Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year's Eve Pick: Peligrosa, Brownout & Grupo Fantasma at Mohawk

Why on earth would anyone be anywhere else other than Mohawk on New Year's Eve in Austin? This show is soooo good that it is worth the drive up from San Antonio, Houston or anywhere else in Texas for that matter. Latinos stand up! This is your party. Of course everyone is invited, everyone with rhythm or soul that is. Three Austin heavy hitters fill the bill with funk, beats and cumbia rhythms that will keep you dancing all night long.

I am not normally big on New Year's Eve, only because the show's are too expensive for the quality of acts booked. Also, I am not big on photo booth parties. I like good live music and variety. I also love Mohawk. I'm not afraid to say it is my favorite venue, when we are talking about the outdoor stage. On a nice night, there's nothing better.

As far as the acts for the show, you should already be familiar with Brownout and Grupo Fantasma, as they share members and are Austin staples. You've seen them on M.E. and on blogs for years now. If you aren't getting down with either by now, it is time to reconsider what you are doing with your life. Here's a couple of quick videos for you to check out. If you want tickets, which I suggest buying in advance as this will sell out, there's a link for that also.

Grupo Fantasma:


DJ Orion of Peligrosa All-Stars

The Mohawk is located at 912 Red River, at the corner of 10th in downtown Austin. For tickets, click here.  Feliz Año Nuevo, chorizo con huevo.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

12/29 Tuesday Show Pick: Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at Emo's

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (

Jacksonville, Florida's own Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will be here at Emo's for what is the last good (touring) rock show this year. Touring to support their latest album, Lonely Road. Released in the early part of the year, Lonely Road hasn't received the critical praise that previous records have. After setting the standard high for themselves with Don't You Fake It, they have been consistent in terms of quality but never as good as that first album. Still, they are a force to be reckoned with and are totally relevant in terms of today's "scene", pun intended.

I've never had the chance to see them live so I'm looking forward to seeing them Tuesday with Fit For Rivals, another Jacksonville, Florida band I've had on my radar. Check out the video I posted below to give them a look and listen. The lead singer looks like the offspring of Joan Jett.

Opening will be local rock outfit, Go Action Team, who go on at 8pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and Emo's is located at 603 Red River for those of you coming in from out of town for this one. Be sure to purchase advance tickets here: TicketWeb

Fit For Rivals - "Damage" from Fit For Rivals on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

12/23 Wednesday Show Pick: New Roman Times at Stubb's

Wednesday at Stubb's indoor, I'll be going to check out a band I've been meaning to see for while but keep missing for some reason. New Roman Times is playing with indie-post punk outfit, Distance Runner. Everything I have heard on New Roman Time's MySpace sounds really good. It's sort of new wave indie stuff, but no so Devo-ish. There's nothing else better going on except for maybe Del Castillo, but I've seen them several times and have never seen New Roman Times. This is one of the many things I love about Austin, the fact that I can catch good local talent on a Wednesday night.

I'm not going to do anything as far as interview or show review on this one. It is too close to Christmas and I've spent the past two years doing that stuff, so I'm just going to hang out and relax for this one. Who knows though, if I like them I may connect with them later.

Here is a YouTube video from their MySpace that kind of gives you an idea of what they seem like, but I encourage you to listen to their songs on MySpace. Let them play and see if you don't start nodding your head or tapping your feet.

For more info on this show, visit the show post on Do512 here.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

12/22 Tuesday Show Pick: Horse The Band and Zlam Dunk at Emo's

If you've never seen Horse The Band live, you're clearly afraid of intense shows and kids going absolutely ape shit. The L.A. based electro-prog screamo outfit is something else. To compare them to someone local or familiar, imagine Built By Snow and Zlam Dunk having a child who is constantly on Red Bull and won't sit still. Their Nintendo samples and "fuck the system" attitudes are a definite ear turner. I've read some write ups where they've been described as "Nintendocore". There are no casual fans of Horse The Band, which is one reason I love them.

What can get lost in the whole insanity that is their live show is the fact that they are creative dudes. They took a genre that tends to have cookie cutter crap bands and found a way to be original. Horse The Band is something I'd listen to regularly, but I'd go see them live any day. Fair warning to anyone who hasn't seen them live before, they do often play in their tighties.

Horse The Band

Currently Horse The Band is touring to support their October release, Desperate Living. It is very "Nintendocore" and falls in line with something Fall of Troy or Attack Attack would have made, only with their own distinct sound. You need to give it a listen, even if just to satisfy your curiosity about "Nintendocore". While you're listening to the songs on their MySpace, read the part in their bio about labels and what they think of tour managers. Hilarious.

Zlam Dunk (photo by Sara Strick

Also playing at Emo's Tuesday is one of my local favorite, Zlam Dunk. These young dudes from San Marcos are bringing the dance back punk to the forefront of the Austin scene. They haven't been around long, but they've been around long enough to make some noise. Having made their name playing along side other young bands like Driver F, Zlam has developed a loyal fan base. They're so loyal in fact, that they travel to every show and constantly scream and chant along. See them on Tuesday as an added bonus. They leave to go on tour soon, so catch them at Emo's if you can. In fact, catch them on this video my good friend Ajay Miranda shot in fall of 2008. They kick azz.

