Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fiona Apple Returns to Austin

For those of us who were growing up in the 90's Fiona Apple will always hold a special place in our hearts. When I heard she was playing SXSW this year my heart lept and I vowed to stand in whatever line I had to for as long as I needed to, to see her. Her performance definitely lived up to my expectations in March. She was obviously nervous and not very comfortable on stage, especially during the parts on the songs that she didn't have anything to sing or play. She doesn't command the audience's attention and make you bask in the power of her ego. What she does is bare her soul. She seems incredibly vulnerable as she sings and you can tell that she feels every word that comes out of her mouth. She played songs that spanned her entire career, with a heavy helping of songs from her 2012 release, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do.

If you're not a fan of Fiona, seeing her live performance probably won't change your mind but if you felt like she was the only person who understood you in High School then you can't miss your chance to see her tomorrow night. Fiona Apple will take to the stage at ACL Live Thursday night and there are still some tickets available. It is a highly rare opportunity to see her perform so don't assume you'll catch her next time she's in Austin.

Fiona Apple - Every Single Night video via YouTube

Playing the support slot tomorrow night, will be Fiona Apple's touring guitarist Blake Mills. Blake is only 25 years old but has already established himself as one of the best session musicians working on the west coast. He has sat in with Dawes, Lucinda Williams, Cass McCombs and many others. He has already performed on Conan and with this Fiona Apple tour under his belt, his star is sure to rise. His latest record is called Break Mirrors and features some really great personal singer-songwriter stuff in the vein of Eliot Smith through a slightly Americana filter. He'll take the stage around 8pm tomorrow with Fiona following around 9:15p.

Blake Mills - Heart of Mine video via YouTube

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Sold-Out Beach House/The Walkmen Show

I'm always hesitant to preview a sold-out concert since it doesn't really help the sale of tickets. However, I love Beach House and The Walkmen and I don't want y'all to think that I'm unaware of one of the biggest shows of the fall. Also, even if you can't buy tickets anymore, you can still buy Bloom and Heaven.

You may recall that initially this one concert was two concert that were sure to split the attention of hipsters in the greater Austin area but through some amazing circumstance that I am not privy to these bands joined forces making it the hottest ticket it town. I feel bad for Emo's who lost out on booking Beach House and I sort of feel bad for all of us because I'd rather have seen this show at Emo's than Stubb's but that is neither here nor there. Besides, there are advantages to seeing a show at Stubb's, like the early factor. If you were hoping to catch the White Arrows show at Red 7 that will be easily achieved after the Beach House/The Walkmen show.

Beach House - Myth video via YouTube

Now, before I get into this next piece I just want to reinforce how opposed I am to supporting the scalper economy but with that in mind I have some tips for you when it comes to sold-out shows. The first tip is simple, post on your favorite social media client that you are looking for a ticket to the show. Often times people simply buy more tickets than they will actually use and they would rather sell them at face value to a fan than waste the ticket. If this doesn't work, use Twitter's search for the phrases, "Beach House Stubb's," "Beach House Stubbs," "Beach House Austin," "Beach House Walkmen ticket" or other things of that nature. I have used this trick many times to get into sold-out shows. For those of you on the, fuck it I'm wealthy tip, you can spend butt-loads of money on StubHub, which is an idea I ABHOR. You can also try Craigslist, which is another idea I'm not a fan of.

Lastly, if you're feeling ballsy, you can try the trick I used to get into the sold-out Pavement show at Stubb's. You can negotiate with the scalpers. What I did was walk toward the venue with a $20 bill in my hand, when I was approached about a ticket I told the scalper, "I'll give you $20 for it." He told me the ticket costs more than that to which I replied, "You hear that sound? That's Pavement, the show has already started. You can keep the ticket and I can keep the $20 or you can keep the $20 and I can keep the ticket." Needless to say, he took the money. This method is not for everyone and demands a certain look in your face that implies you mean business and you're not willing to negotiate. If you have a look of desperation in your eyes it will never work. Also, you should know that people do sell FAKE TICKETS so don't offer a sum of money you're not willing to spend for nothing.

For those of you who already have tickets, keep in mind this show will start and end early so plan accordingly and if you could be so kind as to SHUT THE FUCK UP while the bands are performing everyone around you would truly appreciate it. We didn't buy tickets to listen to your ignorant ass. With that all said, may I present to you my favorite song from Heaven for you to reverently enjoy.

The Walkmen - The Love You Love video via YouTube

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Contest: White Arrows at Red 7

Alright y'all, I'm not going to pretend like there's nothing else going on Thursday night but I also don't want this show to get swept under the rug. With Fiona Apple, Beach House and The Walkmen all playing Austin on Thursday I know a lot of you already have plans. Well, this show doesn't necessarily interfere with those plans! White Arrows play Red 7 and they won't take the stage until after Stubb's has emptied. Their latest record, Dry Land is Not a Myth is full of psychedlic-indie-dance jams that are sure to get your booty workin'. Tickets for this show are only $8 but one of you will have their name on the guestlist with a +1. All you have to do is e-mail Contest[at] with your name and a winner will be chosen at "random." Random is in quotation marks because those of you I see promoting this show/contest on Twitter and Facebook are more likely to win.

White Arrows - Get Gone video via YouTube

Young Buffalo will play the set before White Arrows Thursday night and you may recall that I featured them as one of my bands to catch at SXSW 2012. So far these guys have only released an EP but it was one of my favorite EPs last year and it represents everything I love about indie-rock: soaring melodies, jangly rhythms and tunes that make you question why they're not famous whilst reaffirming your hatred for modern rock radio.

Young Buffalo - Full Metal Whacket (Live, Acoustic) video via YouTube

Local, optimistic rockers Field Dress will be playing the first set at Red 7 Thursday night. Don't forget to e-mail Contest[at] for your chance to attend this show on me. The winner will be notified via e-mail on Wednesday!

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The Return of Ben Folds Five

Photo Credit: Autumn de Wilde

If you haven't been paying attention to your social media today then you may not have realized that Ben Folds Five is back! They were one of my favorite bands in High School and I still consider The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner to be one of my favorite albums of all time. The three members of Ben Folds Five will release their first new album in over a decade, The Sound of the Life of the Mind tomorrow and they'll be performing at Stubb's next week. Tickets are in the $50 range, which will preclude a lot of people but who knows if you'll have the chance to see this band perform again. Besides, I had the chance to see them on their last tour and I can assure you that they are excellent performers.

Also, in anticipation of tomorrow's record release, I whipped up a short playlist of some of my favorite Ben Folds Five songs on Spotify.

Ben Folds Five - Do It Anyway video via YouTube

Playing the support slot for Ben Folds Five at Stubb's will be Kate Miller-Heidke. She is an Australian singer-songwriter who is signed to Sony down under. Like, Ben Folds Five she is known for her quirky, piano-driven, alt-pop. I would compare her to Kate Nash, Regina Spektor or Imogen Heap. Already a big hit on the otherside of the globe, this tour could be Kate Miller-Heidke's chance to breakout in the U.S. You can listen to her latest release, Nightflight on Spotify now.

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