Thursday, March 22, 2012

Amy Ray - Lung of Love!

I'm sitting here listening to Lung of Love and reading a book and I realized I never posted my Amy Ray videos from SXSW.  So here's the story... back when I was in high school I had a friend who taught me how to play some songs on the guitar.  One of the songs that stuck with me was "Joking" by the Indigo Girls.  I picked up Rites of Passage and that began my love of the Indigo Girls.  Amy Ray, who is 1/2 of the group, releases solo records and I actually just recently learned of some of the backstory to her albums by reading her website.

I have to admit that I didn't have any of her solo records before recently, I only had the Indigo Girls records, but I'm going to have to get them now.  You can read the backstory on her website @ (click on the About LOL)

Both Kaia and Melissa from The Butchies play on her new album along with Greg Griffith and Julie Wolf.

First track from her new album, Lung Of Love:

Two more tracks from her fantastic new album!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Overview

I created this blog as a way to document what occurred for me during SXSW 2012.  I was re-invigorated musically during this event as I was a little blah beforehand.  I hope you read through my posts at the beginning going through the days and then watch the videos I posted later.

I'm not sure what'll happen from here, if I keep posting about music or if I fade away... we'll have to see.  I know that I'm into all kinds of music.  I was into pop music like the Beach Boys and country music like Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton when I was a wee lad.  I got into ALL kinds of things as a teenager.  I raided my parents record collection and was listening to Deep Purple, Aerosmith, Janis Joplin, and Pink Floyd.  I was 120 Minutes and Alternative Nation obsessed and was into Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees.  I got into punk music, everything from Bikini Kill and Team Dresch to Bad Religion and Black Flag.  I got into all sorts of indie music from Kill Rock Stars, K Records, SST Records, Chainsaw, Candy-ass, Yo-Yo, and the list goes on and on and on.  Somewhere in my late teens I got into Industrial music when I friend lended me a Front Line Assembly cd.  After I moved to Dallas I started going backwards and got into 80s synthpop up until the modern day synthpop like De/vision and Camouflage.  This led me to become a DJ for a bit with some good friends of mine.  I explored all kinds of electronic music from house music to drum'n'bass.  I've been all over the musical spectrum.

These days I listen to a lot of alt-country, folk, and the more chill indie rock type music.  I listen to some of the you know... electro-dance indie stuff from time to time but I'm a little burnt out on it.

This is all to say that I'm all over the map and get into different moods and this will likely reflect in anything I post.  I don't just listen to one thing or one style.

Oh and the title of this blog is "Getting Past the Static" which is an album title from one of my other top 5 records which was written by Jen Wood (solo but formerly from Tattletale) and not only is the album raw and emotional but the phrase "getting past the static" has always stuck with me and I think it can be fitting for this blog as any music I post is going to be beyond what you probably listen to and are comfortable with... but who knows, maybe not.  I just know that a lot of what I listen to isn't terribly popular or mainstream, I don't listen to it for that reason but it's just a fact that I have to deal with even though I wish more people would pay attention to these artists and performers.

Anyway, that's it...

Gay Bi Gay Gay @ SXSW

This was a great event, 7 years running but I wasn't living in Austin so this was our first time! We learned that this may be the last year for this event because they want to keep it DIY and it's getting so big that it may be too difficult to do it. We'll see what happens but I'm sure it'll get the support it needs. It was huge and there were hundreds and hundreds of people there.

Kaia was the only artist I was familiar with so I was looking forward to seeing what I could discover. This band here was probably the most popular one of the event, having played Gay Bi Gay Gay for several years. This is Metal Fist. I only recorded this one track because I was having a good time watching them so I forgot to record the rest:

There was a performance after Kaia played where they did a special memorial song for one of the founder's grandmother. I did record it but I'm not going to upload it because of the personal nature of it. If they happen to read this and want the video or don't mind if I upload it just let me know.

One of the goals I had for SXSW this year was to find some new artists that really interested me that I hadn't heard before and GBGG produced several, including this one... The Shondes!

Here is the album version of their first single off the new album:

Kaia @ SXSW!

I didn't plan on seeing Kaia play live at SXSW because I had no idea she would be playing.   I first heard Kaia a LONG time ago (like over 20 years ago now) in Team Dresch, a queer punk band from Portland, Oregon.

I started hanging out on the Chainsaw Records messageboard.  That was back in the early days of the internet.  The Chainsaw board was a place to talk about music and hang out with people that I could relate to when there was no one who lived around me that really fit that bill.  Unfortunately both the label and the messageboard don't exist anymore although I can see that Donna still has it registered and up @

Anyway, I think it was 1995 or somewhere around there that Kaia released a solo record and it was self-titled.  It wasn't like the Team Dresch album but it was raw, unfiltered, and totally fucking awesome!  To this day it's still in my top 5 albums ever and I still have the original cd that I bought all those years ago.

Here are some tracks from that first solo record that she played live @ SXSW:

This one here is off her NEW album "Two Adult Women In Love"!

I was able to see her play again during SXSW at the big Gay Bi Gay Gay festival and she played some other tracks!

This one is a cover of a Cure track that she recorded for her Oregon album:

This one is a Team Dresch song from "Personal Best":

These are from her NEW album!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


What a crazy band!

This is the first single from their new album:

This is another track, so far my fav, which will be released on their new album coming out soon!

The tracklisting from their upcoming debut full-length album:


1. Sebastian
2. Please Don’t Kill Me
3. Isoprene Bath
4. Orifice Origami
5. Houseboat Babies
6. Natural Bridge
7. Ghost Bike
8. New House
9. Thank You Gliese 370 b
10. Sweet Sipping Soda
11. Three Shining Suns
12. Water Runs


This is one of the acts I wanted to check out at SXSW. I first discovered Chad Valley, another project of the lead singer Hugo Manuel, online. This is actually the song I first heard that I really liked and got me familiar with his music:

It's really upbeat and catchy and I like it.

Anyway, through the Chad Valley project I became familiar with Jonquil which is another really upbeat, fun, group Hugo is a part of.

Here are some of the tracks I recorded from their performance at SXSW I was able to catch:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Anaïs Mitchell

So I first heard Anaïs Mitchell, thanks to Ani D and Righteous Babe Records who released three albums by her.  I was floored the first time I ever heard her sing and it continues to this day.

These tracks are from Hadestown which was a folk-opera that she wrote.  It features Greg Brown in the first part and then Ani DiFranco in the second amongst Anaïs Mitchell's band.  Talk about a triple threat!  It's pretty much epic as far as folk albums go and it's one of my favs!

This track here is off her new album, Young Man in America, which she released on Wilderland Records... which, don't quote me on this because I haven't been able to confirm it yet, but I think that is her own record label.  She received some help from Thirty Tigers which is cool as well.

I thought I'd include this here as it's fairly new and recently came to my attention.  Bon Iver was invited by Triple J to do a show and he chose to do a cover of Coming Down which is frickin fantastic!

Great Lake Swimmers

So one of the groups I wanted to see at SXSW was folk group Great Lake Swimmers.  I first heard them in a folk/indie room on Turntable.FM and been a fan ever since.

This song is off their Ongiara album:

This one is off their brand new album called New Wild Everywhere, just came out!

Jennifer O'Connor & Kiam Records

When I started browsing artists that I might want to see at SXSW, not sure why in particular but I punched in Jennifer O'Connor's name almost instantly.  I think I was listening to one of her cds earlier in the day or something.  Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to see that she was playing several times.

I saw her play in a small coffee shop first, it was an acoustic set.  The small venue setting allowed me a chance to talk to her and I found out that she had started her own label.  This was fantastic news as I know it gives the artist more control over what happens and they aren't beholden upon anyone else to take care of things.

Jennifer's website:
Kiam Records, her label:
A link to a Kiam Records sampler that I highly recommend checking out:

This is the only official video, I think, that she's done and it was on her album Here With Me on Matador Records

I cannot recommend her new album enough though.  Already Gone, Hidden Hill, and especially Running Start are my favs so far but the whole album is strong from start to finish.  I normally don't even pick out specific songs as I put an album in and just let it play and play and play until it's worn out but given SXSW I was paying attention to the specific song titles for some reason.

She has put up her entire album up on Soundcloud to listen to:

I highly recommend her music as she is awesome!  You can buy the album over on Bandcamp @ or I'm sure Waterloo Records has them in Austin.  I'll check on that next time I'm there.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

SXSW - 3/18/12

Today was the last day of SXSW so that meant it was time for Gay Bi Gay Gay, the big queer festival.  It was also another chance to see Kaia and a super secret performance that was going to occur.

This was a very cool place for this event to happen.  It was a huge field that was right by the river.  So we just chilled out like hippies all day and watched bands.  I was impressed by all the artists that played and the food was pretty decent too!

Kaia played an electric set, this time in front of more than just 6 people so that was very cool.  After she played we saw another group which I was thoroughly impressed with called The Shondes so I got their album and am going to have to fully digest it later.

For the secret performance I knew that Kaia was going to be part of a group that played some tracks from Hedwig & The Angry Inch... but I had NO IDEA that John Cameron Mitchell himself was going to be there singing them!  This was huge, he literally rocked the place out and I got to take part in my first (shocking, i know!) crowd surfing experience.  Everyone was going absolutely crazy!

What a day... great time spent outdoors, listening to great music and chillin'.

SXSW - 3/16/12 & 3/17/12

So as my last note indicated, I ran into Kaia Wilson on the 14th which opened my eyes to the fact that both her and Amy Ray were playing SXSW. So 3/15 was all about me going to see Amy Ray play at the Ginger Man. I was able to get some good photos and a some good video which I have uploaded to youtube.

Amy Ray is fantastic, she looked like she was having so much fun on stage which is great to see because she's been at this for so long.  I was able to pick up her setlist, which incidently has lyrics printed on the other side to a song that I'm unfamiliar with and google didn't pick up on it either.  They have chord markings indicated as well so this might've been a song in progress?!?  It might just be something on her newest album and the lyrics might not be up on the internet yet.  I'll know once I can fully digest her new album.

Today though, my main plan was to go see Kaia play at 8pm at the Cherrywood Coffeehouse.  A google search showed me that this was not downtown but rather several blocks up north so I knew I'd have to drive there.  I also re-did my entire schedule for the day, and this is what it was:

I knew there were two events that were marked from 12noon to 6pm but didn't list band times.  One had Digitalism playing, which would've been nice to see.  The other had Melissa Ferrick which I would've liked to had seen.  I was originally going to go downtown and find what time they were playing but those plans fell through.

I ended up getting downtown in time to see Great Lake Swimmers at 2pm at Peckerheads.  I caught the end of a very good group called Honeyhoney before the show.  Great Lake Swimmers did not disappoint!  I was able to sit down front and take a couple videos too so those will show up youtube soon.

I then headed over to Maggie Mae's to meet up with Shervin and catch Voltaire Twins.  Turns out this was the Aussie party hosted by Triple J.  That was a nice surprise because I've loved the music scene in Oz for quite a long time and I've listened to JJJ over the internet since the 90s.  I was HUGE into "You Am I" back in the 90s.

So I showed up at Maggie Mae's and I see Shervin in the corner of the venue talking to Voltaire Twins and taking a photo with them so I slipped in and had them take a photo with me too.  We talked for a bit about the music in Oz and the role JJJ plays in it, it's quite fascinating to me because Australia has bands that are HUGE in that country, filling huge stadiums and getting tons of radio play and yet the rest of the world has NO idea.  It's quite crazy.

I had to split after 3 songs though because I wanted to get back over to Peckerheads to catch Reptar's set.  Let me just say that Reptar is frickin NUTS on stage.  I was able to get some video of this but not sure yet how it all came out.  They are a FUN band to see live and make me feel like I'm young again just bouncing around acting like a fool.

I know my friends were going to see Shiny Toy Guns and The Cult but I decided instead to head up north out of downtown to Flat Top Burger to see Jonquil.  I had already missed Chad Valley at that same venue which sucked but Jonquil is fantastic as well.  Totally uplifting and fun indie rock with a slight electronic bent to it.  I was also able to get a chocolate shake for some sugary sustinance.

So after Jonquil I had quite a break until Kaia at 8pm and had no plans.  Jennifer O'Connor was playing at 7pm at the church downtown but I knew I'd never be able to see that and then get up to Cherrywood so I decided to just head over there.  I got there around 6pm which left two hours... which was fine because I could chill and rest my feet.

