Monday, November 30, 2009

Concert Review: J Tillman at Mohawk

photo by Mary Rehak

Friday night was yet another perfect night in Austin, Texas. The weather was cool, but not cold. With almost a full moon to light up the night sky and a few visible stars, the setting for a J. Tillman concert outdoors couldn’t have been any better if it were scripted in a Hollywood indie film. The drummer from Fleet Foxes was at the mic singing while playing guitar in front of a bunch of bearded hipsters wearing flannels and indie couples sitting down on the cold pavement floor of Mohawk.

In all my years of coming to see shows at Mohawk, I have never seen a show where most of the audience was sitting down in front of the outdoor stage. It was a nice change and appropriate for the type of live show Tillman and his backing band perform.  It isn’t like anyone is going to be starting a pit or crowd surfing at this show. My only qualm with sitting on the pavement to watch the show was getting stuck in front of the only drunk idiot trio of wannabe hipsters who couldn’t shut up there for a while. Still, not even they could have ruined a great performance by Tillman.

photo by Mary Rehak

That being said, even I was taken by surprise at how much I enjoyed Tillman’s set. He played a good mix of his singer song-writer, coffee house folk I came to expect along with some pretty angsty sounding, ambient indie rock. You should have seen Tillman’s wild Rick Rubin-esque beard blowing in the wind and waving around as he aggressively strummed his electric guitar. Simply put, Tillman and company put a lot of the young post rockers I’ve seen to shame. Again, I thought he was all coffee shop and had no idea he rocked like that.

The other surprise of the night was how funny Tillman could be. It wasn’t like stand up funny, but more like nerdy music guy funny. He shared his story about his Waterloo Records music purchase with the crowd, as he played an in store earlier in the day there. Apparently, Waterloo’s owner gives performers a discount on purchases while there at Waterloo. According to Tillman, the owner wanted to see what he had purchased with his discount. Tillman assumed it was probably in hopes of seeing what great album or obscure vinyl he may have picked out, but Tillman only had a Battlestar Galactica DVD in hand. He stopped the story there, but that’s all that needed to be said really.

Tillman also made reference to Robbie Williams of all people, when thanking the audience for cheering a minute before a song was over. He wasn’t being snarky, but rather trying to communicate how awesome he felt to have people cheering while he was playing music and singing the way people do when they see someone like Robbie Williams. It just took us all by surprise to hear the name “Robbie Williams” come out of this awesomely bearded rock star’s mouth. Did I mention his beard was awesome?

photo by Mary Rehak

Overall, the best part of the show was the music. Having performed songs mostly from his latest album, Year in the Kingdom, Tillman reminded me how much more I like his music in comparison to Fleet Foxes. If I wasn’t so close to the stage to clearly see and hear Tillman, I would have sworn I was listening to the CD itself. He was that spot on vocally Friday night, only with a much fuller sound given he had his whole band backing him. Too bad no one was recording this for a live video. This would have been the show to do it. The sound…the setting…everything was perfect.

Set List from Friday Night's concert:

All You See
When I Light Your Darkened Door
No Occasion
Vacilando Territory
Howling Light
Though I Have Wronged You
Barter Blues
Master's House
There Is No Good In Me
New Imperial Grand Blues

(Review written and published on

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Two Great Latino Singer-Songwriters: Vicci Martinez & Arthur Yoria

This week on AustinVida my good friends Sarah Vasquez and Alysha Hernandez featured two great singer-songwriters, both Latino. I just wanted to share a little about these artists with you all and link you to the interviews. I do it to also show the wide variety of genres covered on Austin Vida, something I don't think anyone else really does in terms of Latino media based out of Austin.

The first interview is with Seattle based Vicci Martinez. She came through here last month sometime and performed at Momo's, a great venue for this type of genre. I got wind of her when I was reading something online one day and saw her name. Truth be told, I thought it was a friend of mine by the same name that I hadn't seen in years. I "Googled" her and came across a musician's MySpace page. Coincidentally, singer-songwriter Vicci had an Austin date on her tour schedule and the rest is history. She has a great voice, especially from someone who is so little. This girl has something. Give her a listen and check out Sarah's interview with Vicci Martinez.