To check out the complete line up and purchase tickets, visit the post for this show on Do512 HERE.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

12/21 Monday Night Show Pick: The Octopus Project

Monday night at Mohawk is where you can go take pictures for Look At This Fucking Hispter. If you haven't seen that blog, check my blog roll...hilarious. At Mohawk this Monday night will be a bunch of hipster bands of the moment, or what my friends and I refer to as "blogger bands". It seems that all the Austin Bloggers talk about and post fliers for Neiliyo and Markus pretty regularly, but the real gem and reason to get out of the house Monday is to see The Octopus Project.

In the past few years they were the quintessential festival band it seemed, having played Fun Fun Fun Fest, ACL and even Lalapollooza. The Octopus Project is arguably Austin's most musically creative indie group. Most of their music is instrumental, but all very danceable. Think "Blue Stage" at Fun Fun Fun Fest.

What is most memorable about the group is their front woman, Yvonne Lambert, is the the world's prettiest theremin player. She is the indie crush of just about all the sensitive indie boys in attendance, while making the girls consider getting their own classic flipped-up bob haircut. For me though, it's the theremin I find most fascinating about this band. If I had one of those, I'd never leave the house except to go see shows. Oh wait, that's what I do without the theremin.

I'm pretty sure they will playing some songs off their latest EP, Golden Beds. Maybe you'll even hear this song here, which also happens to be called "Golden Beds". For some real Octopus Project goodness, pick up the 2007 release, Hello Avalanche. If you've never seen them live, Mohawk is a a great place to see them.  

Wet Gold - The Octopus Project from Zellner Bros. on Vimeo.

For complete details and to see the full line up, check out the post on Do512 here

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Interview: On Record with Sara Lov

To many, Sara Lov is known as the female voice behind Devics. Now both Lov and Dustin O’Halloran have solo projects of their own worth listening to. Sara Lov’s current album, Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming, gives fans a new sound from Lov that has received critical acclaim by tastemakers everywhere. After capturing live footage and talking to Lov, it is easy to understand what the buzz was all about.

The other talk about Lov this year has been about her childhood. After an LA Weekly interview, it seems that every interview or write up about Lov after that interview focused heavily on it. It is not that there isn’t a story there, because Lov is a victim of childhood kidnapping. Too often with Lov this year, her childhood story was too much of the focus and her music seemed to play second fiddle.

Lov’s got quite the story in itself when it comes to her album, Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming. It was originally released in spring on Nettwerk, but Lov left the label shortly thereafter. She later re-released it through Filter in August. I caught up with Sara Lov when she was in Austin and spoke with her about her live show that features a record player and what’s behind her new album.

How did it feel to play in Austin again?

Sara: I felt great. I’ve only been here with my old band, Devics.

I can’t believe it has been that long since you played in Austin. Usually indie singer-songwriters do well here and love to come tour through Austin.

Sara: I just started though as a solo artist. I was supposed to come for South By Southwest. The label I first signed with, didn’t want to pay for it so I couldn’t afford to come. I ended up leaving that label and that’s why Filter re-released my record.

How has it been for you touring as a solo artist?

Sara: Again, my solo thing is still pretty new. I just put my record out originally in April only to get it released later on in the year. All the shows I had been doing before were with a band. When I went to Europe I did it with me, a cello and a piano. I did that on the West Coast as well. I just did my first full U.S. tour as a solo artist. Since I’d open on a tour with three bands, it made sense that it would be just me. I don’t like playing by myself. I feel that I am not good enough of a guitar player. I’m more of a singer but I knew I needed the music. I was trying to figure out a way to do that and then the record player idea came up.

It was a very cool idea. I saw it and looked vintage, nothing like high end DJ turntables.

Sara: Actually, it’s not. It’s kind of a trick. Originally I really did want a vintage record player because I thought it looked cool. I almost did it because I found a guy who was going to loan me one with an XLR, which would allow it to go into the P.A. It was going to be perfect I thought. Then he told me that once he understood what I was actually trying to do, I learned that it was a bad idea. The old record players are not perfect in terms of speed. They can slow down and speed up. He told me that if I was playing an instrument to it, and if it speeds of or slows down while I was playing, it would be out of key. Plus they weren’t reliable enough to tour with. I had to use a new record player in order to get the reliability and sound quality I needed, but I didn’t want it to look like that. I ended up finding this old vintage suit case and went and had foam cut to fit in it. I traveled with a super fancy DJ record player and it traveled in a flight case. Every night I put it into the vintage suitcase. I made a hole in it so the cords can go in the back. I put some lights around it and stuff to make it look warm. In fact, I made a video about it on YouTube. It has made me a better guitar player in the sense that I have to play perfect to be on time with the record.

