Daniel Johnston Mural Unveiled At Austin Central Library

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Daniel Johnston Mural Unveiled At Austin Central Library

Posted by on Jan 22, 2020
KUTX Holiday Mix Dec. 21-25

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KUTX Holiday Mix Dec. 21-25

Posted by on Dec 15, 2019

Holiday music is ubiquitous. Our turkey dinners have barely had time to digest before we start hearing it everywhere. These days, it seems you can’t buy groceries or a giant television without your ears being assaulted by the forced cheer of Mariah Carey or the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Hey – let it be known that we’ve got nothing against either – but here at KUTX, we strive to bring you a holiday mix that’s more in line with what you normally hear on our airwaves.

Prefer to spend the holidays with the likes of The Shins, XTC, The Pretenders, Willie Nelson, Heartless Bastards, Aimee Mann, and Johnny Cash? Then spend the holidays with KUTX. Beginning December 21st at 6 A.M., KUTX will go wall-to-wall holiday music, without the cheese (unless it’s, you know, ironic cheese. We like that flavor.) And we’ll keep at it until 11 P.M. on December 25th.

Tune in to KUTX starting at 6 A.M. on December 21. Heading out of town for the holidays? You can stream our holiday mix from anywhere in the world, and view the playlist, too.

It’s our way of saying Happy Holidays! (And it also might be our way of getting a few days off work.)

5 Questions with Jay Trachtenberg

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5 Questions with Jay Trachtenberg

Posted by on Dec 2, 2019

Longtime music host Jay Trachtenberg has been with the station for 32 years (for KUT 90.5 before music moved to KUTX 98.9 in 2013), spinning everything from jazz, to reggae, to rock and everything in between.

When he’s not on the air, he’s managing KUTX air staff, producing the weekly on-air schedule and helping manage the many ticket giveaways each week. Jay also writes about music for the “Austin Chronicle” from time to time.

Five Questions with KUTX Music Host Jay Trachtenberg

What musical experience most set you on the path to a career in radio?

I’ve always had a fascination with radio. As a young kid, I would stay up late falling asleep with one those little Japanese transistor radios plugged into my ear. Later I would try to tune into any number of top-of-the-dial, high-powered stations after midnight from my home in Los Angeles. When the weather conditions were just right I could pick up stations in Shreveport, Nashville or Oklahoma City. I would often listen to Wolfman Jack late at night on XERF and XERB blasting out of Rosarita, Mexico, just south of the border.

During the 1960s I was enthralled by Top 40 jocks like The Real Don Steele and then “underground” DJs like Humble Harve Miller, B. Mitchell Reed and Jimmy Rabbit (from the David Allan Coe classic, “Long Haired Redneck”). As soon as I got the opportunity, I signed up at my college station, KCSB, at the University of California at Santa Barbara – and the rest is history, as they say.

What’s your favorite Austin music experience so far?

After being in Austin for almost 40 years, it’s hard to pick a single event. But one that makes for a good story was the time I interviewed Jesse Colin Young back in 2004 in our old Studio 1A.  

Way back in the day he had been in the Youngbloods, a band that had a big hit with “Get Together” – “Come on all you people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.” It was a real anthem of the 1960s.

So Mr. Young ends his live Studio 1A session with this song and while he’s singing it, I flash back to a huge anti-Vietnam War demonstration in San Francisco in 1969 where I’m one of a half million people in Golden Gate Park and the Youngbloods are singing this popular song of peace and love. Here I am – 35 years later – in Studio 1A with Jesse Colin Young sitting 10 feet away and he’s singing this same song to me. Chills ran down my spine. Who’d of ever thunk??  

Why public rather than commercial radio?

In a nutshell, public radio treats its listeners as thoughtful, intelligent citizens while commercial radio tends to treat its listeners as mindless, voracious consumers.

How do you spend your time when you’re not spinning records on the air?

Reading, swimming and running, working in my garden, strolling in the park with my girlfriend and her dog, and going out to hear live music.

