Follow Live Music In Austin

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Crash into this

Spinners is located on the edge of Austin,  your last stop before you leave weird and land at the rock. The bar consists of two sides,  the bar side with an outside deck, and the lounge side - set up for private parties and live music performances.



The bar side does have a small stage as you walk in the door, immediately to your left. It opens into a large room with the bar to your left and the outdoor patio to your right. There are plenty of TVs around for your sports watching pleasure. If you walk all the way through, the bathrooms are to the back.




The 'live' performance this particular evening (and check the schedule because I believe he is here most Saturdays) was DJ Crash. Yes! THAT DJ CRASH of Dirty Wormz fame. It is live for what he does and how he does it. 


Crash has been a fixture and part of Austin music legend for damn straight on 2 decades. It isn't the length of time, but his ability. Not really untouchable, but he commands respect. Being good and in demand is one thing, but to cross music genres as a DJ that does more than rap, hip hop, but also metal.



Tonight he was straight entertainment. Impressive at keeping the beats and the music entertaining for the crowd. Skillful in not taking your conversation away from you and your friends, but bad ass enough every few minutes to make people in the crowd look up. Yes, I heard people say 'DAMN!'
If you have to, or want to hire a DJ, do you want Pandora or someone that can control the crowd. Bring them up, bring them down. If you want your money on a man who can entertain and be invisible, but be the center of attention on demand...DJ CRASH.






Just stop by Spinners, look him up, find him with the Wormz, and feel good.




Laters

Written with extreme prejudice and a challenge and a dare. I challenge you to be daring!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Day of the Dead 2015



Central Texas Easter Seals Foundation (http://www.easterseals.com/centraltx/) is a wonderful organization. Not only are there some great people doing some great things, but those people they support and help are even more wonderful. For the last few years, Central Texas Easter Seals Foundation has had a fundraiser during the spookiest, fun part of the year...Halloween. Celebrating the traditional Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos the best way possible, with music and fun here in Austin, Texas.





I have had the pleasure of attending the events each of the previous years since it started and was there again this year with my wife has joining me, and our 9 year old. The celebration is most definitely fun for all. Vendor booths, food, and fun for the kids in the H.E.B. kids zone, this is definitely a celebration of life! But the most fun of all....is the music and dancing, of course!


For me the celebration starts with the Dia de los Muertos parade featuring The Austin Samba School and Las Monas. There are drums, costumes, dancing, and it is just one big Fiesta! Even kids of all ages are invited to join in at one point. This is one of the most exciting things to watch and my wife and I have always looked forward to it.















On to the musical portion. First of the 4 bands on the main stage this evening was Kinski Gallo (http://www.kinskigallo.com/). This was a 3 piece that was the perfect warm up for the late afternoon crowd. With the crowd slightly growing, it was evident Kinski Gallo was the right type of energy to have some folks get up, move up, and start to dance.




Next up (and this is what I love about live music in the capital city) was the very popular, and thrilling La Vida Boheme (https://www.facebook.com/LaVidaBoheme). My surprise of the festival. I love going into an event and not knowing all the bands. It leaves the biases to go out the window and leaves the door open for new experiences. La Vida Boheme was that.



This quartet out of Venezuela was thrilling to say the least. They left no question about their popularity, not just by the cheering crowd down in front, but the Latin/Pop rhythms that blew me away. It was go, go, go from La Vida Boheme's first song to the end of their set. Everybody was so excited and we could here the crowd chanting 'OTRA!'















Next up, and not surprisingly decked out for the event, was Son De Rey (http://www.sonderey.com/). Austins own Latin super group. A highly entertaining and charismatic front man leads this band with his moves and his voice. Not to downplay his female counter-part, this duo knows how to entertain. The music is a mix of covers and originals, and none of it disappoints as it all provided the fuel to bring in more of the crowd to the dance floor.









The great thing with Son de Rey, they are based here in Austin, Texas. So, if you live here in town and want a thrilling musical experience with your margaritas at happy hour or later, look them up. If you are from out of town and want that fun Latin vibe you can dance your drinks away to, look them up as well.













Known mostly by his first name, but loved infinitely by the country/Tejano legions of fans in the U.S. and Mexico...Emilio (https://www.facebook.com/EmilioNavairaMx) was the headlining act for Dia de los Muertos 2015. Oh, and now the crowds came out, moved forward, and there was lots of dancing! Emilio and his band started out just a little tame, with some slower Tejano songs. Then he rolled into his country music, building into his big upbeat Tejano hits. This seems to be what the crowd was dying for all day (get it dying for - Dia de los Muertos)!






Emilio proved to be the king of Tejano this night in Austin. What a great performance from a great entertainer.








Lets see what this next year brings!













Laters

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

5 days wasted

although I was invited to hang out. Some how the fact that I am NOT a rockstar, I do not sing in a band, play drums in a band, or play lead guitar, did not escape me. I seriously wanted to spend time with my friends from Chicago, but alas, work and family over rode the freelance will to go balls out. Instead I lived vicariously through the band Black4. For 5 glorious days of them recording in one of Austins newest studios (SkyAcre Labs - although I think The Spank Bank sounds cooler) and then watching them travel around Austin and enjoying our city. All while killing their livers...NICE!

To Bryan (Audrey), Brian, and Curtis...Thanks for making yourselves at home in Austin. We were happy you were here. Me personally, I can't wait to take my wife to Chicago and return the favor.

The Hole in the Wall (http://www.holeinthewallaustin.com/) on Guadalupe has been a mainstay and local college hang out in Austin, Texas for as long as I can remember. Punk, hip hop, rock...this place has seen it all. But alas, it seems it may have seen the end times as well. With developers doing their job to make a buck on the backs of the common man, it appears it may be going down for the count.

Located right where Dean Keeton dead ends into Guadalupe. If you miss it, it's cause you crashed into it. When you walk in the front door it opens to a small, dimly lit lounge are with a bar immediately on your right. Walking a little farther in you go past the bathrooms on your right, down some steps, and there you are by the stage. 

The stage is immediately on your right as you go down the steps and is located in the corner of the room. Housing a bar along the back wall in front of you and a pool table they have impossibly wedged in between the stage and the bar. There is an exit door to the back left, just in front of the bar that leads out to a very nice patio area.




Tonight was a list of 4 bands. With amazing tight set times, it kicked off just after 9:30 with Positive Disturbance (https://www.facebook.com/positivedisturbance). With their live hiphop stylings, Positive Disturbence was a nice, mellow way to open the evening. Easily in the top Five bands that has the balls to do hiphop with that jazzy type flair and do it live. The lyrics flowed well, the harmonies were dead on, and the lead guitar player was damn hot at what he was doing. It is impossible to not compare them to a couple of Austins great, live hiphop bands, and no doubt The GodFather of live hiphop music in Austin, MC Overlord, would be proud to share the stage with these cats. The place had a good crowd and all were grooving to the jams.



Hit By A Car hit the stage next (HA! - I made a funny). The one night only, reunion show, showed the ever growing crowed why this trio killed it back at the turn of the millennium. It was definitive, it was loud, and it was about as punk as it can be. Hit By A Car blasted through their set like there wasn't a stop sign in their way!



Black4 (http://black4band.com/) came all the way down from Chicago to have their sound permiate the every loving, ever living walls of The Hole In The Wall. In town to record some tracks for their upcoming album, Black4 used us as a practice mat for the musical assualt that is...well basically...Black4. This is how Rock-n- roll used to be and still should be. Not punk, not hardcore, not metal...just good old fashioned Rock and Roll.

This is what your daddy listened to and loved in the 70's and early 80's. Tight sound, but gritty and harsh. Shredding vocals that make you want to sing along at the top of your lungs, and lyrics you can hear and understand, amongst the kick you in your fucking balls sound! The crowd had swelled and it was fun watching folks throw their hands in the air.



SkyAcre (http://skyacremusic.com/) was the headliner. The hosts of the evening came out and did their thing well. The crowd was at capacity for this set. Blending the lines between that Black4 style of rock n roll I talked about and the Hit By A Car punk sound, SkyAcre is a smart blend. It was actually very cool watching those in the house break their necks to SkyAcre, and then smoothly drink a beer. The thing to watch out for with SkyAcre, is an amazing thing. How the hell does a 3 piece drop the big sound like these guys? Just watch'em!


Laters

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Got some 'Head at the Dog

Mushroomhead is on the 'Devils Be Damned' Tour. Damned that we be, as they stopped in Austin at The Dirty Dog on 6th St.


The Dirty Dog (https://dirtydogbar.com/) sits on 6th street, Austin, Texas. Located only a few blocks to the west of IH35. As you walk into the Dog, there is a nice sized seating are with tables by the street side windows and access to the bar. The bar is a large 'U' shaped bar. As you continue to walk forward, deeper into the venue, you see a very nice size stage to the left in another, larger open area. Sometimes there are tables here, and some nights it is cleared out for a band. The venue continues farther back with bathrooms to the left behind the stage and an area for the bands to load in and out with their equipment. 

