BLEND Interviews Lawrence
Photo from No Country for New Nashville

Photo from No Country for New Nashville

As I listened to the band Lawrence from my small apartment in downtown Austin I started to feel like I was dancing on a street corner in New York City. Clyde Lawrence and Gracie Lawrence are the coolest sibling duo ever and are starting to take the pop world by force with their soulful sound and style. They will be opening up for Jon Bellion at the Cedar Park Center this Sunday (the 30th) and BLEND got the chance to sit down with them and ask them a little more about what they do.

By Kaylin Balderrama

Kaylin: Tell me a little more about the band

Clyde: We are a soul-pop band from New York City. Gracie and I are siblings so we’ve been playing together since we were young in our living room. We first started at college shows and then worked our way into clubs and it kind of just snowballed from there. Now we’re just a group of eight friends and family members traveling around the country.

Kaylin: That’s so cool you guys are siblings! How has that been playing together?

Gracie: Yeah people always ask us that because I think when they first hear that they think that would be a nightmare but we honestly never really fought growing up like we’ve always been really good collaborators although you know we didn’t have the professional word collaborator when we were younger we have always worked so well together. We’ve been each others musical partners for our whole lives so it was a very natural transition.

Kaylin: So is your family into music too?

Clyde: Both of our parents are in the arts, our Dad works in film and our Mom is a dancer. We grew up around a lot of creativity. I think growing up being passionate bout music or being in the arts and seeing it as actually being a profession was always a part of our household. We were always supported when we were growing up.

Kaylin: That’s awesome. How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard you before? What about some artists that inspire you?

Clyde: We defiantly have some old school influencers and some new school ones as well. We love Stevie Wonder and that kind of soul music from the 60’s and 70’s. We’re into that super big, funky soulful sound. It’s very high energy like Earth Wind and Fire or Chicago. But then there’s also a side of us that are super influenced by singer and songwriters and some newer artists like Beyonce and Chance the Rapper. And of course Jon Bellion who we are so excited to be touring with and working with on some new music were coming out with.

Kaylin: I’m a huge fan of him too. I think it’s so cool that your parents were so supportive of you guys going into the arts and working together professionally, do you have any advice for other musicians who maybe don’t have that kind of support or are worried about taking a chance in the music industry?

Clyde: I think there’s definitely a stereotype of musicians that a lot of people think they kind of just aimlessly try and start a music career and a lot of the times it doesn’t work out. But there is a lot of strategy and I think if music is something you really want to do you need to be able to take criticism and rejection. You need to be prepared that you may play five songs you absolutely love in front of a crowd and maybe only one of them will resonate with them and if you want to do music as a hobby then rock those five songs but if you want to do it as a career you need to take those four other songs and go back in the studio and figure out what about that one song made an impact with the crowd.

Check Out Lawrence's brand new Jon Bellion produced single here:

Empire of the Sun in NYC

By Miranda Chiechi


Empire of the Sun comprises of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore.

Empire of the Sun comprises of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore.

Empire of the Sun wrapped up their three night residency this weekend in New York at Webster Hall. This North American tour stretching from New York, to Texas, to California is celebrating the ten year anniversary of their debut album, Walking on a Dream. Australian electronic pop duo was nothing short of otherworldly. The band was equipped to deliver an amazing experience for their fans, with elaborate stage sets, eccentric costumes and the iconic headdress lead singer, Luke Steele, has been adorned in a majority of their album covers and during their live performances.

This year’s tour marks the ten year anniversary of Empire of the Sun’s debut album.

This year’s tour marks the ten year anniversary of Empire of the Sun’s debut album.

The show started off with a futuristic video and a dark stage which slowly lit up as band members strolled on to stage. The hall buzzed with anticipation. The moment Steele’s headdress came into view, the fans went wild. Empire of the Sun played all their big hits, like “Walking on a Dream,” and “Alive,” and lesser known gems like, “Swordfish Hotkiss Night,” which kept the crowd grooving and rocking all night long. Their last album came out in 2016, but the band released a re-issue of their first album this year complete with their new song “Chrysalis,” to celebrate the anniversary. In an interview about two years ago, the duo said they were starting work on their fourth album, so we can only hope Empire of the Sun will be releasing even more new music this coming year.

Steele finished their set before coming on stage for an encore by smashing his baby blue guitar on stage, leaving it in shards. Their 80s, rock, electronic, pop infused tunes delivered not just a show for New York, but an experience.

BLEND's Monthly Music Radar: May

By Berkley Moates


Photo from Singersroom.com

Photo from Singersroom.com

  1. “Can’t Relate (feat. YBN Nahmir, YG)” by DaniLeigh

  2. “Okay” by LANY, Julia Roberts

  3. “Tennessee” by Dreamer Boy, Houston Kendrick

  4. “Floating (feat. 21 Savage)” by ScHoolboy Q

  5. “Phases” by PRETTYMUCH

  6. “Dumbo” by Blue Americans

  7. “Summer Days (feat. Macklemore & Fall Out Boy)” by Martin Garrix

  8. “Peace of Mind” by Sean Kingston, Tory Lanez, DaVido

  9. “Say Something” by Jordan Rakei

  10. “Niche” by Eric Reprid

Spotify Link


PRETTYMUCH

Photo from Interview Magazine

Photo from Interview Magazine

This up and coming boy band is bound to get you in your feels while dancing simultaneously. PRETTYMUCH combines all five of their voices, personalities and experiences to give you relatable music to blast the whole summer. Their unique look and playful friendship have already led them on their way to further stardom. Check them out when you’re searching fro your next pop boy band obsession!

DaniLeigh

Photo from Complex

Photo from Complex

DaniLeigh is the essence of a bad b****! When her music comes you will be dancing, you will be feeling yourself and to all my ladies out there, you will be feeling empowered. Her effortless swag and dirty tone make her music perfect for your summer pre-game playlist. To get ahead of the crowd with bomb sound to your summer playlists, check out DaniLeigh before she blows up even more!!

Blue Americans

Photo from Nialler9

Photo from Nialler9

The Blue Americans are on BLEND’s radar this month to fulfill all your low-key Indie Pop cravings for summer! The dynamic duo shares songs about love, cigarettes and youthful freedom. Indie rock instrumentals back their careless, yet intuitive lyrics. For your next indie chillout with friends turn them up and share their undiscovered edge!

Are you going to Fortress Festival?

Festival season is upon us! Fortress Fest is taking place this weekend in Fort Worth, TX and we’ve curated a selection of artists that we’re excited to see and  what artists should be on your radar.

By Karla Bruciaga


Photo from fortressfestival.com

Photo from fortressfestival.com

Leon Bridges

Fort Worth’s very own hometown hero will be headlining the fest. Since his 2016 album release, Coming Home, Bridges has been at the forefront of the R&B music scene. His most recent record ‘Good Thing’ was released last May and was described as “more elastic, eclectic approach to songwriting that feels perfectly contemporary” by Pitchfork Magazine.

Khrubagin

Imagine 60s psychedelic-rock, meets funk, meets instrumental bass-heavy and you get Khrubagin. Hailing from Houston, the three-piece creates music that is super relaxing, it feels as if you’re listening to a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack.

Abhi the Nomad

An emerging artist who’s mixing rap and hip-hop with electric guitars and keyboards, Abhi the Nomad’s new release ‘Marbled’ is one that will be getting big for sure. He will also be performing at KVRX Fest— UT Austin’s college radio fest— in May.

Sailor Poon

If the name doesn’t already interest you, their music definitely will. Sailor Poon one of Austin’s local favorites for punk music. Their lyrics are out of the ordinary and hilarious— with songs titled ‘White Male Meltdown’ and ‘Bingo Wings’.


Food:

It’s not a good festival if there isn’t good food as well, it seems like that won’t be a problem with Fortress Fest. Here are some picks that we’re excited about:

Salsa Limon

Being from Fort Worth myself, I can vouch for Salsa Limon’s bomb tacos. Revered around the Fort Worth area, they will be gracing the festival grounds this weekend.

Vegan Village

Vegans have no fear! Vegan-friendly meals will be around and abundant. There will be several local plant-based options, including the delicious Spiral Diner and Bakery.

BLEND Hangs out with Delta Sleep

For starters, Austin was NOT ready for this performance last Wednesday, at Barracuda. Delta Sleep, a band based in Brighton, England, absolutely killed their set and was met by an incredible audience that simply could not get enough of their sound. We took them out before the show to enjoy some Stubbs BBQ, drinks and to get to know more about them. The band themselves describe their sound as Alternative Indie Rock, but the Austinites may as well have described it as the music of the Gods. Seriously, the encore chant at the end was something out of a movie; completely thrilling.

By Judy Carroll

Photographed by Karla Bruciaga


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Even though the band had only been in Austin for an hour, I still wanted to know what their favorite part about it was, and their answer was as relatable as it gets. The NACHOS. They meant chips and queso, and Stubbs BBQ definitely delivered on that menu item. I then asked what their favorite performance or show in the past was and why it was so great. The immediate excitement they all had towards this question let me know Austin isn’t the only city that shows them so much love.

“For me, my favorite show was the first ever show we played in the U.S. at Beat Kitchen in Chicago. It was the first time we had ever gone to America, so we had no idea what to expect and it totally blew us away. It was sold out and everyone was chatting and hanging out and singing along to the songs. We had been waiting for about four years to come to the U.S. so that was definitely the best.”

“When we came to the U.S., it just felt like the shows were so different than what we’d been used to. We knew we had somewhat of a fan base, but people were just going nuts and it was so cool to see on the other side of the world. I’d say a lot of shows in the U.S. have been some of my favorites.”

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My personal favorite answer from the band was when I asked about any show rituals they might have for before or after their performances.

“More often than not we’ll all have a shot of tequila to get us in the mood, and we’ve just started doing vocal warm-ups as well.”

They then proceeded to do these vocal warmups for us which I enjoyed almost as much as the tequila comment. These guys are so light hearted and fun to be around, so I wasn’t surprised they liked to enjoy a little pre-show tequila. When I asked them what inspires them and keeps them motivated to put out their best work, they gave the most beautiful answer.

