Rainer Maria: “Lower Worlds”

Song of the Day

Rainer Maria: “Lower Worlds”

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017

Photo by Shawn Brackbill

Rainer Maria is a band from Madison, Wisconsin named for the great Austrian poet and thinker Rainer Maria Rilke (I probably knew of Rilke first, thanks to Ray Wylie Hubbard’s love of him). The trio released five, cult-classic albums before breaking up in 2006, and the last decade has seen a lot of changes for the band members. Singer/guitarist Kaia Fischer studied Buddhism in New York before living in Thailand and coming out as a trans person. Singer/bassist Caithlin De Marrais released a few solo albums, and drummer William Kuehn traveled the Middle East.

But now the three are back together with a new album called S/T (music speak for “self-titled,” but it’s actually just called S/T). Ten years is a long hiatus for a band, especially one that was originally built on a youthful, punk-inspired fire. Yet a song like “Lower Worlds” is the best kind of veteran-made music: wiser, but still in-your-face. It’s a pumping, breathing song, more Zeppelin than Sex Pistols (and proof that slower tempos can be just as invigorating and overwhelming). “Slam shut / the doors,” De Marrais screams on the chorus, but if anything, they’re flinging the doors wide open for a new generation of fans.

“Lower Worlds” appears on S/T, out now via Polyvinyl.

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

Nik West: “Bottom Of The Bottle”

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Nik West: “Bottom Of The Bottle”

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017

In 2013, the City of Austin declared August 29 “RAS Day” in honor of Austin’s dynamic duo Riders Against The Storm. The group soon turned the anniversary of that proclamation into its own mini-festival built around community engagement, food, and, of course, music.

The RAS Day celebration returns tonight to Empire Control Room and it includes some out-of-town highlights. L.A.’s Nik West is a funk bassist who’s collaborated with Prince and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics and shared stages with Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, and more. Her own songs straddle the line between funk and pop, like the bubbly, super-catchy “Bottom of the Bottle.” Check it out below and catch West live in our Studio 1A today at 2 p.m.

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

Mattiel: “Count Your Blessings”

Song of the Day

Mattiel: “Count Your Blessings”

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017

From the rural reaches of Georgia to a design career in Atlanta, Mattiel (real name Mattiel Brown) is fresh on the scene and ready to take on the world.

“Count Your Blessings” is dusty, marrying the classic spaghetti western aesthetic to a modern-day, smokey indie sound, tied together with Mattiel’s (self-taught) deep, haunting voice.

“Count Your Blessings” is out now via Burger Records, and will appear on Mattiel, out this fall.

-Taylor Wallace

Bill Baird: “Bourgeois Blues”

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Bill Baird: “Bourgeois Blues”

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017

Bill Baird used to front Sound Team, an Austin band that got spit out by the major label machine once upon a time. But since then, Baird has covered a lot of artistic ground. He’s based in Oakland these days where he lives as a visual artist, filmmaker, and DIY musician. His albums are homemade little gems, alternating between folk, pop, rock, electronic, and experimental sounds.

This year, Baird released two new albums that are companion pieces: Easy Machines is a “morning” record while Baby Blue Abyss is an “evening” record. Overall, the mood is subdued, but Baird can cut through the sleepy atmosphere with a sharp wit. “Bourgeois Blues” is just as skewering as it sounds, made only more so by its sunny disposition.

“Bourgeois Blues” appears on Baby Blue Abyss, out now. Bill Baird plays live in Studio 1A on Sunday, August 20 at 12 p.m.

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

Quiet Company: “An Unholy Year”

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Quiet Company: “An Unholy Year”

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017

If you’re in-the-know about Austin music, chances are you know that Quiet Company is nothing like their namesake. Over the course of four full-lengths and ad-nauseum touring, this local five-piece has accrued 12 Austin Music Awards (including “Band of the Year” across a number of genres and years) as well as a strong national following and praise from critics worldwide.

2016 marked a year of kenopsia for the group, as fronting songwriter Taylor Muse took time off amidst a recent divorce and the ensuing experiences. With his deep-rooted bandmates recharged from an uncharacteristic lack of touring, and now joined by a new rhythm section, Muse and Quiet Company have transformed their pent-up energy and emotional baggage into their upcoming five-song album – Your Husband, The Ghost.

You can see Quiet Company on Saturday, August 19th at Barracuda for their album release show. You can also listen to “An Unholy Year” by Quiet Company right here on KUTX.

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