Follow Live Music In Austin

Saturday, October 26, 2013

By the light of the Moontower



A couple blocks on the south side of the Slaughter Ln and Manchaca intersection, in Austin, Texas, there is a little ol' bar called the Moontower Saloon (http://moontowersaloon.com). Nestled among the trees, situated on a couple of acres with PLENTY of room to roam. Bring your dog, bring your friends, and bring on the good times, just don't bring the kids.

There are washer pits (poor mans horseshoes) and I suppose there might be horseshoe pits also, but I haven't paid attention. There is a bar outside, a bar inside, a couple of food trailers and ample amounts of seating in the form of picnic tables and benches. There is also a stage outside for music on any given long weekend. For the most part there is decent parking, but be prepared to pay a couple of bucks in one of the satellite lots behind the Moontower Saloon.

The bar staff is good and attentive and there is ample security for the overindulgent. I will state this in the most simple terms. DO NOT FUCK AROUND and get to soused, they will throw your ass out and I promise you the local law enforcement is and will be waiting. Bring a DD (and I don't mean your girlfriend) have know worries and have a great time.



The stage is just to the right of the bar, a fire pit for those cool Texas nights, and seating all around. This is a great spot to sit down and catch your favorite local band if you are lucky. If you are unlucky then you get to catch some great local talent anyway. It was a lucky night for me and a few friends as we drove up and parked there was a familiar sound rolling through the cool Texas evening air.


The rocking, blues sound of Bobby Bookout (http://www.bobbybookout.com). Whether you like rock, blues, or a hint of that Texas country sound, Bobby Bookout should be an audio destination for you. On this evening it seemed that there were more than a hundred folks hanging out and taking in that Austin sound. Bobby is in the middle of recording his second full length album and is very happy showcasing some of those tunes to an eager crowd. With some folks in the crowd that are military friends of Bobby's it is a wonder that the crowd thoroughly enjoyed songs like 'Guns Drawn' and the Johnny Cash sounding 'Home'. You really need to look up Bobby Bookout's web page, go to a show, and see what you can do to help support the creation of the new album and continue to support live, local Austin music.




Like the crowd on this cool Texas night, I left the Moontower, we all left happy. Bodies warm from the fires burning and our souls warm from some great music. Don't think ANYTHING will ever beat a great Texas night with some great Texas music. Stop into the Moontower and you tell me.















Laters



Friday, October 25, 2013

Death Metal lives...

in the hearts and soulless! and in this case, at Infest in Austin, Texas. The 'No Salvation' Tour, headlined by the death metal band Deicide, made Austin it's last stop on the tour. Lucky us! Although there was no throat slashing at the show in Austin, it was still pretty fucking brutal. With Disgorge, Disfigured, and Necronomicon on the bill as well, there was simply no Hope (no pun intended)!





I will start with Infest (http://www.infestaustin.com/) itself. Located on the corner of 5th and Lavaca in the Warehouse entertainment district. For anyone not familiar with the Austin downtown layout, but has heard of 6th St, Infest is only about 4 blocks from the heart of that vibrant, shot bar, drunken college student area. Pick your poison. The club itself has a sneaky little side entrance, but once inside and up the steps, it opens into a pretty massive rectangle shaped room that would easily hold more than 500. There is even a pretty sweet VIP area upstairs if you are so prissy as to not get sweaty, down and dirty with the crowd. Who am I to call you out. A side stage on the long wall, bar opposite that and the main stage at the end. I love the potential that the dual stage has and can't wait to attend a show at Infest that maximizes this layout.



Tonite was just straight, blistering, melt-your-fucking-brain, death metal, blasting-your-face-off from the main stage. I will sadly apologize to the opening bands for my inability to break free from my prior engagement, but you know what...DEICIDE was hell on earth, worth it!



I have know doubt that everyone was pumped and primed for Deicide (http://www.centurymedia.com/artist.aspx?IdArtist=215) because there wasn't a dry body in the house. Everyone was bathed in sweat and whipped into a frenzy from the moment Deicide hit the stage. Really and truthfully playing like the soundtrack to Hell, horns were raised for the whole damn show. Interesting enough is the pit down in front must have worn itself out with every other band, because I have seen finer mosh pits at a rap show. I know it's not about the size of the pit, but how you use it. There was not a whole lot of talking or storytellers happening, Deicide just turned it on with all they had.


It was definitely apparent that the fans mean a lot to this band. Fans were not only getting on stage for the obligatory stage dive, but towards the end, lead singer and bassist Glen, even allowed a fan to get on the mic for some screams and gutturals of his own. That was very cool to see happen without somebody getting punched or body tackled off the stage. The best way to end the tour in Austin was the greatest way to end the night. Calling the members of the other bands on stage, all joined in for the last blast to send the crowd on it's way.



Outside after the show I stopped a group of people, asking about the show and venue. All 4 were interestingly enough, from El Paso. Probably the best city in Texas for a real metal crowd, and after a previous show, pretty damn dangerous. The concert goers unanimously chimed in about the "Awesome performance" they had just experienced. One of the young ladies in the group did a great job of steering away from any comparisons of the two cities, but stated there was no doubt she loved Infest, loved the Deicide performance and was excited for the next metal show peeking just around the Helloween corner!


I, myself, had the pleasure of meeting Deicide lead guitarist, Jack Owen. Although it was probably all of 5 words from Jack, I will declare it was a pretty awesome moment. Anytime a band hangs out after a show and just bullshits with the fans, has a smoke, or has a drink, it shows massive amounts of respect. From Cannibal Corpse to today, Jack Owen kicks ass as a guitarist and owns it as a human being!

















Laters


Monday, October 21, 2013

Dia de los Muertos Austin 2013

for the Easter Seals Central Texas (http://centraltx.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=TXCA_homepage)



I had the fantastic opportunity to join a few thousand other folks on a beautiful Saturday for the 1st Annual Dia de los Muertos festival at Fiesta Gardens in downtown Austin, Texas. The beautiful grounds to walk around on, moving from the Fiesta Garden stage across the bridge to the Festival stage. Everything was set up well, with food booths, merchandise vendors, and two stages set up for non-stop music and fun. You just can't beat good music, family, and fun on a beautiful Texas fall day. With all sorts of good food to eat, souvenir shirts to remember the day with, awesome face painting, music and dancing for all, it was a can't miss day.



Austin Samba school (http://www.austinsamba.com) was kicking up their heels on the Festival stage when we arrived and was showing everyone a great time. The rhythm of drums was powerful and driving, the dancers were moving on the floor and through the crowd. All of this building up wonderful join in and dance along! Just check out the photos and a quick video here http://youtu.be/1TuQ0W82eH8










Moving through the festival, down across the bridge, and to the Fiesta stage where I caught DaHeBeGeBees (http://dahebegebees.com). These guys put the soul in Latin rhythm without a doubt. DaHeBeGeBees are a staple in the Austin music scene and can be seen regularly at many of Austin's fine music venues. When you get a chance you will not be let down at the good times and great feelings you get listening to them. In fact it will probably be the only time you can say you were happy to get DaHeBeGeBees! My personal favorite is 'Hurts to Hate', that is some powerfully fun stuff there. Check out these photos and video from the festival. http://youtu.be/ORO-obOfM4Q











Running back across the grounds was so worth it to see Flaco Jimenez (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flaco-Jimenez/187073768014785), Rick Trevino (http://www.ricktrevino.com), and Los Texmaniacs (http://www.texmaniacs.com) on the Festival stage. WOW! All that grammy award winning talent right there on one stage. It was great and the Tejano dancing crowd couldn't have completely agreed more. I will be happy to admit that I am not thoroughly familiar with all of their music, but that has nothing to do with how much fun the crowd was having and how great Los Texmaniacs were on stage. We will see if the 2nd annual festival can top a great gathering of talent like this.



















Back across the grounds, to the Fiesta stage, I caught some of the performance of another of my Austin Favorites, El Tule (http://www.eltuleband.com). I first caught this band a few years ago at the Hot Sauce festival and darn glad I did. This group has that Latin sound with a cool horn section and a smoking hot rhythm section. It was completely and utterly uptempo. El Tule had people in the crowd moving to the groove. Loved It!









Now for the last time, I made it back across the grounds to catch the utterly amazing and incomparable Dale Watson (http://dalewatson.com/index.htm). Are you kidding me! This, for me, was the greatest thing. Dale Watson has had the people in Austin doing the 'quick quick, slow slow' (C'mon ya'll - the Texas Two Step) and the 'quick, slow slow' (HELLO - the Waltz) for years. I was thrilled to death when OUR Dale Watson made his recent appearance on national television on The David Letterman Show. All of that doesn't matter though as Jonas Schwartz, Chairperson of the Board, Executive Chair for Easter Seals Central Texas proudly introduced Dale Watson to the stage! My goodness you don't understand, a fan of Dale Watson for many, MANY years and I have not one darn good excuse for not going to see him at The Broken Spoke or any other place in Austin, or the central Texas area....and here he was. It was every bit worth the wait. The audience definitely agreed with me as it got really crowded and EVERYONE seemed to be dancing and singing to EVERY SINGLE SONG. The crowd even loved every second of Dale's Lonestar commercial, in the middle of his set. Here are some photos from his performance.







 


To finish off the evening on the Festival stage, on his 73rd birthday, Little Joe Y La Familia (http://www.littlejoeylafamilia.com). This looks like the event that the crowd was holding out for. Everybody up on their feet and on the floor. It was definitely a celebration of music and good times. With an epic history of making music and performing, it is undoubtedly the best way that the Easter Seals Central Texas could have capped off their 1st annual event. 




















I look forward to next year and hope to see many, many more people there. Remember it is not all just good times, but for a great cause!


Special thanks to KOKE FM for allowing me this opportunity to tell everyone about this special event!


Laters

Thursday, October 10, 2013

American comfort


Comfort food and comfort music. Things that you are familiar with, that make you feel good, and that you don't have to try and enjoy...you just do.

Wings and music....sounds pretty damn good to me, hope it does for you too.


Wings To Go (http://www.wingstogo.com/location/Kyle) made it's debut in small town Kyle, Texas recently. Located in the H.E.B. plus shopping center, it is a can't miss destination on your way out or on your way in to Austin. They food is...well...IT'S WINGS!!!! Actually, the menu offers a few other things that are good as well, for example, the salad is surprisingly good. As far as flavors, Wings To Go offers the standard fare and wide variety. Don't be afraid to ask the wait staff to have a taste before you order what you think is your favorite flavor. Remember 'Hot' at one place may be mild somewhere else. My personal favorite to order here EVERY TIME I GO is not even on the menu. You have to ask for the Parmesan garlic fries...TO DIE FOR!!!!!

Wings To Go Kyle is pretty bare bones, but you don't go to a place like this for the decor. Lots and LOTS of TVs make it the place to go to watch your favorite sport. If it's sports and it's on TV, but they don't have it on one of theirs, just ask (it is Time Warner they have BTW) they will tune it in for you.


BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE....this IS a music blog. "What the hell!?" you say. Seems to me like the Wings To Go in Kyle is picking up the music bug with some guitar picking on a recent Saturday night. That's right, The Cody Bryan Band (http://codybryanmusic.com/main.php) made it's acoustic appearance right here. With a pretty damn good crowd (for a wing place) it was an easy way to burn 2 hours, have some great American comfort food in those wings and amazing fries and with some great Texas country music from the Cody Bryan Band.


Armed with some serious tunage, a few cover songs, and some new songs that this crowd had the pleasure to experience, the Cody Bryan Band was a crowd pleaser. The band brought along a great deal of merchandise as well as a great deal on their merchandise.

