Follow Live Music In Austin

Friday, March 31, 2017

Let's talk about love



Back at my close to home hangout, Moontower (http://www.moontowersaloon.com/). 21 and up, ID upon driving in - and the bartenders will still card you if they want - Crazy amount of parking, and loads of space to play and have fun. With the tiny little house that represents the bar, a pool table, bathrooms, a couple of TVs, and some tables. Step outside onto the deck with another outside bar, a large TV, and more seating. Attached is also a smaller deck that acts as the stage. Out into the insanely huge yard that has tables, fire pits, food trucks, washer pits, more bathrooms, sand volleyball, another deck, and loads of fun.

But this particular nite hosted not the normal 1 band from 8 - 11, but 3 bands. NICE!


Opening the evening was Austin's darlings, and multi- award winning U-18 band, the          Tiarra Girls  (http://www.tiarragirls.com/). With their personal stamp and flair for the latin/rock genre, the Tiarra Girls completely rocked the yard, taking to school the two bands that followed, and that - I promise you - is not easy. I have had the pleasure of hearing them for the last 3 years and watch them grow as talented musicians and band. Crisp, confident guitar licks and solid vocals to a super tight back line (with one of the best and only female drummer in the Austin Music Awards top 10) is how these young women do it. So I really don't know how to say this any other way, but anyone that has the confidence to bust out bells and a clarinet during a rock show performance is worthy of your time and money. Enjoy the Tiarra Girls here in Austin now because they are on a trajectory that is soon to take them beyond us!




The second set was Evening Optimist (https://www.facebook.com/eveningoptimist/). Brand new to my ears and well placed in this set. Follow up the previous could have proved daunting to many other bands, but these Austin rock veterans had no trouble moving the night on. The crowd swelled in front of the stage, hips were moving, and drinks were flowing. Evening Optimist had that rock/pop/punk sound that was super enjoyable on this cool evening. The four piece which comprises Evening Optimist entertained us with the blazing lead guitarist and cool as ice lead singer, but the eyes seemed to be on the exciting bass player as he was the wild man! It was all fun and with a solid performance, you would definitely be happy you took the time on any night out and run into these guys on a stage here in Austin!
























And on to the headline performance. I have talked about them before, they were the headliners for a reason, and they are a band EVERY SINGLE other band should take performance notes from. Yes! Vallejo (http://www.vallejomusic.com/) rocked our faces off. With the massive amount of talent in front of them, Vallejo only had one way to finish out the night, and that was like every other other performance they have done...like EVERY SONG WAS A FINALE AND IT WAS THE END OF THE WORLD. Brothers AJ, Alex, and Omar, along with Alex and Bruce comprise the ultimate Latin/Rock musical experience of fun that can be had! To top it off they were joined onstage by the Amazing Kelly Green of the Texas K.G.B. (https://www.thetexaskgb.com/), just goes to prove you can't miss a show because you never know what will happen!








With over 2 decades of performing and hit songs there is absolutely no question Vallejo remains top of the food chain when comes to The Austin Live Music Capitol of the World and MUST see bands!









Laters



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Smash this



So I received a message there was going to be a CD release party at Elysium. What the fuck, I must attend. Not really knowing or caring who was on the bill, I had to go and give my respect to Austin music.























Elysium (http://www.elysiumonline.net/) is located on Red River between 7th and 8th St in the downtown entertainment district of Austin, Tx. Painted all black on the outside with an outdoor patio/smoking area, the club seems very ominous. As you step into the narrow opening and pass to the right, the club opens up it to a fairly large room. Divided in half with the left half representing the dance floor, DJ booth, and stage and the right half representing the lounge with a large, long bar running against the right wall. The bathrooms are located to the far back right with a pool table. Yes, the bartender has been there for 15 plus years, knows his shit, doesn't take any shit, and is super fucking cool.


