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45 RPMs Around The Sun: A Birthday Party For Jennifer Leduc

January 14, 2015

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Hello! I’m Jennifer Leduc and I’ve been a resident and lover of Austin and its music scene for 17+ years. I’ve also been a contributor here at Side One Track One since October 2011. My actual birthday (January 6th) falls during Austin Free Week, which is a fantastic gift as a local music fan, but circumstances didn’t allow holding an event during that time. So, I’m celebrating a little later than usual.

Please make a note to drop by Studium (on East 5th St, a block from I-35) this Saturday! The show is free and open to the public. Music will kick off with the adventurous indie rock of Royal Forest. They will then be followed by the dynamic duo of Demitasse performing their harmonic brand of downbeat acoustic pop. I couldn’t resist inviting them as members, Erik Sanden and Joe Reyes (who also play together in Buttercup) played at my 40th birthday bash. The party continues with the melodic sounds of Good Field. In spring 2012, I fell under the spell of their mellow, swirling guitar pop. It’s hard to articulate why I love their songs. They just simply make me happy. The final band and musical icing on the cake is Feverbones. When I first heard them, I was an instant fan of their groovy, colorful indie pop and blown away by their top notch musicianship. Whether you can stay for one band or all four, I would love for you to stop by and say hi. Kudos and thanks to all of the bands and the staff at Studium and Punctum Records.

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Demitasse (Jennifer)

April 16, 2014

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Demitasse is a side project of San Antonio-based singer/songwriters Erik Sanden and Joe Reyes from Buttercup (a musical partnership that has stretched over a decade). Their very recently released debut is titled Blue Medicine, and it displays the more downbeat, acoustic side of their sound.

In a recent interview Erik said, “Joe and I just rounded a corner in our ability to sing together. We’re sounding more like one voice. To me, it feels like a breakthrough.” In a past blog post I described Erik and Joe’s songwriting as an “irresistible meeting of art and pop; they can be offbeat and quirky but they’re also accessible and relatable.”

The album title, Blue Medicine, reflects both the common loss of their fathers and using songwriting and recording as therapy. Both on the album and in live performances, their harmonies and melodies sit alongside one another but also join together for an emotional journey. There’s the awkward tension in Couples Therapy (“then you asked me/do you really want your tombstone to read/here lieth a monster … I don’t know … oh come on”).  The struggle to banish dark thoughts on The Power Of Positive Thinking (“I ask you please don’t kill the universe with all your dark thinking/oh please give a fuck”).  And a surreal take on willing to bare all – physically and emotionally – on I Remove My Penis (“I pull my insides out and lay them across the chair/I remove my penis too/so I can think/so I can concentrate”). Like the feeling after a good cry or even accepting the presence of grief and sadness, the songs on this album provide a healing catharsis and a sigh of relief. With the arrival of Blue Medicine, Demitasse carry on their mission to fight sadness with sadness. Sad songs never felt so good.

To celebrate the album release, you can catch Demitasse this Friday in San Antonio or on April 23 in Austin. I highly recommend these shows. Erik and Joe are two of the most engaging and endearing performers around. You may be listening to a bunch of sad songs, but I promise that you will leave a Demitasse show with a grin so big that your cheeks will hurt.

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Tele Novella, Buttercup, Demitasse, Grand Marais (Jennifer)

May 8, 2013

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What do you when your band calls it a day? Well, Natalie Gordon from Agent Ribbons decided to start up Tele Novella (featuring members of Belaire and JC & Co). They made their live performance debut during SXSW and are embarking on a May/June West Coast US tour. A vinyl release (Don’t Be A Stranger 7″) is expected this summer, but in the meantime there are two songs available for free download, No Excalibur and Don’t Be A Stranger. Tele Novella combines the best of my favorite pop flavors – garage, psychedelia, indie, mod, twee – which results in a cool, refreshing musical treat perfect for adding to your summer soundtrack.

One of my favorite Texas bands of the past decade is the San Antonio based Buttercup. Their songs are an irresistible meeting of art and pop; they can be offbeat and quirky but they’re also accessible and relatable. This is a band that loves Neil Young, The Kinks, Talking Heads, The Smiths, and Elliott Smith in equal measures. Their last album, The Weather Here, was released in 2009 and with the loss of their original drummer, it was time to adapt as songwriters and performers. The core trio of remaining members, Erik Sanden, Joe Reyes, and Odie, created band alter egos in the form of Demitasse (Erik and Joe as a downbeat, acoustic duo) and Grand Marais (Erik, Joe, and Odie who are out “to write the definitive anthem for the clinically depressed”). It’s a rare, special treat for a Buttercup show these days, so I highly recommend seizing this opportunity to see them perform this Friday at Frank.

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