A week ago today, OV stood in the effervescent company of local artists and community members at the Mohawk to celebrate the very first “Hi, How Are You?” Day, honoring the birthday of local artist, Daniel Johnston. Most well-known for his famous “Hi, How Are You?” alien-esque graffiti mural, Daniel Johnston is an American singer, songwriter, and artist whose works have been renowned for decades. Kurt Cobain was even amongst the late fan base of Daniel Johnston, mentioning him in several interviews along with wearing a “Hi, How Are You?” t-shirt to the 1992 MTV Music Awards. With a lengthy history of stomach-wrenching and heart flushing works of musical and visual art, Daniel Johnston took his devotion of artist therapy to new heights on Jan. 22nd by being a leading light in the local community’s mental-health awareness scene; a winning night for ATX as a whole.
“I never said to look to me to be the one that you rely on. And I know you wonder why I let you come so far; you won’t believe me if I tell you.” -Mobley/Tell You 
“The song deals with what happens when the passion of a grand romantic gesture has faded and what’s left is the hard work of making a life together,” Mobley spilled over to us on the release date of his latest single, Tell You. A sister song of his previous original single, Tell Me, this song continues a career long story that has slowly built up from one single to the next–starting all the way back in 2015, with Swoon.
In a world where grunge is gagged on by soft mouths and rock is dying alongside the bedsides of those who refuse to listen to Uncle Acid, the ATX based band Coattails clings to the image of Texas Fuzz Rock with a white knuckle grip. Birthed with an aggressive backbone and an intentional grit, Coattails were founded under the influence of past legends such as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Thee Oh Sees. Rich with raw prowess and the drive to stand apart, these Southern rock pioneers are fervently working on taming the beast within the blood; bringing new meaning to control, intention, and purposeful allure. Just call them The White Stripes of the new generation; except, imagine a distorted reality where Jack White had relations with John Lennon and they birthed the band Black Lips who then adopted and raised a group of fuzz monsters with the Queens of the Stone Age, and called them Coattails. Read on to learn more on the band that is bringing new life to harmonic grunge in the ATX scene, and remember: don’t get them wet, and whatever you do? Don’t feed them after midnight.
Local indie/bluesy funk band Kev Bev and the Woodland Creatures recently sat down with On Vinyl to share their insight, joy, and eclectic spin on what it is that makes the infectious “Kev Bev Sound.” Highlights from the intimate 1-on-9 conversation include a sneak peak into their upcoming album releases, obscure musical influences, and the paramount pursuit of happiness.
Skydiving, BMX-riding, car drifting, setting shit on fire, and now, sweating? Red Bull has been notorious for sponsoring all-around badass events. As of recently, Austin’s underground hip-hop and DJ dance party, Hot-Hot, has been added to the list.
South by Southwest (SXSW) is an international arts festival that displays the best of film, interactive media, and music. Unsurprisingly, there are many Austinites taking main stage at this event in March.
We’ve listed the latest batch of Austin artists performing in 2018. From brooding electronica to classic folk you can’t go wrong seeing these world-class performers.
Coming to Texas from New Mexico, I always knew I was going to be confronted by a world with which I was not entirely in tune. I had been raised in an environment and community that was innately opposed to Texas, or at the very least placed Texas at the butt of their jokes. I have some guesses as to why this might be, but none of them are very good and none of them come close to explaining the strange phenomenon. Let it suffice to say that I had some existing notions about the state that almost kept me from attending school here. A few were founded in some truth, while others are mysteries to me even now, but my deepest-rooted concern revolved around about being inescapably trapped by country music.
That sounds silly to say, of course—in the age of mobile technology and headphones, it is easy to avoid the music you don’t care for. More importantly, to discount and avoid an entire genre of music is ridiculous—especially one with a history as deep and rich as country. I am very grateful to say that my preconceptions about country music were sorely mistaken, and while I could not go so far as to say I am a fan of the genre in its entirety, I have found artists and sub-genres that I both enjoy and recognize immense value. Cody Canada is one of those artists who I believe truly embodies the spirit and power of country music traditions.
I don’t know when or how it happened, but the live music experience has changed. The warmth that used to fill venues, a tangible energy that bubbled and blossomed in the bonds made between strangers, has been replaced by a prickly and sticky heat that exerts itself in the form of cranky elbows to the ribs and an unspoken agreement not to interact with those around you (unless they have a doobie you’re trying to sneak a puff of). Maybe it’s just that we are the first generation that values the video—the tangible evidence of attendance—more than the experience itself, and this means audiences are never fully present, their experience mediated and dampened by the screen held in front of their first. I fear that this loss of this vitality is symptomatic of a larger (and unnerving) societal trend of people growing apart from one another, too invested in hollow interactions mediated by a vacuous internet to interact and engage with other humans in the real world. It is depressing to think that the venues where I grew up (in both literal and figurative senses) and which hold my fondest memories might one day be obsolete, replaced by videos and virtual reality, but I would prefer that than to see the state of live music continue its current trajectory and end up void of all meaning.
Or so I thought.
For a city whose reputation and self-image is built on its identity as the mecca for live music, one would expect Austin’s musical output to be through the roof and that the city’s musicians would be leading artists in every genre. Unfortunately, this is not entirely the case. Though there is no dearth of talented musicians in Austin, Texas, those artists who have hit the truly big-time can be counted on one hand (depending on your criteria—Willie Nelson and Spoon are probably the only inarguable names on the list) and, like the city itself, tend to pride themselves on their weirdness, their refusal to fit into existing notions and norms of music.
Given the massive popularity of hip-hop music in modern culture, it is perhaps (at first glance) no surprise then that the hip-hop community and scene in Austin is not thriving. It’s just like Austin to shun the genre that is dominating popular culture, to stand by their strange strains of psychedelia and celestial pop-funk. That said, to consider hip-hop a genre without room for “weirdness” is a massive disservice to the music and to those artists creating that music, just like excluding an entire aspect to the music industry and culture is a disservice to that community. There are, of course, some very talented rap and hip-hop artists here in Austin— they just need our attention and our support. With The Bishops leading the charge, there are some name emerging from Austin’s hip-hop community with a promising buzz to them: Clee and Ronnie Lott are two of those names. This Thursday, November 16th at Empire Control Room, Vinyl List is going to see what the buzz is all about, as these two musicians have been given the opportunity to open up for Chynna Rogers, who has the notable distinction of being the “first lady” of the A$AP Mob. We invite you to join us in discovering and supporting some of Austin’s best-kept treasures.