Go Fever’s Velvet Fist

Artist of the Month

Go Fever’s Velvet Fist

Posted by on Sep 1, 2021
photo by Mel Koutchavalis

The band returns with their blistering new album

Follow Go Fever HERE:

Velvet Fist album art

By Jeff McCord

When vocalist Acey Monaro lit out for her native Australia last summer, she and her husband Ben Burdick left behind high COVID rates, an inactive Austin music scene, and the rest of their band. Go Fever, a fixture on the Austin scene since 2017, had just finished an intense ten-day June session at White Denim’s Radio Milk studios, recording their second album. But when it would be released, or when the band could reconvene, remained uncertain. Without gigs, or Acey’s supporting day jobs as a bartender and booker, there was simply no work. In Australia, where COVID was much more under control, she found work painting houses and got to spend some time with her family. But she missed her bandmates, and listening to the rough mixes of the session, she felt they really had something. 

They did. In this time of endless introspection and echo-laden synthetics, Velvet Fist has the effect of a door slamming at a funeral. You sit up and listen. Call it melodic ferocity. It can be a bit retro (the band calls themselves ‘uncool’ in their bio, and Stones and new wave influences do bob to the surface), but their songwriting wit places them very much in the present day. It’s bracing hook-laden indie rock, where auto-tune is vanquished, guitars aren’t shy, and neither is Monaro, powering track after track into a thrilling frenzy. Like all good records should – and so few actually do – the nine tracks fly by. It all ends way too soon. 

A single is out now, and Nine Mile Records releases Velvet Fist on October 8th. It’s been a long layoff, but it’s time for Go Fever to go back to work. 

BLK ODYSSY: “Hang Low” (KUTX Live)

Artist of the Month

BLK ODYSSY: “Hang Low” (KUTX Live)

Posted by on Aug 27, 2021

The name BLK ODYSSY might seem a bit grandiose on first glance, but a quick listen to their recent material justifies the epic magnificence of their sound. While D’Angelo & The Vanguard maintains a naming convention that touts their frontman’s saga, singer Sam Houston has graciously allowed his own name to go by the wayside as the “feature” of BLK ODYSSY and allowed his breathtaking vocals (almost reminiscent of post-Impressions Curtis Mayfield) to mesh effortlessly within a more traditional “band” framework.

Nonetheless, our August 2021 Artist of the Month‘s new record BLK Vintage could definitely make for a good pairing with Black Messiah, offering up a slick mix of modern jazz-psych-soul and seductive funk-R&B. You can catch BLK ODYSSY’s My KUTX session tomorrow night at 6PM and enjoy the grainy visuals of a three-song set below, taped just for KUTX at 512 Studios. The intimate performance (complete with a scarf-wrapped mic stand and plenty of stank face) opens with a previously unheard demo (“Gangster of Love” – that already packs a ton of potential) and KUTX rotation favorite “Funkentology”, but with Texas summer keeping the sun high and the heat in close company, the belle of the ball may just be “Hang Low”.

NPR LIVE SESSIONS/KUTX – KUTX August 2021 Artist of the Month BLK ODYSSY // Musicians: Sam Houston, Vocals; Matt Weatherly, Bass; Alejandro Rios, Guitar; Matt Muheling, Guitar; Adam Jackson, Drums
Cameras and Edit: Rashad White, Audio Engineer: Rich Baur // Filmed at 512 Studios // Set List: 1. “Gangster of Love”, 2. “Funkentology”, 3. “Hang Low”

Jack Anderson

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My KUTX: BLK ODYSSY

Artist of the Month

My KUTX: BLK ODYSSY

Posted by on Aug 27, 2021

BLK ODYSSY is the KUTX Artist of the Month for August 2021.

BLK VINTAGE, the debut album from Austin’s BLK ODYSSY, has been a long time coming. Singer Sam Houston shares a birthplace–Plainfield, New Jersey–with Parliament-Funkadelic. He grew up immersed in that particular culture, running into band members in the neighborhood and soaking up psychedelic funk with the extended P-Funk family tree. When he moved to Austin, Houston met Alejandro Rios, a guitarist from Florida who leaned more into a classic rock direction. But by teaming up, the pair pushed each other’s musical boundaries. The result is BLK ODYSSY, a band that delivers a psych-damaged soul sound with a wallop.

For BLK VINTAGE, Houston says he wants the music to speak “from the perspective of trivialized communities in America. It gives an inside perspective to how life is, not just on a tragic level but on just a day-to-day level.” The band first started working on the album about four years ago, and last summer’s social unrest helped give the final recordings a sense of urgency.

This week on My KUTX, Houston and Rios dive into the many creative inspirations that shaped the album. From Frank Ocean’s poetry and Kendrick Lamar’s mind-blowing epics to Led Zeppelin’s power and, of course, the inevitable Parliament influence, this guest DJ set is a great introduction to BLK ODYSSY’s emerging world. Hear BLK ODYSSY’s My KUTX on Saturday, August 28 at 6 p.m. or listen anytime in the player above.

Art Levy // producer, My KUTX

Playlist:

1. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley – “Road To Zion” (feat. Nas)

2. Roy Ayers Ubiquity – “Everybody Loves The Sunshine”

3. Kendrick Lamar – “Institutionalized” (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise, & Snoop Dogg)

4. Sault – “Threats”

5. Frank Ocean – “Seigfried”

6. The Notorious B.I.G. – “What’s Beef”

7. Outkast – “Elevators (Me & You)”

8. Parliament – “Funkentelechy”

9. Led Zeppelin – “Since I’ve Been Loving You”

Blk Odyssy

Artist of the Month

Blk Odyssy

Posted by on Aug 1, 2021
photos by Rashad White

BLK ODYSSY on Austin, Ambition and their new album BLK Vintage

By Aaron “Fresh” Knight

Artwork for “Funkentology” single

I’ve heard a lot said about the Austin music scene, from it being a stepping stone city for artists to it the way it creates the best live performers. That last one holds true for the New Jersey native, now Austin-based soul crooner, Sam Houston, the frontman for BLK ODYSSY. BLK ODYSSY have honed their skills on the stage, and become one of the best performing bands in Central Texas, finding their voice in full force on their forthcoming album, BLK Vintage.

How does it feel to be finally releasing this album?
I feel amazing. I spent nearly two years just finding ways to articulate the stories told on this album. Everything on here was at some point pinned up inside of me. So with all the raw emotion and vulnerability on this record, it’s actually like getting a weight off my shoulders. We took the pain, triumph, and adversity and consolidated it into something for people to have a new viewpoint of life for a Black American man.

What was the inspiration behind making the record?
The many stories that couldn’t be told. It’s an internal perspective of our reality. Not just from a social justice standpoint, but from various vantage points: a proud black person, a human who faces addiction, depression, and anxiety. It shows the perspective of reckless youth, the vibrant culture in hoods all over America. It’s inspired by those stories.

How has living in Austin has shaped your music?

Originally, it pushed me away from what I feel to be my true purpose in music, because it seemed that only one sort of genre had worked here. My goal was to just have a career that worked, even if it wasn’t what I truly loved. Once COVID hit, I had the time to reimagine myself and my priorities. Since we’ve shifted the sound, the results on a national and international level have been amazing.

Austin provided amazing things as far as developing a live show, developing a fan base, and meeting other people. I realized the reason hip hop/ R&B has never worked out of Austin had nothing to do with me. I often rebuke the stigma as a “ local artist “ because it comes with certain ideas that you need to fit in. I’m very confident that Blk Vintage will be one of the strongest albums to come out of Austin. I’m grateful for the support you guys show me at the Breaks, I’m grateful for all the love we get in Austin, but my goal is to have you interviewing a Grammy nominee next time we sit down, and the only way to do that is by speaking it into existence and continuing to work hard.

With COVID19 still being very relevant, what can we expect from BLK ODYSSY? And what’s going on with the food truck?
Our album is coming in August, we’ll be doing a string of release shows in Austin, LA & New York. I expect some film content as well as more music soon after the album. The food truck is its own monster, but we have big ideas for the Soul House, creating a true Black footprint in Austin which will not only provide a view into Black Harlem culture, but also use our influence in music to develop a hub where new music can be discovered by influencers, fans & executives, all in a really cool environment.


 NPR LIVE SESSIONS/KUTX – KUTX August 2021 Artist of the Month BLK ODYSSY

Set List:
GANGSTA LOVE
FUNKENTOLOGY
HANG LOW

Credits:
Musicians: Sam Houston, Vocals; Matt Weatherly, Bass; Alejandro Rios, Guitar; Matt Muheling, Guitar; Adam Jackson, Drums
Production Credits:
Cameras: Rashad White, Audio Engineer: Rich Baur


NPR LIVE SESSIONS/KUTX – KUTX August 2021 Artist of the Month BLK ODYSSY

Set List:
GANGSTA LOVE
FUNKENTOLOGY
HANG LOW

Credits:
Musicians: Sam Houston, Vocals; Matt Weatherly, Bass; Alejandro Rios, Guitar; Matt Muheling, Guitar; Adam Jackson, Drums
Production Credits:
Cameras: Rashad White, Audio Engineer: Rich Baur

Filmed at 512 Studios

My KUTX: Daniel Fears

Artist of the Month

My KUTX: Daniel Fears

Posted by on Jul 30, 2021

Daniel Fears is the KUTX Artist of the Month for July 2021. Photo by Michael Minasi/KUTX.

Austin’s Daniel Fears has traveled a very unpredictable route to arrive at the slow burning R&B on Canopy, his strong debut EP. He first felt music’s possibility and promise as a kid, listening to the musicians in his church play every Sunday. Pop music was forbidden in his household, so Fears took up trombone and the classical repetoire instead, and a degree from UT and a master’s in Yale pushed him further down the classical path. But Fears says writing horn parts for a friend’s song finally “flipped a switch.” It convinced him that his heart lay in dreaming up his own music. He just had to discover what that music was.

Canopy is the first taste of that particular journey. It’s musically sophisticated without wandering into the weeds, as a lot of classically-trained musicians can do. Instead, Fears puts his emotions front and center, buoyed by a sound that’s modern but spacious and unhurried.

This week on My KUTX, Fears is our guest DJ. He dives into the inspirations that percolate throughout his music, like Frank Ocean’s storytelling, Miguel’s honesty, and a recent discovery of an old reggae record that’s brightening his days. Hear Daniel Fears’ My KUTX on Saturday, July 31 at 6 p.m. or listen anytime in the player above.

–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX

Playlist:

[intro music: Daniel Fears – “Everything Changes” (feat. Soul Food Horns)]

1. John Legend – “Heaven”

2. SiR – “D’Evils”

3. Frank Ocean – “Super Rich Kids” (feat. Earl Sweatshirt)

4. Emily King – “Down”

5. Emily King – “Aya”

6. Rosalía – “Pienso En Tu Mirá”

7. Third World – “Feel A Little Better”

8. Anderson .Paak – “Parking Lot”

9. Dijon – “Crybaby :*(”

10. Miguel – “So I Lie”

11. Israel & New Breed – “I Will” (live)

12. Jennah Bell – “Candied Daylight”