Finish the sentence: “Austin Music Is ….”

… a direct reflection of what makes this such an exceptionally creative and special place to live.


 Jay hosts music from noon to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. He hosts a jazz show Sunday mornings from 7 to 10.

Say hi to Jay on Twitter @jjtrachtenberg

NPR Music’s Top 10 Albums of November

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NPR Music’s Top 10 Albums of November

Posted by on Dec 2, 2019

Photo courtesy of Michael Kiwanuka.

Republished courtesy of NPR Music.

We’re just about ready to reveal NPR Music’s Best Music of 2019 package, but before we do, the month of November gifted us new albums by FKA twigsMichael Kiwanuka and Mount Eerie. It’s truly been a great year for music, right up to the final months.

Below you’ll find an alphabetized list of NPR Music’s top 10 albums of November 2019. Be sure to check out our top 15 songs from the month as well.


Arp, ‘Ensemble – Live!’

The music of Arp, the solo outlet for Brooklyn-based artist Alexis Georgopoulos, is a sound of magical suspension. Psychedelia, jazz, chintzy library music, spacey synth textures, minimalism, neoclassical — all are interwoven and sewn up, hung for examination like a spiderweb. In this rich, easy-listening set, Georgopoulos and band go far out and deep in. — Andrew Flanagan

APPLE / SPOTIFY AMAZON / BANDCAMP


Black Grapefruit, ‘Waist’

Randa Smith and Brian Dekker have had, it seems, a rocky path towards artistic achievement. A move to Brooklyn, and all of the Sisyphean struggle that entails, ended with resettlement in the Catskills — and a fairly uneven catalog of music. But in pursuing a more danceable sound, Smith and Dekker have created an overcast, but emboldening, suite of beautiful, restrained, syncretist R&B. — Andrew Flanagan

APPLE / SPOTIFY YOUTUBE / AMAZON

 

 

 


Blood Incantation, ‘Hidden History of the Human Race’

With acid for blood and zero-gravity brutality, Blood Incantation is a supreme death-metal creature spewed from outer space. The Denver band not only levels up as master technicians but also builds a sonic mythology of doom, psychedelia and drone, resulting in the 18-minute closer that reveals new mind-warping secrets upon each listen. — Lars Gotrich

APPLE / SPOTIFY YOUTUBE / AMAZON / BANDCAMP


Cecilia Bartoli, ‘Farinelli’

Loath to follow an opera star’s routine career path, Cecilia Bartoli unearths rarely performed baroque music written for a virtuoso named Farinelli, who was castrated before puberty. Bartoli unleashes blistering fusillades of notes and long-spun lines of aching beauty, marshaling the superstar castrato artfully into the 21st century. — Tom Huizenga

APPLE / SPOTIFYAMAZON


FKA twigs, ‘Magdalene’

Through the figure of Mary Magdalene, FKA twigs embraces contradictions; she discovers power in vulnerability and revels in her worth when disparaged. FKA twigs’ crystalline soprano is as multifaceted as her production landscape — delicate and beautiful, bracingly sharp and gale force — on sonic epics of transformative pain. — Cyrena Touros

APPLE / SPOTIFYYOUTUBE / AMAZON


Kate Davis, ‘Trophy’

Kate Davis studied double bass, jazz and the Great American Songbook; quite the unconventional path to making a debut album of perfectly penned rock tunes. Take special note of Trophy‘s “Cloud,” an observation of adolescence on an album filled with wisdom and pain. — Bob Boilen

APPLE / SPOTIFYYOUTUBE / AMAZON / BANDCAMP


Michael Kiwanuka, ‘KIWANUKA’

On his third album, this London-born son of Ugandan immigrants fully secures his place as an heir to socially conscious dreamers like Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers. KIWANUKA is a song-suite that employs myriad musical palettes to explore the way culturally inherited trauma can invade the psyche, with love, self-awareness and righteous protest as the routes to soul survival. — Ann Powers

APPLE / SPOTIFYYOUTUBE / AMAZON / BANDCAMP

 

