Sound on Sound is less than a week away and it's pretty exciting to see what the organizers have in store for us during the festivals inaugural run. The line up has something for everybody but in case you are quite sure what to see I have decided to share my top picks for the weekend along with a spotlight on some of the local talent that are participating this year.
Run The Jewels - Killer Mike and El-P just days away from the election and hopefully armed with new tracks from RTJ3 is a can't miss. Fellow Dungeon Family member Big Boi from Outkast will also be at the fest so maybe a cameo?
Hinds - One of the funnest bands to break out this year, Hinds have been touring a ton in support of their debut Leave Me Alone including more than a dozen shows during this years SXSW.
Empress Of - The singer songwriter came on peoples radar when she started releasing snippets of her work on YouTube in 2012 and her debut album Me features the track Standard, one of the best songs to come out this year.
Beach House - The "can't miss" band of the weekend. Their live shows are always hypnotizing and this might be the last chance to see them before they begin work on the follow up to last years Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars.
Deerhunter - A last minute addition that changed everything. Deerhunter have released some of the most creative and refreshing music over their last 5 albums and the bands live performance is always something special.
Car Seat Headrest - The band released 12! albums on SoundCloud before signing with Matador Records in 2015. 2016 brought their first major label release Teens of Denial which was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year.
Wild Nothing - Dreamy synths are Jack Tatum's specialty and he has been releasing stellar albums since 2010's Gemini. He was back earlier this year with Life of Pause which we will hopefully get to hear a lot from during his performance.
Thundercat - The extremely talented bassist and producer has worked with everyone from Flying Lotus to Erykah Badu but you know he's doing something right when he was featured extensively on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly.
Saturday November 5th / 4:00 - 4:40 The Keep
Sunday November 6th / 3:10 - 3:40 The Forest Stage
Saturday November 5th / 3:10 - 3:40 The Forest Stage
Friday November 4th / 3:10 - 3:45 The Forest Stage
Friday November 4th / 1:30 - 2:00 Dragon's Lair Stage
Saturday November 5th / 2:20 - 2:50 The Keep Stage
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Death From Above 1979 are two bands that have a long history of inner turmoil keeping them away from the spotlight and are strangely both the perfect fit for co-headlining a tour together yet the most unlikely at the same time. While DFA1979's members broke up over creative differences in 2006 and have since reunited and toured sporadically over the last few years, BRMC has had to deal with a series of health issues and tragedy that has kept them off the road. In 2010, Michael Been, who was not only father to BRMC bassist Robert Been, but also served as sound man and roadie to the band collapsed from a heart attack after a show and passed away. The passing set the tone for the bands next release, 2013's darker more subdued, Specter At The Feast which the band toured relentlessly in support of. During that tour drummer Leah Shapiro began to suffer with what she has described as a "weird way that her coordination was not working as it normally did" and having sensitivity to lights and sound. She was later diagnosed with Chiari malformations which effects areas of your cerebellum that controls balance and coordination and the only fix would be surgery that would mean opening up her skull. After surgery she then worked with her surgeon on rehabilitating herself and essentially starting at square one with her drumming. Being in a rock band that is known for their loudness meant that some adjusting to both her drumming style and how the band performed overall. Both Shapiro and the band have come back from a very challenging place over the last few years and have begun working on new material that will hopefully get a preview of this Wednesday at Stubbs. The band has also teased that they have recently been rehearsing "U.S Government" and what song would be a better battle cry just days before this years presidential election.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Death From Above 1979
with Deap Valley
Wednesday November 2nd at Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater
Doors at 6:00pm - [TICKETS]
Band of Horses could easily be described as one of Austin's favorite bands. Having played here several times over the course of their career to huge crowds and several appearances at the Austin City Limits Festival over the last few years. The band recently completed their sixth album Why Are You OK and returned to to the ACL Festival stage on Friday night for a triumphant set before settling into their second appearance on the Austin City Limits stage last night. The latest album was written by the bands leader, Ben Bridwell, in what has been described as an "estrogen charged atmosphere" at the home he shares with his wife and four daughters. Bridwell took every free moment he could find between taking care of his daughters in his garage writing material for the new album and it is one of there best releases. Band of Horses were making their second appearance on Austin City Limits last night having played at the the old studios on the campus years before. The band opened strong with "Is There A Ghost" from their second record before showing off new tracks "Solemn Oath" and "Casual Party". They then made a quick set changed for a stripped down acoustic version of "No One's Gonna Love You" that had an audience of over 2,500 completely silent. When they finished they were given a standing ovation and thunderous applause that was refreshingly authentic after a long weekend of short festival sets. The bands energy was contagious and the adoration and respect they have for each other is so apparent. They joked around with each other and commented to the crowd on how much fun they were having before joking that "Now that were all having fun, here's a song about death" and then performing a fan favorite "The Funeral" before finishing off the night with "The General Specific". It was definitely one of the most memorable performances at Austin City Limits and we will make sure to remind you when it airs early next year as part of ACLTV's Season 42 on PBS. The band will also be back in Austin this Friday as part of weekend two of the Austin City Limits Festival.
