade saves near the beginning of the movie.  She happens to be good at fixing transformers, but she and her rickety robo-pal never really do anything but get in the way.  Then there’s a lot of Autobots (like Bumblebee) and Decepticons (like Barricade) in play.  Unsurprisingly, Megatron is around, too, and he wants to find the legendary staff (why didn’t he know about it in previous movies?) and destroy Earth.  On top of all these regular and metal characters is Sir Edumnd Burton (a bizarre Anthony Hopkins) and his trusty robo-sidekick, Cogman.  They’re a part of some secret organization that protects transformers.  PLUS, there’s Vivian Wembley (a Megan Fox-looking Laura Haddock), a lady who can’t seem to land herself a man, but she knows a lot about King Arthur, Merlin and the like.  That’s everyone/thing, I think.  In any case, they all end up jammed together because Optimus Prime meets his maker, the all CG and very video gamey Quintessa, and she goes about convincing him to transport Cybertron to Earth so that they can restore it and have a new place to live.  This could mean the end of Earth (just like in all the movies before this one).

Whew.  As you may have noticed, that’s a fuck ton of plot … and it’s just the setup for acts two and three of The Last Knight.  So much more follows!  This damn film just never shuts up.  It spews out plot like few things I’ve ever seen before, and after a while it becomes impossible to figure out what’s going on.  Also, this movie is obnoxiously loud.  I – and I’m not kidding here – sat next to a couple with two crying children, and it didn’t even bother me all that much because they were constantly drowned out by yelling and explosions.

Don’t see this movie.  It’s terrible.

One Last Thought:

I find it bizarre that I can’t at all tell whether or not Michel Bay enjoys making these movies.  I know it’s possible he only does it for the big payday, but surely some part of it is fun for him?  Why doesn’t it ever show up on the screen?

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Washed Out

June 20, 2017

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It’s Tuesday, so let’s do some dancing!  To help set the mood I’ve got the latest from Washed Out, who have a new visual album, Mister Mellow, coming on June 30.  The song is a house-ish effort meant to explore “Millennial malaise.”  You can think about what that means while moving those hips.  Enjoy.


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101X Homegrown Podcast

June 19, 2017

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Check out the latest 101X Homegrown.  Enjoy.

(NEW) Big Bill – Stand Still
A Giant Dog – Sleep When Dead
(NEW) The Sour Notes – Ride It Out
(NEW) A. Sinclair – Just Remind Me
(NEW) Jerk – Socotra
Magna Carda – Angela Bassett
(NEW) Blastfamous (Zeale + Nght Hcklrs) – Not Your City
(NEW) Quin Galavis – Any Head
Growl – New Sincerity
Abram Shook – Device
(NEW) She Sir – Private Party
(NEW) The Dan Ryan – Guidance
Booher – Autographin’ Bibles
Julia Lucille – Eternally

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Dizzee Rascal

June 19, 2017

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Back when I was in college I really loved Dizzee Rascal’s Fix Up, Look Sharp.  It’s a totally ridiculous song, and I put it on a lot of mixes because it would always got a fun reaction from people.  Throughout the years since then I haven’t listened to Mr. Rascal all that much, but I just had to give his new tune a shot when I came across it over the weekend.  I dig it!  He doesn’t sound as grimey as he did way back when, but it’s cool stuff.  I’m going to have to spend some time with his upcoming album, Raskit (due July 21).  Enjoy.

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Movie Breakdown: Rough Night

June 16, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

There hasn’t been a single Rough Night trailer that’s made me blow air out of my nose, but I also haven’t seen anything that’s made me roll my eyes and sigh.  I guess this means I’m feeling like there’s a chance it’ll be good.  If it isn’t, something something about getting to look at Scarlett Johansson.

Post-Screening Ramble:

I was pleasantly surprised by Rough Night.  It’s essentially your standard party gone wrong type of R-rated comedy that has plenty of dick jokes, drugs, sex and all the other usual things, but what’s there is dialed just right.  This is especially the case with the cast, which is principally made up of Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Zoe Kravitz, Ilana Glazer and Kate McKinnon.  They not only have great chemistry and co-exist on the screen in a way that doesn’t just feel like a bunch of famous people constantly yelling, but each of them inject real personalities into their characters.  This means there’s not just one person who is funny or straight-laced or whatever, they’re all a little bit of everything, and this keeps the film (and its paint-by-numbers plot) feeling fresh since you’re never fully sure how any of them are going to react to something.

Look, I’m not going to tell you that Rough Night is one of the greatest comedies ever or anything like that.  It’s a solid movie that’s got plenty of laughs and some nice performances, and you could certainly do a lot worse at the theater this weekend.  I say give it a go.

One Last Thought:

It’s interesting to think about Scarlett Johansson’s career.  Way back in 2005 when she did Michael Bay’s The Island, everyone cried out in horror, and now people high five when she stars in stuff like Ghost In The Shell, Rough Night and all those Marvel movies.  Good for her.  I wonder where she goes from here, though?

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Chelsea Wolfe

June 15, 2017

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This morning I spent some time with the new song from The Killers and its awfulness drove me to wanting something heavy and raw.  Enter Chelsea Wolfe!  She just announced her sixth album, Hiss Spun (due 9/22), and put out a glorious rocker of a single called 16 Psyche.  I’ve already listened to it four or five times.  Be sure to turn it up.  Also, if you’re in Austin, be sure to see her at the Paramount on October 6.  Enjoy.

