The closing of Austin Music Hall, Holy Mountain, and Red 7 have left many music fans discouraged, but good news is around the corner with three new venues opening within the next year. Tellers, a three-story bar and music venue, will take the place of Chicago House on Trinity Street and celebrate its grand opening on October 24th. Red 7 fans will be happy to learn that music will soon return to 611 East 7th Street. Former Red 7 partner Johnny Sarkis, along with Hotel Vegas owner/operators Jason McNeely and Brian Tweedy, recently signed a five-year lease for the old Red 7 space and plan to turn it into a new music venue. And another music venue will come to Austin by way of Colorado next year. Oskar Blues Grill and Brew will open a 5,000 square foot taproom and music venue on Metric Blvd by April 2016.
The sound permitting struggles at Carson Creek Ranch continue. The organizers of Euphoria Fest filed a lawsuit against Travis County regarding the legality of the recently approved noise curfews. September’s ruling forced all amplified music to end at 11 pm on weeknights and 1 am on weekends. Organizers fear that these limitations could greatly affect both Euphoria and Levitation festivals.
Speaking of Levitation Fest, the three-day psychedelic music festival recently announced a portion of its lineup. Artists include Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds, Animal Collective, Flying Lotus, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Levitation Fest will take place April 29-May 1st at Carson Creek Ranch.
C3 Presents, organizers of the Austin City Limits Festival, have extended their reach to New Zealand. The Auckland City Limits Festival will come to Western Springs Stadium on March 19. This one-day festival, organized by Auckland promoter CRS Presents, C3 Presents, and Live Nation Entertainment, will feature over 40 artists from across the world.
A new artist may soon soar to the top of the heavenly music charts, and the name may surprise you. Pope Francis will release a prog-rock album entitled “Wake Up!” through Believe Digital on November 27th. This 11-track compilation will feature excerpts from his prayers and sermons layered over Latin, pop, and rock arrangements. His first single, “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” is now available for download. A portion of the album’s proceeds will go toward a support fund for refugees.
That’s your SoundCheck. This is Elisa Regulski for KUTX.
SXSW released their 2015 study of the festival’s economic impact on the city of Austin. Economic analysis group Greyhill found that SXSW 2015 brought in more than 317 million dollars and over 200,000 people to Austin. In comparison, ACL Festival 2015 is expected to make 100 million per weekend and bring in a crowd of 75,000. SXSW isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Despite the income SXSW brings in, Austin’s iconic venues are struggling to keep their doors open. One of the most recent to announce its impending closure, the Drag bar Hole In the Wall, may be closing their doors later this year. Home to Townes Van Zandt and Blaze Foley, Hole in the Wall cited the rising cost of rent on Guadalupe for ending their 41 year run. The development of new townhouses behind popular music venue, The Broken Spoke, sparked rumors that it would be next in a long line of venues to close. The Broken Spoke spokesperson, Ginny White-Peacock, set the record straight and says they have no intention of selling the bar. Music venues around town have started to feel the squeeze on their rental leases as commercial real estate interest has remained lucrative. Even more established venues like Cheer Up Charlie’s and The Mohawk have suffered at the hands of construction of developers next to their property.
Not everything is doom and gloom though, local honky tonk bar, The White Horse, starred in the new Kacey Musgraves music video “Are You Sure”, that features Austin native Willie Nelson. Check it out.
Our very own Jacqueline Fuller will be hosting the open mic concert, Couch of Rock, this Friday and Saturday from 2-10pm at The Snack Bar. Sign up your band to play today!
A look at this week’s local events and discussions to booster the Austin music community; and an odd selection of music news from the corners of the internet. This is your weekly SoundCheck:
The new local community organization Human Sciences is holding a roundtable discussion tonight, June 23rd, that will focus on the Austin music scene. Called “State of the Arts,” the event is meant to highlight and share the different perspectives of those within the Austin music community and will include Lindsey Verrill from Annie Street Arts Collective, Andrew Stevens from Punctum Records, Marcus Lawyer from Transmission Events, and Austin Music People’s Jeniffer Houlihan. Moderated by Punctum Records’ Dan Rudmann, tonight’s discussion at Studium is open to the public and will begin at 7pm.