For this evening there was a nice gathering of juggalos, as well as other fans of the Austin rap scene. Initially, like on any given night, it started out kind of quiet and the opening act delayed their start by almost 30 minutes. At that point, Pyskodynamix took the stage and kicked the evening off with there style of rap. The 3 guys on stage were in the right frame of mind. Putting on a show with the performance for the early crowd. It didn't take long before Psykodynamix had all of the early risers in front of the stage and enjoying their set.





Next up was Dubb Sicks (https://www.facebook.com/DubbSicksMusic/), and this performance was sick! The man rolled up into the club minutes before the first performance, set up his merch table just in time to take the stage. Dubb Sicks was captivating. This muthafucka took complete control of the crowd. He was drawing everyone in and using the crowd to drop his flow. I was inspired by how bad ass he was and how much fun he had just simply fucking around with the crowd. Off the stage he jumped, into the crowd he crept, soliciting info from one of the females, and back onto the stage for the next song. Fan of rap or not, if it is about the show and the performance Dubb Sicks is the Odessa, Kung-Fu, Lone Ranger champion!










On deck next was SHSM (https://www.facebook.com/shsm2/). They rolled up to the mics with their brand of hatchet music. With that Juggalo love, it was pretty easy to enjoy this duo. I can say this as I go way back to some of the origins of what a juggalo is. SHSM handled the theme and style like champions. It was a fun set and they were super intense. For the show bill with the other bands, there was not a better band to have in this spot.






















I never, expected, swear I didn't see him on this list, and was stunned when he took the stage. Austin Hip Icon Smackola (http://dirtywormz.net/) took control of the crowd, took control of our minds and proceeded to raise us up. Smackola was fresh on the stage with material from his new album "The Thomas Brookz Project" and handled the crowd and his performance like the lifetime showman he is.  Although I can't swear there were many in the house in tune with his level of rhymes and story telling, he still elevated us to the top of the Glass Sky. You can't leave a Smackola performance without questioning the world, the media, and your beliefs. It is beyond entertainment, it is deprogramming with heavy beat and rhymes to match!

















Ahhhh and then SSB - Super Smash Bros 512 (https://www.facebook.com/supersmashbros512/) commanded the stage. This was their show and they came out with every intention and the mad skills to show us why they owned the night.  I had the opportunity to catch SSB WAYYY back in the beginning, several years ago. This was not that band. This was years of experience, confidence, and hustling their trade and craft. This was a tight performance that flowed. They worked off each other like a well oiled machine. It was flawless and at the same time loose and fluid. The album "More Stories To Tell" (https://play.google.com/store/music/album/SSB_More_Stories_to_Tell?id=Biw37762kzjrpqxhqfwl7v54sai&hl=en) is out and available for purchase. Find Aray and Hack on the web, but don't just pick up a copy of their new disc ... check these two men out at a show, listen to the underground, and don't be surprised when Austin, Texas produces the next big thing in Rap and it is out own SSB!

The full photo album is located here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1411083015609884.1073741835.239625756088955&type=1&l=d8bce89e57











































Laters





 and how do you end your party....










Saturday, March 25, 2017

DaveFest2


Extensively put...I have known Dave Prewitt for longer than I have known Dave Prewitt. I have been in Austin and was watching public access television since the mid to late 80's. I remember this cool ass show that always featured all sorts of rock music. 20 years later, I am working with this same motherfucker I was watching on tv. 10 years later I am shooting photo and writing reviews of bands at the same shows he is. And now I go to a Festival in his name, donate at the door, spend my time and energy shooting the bands, and sit behind the computer screen to tell you all about it.



Doesn't matter about awards (although he was recently recognized as one of the top 10 live music photographers in the city), but there should be one in his name for his support of the live music, rock, punk scene in Austin for damn close to 40 years now.  You should keep your eyes and ears open for Dave Prewitt and www.davetv.org . Nope, not getting paid for this, it's all my opinion - as it always is, so listen, donate, support Austin music.


