Wednesday, August 14, 2013
You know what y'all? We have some great fucking bands in this town. I know that people say we don't support our scene like we should (which is true) and that Austin isn't what it used to be (which is also true) but this city still attracts talented people from around the world. They hang out, they swim, they eat breakfast tacos and they create. Lots of those creations are beautiful and worthy of your time and attention. Some of them, not so much. This Friday at the Mohawk you can experience three fantastic, contemporary, Austin-based music acts on two stages with music that spans many genres and tastes. They came, they chilled, they created and they'll be showcasing their creations for those of us with hungry ears.
For the price of a $12-$15 Ticket you have the opportunity to see FIVE bands on Friday night. All of them are good but I'm most familiar with (and highlighting) three in particular.
By now, I would hope that Mirror Travel is a familiar name to you but if it's not then you need to get familiar. They have been performing in Austin for several years as Follow That Bird. They were featured with that name on the Casual Victim Pile Vol. 1 compilation. Well, since making that splash a few years ago the band has changed their name, shuffled the line-up a bit and recorded a debut LP. That LP is due out in October from Modern Outsider. In the meantime you can get a taste of the no-nonsense rock 'n roll that Mexico has in store with this, the title track, from the debut LP.
It what promises to be a bit jarring. After listening to some pretty heavy rock from Mirror Travel, Balmorhea will take the stage. One reason I think Friday night's show is so great is because the acts I'm highlighting represent three very different parts of Austin's music scene. The fact that they are all playing the Mohawk the same night is a great representation of the way people listen to music in 2013. Today's music fan wants to see both Atoms for Peace AND Lionel Richie at ACL Fest but I digress.
Balmorhea creates soundscapes. They use traditional rock/folk instruments as well as stringed instruments and maybe some woodwinds I don't know how much shit is kicking around their van. Maybe there will be a harpsichord, show up and find out. If you do show-up, you'll also find out that Balmorhea is fucking breathtaking. If the Lone Star swilling masses can shut their yaps long enough for you to enjoy the show, enjoy it you will. Their latest LP is called Stranger, which was released last year on another one of Austin's best-curated labels (along with Modern Outsider) Western Vinyl. I'm kind of a sucker for all things glacial, weird and precious so I'm sort of pre-disposed to like everything Western Vinyl touches.
The third artist I want to highlight is playing the "aftershow" on the Mohawk's inside stage Friday night. If you buy a $12-$15 Ticket for the outside stage you get to go to the "aftershow" it's free. If you just wander in from the street after the outside show, it's $5 to get in. Emily Wolfe is an artist, much like her peer Dana Falconberry whose music has the power to straddle the two Austins. See for those of you who don't live here, we are in a transitional moment. It's evident in many, many things from our burgers (Hut's Vs. Hopdoddy) to our music scene (Mohawk Vs. Saxon Pub). Now, I'm not trying to say these businesses are rivals. I'm saying that they represent the greatest of these two worlds. The Saxon Pub, Continental Club, Broken Spoke, One 2 One Club, and Strange Brew all exist in same circles. The artists that play one of those places are just at likely to be booked at any of the others. Whereas artists who are booked to play Mohawk, Red 7, Emo's etc probably wouldn't play the Saxon. Well Emily Wolfe can play in both those circles but most likely you'll catch her at places like Holy Mountain that truly give local musicians a place to showcase and explore their talents. Don't take my word for, watch Emily Wolfe and call me on my bullshit if there's bullshit to be called.