Band of Horses - Austin City Limits Setlist 10.2.16
Is There A Ghost
The Great Salt Lake
Throw My Mess
No One's Gonna Love You
In A Drawer
The General Specific
After a successful Friday night appearance at Austin City Limits, M83 made their return to Austin as headliners at ACL Live and the venue could not have been more ideal. The energy in the room was high from the opening and didn't let go. Anthony Gonzalez and singer Kaela Sinclair bounced off each other while lasers and a starlight back drop transformed ACL Live from a live music venue to a full on dance club. M83 has no shame in having fun with the soundscapes they create with numerous sax and guitar solos and synths straight out of an 80's movie. The band opened with Reunion and then moving onto newer material with Do It, Try It, Road Blaster and Bibi The Dog from their latest Junk. It was a nice surprise that they performed Oblivion from the 2013 film of the same name and a personal favorite 'Kim & Jessie' was noticeably absent from the set. The band finished strong with the bands biggest hit to date and the very crowd pleasing "Midnight City" before returning for the encore and closing with "Couleurs" and "Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun".
M83 Set List - ACL Live 10.1.16
Do It, Try It
We Own The Sky
Bibi The Dog
Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun
To say that 2016 has been a unique year for Austin's S U R V I V E would be a huge understatement. The band signed a deal with metal imprint Relapse Records earlier this year which was a very unlikely pairing to say the least and then members Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon contributed work to the Netflix hit Stranger Things and overnight the group was being talked about everywhere. All of this attention could not have come at a better time because the group was readying the release of their debut on Relapse, "RR7349", and features in almost every publication gave the group the attention they have long deserved while fans of the Netflix hit have more music to satisfy their synth cravings till season two.
As mentioned before the band are embarking a a huge tour in support of the latest release and last night they kicked it off with a SOLD OUT album release party at Barracuda. The show was everything you would expect from a S U R V I V E show complete with lasers and a ton of smoke. The energy in the room was something to remember and was more than likely the smallest stage you will see the band playing on in Austin. Seeing standout tracks "A.H.B" and "Wardenclyffe" for the first time were highlights and it was refreshing to see the group not shying away from the success of Stranger Things and performing a slightly reworked version of the hit theme song in a way that was pleasing to the audience but didn't seem like pandering. The group also seemed very enthusiastic about supporting the synth scene in Austin by having a fantastic line up in both rooms complete with an impressive visual installation going on right when you walked in the room. Even Flying Lotus was in attendance after his opening slot for Radiohead at Austin City Limits and seemed impressed by atmosphere. You can purchase "RR7349" now and see them live at one of the tour dates below.
S U R V I V E Tour Dates
October 4 — Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
October 5 — San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
October 6 — Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
October 7 — San Francisco, CA @ Elbo Room
October 8 — Sacramento, CA @ Harlow's
October 11 — Portland, OR @ Holoscene
October 12 — Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
October 14 — Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium
October 16 — Joshua Tree, CA @ Desert Daze Festival
October 26 — Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
October 27 — Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
October 28 — Washington D.C. @ U Street Music Hall
October 29 — Philadelphia, PA @ 714 (Making Time)
October 31 — Brooklyn, NY @ Good Room
November 1 — Jersey City, NJ @ Monty Hall
November 2 — Allston, MA @ Great Scott
November 3 — Buffalo, NY @ Studio at Waiting Room
November 4 — Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit Lodge
November 5 — Detroit, MI @ El Club
November 6 — Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
December 31 — Dallas, TX @ It'll Do
RZA kicked off a huge two weeks in Austin last night with the world premiere of his live scoring of the 1978 classic "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin". The film was a staple of the Wu Tang Clan growing up and they have taken samples from the film and incorporated into their music since day one. The live scoring was an idea that initially came up a year before when RZA was in town for Fantastic Fest and apparently had the idea after a little too much Mescal with the FF staff. Once the buzz wore off though the idea still seemed like a good one and he began to incorporate classic Wu Tang tracks into the film and worked out how the scoring would be done live. The crowd at the State Theater was the first to see this live and it took the first 20 minutes to get in a flow but once he found his rhythm RZA transformed the film into something special. He took tracks from every Clan member and applied it carefully to match certain tones of the film, from intense opening credits layered with "Triumph" off Wu Tang Forever to funnier scenes mixed with "Old Man" from Masta Killa and Ol' Dirty Bastard you can tell he put a lot of thought into the soundtrack. What admirable is that standing up for two hours straight and scoring a film is no easy task and is a testament to how passionate RZA is to showing respect to a genre of films that shaped him as a producer and as a director. There is only one more live scoring in the near future that will take place at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on October 10th (SOLD OUT). RZA will continue his trip to Austin with performances at Austin City Limits with his new project Banks and Steelz with Paul Banks of Interpol.
The Kills finally made their proper return to Austin,Texas last night after a long time away. Okay, technically they were just here in March for SXSW but that doesn't really count. After several years away and without a new release since 2011, the band returned this year with the brilliant Ash & Ice. After guitarist Jamie Hince had an incident with a car door that led to several surgeries on his hand that left the future of the band at risk and the waiting game began. While unable to perform Hince took the time to build a new studio while singer Alison Mosshart moved to Nashville and focused on her side project, The Dead Weather, with Jack White. Ash & Ice was long overdue but finally arrived this year and last night the band opened with "Heart of A Dog" to one of their largest crowds in Austin to date. The band bounced around their entire catalog all night creating dream set list for die hard fans that included favorites "Doing it to Death" and "Tape Song". The band closed out the night with one of their earliest tracks "Fried My Little Brains" and finishing with one of their most well known "Sour Cherry". You can see the full set list and below.