Has it ever skipped on you?

Sara: There were a couple funny incidences where it skipped or did weird things, but it made for a good joke on stage.

So the entire set was performed with a record player?

Sara: I had a couple of Sea Wolf’s members come out and play two songs with me. Ted, who was in Divecs with me, played bass. Lisa played piano. With them, it was like a whole new world and sounded so much better.

Let’s chat about your album, Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming, for a bit. I would love to know about a couple of specific songs, starting with the song “New York”. What’s the story behind that song?

Sara: I don’t really love to talk too much about lyrics because I feel when I listen to songs, I create a story in my head and I don’t want to take that away from people. I think it builds a story for you.

Well if it is based on the stuff I read in your bio, specifically the moving around and all the difficult events in your childhood, it could be anything from that really.

Sara: It’s not an early memory. My childhood, even though it was really talked about, is not something I write about that much anymore; maybe every now and then sure. In the song “Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming” there might be hints of my past. I wrote a lot about my childhood in Divecs. I tend to write about what I’m going through so stuff is a little more current.

So then what is the meaning behind the album’s title?

Sara: For me that is basically the idea that as you get older you are trying to maintain your idealism as you let go of your innocence. It is a really easy to lose because when you’re young, everything is beautiful, exciting and brand new. As you get older and more jaded, it is harder to feel that way. When you find those moments and you feel like you are looking through young eyes again, that is what it means or is referring to.

Tell me a little something about your former band Divecs for those who don’t know.

Sara: I have been doing music for a long time. In Divecs we made five records and three EPs. We started when I was in my early twenties. We played at Emo’s in Austin with Live To Experience in 2002, if you can remember that band.

So do you think you’re childhood, other than the Divecs connection, is what drives media and fans to give you a listen?

Sara: It seems like it. That’s fine. I don’t have a problem talking about it.

Do you think after this album the questions or talk about it will fizzle away and focus on your music more?

Sara: I don’t know. To me, it’s been around so long and people are still talking about it. Maybe I’ll have a different story or tell my later in life story for my next record.

Will it be a happier record? Maybe less dark? I mean you fooled me into thinking Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming was going to be happier record based on the cover.

Sara: I did the artwork like that so it would not be so dark because I felt like the music was. I thought it brought a nice balance to it. Dark is the kind of music I make and I always have, but you never know. I don’t know if I’ll ever be happy pop songs kind of person. I like a lot of that stuff, but it isn’t what inspires me to write.

Speaking of music you listen to, what is something you haven’t told people yet or something that people might be surprised to hear?

Sara: I started out on the Beatles and Beach Boys. My first discovery was the Grease Soundtrack and Abba. That’s pretty cheesy. One of my first real loves were The Smiths.

What is it about The Smiths that speaks to you?

Sara: I was probably about fifteen years old when I got into The Smiths. At that time I thought I had an idea of what the lyrics meant, but when I got older they meant something different. I think for me it was his voice, lyrics and I got to meet Johnny Marr (Smiths/guitar) a few times.

Do you ever think of writing your own autobiography one day?

Sara: I’d like to. I thought about it a lot lately. I get so many questions. I’d like to try and I think I will. It’s just a matter of me doing it. I’d also like to write it because it will be good for me to get out. Then there’s also people getting facts wrong and when I’m read it I get frustrated. I’d have to figure out what parts to write and what not to.

Is there anything we should know about you as a solo artist that I didn’t touch upon?

Sara: I’m really into the whole YouTube thing. I have a YouTube channel because I have three amazing videos that I had amazing people help me make. One is for “A Thousand Bees”. It was done with a photographer named Noah Webb. It was his first time directing a video. We did all of it with still photographs. The other song is “New York” which was the first video I did. That’s based off my drawings and was directed by Marco Mirandi. The other video is for “Fountain” which features some amazing illustrations by my best friend, Seonna Hong. Check out the covers too that are also on there. They came from fan requests.

So does this we can expect an acoustic cover album from you in the future?

Sara: I do want to do more covers on YouTube. I still have a ton more that I want to do. I love doing other people’s songs for fun. It’s easy to do. What kept me from doing more was I started touring. If I ever did a cover album, it would be with a band.

**Currently Sara Lov is preparing for a January tour overseas in Italy to support Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming. In the meantime, check out this Double Stereo exclusive of Sara Lov performing “Touched” at Emo’s in Austin, Texas.**

Double Stereo: Sara Lov live at Emo's from Nite Owl Media on Vimeo.

(Interview written for and published on

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Interview: The Commercial Success of Landon Pigg

Who says people don’t watch or listen to commercials anymore? Pish posh. Commercials for iPods and automobiles have propelled unknowns or revived classics with one thirty second television spot. Recently AT&T featured a virtual unknown singer-songwriter based out of Tennessee, Landon Pigg. After AT&T used Pigg’s single, “Falling In Love In A Coffee Shop”, a lot more people noticed Pigg than before.

What also grew Pigg’s visibility this year was his co-starring role as Oliver in the major motion picture, Whip It. Directed by Drew Barrymore, Pigg’s character was the love interest of Ellen Page’s character, Bliss Cavendar. Playing the role of musician on the big screen wasn’t too much of stretch for Pigg, but the star treatment and lifestyle during the time the movie was filmed was new for Pigg. So was being recognized from his big screen debut.

More importantly Pigg released his second studio album, The Boy Who Never. That is the album that his worldwide hit calls home as well as other songs that are in a different direction for Pigg musically. We caught up with Landon Pigg while in Austin and chatted with him about the album, how his life has changed and what was up with Oliver not calling Bliss while on tour.

Tell me what is special for you about The Boy Who Never.

Pigg: It’s my second full length. It houses the song “Coffee Shop” which is nice. Before it was a bit of an orphan with no home expect for digitally. I love the fact that it’s half and half. It’s kind of moody. It has some slow songs on it which wouldn’t have even been considered for our first album. The fact that I made an album where I can write those kind of slow songs feels good. The other half is really fun and sunny. It was recorded in California.

So do you think “Coffee Shop” sort of set that up for you to do more ballads like that?

Pigg: It did. It set the tone to be able to express this other part of me that I didn’t really get to showcase before. I had to make sure I had my upbeat songs as well because I didn’t want to lull people to sleep on tour.

Did you get more a “star treatment” on this album compared to your previous recordings?

Pigg: Um, no. The other one is where I was flying around to all sorts of different places: London, Memphis, Canada and L.A. It ended up being sporadic and didn’t have a lot of continuity.

Does The Boy Who Never feel like more of your own to you then?

Pigg: It does. The way I see it, an artist is like an onion and has a lot of layers to them. What the public gets to see isn’t necessarily the core, but it’s just a matter of how many layers can be peeled off in front of the public. Catalysts that keep layers on can be major labels that can maybe pressure you to write a hit radio single or something. It’s more my own in that more layers have been shed since LP, but they are both my own.

Is there a significant meaning or story behind the album title?

Pigg: It absolutely does. It’s all within the lyrics in that song. I’m struggling to overcome that way off life, that paradigm.

Let’s go back to talking about “Coffee Shop” for a second. How did that change your life and in what aspects exactly? I take it that it wasn’t an overnight thing.

Pigg: It hasn’t been overnight, that’s for sure. There were countless club tours that people don’t know about. The cool thing about it is my career was kind in lull after the first album. I wasn’t really talking with the label that much, nor did I have management. I was actually wondering if I should get a job at a coffee shop. I was honestly considering it. I got together with some friends in Nashville one night, one of them being Peter (keyboard). He asked I was up to do some recording. At that time it had been a while since I recorded anything, so I said “sure”. We recorded the song and we really liked. We recorded it on a day.

“Coffee Shop” was recorded in just one day?

Pigg: Just one day. We really liked it and over time I had people to play it for. I never thought while recording it that anyone would hear it. I was just coming off this uber catchy chorus, repeat chorus at the end, upbeat and all sorts of that stuff. I didn’t think my label would like the song. It’s funny when a song like that becomes your flagship song. It has changed my world in a way. I’m on more people’s radar whom I haven’t met before.

Are you at point where you are kind of getting tired of talking about it yet?

Pigg: I still don’t know how to talk about it really. I’m not very objective about them. I’m not sick of playing it. It is very subtle, not trying to beat anyone over the head. I just kind of enjoy that melody.

That’s interesting to hear you say that. So many artists, when they have a break out hit or flagship song as you referred to it, get to a point where they get frustrated by the same questions. They feel that after their flagship song, if they still have a career after it, that they are more than just that song.

Pigg: I think it may be one of those rare cases where it represents me pretty well. It has a lot of things I like. I grew up listening to George Gershwin and Frank Sinatra, people that really love melodies. I’ve heard a string arrangement of that song that I played at a friend’s wedding. It sounded nice. It’s just a luxury and an honor to hear it in a couple of different ways.

Does that make you consider recording it that way perhaps?

Pigg: I’ve thought about it. One of my friends’ dad s is a producer and he does strings at Abbey Road a lot. He’s mentioned stuff in passing about me wanting to do instrumental versions before. If I make an extra couple hundred thousand dollars, I’ll call him. In fact, if anyone wants to chip in to get a recorded version of that song, I’m going to start an Abbey Road fund.

What would you like new listeners to know about the album beside it being home to “Coffee Shop”?

Pigg: I want people to give it a chance after Coffee Shop. Listen to maybe something less obvious like “A Ghost” or “Rooftops”. I don’t know what else I could say about the album except for it has some horns in it and some wings-esque solos.

So it’s not all coffee shop? No pun intended.

Pigg: There’s a little something there for everybody. I like to call my music “mom rock”. A lot of moms seem to like my music.

While we're talking about family, I understand connection to Austin?

Pigg: My brother and sister-in-law live here. I have three beautiful nieces that I’m visiting. My mom comes to visit them. Now all the little girls (referring to his nieces) are wearing my t-shirts and asked to get on stage with me. I don’t even know if they’re allowed at these clubs or venues. They did make an appearance with me at Stubb’s before. They’ve lived here for about five years.

Where do you hang out when in town?

Pigg: Peter and I have to go have a dirty martini at The Driskell. We try to coax any employees into letting us play songs on the piano there. It’s full of magic in that room.

Ellen Paige and Landon Pigg in the movie Whip It

How has being in the movie Whip It changed your life?

Pigg: Not too drastically. It’s funny going from extremes. Actors get treated really well. The funny thing is flip flopping between those lifestyles. When I was doing the movie, there were things that were hard to get used to, like having my own driver to the premiere. It was then that I started to love it, but then I was back in the van on the road. I was once again my own personal driver.

You mean sort of like Oliver?

Pigg: Very true. My favorite juxtaposition that I had after the Toronto Film Festival when everything was so hyped up. Then on Labor Day, I was playing horseshoes with my grandparents in Tennessee. The crickets were chirping. It was two different worlds.

My last question is not for you, but for “Oliver”. The question we all want to know is, why didn’t’ you call?

Pigg: Good question. I’m still answering as Landon here, but I would have texted. That would have been the easiest thing to do. The director created this movie in a kind of timeless era. They never showed what kind of phones they used. The characters were even using payphones, so I don’t even know if Oliver could have texted. I will say that I know how hard it is to make these private calls in a van. It is weird to do an interview like this in the van when I am saying things about me, while I feel everyone in the van is getting so mad. My keyboard player, Peter, likes to listen to music while he makes his private calls so it dulls the conversation. I think Oliver didn’t call because he was preoccupied with the tour, maybe doesn’t like cell phones and lives in the moment. For the record, I personally think he didn’t do anything too compromising. His aloofness just hurt people more than he knew.

"Coffee Shop" music video for Landon Pigg from Kip Kubin on Vimeo.

(Article written for and published on Double left photo by Ajay Miranda)

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New Video from Maneja Beto: 'Ofrendas'

Maneja Beto

I just saw these guys live last night at Beauty Bar for our first Austin Vida showcase. Despite the cold, we had a great turnout and people couldn't get enough Maneja Beto. If you're like me and still need more Maneja, fear not. They just released their new music video on Friday for their latest single, "Ofrendas". The video was directed by Johnny Ramirez and features David Garza as a janitor. For those of you in Austin, you may recognize the bar to be Rabbit's on East 6th. Here's the video:

For more on Maneja Beto, check out this interview with Austin Vida HERE.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

The Austin Times Interview with Austin Vida Editor in Chief: That's Me!

It is weird being on this side of the fence for once, the side where you are actually interviewed or are the interviewee. Here's Dulcenea Garica's interview from this week's edition, which is print only right now. The Austin Times is currently rebuilding their website. The interview is about Austin Vida and the upcoming Austin Vida showcase happening Saturday night at Beauty Bar. You should come. It will be fun.

The Austin Times interview with Austin Vida Editor in Chief
By Dulcenea Garcia
The Austin Times (

Look out Austin because Austin Vida is making its mark in the Latin music scene. The new Austin Vida online magazine was launched in January 2009 and has become the place to find the latest reviews and interviews in Latin music.

On Saturday, December 19th, Austin Vida will celebrate its one year anniversary by presenting its first showcase under new ownership of Ian Morales.

The Austin Times spoke with Morales about Austin’s new music online magazine and upcoming event.

The Austin Times: Who are the bands that will be featured in your showcase?

Ian Morales: This particular showcase has been months in the making. After meeting with Alba Peña of Conexion Rockera, both parties decided to put on this showcase. We gave Peña a list of bands we liked. Maneja Beto was at the top of the list. As a staff, we are all big Maneja Beto fans and feel like they offer a unique sound that is hip enough for young audiences, but traditional enough for our parents to enjoy. Este Vato is a young band that people can dance to, with sounds ranging from cumbia to hip hop.

El Tule is a large band, in members and stature, and has a great live sound. DJ Chorizo Funk is a local favorite. Once I heard some of his mixes, I immediately loved his style. He’ll definitely get the party going early.

TAT: What has Austin Vida accomplished since beginning in 2009?

IM: First and foremost, we’ve sustained. So many new blogs and online magazine sites go under within their first year. Not only have we sustained, but we grew. New visitors are finding us everyday from all parts of the world. The other accomplishment is the praise and approval of the different musicians and industry people that we’ve received.

TAT: What are your goals for Austin Vida this coming up year?

IM: To keep up the momentum we’ve built as a group. Of course we want to increase our readership here in Austin, but also outside of Austin so that the artists, businesses, and people we feature get a bigger spotlight. We also will be working towards presenting more showcases, especially for Latin Music month in May.

TAT: Who are some Austin Latino bands we should watch for in 2010?

IM: Este Vato and La Guerrilla, two bands we featured as up and coming in 2009 on Austin Vida, will be coming out will their full length albums next year. They are the new generation to carry the flag for Latin Music in Austin along with Kalua.

TAT: Do you believe there is huge fan base for Latin music in Austin?

IM: I believe the fan base is big, but honestly “huge” is still a stretch. I think more people, both Latino and non, need to be exposed to what the Latin Music scene in Austin has to offer. I also feel people need to expand on their idea of what Latin Music is. Some of the most talented Latino musicians in Austin and in Latin America don’t play Latin Music or even sing in Spanish. We feel that they need to be included in the conversation when it comes to the Austin Latin Music scene.

TAT: What is your greatest interview moment?

IM: That’s a toss up between two different interviews. For me personally, it was getting to sit down with Alejandro Escovedo last spring. He has quite the history, to say the least, and is iconic as far as I’m concerned. There was also getting to see Ajay Miranda, Austin Vida Managing Editor, do our first video interview on with Camilo Lara of Mexican Institute of Sound (MIS).

The Austin Vida showcase featuring Maneja Beto, El Tule, Este Vato, and DJ Chorizo Funk is on Saturday, December 19th at Beauty Bar. Tickets are $5 dollars and guarantee you a night full of dancing and fun.

Ian Morales, third from the left, of Austin Vida poses with Maneja Beto

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Free Week at Mohawk 2010

Yes! The best week of the year in the entire country and world even, is Free Week. I'll be previewing some bands and making show pics, but for now you need to check out the following link to Transmission's website about what they have going on. I can't wait!

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New Tour Dates for The Sword

The Sword (photo by Jack Thompson)

My favorite band of all time is and always will be Rage Against The Machine, but The Sword challenges that crown every time I listen to their music or see them live. The Austin metal Gods rocked Fun Fun Fun Fest in November and are currently working on a new album. If you were at Fun Fun Fun Fest, you heard a few of their new songs. For those of you who weren't there, don't worry. They are still epic and rock your face off. Their new stuff sounds just as good if not better than what they've done thus far. They just announced some new tour dates, which appear to be strictly regional for now. There isn't an Austin or San Antonio date, which is a real bummer, so I may be driving to Corpus, Houston or Denton for one of their shows. Here are the dates and cities:

January 23 Corpus Christi, TX House of Rock
January 24 Houston, TX Warehouse Live Studio
January 25 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
January 27 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone Café
January 28 Oklahoma City, OK Conservatory
January 29 Denton, TX Rubber Gloves

Did I mention they rocked Fun Fun Fun Fest? Here is a video someone captured in decent quality of one of their new songs entitled "Tres Brujas", which translates as "Three Witches". Check it out.

For more info about what's coming up in 2010 from The Sword, check out my interview with bassist Bryan Richie at Fun Fun Fun Fest in November 2009.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Music Video for 'Two Reservoirs' by The Black and White Years

Always known for their artistic and visual music videos, the Austin indie heavyweights known as The Black and White Years released their latest music video on Vimeo about a month ago. The video is for their single "Two Reservoirs" off their Nursery Myths EP, which is actually pretty good for such a quick listen. For some reason I forgot to post it, but I'm sure every other Austin blog has already posted it since they all talk about the same indie bands all the time. In case you haven't seen it yet, here it is for you.

The Black and White Years "Two Reservoirs" from Matthew Hoffman on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

12/18 Friday Show Pick: At All Cost at Red 7

It pains me to pick this show as it is the last show in Austin for one of Austin's best metal bands, At All Cost. The were one of the few to really build a following and whom I thought were going to get bigger nationally. I was hoping they'd be responsible for bringing in more metal to Austin so the metal heads of the world can stop calling Austin "hipsterville" or "an indie town". While we do have a plethora of indie talent here, we also have a lot of good hardcore the world needs to hear. Again, at one point I thought At All Cost would be one of those to bring more hardcore attention.

Well it has been since January 2007 I believe, since I last saw At All Cost. After a few member changes a some solid albums, they are saying farewell. It is only fit that the show be at Red 7, as I really don't remember them playing anywhere else but Emo's maybe. It is like their home venue, also one of my favorite. Something cool for this sad occasion is that every member who was ever in the band will be taking the stage to perform, including Pack of Wolves vocalist Trey Ramirez. That's the way to do it if you ask me, give the fans the complete line ups and play their favorite tracks with the band that actually played them. Very cool.

Co-headlining this show will be Houston based hardcore outfit, Jonbenét.I caught these dudes once a while back at Red 7 also, but don't know too much about them other than whatever is online. They're calling it quits as well, much to fan's disappointment. I'll definitely be there to check them out as well since it's my last chance in Austin. For those of you in Houston, At All Cost and Jonbenét play Saturday at Walter's.

Also on the bill playing early will be Austin bands Radioland Murders and Set Aflame. I'll be there early hanging out to check them out, supporting local hardcore bands worth supporting. You should also get there early as this show is going to be packed and possibly sold out.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with At All Cost or just want to reminisce, check out this old school video I found on YouTube for "Death To Distraction". It pissed off a lot of people during that time. Say what you will about their politics, but their sound is killer.

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12/17 Thursday Show Pick

Thursday night I'll be at The Parish checking out Austin based indie-psychedelic group, Amplified Heat. I have been meaning to check these dudes out for while now, but just never got around to it for one reason or another. Shame on me, I know.

I love what I have heard from these guys so far, as they remind me of my dad's record collection. He listens to a lot of Cream, Vanilla Fudge, some Deep Purple and Iron Butterfly. What Hacienda does for old school indie, Amplified Heat do for psychedelic '70s style rock. I bet the Woodstock generation would totally dig these dudes as well.

Amplified Heat (photo by Todd Wolfson)

Amplified Heat is Jim, Chris & Gian Ortiz. They are signed to the Austin label, Arclight Records. Arclight also has one of my favorite local metal bands, Pack of Wolves. That speaks well for Arclight if you ask me.

Anyway, I'm stoked about this show as should you be. The Parish has great sound and an indoor venue on the second floor, so a little warmth should be nice in this cold spell we're having here in Austin. Show up early and you'll be able to check out more local goodness from The Strange Attractors and Smoke and Feathers.

For more info and to purchase tickets, visit the following link:

Amplified Heat at The Parish

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A Look Back at Death at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009

Me with Death at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009 in Austin, Texas

The biggest reason to be excited for me at this past Fun Fun Fun Fest was not Danzig or The Sword, but the resurrection of the iconic punk rock group Death. Seeing them live felt like being in a time warp. They were punk before punk was genre. Think Stooges getting Jimmy Hendrix as a lead singer. It's something like that. Anyway, as I was surfing around YouTube tonight I came across the live video that I have been waiting for since the festival ended. Here's the live video of Death performing "Politicians In My Eyes" at Fun Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009.

For more on Death, check them out on MySpace:

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New video from Therefore I Am: 'I Am Only An Island'

I met this band at Warped Tour this summer and reviewed the album in spring. I absolutely love Therefore I Am and can't say enough good about them. I am bummed their show Austin show was canceled, but maybe SXSW or spring tour will bring them back around. In the meantime, check out their new video for "I Am Only An Island". If you like it, it is off their album The Sound of Human Lives. Honestly, it is not even the best song on the album.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

12/16 Wednesday Show Pick: Subrosa Union and Driver F

Wednesday night at Stubb's indoor is a great local show, sort of the best of the best if you will. Two great young Austin bands with two distinctly different styles, Subrosa Union and Driver F, will play together on on bill. When I saw this listed online it was another no brainer for me for my Wednesday night pick. It is also affordable too as advance tickets are only $8.

I've talked about Subrosa Union on my blog here before, but briefly they are a dub-reggae ska band somthing to the likes of Sublime. They are a three piece originally from El Paso but have called Austin home for a few years now. They play all over town, from Stubb's to bars like the Chuggin' Monkey. They are real road warriors also, having gone as far as the Middle East to perform for our troops overseas. Lead Singer Michael Anaya has a great voice, especially for this genre. For more on Subrosa Union, read their interview on Austin Vida here.

Driver F, Wednesday's other feature artist, is another good young Austin band. They fall more into the pop-punk category, but not in the sense where you'd see too many bad tattoos or uber tight jeans. Their music is catchy and very easy for fans to sing along with, but has a few more adult elements a lot of pop-punk bands don't have like horns and grown up lyrics. Just as I write that, I'm staring at the back of their latest album Chase The White Whale and looking at the ridiculous song titles that have nothing to do with the songs what-so-ever.

Driver F

That album by the way, could have easily been the best local release in 2008 on many people's lists if they weren't so weird about selections. You ever hear the expression "blogger band"? Driver F couldn't be one because they don't qualify for Paste Magazine or Under The Radar. It could be for several reasons, but mostly because they aren't ultra indie. I'm not knocking those publications or indie music, as I love them all, but mainly pointing out that the group and album deserved more local buzz than it got.

Currently Driver F is still working on their next album, which is one album I'm dying to get my hands on once it comes out. They either haven't decided on a title or aren't leaking it yet, but I'll keep you posted. I just hope they have normal song titles and stick pretty close to the formula that's worked over the years for them. If you go to Stubb's Wednesday, you will get a hear some new songs I'm sure. If you're new to Driver F, check out their video here for "Temple of Doom", an Indiana Jones reference no doubt that has nothing to do with the lyrics int he song, but enjoy anyway.

For advance tickets or more info on the bands, visit the following links:

Purchase advance tickets

Driver F on MySpace

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Concert Review: Ola Podria at Mohawk

Dave Wingo of Ola Podrida (photo by Mary Rehak)

Friday night I found myself once again at Mohawk, one of my favorite Red River hangouts here in Austin. Headlining was Austin’s own Balmorhea, whom I heard on the local tastemaker radio station earlier in the day. As brilliant and symphonic as Balmorhea may be, the attraction for me was their label mate, Ola Podrida. I was actually looking forward to seeing both bands, as this bill sounded like something worth seeing live underneath the night sky at Mohawk’s outdoor stage.

