This Is the Magic

Austin Music Minute

This Is the Magic

Posted by on Dec 13, 2018

All right, fine. So it’s been awhile.

Shawn Jones has been on an extended hiatus from music-making, although his CV boasts an impressive catalogue that shows the break was well-deserved. The journey of his band The Lovely Sparrows began with the 2005  7″ release of Take Your Hats Off You Godless Bastards, featuring “Glad Rangers” and “I Have A Need You See.” The vinyl has long been out-of-print, but remains an absolute treasure for Sparrows fans who got to experience the evolution of Jones’ songwriting dynamic through the years, from a kind of Guided By Voices/Sonic Youth-influenced reckoning to a more provocative composition style, playing with language, enigmatic imagery, and a wry humor. Tracks from the 2006 EP Pulling Up Floors, Pouring On (New) Paint were a regular feature on your AMM host’s previous late-night show on KUT back in the day, along with Bury the Cynics (2008) and Tall Cedars of Lebanon (2011).

It’s been seven years since a new Lovely Sparrows release, due mostly to Jones returning to grad school to pursue musical composition studies, along with a big move from Austin to Lockhart, and development of a video game. How time flies, but the music never really goes away. It was merely on pause. And now, we enter a realm of duality with Shake the Shadow, in which Jones poses a question often met with no definitive answer: “Is there any real magic?” One can present that query on so many levels – literally or figuratively. But what it boils down to is this: What is the magic for you? What is the connection?

It’s a beautiful thing to see The Lovely Sparrows in action again. Their album release show is tonight at Barracuda, 611 E. 7th St., with a bill that includes Linen Closet and Dead Recipe. Doors open at 8 p.m. And here’s to another wonderful album. Very recommended.

-Photography by Julia Reihs for KUTX.