“I think most of us are inspired by creating honest art. Just trying to put forward something that means something to us and when we look back and we’re old and haggard, that we can be proud of it and our accomplishments. We can know that we made music for ourselves and for each other.”

I loved this because this really is what music is all about. Making something meaningful that will last you a lifetime. When you get to record and share it with your fans and loved ones as well, that probably makes it all the more special.

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“Other things that are non-musical that inspire us are things like comic books and film. Visual media inspires me quite a lot and I think it reflects in the music and lyrics.”

This is my favorite thing about artists. So many components of everyday life, and so many other kinds of art, go into making something that is truly yours and something unique. Being able to play off of all of those different components to make something completely new, fresh and inspired is a feeling I think all artists search for. Lastly, I wanted the band to leave a message for their fans, because their fans are absolutely incredible and really showed out for this show. They danced, screamed, and sang along to every lyric on every song. So listen up.

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“Message for our fans. Thanks for being f*cking awesome, cool, inspirational people. You guys are super friendly, like-minded people, who we’ve never known before, but whenever we meet you at shows, it kind of feels like we do, and that’s really lucky. Thank you for helping us facilitate our dreams and showing us so much love. You stay you.”

BLEND's Monthly Music Radar: April

By Berkley Moates


Photo from Indie Midlands

Photo from Indie Midlands

  1. “my strange addiction” by Billie Eilish

  2. “SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS (feat. UMI)” by Cautious Clay 

  3. “Superpowers (feat. GoldLink)” by Col3trane 

  4. “Lose My Mind (feat. Mr Gabriel)” by Jai Wolf

  5. “Cigarette” by RAYE, Mabel, Stefflon Don 

  6. “Kool Aid” by Sam Willis

  7. “Summer Love (feat. Matter Mos)” by Midnight Quickie

  8. “If I Know Me” by Morgan Wallen

  9. “Are You Bored Yet? (feat. Claire)” by Wallows 

  10. “Price On My Head (feat. The Weekend)” by NAV

Spotify Link

Wallows

Photo from The Daily Listening

Photo from The Daily Listening

Recently, Austin’s beautiful spring weather has led me to binge listen to bands that make me feel like I’m cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway with the windows down, Wallows has become one of those bands for me. The trio has been together since they were 11 but recently has gained traction from performing on several late night shows. Their sound screams All-American alternative rock band with a side of west coast ocean waves. In late March, they released a new album so be sure to blast it next time you go out in the sun.

Sam Wills

Photo from Instagram

Photo from Instagram

If you know me, you know it’s no surprise that some undercover UK artists make the radar each month. British born, Sam Wills, immerses American soulful vocals with splashes of UK infused beats. Imagine Justin Timberlake and Disclosure’s music having a baby, that’s the vibe Sam Wills creates. His music just makes you feel gooood!  Bring out his tracks when chilling with friends at Zilker or driving around the city.

Midnight Quickie

Photo from Instagram

Photo from Instagram

 Can we talk about the name of this group? Pretty genius right. Especially because this group of producers and lead vocalist from Indonesia will make you dance! After listening to their song “Summer Love”, on BLEND’s radar this month, you will be able to start pre-gaming summer early in April! All those summer feelings may flush back but the beat will keep you moving.

Local Creatives Highlight: Virtue

Austin is a city of creative souls, and we all create in different ways. Through creation, comes emotional release, and a place within all of us where we can truly connect with ourselves. For this months Local Creative Highlight, I wanted to cover the band Virtue, a little bit about their genre of music and the community surrounding it, and their incredibly talented photographer, Gabriel Andre, founder of Pillajer Productions. Virtue is an up and coming band in the Hardcore or Metalcore genre whose first EP, “No Absolutes” held a top 200 position for the entire first weekend it was released and reached #64 on the metal charts during that time. They played many shows around Texas prior to the release, but reached these chart numbers with zero promotion through ads. I reached out to the band to ask them a few questions.

By Judy Carroll


From left to right: Michael Fischer (Mikey)-Drums, Christian McGahan (Churst)- Vocals, Bryce Holloway (Bryson)-Guitar, Chase Casillas (Boomer)- Bass. Photo by Gabriel Andre, Pillajer Productions.

From left to right: Michael Fischer (Mikey)-Drums, Christian McGahan (Churst)- Vocals, Bryce Holloway (Bryson)-Guitar, Chase Casillas (Boomer)- Bass. Photo by Gabriel Andre, Pillajer Productions.

J: Do you consider your music genre to extend past being a genre and being more of a community as well? What exactly is your genre of music called?

Christian : “We are a Metalcore, Hardcore band and yeah it is also a community as well.”

After getting to know these guys and learning more about their shows, I definitely see a tight community within this genre of music. People from other cities like Dallas and Houston travel to see Virtue play, and if you’re not familiar with Hardcore shows, fans definitely share an interesting way of enjoying the music, but more on that later.

J: How and when was the band started?

Christian: “I wanted to write positive, heavy music for all my friends to jam. It was started in January 2018 and that’s when we decided this was something we wanted to do and around March we started getting really serious about writing.”

Photo by Pillajer Productions

Photo by Pillajer Productions

J: What are some things about the community/genre that really resonate with you and make it special to you?

