Marching Church: “Heart Of Life”

Song of the Day

Marching Church: “Heart Of Life”

Posted by on Jan 23, 2017

Photo by Takayuki Okada

Over the past few years, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt has led an insurgency out of Copenhagen, Denmark. His critically-acclaimed band Iceage has released three albums in as many years, and for some, they’re the saviors of punk; for others, they’re exploding the very definition of the genre.

Amidst this hyper-scrutiny, Rønnenfelt stepped aside last year and returned to his onetime solo moniker Marching Church. Now a full band, the group released an album that spelled out its intentions in big letters: Telling It Like It Is. Marching Church lives up to that title not with sloganeering–as a singer, Rønnenfelt swallows his words with a Nick Cave/Iggy Pop snarl–but with tense, livewire energy. Fittingly, “Heart Of Life” swipes the bouncy “Lust For Life” beat but builds a ghostly cathedral on top of it, full of silence more than fireworks. The tension comes about from two opposite-but-equal musical actions: subtlety and heart-on-sleeve bloodletting.

“Heart Of Life” appears on Telling It Like It Is, out now. Marching Church plays the Mohawk on Tuesday, January 24.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX

Third Root: “Third Root Radio” (Live In Studio 1A)

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Third Root: “Third Root Radio” (Live In Studio 1A)

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017

Tomorrow, KUTX takes over the ABGB for WinterJam 2017, an afternoon of free live music to help cure your winter blues. This year, we’re spotlighting the diversity of our local music scene with three pretty different artists: old school country crooner James Hand; ’60s psych-poppers Tele Novella; and Central Texas hip-hop crew Third Root.

Last year, Third Root injected much-needed activism into the scene with its standout album Libertad. At the time, I noted how community-oriented the outfit is, and it’s reflected in the music. On “Third Root Radio,” MCs Easy and MexStep lay down their mission statement: this isn’t East or West Coast rap; this is Third Coast, built around producer Adrian Quesada’s Texas-sized funk sound. Listen to a Studio 1A version of the song below and join us tomorrow.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer My KUTX

My KUTX: Croy & The Boys

My KUTX

My KUTX: Croy & The Boys

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017

Corey Baum is the singer and guitarist for the Austin country outfit Croy & The Boys, whose Adrian Quesada-produced debut hit a nice sweet spot late last year. Baum originally hails from Ohio, but his songwriting owes a debt to Doug Sahm. He’s able to stew together both Texan and Mexican influences in a respectful and celebratory way, and Baum’s guest DJ set is a true celebration too. Over the course of the hour, Baum goes from a pot-smoking teenager hooked on psychedelia to a Houston rap acolyte. Tune in on Saturday, January 21 or listen anytime at the bottom of the page.

–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX

Playlist:

[intro music: Croy & The Boys – “Leaving’s The Last Thing”]

1. David Bowie – “Space Oddity”

2. The Velvet Underground – “White Light/White Heat”

3. Otis Redding – “Change Gonna Come”

4. D’Angelo – “Send It On”

5. The Replacements – “Bastards Of Young”

6. Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – “My Jeans”

7. Waylon Jennings – “Honky Tonk Heroes”

8. Roger Miller – “Tall Tall Trees”

9. Los Tigres del Norte – “Somos Mas Americanos”

10. Sir Douglas Quintet – “Nuevo Laredo”

11. Allen Toussaint – “Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky From Now On”

12. Mike Jones – “Still Tippin’”

Chavez: “The Bully Boys”

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Chavez: “The Bully Boys”

Posted by on Jan 18, 2017

Matt Sweeney is one of those musicians who constantly pops up in really interesting places. I think I first found out about him through his guitar playing on Johnny Cash’s last two American recordings, but the first time I heard him was with Billy Corgan’s short-lived supergroup Zwan. More recently, Sweeney has turned his “Guitar Moves” web series into one of my favorite ways to kill ten minutes. Each episode, he spotlights a different guitar player; the usual luminaries like Billy Gibbons and Keith Richards get covered, but he also shows how younger artists like St. Vincent, Kurt Vile, and Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra are pushing guitar-playing into new directions.

Arguably, the same could be said for Sweeney’s own playing, which really came into fruition with his ’90s band Chavez. The New York four-piece were true students of rock-and-roll, but their albums had a mad-scientist-glee to them. Long before genre-blurring became the norm, Chavez melded pop-rock with metal, punk with experimental.

Chavez has largely been inactive since 2006, but late last year, they dropped “The Bully Boys” out of thin air (it’s part of a three-song EP called Cockfighters that was officially released last Friday). True to form, the song is dizzying. It puts serpentine riffs on top of a shape-shifting beat, calling to mind both the Who and label mates Guided By Voices. Swagger is an elusive thing in rock-and-roll, but Chavez proves it still has a few tricks up its sleeve.

“The Bully Boys” appears on Cockfighters EP, out now via Matador.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m, producer, My KUTX

Greg Vanderpool: “To Violet”

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Greg Vanderpool: “To Violet”

Posted by on Jan 16, 2017

Photo by Caleb Theimer

Whether he’s recording with his bands Milton Mapes, Monahans, or under his own name, Austin’s Greg Vanderpool favors sparse arrangements that roll in like a Texas thunderstorm. You might be able to see it coming, but it still sneaks up on you with power and grace. That’s the case with “To Violet,” a track from his upcoming second solo album, Pilot. Like a lot of his work, it finds common ground between the skeletal darkness of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska and Brian Eno’s ambient beauty. Heard one way, the song is a landscape portrait of Austin’s fitful recent history, but the refrain zooms out, putting “To Violet” in a completely different context. “Has the whole world lost its mind?” Vanderpool wearily asks over and over. For better or worse, it’s a question that’s both incredibly timely and as old as time.

“To Violet” appears on Pilot, out April 6.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX