For years, T Bird & The Breaks has been the best party band in Austin, bringing a New Orleans-inspired je ne sais quoi to their blend of funk and soul. Even though Tim Crane (a.k.a. T Bird) grew up all the way in Massachusetts, his sound is purely Southern, which the band explored to great effect on this year’s Harmonizm.
Sadly, the Breaks are breaking up, but not before going out New Orleans-jazz-funeral style. You can catch them at the Continental Club tonight and tomorrow night. Below, download a celebratory version of “Justine” that the band recorded for us live in Studio 1A earlier this year.
Photo by David McClister
The Athens, GA quintet Futurebirds has the kind of ramshackle charm that makes them live favorites throughout the country. Their albums have a messy energy; they’re soundtracks for the boozy night out that inevitably turns into a big sing-along.
But buried beneath the one-take rawness is a band that’s skilled at putting their own stamp on familiar sounds. Like tour mates Drive-By Truckers and Heartless Bastards, Futurebirds likes its country music with a psychedelic swoon and a rock ‘n’ roll edge. “Deadbeat Hits”–a taste from Futurebirds’ third album Hotel Parties, out September 25–tightens the reins a bit on the group’s scrappiness. Still, the song is practically a mission statement for Futurebirds’ whole aesthetic: it might only be a hit song to deadbeats’ ears, but it still hits like a ton of bricks. Download the song below.
If I got to do a My KUTX, my playlist would be scarily similar to Kevin Peroni’s. The frontman for Austin’s Wiretree is a huge fan of sunny rock and power-pop, and it comes across in his songs. The band started back in 2007 as more of a folk outfit, but over the years Wiretree has shifted towards winsome rock ‘n’ roll. The band just re-released its debut album Bouldin, and Peroni stopped by to spin some songs for us. Tune into to his guest DJ set Saturday at 6 p.m. or listen anytime below his playlist.
Kevin Peroni’s playlist:
1. Sound Team – “Born To Please”
2. Jason Lytle – “Brand New Sun”
3. E.L.O. – “Julie Don’t Live Here”
4. Madeleine Peyroux – “Between The Bars”
5. The La’s – “Timeless Melody” (Mike Hedges mix)
6. Brendan Benson – “Tiny Spark”
7. The Shins – “Australia”
8. The Mamas & The Papas – “Monday, Monday”
9. Chet Baker – “I Fall In Love Too Easily”
10. Damnations TX – “No Sign Of Water”
11. The Beatles – “Lovely Rita”
12. Kathleen Edwards – “Goodnight, California”
Drummer Shaun Fleming helped ground Foxygen’s psychedelic insanity on their cult-smash We Are The 21st Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic, but with their break-up, Fleming is painting broader strokes with his Diane Coffee alter-ego. His 2013 debut, My Friend Fish, wove an atmosphere of mellow glam-folk, but his theatrical side is his best asset. He started out as a Disney voice actor, and last year he guested on Run The Jewels’ “Crown.”
Everybody’s A Good Dog, out September 4 via local label Western Vinyl, ratchets up the drama. “Mayflower” is a brassy strut, Meatloaf-esque in its inspiration and pure fun in its execution. Download the song below and catch Diane Coffee opening for Of Montreal at the Mohawk on November 10.
The Bellfuries’ discography is a wild one, referencing rockabilly, R.E.M.-like jangle-pop, and soul. But if there’s one unifying idea, it’s the band’s understanding of rock ‘n’ roll. Their songs are simple and direct, built on rollicking rhythms and melodic twists that would make Lennon and McCartney proud.
It’s been seven years since their last release, but the new Workingman’s Bellfuries picks up where the band left off. Frontman Joey Simeone has a yelp of a voice that makes sure these songs are fun and addictive. “Bad Seed Sown” smuggles its darkness inside a glowing melody. It’s retro, but timeless. Download a Studio 1A version of the song below.