(L) Photo by Sandy Carson (R) Cover of ‘Self Taught’
Despite its “no rules” reputation, Tim Kerr will quickly tell you that punk can be just as constricting as any other idea. With Big Boys, the guitarist helped kickstart Austin’s punk and hardcore scenes in the ’80s and heavily influenced Red Hot Chili Peppers’ hypercharged funk. But Kerr’s own freewheeling spirit has led to bands steeped in blues, free jazz, funk, psychedelic rock, and folk, and also towards a personal exploration of painting, photography, skating, and traveling. To Kerr, punk is about being free, and he continues to live that artistic and spiritual freedom.
On August 27, Don Giovanni Records releases Self Taught, a book featuring Kerr’s photos (via a toy camera, no less) and paintings inspired by “visionary environments” that he and his wife have visited over the years. These places–like Watts Towers, Howard Finster’s Paradise Gardens, the Mary Nohl Art Environment–are the original DIY spaces. They pulse with the kind of independent, open-hearted heartbeat that Kerr shares. Copies of the book also come with a download of a new album by Up Around The Sun, a group featuring Kerr that returns him to his love of traditional folk music.
This week on My KUTX, Kerr is our guest DJ. His set features a treasure trove of stories about his own influences and the many, many Austin bands he’s been in. From Curtis Mayfield’s soulful consciousness to breaking his leg while playing a jam-packed SXSW show at Beerland, this episode is a wild and fun ride. Hear Tim Kerr’s My KUTX on Saturday, August 21 at 6 p.m. or listen anytime in the player above.
–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX
1. John Coltrane – “Welcome”
2. The Impressions – “Keep On Pushing”
3. John Martyn – “Bless The Weather”
4. Big Boys – “We Got Soul”
5. Poison13 – “One Step Closer”
6. Bad Mutha Goose & The Brothers Grimm – “Party Platform”
7. The Monkeywrench – “Angelhead”
8. Lord High Fixers – “Godzilla vs. King Baby”
9. Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee – “Our Friends Are Friends”
10. Up Around The Sun – “We’ll All Go To Heaven When The Devil Goes Blind”