Unfortunately due to the cold weather (cold for Austin anyway) and the chance of rain, Friday’s show had to be moved into the smaller indoor stage. The indoor stage isn’t the outdoor stage by any means, but at least it’s intimate and everyone was warm. It just tends to be too crowded indoors for a show that draws a crowd the size of Friday’s.

As I walked inside, Martin Crane of the Austin based indie band Brazos, was performing some solo stuff he’d written. It was just Crane and his electric guitar. I caught the last couple of songs from Crane and it was literally over in a flash. Shortly thereafter, Ola Podrida took the stage for the first time in Austin this year. Ola Podrida, which translates in Spanish as “rotten wave”, is fronted by Dave Wingo. Wingo is an Austin based singer-songwriter who has spent the last year receiving great critical acclaim for Ola Podrida’s latest album, Belly of The Lion.

As Ola Podrida got started, Wingo introduced new band mates Colin Swietek (guitar) and David McComb (bass). Wingo also introduced his drummer, who he told everyone was with him since the beginning, Matthew Frank. After a couple of sips of the Lone Star to his side, Wingo and company started playing songs from Belly of The Lion.

From the get go, the band had to deal with sound issues. Their faces showed them trying to play through it, but it was clear that it was bugging them. It wasn’t anything terrible, just an annoying little buzz coming through the speakers for all to hear in between songs. Once Ola Podrida started playing a song, the buzz was hardly noticeable. I only heard it because I was front and center to the stage.

As much as I like Ola Podrida's albums, it didn’t start translating live until they picked up the indie shoegaze. The first couple of songs were acoustic guitar driven and when the buzzing sound was at its worst. Come the third song, the electric guitar and the drums woke up with “Roomful of Sparrows”. Watching Colin Sweitek strum away at light speed and hearing Wingo turn up his internal vocal volume woke us all up.

Right after, Wingo put his guitar down and picked up the banjo to start playing “Donkey”. On “Donkey” Wingo had to start that over a couple of times as he pulled the cord out of his banjo only to create more of that darn buzzing noise. Having made a full recovery from the small hiccup, they went on to play “Donkey” and nailed it. That was a nice gift for me as it is my favorite slow song on Belly of The Lion.

The other highlight of the set for me was “This Old World”, also off Belly of The Lion. Wingo had his banjo again and the buzz almost wasn’t there. I think because their music is so good, there wasn’t anything that could have kept me from enjoying Ola Podrida’s set. There was just something about being there for their first live show that added something special to the evening.

(Review written for and published on Double All live photos by Mark Rehak).

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12/15 Tuesday Show Pick: The Devil Wears Prada at Emo's

The Dayton, Ohio based Christian metalcore band that shares the same name as that terrible book is bringing they're high energy live show to Emo's Tuesday. The Devil Wears Prada (TDWP) was the one bands that I did not get to see at Warped Tour this past summer, much to my disappointment. Besides As I Lay Dying or maybe Underoath, no band with an openly "Christian" tag or identity has held my attention. TDWP are not preachy or cheesy, or trying to be something they aren't. Ok so they did cover of the Big Tymers song "Still Fly" for a pop-crunk album of some sort, but I choose to block that out. Overall, TDWP just do their thing their way and do it well.

Don't let their bright t-shirts and young faces fool you. TDWP is metal. Their particular brand of metal is "metalcore", which refers to heavy metal with punk rock elements and with heavy emphasis on melodic breakdowns. The drums are still played at lightning speed, and the vocals still sound very metal but with a little more screaming. That's the short version for those of you who don't follow the genre or are unfamiliar.

The Devil Wears Prada has been touring to support their current release, With Roots Above and Branches Below. It's their first album on Ferret Music, as the band's previous albums were released on popular hardcore label Rise Records. While I still prefer 2007's Plagues, With Roots Above and Branches Below is a solid album from beginning to end. Besides being constant road warriors, that album is why the band's stock has risen this year and has fans old and new thirsty for a new album in 2010.

The Devil Wears Prada (photo by Gordie Ball)

Tuesday, Emo's should be packed. I'd be shocked if the show wasn't sold out at this point. This is their last Austin appearance for quite some time. In 2010 they will be touring with Kill Switch Engage and there aren't any Austin stops on that calendar. In fact, only Houston and Dallas get tour stops. It shocks me to not see San Antonio listed, as both bands made appearances there in 2009 on Warped and Mayhem Fest.

The Devil Wears Prada's touring mates are some heavy hitters in their own right in terms of fan base. All That Remains, Story of The Year and Haste The Day are a good fit to play under TDWP and the hardcore kids should love it. For me they are hit or miss, but I'm going for TDWP. So should you.

For more on The Devil Wears Prada, visit the following link:

TDWP on MySpace

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