Read the full interview here: Austin Vida interview with Vicci Martinez

Also on the singer-songwriter front this month on Austin Vida is Arthur Yoria. I have known about this dude for a while, but he hasn't blown up the spot like I think he's capable of. He is of Colombian descent but born and raised here in the U.S. He is a creative dude to say the least, but not in that weird sense where general audiences would be turned off. Some of my crew and I saw him at Momo's recently, at midnight on a Tuesday. It was the best Tuesday at midnight show I remember seeing. Yoria was like the Carrot Top of singer-songwriters, pulling out different instruments left and right.

Yoria uses some sort of music recorder mechanism that records sounds and loops that sound it records. He then creates another sound, records it and adds it to the loop. It makes him a one man band, literally. It is not something I haven't seen before, but it's been so long and the last time I saw someone do it live it didn't impress me like Yoria did. Watch this video all the way through to get the idea.

Click the link below to read the Arthur Yoria interview by Alysha Hernandez on Austin Vida:

Arhtur Yoria on Austin Vida

If you like what you hear, please check out the links on Austin Vida. While Vicci Martinez doesn't have anything on the books for Austin anytime soon, Yoria will be here again in December. See the article for details.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's a Mohawk Weekend: J. Tillman and Cursive

Fleet Foxes drummer, J. Tillman, is coming through Austin Friday night to do his solo thing at The Mohawk. The interest in Tillman is obviously The Fleet Foxes connection, but he has actually had solo stuff before joining Fleet Foxes. He music is more along the lines of indie singer-songwriter with a bluesy touch. It's definitely not something I could listen to while in traffic, but definitely when relaxing at home. His Year in the Kingdom album is a must have for not only Fleet Foxes fans, but anyone who loves good indie-folk stuff. Other than maybe A.A. Bondy, it is my favorite indie-folk album released this year.

Saturday at Mohawk marks the return one of my favorite bands of all time, Cursive, back to Austin. They haven't been here since SXSW in March. I wasn't sure they would make it back around this way, but they're coming Saturday. Their latest record, Mama I'm Swollen, is their best since The Ugly Organ. I reviewed it earlier in the year for Double Stereo, and don't have anything negative to say about it. That review turned several of my friend into Cursive fans, and they were people who I wouldn't have guessed would be into it. It just goes to show good music is good music, and that is all that matters sometimes.

Opening for Cursive is their touring mate, Capgun Coup. I know little of the band, but look forward to checking them out after listening to some of their music. It's like indie meets surf rock or garage. Speaking of listening to music, check out the latest video from Cursive. It's for their song "Let Me Up" off their current album, Mama I'm Swollen.

Let Me Up from Cursive on Vimeo.

For ticket info or to purchase advance tickets, click the following link:

Mohawk Austin website

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Pick: T-Bird & The Breaks at Momo's

With all your relatives in town, or if you're visiting from out of town, you are going to want to get out of the house. You'll either want to A) get the hell away from the them until it is time for them to leave back to the crap city that they came from or B) go out and show the family you love a good time in Austin, Texas. Even on holidays such as Thanksgiving, there are plenty of good live shows to choose from. How do you choose from so many? I'll make it easy on you.

My Thanksgiving pick is for one of my favorite local groups, T Bird and The Breaks. I first saw these guys at the 2008 Sound & The Jury contest at Antone's. In fact, they were who I would have chosen as the winner even though I wasn't there to see them that night. This ten piece soul group is a throwback to time when music was good. They are a throwback to the blue eyed soul your parents grew up listening to on vinyl. With a brass section, three female back up singers and one funky ass white boy singing lead, they can do no wrong. They kind of remind me of this group from one of my favorite '90s movies, The Commitments. Anyone else remember that one? With the those cool Irish dudes?