The staff has always been excellent. So, if one of your favorite rock bands is on tour and stops at this location in Austin, don't be afraid to buy your ticket and go. As far as local music or happy hour, it is still a great place to pull up a chair for an adult beverages and quite a few TVs with most sports on, most of the time.

I have already seen Mushroomhead and had the fantastic experience of interiewing J Mann and Skinny (look up the interviews on my Soundcloud page). So I somewhat knew what to expect from them, but this is how the rest of the night started.







Tonight was a touring stop for 5 bands and one local group opening, Call Me King (https://www.facebook.com/WeAreCMK/timeline). These were the lucky guys to draw this opening slot. Though 6:45 on a week night is a tough time to pack a house, Call Me King took the stage and was not daunted by the small group of rock fans who had gathered early enough to enjoy this band. With a mixture of covers and some really kick ass originals, Call Me King wasted no time and had very little chatter.









The ominous task of opening for a national touring act and playing to the early crowd really didn't seem to faze these guys. At least it wasn't apparent, as we the crowd saw. There were a couple of cringe worthy moments for me, though. Doing cover songs sometimes is a must when you are in the lights, but own it, don't Karaoke it. I loved their cover of TOOL, but their System of A Down has got to go or needs a ton more work. I looked around as that song seemed to come apart and there were a few others in the crowd that seemed to wince at it as well. BUT THE ORIGINALS, killed! The phenomenal thing I took away from this show starting performance, was the high pitch screaming/gutturals from the lead singer played off really bad ass against the devilish gutturals of the bass player. I think there is an under used member of this group in the bass man. The whole 30ish minute spot was enough to make me look forward to seeing the name on another bill and look forward to what time and more experience will unfold for the band that is Call Me King!





Amerakin Overdose (https://www.facebook.com/amerakinoverdose). This was the stunner of the whole damn evening for me. Knowing what to expect from the headliner is one thing (because that is usually who you went to see), but sometimes you get REALLY lucky and discover something else bad ass and new. Amerakin Overdose was it. Yes! It was a combination of the costumed freaks that were onstage and the brilliant mix of rapcore/metal. I don't care if I am the last guy on the planet to hear of some band, but it is still good when I hear it.




The crowd apparently thought so as well. After being thoroughly warmed up and got our blood pumping by locals Call Me King, Amerakin Overdose came onstage and seemed to demand we spill that blood. It was a sonic punch to the eardrums and visual kick in the eyes. Every bit of their set was none stop insanity. As for a national tour opener, I don't know if it is pure brilliance that Mushroomhead has Amerakin Overdose in that spot or fear of the stacked bodies if Amerakin Overdose slotted right up against Mushroomhead. The Devils be Damned with this one.








Unsaid Fate (http://www.unsaidfate.com/). I have always thought and believed and band shouldn't bring any of their shit to the stage. Because if the crowd doesn't know...we don't know. WAIT A DAMN MINUTE! The drop dead gorgeous lead singer of Unsaid Fate walks out onstage and rams the first song through our tiny little ear holes like she doesn't give a fuck. THEN, she goes on to tell us she is struggling with a cold that is killing her throat. In this circumstance it was such genius move to tells us, because that made the whole crowd appreciate every word she sang afterwards. IT WAS VICIOUS! Unsaid Fate brought an intensity that was just cold blooded. The crowd ate it up and I chalked up another new band on my belt as a "Oh Hell Yes!" the next time they roll through the central Texas area.




























Weaving an intricate story with her music and her band, September Mourning   http://www.septembermourning.com/) appeared onstage as a vision in white. Okay! That was pretty corny, but you weren't there so shut up! September Mourning, as a band really put the 'Performance' in their part of the show. It seemed like a monumental task to take in both the music, the story, and the visual presentation, but it was a well played out well. September Mourning's set seemed to have the crowd eating out of her hand, like leading cattle to a musical slaughter. If you want a show with your metal music at a live performance, September Mourning has got to be put VERY high on your list.





MORTIIS (http://www.mortiis.com/) came out on stage as the final performance before the headliner. Although the majority of the crowd was packing in and getting ready for the headliner, it seemed as if there was something missing with this performance onstage. Mortiis was definitely putting forward the passion in the performance, and the crowd was down with the sound. It simply came to this when their set was done. Several fans of Mortiis, who came to this show to see them, were disappointed, exclaiming "OH MY GOD! I really wish I would have stayed home and
watched their videos!" Ouch!




Mushroomhead (http://www.mushroomhead.com/main/). You know, what more can be said about the complete and utterly explosive power of a head line band that comes out and blows the fuses in the first 5 seconds?! That's right! Just quit reading and go outside right now!



It was spectacular!
















I have been around when bands have blown speakers, but not shut down the whole damn thing.















Well, the staff at The Dirty Dog had it fixed quick, within just a few short minutes, and Mushroomhead launched into the hugely successful single "QWERTY" (and it is very easy to type on the keyboard). The crowd went nuts. I was yelling. It became an insane asylum. Mushroomhead plowed through their set, minus the recently departed Waylon (and he wasn't missed musically), like they were damned and being chased by the devil himself.





With the floor a writhing pit of insanity, it seemed worth being sad to not be down in front for this performance. The crowd told the story of a crazy successful performance. Non stop from the band fed to the non stop crowd. Even reaching back in time to tracks from XX, the crowd was thoroughly satisfied with the entire performance. I saw fathers and sons in the audience cheering. Husbands and wives with their horns up in the air. There were even brothers in the pit, killing one another and all who dared enter. Mushroomhead has mastered the art of a theatrical metal performance for the new age!







Laters



Thursday, October 1, 2015

on the Cusp

So as I am temporarily relocated to the quaint little hamlet of Pflugerville, Texas i shall make the best of it. Pflugerville (the p is silent) is on the north side of Austin. So, where as I am not legitimately in the live music capital of the world, I am still surrounded by places to go and bands to see!

I have been to Hanovers (http://hanoversaustin.com/) before and taken you on the descriptive tour, but I will do it again for consistency. Located in what would affectionately be called downtown, Hanover's is just a block off of the main street. With plenty of parking,there is not much fear of having to walk to far and loss your way at 1 a.m. 


As you walk in the front door you see the building is a rectangle shape with yourself entering on the short side of the rectangle. The bar is immediately to your right and runs down the entire length, ending at the doors to go to their massive backyard area. As you stand and continue to survey, the stage is opposite the bar on your left and is of a very modest size. Easily accommodating most bands. From the small 3 piece to the funktified band with a full horn section, rhythm section, and everyone in between. There is a small dance area in front of the stage, seating at some hi top tables and along the bar. 

There is seating immediately to your left as you stand at the door and seating with pool tables farther back, past the stag on the far left back corner. All in all it is a very nice set up and great if you want to get down in front with your favorite local band or something new. 

This particular evening it was something new FOR SURE. 


I caught the last 5 songs from White Label Analog (http://www.whitelabelanalog.com/). Fresh off their new CD release, White Label Analog had the house P A C K E D! It was energetic and sharp. Even walking in on the tail end of their set had me a little sad. I wanted to be out of breath and jumping around like the rest of the crowd. It is know doubt these guys are not only a crowd pleaser, but their polished looks to keep them busy her in the Austin area and have them traveling to farther cities and pass the good jams on. It is never a bad ticket if you get to see this band, doesn't matter who's on the bill....worth it!




Speaking of worth it, thanks to my friend Dave Prewitt! He warned me about the sheer awesomeness of this next band more than a year or two ago. I have followed them on FB and even made plans to go to previous shows. My own lame ass self for not seeing them sooner and experiencing the wonderousness of SCORPIO RISING (http://scorpiorisingmusic.com/)!






What the hell was wrong with me and what the hell is wrong with you. Follow the bands link NOW and find out where they are playing next that is near and dear or far and funky, GO!!!!!!!!


Scorpio Rising is fronted by Madame Scorpio...of course! With their worker jumpsuits on, this 3 piece is so beyond comparison of most anything I have seen in Austin yet. Funky, rocking, fun, energetic, and surprising all do little justice to Scorpio Rising with what is their own brand and style of danceable rock! It was like watching a funky ass aerobics video to very, VERY good music. Madame Scorpio is the epitome of a charismatic lead singer and entertainer. It was kind of sexy, but in a naughty, is-she-really-doing-that-oh-my-god-this-is-so-cool kind of way!



I believe the bass players name is "Wonderbread", if I am to believe the back of his jumpsuit. This guy was on the stage all of less than 5 minutes for the entire performance. Moving through the crowd like a hellion robot, moving non stop, and yelling for the crowd to constantly cheer and make more noise. It was IMPOSSIBLE not to smile and scream for more with Madame Scorpio on stage and the Wonderbread peering into the crowd and moving amongst us. Just a fantastic performance.














To top it off, they even called for a dance contest among the patrons for prizes from their merch table. Yes, people danced, people won, and we all yelled for more. Although I have never been a tremendous fan of bands or people playing to looped or pre recorded tracks. Doing it right is way beyond the level of what Scorpio Rising did. It doesn't matter because it was ridiculously thrilling and fun!

Laters