Punk rock provocateurs John Doe and Exene Cervenka have been making music together ever since launching L.A. punk rock out from the underground in the late 1970s with their band X. The band has reunited several times since splitting in 1993 including a stop in Austin for the 2008 SXSW Music Festival. In recent years, both John Doe and Exene have been releasing and touring behind solo projects that highlight their backgrounds in folk and roots music. The duo have joined forces again for a 40th reunion tour with stops across the U.S. including at The Mohawk here in Austin. Listen to these American music icons caught live in Studio 1A at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
5/24 @ Mohawk
Listening to Desert Culture is a bit like taking a surf trip to West Texas. That may sound like a recipe for disappointment but in the capable hands of songwriter Daniel Vega, guitarists Brett Thorne and Grant Appleton, and drummer Taylor Thomas, this genre-blurring, border hopping music makes total sense. In fact, it sounds really damn good, and different in a way that makes even the most jaded music critic sit up and take notice. The group just released their new album, They’re Not Here, in April and stopped in to play us a few songs before their show at Hotel Vegas.
5/24 @ Hotel Vegas
The name Food Group left us scratching our heads the first time we heard it but after listening to their music we think there really is something rather wholesome about these sonic explorers. Good luck trying to nail down exactly what it is though. Their songs share many hallmarks of truly spaced-out psych rock with soaring organs and synths while somehow remaining rooted to something folkier and more traditional. Their take on the spiritual, “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore” is a great example of this expansive new take on more recognizable styles and songs. Take a listen to their recent visit to Studio 1A to play songs of their brand new album, Here Today.
Austin songwriter Jimmy Lafave has passed away just days after joining many stars of Austin’s folk music community at The Paramount for Jimmy LaFave’s Songwriter Rendezvous to celebrate the life, legend, and oversized influence of the longtime Austin singer-songwriter, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last year. Despite his diagnosis, the delay in making the news public, and his declining condition, LaFave continued to play. Back in April he played a 90-minute set at a San Antonio Food Bank fundraiser with a set list blending originals and covers, namely his signature takes on Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie tunes. He performed again last month at Threadgill’s.
Though born in Wills Point, Texas, LaFave was raised near Stillwater, Oklahoma where he developed his signature Red Dirt music style and was the first to bring that style to Austin and stake its place. Last month, Oklahoma presented LaFave with the inaugural Restless Spirit Award given by the state’s Red Dirt Relief Fund, a charity that raises money for Oklahoma musicians in critical need. LaFave will also be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame this June.
Since moving to Austin in the 80s, LaFave became a mainstay in the folk and Americana scene, and served as a bridge between the different generations of players as well, many of whom joined the singer-songwriter on stage this Thursday for Jimmy LaFave’s Songwriter Rendezvous including Christine Albert, Marcia Ball, Ruthie Foster, Butch Hancock, Eliza Gilkyson, Sam Baker, and more. KUTX’s Jody Denberg hosted the event.
“Buckets of rain, buckets of tears”
Jimmy LaFave 1955-2017
— Jody Denberg (@JodyDenberg) May 22, 2017
— The Bugle Boy (@BugleBoyTX) May 22, 2017
— Gretchen Peters (@gretchenpeters) May 22, 2017
— oklamerica (@oklamerica) May 22, 2017
We’ve been keeping an eye on Taylor Baker of Austin’s The Wild Now ever since she took part in an Open Mic contest at the Cactus Cafe in 2013. It was then that we met her songwriting companion and The Wild Now guitarist Drew Walker. Since then, the two have honed their craft, drawing from influences ranging from the Local Natives to Chet Faker to pull together their debut EP, Tides, with standout tracks “Salt” and “Gold Dust” hitting over 2 million plays on Spotify. The Wild Now has grown a little bit since those early days, with guitarist Errol Seigul, percussionist Greg Clifford and bassist Chase Goldman joining the fray to fill out the rhythm section for their new EP, Afterglow, out May 19th. Sit back and float away on the hypnotic vocals and easygoing grooves of The Wild Now caught live in Studio 1A!
5/19 @ 3Ten ACL Live (EP Release Show)
6/10 @ Kiva in San Marcos, TX
10/6 @ Austin City Limits Festival