Jan 042013
 

MOVIES

The Impossible – Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star in this harrowing account of the 2004 Thailand tsunami. A story of family survival in the face of unthinkable destruction and tragedy, The Impossible has been ranked by several critics as one of 2012′s best films.

Promised Land - Matt Damon and John Krasinski star in a politically-minded drama that takes on the dangers of fracking.

Texas Chainsaw 3D - Yet another trip to hicksville with Leatherface. I thought Cabin in the Woods was supposed to put an end to this type of horror movie? What do you want to bet the same crowd that loved Cabin will flock to this one? Seriously, though: there are several capital-G great movies playing in theaters right now. There is no reason to see Texas Chainsaw 3D.

MUSIC & MORE

IT’S FREE WEEK!

FRIDAY

Holy Mountain – Survive, Orthy, Feathers, and Sleep ∞ Over play at Learning Secrets Free Week showcase. Doors at 7 p.m.

Emo’s – Modern Outsider Records Free Week show has a stacked lineup: Ume, The Calm Blue Sea, The Black And White Years, My Jerusalem and Soft Swells in a solo spot. Doors at 8 p.m.

Flamingo Cantina – Austin Vida is doing its first ever Free Week showcase with Los Skarnales, Este Vato, Cinco Doce, and Los Bandidos Cosmicos. Starts at 8 p.m.

SATURDAY

Beauty Ballroom – 3rd wave, controversial ska band Left Over Crack leads a lineup that also includes Krum Bums, Crack Box and Juicy Karkass. Doors at 8 p.m. And yes, it’s free.

Lanai – Every Saturday, check out Austin’s best EDM party at the Rooftop Sessions. The January 5th sessions are presented by Hypersonic Radio. Begins at 8 p.m.

Antone’s – Soul Track Mind will get the feet moving, and Hard Proof Afrobeat and Larry g(EE) will send support. Doors at 9:30 p.m. Free!

SUNDAY

Mohawk – Deep Space, The Boxing Lesson, Obscured by Echoes and Residual Kid all play for Free Week. Doors at 9 p.m.

Kingdom Austin – Beat Binge ATX presents Kill Paris with support from DJ Koss, B!unt Force and Andrew Moneta. Show starts at 10 p.m.

Nov 182012
 

DAY 1

FFF Fest has gradually increased in size over the past few years of it’s existence. In my opinion, it is the cooler more hip of the music festivals in Austin and always exhibits a vast array of amazing musicians, mostly appealing to a younger audience and following, but always seems to squeeze in surprising acts like the shocking score with Run DMC, P.I.L and X this year. Kicking the first day off at Fun Fun Fun Fest was Austin local favorites Not in the Face, 10yr. and Tia Carrera. Aussie chic quartet, The Jezabels, played a thirty minute set on the Orange stage while French electro duo Mustard Pimp played a set on the blue stage.

Around 6:30,Val Kilmer got on a stage with the Black Lips, in what seemed to be a bad publicity stunt, but rumor had it around town that Terrence Malick was going to film. When the film crew arrived, it was obvious what was going on. Val Kilmer beautifully portrayed himself as a drunken, old rock star who makes a total ass of himself on stage, ranting about God and that rock and roll was dead. Can’t wait to see the movie, whatever the title may be. While everyone stood in bewilderment, and embarrassed for the seemingly pathetic ploy of a washed up rock star, Kilmer began to cut his own hair with what appeared to be a knife he got from a stage hand. Later that night, I met up with some friends who actually bagged strands of his hair he was throwing into the audience. We were convinced that we needed to take to a lab to see what kind of drugs he was taking. Entertaining and a great way to start of the weekend of FFF 2012.

Santigold was to be next on my list of must see’s coming up on the orange stage. I could only see from a distance but caught a glimpse of her choice of fashion, which is always innovative. Playing some of her greatest, she put on an awesome show.

photo credit: Stereo Gum

I bolted across Auditorium Shores to hit the black stage to see one of my old school favs, X. As I waited to and secured a close spot on the other side of the stages, I got to watch Against Me! who put on a great energetic show and the crowd seem to be engaging well too. Lead singer, Tom Gabel, who I was expecting to see in a dress or something because I had read prior to the show about his revealing to Rolling Stone magazine of his transitions of becoming a woman. Possible rumor? Looked like a regular guy to me. Great show full of energy and as I looked across the crowd, people were singing every song. I am not familiar with much of their music but, I was completely entertained and took on a whole new perspective of them.

Finally, as Against Me! was closing thier set, I look over to the stage in front of me and see none other than John Doe. Guitarist for the very hip, punk Los Angeles band from the 70′s, X. I had seen him in a string of movies through out my life and seeing him in person was very surreal. He still looks good for a man in his mid-sixties and he also rocked it out like any other young cat on the new scene. I even heard a guy behind me mutter, “John Doe is a 64 year-old man, amazing!” He was absolutely right. They played the entire Los Angeles album and started up a dust cloud of moshers in the front, not bad for a band in their sixties.

Splitting out on X, I had to walk back to the orange stage to get ready for headliners, Run DMC. Along the way, I had to stop at the ramps again to catch Thrasher magazines finest line-up of BMXers and skaters and checked out the many colorful art venders with their fabulous art pieces, in which I wanted to buy every last one.

Getting to the orange stage just in time for Run DMC,I had managed to move close to the side and stood on the rock wall to see all the action. It was packed up tight and everyone looked like a herd of cattle trying to get some food in one troth. Anyway, that’s a music festival for you. It was Run DMC! This was a once in a lifetime deal.

I was curious to see how they were going to pull this off with out DJ Jam Master Jay. Filling the gap was his two sons, DJs DasMatic and JMJ Son. They held it together like a one man band, just like their dad. Starting out with “It’s Tricky”, the crowd went ape. I myself was freaking out, seeing one of my childhood favorites for the first time in my life. Next came “My Addias” and one I hadn’t heard in at least two decades, “Mary, Mary.” He talked a lot about the old days and gave a lot of props to Jam Master Jay. This was the first reunion show since the murder of JMJ. In mid-set he let Dj Das Matic tear it up with his own set of slick DJing skills and then they thanked the crowd and the promoters of Fun Fun Fun Fest, ending their set 15 minutes early.

Day 2

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012 | Saul Williams

Starting off my day, I headed to the yellow stage to check out the lyrical genius and poet, Saul Williams. Memorizing and amazing, his words slipped off his tongue just as natural as the day is long. Although I would have liked to hear a music set, I was still very impressed with his spoken word, which he interplays in all of his music anyway. He is a true master in alternative hip-hop.

 

The Riverboat Gamblers were hitting the black stage at 4pm, so splitting time with Saul Williams was not easy, but you got to, if you want to see everything you want. I saw The Riverboat Gamblers for the first time at the Toadies Fest back in August and was blown away by their entertaining and energetic stage presence. Not to mention, the energy from lead singer, Mike Wiebe kills the competition with his constant radical moves.

Turning your head to the other stage OFF! kicked it up a notch with former and original lead singer of Black Flag (before Henry Rollins), Keith Morris. Old school punk at it’s finest. With his long dreads swinging around his back and voice like a cannon, he was tearing it up. An impressive back to back show at the black stage, I was hooked and I couldn’t leave.

Being a huge fan, I couldn’t miss Paul Banks. Former lead singer of the post-punk revival of the early 2000′s, Interpol. After their “break” in 2011, most of the former band members went to explore other side projects. Paul sound was very similar of Interpol and his voice is branded on that band like twinkies is to Hostess. It will be recognized wherever he goes. His side project backing band was great, but I was hoping for him to bust out some “PDA.”

The Head and the Heart was up next and I stayed to listen only because I wanted to keep my spot on the other stage in preparation for P.I.L. Ever since Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros hit the scene, I have seen a string of hippie jam bands with many lead singers and tambourines. Very nostalgic of some 60′s folk.  I love the song “Lost in my Mind”, which they closed out their set out with and everyone was singing along happily.

Photo by Spin magazine

Closing out the day was none other than Mr. John Lydon (rotten) himself. Coming out in a nautical fashion, keeping up with the theme of the fest I guess, was quite pleasant, to my and boyfriends dismay. We were expecting him to be complaining and ranting the whole set. I have been a huge fan most of my life and P.I.L is an incredible group of musicians. His guitarist, Lu Edmonds, looks like he just walked out of a Monty Python movie and is known for playing strange instruments which we saw him play throughout the set. They performed many songs off their new album, This is P.I.L, which was released in May and is one of my favorite new albums of 2012. He was also gracious enough to throw in some favorites like “Rise” and “Human” also.

Day 3

The last day of the festival had a cancellation by Rakim due to hurricane Sandy and filling the spot was Omar Rodriguez Lopez of the Mars Volt and At the Drive-In. Sliding in to take back his spot lost on Friday due to tour van issues.

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Starting up the day was local rock stars, UME. Lauren Larson shreds like a rock goddess and her tiny body man handles her bass with ease.  Following throughout the day was Feathers, Nicky Da B (who flapped her butt cheeks around the audience like she was going to take flight), Valiant Thor, The Octopus Project and one of the co-headliners was old school R&B, De La Soul.

De La Soul

Ending the fun fun fun was also, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Etiene De Crecy, Turbonegro and none other than Black Moth Super Rainbow.

What a nice closing to another successful Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012. Looking forward to next year, but still longing for the days back when FFF was at Waterloo Park. Not as dusty I suppose and much more quaint. Every year it keeps growing bigger and pretty soon it will be in the ranks with ACL. I suppose we will see. Till next year, see ya back at the shores!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 022012
 

Poster from France

Movies

This Must be the Place – 118 min (R) A 50 year-old rocker who lives in Dublin, is brought to New York after the death of his father and learns about his father’s obsession and sets off across America, picking up where his father left off.

Wreck-it Ralph – 108 min. (PG) Bad Guy video game character Ralph, longs to be as beloved as his counter-part Fix-It Felix. So when a new game arrives with potential for change, Ralph finds his ticket to happiness and heroism.

The Man with the Iron Fist – (R) A towns blacksmith is forced to mak tools for destruction for a group of radical tribal factions. When the clan has enough of the their tyrannical leaders the balcksmith channels his energy and transforms himself into a human weapon.

Music/Other

For the weekend forecast, It is all about FUN FUN FUN. Top Picks and artists who will be playing this weekend at auditorium shores for round two of Austin’s finest music festivals. AME will be there this weekend and will be running from stage to stage to take it all in. Here is a sneak peak of some of our favorites that you won’t want to miss!

FRIDAY

Back in the day, the muti-platinum Raising Hell was top of the charts and everyone you knew had it. Run DMC is considered the most influential hip-hop band in history and was the first group in their genre to earn a gold record in 1984 with self titled Run DMC, following platinum and multi-platinum status with King of Rock and the main streamed jackpot, Raising Hell. Back together for FUN FUN FUN st 2012 is the groups legends, Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, reuniting since the 2002 tragic murder of Jason “Jam-Master Jay” Mizell. Headliners for Friday night on the Orange Stage 8:35-9:50PM.

Los Angeles Iconic punkers Exene Cervanka, John Doe, Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake of X, formed in 1977 in mist of the early American punk wave that swept the nation in the late seventies. Still going strong 35 years later and making appearances at recent festivals such as Voodoo fest, Coachella, and SXSW, it’s only fair that they hit FUN FUN FUN this year. On the black stage 8-9pm

Straight out of Florida, Against Me! will be hitting the Black Stage at 7:05 to 7:55.

The lineup Friday will also include: Santigold, Superchunk, Minus the Bear, Dum Dum Girls, The Jezabels, Dwarves, Girl in a Coma and many more! Find out more of the lineup and schedule here.

 

Saturday

Legendary, infamous frontman of the Sex Pistols, John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) will be taking the stage for a rare appearance with his post-punk legendary band, P.I.L ( Public Images Ltd.). Forming after the turmoil of gloom and doom from the Sex Pistols, P.I.L was noted as a post-punk successful project created by the madness that is Johnny Rotten. Appealing experimental sound like greats such as “Seattle” and “Happy”, P.I.L has withstood the test of time and has become as influential as it’s frontman. Orange stage 7:50-8:45.

