Slaid Cleaves: “Drunken Barber’s Hand”

Song of the Day

Slaid Cleaves: “Drunken Barber’s Hand”

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017

Photo by Karen Cleaves

“Craftsman” is a term that gets thrown around a lot with Slaid Cleaves. There’s nothing flashy to the veteran Austinite’s songs; he sings about manual laborers or war veterans trying to adjust to civilian life. As he says in a recent Rolling Stone interview, “I don’t feel any connection to the Dancing With the Stars, National Football League or CMT country music. I feel like I’m sort of living outside my culture in this little Americana world that we have. It’s a tiny part of the culture, but it’s very vibrant and has everything I need in it.”

But Cleaves still trains his incisive eye on the world at large. “I don’t need to read the papers or the tea leaves to understand / this world’s been shaved by a drunken barber’s hand,” he sings on “Drunken Barber’s Hand,” written with his longtime collaborator Rod Picott. The sad (or funny, depending on your mood) thing is, this song could have just as easily been written in 1517 as 2017. Perhaps more than anything, Cleaves keeps chipping away at the human condition, finding commonalities that unite the mainstream and the underground.

“Drunken Barber’s Hand” appears on Ghost On The Car Radio, out now. Slaid Cleaves plays an album release show at Stateside at the Paramount on July 16.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX

Tancred: “Birthday Candles”

Song of the Day

Tancred: “Birthday Candles”

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017

Photo by: Chloe Aftel

Commin’ at you like Sleater-Kinney wrapped in Cardigans is Minnesota’s Tancred — the answer to “I’m nostalgic for the 90s, but I want something fresh.” The musical embodiment of the moment you drop your favorite LUSH bath bomb in the tub, “Birthday Candles” is Tancred’s first single to follow-up their third album, last year’s Out of the Garden. Singer and lead songwriter Jess Abbott’s cherry-Smackers-flavored vocals drift up and over with sugary ease that falls into and floats over the fuzzy-guitar-driven, lo-fi cloud of nostalgia-bred indie-pop.

“Birthday Candles” is out now, via Polyvinyl.

-Taylor Wallace; host, Thursdays at 8pm & Saturdays at 2pm; producer, Eklektikos with John Aielli; host, SoundCheck Music News

Ride: “All I Want”

Song of the Day

Ride: “All I Want”

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017

It can be impossible for artists to top a classic album, much less one right out of the gate. Britain’s Ride debuted with Nowhere in 1990, and alongside My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, it served as a foundational tent pole for shoegaze. But Ride never recreated their masterpiece, and they’re a better band for it. Instead, they spent the rest of the ’90s layering their honeyed wall-of-sound with hip-hop and pop. “Leave Them All Behind” became the band’s enduring mission statement, as hundreds of shoegaze wannabes popped up in Ride’s wake. A breakup in 1996 practically solidified the band in amber, and it was only a matter of time before they would sound ahead-of-the-curve again.

That moment hit at Fun Fun Fun Fest in 2015. Ride played Nowhere in its entirety, and its gooey sound slotted in perfectly with Toro y Moi, Future Islands, and CHVRCHES. And now, Ride is staying one step ahead yet again, staying together to put out its fifth album, Weather Diaries. The band gets a modern update, adding an electronic sheen to its past innovations. “All I Want” starts with sampled vocals, but it sprints into a gigantic, hooky chorus that sounds both airy and submerged under a guitar assault. It’s the sound of a band doing what it does best while speeding off into the future.

“All I Want” appears on Weather Diaries, out now.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX

DJ brimLo & Bavu Blakes: “Yesterday” (feat. Reggie Coby & TempestB)

Song of the Day

DJ brimLo & Bavu Blakes: “Yesterday” (feat. Reggie Coby & TempestB)

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017

With the sheer multiplicity of artist collaborations in an already-saturated market, it’s incredibly refreshing to find a true and deep connection between two like-minded musicians. Two men faced separate crossroads at different times in their lives, but the paths they took led them to one another – now DJ brimLo and Bavu Blakes have fused their creative energy and personal progressions together into The Comeback Story.

In light being forced to find a balance between fatherhood, education and songwriting, longtime local hip hop veteran Bavu Blakes is still going strong eleven years after being named “Best Hip Hop Artist” by Austin Chronicle. More recently, the Mississippi-born, Austin-based DJ brimLo had become frustrated in late 2016 by a perceived lack of discography, despite his immense body of production and engineering work, and decided to relaunch his career as a solo artist. With both traveling further away from the fork in their respective roads, brimLo and Blakes’ The Comeback Story‘s five tracks takes the listener on a compelling, heartfelt journey – “a return to one’s better self”. The EP’s penultimate song, “Yesterday”, features singer-rapper Reggie Coby on the first hook and verse and TempestB on the subsequent, electrifying Eryka Badu-like counter choruses, with lyrics hearkening back to a simpler, happier, more family-centric time in life.

You can listen to DJ brimLo & Bavu Blakes right here on KUTX.org!

Jack Anderson (Host Monday-Wednesday, 8-11pm, Saturday 6-10am)

Brandon Luedtke: “Can’t Get Away (From The Way Of The World)”

Song of the Day

Brandon Luedtke: “Can’t Get Away (From The Way Of The World)”

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017

Brandon Luedtke is a young singer-songwriter who’s spent time in Dallas, Nebraska, and New York, but his debut full-length is an Austin album through-and-through. Made with the help of members of Whiskey Shivers and Mother Merey and the Black Dirt, Morning Light tips its cap towards Blaze Foley and Joe Ely with its acoustic story-songs. On “Can’t Get Away (From The Way Of The World),” real life keeps creeping up on Luedtke, but he offers up a campfire sing-along as a cure.

“Can’t Get Away (From The Way Of The World)” appears on Morning Light, out now. Brandon Luedtke plays Radio Coffee & Beer on Tuesday, June 20.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX