Rainer Maria: “Lower Worlds”

Song of the Day

Rainer Maria: “Lower Worlds”

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017

Photo by Shawn Brackbill

Rainer Maria is a band from Madison, Wisconsin named for the great Austrian poet and thinker Rainer Maria Rilke (I probably knew of Rilke first, thanks to Ray Wylie Hubbard’s love of him). The trio released five, cult-classic albums before breaking up in 2006, and the last decade has seen a lot of changes for the band members. Singer/guitarist Kaia Fischer studied Buddhism in New York before living in Thailand and coming out as a trans person. Singer/bassist Caithlin De Marrais released a few solo albums, and drummer William Kuehn traveled the Middle East.

But now the three are back together with a new album called S/T (music speak for “self-titled,” but it’s actually just called S/T). Ten years is a long hiatus for a band, especially one that was originally built on a youthful, punk-inspired fire. Yet a song like “Lower Worlds” is the best kind of veteran-made music: wiser, but still in-your-face. It’s a pumping, breathing song, more Zeppelin than Sex Pistols (and proof that slower tempos can be just as invigorating and overwhelming). “Slam shut / the doors,” De Marrais screams on the chorus, but if anything, they’re flinging the doors wide open for a new generation of fans.

“Lower Worlds” appears on S/T, out now via Polyvinyl.

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

Nik West: “Bottom Of The Bottle”

Song of the Day

Nik West: “Bottom Of The Bottle”

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017

In 2013, the City of Austin declared August 29 “RAS Day” in honor of Austin’s dynamic duo Riders Against The Storm. The group soon turned the anniversary of that proclamation into its own mini-festival built around community engagement, food, and, of course, music.

The RAS Day celebration returns tonight to Empire Control Room and it includes some out-of-town highlights. L.A.’s Nik West is a funk bassist who’s collaborated with Prince and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics and shared stages with Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, and more. Her own songs straddle the line between funk and pop, like the bubbly, super-catchy “Bottom of the Bottle.” Check it out below and catch West live in our Studio 1A today at 2 p.m.

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

My KUTX: Magna Carda

Artist of the Month

My KUTX: Magna Carda

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017

Magna Carda is the KUTX Artist of the Month for August. Photo by Emma Martin/KUTX.

Austin’s Magna Carda returned last month with a stellar new EP that shows a further refinement of their jazz/rap hybrid sound. It’s no surprise that the band picks a lot of similarly-minded songs for their second go-around on the guest DJ decks. This time, producer/keyboardist Dougie Do is joined by MC Megz Kelli and drummer Mike Gonzales for a wide-ranging My KUTX that remembers the late, great Phife Dawg, spotlights Phil Collins’ Prince-ly moves, and ends with an Erykah Badu live stunner. Listen to Magna Carda’s My KUTX on Saturday, August 19 at 6 p.m. or anytime at the bottom of the page.

–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX

Playlist:

1. A Tribe Called Quest – “God Lives Through”

2. NAO – “Fool To Love”

3. Ramp – “Daylight”

4. Hawk House – “Tidal Tendencies”

5. Prince – “I Feel For You”

6. Teena Marie – “Portuguese Love”

7. Blended Babies – “Make It Work” (ft. Anderson .Paak, Asher Rother, & Donnie Trumpet)

8. Phil Collins – “Sussudio”

9. FKA twigs – “Ultraviolet”

10. Erykah Badu – “Next Lifetime” (Live)

Bill Baird: “Bourgeois Blues”

Song of the Day

Bill Baird: “Bourgeois Blues”

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017

Bill Baird used to front Sound Team, an Austin band that got spit out by the major label machine once upon a time. But since then, Baird has covered a lot of artistic ground. He’s based in Oakland these days where he lives as a visual artist, filmmaker, and DIY musician. His albums are homemade little gems, alternating between folk, pop, rock, electronic, and experimental sounds.

This year, Baird released two new albums that are companion pieces: Easy Machines is a “morning” record while Baby Blue Abyss is an “evening” record. Overall, the mood is subdued, but Baird can cut through the sleepy atmosphere with a sharp wit. “Bourgeois Blues” is just as skewering as it sounds, made only more so by its sunny disposition.

“Bourgeois Blues” appears on Baby Blue Abyss, out now. Bill Baird plays live in Studio 1A on Sunday, August 20 at 12 p.m.

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

Midway In Wake: “They’ll Come For Us”

Song of the Day

Midway In Wake: “They’ll Come For Us”

Posted by on Aug 14, 2017

Photo by Will Watt

Greg Reynaud got his start playing in a wide variety of bands in El Paso, Austin, and Houston, from punk projects to Flaming Lips-style electro-pop. For the past few years, he’s called South Korea home, working as a teacher but still making music as Midway In Wake. Heirs To The Storm is his second release under that name, and it’s a beautiful merging of a DIY aesthetic with something more expansive than your typical bedroom recording. It’s a concept album about some unnamed catastrophe, and the ten songs all detail that event but from ten different perspectives. Reynaud played all the instruments and created a painting for each of the tracks. The record is a multimedia labor of love, something uniquely out-of-step with a lot of professionalized music these days.

But that context isn’t necessarily required to enjoy the music. Reynaud constructs whole worlds using relatively simple materials. “They’ll Come For Us” is a rhythmic assault, galloping on top of spiky guitars and Reynaud’s detached, cloudy voice. The anxiety is palpable, but there’s comfort in the homemade.

“They’ll Come For Us” appears on Heirs To The Storm, out now via Lowatt.

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