I got to see Wishes and Thieves play who were interesting, had a singer with a great voice and was kinda M.I.A.'ish a little.  Then I went inside and saw Miracles of Modern Science play and they were quite good as well.  But let's face it, Kaia was the whole reason to be there.

I got to talk to Kaia a bit before she played, I probably dorked out again talking about music from back in the day.  This was quite an incredible experience tonight because there were like 6 fans tops there, plus me, and it was just Kaia and her guitar and that was it.  She hinted at being willing to play any requests we had but I'm against making requests because I want the artists to play whatever they're feeling at the time.  I didn't want to risk asking her to play a song that she's not really in touch with anymore.  Luckily for me she played one of the songs I really wanted to hear all on her own though.  She played both 16 and Julie of the Wolves from her first solo album.  I actually think she played another track from that first album but I'll have to go back to the video tape to confirm.  We had a blast, joking around and just being goofy.  She ended up playing a Bette Midler cover which was pretty cool, it was "The Rose" which I'm familiar with but she had the others singing along.  It was pretty low-key giving the circumstances but that made it all the more intimate.

Turns out she has a new album coming out which we got copies of early before it's officially out so that is badass.  Got her to sign it so that's always cool.  I, of course, expressed my wishes for a huge Team Dresch/Butchies/Adickdid reunion tour which will never happen but I wanted to make sure she was aware of how big a fan I was heh.

After I left there I went back downtown to meet Kami and Jon who were hanging out by the british music embassy.  We talked and they ate and we hung out and it was cool.  Like ol' times with the Dallas crew.  We slipped inside Elysium to use the restroom and they had some godawful djs playing.  We also had to walk by some godawful dubstep crappity crap playing at an outdoor venue.  After much deliberation they decided to go see Keane so we parted ways.  I almost wanted to go because Blitzen Trapper opened for Keane and I'm a fan of Blitzen Trapper.

All in all it was an amazing two days.  I have a ton of video that I'll be sorting through.

Tomorrow we're going to Gay Bi Gay Gay which is a big event out in the woods, Kaia will be playing again along with some artists I'm not familiar with.  I understand there is gonna be a huge Hedwig and the Angry Inch number at the end so that'll be interesting.  It'll be a nice way to close out SXSW.

SXSW - 3/15/12

I want to preface this note by saying that, if you've never been to SXSW that it's hard to find all the shows you may want to go see.  I use two main websites, one shows the Official SXSW shows and the other shows all the unofficial ones.  There are more of the unofficial ones.  When you go to these sites, you either have to browse the shows (pain in the ass) or search for someone you want to see... so you have to know who you want to see.  In my case, I'm into so many different artists that I've been into over my life that it's hard to do that.  Tonight shows why this can be so hard because I totally would've missed one of my all-time favs if Jesse and Sherv hadn't invited us over to see Vanbot.

So... with that said, here was the day:

We got a late start, we didn't have much on the list.  I originally wanted to see Blitzen Trapper at Waterloo at noon... but I missed that.  The Gossip at 1pm... missed it.  Chad Valley at 2pm... missed it.  Wooden Wand at 5pm... missed it.  We stumbled downtown around 6pm or so and met up with Reagan and we basically just wandered around.  After an hour or so we headed to Casino El Camino to meet up with Ben, Alex, and Andi and hang out.  We did that for a bit but there was a show I wanted to hit up before Exit went on at 9pm.

So we headed over to Club DeVille to see Sarah Jaffe at 8pm, but it was either badge/wristband or $20... mainly because there were a ton of bands playing but we only wanted to see Sarah and $20 is a bit much for a 40 minute set but luckily it was an outdoor venue on a blocked-off street so we hung outside and listened for free.

We then headed over to the 512 Bar on the packed 6th St to see Ben, Alex in Exit.  They played a great set dispite there being some issues with the jack on one of Ben's guitars.  It was Christina's first time seeing Exit so that was cool.  I got some good photos that will be uploaded soon.

After Exit, I got over to the Whiskey Room to catch an electric set from Jennifer O'Connor which was great.  She played "Always On My Mind" this time and I got a video but not sure how well it came out.  That was very cool.

