Follow Live Music In Austin

Saturday, June 30, 2012

New blood!!!

Red Eyed Fly ) was eerily empty on the front side this particular week night. Bartenders standing and staring as you walk through to the club to the stage out back...a little creepy and surreal. But outside, sweet!

Sinsored ) was onstage and who I came to see. Punk music in its most raw and youngest form. I can say that it was not what I expected and better than I imagined. Missing only the first couple of songs but catching a half hour of performance was cool. Basic standard four piece as you would think. I really dont know their ages, but that doesnt matter. I have seen other bands that were older and where just starting out as well, so age...mehhh! It is how you handle yourself onstage and the crowd that I am there for.

I will provide feedback in this public forum 'cause I would like to see these kids grow, get better, and kick some more ass. Also, I can look back at this blog in the future when they are stars in their own right and compare that future gig to this first view.

Practice, practice, practice. The tunes and the sound were unmistakeably Punk! No doubt, not this bullshit pop punk on the radio (that I do listen to anyway) nor is it that '70's 'punk' sound. Sinsored is more hardcore punk and if this is what you like, this is what you will get. Raw, unapologetic, gutteral, shredding punk. No D-Beat (although that may come) , no feedback between tracks (maybe you guys should try it), just punk.

It is summertime and I would hope these kids were in the living room (fuck the garage it is too damn hot) for a couple of hours A DAY practicing. They need it. As stupid as it sounds to some of you, they need to tighten up their songs to be able to play the great, sloppy, punk sound and be good at it. A little off key on the vocals here, some off tempo licks there..ehhh...just practice.

I liked the fact that the bass player was the MC for the band. In between songs he was culling they audience for responses, "first time at a show of ours? How many have been to all 4 of our shows so far? go get a free demo CD!" Nice glad someone in the band is taking control of the audience, part of putting on a good show..;.not just playing your music. The audience is there for the live part of it. Otherwise we would put your shit on in the car and play it really fucking loud!

The frontmans voice was surpisingly great for the body it came out of, with his "Outsiders" style (check THAT reference Dave Tee Vee!) and constant smile, it was really great for the music. Don't know about the 'singing' on the slower track they did, but for everything else his voice is what will make or break these guys as a good punk band.

Look them up at their FB page and go try something new in Austin.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Echoe was loud and Dillard Roared

First trip to Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar ( ) in down town Austin. A really good location away from the heart of the 6th St hustle and the 4th and 5th St warehouse shuffle, if you go here you are doing so on purpose. This isn't a bar or location you just happen upon or wander into, you do it to meet friends, enjoy the people watching out front, or watch a game on TV inside. If you are lucky and check out their schedule, you can even catch some great music.

I didn't wander around the bar much. Walked in with the stage to the immediate right, bathrooms to the left, and the bar on the left of the main area running the length of the resturant/bar. 

Stopped dead in my tracks by Baloo the bear in the corner of the bar, MC Overlord. *Interesting analogy by the company I was keeping that night, "He's like the Godfather. Everyone sees him, says hi to him, touches him, and pay tributes to him (shots)." NICE! 

With Jess and the Echoes ( ) on stage already there was not a lot of socializing. Just enjoyment of some great music and an amazing front woman. This was pretty fuckin cool. I have seen Jess one time previously opening for Big Don, but this was wayyyyy different.

With a full band (and a rockstar bass player) there was a ton of action and excitement with this band. With energetic originals, moving ballads, sweet acoustic tracks, and a couple of bad ass covers the arrangement of this set was definitely designed to keep your attention the whole time they were on stage. I can't vocally peg Jess and really hate to anyway. As an example, I told my friend that she had some Carrie Underwood qualities to which he responded "Really, I kinda thought she sounds like Alanis Morisette." This is why I don't like to tell you what the band sounded like or who they remind me of. Make your own damn decision. 

