Weekly Staff Picks: 10 local bands that need to get back together!

One of the most exciting things about coming to Austin from another part of the country has been the opportunity to discover and explore an entirely new music scene and all the subcultures it entails. It is nearly impossible to imagine a better place to allow one’s music tastes to breathe and branch out— Austin truly is a mecca for live music. For someone whose tastes and true musical love lies somewhere in the avant-garde explorations of the new wave and post-punk of the eighties and the pop-punk energy of third-wave ska in the nineties, being a late arrival to the local music scene has had one major downside: so many of the fantastic bands that graced Austin’s stages are now defunct, with members exploring new projects or new paths to traverse in life. This playlist acts as a commemoration to these wonderful artists that worked so tirelessly to build Austin’s legacy for live music, and as a “Hail Mary” that hopes it might inspire even one of these groups to reassemble for a new community of music lovers. 

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Synesthesia Live releases their biggest update yet!

“It’s finally yours.” Theron Pray, founder of Synesthesia Live, released this statement following the V1.11 update.

Synesthesia Live is in the business of making concerts a submersing auditory and visual experience. The team has been “nose-to-the-grindstone” all summer in order to create this revolutionary step forward.

The software has been implemented at Euphoria Fest, the Oregon Eclipse Festival, Sonic Bloom Festival, and it’s only expected to snowball from here!

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OV Recommends: Black Pistol Fire

On Friday, I sat down with Eric Owen, the drummer for Black Pistol Fire, an intense rock duo headlining the show tonight at Emo’s.  Tonight the band is celebrating the release of their new album, Deadbeat Graffiti.  With a sound inspired by Led Zeppelin, Chuck Berry, Nirvana, Buddy Holly, Muddy Waters, and Fleetwood Mac, Kevin and Eric are riding high on the release of their new album and already recording for their next project. Most importantly, their performance is raising money for Rebuild Texas Fund dedicated to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  First, I will go into my Q&A with Eric Owen and then I will talk about experiencing their live performance.

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Balmorhea guides us through their sonic universe

As a firm believer in the power of music, I love to see and hear the ways in which people derive meaning from music. The experience is different for everyone: from minute details (eyes open or closed; the way in which people attach themselves to particular instrumental tendrils) to overarching patterns of interaction, music influences both physical affect and mental emotion. Evidence of this is abundant in our experienced world: athletes use music to center and motivate themselves as part of pre-game rituals, while parents’ lullabies soothe and settle children at bed-time. This is where so much of the beauty of music lies: in its ability to be a visceral tool, capable of interacting with both the mind and the body in deep, profound ways.

While this capability is inherent to all music, there are artists who realize and intentionally expand upon that visceral potential so that their music resonates intimately within their audience. Their music creates a world of its own, transporting listeners to a headspace that feels as if it manifests itself both physically and emotionally. Austin’s post-rock ensemble Balmorhea has spent the last decade flirting with this potency, and with the release of their new LP Clear Language they invite their listeners to a fully-fledged universe of the band’s own dreamy devise.

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On the third Day (for Night) the Jesus Lizard rose again

The turn of the 21st century signaled immense change, to the point that the modern world would be barely recognizable to someone transported directly from 1999. Though fears of the world ending from the Y2K bug proved unfounded, for a small group of music fanatics the world may as well have ended, for in 1999 The Jesus Lizard split up.

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OV Recommends: The Botolph Jazz Trio

“If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.”

This quote was said by the esteemed jazz trumpeter, composer, and vocalist, Louis Armstrong. With jazz, it’s not about knowing; it’s about hearing and learning. The saying that all great writers were first great readers resonates with music, too. All great musicians were first great listeners.

Find out what jazz is all about and come down to Coffee Shark on 2222 and listen to Austin’s own, Botolph Jazz Trio.