Friday, September 9, 2011

Emo's East Opens

Never forget, Emo's brand-spanking-new east Riverside location will have its grand, gala debut September 11th. That's this Sunday, in case you didn't realize. Seminal Austin band, Butthole Surfers will be headlining but to be honest I'm more excited to see the venue in action than the band. Don't get me wrong, I realize the historical significance of having Gibby & Co. perform but Sunday will be the first time I pee at Emo's in a clean bathroom. To me that's just as historical as any Butthole Surfers show and there's no WAY I'm going to be disappointed in the performance of my urination, where as the Butthole Surfers...I kid, I kid. If you don't remember this classic tune, just flip your radio to 101x, they still play it as though it were released on Tuesday.

Butthole Surfers - Pepper video via YouTube

ANYWAY, the new space is located south of the river (holla!) and features a 1700 capacity room with a 40ft vaulted ceiling, complimented by a 35ft wide stage. The room can be converted into two smaller spaces, similar to La Zona Rosa, using a partition. I doubt I'll get to check out the backstage area but word on the street is the green room is tiiiight and even has laundry facilities for bands on the road and/or smelly employees. As of the writing of this post, tickets for Sunday night's debut are still available, with the increased capacity of the space I really have no idea if it will sell-out or not. If you want to show up and try to pay at the door the new address is 2015 East Riverside Dr. just a couple of blocks west of Pleasant Valley.

Oh, I should also mention that in addition to Butthole Surfers, 440 Blows are on the bill, along with Bodytronix.

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ACL Festival Preview: The Belle Brigade

I think most people would agree that no one can harmonize quite like siblings. Ok, maybe cousins can harmonize well too or parents and children but you get my point. How about this, DNA harmonizing is the best harmonizing! Actually, that sounds kind of incesty, stick with my opening line. No one can harmonize quite like siblings and siblings Barbara and Ethan Gruska of The Belle Brigade will prove me right during their set at the Austin City Limits Festival.

My Mom used to say, "Hang out with lice and get lousy." I feel the converse logic to be true as well and after touring with K.D. Lang, The Belle Brigade got fucking awesome. They were already bad-ass L.A. musicians but when you are touring with the likes of K.D. Lang, you can't help but pick-up on some of the things that make a fantastic career performer.

Is this post going off the rails? I just want to express to you, that I enjoy The Belle Brigade. If you're a fan of Fleetwood Mac multiplied by Jenny Lewis divided by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros then you'll like them too. If you want to catch their set at ACL Festival, be at the Honda stage by 1:15p on Saturday. Otherwise you can catch them on tour this autumn with Blitzen Trapper and Dawes.

The Belle Brigade - Losers video via YouTube

You should be able to grab The Belle Brigade's eponymous album on-site in the Waterloo Records tent but it's out now if you want to give it a listen before you seem them perform.

The Belle Brigade - Where Not To Look For Freedom video via YouTube

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

ACL Festival Preview: Elbow

I wanted to focus on another Austin City Limits Festival performance, happening on Sunday as there are STILL single-day tickets available for the final day of ACL 2011. Part of me feels like, Elbow is too well-known to need highlighting on my little blog but then again perhaps you didn't realize they were performing. So, this should serve as a friendly reminder that ELBOW ARE PLAYING ACL FEST!!! Note the emphatic tone, I LOVE Elbow and I was kind of shocked when I saw they were going to be a part of this year's festival. I got hooked on Brit-pop as a high-schooler, living in rural Maine in the late 90's/early 00's. It was so clever, catchy, jangly and somehow exotic to my ears. I was intoxicated with the accents, the preciousness, the sincerity and the melodies. Elbow isn't the first band that caught my attention, that was Blur but they were and are a big part of my love for all things Brit-pop. They play the Google+ stage at 5:30p on the Sunday of ACL Fest, right before Fleet Foxes play the neighboring stage.

Elbow - Open Arms video via YouTube

In case you lost track of Elbow in recent years, they released a new LP in March of this year called, Build a Rocket Boys!, which was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize this year. Incidentally, it lost out to P.J. Harvey but just being nominated for the prize, should give you an idea of what a monster the album is, at least in terms of artistry. The opening track is 8 minutes long and manages to encompass everything that is truly great about Elbow. I expect their live set at ACL to be just as sprawling, with a decade's worth of material to cull a 60 minute set you should anticipate a greatest hits of sorts. Although, the band is said to already be working on new material I wouldn't think they would show off brand new cuts in a festival set. You never know though, I suppose.

Elbow - Lippy Kids video via YouTube

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1st Annual FFF Water Olympics

Well kiddos, there are a few festivals hitting Austin before November's FunFunFun Fest but that doesn't mean you can't have a little FunFunFun this weekend. Those little dickens over at Transmission Entertainment have created their 1st annual Water Olympics event, happening this Sunday at the Fiesta Gardens of Zilker Park. This year, is the first FunFunFun Fest to take place lakeside at Auditorium Shores so Transmission is focusing on water-sports. Not, necessarily, peeing on people for sexual pleasure but more like stand-up paddling and stuff like that. Even if being outdoors and "enjoying" the water isn't your cup of tea there will be food, booze and music and it all goes down this Sunday starting at noon. Also, if you ARE someone who is down with competition you COULD win yourself some tickets to Fun Fun Fun at this weekend's Water Olympics. Which, incidentally, is just one of several opportunities you'll have to win a free pass to the fest. Keep an eye on the FFF Twitter, F*c*book and blog to stay apprised of other contest opportunities. Or fuck luck and go big with a PIP Pass that you actually pay for.

By the way, have I mentioned how effing excited I am to see M83 at FunFunFun Fest this year?

M83 - Run Into Flowers video via YouTube

Here's the full run-down on the 1st Annual FFF Water Olympics including info on how you can train for the events with professionals, thus upping your chances of crushing some hipster-beardos in the water on Sunday.

When:Sunday, September 11th

12noon – 6pm @ Fiesta Gardens (Austin, Texas)

Registration and Opening Ceremonies @ 12pm

Games Begin: @ 2pm


  • Tug of War Across the Lake
  • Paddleboard Jousting
  • Paddleboard High Kick Competition
  • Paddleboard Freestyle Competitoin
  • Canoe Jousting
  • Canoe / Paddleboard / Kayak Relay

Canoe Jousting Compilation - Put This on Mute the Music is Wretched as Fuck video via YouTube

The Austin Facial Hair Club will be providing food.

Brought to you by: The Expedition School, The Austin Chronicle, & The Austin Facial Hair Club

If you might want to train for this, the folks at FFF are hooking you up with a place to train! Go to The Expedition School - to set up your SUP (Stand-Up Paddling) session and/or lesson(s) to train!

The Expedition School's Hours of Operation: 6am - 10pm

FFF Discount: $30 for 2 hour lesson $17 for 2 hour session on the water Groups welcome! Call The Expedition School direct w/ questions!

FFF Water Olympics Special runs Sept 5th - 10th.

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Japandroids Play the 'Hawk

With Austin City Limits Festival approaching so quickly, I almost neglected tomorrow night's Japandroids show at the Mohawk. This Canadian duo pump out some serious, gritty rock and the inside stage at the 'Hawk would be a great place for you to check it out. The last time I caught them was at Emo's outside stage and they were, pretty much, bleeding rock 'n roll by the time their set was over. Their latest full-length release, No Singles is actually a compilation of 2 EPs but I would expect them to play lots of stuff you've never heard before tomorrow night. I'm not certain, but I'm willing to bet they are road-testing new songs and we'll be hearing a new LP in the very near future. If you want to check out the show, you can still grab some tickets but I wouldn't be surprised if this show sold-out before the doors open. As I mentioned, tomorrow night's Japandroids show is taking place on the inside stage, which means it will start and end late, so if you have to get to the office early Friday morning, you should probably lay the groundwork now for calling in sick. What? Who said that? That's wrong!

Japandroids - Younger Us video via YouTube

The official listing for tomorrow night's show say that things kick off at 9pm but I HIGHLY doubt anyone will start performing before 10 or 10:30. Mississippi rockers, Bass Drum of Death will be opening for Japandroids playing jams from their album, GB City, which came out in April. Something tells me, we'll have several chances to catch Bass Drum of Death in Austin in the upcoming months. Might as well get in on the ground floor and see their performance tomorrow night so you can out hipster people at their NEXT Austin show.

Bass Drum of Death - Get Found video via YouTube

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Sade with John Legend at Frank Erwin

Well Austin, you should expect a spike in birth rates around June/July 2012 because tonight, the legendary, Sade will be performing at the Frank Erwin Center with John Legend playing the opening slot and somebody's gonna get pregnant. If you sit through a full Sade set and you don't want to have sex, you should probably talk to your doctor. She is a sultry siren who has inspired baby-making for several decades and I, for one, can't believe I am going to see her perform tonight. It's a feeling I'm provided with quite frequently in Austin, when I'm watching a performer or taking part in an experience that I just never really fathomed. In all my years listening to Sade I never, truly, thought I would ever have the chance to see her perform. I suppose I assumed that ship had sailed long ago but from all of the reports I've read regarding previous performances from her current tour, not only is Sade still performing but she is performing in top form with outstanding visuals and one of the best touring bands in the business.

I know it's not as inexpensive as most of the shows I write about, nor is it obscure or indie but I highly encourage you to get yourself some tickets for tonight's show. However, keep in mind the high risk of pregnancy and be sure to take appropriate measures.

Sade - Soldier of Love video via YouTube

John Legend's latest LP, is his collaboration with The Roots, Wake Up!, which has a protest-music vibe but something tells me he'll be featuring more of his silky, crooner songs than his angry, let's make a difference jams. No matter what songs he performs, he'll be performing them handsomely with buttery vocals and beautiful piano-playing and that's all I ask of him. The show starts at 7:30 tonight so make sure you're there by 7:15 if you want to catch all of John Legend's set. Last time he was in town he was performing in the wee hours of the morning inside an abandon power plant, accompanying Kanye West during SXSW. Something tells me we won't be hearing J.L. singing "bitch" or "motherfucker" (for short) tonight.

Kanye West with John Legend - The Blame Game video via YouTube

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