It won’t take you long to figure out that Dale Watson‘s album El Rancho Azul is keeping it real. Sit right down, pop a top off a Lone Star and give it a listen, or simply peruse the song titles to get an initial idea: “I Lie When I Drink,” “Quick Quick Slow Slow,” “Cowboy Boots”…”I Hate To Drink Alone.” For crying out loud, if you know anything about nightlife, it’s clear that these tunes are true tales from the country-western dance halls.
El Rancho Azul brings to life every kind of interesting character you can imagine out on the dance floor or hunched over by the bar down at the local honky-tonk. These are portraits of all the rogues, rebels, broken hearts and babbling fools Watson has encountered at gigs he’s done throughout the years. He likes writing about these real-life situations. It truly is the best way to capture the two-steppin’, beer-drenched honky-tonk spirit.
No doubt you’ll get to hear some of these gems at Dale Watson’s show tonight at The Continental Club, 1315 S. Congress Ave. The music starts at 10 p.m. Worth staying up late for. Dale is the best. Recommended.
Your Austin Music Minute maven does have a thing for what I’ve referred to as “traveling music.” That is the awesome stuff you take with you on road trips that triggers a sort of lonesome or searching side of you that gets you thinking. Perfect for road adventures, or simply driving on. So that being said, any long stretch of highway would be perfect with a band like Fire In the Kitchen on your personal soundtrack. The local quartet, featuring front man and guitarist Aaron Blackerby, make what they’ve described as “Texas rock music for the wanderers – and wonderers.”
It looks as though plans are in the works for some studio time next month to record a new single for release in the summer, and hopefully an entire album’s worth for a fall or winter release. Meanwhile, make plans to see Fire In the Kitchen perform tonight at The Blackheart, 86 Rainey St. It promises to be a lovely evening with the McMercy Family Band, Mangia Negra and a solo set by Little Brave on the bill. The music starts at 9 p.m. Recommended.
There’s nothing particularly murderous on Murdering Teeth, the new EP by local quintet (and one of my favorite “synth-punk gloom wonders” – my own words) Borrisokane. But it takes a certain skill to present the darkest subject matter in somewhat light and poppy tones. This is their poetry.
I call it a cross between giddy and gloom, perhaps not so much “giddy” as “lovelorn,” but definitely cheerful-sounding melodies. They’ve always created an elegant contrast between dancey electronic pop and rather darkened moods. Murdering Teeth is fueled by this mix, crossing surf rock sounds and upbeat rhythms with a sort of Joy Division/Jesus & Mary Chain-era melancholy.
Danceable melancholy? Sign me up. Don’t miss Borrisokane’s EP release show tonight at the gorgeous Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. Tonight is a very special occasion for a number of reasons. The first 100 attendees will receive a free copy of Murdering Teeth, and Borrisokane’s performance will include guest appearances by members of local bands Growl, Schmillion, and Knifight. The bill also includes performances by Black Books, who are about to embark on a big UK tour for the Dot To Dot Festival in Bristol, Manchester, and Nottingham, as well as a show at Roundhouse in London with The Flaming Lips; and Letting Up Despite Great Faults.
What a spectacular line-up, literally a triple bill from the heavens. Doors open at 8 p.m. Highly recommended.
Your Austin Music Minute maven always appreciates a good band story. Boy + Kite has one I’ve shared before. It reminded me that hot tubs can be the stuff of rock ‘n’ roll legends. (And you can use Eddie Murphy as a reference point.)
In this case, it marked the beginning of Boy + Kite. Songwriters Darvin Jones and Beth Puorro had sneaked into a spa just outside of Austin after hours one night. Their hot tub chats inspired a bevy of song ideas, which led to Jones and Puorro recording a three-song demo as a duo in November 2009. The following spring, they added bassist Giuseppe Ponti and drummer Chris Mietus, and the four began working on more tracks for their debut full-length release, Go Fly (2011). Now they have a new five-song EP, We Can Go Anywhere We Want, infectious and atmospheric pop-rock reminiscent of ‘90s bands that weren’t afraid to mix pop with experimental elements.
Boy + Kite is having their EP release show tonight at Holy Mountain, 617 E. 7th St., with Jonas Wilson of The White White Lights‘ side project The Plastic Habit, and a local pop band making their debut, Slomo Drags, featuring members of Cartographers, The Couch, and BOY. Doors open at 8 p.m. Recommended.
It was heartbreaking reading The Boxing Lesson‘s story about recording their new album, Big Hits!. Keyboardist Jaylinn Davidson and guitarist/front man Paul Waclawsky sat down recently with my colleague Kevin Curtin of the Austin Chronicle to share the gory details of one of the most frustrating series of events they’d ever encountered – including having to literally get in someone’s face to get the band’s music back.
They started working on the album in 2009. Now, imagine losing a potential financial backer who decides to disappear and leave you with a massive studio bill, followed by a nasty car accident resulting in surgery and rehab for a damaged shoulder that puts you out of commission for awhile, then some disgruntled studio engineer steals your recordings in a hard drive and doesn’t give them back until you threaten the jerkwad to show him you mean business.
You can’t make this up. By the time the engineer had walked off with the hard drive, Waclawsky reportedly lost it. Thankfully, the music was saved, and now Big Hits! is a reality.
This does, indeed, call for a major celebration. Join The Boxing Lesson at their album release show tomorrow night at the Mohawk, 912 Red River, on the inside stage. Residual Kid’s Ben Redman is drumming for the band – and he’s amazing, by the way. This is also one of those triple bills I drool over that includes fierce rock trio Megafauna and dark psych-rock masters Obscured By Echoes. Doors open at 9 p.m. Recommended.