Playing songs from their debut CD made a few in the crowd happy, hearing a song from a previous incarnation of this band was downright exhilarating! Throwing in some crowd pleasing, sing along type covers proves that this Cody Bryan guy is taking the reigns and steering his audience the way he wants. There are definitely more opportunities to see this band coming up, so check out there website and make tracks to go. Whether it is an acoustic set or the whole band, check it out. In fact, check out both versions as it is two completely different experiences.


Laters

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

For a good time call....

well actually just go by, Don't call! AND IT'S FREE!!!!


Little Woodrow's (http://littlewoodrows.com/aus_southpark/) is hosting a Wednesday edition of Austin Live and Local (http://www.mix947.com/Austin-Live---Local/15183509) with host Patrick Davis and guest host MC Overlord (http://www.overlordmusic.com).

This takes place in the back of Little Woodrow's from 8 - 9 every Wednesday. It is good raucous fun with a little touch of some local music in every show AND it's is a radio show that is created right before your eyes.

I, myself, did not know what to expect and was surprised at what I got. You will be too!

Austin Live and Local is set up in a talk show format. The hosts and usually a couple of guests cover everything from current events and sports in the most irreverent way possible to a quick fire exchange of banter during conversations. The hour long show ends with a special musical guest performing a couple of songs.

The show is pod cast on MIX 94.7 the next evening and there is nothing quite like being part of that live audience and then listening back to the (sometimes edited) show the next day. It makes it all the more fun.

So go do yourself a favor, get out of the house, get off the sofa. It is on Wednesday nights and is only for an hour. You can be back home and in bed by breakfast!

I loved it and plan to participate again, hope to see you there.

Laters

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What little girls are made of....




Seems to me the Austin360 Amphitheater (http://austin360amphitheater.com) has my number...and in a good way. Although I haven't done press for every single show I have put a request in for, I have still done some key shows and am very happy the way it has panned. New professional acquaintances and some great life experience(s) always make any sweat and hard work worth it.

Being at the Circuit of The Americas (http://circuitoftheamericas.com) for  the inaugural and mind blowing F1 races, to the grand opening of the Austin360 Amphitheater with Kenny Chesney and the No Shoes Nation (. Shooting photos and writing up the hottest rock tour of the summer in the form of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival featuring Rob Zombie and then capping it off with Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert on the Locked and ReLoaded Tour. Pretty damn nice.

The changes to the whole environment of what is The Circuit of the Americas and the Austin360 Amphitheater are tangible and worth while over the course of the last year. On the COTA side there is  the growing grass, solutions to traffic, and shuttling patrons around. On the Austin360 Amphitheater side there is the improvements to path lighting, ambient surround lighting, and location/lighting of the portable bathrooms.

If you have only been out to this facility once and didn't notice, fine and understandable, but if you have been out there 4, 5, or 6 times and seen the growth and improvement, you know and understand. COTA was world class from day 1, but with the arrival of the Summer X Games in 2014, COTA is now putting its Austin footprint on the world!


Enough BLAH BLAH BLAH and butt smooching to COTA and the Austin360 Amphitheater (though  I will be back in November for the F1 races again), let's talk about some fun ass country music and a few great performances.

Charlie Worsham (http://www.charlieworsham.com) you, sir, KICKED ASS! I was not able to shoot any photos of you (but thanks to my friend Suzanne from Front Row, there are some great ones here - http://flic.kr/s/aHsjKaYVQN ). I WAS however able to enjoy the whole performance without the distraction of a lens to my face. I have no doubt that I enjoyed your musical genius and talent as much as every other lucky person that was there early enough to. Without a doubt, if there is someone out there in the world that is going to do a cover song and make it there own, but still recognizable....'Crazy Train' is the EPIC, UBER COOL, top of that pyramid, done by Charlie. To my surprise I overheard someone who was saddened that Charlie chose to close with the title track to his debut album 'Rubberband' and not his up and coming hit single 'Could It Be'. I personally don't give a shit as I thought the performance was pretty damn cool and just flowed perfectly.

I am a fan of music, get star struck like most, and act like an idiot when I am lucky enough to meet someone. After shooting the obligatory first 3 songs of the Dierks Bentley set, all of the photographers where being herded back to out stoop when I was stopped DEAD IN MY TRACKS. None other than Charlie EFFING Worsham is standing, leaning against a rail, in the crowd watching Dierks perform. Both "WOW" and "HOLY SHIT" come to mind. I simply stopped dead in my tracks called him out by name '"Charlie?" and then proceeded to shake his hand like crazy and pat him on the shoulder. Looking around to my photography peers, I was in awe. To you Charlie Worsham, I can't say enough "Thank you's" to express my gratitude and happiness that you took the time to go hang out and watch the show from our perspective and were cordial enough to accept my praise. Thank You, and if I am lucky enough that you read this...call me or email me...


Dierks Bentley (http://dierks.com/full-home). This was ALOT different of a performance than the last time I did a write up 3 years ago (http://livemusicinaustin.blogspot.com/2010/08/you-know-its-country-show-whenthe-band.html). Although Dierks wasn't the headliner, it didn't matter and you would have never guessed. The stage show and performance were really to the moon! Kicking it into gear from the opening song and not looking back, Dierks really put the crowd on its feet. This was not a warm up for Miranda, it was a damn barn burner! Even when Dierks settled for a slowdown it was nothing like that in the crowd. Hot and sweaty, with woman ripping off their little white tank tops, throwing them in the middle right next to him, it was crazy. I swear there is one lady I saw before and after Dierks and she WAS wearing a little white tank top before his performance and then magically was wearing a black one afterwards...she denied it to hell,...I SWEAR! Even having the band as a whole, climb onto the scaffolding at the back of the stage as a giant, full moon rose across the screen to perform 'Up on the ridge' was pretty damn cool.



 I strongly hold the opinion that people pay money and go to live performances to not just hear and see that musician play the songs, but to give us all a little piece of themselves. It's not just the story telling that is woven into the music, but it is the VH1 Storytellers that the artists become onstage. Telling us those intimate moments about writing this song or that one. Dierks does it
wonderfully and with a smile. From the tear jerking moment about the song in memory of his dad ('I Hold On'), to getting the girls to throw it onstage, it's what makes a good show it to a great memory! BTW Dierks, don't EVER get rid of the Stubbs cap! It was cool seeing you were that for the live performance broadcast from New York.


Miranda Lambert (http://www.mirandalambert.com). Ohhhh Miranda Lambert. What could be better than Dierks Bentley....how about that blond hair woman with all the attitude, spark, and confidence ONLY a Texas woman would have the balls to be! Miranda Lambert's very cool opening and tribute to all the strong woman of the world and of the west, was right on the money. The unexpected, but 'HELL YEAH', moment in realizing what her opening song was, to her non stop movement on the stage. If you like Miranda Lambert, then you Love her. For the kick ass,  don't take no shit from anyone attitude she has in songs like 'Gun powder and Lead' to the moving and
heartfelt 'The House that built me', whew...it was a roller coaster ride. Intricately tying her videos to her performance and mashing up some covers was just loads of fun. All the way down to how she introduced the band mid set....very cool. From the crowds perspective and  for the love of all that is Texas...Miranda kept it locked and reloaded!


Can't forget to mention Jukebox Mafia (http://www.jukeboxmafia.com) and their ninja like performance in between Dierks and Miranda. Yup! If you didn't know, that is actually a real band playing all those country mash ups of your favorite hit songs! Those guys are GREAT FUN and big props to Miranda for letting these guys work up the crowd in between sets. F N Genius!


I have to finish up by talking shit to a buddy of mine. Jorge, I shouldn't get my man card revoked for going to a Miranda Lambert show....I GET THAT CARD DOUBLE D STAMPED!!!!!

Laters