Christian: “It’s the energy. I think that’s the biggest thing for me. The energy and the support from friends, it just feels like everybody just really loves the music and it’s exciting.”

Mikey: “Man it’s just powerful, and it’s a good time. Everyone's just having a good time and lettin’ loose. It’s just great and spiritual, without being spiritual...sometimes”

Chase: “I really love how high energy it is, it’s a very participatory concert compared to a lot of other genres. A lot of movement and a lot of high energy.”

Bryce: “I like the violence. I like the high energy and the violence, but everybody for the most part is still friends at the end of the day.”

Mosh pits and violence are definitely very prominent at these shows and I wanted to see what crazy things the band has seen while performing. For context, Crowd Killing is when someone in the audience dances alongside the mosh pit, hitting as many people in the crowd as they can.

J: What the craziest thing to ever happen at your shows? Explain the mosh pits and crowd killing and general acts that go on.

Christian: “The crowd killing usually ends in fights, so there's usually fighting that breaks out during the set, or somebody breaks their nose or their arm. That side of things can get scary when there's blood all on the ground and it can be hard to invite other people to the shows that aren’t familiar with that because you want to make sure they don’t walk into something that totally catches them off guard.”

Chase: “Someone broke an an arm AND a nose at our last set. I’ve seen the crowd killing and the mosh pits grow from more of just pushing to now wanting to throw limbs at each other and you can tell it’s definitely a release for the people who really get into it, but it's always a really good mix of people just watching or participating”

Mikey: “The crowd killing and fighting just kind of comes with the culture. It happens. There's people swinging so there's gonna be fighting and that’s just part of it baby! If you don’t like it, get out! But it’s all fun and games, it started a long time ago during the punk era, so it’s been around for a long time. Just how it is.”

Photo by Pillajer Productions

Photo by Pillajer Productions

J: Is your community very accepting of all people?

Chase: “As far as lifestyles and what you do in your personal life, the community is very accepting. Although like any other genre or music scene, there are different cliques and crews divided by personal interests.”

Now I can’t say that personally I find myself listening to heavy music like this, but after listening to Virtue, they play music that’s a lot catchier and follows more of a melody than other heavier bands I’ve heard. They also promote really positive messages in their music and I think that’s really important.

J: What sets your music apart from other bands?

Christian: “One of the biggest things we can say is that we do write with more of a positive aspect and that does set us apart. This typically is an angrier style of music that can be really negative. They’re writing about their problems but it usually seems to end with negative outcomes and I wanted to go with something different and just be as positive as possible. So I think that’s maybe where we’re different.”

Bryce: “When writing the songs, I like to keep it pretty simple, but also add different aspects of different styles of Metalcore and Hardcore.”

Photo by Pillajer Productions

Photo by Pillajer Productions

Getting to talk with these guys was so great and I loved getting to meet more of the people who make up this incredible city of creativity. You can listen to their EP, “No Absolutes” on Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. Click here for the Spotify link!

Fun fact for you guys, Post Malone actually used to be in a metalcore band called Ashley’s Arrival and remains a fan of the music to this day.

While meeting the band, I also had the pleasure of meeting their photographer, Gabriel Andre. He is the founder of Pillajer Productions, his photography and video business. (Instagram @pillajerproductions and @pillajer)

Here are some of my favorites from his collection.

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Click here for more of his incredible work. Be sure to keep an eye out, I have a feeling Virtue is going to do big things! Stay hardcore, my friends.

What We Really Think of Billie Eilish

Who is Billie Eilish? Why do we like her? Why do we not like her? Is her middle name really “Pirate”? Who the heck is Finneas? (Like, you mean Phineas and Ferb?) So many questions about the newly 17-year-old who is approaching superstardom. But the most important question is: When we all fall asleep, where do we go?

By Kimberly Webb


Photo from Mary Kang

Photo from Mary Kang

Billie Eilish Pirate Baird-O’Connell is just like her name: anything but normal. Now, to be honest, if you haven’t heard her name...you’re probably old. Sorry. This talented teen has billions of streams...and she *kinda* stands out. She dresses like a gothic anime rapper in extremely baggy clothes with hats and jewelry galore. It’s an interesting paradox for a girl to wear a bright neon jumpsuit 5 sizes too large for her, sing about being a serial killer with an angelic melody, and then name her album don’t look at me. Billie was born to actor/artist parents Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell, who homeschooled both Billie and her older brother Finneas to foster and develop their creativity. Billie grew up dancing and joined the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus at the young age of eight. She started writing songs when she was eleven, and her first song “Fingers crossed” was actually inspired by The Walking Dead.

Photo by Cameron Postfoorish

Photo by Cameron Postfoorish

Finneas O’Connell, who co-writes and tours with his sister, has acted in a few films and had recurring roles on Modern Family and Glee. They are a dynamic duo in the music industry. Billie has expressed her immense appreciation and love for Finneas, posted on her Instagram: “This is my big brother and my best friend. I would be precisely nothing without him.” Billie and Finneas wrote and then posted the breakthrough song “Ocean Eyes” in 2015 to SoundCloud, and boom. A star was born. At the time, Billie was only 13, singing lines about love and napalm skies- with incredible control and range. She later released her album don’t smile at me that furthered her fame and blew her up into a well-known name in pop culture.

Billie’s Album Covers:  don’t smile at me

Billie’s Album Covers: don’t smile at me

Billie’s Album Cover:  Ocean Eyes

Billie’s Album Cover: Ocean Eyes

With such a distinct style and sound, Bill’s music is incredibly unique and pretty hard to categorize...she fits no one genre. With her excessive use of the words “dude”, “dick”, and an assortment of cuss words, she isn’t here to take things too seriously. She won’t be placed in a box, and she doesn’t want to be. Her voice is so different and honestly just...well, cool. Weird. Eclectic. New. With her talent and personality, there’s no question why she’s on everyone’s music radar. She has been given the opportunity to express a wildly imaginative gift, and she is doing it in a way that captivates millions of people. It’s not that Billie Eilish is controversial, it’s just that we are all trying to figure her out and loving not being able to at the same time. Even while having to deal with a complete change of lifestyle at such a young age, Billie has not allowed her mass fame to make her stop being herself. That’s not to say the fame hasn’t affected her— she has made statements about how crazy her life has become. She is constantly cracking jokes and laughing.... It can be hard to remember that this megastar isn’t even a legal adult yet, and she still harbors a teenage spirit and zest for life, which is evident when she is interviewed or posts on her social media accounts. She shares her life with her fans, gets intimate with crowds at concerts, and has even opened up about her struggle with Tourette's Syndrome with all her fans on social media.

Photo by Daria Kobayashi Ritch

Photo by Daria Kobayashi Ritch

Photo by Alexandra Gavillet

Photo by Alexandra Gavillet

Billie’s new album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? drops March 29th...and I can barely contain myself. When asked about the album name in an interview, Bill’s response was immediate. “I mean, dude,” she said. “Where the f*** do we go?! I’m sure somebody’s gonna be like, oh, it’s your brain doing this — but, like, you cannot give me a good explanation. I do not understand. Dreams are a really intense part of my life. I’ll go through a month where I’ll have the same nightmare every single night — a dream that’s so bad that the whole day is off, or a dream that’s so good that none of it’s true.” However, some people are turned off to Billie’s newer music as her more recent songs and videos have gravitated toward the macabre. The album cover is a little creepy, a severe contrast to her previous one.

If you’re not into the darker side of art, you might not like her change of style this second album. However, her voice on the three singles she has released that are on the album is still soft and pretty. “when the party’s over” is about the passionate haunting of heartbreak. The music video showcases Billie in a pristine white room with white clothes crying black tears- which was not all special effects, as she showed on her Instagram with the caption “Just so y’all know how real that video was. Stung like a mf.” “bury a Friend,” is told as a horror story inspired by sleep paralysis that gives you chills from the ominous music and unnerving lyrics. “Wish You Were Gay,” is about wishing the reason your crush didn’t date you was due to differing sexual orientation rather than the fact that they just don’t like you; with clever lines like “I ate alone at seven, you were six minutes away,” the masterpiece takes a few listens to really process. All three songs are vastly different from her previous music and from each other, and I encourage you to take a listen and cultivate your own opinion if you haven’t already. As you can tell, her look has changed as she has grown and mature both as a person and as an artist.

Photo from Red Carpet at 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards

Photo from Red Carpet at 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards

So, yeah, Bill’s a little weird. But that’s why we love her. She doesn’t follow the status quo and she doesn’t care. She seems to be the future. Billie Eilish Pirate Baird-O’Connell is exactly who need at the forefront of the music game right now: someone who is unapologetically herself. Even if you don’t like her, you can’t help but give her credit for her unique sound and clear talent. I’m ending this article with a few of her lyrics that really stand out or hit home— she and Finneas are truly modern poets and the musical application is just superb.

Her lyrics are just like her: intriguing and real. Spotify

“If teardrops could be bottled

There'd be swimming pools filled by models

Told a tight dress is what makes you a whore

If "I love you" was a promise

Would you break it, if you're honest

Tell the mirror what you know she's heard before

I don't wanna be you anymore”

— “idontwannabeyouanymore”

Miguel, Mass Meditation, What More Could We Really Ask For?

Miguel truly has done it again. Headlining a mass meditation at SXSW, he brought us back to our calmer sides; a much needed break from the madness currently running throughout downtown Austin. The Big Quiet is an organization that hosts massive meditations for every day people, usually including some musical performances. We were lucky enough to get Miguel, sunset behind him, and peaceful minds surrounding us.

By Judy Carroll


Photo from ktswblog.net

Photo from ktswblog.net

Miguel gave Austin a most beautiful performance doing a rendition of his two songs, “Now”, and “Adorn”, with an orchestra for instrumentals. Picture this with the beautiful skyline in the background, yeah, he did THAT. The best part about it you may ask? He did it for free! All you had to do was RSVP and wait in line, talk about worry-free meditation.

Interestingly enough, Miguel wanted to be a dancer when he was younger, but at just 14-years-old started recording his own songs, and we are so glad he did. My favorite fun fact about the artist is that his favorite superhero is Wolverine (most recognizably played by Hugh Jackman). Well, same here Miguel, same here.

