Features

Posted by on Sep 20, 2017

 NPR Music and program directors from VuHaus‘ public radio music station network today announced Big ThiefJamila Woods and Lo Moon as the inaugural class of “Slingshot,” a new effort among taste-making public radio stations to elevate the profiles of exceptional emerging artists. The video, interview and live event series kicks off today at NPR.org/slingshot.

Slingshot is a new music discovery initiative from NPR Music, VuHaus and their network of public radio music stations designed to create a launch pad for emerging artists.

Slingshot will introduce emerging artists – selected by the NPR Music and VuHaus network – and help propel their careers. NPR Music and the stations will roll out the red carpet for these artists by featuring them on national programs, like Tiny Desk, All Songs, World Cafe and Heavy Rotation; and on local features, such as guest DJ opportunities and live events. Performances, editorial and interviews captured along the way will be featured on the NPR website and promoted by the entire network.

To select the Slingshot artists, program directors from the 16 participating public radio stations each nominated two emerging artists that they believe to be most promising. Once the nominating process was complete, those same 16 program directors then selected their top five artists from the list of 32. This station-driven process narrowed down the artists to Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon as the inaugural class of Slingshot artists.

NPR Music stations, from KCRW in Los Angeles, to WXPN in Philadelphia, WFUV in New York and KUTX in Austin, are the market leaders in developing new artists. This network of independent “Music Discovery” stations has introduced remarkable new talent such as Alabama Shakes, The Black Keys, Adele, Vampire Weekend, Leon Bridges and Sturgill Simpson to national audiences.

“This is an exciting and game-changing opportunity for emerging artists,” says Anya Grundmann, NPR vice president for programming and audience development. “We are eager to leverage the full power of the public media system to serve as a launch pad for talent and to connect talent with our passionate and discerning audience.”

“This collaboration is a great chance to flex our musical discovery muscles with our partner stations and NPR music, and take these acts to the next level.” said Matt Reilly, KUTX 98.9 program director. “In turn, Slingshot creates another opportunity for audiences to discover new and exciting music.”



Meet Our Inaugural ‘Slingshot’ Artists

 

Big Thief

 Big Thief are Adrianne Lenker (guitar/vocals), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass) and James Krivchenia (drums). The Brooklyn-based quartet’s newest release, Capacity, comes just one year after its stunning debut, Masterpiece, brought Big Thief in-the-know audiences and critical acclaim. The expectations set by Masterpiece were easily met by Capacity, garnering ecstatic support from the music press, including NPR, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, fellow musicians such as Jeff Tweedy, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Father John Misty, and simply everyday fans of Lenker’s quietly confessional and revelatory songwriting. NPR Music’s Bob Boilen called the song “Mary” “the most beautiful song of 2017.” Big Thief have appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers, and toured extensively, playing hundreds of shows in the past two years in the US, UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. They will bring an extraordinary year to a close with one more trip around the world.



Jamila Woods

Jamila Woods‘ cultural lineage – from her love of Lucille Clifton’s poetry to cherished letters from her grandmother to the infectious late-’80s post-punk of The Cure – structure the progressive, delicate and minimalist soul of her debut album, HEAVN (No. 27 on NPR’s Best 50 Albums Of 2016). Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Woods grew up in a family of music lovers. Now a frequent guest vocalist in the hip-hop, jazz and soul world, it took a surprise poetry class with a high school arts program for Jamila to finally find what is already a once-in-a-generation voice. In HEAVN, you’ll find the bits and pieces of the past and present that make Jamila: family, the city of Chicago, self-care, and the black women she calls friends. Her poetry studies continued in college and in her professional career with Young Chicago Authors. True and pure in its construction and execution, her music is the best representation of Jamila herself: strong in her roots, confident in her ideas, and attuned to the people, places and things shaping her world.



Lo Moon

Lo Moon are a Los Angeles-based band comprised of Matt Lowell (vocals/guitar), Crisanta Baker (bass/keyboards) and Sam Stewart (guitar) whose sound meets at the intersection of artists like The XX and Talk Talk. With just two songs out in the world, the band is already one of the most talked-about new bands in Los Angeles’s indie scene. The trio have received early accolades from The New York Times, V Magazine, KCRW, the Los Angeles Times, and more. Having opened for the likes of Phoenix, Glass Animals, The Lemon Twigs, Air, London Grammar, and more, Lo Moon are currently putting the finishing touches to their debut album with producers Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) and Francois Tetaz (Gotye).

 

Support for Slingshot comes from Spire Studio by iZotope. Learn more at www.spire.live.

 

About NPR Music

NPR Music collaborates with NPR’s newsmagazines, public radio Member Stations and the passionate NPR community to celebrate great music in every genre. Visit NPR.org/music to find the complete Tiny Desk Concerts series, live music, extensive archives of performances, interviews and reviews of artists from all genres.

 

About VuHaus

VuHaus (pronounced “view house”) is a collaboration of public radio and television stations from across the country, deeply rooted in their local music communities. We share a common mission to support artists and be a source of music discovery for audiences around the world. VuHaus is a non-profit, non-commercial organization, with an aim to be true partners to artists while providing a unique window into the country’s most vibrant music scenes.

The VuHaus network includes public radio stations WFUV in New York City, KCRW in Los Angeles, KXT in Dallas/Ft. Worth, WXPN in Philadelphia, KEXP in Seattle, KDHX in St. Louis, opbmusic in Portland, KUTX in Austin, KTBG The Bridge in Kansas City, Mountain Stage in West Virginia, WGBH in Boston, Houston Public Media, WMOT in Nashville, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Colorado’s KSUT, KVNF, KSJD, KRCC, KRFC and  The Colorado Sound, Vocalo in Chicago and NV89 in Reno. VuHaus receives funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and is operated by its founding partner, Public Media Company, a national non-profit organization focused on maximizing the impact of public media through innovation and strategic partnerships.

R.I.P. Walter Becker 1950-2017

Features

R.I.P. Walter Becker 1950-2017

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017

Donald Fagen, Jody Denberg, & Walter Becker in 2003

Like most Steely Dan fans, I have a seminal moment of hearing them for the first time…but actually, I saw them first: they were crammed into the back of a station wagon in 1973 on their way past those of us waiting to get inside to see the Dan open for the band Chicago. Shortly thereafter Steely Dan stopped touring for more than 20 years so I couldn’t have imagined that 30 years later I would spend an hour with the two men behind the Dan – Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, or that in 2017 Becker would suddenly die in California hours after Fagen wrapped up a solo show in Austin.

 Call it jazz-rock, call it yacht rock, call it whatever you want — Steely Dan’s music was and is smart rock. So it was daunting to sit down with my main musical mensches in a Santa Monica hotel room in 2003 to discuss what would wind up being their final album Everything Must Go. But the conversation went well; we posed for the pictures afterward and they were downright playful, with Becker even grabbing a ceramic fox to be in the photo, explaining that it was their promotional mascot for the new record. The album was a commercial disappointment following the Grammy winning glory of its predecessor “Two Against Nature” a few years earlier, but still contains songs mighty as any in their illustrious catalogue – check out the thinly-veiled political piss-take “Godwhacker” and the apocalyptic title track below. These guys were musical and lyrical giants.

Walter Becker may be gone, but as their lyrics to “Deacon Blue” spoke of eternal transcendence (“that shape is my shade, there where I used to stand”), I prefer to think of Becker just waiting in the wings for the next time we visit him for a listen.

   – Jody Denberg, KUTX Host

Take a listen to Jody Deberg talk with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker about the release of their 2003 album, Everything Must Go, below.

Harvey Benefit Shows

Features

Harvey Benefit Shows

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017

Photo credit: Gabriel Pérez

As thousands of Texans across the state continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey Austinites are turning up the amplifiers and coming together for tons of benefit shows. Here is a list of ones we’ve found and we’ll keep it updated as others pop up.