Shervin and Jesse had messaged us earlier saying we should meet them to see Vanbot at 11pm at Deseo Centro Lounge so we decided to head on over there... and it was here that the most unlikely and, at least to me, amazing thing EVER happened.

So I'm standing up by the stage with Sherv and Jesse and I see this girl over by the amp and I think to myself, no joke, "that kinda looks like Kaia" but then I was also thinking that there was no way because what would Kaia possibly be doing here?  They were even taking a photo and I made a smartass comment about me taking a photo too.  I then turned away and wasn't thinking about it. 

So then like 10 minutes later I see that same girl talking to another woman and that woman was the spitting image of Amy Ray (of the Indigo Girls in case you aren't familiar) and after a second or two it dawns on me.... that WAS Amy Ray and if my memory didn't totally suck I remember reading about how Kaia Wilson was going to be touring with Amy Ray but this was years and years ago.  So I'm a little in shock and I walk over and ask this woman if I can ask her a question... she said sure... I said, stumbling like a total dork... are you Kaia?  she said yes.  Wilson?  she said yes.  I literally almost died.  I said something like, "holy shit, I can't believe I'm meeting you."  She looked totally shocked that I would care who she was.

Let me give you some backstory here because you're probably confused if you're reading this.  When I was a teenager I was HUGE into several bands that have been termed "riot grrl" like Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, L7, Lunachicks... and TEAM DRESCH.  Kaia was a member of Team Dresch.  She later went solo for awhile and then she formed The Butchies after that and then went solo again.  She then later started touring as part of Amy Ray's band.  Let me just tell you that Kaia's first solo album, which was self-titled, was so huge to me I can't even begin to tell you.  There are just a small handful of albums in my life that are unreplaceable in my heart and Kaia's self-titled is in the top 5.  I still have the original cd that I purchased like 15 years ago or whenever it was.  To run into her and be able to meet her and talk with her and take a photo with her is one of the biggest things that's ever happened to me.

EDIT: my memory is coming back to me and Kaia also formed another band Adickdid that I just remembered.  

It turns out that Amy Ray played right before Vanbot and I had no idea.  I had never looked up Amy Ray on the SXSW page because I had no clue that she would be playing.  I found out tonight that Amy Ray is doing an acoustic show tomorrow and Kaia has TWO solo shows she is going to be doing including a big show at the "Gay by Gay Gay" event (a place on the South by Southwest moniker).

So yeah... I don't know.  After I talked to Kaia I just shrunk away and tried to explain how epic that was to Jesse and Shervin.  I then decided to go talk to Amy Ray and tell her how much I absolute love her like a dork.  I then went over and told Christina about the whole thing.  We were sitting by one of the open windows so we had a nice breeze.  I honestly started to think about what had happened and I was getting emotional, I teared up and almost started crying.  That is how huge of a thing this is.  This is like a Depeche Mode fanatic meeting Martin Gore.  Actually it's bigger than that.  It's like if a Depeche Mode fanatic was drinking in a bar and Martin Gore and Alan Wilder walked in and decided to play an impromptu show right in front of you.

Edit: if you're wondering why I'm using a Depeche Mode reference, it's because I have a lot of friends who are DM fans and they will get the analogy I'm trying to make here heh

You can bet that I will be both at Amy Ray's show and both of Kaia's solo shows, I wouldn't miss them for anything.  I'm gonna take my old beat up cd of hers and ask her to sign it too.

Wow, what an amazing thing to have happened totally unexpectedly at SXSW.

SXSW - 3/14/12

So I had so much fun tonight that I wanted to write about it.

We started out with a loose plan, I wanted to see Jennifer O'Connor and Anais Mitchell tonight but wasn't sure what is was going to be like, if I was going to be denied because I had no wristband or what... so I kept my hopes low.

We first went to go see a man by the name of Andy Zimf because Kami had recommended to him to us so we headed over to Crowbar on South Congress.  The show was, we thought, to start at 4pm.  We headed over there early because we weren't sure what the crowd or parking was going to be like.  It was all a breeze, we parked right at the venue and we were there around 3pm.  Lucky for us we were early because the time posted online was wrong and he was actually playing when we got there.  We got to see him play about 4-5 songs, including a crowd sing-a-long (which you can see in my photos I posted).  He had a really good stage presence and was witty.  An excellent songwriter that I'll have to check out more from.