If you’re interested in seeing Miguel, check out his upcoming shows below.

Sunday, April 7th, 7:00pm at the Aztec Theatre in San Antonio, Tx

  • Click here for tickets

Saturday, April 27th, 8:00am at the Cesar Chaves Plaza in Sacramento, Ca

  • Click here for tickets.

Remember to subscribe to BLEND for updates on great concerts, when they’re coming to town, and how great the performances were. Happy SXSW!

Sources: www.news24.com

BLEND Interviews Earth, Wind and Fire Bass Player Verdine White

We all know their name, we all definitely know their hit songs, but what you might not know is that they are going to be performing at SXSW this year! We are talking about Earth, Wind and Fire people!! Verdine White, the longtime bassist for the band, took some time out of his day to sit down and give BLEND an interview about a few of their upcoming events.

By Bailey Whelton


Since starting the band in 1969, Earth, Wind and Fire has traveled around the globe attending festivals, performing at concerts, winning 9 Grammy’s and hyping up any and every party with their hit songs. Now they are going to be performing at SXSW this year, White said they had attended SXSW three years ago, but what he’s most excited about this year is “shopping for some new boots.”

Have you ever attended SXSW before? When was the last time you guys were here?

White: “Absolutely, it was about 3 years ago”.

What is different about SXSW compared to other festivals you’ve been to?

White: “It’s just a lot of fun, a lot of fun, a lot of fun ya know?”

What are you looking forward to the most when you’re in Austin?

White: “The excitement, the people, the food, it’s just really great”.

Do you plan to do anything else in Austin?

White: “Shopping, I need to get some new boots!”

I know you guys are going to be in Las Vegas for two weeks after SXSW, what are you excited about?

White: “Yes we’re doing a residency in Vegas, love the people. This will be our second time performing there so I’m excited about this one”.

There was a lot of attention around the song “September” last year because it turned 40. What was your reaction to all of the hype around your song?

White: “Well the cool thing is the stock market goes up when the song gets popular, so that’s a good sign”.

Who is your favorite current artist right now and why?

White: “I really love Anderson .Paak right now".

What do you hope that people get out of your music in the future?

White: “Just Happiness”.

How has the music industry changed since you guys first started Earth, Wind and Fire?

White: “The music industry has changed so much, but so has the whole world, everything has changed. But it’s a good thing. The biggest thing that has changed is we all know about music now, we are all connected by music. We are all just so much more connected”.

Verdine White from 11th Hour

Verdine White from 11th Hour

After they make their way through Austin, the band is going to be taking up a 2-week residency in Vegas, performing at Pechanga Resort & Casino, giving their fans there a taste of their music. White said he’s looking forward to performing ‘Shining Star’, ‘Fantasy’, ‘September’ and ‘After the Love Is Gone,’ since those are his favorite songs to perform.

Hopefully they will be performing some of those hits (I’m talking about you ‘September’) at their SXSW performance tomorrow. That song is such an icon, especially in the month of September that even, “the stock market goes up,” said White. The song even turned 40-years-old last year, sparking a lot of attention and media around it.

Before ending the interview Verdine White wanted to give some advice to musicians who might be at SXSW:

Make it your life. Make it your mission. Serve people. Make people happy.

Check out Earth, Wind and Fire tomorrow evening, March 12th, at ACL Live. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., but the doesn’t start till 8:00 p.m. Get your tickets here.

6 Acts Everyone Will Be Talking About at SXSW 2019

In just one short week, thousands of music-lovers and Spring-breakers (and a couple of confused tourists) will flock to the streets and nightclubs of Austin for what has come to be one of the most widely-recognized music festivals in the nation: South by Southwest (SXSW). With dozens of acts taking stages all across the city, sorting through who to see vs. who to skip can be an arduous process. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a shortlist of surefire hits, from international indie-rock groups to down-home rap.

By Lydia Gregovic


THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS

The Beths

Photo Credit: Mason Fairey

Photo Credit: Mason Fairey

Four jazz musicians turned college classmates join forces to form New Zealand’s latest breakout indie-rock group: if The Beths’ backstory is unorthodox, it only serves to enhance the off-the-wall, alternative sound the band has become known for. Fronted by lead singer and former trumpet teacher Elizabeth Stokes, the group has been making waves with fans both home and abroad since the release of their freshman album, Future Me Hates Me, this past August. Raw, honest lyrics (if the album title didn’t give it away, Stokes isn’t afraid of a little self-deprecation) and complex, guitar-heavy melodies gives The Beths’ songs a depth rarely found in pop/indie ballads. Check out title track “Future Me Hates Me” to get a taste for the group’s playfully pessimistic tone, then move on to the equally-cheerfully titled “You Wouldn’t Like Me” for a tune that you won’t be able to get out of your head.

Where to see them: Head over to Mohawk at 8:30pm on March 11th to catch this Auckland-based group live before they fly back to the Down Under.

Ezra Collective

Photo Credit: Declan Slattery

Photo Credit: Declan Slattery

The jazz of Ezra Collective is a far cry from the tastelessly bland elevator music often associated with the genre—rather, the London-based quintet’s work is as dynamic as it is alive, an ever-shifting tapestry of saxophone, piano and trumpet that somehow weaves together into one remarkable musical experience. As a form, jazz has deep roots in working class and minority life, and it is this sense of inventiveness and resistance to mainstream culture that Ezra Collective emulates in their latest EP, Juan Pablo: The Philosopher. By mixing in elements of African and Caribbean traditions such as calypso and Afrobeat, Ezra Collective pushes the limits of what jazz is while staying true to the genre’s heart, producing a sound that above all else, comes straight from the soul.

Where to see them: Pack in all of the UK’s best in one night at the British Music Embassy @ Latitude 30 on March 12th. Ezra Collective plays at 10pm, but be sure to arrive by 8:00 to catch the earlier acts

THE STATE-SIDERS

BRONCHO

Photo Credit:  Pooneh Ghana

Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

Hailing from Norman, Oklahoma, indie-rock group BRONCHO first gained national attention with the release of their irresistibly catchy 2014 single “Class Historian”. The group’s newest album, Bad Behavior, continues their reign of success with tracks ranging from the light-hearted “Get in My Car” to the grungier bass riffs of “Sandman”. While Bad Behavior experiments with pop influences more than BRONCHO’s previous work, the album’s energetic vibe combined with strong melodies and playful lyrics prove the group has lost none of its original charm.

Where to see them: If you can’t make BRONCHO’s March 14th show at Augustine, swing by Parish at 1am on the 16th to catch their second performance.

Sun June

Photo Credit: Bryan C. Parker

Photo Credit: Bryan C. Parker

Representing the local music scene this year are Austin natives Sun June, termed a “regret pop” group by SXSW’s official schedule—although there’s certainly nothing regretful about this band’s selection to our list. Since releasing their debut album, Years, this past June, Sun June has already produced an Audiotree Live recording and completed an international tour spanning the UK, Italy, Germany and Belgium. Lead singer Laura Colwell’s dreamy soprano tones wonderfully complement the comforting, ethereal instrumentals which run underneath her melodies. The effect is a lovely sense of nostalgia reminiscent of drinking a warm cup of tea on a rainy morning, a bittersweet, warming sensation sure to leave any listener hooked. With breakout tracks such as “Discotheque” and “Young” already gaining popularity, Sun June is sure to be a SXSW darling—be prepared to wait in line for this one, folks.   

Where to see them: Night owls will flock to Sun June’s performance at The Townsend, March 15th at 1am.

THE UP-AND-COMERS

PNTHN

Photo Credit: hotel party

Photo Credit: hotel party

“Yeah baby, it’s the PNTHN, baby.” The opening line of 9-man rap group PNTHN’s (pronounced ‘pantheon’) hit song “chumbucket”, spoken in a low, seductive drawl, perfectly encapsulates the act’s gritty, homegrown style that fans have grown to love. Born in San Marcos and comprised of members from all across Texas, PNTHN draws deeply from their Southern roots, incorporating aspects of soul music and old-school hip hop into their tracks. After releasing their first EP, Potluck, in March of 2018, PNTHN cemented their place among Texas’s most promising rap groups when they dropped a follow-up EP, Rico, only three months later. And with seven rappers, an in-house DJ and winning tracks like “El Salvador” and “Henry Dreams”, PNTHN is just getting started.  

Where to see them: Start of your SXSW 2019 right by seeing PNTHN perform at Indra’s Awarehouse at 10pm, March 8th.

Criminal Hygiene

Photo Credit: Cara Robbins

Photo Credit: Cara Robbins

With Run It Again, their sophomore album (and first album since 2013) releasing just last week, Criminal Hygiene is the kind of classic punk rock band that makes you long for the days of broken curfews and secret after-school rendezvous. Tracks like “Dangers of Convenience” and the more laid back “Greetings from a Postcard” are strongly reminiscent of The Replacements, mixing catchy guitar riffs with choruses that you can’t help but sing along to. More than that, though, Criminal Hygiene’s songs are fun. They embody rebelliousness in its most simple, Hollywood form, highlighting all of the mischief with none of the consequences. Whether you’re looking for a bit of nostalgia or simply on the hunt for a new favorite song, one thing is for certain—Criminal Hygiene is here to provide a glimpse of punk rock’s glory days and prove that we’re still very much in them.

Where to see them: Head down to Barracuda Backyard March 15th at 11:45pm to see the boys of Criminal Hygiene in action.

The Kooks Entertained Manhattan Last Week

The Kooks, an English rock group that formed in 2004 and blew up a short two years later, sold out Terminal 5 in Manhattan last week. The crowd was roaring the moment lead singer, Luke Pritchard, came dancing on to the stage. His goofy interactive personality screamed a typical Brit demeanor. Groups of people were dancing together in the back by the bar and jumping up and down together in the front. The Kooks proved to be a hard band not to dance to, whether you knew the songs or not.

Written and Photographed by Miranda Chiechi


Lead singer, Luke Pritchard, was one of the three original band mates who formed The Kooks while attending the BRIT school.

Lead singer, Luke Pritchard, was one of the three original band mates who formed The Kooks while attending the BRIT school.