*Upcoming Benefits*

9/17 Mayeux & Broussard, Ricky Espinoza, The Band In Black @ Spiderhouse Ballroom //All proceeds go to Emancipet Greater Austin and Greater Houston Community Foundation‘s Hurricane Relief Fund

9/24 Superfónicos, Continental Drift, Minor Mishap Marching Band @ Spiderhouse Ballroom //All proceeds go to Emancipet Greater Austin and Greater Houston Community Foundation‘s Hurricane Relief Fund

*Past Benefits*

8/30 Wild Things: Yoga & Dance @ Highland Lounge // portion of ticket sales going to Counter Balance ATX

8/30 Houston Food Bank @ Fourth Tap // All profits going to Houston Food Bank, accepting donations with physical donations (food, clothing, household supplies etc.) going to Baker Ripley. Food provided by Garbo’s Lobster Truck w/ 20% of profits being donated. Performances from Belle and The Beast & Monkeys on a String

8/31 A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Victims w/ Guy Forsyth & Friends // @ Antone’s with ticket sales donated to Hurricane relief

9/1 Houston Strong w/ Black Joe Lewis, Walker Lukens, The Octopus Project and more // @ Mohawk with ticket sales benefitting the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

9/1 Beyonce v. Kanye @ Empire Control Room & Garage // $3 from all ticket sales going to Counter Balance ATX

9/1 Hurricane Relief Fundraiser @ Imagine Books & Records // live music & poetry, accepting physical and monetary donations

9/1 Harvey Flood Relief Rave @ Santa Maria Social Club // proceeds at the door going to hurricane relief, accepting items for San Antonio Food Bank and Texas Diaper Bank

9/1 Portrayal of Guilt & Bleach Everything @ Faust Tavern // donations and band profits going towards hurricane relief

9/2 Rockin’ for Rockport Benefit Concert, Silent Auction & Raffle @ The Korova // all proceeds will go directly to relief efforts

9/2 Beyonce v. Rihanna @ Cheer Up Charlie’s  // All poster sales + donations going to hurricane relief

9/3 Rotel Vegas Chilli Cook Off @ Hotel Vegas // hosted by El Brujo with proceeds benefiting the Houston Food Bank and performances from Sailor Poon Sun Machine

9/4 Hurricane Harvey Benefit with Patty Griffin @ Waterloo //Live at Waterloo Records Benefiting The American Red Cross

9/5 Hurricane Harvey Benefit with Matthew Logan Vasquez and Israel Nash @ Waterloo //100% of the door donations go to the Houston Food Bank

9/6 Hurricane Harvey Survivors Benefit Show with JT Whitfield, Dylan Cameron, A.R. Abbauen Mohawk // proceeds going to Harvey relief

9/6 Relief from the Underground with Bailo, Bird Peterson, Grime Tribe Vulcan Gas Company // 100% of all tickets sales to be donated to Houston SPCA and Houston Food Bank

9/10 Hurricane Harvey Benefit with Black Heart Saints, Sonny Wolf, Deanna Wheeler @ Speakeasy // All door donations & a portion of proceeds to go directly to Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund set up by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

HOW TO HELP

by Matt Largey/ KUT News

Tropical Storm Harvey is bringing catastrophic flooding and damage to parts of Texas and will continue to batter the state over the next few days. Houston is being especially hard hit, with rain totals projected in excess of 50 inches before the storm leaves. Thousands of homes have been damaged already.

The devastation will leave many people in need of help rebuilding their lives, and in the meantime, many people will need help making it day-to-day.

Red Cross

The City of Austin has activated its shelter plan, in coordination with the Red Cross of Central Texas. The Red Cross says donations are the best way to help. Austin Mayor Steve Adler said this morning that the nonprofit is in need of about $10 million to serve evacuees. You can make a $10 donation by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999. You can also make a donation at redcross.org/donate.

The Red Cross says it has enough volunteers for Austin-area shelters and is encouraging those looking to help to stick to monetary donations.

Food Bank Donations

Food banks in Houston, Galveston County and Corpus Christi are all accepting donations online.

Austin Disaster Relief Network

The Austin Disaster Relief Network is collecting items for survivors at the Hope Family Thrift Store at 1122 E 51st St. The group is requesting the following items:

New undergarments (all sizes, children and adult)
New socks (all sizes, children and adult)
Toiletries (i.e.: shampoo, face wash, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.)
New bed pillows
New blankets
Cleanup supplies
Black trash bags
Mops and buckets
Utility knives
Leather work gloves
Inflatable mattresses
Hand sanitizer
Box fans
Clothing is not needed; ADRN will distribute the abundance of previously donated clothing to survivors
Families who need support from ADRN should call 512-806-0800. For info on donations or volunteering for ADRN, go here.

We Are Blood

Austin’s blood bank, We Are Blood, has put the call out for potential donors and says it will have mobile donor drives this week.

Austin Music Office

The Red Cross has asked Austin musicians with simple setups to play at Austin’s shelters to entertain Harvey evacuees.

Texas Diaper Bank

People in crisis with small children are often in dire need of supplies for their kids. The Texas Diaper Bank provides diapers provides items to meet the basic needs of children and the elderly. Donate here.

Austin Pets Alive

Austin Pets Alive is helping evacuate and house animals in Harvey’s path. They’re looking for donations and foster volunteers. For info on how to help APA, go here.

Greater Houston Community Foundation

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is asking those hoping to help Houston to give to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Shinyribs SETX Flood Relief

YouCaring fund created by Austin musician and Beaumont native Shinyribs to help flooding victims in Southeast Texas.

Boat Rescue Volunteers

The Houston Police Department has put the call out for boat owners looking to volunteer to assist with water rescues. If you have a boat and you’d like to help, call (713)881-3100. If you can’t get through on the first call, the department suggests to keep trying.

Have any other tips on how to help Hurricane Harvey evacuees? Let us know by emailing [email protected].

How You Can Help During Harvey

Features

How You Can Help During Harvey

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017

by Matt Largey/ KUT News

Tropical Storm Harvey is bringing catastrophic flooding and damage to parts of Texas and will continue to batter the state over the next few days. Houston is being especially hard hit, with rain totals projected in excess of 50 inches before the storm leaves. Thousands of homes have been damaged already.

The devastation will leave many people in need of help rebuilding their lives, and in the meantime, many people will need help making it day-to-day.

Red Cross

The City of Austin has activated its shelter plan, in coordination with the Red Cross of Central Texas. The Red Cross says donations are the best way to help. Austin Mayor Steve Adler said this morning that the nonprofit is in need of about $10 million to serve evacuees. You can make a $10 donation by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999. You can also make a donation at redcross.org/donate.

The Red Cross says it has enough volunteers for Austin-area shelters and is encouraging those looking to help to stick to monetary donations.

Food Bank Donations

Food banks in Houston, Galveston County and Corpus Christi are all accepting donations online.

Austin Disaster Relief Network

The Austin Disaster Relief Network is collecting items for survivors at the Hope Family Thrift Store at 1122 E 51st St. The group is requesting the following items:

New undergarments (all sizes, children and adult)
New socks (all sizes, children and adult)
Toiletries (i.e.: shampoo, face wash, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.)
New bed pillows
New blankets
Cleanup supplies
Black trash bags
Mops and buckets
Utility knives
Leather work gloves
Inflatable mattresses
Hand sanitizer
Box fans
Clothing is not needed; ADRN will distribute the abundance of previously donated clothing to survivors
Families who need support from ADRN should call 512-806-0800. For info on donations or volunteering for ADRN, go here.

We Are Blood

Austin’s blood bank, We Are Blood, has put the call out for potential donors and says it will have mobile donor drives this week.

Austin Music Office

The Red Cross has asked Austin musicians with simple setups to play at Austin’s shelters to entertain Harvey evacuees.

Texas Diaper Bank

People in crisis with small children are often in dire need of supplies for their kids. The Texas Diaper Bank provides diapers provides items to meet the basic needs of children and the elderly. Donate here.

Austin Pets Alive

Austin Pets Alive is helping evacuate and house animals in Harvey’s path. They’re looking for donations and foster volunteers. For info on how to help APA, go here.

Greater Houston Community Foundation

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is asking those hoping to help Houston to give to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Shinyribs SETX Flood Relief

YouCaring fund created by Austin musician and Beaumont native Shinyribs to help flooding victims in Southeast Texas

Boat Rescue Volunteers

The Houston Police Department has put the call out for boat owners looking to volunteer to assist with water rescues. If you have a boat and you’d like to help, call (713)881-3100. If you can’t get through on the first call, the department suggests to keep trying.

Have any other tips on how to help Hurricane Harvey evacuees? Let us know by emailing [email protected].

Margaret Moser, Matriarch Of Austin Music, Dies At 63

Features

Margaret Moser, Matriarch Of Austin Music, Dies At 63

Posted by on Aug 26, 2017

by Andrew Weber

Margaret Moser, the Mother of Austin’s Music Scene, has died at age 63 after a long bout with colon cancer.

A stalwart in the music scene in the days before the city was known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Moser was instrumental in molding the city’s reputation. She wrote for the Austin Chronicle for 33 years and founded the Austin Music Awards.

Born in 1954, the San Antonio native arrived in Austin in 1973 – eventually trading the psychedelic, Summer of Love trappings of her San Antonio youth for the beer-swilling of the nascent Austin punk scene a few years later. She became a fixture at the Rome Inn, Raul’s, Club Foot, the Armadillo, Liberty Lunch and Antone’s. Then, she became a self-admitted, unrepentant groupie.

Her choice wasn’t guided solely by lustful leanings. She wanted to get a piece of the action in a way that, as she told Joe Nick Patoski earlier this year, women had never had.

“I wanted to see what they were seeing, in the way they were seeing it,” she said. “It didn’t necessarily mean I wanted to be the singer, the guitarist, or the center of attention. I just wanted to know where that came from, where that power came from, where that passion came from.

Read Joe Nick Patoski’s profile on Margaret Moser for NPR here.

“For me, it came from words and the way they blended into music in my head. It’s so powerful. And as a girl, I couldn’t talk about it to anybody. Guys could talk about this stuff.”

It was a lifestyle of peaks, sure, but it had plenty of valleys, as well.

“It wasn’t all limos and laminates,” she wrote for the Chronicle in 2000. “But it sure beat Saturday night on Sixth Street.”

In 1976, Moser began managing the office of the Austin Sun – answering the telephone and cleaning toilets.

She got her first scoop with a profile of Randy California from the band Spirit, and later took over the paper’s “Backstage” column, a column that she later brought to the Chronicle in 1981, after the Sun burned out.

It was at the Chronicle that Moser came into her own. She formed her own posse, the Texas Blondes; she dipped her toe into performing with the Jam and Jelly Dancers; she hosted a local music-minded TV show; and she used her writing to become a consummate booster of Austin’s music scene, Patoski remembers:

Along the way Moser matured into a mother hen, encouraging and mentoring new musicians and new music people freshly arrived from somewhere else, schooling them in the local ways, making sure they understood Austin was where you came to express yourself and not hold back.

Moser was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013. It was in her later years she steeped herself in history – a passion that she honed at the Chronicle, Patoski notes.

She taught a course at UT Austin on Austin’s music history entitled “Home with the Armadillo,” in which she recounted the music from the days of Tonkawan percussion to Spanish incursions into Central Texas to the days of Paul Ray and the Cobras. (It should be noted Moser wore her high school dropout status as a badge of honor). And, after she moved back to San Antonio in 2014, she opened the South Texas Museum of Popular Culture, which rolled out an exhibition on blues legend Robert Johnson’s San Antonio recordings last year.

Shortly before bowing out as director of the Austin Music Awards, which she helped found in 1983, to make the trek down I-35, she spoke to KUTX’s Jody Denberg about her departure, about her post-Chronicle future and about one of her favorite moments as the head of the AMA’s: Bruce Springsteen’s surprise performance at the ceremony’s 30th anniversary, just two years before she left.

“You know, it’s hard to beat the Boss coming in standing up with all of our locals,” she said. “Because that was the affirmation that what we did was right.”

Moser died at her home in San Antonio on Friday night.