Today marks HAAM Day, a benefit where local businesses donate 5% of the day’s proceeds to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. Since 2005, HAAM has helped thousands of local musicians access healthcare. Of course, this calls for celebration, and there’s a huge list of local artists plying their trade all around town today and tonight.
If there’s a queen of Austin music these days, it might just be Gina Chavez. At the 2014-2015 Austin Music Awards, she cleaned up, claiming prizes for Musician, Album (Up.Rooted), and Song Of The Year (“Siete-D”). Over the years, she’s morphed from a folk artist into a dynamic performer, drawing from cumbia, bossa nova, pop, and beyond. Chavez stopped by Studio 1A recently and played the doo-wop-influenced “Fire Water.” Download the song below and catch Gina Chavez at Whole Foods Downtown today at 4 p.m.
For all his obtuse lyrics, Craig Finn is a man of the people. The Hold Steady frontman has some incredible perks if you order his upcoming solo album through Pledge Music: you can grab drinks, play fantasy football, catch a Twins game, or take an “inspiring walk” with him. During his recent Studio 1A performance, Finn told us that these outings help “strengthen the community.” He’s an avowed fan of rock & roll mythology while keeping his ear to the ground.
Faith In The Future, out September 11, explores this high-low divide. One moment Finn is meditating on morality; the next he’s down at the corner bar, drowning in PBRs. He wound up his set with a stunning cover of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young,” recorded for our family-friendly show Spare The Rock, Spoil The Child. It’s a fitting song: innocent, misty-eyed, and good advice to boot. Download the song below, and tune into Spare The Rock on Sundays at 6 p.m. on KUTX.
For years, T Bird & The Breaks has been the best party band in Austin, bringing a New Orleans-inspired je ne sais quoi to their blend of funk and soul. Even though Tim Crane (a.k.a. T Bird) grew up all the way in Massachusetts, his sound is purely Southern, which the band explored to great effect on this year’s Harmonizm.
Sadly, the Breaks are breaking up, but not before going out New Orleans-jazz-funeral style. You can catch them at the Continental Club tonight and tomorrow night. Below, download a celebratory version of “Justine” that the band recorded for us live in Studio 1A earlier this year.
Photo by David McClister
The Athens, GA quintet Futurebirds has the kind of ramshackle charm that makes them live favorites throughout the country. Their albums have a messy energy; they’re soundtracks for the boozy night out that inevitably turns into a big sing-along.
But buried beneath the one-take rawness is a band that’s skilled at putting their own stamp on familiar sounds. Like tour mates Drive-By Truckers and Heartless Bastards, Futurebirds likes its country music with a psychedelic swoon and a rock ‘n’ roll edge. “Deadbeat Hits”–a taste from Futurebirds’ third album Hotel Parties, out September 25–tightens the reins a bit on the group’s scrappiness. Still, the song is practically a mission statement for Futurebirds’ whole aesthetic: it might only be a hit song to deadbeats’ ears, but it still hits like a ton of bricks. Download the song below.
Drummer Shaun Fleming helped ground Foxygen’s psychedelic insanity on their cult-smash We Are The 21st Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic, but with their break-up, Fleming is painting broader strokes with his Diane Coffee alter-ego. His 2013 debut, My Friend Fish, wove an atmosphere of mellow glam-folk, but his theatrical side is his best asset. He started out as a Disney voice actor, and last year he guested on Run The Jewels’ “Crown.”
Everybody’s A Good Dog, out September 4 via local label Western Vinyl, ratchets up the drama. “Mayflower” is a brassy strut, Meatloaf-esque in its inspiration and pure fun in its execution. Download the song below and catch Diane Coffee opening for Of Montreal at the Mohawk on November 10.