 


Mount Eerie, ‘Lost Wisdom Pt. 2’

After two gorgeous, wrenching albums written in the wake of his wife’s death in 2016, Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum is joined here by the great Julie Doiron for a gentle but conflicted examination of the longer-term aftermath — particularly his brief marriage to actress Michelle Williams. Like so much of Elverum’s work, Lost Wisdom Pt. 2 reflects on impermanence, never losing sight of the small beauties that render life meaningful. — Stephen Thompson

APPLE / SPOTIFYYOUTUBE / AMAZON / BANDCAMP

 


Rod Wave, ‘Ghetto Gospel’

In a year defined by a wave of gloomy, melodic rappers speaking to generational trauma, none have stood out quite like Florida rapper Rod Wave. On his debut album Ghetto Gospel, he threads styles within the lineage of black music — the heaviness of the blues, the cadences of Deep South rap, the sheen of R&B — to unearth painful memories. — Mano Sundaresan

APPLE / SPOTIFYYOUTUBE / AMAZON


Sudan Archives, ‘Athena’

Sudan Archives chisels the blown-out, violin stomp of her first two EPs into a mature, R&B-leaning debut album that bears the necessary messiness of a statement of identity. Full of gorgeous soundscapes and biting, sometimes hilarious writing, Athena will leave you with a better understanding of just who Sudan Archives is and might have you researching Iceland moss, too. — Mano Sundaresan

APPLE / SPOTIFYYOUTUBE / AMAZON / BANDCAMP

 

 

 


 

Five Questions with KUTX Booker Deidre Gott

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Five Questions with KUTX Booker Deidre Gott

Posted by on Dec 1, 2019

Live music producer Deidre Gott is the person responsible for booking the diverse array of live music you hear on KUTX every day – from our 300+ live Studio 1A broadcasts, to KUTX Winter Jam, to our KUTX Live events at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin and Mueller.

 Someone who likes to dive deep into her music passion, Deidre has worked nearly every angle of the music industry from radio and music television, to Waterloo Records and slinging merch with Shearwater. She has been singing in the same cover band for the last 12 years and might be Dolly Parton’s number one fan. Before joining KUTX in early 2016, Deidre spent 10 years championing Austin music for a commercial Alternative Rock station and spent time programming Triple A, Alternative and Indie Rock programs for retail and restaurants. Some of her favorite bands include Tame Impala, Beck, and Octopus Project – among an ever-growing list of favorites! 

 Five Questions with KUTX Booker Deidre Gott

 What musical experience most set you on the path to a career in radio? 

My whole family is musical and it’s always been a big part of my life. Piano, choir, band – I was a total music nerd. When I was old enough to listen to the radio and pick my own music I was obsessed with the oldies station. My friends and I would tape ourselves pretending to be DJ’s when I was a kid.

 It wasn’t until I moved to Austin in 2001 that I finally pursued radio. I stumbled onto a radio remote happening at a club on 6th street and asked the DJ how to get a job in radio. She gave me a card and that was that.

 What’s your favorite Austin music experience so far?

The Black Angels in 2006 at the very first Fun Fun Fun Fest. It had been an amazing festival, the sun had set and in the middle of “Black Grease” a helicopter flew over. It was such perfect timing. It sounded like it was part of the show. I just knew I had been a part of something really special and felt lucky to be having that experience.

 Why public rather than commercial radio?

I worked 15 years in commercial radio before moving over to public radio last year. When I first started working at KUTX, I kept marveling, “This is what I always hoped radio would be!” There’s a freedom afforded in public radio that commercial radio doesn’t have. We’re not bound by charts and singles. We know the hits, but we get to take chances. It opens us and our listeners up to so many different genres and artists that I’m constantly discovering new stuff I really dig.

 How do you spend your time when you’re not spinning records on the air?

Eating bean and cheese tacos. 

 Finish the sentence: “Austin Music Is ….”

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

 Connect with Deidre on Twitter @DeidreGott