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Movie Breakdown: Cars 3

June 15, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

I mostly like the first Cars movie, which is essentially just a re-imagining of Doc HollywoodCars 2 is truly terrible.  Cars 3 seems like it may get the franchise back on … track.  I’m down, if only to further support Pixar.

Post-Screening Ramble:

For a moment there I thought that Cars 3 was going to be like Rocky 3.  Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is a champion, he’s shiny and happy, he’s got loads of friends and fans, and his lady has the body of a Porsche.  Everything is wonderful!  Until, out of nowhere, a new challenger with a cool name – Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) – comes along and takes it all away.  Doesn’t that sound like what Clubber Lang did to Rocky?  Yes, yes it does.

Unfortunately, nothing after this setup is even half as fun or interesting as Rocky 3.  The story is very hollow, and I often found myself side-eying its variety of lazily constructed and halfhearted messages.  The main issue though is McQueen, who swerves about and spends his time either whining or being a dick to the film’s other main character, a race car trainer named Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo).  He’s very unlikable, which is bizarre considering that he’s the face of this animated franchise for children.  Talk about getting something way wrong.

I can’t recommend Cars 3, as it just isn’t any good – for you or your kids.  Spend your money and time elsewhere.

One Last Thought:

Nothing about the Cars “world” makes any sense.  Everything in it seems crafted for humans, but there aren’t any around.  I know this is silly (it’s just an animated movie meant to sell toys, man), but for some reason I found it wildly distracting in the third go-round.  I just kept thinking “what is this place and how did it get this way?” over and over.

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Show Of The Week

June 14, 2017

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There are a lot of things happening this week – Solstice Festival, a slew of local album releases parties (Quin Galavis, Night Drive, Matthew Logan Vasquez) and something called Fasten Fest (with Beach Fossils!).  When I scan all the listings though, one show in particular sticks out, and it’s Eternal Summers with local faves Tres Oui and Lola Tried on the inside stage at the Mohawk this Saturday.  All three bands are fantastic, and they’ll sound stellar in that small room.  You should drop in and soak up a slew of great pop tunes.  Tix are $10.

PS – Rain and other unfortunate circumstances have bumped some of the recent shows I’ve booked for 93.7 KLBJ’s Sunset Concert Series, but I feel good that this week’s gig is going to happen.  So, come on out to Ernie’s on the Lake this Sunday for A. Sinclair, Summer Salt and Lowin.  Music starts at 5pm.  FREE!

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Transit Method, On Delay, Maxam at the Mohawk
- Matthew Squires, Mathew Wojcik, Julian Hernandez at the Carousel Lounge
- Blues on the Green with Grupo Fantasma, Hard Proof at Zilker Park
- Merchandise, B Boys, Street Themes at The Sidewinder

Thursday:
- Spiral Stairs, Moving Panoramas at 3ten ACL Live
- Jonathan Terrell at Oskar Blues Brewery
- Solstice Festival -
El Tule, Money Chicha, Tio Chico at Empire Control Room
Henry + the Invisibles, The Lagoons, Huggy & the Feel Goodz, Emme at the Mohawk

Holiday Mountain, GGOOLLDD, The Bishops at the Mohawk

Omenihu, Nicolas Azlon, Alesia Lani, TBA at The Sidewinder
Riders Against the Storm, Black Rodeo, Melat at The Sidewinder

Friday:
- Quin Galavis at Beerland
- Octopus Project, Ringo Deathstarr, Mystic Braves, The Creation Factory at Barracuda
- Half-O-Ween 6 with Mean Jolene, Popper Burns, Stretch Panic, Count Davula and His Vampire Brides at the Sahara Lounge
- Night Drive, Orthy, Keeper, Single Lash, Lambda at Cheer Up Charlies
- The Milligan Vaughan Project at Antone’s
- Matthew Logan Vasquez, Glass Grapes, Jason Blum at the Continental Club
- Solstice Festival -
Bayonne, The Midnight Stroll, The Wild Now at Empire Control Room
Continental Drift, Ten Foot Beast, Hour Band at the Mohawk

The London Souls, Leopold and his Fiction, Otis the Destroyer at the Mohawk

Groove Think, Kev Bev & the Woodland Creatures, Shane Cooley, Josh Koons Band at The Sidewinder

Nina Diaz, Charlie Belle, Light Wheel at The Sidewinder

Saturday:
- Fasten Fest with Beach Fossils, Quiet Company, Trouble in the Streets, El Rancho, The Roomsounds, Those Poor Serfs, The Nightowls, Darrin Bradbury, Mama K and the Shades, DJ Justin Martin at Fair Market
- Girlpool, Snail Mail at Barracuda
- Jonathan Terrell, Carson McHone at 3ten ACL Live
- Clyde and Clem, Harvest Thieves, Heavens To Betsy, Leslie Reynaga at the Hole in the Wall
- Solstice Festival -
JJ Grey & Mofro, Built to Spill, The Bright Light Social Hour, Los Coast, Sweet Crude, The Halfways, Golden Dawn Arkestra, Radio Moscow, Capyac, Mobley, Hunter Sharpe, Slomo Drags at Pan Am Park
Mobley, Capyac at Empire Control Room

Sunday:
- Thelma & The Sleaze, Birdcloud, The Rated Exes, Mean Jolene at Hotel Vegas
- RG Lowe at Waterloo Records

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