DaveFest II was held at Kick-Butt Coffee (http://kickbuttcoffee.com/). A little more than your regular coffee shop. Along with a variety of coffees, they have food, beer, and music. Walking in the door reveals a pretty open space with different seating levels to your left, right, and to the back. The coffee bar is immediately in front of you on the left hand wall and the stage is immediately to your right. As I stepped in, the music was already going and the place was pretty damn packed. I found my way to Dave, said hello, unpacked my gear and enjoyed the first band.



Chasing After Alice (https://chasingafteralice.com/) is comprised of female vocals, dual guitars, bass, and drums. Along the vein of modern rock/metal this young group of players opened up fast, loud and belted out their set to the joy of the crowd standing around. Chasing After Alice had some family and friends in the house, but they were new to me and I loved them like everyone else in the space. It was a high energy set with one of the lead guitarist and bass player having such a good time interacting with each it made it great fun to be a part of the set in the crowd. The vocals were really good and fit the set and band perfectly. I can't say how long these kids have been together doing it, but I look forward to them hanging out on the scene for a while and making an impressive impact after many more live shows.


Izzy Cox and The Ghosts (https://www.facebook.com/Izzycoxandtheghosts/) mounted the stage next. It was both a moving performance and a moving performance. If you don't know, lead singer Izzy Cox is in her battle with cancer, The proof of the love for this woman, her battle, and her music, is tattooed on the inside of Dave Prewitt's wrist..."Fuck Cancer"! Illness be damned, Izzy and her band knocked out her brand of Rock-A-Billy out of the park. It was funky and fun. Izzy's voice is high pitched and shaky, whether this is from her battle or her normal style, it worked fantastic with the music. The crowd on hand adored her and rocked out to her set. I, myself, was tickled to death to see such a powerful set from such a small and frail looking woman, putting on such a big sound and set! Much love and well wishes to Izzy Cox.




Scorpio Rising (https://www.facebook.com/scorpiorising/). Ohhhhh shit! Madame Scorpio, Wonderbred, and Armando were at it again. With their brand of electronic dance/rock music, the Kick Butt Coffee space got funky real quick. Playing their exciting brand of music and having a dance contest during the middle of their set, during DaveFest, was not truly unexpected, but met with overwhelming crowd response. Scorpio Rising is absolutely one of those bands you can't believe what anybody (myself included) states about the band, you just have to make the opportunity to see and experience them for yourself!


The Beaumonts (http://www.thebeaumontstx.com/) were the absolutely mind blowing, jaw dropping moment of the evening for me. It was definitely a different swing in the musical direction from the previous bands. More Hony Tonk music stylings, than anything else, The Beaumonts were not refreshing, they were just Fresh! Tongue in cheek, dirty stories within in their songs, girls giggling and blushing, dudes laughing out loud (myself included) dirty, filthy, brilliant music! The crowd swelled and made it supper difficult for me to get my up close shots, but I did. Then I got out of there, stepped back, and enjoyed one helluva fun set. I even called my wife and swore to hear I would take her to see The  Beaumonts perform the first opportunity we could get! People, this set was that fun. I challenge you to go and not catch yourself smiling, clapping, and enjoying this band!


The final band I saw this evening was Killa MAUL (https://www.facebook.com/KillaMaul/). A Metallica tribute band fronted by none other than Austin rock Demi-God Jason McMaster, lead vocalist and guitar. Of course I loved this set, metal is in my blood and will always be my first love of any music or live show. Seeing Jason McMaster and friends destroy the room with a much loved and iconic set of music, was ecstasy! Well, that might be a little over the top, but the blood pumping, fist in the air, singing the lyrics at the top of my lungs with everyone else in the Kick Butt Coffee space was electric. Felt like I was riding the lightning...and it was great! I can only say if you are a fan of just plain, old fashioned, metal done well, find Killa MAUL doing a set near you and go. Let out your rage, your frustrations, and breathe a sigh of relief at one of the most energizing local, live sets you will ever experience from a tribute band!

My words, my opinions, and it was my fun and pleasure. Support live and local. Support DaveTV.

The photo album for the event can be found here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1342494295802090.1073741834.239625756088955&type=1&l=2cd5ae4110

Laters