Refused will also make a rare appearance with some slap-ya-in-the-face-punk, Swedish style. Since the last successful release in 1998 of Shape of Punk to Come and following their break up in 1998, they are back again and touring. Which is a sigh of relief from their fans. Forming in 1992 with only three full lengths under their belt, everyone remembers the first time they heard “New Noise” and to this day remains to be  a song to reckon with. Black Stage 8:50- 9:50.

Although, I was slightly disappointed to hear that it was not a musical set with Saul Williams, he will be spitting out some passionate fire over a spoken word set that is a guarantee eye opening experience, comparable at best to his music. Yellow stage 3:35-4:10pm

Saturdays lineup also includes: Off!, Riverboat Gamblers, David Cross, Peelander Z, The Sword, STRFKR and the Residual Kids. check out more of the times and lineup here.

Sunday

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros will be corralling all 10+ of its members and singing some of the most memorable, original good timing music you will ever feast your ears on. Orange stage 8:50-9:50.

De La Soul was a hip hop trio formed in 1987. Notably the pioneers in a certain genre called jazz-rap with their clever lyrics and original sound. Also, contributors to the alternative sub-genres of hip hop and still going strong. In 2006 they won a grammy with their collaboration with Gorillaz on single “Feel Good Inc” and how can anyone forget “Just Me Myself and I”. Blue Stage 7:55-8:45

More on the Local scene on Sunday with Ume, The Black Angels and Octopus Project FFF will be bringing in a little Austin to the flavor.

Also including in the lineup is: Explosions in the Sky, Fucked Up, Deerhoof, The Briefs, Japandroids, Valient Thor, Feather and The Flesh Lights.

Super stoked for this lineup at Fun Fun Fun Fest this year and not to mention the extracurriculars that will be going on daily like Torchey’s Taco Cannon shooting tacos in the crowd and Thrasher magazines “Mutiny on the Bounty” Skate Jam.

All of the festivities will kick off Friday at around noon. Don’t miss this year, tickets are still available on the Fun Fun Fun Fest website. See ya there!

 

 

Mar 212012
 

My SXSW 2012 started before the official music festival got underway. As a native Austinite, I felt that was somewhat mandatory. On March 10th I made my first trip downtown for what would be a thrilling, jam-packed, leg-taxing, ear-rewarding week.

Immediately one is thrust into the maw of “where do we park?!” no matter where you go. If you’re south of 45th street, you’re gonna be looking. The first intended destination actually had little to do with any official SXSW business and more with taking advantage of the many specials available throughout Austin’s bars and clubs. I was off to Molotov Lounge to take part in a special offer put together on behalf of iPhone app TabbedOut. I was aware of the whole thing through AME’s good friends at Do512. Although the prices at Molotov aren’t exactly the best I was most worried that the app offer wouldn’t actually work. So many people were trying to use it (even in the mid-afternoon!) that it was hard to connect. I was relieved (and impressed) to finally pay my tab without having to step up to the uber-crowded bar. With five bucks off, let’s-party dance music pounding and conversation from friendly outside-ATX visitors, it was a choice start to the festivities.

Then I met some colleagues at Bikini’s (no special SXSW event there, just dinner; I never have gone inside so I didn’t realize the staff wore such incredibly skimpy outfits) and we headed to the Driskill Hotel. The main entry room and bar were already filled with media professionals. There was no time to look around for celebrities, of course, because I was back to playing parking space roulette. The revised parking meter times on Saturday make sure someone on a day-long SXSW sojourn will have to make at least two return trips to his/her vehicle to feed the meter. Because you don’t want to risk not having a parking place again.

When I got back to the Hotel, I didn’t even get to have a drink at the bustling Driskill bar. It would’ve taken 10 minutes, anyway, and I wanted to get over to the other free party I had RSVPed to. Trover‘s multi-day graffiti party at the East Side Drive-In was the place to be for the artistically inclined on these early SXSW days. I arrived just as the place was shutting down, but I still managed to see the finished results of Trover’s event: an entire Volkswagen Beetle covered in that thick, eye-popping graffiti paint, finished, multi-artist murals and graffiti slingers so multi-colored from their work that they looked, in their damaged artist’s digs, like the living dead. The next few days at Trover would feature other crazy sights like an entire graffiti-festooned bus and fire eaters. Honestly I wish I had spent more time at the event.

After a quick drink at Shangri-La, I got a text from a colleague that Quiet Company was playing Stubb’s. It was a free show (one of the last before the proper festival was under way), officially called the Girl + Guy Party, so plans to go home we scrapped. Sadly, we missed Austin’s indie anthem-rockers, but after getting some more drinks we were able to see The Tontons. The Houston rock quartet is noticeable for its sensuous rhythms and punchy delivery, but lead singer Asli Omar is what makes the band special. She moves around the stage like David Bowie and sings with a vocal incantation that recalls PJ Harvey. Members of the crowd could be forgiven for not being able to recognize the other three members, because The Tontons’ first impression is all Asli. Check this band out here.

I was further saddened to realize I’d also missed Wild Moccasins on the same all-Texas artist bill. SXSW was already proving one of its oldest adages: you can’t see everything you want. Austin’s noisy Ume was the closer at Stubb’s, but the group I was with had already decided to hightail it back to the Driskill. We paid $10 for parking and got in to see a line leading out of the Driskill’s bar trailing into the main lobby. So we changed our plan and went to Sixth Street’s Recess Arcade Bar. I had never been inside here, either. Frankly, the events from arrival at the bar on out are a little hazy, but major plans were made for the upcoming week (more on that later) and some nasty aliens were shot down in cheesy first-person classic Area 51. I would’ve gotten further, but one of the guns was out of order! They better get that fixed.

I didn’t get back to SXSW until next Tuesday. I had to make festival preparations/recommendations and tell ya’ll about them on here! Things start for real then.

Mar 122012
 

 

The following is a list of several local artists that Austin Music + Entertainment loves, and what they’re doing for SXSW. Plenty of options here, people!

The Frontier Brothers

One of Austin’s most energetic bands seems to have found a regular fourth member to play bass, and there are plans to release their second full-length, Live In Fiction, this Summer. They’ve got a few things to look out for:

Monday March 12, 10 AM, KVRX  - The Frontier Brothers will give an interview and an exclusive preview of Live in Fiction.

Tuesday March 13, Midnight, Trinity Hall - The band’s official showcase blasts off at 1 AM.

Quiet Company

We’re a little late on this, because Austin’s enormously talented, nearly-famous, anthem pop-rock outfit played a stellar free show at Stubb’s with Wild Moccasins, Ume and The Tontons last night on March 10th. But there are ton more chances to see them, so don’t worry!

Tuesday March 13, 10 PM, The Main - A mid-week show for the first day of SXSW Music Festival.

Wednesday March 14, 7:10 PM, Austin Music Hall – A special performance at the Austin Music Awards, where Quiet Company will appear alongside Alejandro Escovedo, Christopher Cross, Carolyn Wonderland, Ruthie Foster and more.

Saturday March 17, 10:45 PM, Chevrolet Sound Garage – The band closes out its SXSW 2012 with one final show.

La Guerrilla

The swirling mix of latin, gypsy rock and funk practiced by the hard-working La Guerrilla is already having a big SXSW with inclusion on two festival-related compilation albums. Their ethereal hit “High” will open the Tito’s Vodka Austin Mixtape 2012 and “Ganas No Me Faltan” is on Austin Music Volume 11. Here is the performance schedule:

Thursday, March 15, 10:30 PM, Sahara Lounge - Another hot night, only this time the crowd will be huge because SXSW Music will be in full bloom.

Friday, March 16, 5 PM, Austin Convention Center – A short acoustic set will accompany interviews with La Guerrilla.

Friday, March 16th, 7 PM, Aussie’s Bar and Grill - A full set, right next to Auditorium Shores. In case The Cult isn’t really your thing.

Check out SXSW’s website for a complete list of local and national acts playing the festival this year. Up next for AME: national act recommendations!