Just listen to me when it comes to the show, the fun of it, and the joy of being part of the crowd. In the case of Jess and the Echoes, you would have fun, a great time to be had by all, and be caught smiling by the end of their set. For me the second time around was great!

and now for other jungle man of the evening...sporting a beard and longer hair was Michael Dillard ( ). WOW! and Holy Shit! Would be the descriptors to use here. I have seen Dillard more than a few damn times, and probably a few damn times more than I have written about. This absolutely fuckin deserves big props. I don't know what he did, maybe it was the new, infused blood of the powerful and kick ass rhythm section or was it just time on stage and behind the mic. This was an unbelievable performance. The energy that was delivered by Dillard and the ensemble on stage was MIND BLOWING! There was no doubt these guys wanted to be up there and fed off of every piece of energy from the small, hot crowd in Lucy's, but hell yeah that shit worked. Everyone was just making noise and cheering, singing along, and yelling for more throughout the gig. Just non stop! If there was a slower tempo song, you didn't know it and wouldn't have cared. 

I will tell you what I happily told Mike and his band mates after the show. "You did it! You stopped playing the music on stage and as of tonight... you PERFORMED!"

Congratulations to you Michael Dillard and your band, keep that incarnation the way it is and roll on!

For all of you that weren't there, you will have another chance to catch Michael with MC Overlord on their 3rd of July celebration. Check out their FB pages for details.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Down at the Y

So this little place isn't so small, The Rockin' Y Ranch ( ) is just a rabbit hair outside of Austin on 71. Book for your own event or just book it for a family weekend. But make sure it is a BIG family weekend. Plenty of acreage, a nice pool, camping, chickens (yup), and of course the rockin part of the ranch...the game room/party barn! With trophy heads on the wall, a pool table, a ping pong table, a bar, and loads of seating, this place was rockin on this particular evening.

Although the event was somewhat a private engagement party....oh what the hell, they went ahead and got married anyway...SURPRISE!! Congratulations Alice and MC! There was plenty of music and fun to go around for this special event.

Dropping in just in time to catch Robert Johnson's Soul (  ) wrapping up was a pretty great way to start the evening. Here is another Austin guitar specialist, but with what I felt was a more rockin twist than a blues sound. You make the call. Originals and covers to make the fill was a great blend. Opening or headlining would be a great spot for this group. Nice respect to the crowd interaction as well as the big stage feel and presence produced by this performance. Check out the web page.

Next up, and what a special treat this was, Lisa Tingle ( ). Having the unabashed privilege of seeing and hearing Lisa again (* check the prior write up) wasn't just great, it was stellar. Enjoying her performance with family and friends who have never experienced that Tinlgey sensation was even better. My sister aspires to be the next great female blues singer, and I believe this was inspirational to her. My daughter, loving music and good music they way I do, was in awe of Lisa's power. My girlfriend and one of her friends both couldn't stop smiling the whole time. Belting out her brand of blues and soul was worth every bit of the short drive to get here. If you get a chance to make a short drive to see her anywhere, it is worth the long trip! While local legend Van Wilks dropping in on guitar was great, seeing these two on stage and laughing and smiling of those HOLY SHIT moments.

SO, speaking of that holy shit moment. I have been circling Van Wilks )shows on my calendar for more than a year. Always thinking about it and wanting to go, but never quite walking in the door of whatever venue is hosting the performance. Lucky me, here he is topping off the evening at The Rockin Y.

So here I am, walking up to the bar in the back of the party barn (to get a soda of course) and the party organizer (Pat Tompkins of Pat's Party's) introduces me to the unassuming guy leaning on the bar in the corner. "WOW" and "Holy shit" I think were the words I used. The sense of humor and humbleness was immediately evident with the response from Van "Uh Oh did I do something wrong?" NICE!

Minutes later he is in front of the crowd and it is immediately evident of Vans skills. Joined only by an accompanying guitarist, Van started with this little ditty from the Beatles that got Pat into the Barn ('Here Comes The Sun'). That song and the rest of the performance was lightning quality, and by lightning quality I tell you that it made the hair stand up on the back of your neck. A few technical difficulties later and now we have Van joined by his bass player and drummer.

The best way I can describe this rock/blues sound of Van Wilks was a phone call from my 16 year old critic. Yes, phone call from across the yard. " OMG! Dad what is the name of this song. It's awesome!"  Well, hell I don't know, but this instrumental was every bit as kick ass as all of the vocal laced tracks that were part of the performance. Seeing folks get up and dance throughout is proof of his skills as a performer and entertainer. Van may have been running through the Austin music scene for a while, BUT do not take this for granted. I would be proud to take any of my guitarist friends from a number of other bands I have written about and go to a Van Wilks performance. Let that be part of the testament to the joy and greatness it is hearing and being part of the Van Wilks legacy!


* -