After stuffing your big ass with turkey all day and watching the Cowboys barely beat the Raiders, you will need to work off everything you ate. There is no better way to do that then heading down to Momo's Thursday night on 618 W. 6th St. You'll see it right by Katz's Deli for those of you who may need a land mark to reference. Also playing at Momo's Thursday will be Brett Randell at 8:00pm and Blues Mafia at 10:00pm. T Bird and The Breaks go on at midnight. By then you should be tipsy or stupid drunk, so T Bird will sound even better than they all ready do. I'm telling you, they are a great party band even your momma will like. Check out their latest single here and listen for yourself:

<a href="">Monkey Wrench by T Bird and the Breaks</a>

For more on T Bird and The Breaks, visit the following links:

T Bird and The Breaks official website

T Bird and The Breaks on MySpace

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Interview: Kinky for 10 minutes on Austin Vida

Me with Ulises Lozano (keyboards) from Kinky

 Over the past decade, the Latin alternative genre has grown by leaps and bounds. The music is more diverse and more modern in comparison to its rock en español roots of the '80s and early '90s. The Monterrey, Mexico, music scene is responsible for a large part of that growth and evolvement. Monterrey's own Latin alternative headliners (all-stars, maybe), Kinky, are a large part of that growth and the genre's success. Having conquered the Monterrey club scene early on, the quintet's worldwide fan base has only grown. Having released what may be their best album in spring of 2009, Barracuda, their stock will only continue to rise.

Unfortunately, Kinky was not able to play a show here in Austin this year. In order to see one of the greatest Latin alternative acts on the scene, Austin Vida had to travel up Interstate-35 to catch them at the House of Blues in Dallas. Before their set, we got to speak with Ulises Lozano (keyboards) for 10 minutes to chat about Barracuda, soccer, video games and what's coming up in 2010 for the Monterrey rockers.

Pictures from the show in Dallas by Austin Vida photo editor, Mari Hernandez:

Click here to read the interview with Ulises Lozano and check out our exclusive live video from the show:

Kinky for 10 Minutes

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Monday, November 23, 2009

We're finally doing it! Our first Austin Vida Showcase!

That's right! After a year of working our asses off to make Austin Vida what is today, we're throwing a party to celebrate. We hooked up with local Latin music experts, Conexion Rockera, to bring you some of the best from Austin's Latin music scene. I couldn't be happier with the line up we were able to put together for this one. Everyone of these artists will have people dancing and partying all night long. You're all invited if you're over 21. We don't do this often, but when we do, we plan on doing it big and doing it right. Here's some info about the performing artists.

Maneja Beto:

Maneja Beto is one of my personal favorites. Why these dudes never got picked up by a major label is beyond me. No one sounds like them. I can't really compare them to anyone you'd know other than maybe telling you they are sort of this unique hybrid or fusion band along the same lines as Cafe Tacvba or Aterciopelados. The genre they kind of go by and I use also is indie en Espanol. They fuse Brit-pop, indie, jazz, traditional Latin percussion, cumbias and  lately some funk even. They recently released their latest single, "Ofrendas", and plan on releasing one single per month. I'll make sure to keep you posted. I'm stoked they agreed to headline our showcase, as they represent the standard in Latin Alternative coming from Austin.

El Tule:

El Tule has been playing in Austin for around six years or so now, and now is the time to see them live. I don't think I wold have said that two years ago. I am not saying that to BS anyone, but they've gotten so much better live this past year. I am not sure what it is attributed to, but I think it is because they picked up the tempo and ditched the whole Latin reggae thing. When I saw them at Xemumba Fest in October, I was shocked and impressed. Their new album, Volumen II, was just released last week.

Did I mention that these dudes are mostly white dudes? Including the lead singer? You'd have a hard time finding someone more Mexicano that John Dell. His border Spanish is better than your high school Spanish II level education. He gets down too, trust me. He can have my brown card anytime. Like Asher Roth, Eminem or even Channing Tatum, he too proves being white is no longer an excuse not to get down. If only there were more people like you John Dell...

Este Vato:

Este Vato, translated "this dude', is one of the best new up and comers in the Austin music scene. I swear they came out of no where. I didn't even knew they existed last year. I first saw them at Trophy's in February. I remember my friends and Austin Vida crew members, Angela and Mari, went with me that night. We were all surprised that Este Vato were as good as they were. We expected worse to be honest. Is that fair to say? Probably not, but I'm just being honest with you here.

When Chano came took the mic and started rapping, I was like "aawwww shit!". He sure did. They play with a live DJ, drawing comparisons to Ozomatli or being called a young Ozomatli. I wouldn't go that far yet, but the potential is certainly there if these young vatos keep at it. I dig their cumbia stylings and overall swag.With their debut album in the works, expect big things for Este Vato in 2010.  More importantly, I expect to
 be getting down with Este Vato on December 19th at The Beauty Bar.

DJ Chorizo Funk:

The showcase starts at 9:00pm with DJ Chorizo Funk (love that name!) spinning to get the party started. With a name like that, you know he's a bad ass. He has to be. I have to also give "kudos" to The Beauty Bar for letting us put on an all Latino showcase. Usually bands like Este Vato and Maneja Beto have to play with non-Latin bands in order to play a show there. Maybe it is because that is how the individual promoter has been booking shows with those artists, I don't know. Either way, it has been a long time since I remember seeing  an all local Latino band showcase there. I hope to see you all there. All are welcome. It's only $5 to get in if you're 21 or older. Feel free to send me an email with any questions. Thanks for all your support, for reading my blog, Double Stereo and Austin Vida.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Album Review: 'Coconut Rock' by Ocote Soul Sounds

Ocote Soul Sounds is the combined musical genius of Adrian Quesada and Martin Perna. Both come from big bands, as in bands with lots of members and popularity, while coming from different worlds. Many of you may have seen them live recently with their friends, Thievery Corporation. They’ve played with some of the biggest names and most talented of musicians known and less known. With Coconut Rock, Ocote’s third release, they may have created something unique that holds its own that will make people forget about all of that.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Music I Listen To: The Twilight Sad

The Twilight Sad

Lately I have been getting asked more questions about who I listen to, as opposed to what I review. Like what do I listen to for my own enjoyment and pleasure when not reviewing albums? What's in my car stereo or iPod? Those questions came from complete strangers I was meeting for the first time and from friends who I keep in touch with through Facebook. So, I decided I am going to answer that question in a regular column here on my music blog.

It seemed like a good thing to do since I will be getting away from some writing in 2010 to take more of an editor's role and give new writers a chance to shine. I will still do some interviews and reviews, just not in the same capacity I used to. As usual, I'll link them here so you can find them easily. This column won't be reviews in the traditional format, but rather less formal and me speaking freely.  

For the first installment of Music I listen To, I would like to introduce you all to The Twilight Sad. Right now I think they are the best indie band on the planet. I can't stop listening to their latest album, Forget The Night Ahead. Their shoegazey indie meets post rock style appeals to my love of crunchy guitar and spacey notes. Combined with lead singer James Graham's thick Scottish accent, you have one of the most original indie bands on the scene.

I got to check out The Twilight Sad live in Austin this past April when they played at Mohawk. It was a Sunday night and that meant they had to play the inside stage. For those of you outside of Austin, there is a noise ordinance on the Live Music Capital's most popular and iconic street, Red River. It wasn't always that way, but then some idiots thought it was a good ideas to put up high end condos right smack int he middle of it all. In theory it sounds cool to have the Red River music district outside your door, but because the city has laws about decibel levels around residences, there lies the problem. That's the short version.

Me with James Graham, lead singer of The Twilight Sad, in April 2009

So in the tiny and cramped area known as Mohawk's inside stage, which could be any small bar venue really, my good friend, fellow blogger and Austin Vida's managing editor Ajay Miranda checked out their set. I forgot why we were there, maybe it was for The Twilight Sad, maybe it was for an opener. Anyway, we were blown away at how awesome theses dudes were. There weren't too many people there, but I've seen Mohawk less full. Again, it was a Sunday night. It was actually better that way so I could get a chance to chat with them and snap a photo for my collection. They were very cool dudes and very tired from the grind that is touring. I look forward to interviewing them one day soon hopefully, but until then I have both of their albums and an some five song EP of theirs I found online shortly after their show to hold me over.

Their first album is called Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters. Although I dig that record, I prefer the more melodic Forget The Night Ahead. Both have me singing along in what is an awful sounding Scottish accent, but I can't help it as it sounds weird to me with any other tongue to it. The album came out in in the U.S. on October 5th and is available on Fat Cat Records. Here's the video for one of my favorite tracks off Forget The Night Ahead called "I Became A Prostitute"

The Twillight Sad - I Became A Prostitute from TLOBF.COM on Vimeo.

