Everything is coming up roses for psych-pop outfit Maybird. Originally formed in Rochester, NY by frontman Josh Netsky and his drumming brother, Adam Netsky, Maybird went through a few different line-ups and a name change before settling down as a four-piece in Brooklyn, NY. Maybird’s debut release under the new name came in 2013; Down & Under showed a move away from Netskey’s indie leanings towards a more expansive psychedelic sound. After its release the group received a cold call from producer-extraordinaire Danger Mouse, who loved the sound and signed them to his new label. Now Maybird have just wrapped production on a single with The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney. Their latest release, Unravelling, seamlessly blends psych-pop instrumentals with a roots-rock sensibility. The EP moves from quiet to restless to euphoric and drags you right along with it. We were lucky enough to have Maybird stop past Studio 1A. Check out the full session below!
– Georgina Cook
Nick Hakim’s latest album is a crucible of musical influences that quickly reaches boiling point. Hakim grew up in DC on a steady diet of nueva canción (South American folk music) from his parents, and vibrant punk from his older brother. He moved to Boston for school and then Brooklyn for music, where he released his debut EPs in 2014; the pair of releases were singularly intimate, hushed and still. For his full-length debut, Green Twins, Hakim has kept the intimacy but pumped up the volume. Inspired by soul singers like Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, the album also features drum programming from bands like Outkast, and was made while listening to Wutang Clan and The Clash. This wide spectrum of musical influences is held together by fading synths and Hakim’s impressive falsetto. It is at once raw and refined; a series of fleeting self-portraits captured in bedrooms and on street corners. Hakim dropped past Studio 1A ahead of his performance at Antone’s and ACL Festival, missed the session? Check it out below!
– Georgina Cook
10/13 @ Antone’s
10/14 @ Austin City Limits Festival
Pete Yorn is back in the songwriting saddle after five years of silence, and we couldn’t be happier. Born in New Jersey, Yorn moved to Los Angeles in 2000 where he tried his luck writing music for film and television. His big break came when he was recruited to score Me, Myself, & Irene. The following year saw the release of his debut album, 2001’s Musicforthemorningafter, which showcased the singer-songwriter’s penchant for emotive guitar pop. After sixteen years and six albums, Pete Yorn latest release, ArrangingTime, marks a conscious return to his stripped-back roots. Recorded in garages and bedrooms, the album might have folk-leanings but it still maintains some of that nostalgia-rock sensibility. Yorn knows when to get orchestral and when to pull back; letting his emotive voice do the heavy lifting. It is his most sonically mature, and impressive work to date. We were lucky enough to host Pete Yorn in Studio 1A, missed the session? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered right here. Check it out below!
– Georgina Cook
Gap-toothed indie-rocker Mac Demarco is making timeless music while still living off-the-cuff and in the moment. After graduating high school in 2008 Mac moved from Edmonton to Vancouver and began releasing music in quiet, Canadian obscurity under the name Makeout Videotape. In 2012 Mac crossed the border and released Rock and Roll Night Club under his own name; the EP was more cohesive, somewhat darker and immediately gathered more attention than his previous releases. Over the next five years he created a name for himself as a charming, approachable oddball; forgoing social media publicity for more a more grassroots, on-the-ground approach. Mac famously gave out his real address in Queens, invited fans over for coffee, and then followed through on the promise when they arrived in troves. His latest release, This Old Dog, recorded in his new LA bedroom, is much quieter and more introspective. The result is a stripped back album that never uses two words where there could be one. It is characteristically groovy, dark and sweet. We were lucky enough to have whacky Mac in Studio 1A; barefoot, laughing and singing. Missed the session? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered right here!
– Georgina Cook
photo by Emma Martin
Assistant Program Director
What musical experience most set you on the path to a career in radio?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be the Frost Bank time and temperature lady. I was obsessed – I used to call her several times a day, and I still know the number by heart. Voicing KUT & KUTX’s underwriting is about as close as I’ll get. I’ve loved music since I was young, too; I was a latchkey kid in the early days of MTV. So I guess working in public radio combines two childhood obsessions. I deejayed in college but thought that was the end of the line; I didn’t want to work for commercial radio, and I never associated public radio with music that wasn’t classical or jazz. In 2005, I moved to Minnesota and, soon after, started working at The Current, which is the Twin Cities’ version of KUTX. I lived in MN for ten years, but couldn’t shake my homesickness for Texas, so I set my sights on KUTX. In 2015, I Goodwilled all my wool tights and came back home for this job.
What’s your favorite Austin music experience so far?
Back in ’99, my friend Jordan and I decided we were going to try our luck at SXSW, sans wristbands. We ended up having this wild weekend where we got into an at-capacity Flaming Lips show for free, drank beer backstage with the bands at Waterloo Park, ate dinner at Stubb’s with Guided By Voices, and then talked our way into a late-night show featuring Built to Spill, with the GBV guys in tow. The following year, I attended SXSW with a press badge and had no memorable experiences whatsoever.
My most recent memorable experience was the first KUTX Live at Mueller we put on. I was new at my job, the event was something of an experiment, and I was feeling generally nervous about it. We had a great turnout, and when Spoon’s Jim Eno showed up with his kid, it felt totally full-circle. Like Austin was welcoming me home.
Why public rather than commercial radio?
I’ve only ever worked in public radio and I recognize what a privilege it is. We get to take risks here that our commercial colleagues can’t afford to, even though a lot of them are music lovers, too. We get to help propel emerging bands and artists to a level where commercial stations will pay attention to them. We’re allowed to play music that’s really meaningful to our listeners. The difference is member support, and I’ll never take that for granted. Our members are everything.
How do you spend your time when you’re not spinning records on the air?
I’m actually pretty boring. Because I work a lot of live music events for KUTX, when I’m not working, I just want to watch Netflix and hang out with my spouse and kid. I rarely stay up past 11. I got a degree in Creative Writing, so occasionally I write. Lately, I’ve gotten into baking. I think it’s not long before I start telling kids to get off my lawn.
Finish the sentence: “Austin Music Is ….”
… the sound of home. I enjoyed my years in Minnesota, but there were some dark days in the middle of winter there, where I’d be listening to Sir Douglas Quintet or Spoon or Freddy Fender while trudging through the snow, and it would conjure in my mind a backyard barbecue on a warm day with everybody drinking Lone Star tallboys, and I’d come close to tears. Texas is just where I belong.