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Balmorhea guides us through their sonic universe

As a firm believer in the power of music, I love to see and hear the ways in which people derive meaning from music. The experience is different for everyone: from minute details (eyes open or closed; the way in which people attach themselves to particular instrumental tendrils) to overarching patterns of interaction, music influences both physical affect and mental emotion. Evidence of this is abundant in our experienced world: athletes use music to center and motivate themselves as part of pre-game rituals, while parents’ lullabies soothe and settle children at bed-time. This is where so much of the beauty of music lies: in its ability to be a visceral tool, capable of interacting with both the mind and the body in deep, profound ways.

While this capability is inherent to all music, there are artists who realize and intentionally expand upon that visceral potential so that their music resonates intimately within their audience. Their music creates a world of its own, transporting listeners to a headspace that feels as if it manifests itself both physically and emotionally. Austin’s post-rock ensemble Balmorhea has spent the last decade flirting with this potency, and with the release of their new LP Clear Language they invite their listeners to a fully-fledged universe of the band’s own dreamy devise.

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On the third Day (for Night) the Jesus Lizard rose again

The turn of the 21st century signaled immense change, to the point that the modern world would be barely recognizable to someone transported directly from 1999. Though fears of the world ending from the Y2K bug proved unfounded, for a small group of music fanatics the world may as well have ended, for in 1999 The Jesus Lizard split up.

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OV Recommends: The Botolph Jazz Trio

“If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.”

This quote was said by the esteemed jazz trumpeter, composer, and vocalist, Louis Armstrong. With jazz, it’s not about knowing; it’s about hearing and learning. The saying that all great writers were first great readers resonates with music, too. All great musicians were first great listeners.

Find out what jazz is all about and come down to Coffee Shark on 2222 and listen to Austin’s own, Botolph Jazz Trio.

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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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OV Recommends: Harry Paradise

It’s easy for people to assume that great musical successes have always been hustling in the music industry but in fact there are hundreds of musicians who never knew what their careers would later come to. Iconic musicians like Debbie Harry of Blondie and Sheryl Crow didn’t make it until later in the game when they met international success in their 30’s. Hundreds of people share those stories and have one way or another found themselves in music.

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Kids In a New Groove mentor, empower foster children through music

Co-written by Sam Votaw

For children living in foster care, consistency can be a virtually foreign concept. Often the victims of unfathomable abuse and neglect, these individuals then begin to seek security and belonging within a system where repeated home transfers—and the ensuing revolving door of friendly faces without ample enough time to make an impact—are unfortunately the norm.