For more on The Twilight Sad, visit their official website HERE.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ian's Indie Girl Crush Series Volume Four: Alison Sudol

A Fine Frenzy

For my latest Indie Girl Crush, I decided to go with gorgeous and talented red head. Alison Sudol, lead singer of A Fine Frenzy, absolutely melted me last month when I saw A Fine Frenzy at The Parish here in Austin. Her voice reminded me of one of my teenage crushes I had as a teen, Tori Amos. It is as if Sudol is Tori Amos 2000. She even plays the piano ( a la Tori Amos) and has blue-ish green eyes that draw you in. If she didn't list Amos as her primary influence, I'd be shocked.   

That show at The Parish was the first show of her tour supporting her album latest album, Bomb in a Birdcage. It is her second release after a successful first release entitle One Cell In the Sea. I remember at the time that album was out, I got my first glimpse of Sudol on one of those VH1 promos they do called "Artists You Outta Know" or something to that regard. Her big single at that time was the tear jerker, "Almost Lover". I have yet to meet a girl who doesn't instantly love that song. The rest of the album didn't for me though, despite being impressed with Sudol's talent and beauty.

A Bomb In a Bird Cage, however, is excellent. I got to hear the songs for the first time live and at a perfect venue for A Fine Frenzy's sound. Some of the slower songs tended to sound a lot like each other, but none lacked depth or substance. The album is louder and shows off different sounds in comparison to One Cell In the Sea. Live in concert, Sudol shows off her personality. She is charming, at times funny and not afraid to embarrass herself. I'll go ahead and say it...she's actually a big dork posing as an Urban Outfitters model. She even looks good sweaty. Girls should absolutely hate her but instead they love her, as do I. Who could hate those puffy lips that would make Angelina jealous?

So Aison Sudol, the next time you come around to Austin, leave your boyfriend at home. Let's go to a bookstore, have some fancy ass coffee I can't pronounce and go shopping for records. Let's talk about all this angst and give you some new inspiration for your next album. You could call it "Goodbye My Almost Latin Lover". I'll even appear in the video, free of charge.

Check out Alison Sudol here with A Fine Frenzy live on this great video from The Artist Den:

A Fine Frenzy from Artists Den on Vimeo.

For more on A Fine Fenzy, visit the following links:

A Fine Frenzy on MySpace

A Fine Frenzy on Twitter

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Some Saturday Fun Fun Fun Stuff with The Sword, Dead Confederate & more!

It's been a long recovery from last week's Fun Fun Fun Fest. It was the best day of the year on Saturday, then got ugly and muddy on Sunday. None the less, it still kicked major ass. How can a festival in Austin, Texas with GZA and Danzig headlining suck? It is not possible. It is has been my favorite music fest not named Pachanga. It was my first year as "press" and it was a blast! I got to meet some local headliners whom I've loved for a long time and some cool touring acts whose music I enjoy.

For coverage my friend and Double Stereo contributor, Ajay Miranda, decided to do photo-slide video podcasts a la The New York Times. It was a way for us to pump out stuff quickly with visuals and to have something to load on YouTube.

On Saturday my first interview was Dead Confederate, a Georgia alt-psych rock band who I really dig. I missed their set unfortunately, but they were entertaining during the interview and cool to just talk to around the media tent during the day. They told me their Danzig story and the reason they never put out the live video footage they advertised recently. Here's that interview:

The second interview I did on Saturday was with a member from The Sword, which as you all know is my favorite band right now. Normally I'd be more geeked out about it, but this interview was different. You see, the interview was with my old high school chum whom I have known for a while, bassist Bryan Richie. We just sat and talked and talked and talked. Bryan has always been a sharp and witty guy. he gives honest answers and some will crack you up. I felt like it was a way for me to catch up with an old friend rather than the traditional interview so to speak.

We talked so long that Ajay had to edit it in three parts in order to upload to YouTube. We start part one by taking it back to our Round Rock High School days, playing in a band with Ryan Figg who is now with The Octopus Project. Part two talks about Third Eye Blind and meeting Lars Ulrich for the first time. In part three, we talk about what is coming up for The Sword in 2010 and he tells me the name of some new tracks.

Sword fans, this is porn for your metal ears! No one but me could have given this to you. I hope to do it again with Bryan and the other members soon. I got to see thier set, and was going to come hell or high water, and it was EPIC! I can't wait for the new album. Here's the interviews:

Some other cool stuff that Saturday night at Fun Fun Fun Fest was getting to check out Ajay's interviews with indie-post rockers Red Sparowes and Russian Circles. As always in the media tent, there were plenty of opportunities for photo ops. I totally took advantage and got some cool photos. Check them out:

Me with Red Sparowes

Me with The Cool Kids

Me with Death

I have more Fun Fun Fun stuff coming soon. On Sunday is when I talked to some awesome Austin bands you should know and took some other cool pics. Thanks again to Transmission, The Austinist, Double Stereo, Ajay Miranda, and my photographers Chantel and Mari for holding it down Saturday. My good friend Sarah Vasquez also helped out big time by taking photos when the other photographers were in the field. I don't know what I'd do with her there or at all really. It was a blast and seeing Death more than anything made the whole experience for me. They were amazing and it felt like I was in a time warp before punk was even a genre. Let me know what you all think, especially Sword fans. 

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

White Denim Video: "I Start To Run"

White Denim

It's always good to see an Austin based band kicking ass and taking names on the national level. Austin based indie-garage rockers, White Denim, premiered their new video on mtvU. I just  recently picked up a copy of their new album, Fits, the other day at Waterloo Records. What sold me was the song " I Start To Run" and the fact that it came with a second disc. That second disc was a copy of Explosions, a previous album from White Denim. I wasn't really into them so much until this album came out, but now it is in regular rotation in my truck's CD player. White Denim, if you or your publicist are reading this, get at me. I want to talk to the band and check them out live. In the meantime, for those of you unfamiliar with White Denim, check out the video for " I Start To Run".

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New single from Maneja Beto

One of my favorite bands of all time, Austin's own Maneja Beto, just put out their latest single. Titled "Ofrendas", the Maneja guys get funky on this one. It showcases the band's diversity and ability to play pretty much any genre they wish. Most who are familiar with Maneja Beto know them for their indie meets cumbia hybird that has come to be known as "Indie en Espanol". I'll post more from Maneja Beto later on this month, but for now be sure to pick up the single and support local, creative talent. Check it out!

For more on Maneja Beto,visit the following links:

Official Maneja Beto website

Video Interview on Austin Vida

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Win Cafe Tacvba tickets from Austin Vida!

Cafe Tacvba

Since the early '90s, I have been jammin' out to Mexico's own, Cafe Tacvba. I used to find their cassettes int he "Latin" section or later on in the "Rock En Espanol" section. These days the genre has evolved into being labeled "Latin Alternative". Much like the genre or label itself, Cafe Tacvba has always evolved into a more creative group than they were years ago when I got my first cassette. Back then it was their self titled album and my Spanish comprehension wasn't what it is today.

Many albums later, I still read and hear the influence Cafe Tacvba has had on the entire Latin Music industry. When I interviewed the iconic Alejandro Escovedo for Austin Vida, he raved about Cafe Tacvba and talked about a missed opportunity to play with them at the LAMC in 2008. That is just one example of many, but know that list is long. They are the biggest Latin Alternative group in history, with only groups like Los Fabulosos Caddilacs and maybe Soda Estereo being in that conversation. Check out the Cafe Tavcba links below to get familiar with them if you aren't already.

Now for those of you who love Cafe Tacvba and want a chance to win free tickets to their show in Austin, then I have three chances for you through Austin Vida. Every remaining Friday in November, Austin Vida will be giving away a pair of tickets to see Cafe Tacvba at La Zona Rosa in Austin on November 29th. Talk about an awesome Sunday show. Here's how you win this week:

This week's winner will be pulled from out Austin Vida Facebook Fan page. On Friday, November 13th we will be notifying the lucky winner via Facebook. We will also announce the winner's name on our Twitter, MySpace page and website of course. After this Friday's winner is announced, we will announce the details of next week's give away on Monday the 16th. Good luck and thanks to all of you who check out Austin Vida. Feel free to email me with any questions.

Helpful links:

Buy tickets at

Austin Vida Facebook

Cafe Tacvba website

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

A weekend of Fun Fun Fun Fest

So today was day one of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009. It was amazing to say the least. The weather in Austin was beautiful, The Sword played new songs from their upcoming record and I saw Death. I fulfilled a junior high dream by seeing The Pharcyde live and up close. I also got to chat with the lead singer of Fucked Up about Mexican punk rock. I'll have plenty of other stories and pics to share soon. Thanks to Transmission Entertainment, The Austinist and to Double Stereo for making it all happen. Thanks also to my crew, who are also my good friends, for doin' work with me today.

If you missed out on the Fun Fun Fun today, go Sunday! Go early! Sunday seems to have the best of Austin happening. Do not miss Pack of Wolves, Riverboat Gamblers, Harlem, The Black and White Years or The Strange Boys. Oh yeah, Danzing and GZA headline.

Sorry for the short post, but I'll get at you all soon with some Fun Fun Fun stuff. If you need tickets or info, check out the Official Fun Fun Fun Fest website.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Blogging, Panelists, Opinons and After The Jump at The Mohawk

After The Jump tonight at The Mohawk is the event I have been looking forward to ever since I heard about it via email. According to the advertising for the event, this is where we get to learn "what's new and next in blogs". The popular bloggers or blogs listed in the event flier posted here are going to share how they pick what to blog about and why they always look to Austin blogs. Technically I'm an Austin blog with thousands of unique visitors a month, so that alone stirs my curiosity.

Now blogging is just a serious hobby for me; something I enjoy as an outlet to share music I enjoy (or don't) with folks. Besides being fun, blogging was just a way to see what I could do with it and what bigger things it could lead to. It eventually lead me to start "blogging" for cdFuse a little over a year ago. As you should should know by now, cdFuse became Double Stereo and has improved by leaps and bounds. It lead me to start interviewing, reviewing albums and posting information relevant to a national audience.

The Double Stereo blogging experience also led to my eventually taking over Austin Vida from both the editor's desk and ownership table. There wasn't any good Latin music websites here in Austin that were kept up with, broad in focus or that provided a young voice to the scene that so needed Austin Vida. Since my Austin Vida crew and I are writers with blogs, I'm anxious to hear what the bigger publications like Spin and Billboard have to say.

Now perhaps your reasons for attending After The Jump are completely different than mine, and that's fine. I was talking with good friend and Austin Vida Managing Editor, Ajay Miranda, the other day and we were both of the same mindset about blogs. Blogs should be what launch a writer or lead to something bigger. It should not be the main product or where one stops. I am hoping these panelists tomorrow aren't looking to all these popular shitty blogs that are just cluster fucks of random content as examples of what to do. I understand why these kind of blogs get hits. It has to do with quantity of posts, not quality, tags, link backs and other important SEO components. Still, I want the panelists to address that as well as good sites for easy do-it-yourself templates. See you at After The Jump folks. If not, see you at Fun Fun Fun Fest, my favorite Austin music festival not named Pachanga Fest.

For more details on After The Jump, check out the post on Do512

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mike Herrera Interview

Mike Herrera (photo by Mari Hernandez)

Mike Herrera is known to most people as the bassist and frontman of the popular punk band MxPx. What many still don’t know is that Herrera is also an avid classic country music fan. He has been writing country songs with his own style and twist for many years now. It warms my heart to know that I'm not the only punk-rock lover who enjoys classic country.

With Tumbledown, Herrera fronts a new group of musicians from his home town of Bremerton, Washington, while being signed to an Austin-based record label called End Sounds. Herrera toured with Tumbledown recently, which included a stop in Austin. We caught up with Herrera at Emo’s and chatted with him in his tour van while he restrung his guitar. Apparently, the show in San Antonio the night before was a little crazy and all hell wasn’t the only thing that broke.

Click to read the full interview with Mike Herrera here:

The Other Side of Mike Herrera

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New Spoon Album in January


Austin's own indie rock Gods, Spoon, will be releasing a new album on January 26th entitled Transference. The album will be put out by Merge Records and will consist of eleven new songs. Finally! I love me some Spoon but their last EP, Got Nuffin, didn't give me my much needed Spoon fix that I though it would. It was okay, but I expect better from Spoon. Here's a video teaser from Spoon's YouTube Channel. I like what I hear...

Transference Track Listings:
1. Before Destruction
2. Is Love Forever?
3. The Mystery Zone
4. Who Makes Your Money
5. Written in Reverse
6. I Saw the Light
7. Trouble Comes Running
8. Goodnight Laura
9. Out Go the Lights
10. Got Nuffin
11. Nobody Gets Me But You

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