We informed the bar that the times on the Do512 site were wrong for the event and they said they were aware and the site was notified to fix it.  After that we were onto our next event, we headed down South Congress, still on this side of the river, to our next venue.  We were there quite early though so we decided to walk around South Congress as we had never done that before.  We stopped by an art/poster shop, much like I would've seen at Flatstock had we gone, saw some cool posters like L7, Lunachicks, Bob Dylan, The Verve, etc... it was quite nice.  We kept walking and we spotted a large gathering off the road... it was free, no wristband so we went in.  This was South By San Jose, a nice open air gathering with bands and booths for all the local businesses.  There we got to see Amy Cook play.  If we had gotten there earlier we could've seen Blitzen Trapper which would've been AWESOME!  Amy Cook was fantastic though.  We had a nice time there.

We headed back over to Dominican Joe's coffee shop to see Jennifer O'Connor.  We saw Tim Foljahn who was playing before her with some shared bandmates.  As I sat there watching Jennifer O'Connor play I was taken back to many many years ago when I sat literally two feet from Bonfire Madigan as she played at the Bar of Soap in Dallas.  Not since that day have a had such a great experience.  This time I was two feet away from Jennifer O'Connor while she played, it was fantastic.  If you've never heard of her then it's likely because you don't talk about music much with me.  She is a great songwriter, reminded me of Kristin Hersh when I first heard her.  Look up "Always On My Mind" on youtube.

After the show was over I got her new album and talked to her a bit.  Turns out she released it on her own label which is Kiam Records,  So that's really cool that she's doing her own thing now.  I also picked up the show poster so I can frame that later.  Huge thanks to New Granada for putting on the event!

We decided to leave our car parked on South Congress and walk into downtown, so that was great because we had never done that before... Austin is the best city I've ever lived in, it's perfect.  The walk into downtown takes you over the bridge over Ladybird Lake, which we have kayaked in many many times.  It's greatness.

As we were walking into downtown we saw an area setup that was advertising a Natural Gas car and some singer/songwriters were playing, turns out it was Graham Colton who was a very nice guy.  They also had free food, so we got ourselves a hot dog, some chips, and a coke.  We also witnessed an epic game of huge jenga, see my photos for more on that.

I wanted to scope out the venue that Anais Mitchell was going to be playing in, so I could get an idea of how hard it was gonna be to get in and all that.  Turns out it wasn't hard at all, there was a cover but we had no issues.  We were there really early so we decided to walk around 6th St.  We saw all the happenings around 6th St but our dogs were barkin' as they say and I needed to rest my feet so we chilled for awhile.

We decided to go back to the venue and chill there instead.  We got to catch Clare & The Reasons and Julia Nunes who were playing before.  I had heard of Clare & the Reasons before but didn't remember what they sounded like.  It's like a french-type Air sound mixed with some folky elements, it was nice.  Next up was Julia Nunes, who we were informed, was a youtube sensation when she posted a bunch of ukelele covers awhile back.  This was noticed and off her career went.  This woman could sing!  It totally reminded me of the first time I saw Sarah Jaffe play, I was just blown away by her voice and her confidence.  She was a total riot, she had great lyrics and played them in a fun way.  She definitely fulfills one of the goals I had for SXSW which was to find some new artists I had never heard of before.

The time had come though for me to finally get to see Anais Mitchell live and wow! she did not disappoint.  Totally amazing, her voice is so soft and elegant.  This was all in an actual church, in the sanctuary, so we were sitting in pews.  We were in the very front and center, so I was literally 6 feet tops from where she was so this was a great moment.  I could tell the crowd was totally into it too.  If you can check her out I would totally recommend it.  After she was done playing I was able to get the setlist (like the proper music dork that I am) and a signed copy of her album and a nice short chit-chat with her to tell her how great I think her music is.

So yeah... the weather was perfect and I got to see not only two of my favorite artists, Jennifer O'Connor and Anais Mitchell... but we also had some nice unexpected surprises and overall it was a great time!!!  Can't wait to go do it again tomorrow.