Austin’s music advocate, All ATX is bringing together some big local names for a night of psychedelic rock at ACL Live, all for a good cause. All Along the Moontower: Austin Gets Psychedelic‘s lineup will include special guest Todd Rundgren, as well as Hayes Carll, the Black Angels, Ian Moore, Gina Chavez, Max Frost, Israel Nash, and more. The night’s proceeds will benefit the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, in addition to the upcoming non-profit, the All ATX Music Factory. The concert follows last week’s announcement of the incubator initiative headed by Gary Keller, seeking to provide local musicians with affordable space, educational programs, and collaborative opportunities. The event will be held on Wednesday, August 26th.
The Austin Music Foundation’s 4th Music Industry Collaborative is underway. The applicant-based program was created to facilitate mentoring and communication between local music entrepreneurs. The collaborative and fast-track program not only offers workshops and the opportunity to learn from successful firms, but also provides new projects with the chance to receive a grant to grow their businesses. The application to participate in this year’s MIC is August 1st.
As for this week’s oddities:
Hip-hop duo Run the Jewels have released “Meowrly,” the first single from their upcoming album, Meow the Jewels 2 – their official cat-themed remix album. Funded by Kickstarter, the project came to life after a joke by the duo inadvertently sparked the internet’s eternal feline affection.
Ready for a Zombie Western/90’s boy band collision you never knew you wanted? Backstreet Boy Nick Carter is writing a “futuristic horror movie” that will feature a bevy of former Backstreet Boys and ‘NSync members, including himself. Tentatively titled Dead 7, Carter hopes to extend the cast to include other 90’s pop musicians as well. The project’s production will be undertaken by the Asylum, the company that brought you Sharknado.
And speaking of music and film, this coming year will see the release of Gutterdämmerung, the Loudest Silent Film Ever. Named after Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” and featuring legends like Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Grace Jones, and Jesse Hughes, this Bjorn Tagemose rock ‘n’ roll fairytale is set in a world where God has taken away Satan’s Guitar. The movie is meant to be screened with a live rock band and narrator, and the rest of the musical cast will be announced in August. You can also win free tickets to the event by guessing who they might be.
That’s your SoundCheck!
Two new initiatives in aid of the Austin music community; Weird City Hip Hop Fest’s 2015 line-up; and some of this week’s strange musical happenings. As part of your Austin Music Experience, this is your weekly SoundCheck:
While news of the Austin music scene’s recent difficulties went national this week, the City of Austin has announced the inclusion of the Red River Cultural District in a plan that would help its struggling venues. Officially called the Soul-y Austin Business District Incubator, the project hopes to aid in the formation of merchant’s associations for four commercial districts in Austin, one of which will be Red River. Led by the Economic Development Department, the goal of the pilot initiative is to help businesses establish representation and have their voices heard by coming together and reaching common goals. Initial discussions, which began earlier this month, included representatives from Mohawk, Stubb’s, Cheer Up Charlie’s, Elysium, Red Eyed Fly, and Valhalla to name a few. While further discussions are scheduled for August, the group is hoping to receive its official designation as a merchant’s association by November.
This week’s second initiative comes in the form of the All ATX Music Factory. Headed by Gary Keller, of Keller Williams Realty, the All ATX Music Factory will be a multi-purpose facility intended to meet the needs of Austin musicians. Keller said that the facility will include rehearsal areas, recording studios, a performance space, and offices, and will offer educational programs geared towards musicians as well. Keller also spearheads an annual fundraiser for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. The All ATX Music Factory will operate as a non-profit and offer its services to local musicians for little to no cost.
Weird City Hip-Hop Fest announced its 2015 lineup this week. The event’s headliners will be Jay Electronica, Danny Brown, and Aesop Rock, and the roster will also feature local acts like Riders Against the Storm, Magna Carda, and Modal. This year’s festival will take place September 18th and 19th at Delta Millworks.
And on to the stranger side of things… Roskilde, the largest music festival in Northern Europe, has gone extra green and begun recycling urine to help in the making of beer for next year’s festival. The beer-cycling program utilizes urine collected from this year’s festival-goers and uses it as fertilizer for their campaign “from Piss to Pilsner.”
If you’re short on summer plans for August, you can also attend Sebastian Bach‘s wedding reception… for a fee. For the low cost of just $300, fans can attend the reception-meets-nconcert of the Skid Row front-man and Gilmore Girls regular.
And it also looks like Trent Reznor will be involved in the upcoming Fight Club Rock Opera. Not many details on the project have been shared so far, but the show will be produced by David Fincher and Julie Taymor.
That’s your SoundCheck!