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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Piece by piece

I am gonna post my spring break, musical experiences from Austin Texas piece by piece. First one I have to drop is from Fri. the 14th of March, my birthday! We did a couple of different events. First was at The Nook Amphitheater (?) on 6th St. Then we hustled down to 'Rock the Lot' at the parking lot of the Austin American Statesman.

First time at The Nook ( and let me say amphitheater in the loosest sense of the word. Don't let that stop you or bother you, with three different levels to hang out at and still watch the band, that is pretty damn cool. Plenty of bars for your drinking needs and quick service make it nice to hang out in. The entry is somewhat of a cat walk. As you walk in and look down you see the sub level, with a nice size stage against the entrance wall, it's back to 6th St. If you remain on the street level and go back, it opens into a very nice area, with stairs leading up to the open, second story. The whole set up is basically the gutted out remains of an old beloved music venue. The walls are the buildings next door and effectively there is no roof, just open to the world.

During the fun week of music that falls during Spring Break in March we made the journey here to see an old friends band and got the surprise of the week.

Black4 ( is a group of 4 guys from Chicago, Ill. With only a five day notice, they packed up their gear, and lucky for us, we caught them on their last day in Austin...and my life will never be the same. Without any question or hesitation, this was the most stunning, exciting, and best set I saw, not only this year, but probably in the last several years!

Showing up early to wait for our friends to take the stage (I will talk about that performance below) was unquestionably worth it. Black4 is what rock and roll used to be, and apparently still is in the hearts and souls of these 4. The live stage set was energetic, fun, and just down and dirty-in you face, BAD ASS! Not only can you feel the fun these guys were having onstage with their music, you felt the music rumbling your bones. The crowd was definitely taking notice here.

....I also don't normally review albums...It is called Live Music In Austin ya know. But lucky me to get a copy of Black4's album 'Tales of Cuatro Negro'. This is where you will undoubtedly hear and feel what I described about the live performance. I don't always like to use descriptions of what I think a band sounds like ('cause it it may not be what you hear, but I am gonna do that now). I want you to know what I felt and am talking about in their live performance and on the CD.

It has the bottom heavy, bass guitar- bass drum infused sound of Clutch with the vocals to match. The harmonies in the chorus very much like Black Sabbath of old (LOL harmonies...Black Sabbath...hehehe I am funny). And some punk/hard core infused lead guitar riffs and snare drum like any number of punk bands out there (real punk - World Burns to Death, Disclose, The Ramones...PUNK music! The perfect birth and rebirth of what Rock music needs today, used to be, and still lives in Black4!

Then our beautiful friend Ansley Hughes, with Super Water Sympathy (,  took the stage. WOW! A slightly different band arrangement. New drummer and bass player, but all good! Ansley apparently is in awe of the drumming prowess of their newest member Hali, telling me "She's the best! I love her energy and her dedication. I am so happy she is with us!"

Apparently regaining their strength, the crowd pushed forward for an amazing and electric set from SWS. The music was amazingly powerful, haunting, exciting, and slightly darker than their previous stuff, and it was all new music! Super Water Sympathy blasted through their set and I don't think anybody at the Nook took a breathe until Ansley finished. The most passionate set, albeit it was abbreviated, that I have seen to date from SWS. As I looked around in the crowd, there was no doubt the performance of SWS, did it to everyone. Even my new found friends in Black4 were overheard commenting about the performance.

Sorry you missed it, glad you are reading about it.