Botany: “Janis Joplin”

Song of the Day

Botany: “Janis Joplin”

Posted by on Apr 14, 2017

Austin’s Spencer Stephenson records under the name Botany, and it’s a pretty fitting moniker. His music grows and flowers across the speakers, threading together hip-hop, electronic, jazz, ambient, and found sounds. He’s an adept collaborator, laying lush frameworks for heady rappers like Milo or even Father John Misty, but Botany’s music largely eschews words. It’s more expressionist, full of sonic rabbit holes that you can disappear into.

This Saturday, Botany takes part in Exploded Drawing’s Fusebox Festival show at Saengerrunde Hall. The event features Austinites like Soundfounder and Butcher Bear as well as Ras G and Teebs from Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder, the L.A.-based label and collective that’s helped turn experimental beatmaking into an art form. Botany is also fresh off of the release of Raw Light II, and that’s where today’s Song of the Day comes from. He conceived of “Janis Joplin” while living near the singer’s former Austin home, but the song dances to J Dilla’s stuttering, sample-based groove, all while retaining Botany’s earthy aesthetic. Take a listen below.

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

My KUTX: Old Settler’s Music Fest 2017 Preview

My KUTX

My KUTX: Old Settler’s Music Fest 2017 Preview

Posted by on Apr 14, 2017

Photo by Sigi Gonzalez

Thirty years ago, Old Settler’s Music Fest started as a small, roots-based festival in Round Rock, but it’s grown considerably into a four-day, camping-friendly fest in the Hill Country. To celebrate the start of its third decade, Old Settler’s invited a few artists who have grown up with the fest, including former fest volunteer Shakey Graves and Sarah Jarosz, who won the youth competition years before she was a multi-Grammy winner.

The 30th annual Old Settler’s Music Fest takes place April 20-23 at Camp Ben McCulloch, and this week on My KUTX, fest executive director Jean Spivey spins an hour of her favorite songs from this year’s lineup. Tune in Saturday, April 15 at 6 p.m. or listen anytime at the bottom of the page.

–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX

Playlist:

1. Old 97’s – “Good With God” (feat. Brandi Carlile)

2. Nikki Lane – “Highway Queen”

3. Los Lobos – “Ooh! My Head”

4. Sam Bush – “Play By Your Own Rules”

5. River Whyless – “All Day, All Night”

6. Shakey Graves – “The Perfect Parts”

7. Gregory Alan Isakov – “Big Black Car”

8. Sarah Jarosz – “House Of Mercy”

9. Wood & Wire – “Mexico”

10. The Last Bandoleros – “Where Do You Go?”

11. The Honeycutters – “On The Ropes”

12. Leftover Salmon – “Midnight Blues”

13. The California Honeydrops – “When It Was Wrong”

14. Shinyribs – “Trouble, Trouble”

Abram Shook: “The Hours”

Song of the Day

Abram Shook: “The Hours”

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017

Photo by Christina Fallara

When last we heard from Abram Shook, the Austinite was ripping through his playbook on the fantastic Landscape Dream, which earned him an Artist of the Month honor. That playbook includes a lot of different sounds: aggressive funk, pastoral psych, Brazilian rhythms, and Shook’s technical ear for making it all sound seamless. He has a lot of experience as a sideman–he’s played with Shearwater and the Low Lows, among others–but Shook has his own thing going.

“The Hours,” though, is something pretty different for Shook. The first taste from his upcoming third solo album is personal, clearheaded, and, quite simply, gorgeous, even as it lays bare an emotional crisis. Austin’s Tosca String Quartet adds an atmospheric weight to the song, floating above Shook’s stacked harmonies. Like in the past, the attention-to-detail is pure ear-candy, but “The Hours” adds up to something bigger and better.

“The Hours” appears on Love At Low Speed, out June 16 via Western Vinyl. Abram Shook plays at the Mohawk on Thursday, April 27, part of Bee Caves’ April residency.

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

Juana Molina: “Cosoco”

Song of the Day

Juana Molina: “Cosoco”

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017

The fact that Juana Molina was once one of Argentina’s top comedians isn’t too surprising. Though she’s more known to the world as a musician now, her work is still irreverent, full of wordplay and musical flourishes that jab you in the side. Watching her perform is transfixing, too, as she layers sounds with a pair of looping pedals. A lot of loop-based musicians go full ‘Wall-of-Sound’ with their technique; Molina keeps things deceptively simple. Maybe it’s her comedic background, but her songs are rigorously constructed: setup. Punchline. Setup. Punchline.

At the same time, Molina is one of the more experimental pop musicians working these days, and it’s no wonder she once opened for David Byrne. Halo (that album art!) is her seventh album in two decades, and over time, she’s polished her aesthetic into a gem. “Cosoco” is driven by Molina’s jittery dreaminess, revolving around some tricky rhythms and her inventive guitar. Singing in Spanish about a relationship gone sour, she journeys all the way back to Adam and Eve for a comparison, compressing millennia and myth with an economy of words. It seems fitting: for Molina, the human comedy started at the beginning, and it’s only looped its way across time.

“Cosoco” appears on Halo, out April 28.

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

Growl: “Had You Stayed”

Artist of the Month

Growl: “Had You Stayed”

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017

Growl is the KUTX Artist of the Month for April.

The members of Austin’s Growl dabble in a handful of musical extracurriculars, from the dream-folk of Rain Collectors to Tamarron’s crunchy psych-rock. Now they’re teaming back up Voltron-style for Won’t You, Growl’s debut full-length and first new release since a 2014 EP. All that intervening time can usually turn albums into studio-addled monsters, but Won’t You is the opposite. It’s hooky, fun, and off-the-cuff, perfectly designed for spring/summer windows-down partying. There’s a dark heart to the lovelorn “Had You Stayed,” but in the longstanding tradition of bands like Built To Spill, Weezer, and Big Star, Growl guitar-solo their way out of the shadows.

“Had You Stayed” appears on Won’t You, out now. Growl plays an album release show at Cheer Up Charlie’s on Saturday, April 8.

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