Author: Dante Venafro

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Austin City Limits 2017: Top 10 local Austin acts

In the wake of the Las Vegas music festival shooting, the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, Austin City Limits brought together legendary performers from all generations and proved that people will not be intimidated from coming together to enjoy music because of evil in the world.  Boasting performances from Jay Z, the XX, Solange, Ice Cube, Martin Garrix, The Killers, The Gorillaz, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper, and more the festival drew fans from around the world to Zilker Park.  However, this festival also showcased more than a dozen local Austin groups and musicians.  Below I highlight the profiles of 10 local musicians and groups that played for Austin City Limits.

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OV Recommends: Black Pistol Fire

On Friday, I sat down with Eric Owen, the drummer for Black Pistol Fire, an intense rock duo headlining the show tonight at Emo’s.  Tonight the band is celebrating the release of their new album, Deadbeat Graffiti.  With a sound inspired by Led Zeppelin, Chuck Berry, Nirvana, Buddy Holly, Muddy Waters, and Fleetwood Mac, Kevin and Eric are riding high on the release of their new album and already recording for their next project. Most importantly, their performance is raising money for Rebuild Texas Fund dedicated to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  First, I will go into my Q&A with Eric Owen and then I will talk about experiencing their live performance.

Read More the fate of streaming services

Analyzing the trends, trade-offs in digital music consumption

Streaming platforms, which continue to grow as a primary revenue stream for record labels, have successfully disrupted the music industry.  Streaming refers to music consumed legally over the internet and cloud with applications that track users listening habits and data. However, these streaming services must overcome a variety of challenges to be sustainable businesses.  First, we shall discuss the shortcomings of the top digital streaming platforms; then, we will highlight the trends that position this disruptive industry as a sustainable presence in the music industry.

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Recap: Austin Music Video Festival returns for its third year

The Austin Music Video Festival awards show Saturday night definitely helped keep Austin weird for the third year in a row.  As I first walked in to the Austin School of Film, one musician waddled by me in scuba diving flippers, drinking beer through a snorkel and laughing with another woman in bunny pajamas.  This event was sponsored with catered drinks from Tito’s Vodka, Dulce Vida’s organic Tequila, Uncle Billy‘s beer, Oskar Blues brewery, and Tubi 60’s vegan citrus Israeli liquor.  The free catered alcohol gave the venue a loose vibe and people were letting their freak flag fly.  For example, as Calliope Musicals performed in silver space suits while green aliens were dipping and dabbing in a background of cartoons and an orgy of psychedelic colors.  Other performances included women twerking with George Bush masks on and rock bands jamming out in yoga pants. To say the least, this was one of the most confusing and unique events I had ever seen.

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Austin Music Video Festival returns for its third year

The Austin Music Video Festival, now nearing its third annual start date, combined the music, art, food, and technology that everyone loves Austin for into a five day event.  Starting Tuesday, September 12th and ending Saturday, September 16th this festival gives everyone the chance to support local musicians, directors, and actors.  The AMVFest will be hosting screenings of 100 music videos, panels, live performances, mixers, and after parties all week that culminate into an awards show Saturday night.  This year the festival will feature special screenings from legendary director Spike Jonze, Flaming Lips, CHRISTEENE, and Holodeck Records, Walker Lukens, and more.  General admissions tickets are $15 a day or $65 for all five days of screenings, concerts, parties, and awards ceremonies.  AMVFest also offers VIP passes that give you access to complimentary drinks, hotel pool access, expedited lines, and priority seating.  Most importantly, a portion of all ticket sales will be donated to Americares in support of Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts.  Both types of tickets are available here.

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OV Recommends: The Mammoths

Today I spoke with David Kapsner, a singer and guitarist for The Mammoths, a local Austin band with a sound lies at the intersection of country, metal, and rock.  The band has just cancelled their San Antonio show due to the devastation and dangers of Hurricane Harvey but after playing at Stubb’s on Friday they plan to hit the road for their second tour this year. Their tour spans from Georgia and Mississippi all the way up to New York City and back just like their earlier tour this year in February 2017 except now they are able to enjoy the experience with better venues and larger audiences.