“Here’s a song we want to send out to the memory of one of the greatest things to ever come out of Detroit, Michigan,” Chuck Prophet told the crowd at the Four Seasons last week. No, he wasn’t talking about Iggy Pop (still with us) or Motown Records. He was paying homage to the noblest musical steed there ever was: the Ford Econoline. Since the ’60s, the Econoline has been the vehicle of choice for the aspiring rock star, able to fit multiple smelly musicians and the drummer’s Rush-sized drum kit. Last year, the van was discontinued, so Prophet decided to eulogize it in song form. The singer is no stranger to strange subject matter, turning his gaze towards Jim Jones, Willie Mays, and San Francisco tech bros with an authorial eye. “Ford Econoline” is a travelogue that’s equal parts Lou Reed and Tom Petty–download it and watch Prophet’s performance below.
Photo by Hakeem Adewumi
This week on My KUTX, we’re featuring Magna Carda, one of Austin’s best up-and-coming bands. MC Megz Kelli and producer Dougie Do formed as a duo a few years ago, but in the live setting they have a full band that’s able to incorporate smooth soul, R&B, and blues influences into their songs. Magna Carda’s latest, Like It Is, wears its touchstones well–you can hear everything from A Tribe Called Quest to Erykah Badu–but the band has its own vibe: mellow production matched with Kelli’s rapid-fire rhymes. Dougie and bassist Derek Van Wagner guest DJ this week–tune in Saturday at 6 p.m. or anytime in the player below.
Magna Carda’s playlist:
1. A Tribe Called Quest – “Electric Relaxation”
2. The Pharcyde – “She Said” (Jay Dee Remix)
3. Bahamadia – “Unknowhowwedo”
4. OutKast – “Prototype”
5. Erykah Badu – “Other Side Of The Game”
6. Sam Cooke – “A Change Is Gonna Come”
7. Funkadelic – “Hit It And Quit It”
8. Curtis Mayfield – “Can’t Say Nuthin’”
9. Stevie Wonder – “I Was Made To Love Her”
10. The Roots – “You Got Me”
11. Hiatus Kaiyote – “Breathing Underwater”
Delta Spirit started out literally banging on trashcans. The band popped up in 2008 with the song “Trashcan,” built around a simple percussive riff that the members drunkenly bashed out one night. Delta Spirit has since gotten grander in sound and scope, but there’s still something Southern about their music. Despite hailing from California–and mostly based in Brooklyn these days–the group is more beer joint than beach party. Live at the Four Seasons last week, frontman Matt Vasquez (who recently moved back to Austin, his childhood roots) introduced a honky-tonk version of “Trashcan.” Download it and watch video of their performance below.
Ibeyi is the Yoruba word for “twins,” and the twins behind the band Ibeyi have an almost-supernatural musical bond. Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz are the daughters of Anga Diaz, noted percussionist with the Buena Vista Social Club. Their mother also took them to see Yoruba choirs in their native France, and both Cuban and French influences pop up on their self-titled debut. The Diaz twins also have a love for electronic and hip-hop, but live at the Four Seasons, they used their most powerful instrument: their harmonizing vocals. Ibeyi pulled off an a cappella version of “River,” transforming the beat-heavy original into a religious-like chant. Watch video of their performance and download “River” below.
Matthew E. White founded Spacebomb as a full-service musical entity. The Richmond, VA-based collective writes, records, produces, and releases its own music, just like the vertically-integrated labels of the ’60s and ’70s. Comparisons are drawn to Stax and Motown–especially given Spacebomb’s smooth soul sound–but White says he looked more towards New Orleans and reggae records. Spacebomb’s recordings–like that of Natalie Prass–do feel a little more Southern: laid-back, content to groove while still delivering a hook that sneaks up on you.
Matthew E. White’s own songs proudly fly the Spacebomb flag. His second album, Fresh Blood, is a big, sprawling ode to love in all its many forms, recalling equal parts Al Green and Randy Newman. The crowd at the Four Seasons last week showed him plenty of love bright and early–download a live version of “Fruit Trees” below.