Read More

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

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.

Read More

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.

Read More Coffee Shark

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.

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.

Read More

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.