Latasha Lee draws inspiration from the music she listened to growing up in Corpus Christi — Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, and others. After starting in hip hop, Lee teamed up with Texas producer Salih Williams to shape a new sound that pulls from the music of her childhood and transforms it into a classic soul sound reminiscent of the late Amy Winehouse.
Fresh off the announcement that Lee will be performing at the upcoming ACL Fest with her band The Black Ties, Texas Music Matters’ David Brown caught up with her for a conversation.
This week, the Austin Music Map visits the bright red, steel sided slab of a building on the east side – home to the local “Loyal Order of the Moose.” The venue has become one home of the city’s small but lively Conjunto revival.
Conjunto is a homegrown musical tradition that’s deeply rooted in Tejano working class culture. It was born at the end of the 19th century when the music of German migrants (think button accordions and polkas) collided with the music of Mexican migrants (think bajo sextos and dance bands.)
Conjunto was big in Texas through the 60s, 70s, even 80s, but then began to fade as Conjunto-friendly radio stations were bought out, the traditional audience got older, and the dance halls that had been Conjunto’s home went out of business.
Enter The Moose! With its low ceilings and wood paneling and taxidermied moose heads, it’s captured the spirit of those old venues and is trying to keep the scene alive.
KUTX’s Texas Music Matters is partnering with the national Localore initiative to create the Austin Music Map: a yearlong effort to go beyond the well-traveled streets of the Austin music scene in search of the hidden places where music is being made. We want your help discovering and documenting these places. To find out how to get involved, visit the Austin Music Map website or call our hotline with stories and tips: (512) 861-8266.
The Austin Music Map is among five nominees in the music category. The other four are: NPR Music, MTV O Music Awards, Pitchfork and VEVO. Honorees are selected based on excellence in content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity and overall experience. The awards program received 11,000 entries this year.
As a nominee, the Austin Music Map also is eligible to win a Webby People’s Voice Award. From now until April 25, Austin Music Map fans can cast their votes.
Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, the Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. The IADAS, which nominates and selects The Webby Award Winners, is comprised of web industry experts, including media mogul Arianna Huffington, Skype CEO Tony Bates, Mozilla CEO and Chair Mitchell Baker, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, mobile-phone inventor Martin Cooper, and StumbleUpon founder Garrett Camp.
The Austin Music Map is a web-based, interactive, community documentary project that lets users “play” the city. The map goes beyond the usual suspects on the Austin music scene in search of the not-so-well-known places where music is being made. Explore the map at www.austinmusicmap.com.
In late 2012, we put out a call to the city, asking, “What does Austin sound like to YOU?” We received almost 100 sonic submissions, ranging from bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge to tamale making to rowing on Lady Bird Lake. (You can hear all of the sounds here.)
We passed the submissions along to some of Austin’s most adventurous musicians and gave them just two weeks to create original compositions incorporating the sounds.
Those songs debuted at a live performance event in December and we’ve just released a small batch of albums (with cover art by Dana Falconberry) that we’ll be giving away over the coming months.
In the meantime, you can hear the results below: