The Octopus Project is the KUTX Artist of the Month for May. Photo by Martin do Nascimento/KUTX
The Octopus Project’s live shows are often of the sensory-overload variety. The Austin band let loose its geeky A/V club charm at its sold-out album release show last Friday in one of the Bob Bullock Museum’s theaters, utilizing sound effects, rumble seats, and of course, a big-ass movie screen to great effect.
But the Octopus Project also impresses in a (relatively) stripped-down environment. There was no video-assisted sleight-of-hand in our Studio 1A last week, but the band’s whizz-bang electronic rock was more than enough to keep the packed audience entertained. The Project’s sixth album–the Dave Fridmann-assisted Memory Mirror–might be its best, still defiantly weird but also flat-out fun. “Wrong Gong” kicked off the live set with a splash of color, sounding like a comic book come to auditory life. Listen below.
–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX
The Octopus Project is the KUTX Artist of the Month for May. Photo by Thalia Juarez/KUTX
The Octopus Project has been keeping the weirdo flame lit in Austin for close to two decades. Their music can be both abrasive and gleeful, reflecting a refreshing curiosity that’s often lacking in a lot of electronic music. Their live shows are notoriously left-field: on Friday, May 12, the Octopus Project celebrate their new album Memory Mirror with three shows in the Spirit Theatre of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, complete with rumbling seats, sound effects, surround-sound, and videos on the Texas-sized screen.
The Octopus Project’s Josh Lambert, Yvonne Lambert, and Toto Miranda bring this anything-goes energy to the airwaves this week with their very own guest DJ set. They talk about unlikely influences, the importance of film soundtracks, and what it was like to play as DEVO’s backing band. Tune in on Saturday, May 6 at 6 p.m. or listen anytime at the bottom of the page.
–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX
1. Flying Lizards – “Lovers & Other Strangers”
2. Cornelius – “Count Five Or Six”
3. Sonic Youth – “100%”
4. Adriano Celentano & Raffaella Carra – “Prisencolinensinainciusol”
5. Melt-Banana – “Tapir’s Flown Away”
6. Mr. Oizo – “No Tony” (feat. Phra)
7. Rita Lee – “Amor Branco e Preto”
8. The Tammys – “Egyptian Shumba”
9. Francois de Roubaix – “Les Amis”
10. Ennio Morricone – “Guerra E Pace Pollo E Brace”
11. RD Burman – “Duniya Mein Logon Ko”
12. Zhou Xuan – “Age of Bloom (Hua Yang de Nianhua)”
13. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Very Rare”
14. Orchestre Poly-Rhytmo de Cotonou – “Noude ma gnin tche de me”
15. Deerhoof – “Spirit Ditties of No Tone”
16. Enon – “In This City”
17. DEVO – “Girl U Want”
photo by Michael Thad Carter
As a group of multi-instrumentalists who began with a largely improvised mass of electronics and guitars, Austin’s Octopus Project quickly stood out in Austin as something really unique. The cables strewn everywhere gave the band their namesake, and the relative stability of their lineup allowed them to, over time, expand their sound. Beginning in 2002, they have released six albums, each different in approach from the one preceding it. They’ve added more lyrics, tightened up song structures, and developed into a formidable live act. For their new album, Memory Mirror, the band worked with two acclaimed producers – Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, Tame Impala, Flaming Lips) and local wizard Danny Reisch (Shearwater, White Denim, pretty much everyone) – and the end result is an expansive and swirling wall of sound all boxed within catchy and tightly framed pop songs.
5/6 @ 6 p.m. My KUTX guest DJ set
5/9 @ 7 p.m. KUTX After Hours live broadcast in Studio 1A
5/15 Song of the Day
5/12 @ Bob Bullock Museum (Memory Mirror Record Release Show)
General Admission: $18 TICKETS [SOLD OUT]
Photo by Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUTX. Growl is the KUTX Artist of the Month for April.
On its new album Won’t You, Growl’s fuzzy power-pop reaches new, fist-pumping heights, and this week on My KUTX, guitarist/singer Santiago Dietche, bassist Jonny Lee, and guitarist Sam Houdek double down on that sound as our guest DJs. They talk about what songs work best as touring van soundtracks, the influence of early AC/DC, and Pavement-based cat names. Take a listen at the bottom of the page or tune in on Saturday, April 22 at 6 p.m.
–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX
[intro music: Growl – “Passerby”]
1. The Stone Roses – “I Wanna Be Adored”
2. AC/DC – “Jailbreak”
3. The Walkmen – “Little House Of Savages”
4. Broadcast – “Come On Let’s Go”
5. Total Control – “Expensive Dog”
6. The Men – “Open Your Heart”
7. Jonathan Richman – “I’m Just Beginning To Live”
8. (Sandy) Alex G – “After Ur Gone”
9. Misfits – “London Dungeon”
10. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Lariat”
11. Chris Cohen – “Rollercoaster Rider”
12. Balkans – “Edita V”
13. The Strokes – “Hard To Explain”
14. New Order – “Age Of Consent”
A lot of young Austin bands don’t hang around for too long, and with no new music since their 2103 EP No Years, it might be easy for the casual observer to assume Growl was one of them. You’d be wrong, though. Growl never really went away. In fact, these cacophonous indie rockers, fronted by vocalist Santiago Dietche, have been hard at work on their debut full-length, Won’t You (released April 7th). Subject matter-wise, this is an album from a bunch of (slightly) older musicians dealing with new challenges, but it’s lean, hungry drive makes 2013 sound like yesterday.
– Jeff McCord, KUTX Music Director