The indie rock band are on tour for their fifth studio album that came out in August 2018. “Thanks for coming out to see a band that’s 15 years old,” yelled Pritchard halfway through the show. You wouldn’t have guessed they have been around 15 years, being only in their thirties and having the crowd scream their songs like they just hit the radio. Every phone went up when the first two chords of “Seaside” started playing, a hit from their first album. Their live performance was akin to how their studio recordings sound. The group’s music is influenced by a myriad of things, including the 1960s British Invasion. They started their music career off with pop rock hits and further developed their sound over the next 15 years.


Pritchard broke the show up with The Kooks’ heart wrenching ballad, “See Me Now,” about his dad who died when he was young. His solo on the piano transitioned straight into a dance tune, showing just how versatile The Kooks can be as a group. Pritchard’s dad continued to influence him on the newest album with single, “Honeybee.” As Pritchard said in a Billboard interview, he never got the chance to sing with his dad, but “spliced his dad’s vocal” from a demo he did in the 60s into “Honeybee.” His dad sings the second verse, while Pritchard, the first.
The Kooks ended the night with, of course, one of their first big hits, “Naive,” which the entire venue went crazy for. Like Pritchard jokes in his Billboard interview when asked how the band decides to put together a set list now that they’re on their fifth album – “If I don’t play ‘Naive,’ they’ll probably ask for their money back.”

SXSW: What You NEED To Know

If you are anything like me and don’t know what the heck is going on with the whole SXSW thing, you’re in the right place. With SO much activity going on within these 10 days, it is easy to get lost in schedules, times, and locations. Before you know it, you’re down a rabbit hole of events. I’m here to at least give you a little comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.

By Lauren Castro


Photo from sxsw.com

Photo from sxsw.com

What even is SXSW?

South by Southwest (SXSW), is one of the biggest events in Austin, TX, right next to Austin City Limits. SXSW strives to merge interactive, film and entertainment in ways to provide a unique experience to those attending. Consisting of conferences, exhibits, performances, panels and much more, there is never a shortage of things going on. This may be a bit daunting to someone who has never gone to a big event like this but I’m here to tell you that everything will be okay. Breathe and get your planner out.

When Is It?

This year the events starts Friday, March 8th and ends Sunday, March 17th. During this time period, there is always something going on. Be prepared and don’t be discouraged when you can’t get into a certain event. There’s always something else you can go to.

Photo from music.blog.austin360.com

Photo from music.blog.austin360.com

Where Is It?

When looking at the schedule, most locations are closer to downtown Austin. We are looking at places like Cesar Chavez where the Austin Convention Center is located, Rainey Street, 5th street, 6th street and Congress. The key to being prepared for SXSW is staying downtown or around the convention center and being ready for anything to happen. There are multiple events that happen at the same time so choose wisely!!!

How Can I Get Involved?

First, I would get the SXSW Go app. This will help you a ton in scheduling your days. I follow @whenwherewhataustin as well as @thedirtyteam to get more info about parties and events going on during SXSW. I would follow @atxconcert on Twitter as well. They have good insider tips that are beneficial to these crazy couple of days. I would suggest keeping their post notifications on. Some events you have to RSVP for so keep a look out for specific things you’d like to attend.

There’s 4 types of bands you can purchase that have different events you can go to linked to them. The music badge grants you access to all music events, the interactive badge does the same with interactive events and the film badge gets you into film events. The platinum badge gets you into ALL events, so the past three badges put into one badge. I know, this is a lot to think about. Don’t want to buy a badge but still want to participate? Keep reading.

Can I access any of these events for free? Is that even possible?

The Holy Grail: The SXSW Guest Pass. All you need to do is register here and you’re already on the right track. This pass allows you to enter some of the free SXSW official events going on. A list of events you can use the pass with are listed on the link. Some of them include seeing people like the X Ambassadors, Abhi The Nomad, and Andrew Bird. You can access community screenings, showcases and workshops with the pass as well. I would recommend this pass for anyone just wanting to see what SXSW is about. Get a feel for it then come back next year with a better idea of what everything is about.

Photo from KXAN.com

Photo from KXAN.com

Any Big Names Attending?

Khalid, Billie Eilish, X Ambassadors, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Asap Rocky, and Olivia Wilde will be attending and participating in festivals, panels, and showcases. This is only a glimpse at some of the A-listers that will be chillin’ in Austin.

Whew. That...was a lot. Just remember: have fun! SXSW is created to benefit YOU through networking and learning experiences. Have free time? Go downtown and walk around. I guarantee you that you will find something to do. Good luck!

More information can be found on their official website.

Why We Love Cardi B

Whether you remember her name from her days on “Love and Hip-hop NY”, or you learned about her when her smash hit “Bodak Yellow” was on the rise, we can all agree that Cardi B is a force to be reckoned with. Since coming into the spotlight, she has appeared as a guest on many popular talk shows, has had 5 songs in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot R&B/ Hip-Hop Songs Chart at the same time, and was also the recipient of the 2019 Grammy for Best Rap Album of the year—which has never been won by a woman before. With all the hype surrounding her music, there are still many other reasons as to why we love Cardi B outside of her amazing career. Here is a quick rundown of why we are obsessed with the star that is known as Cardi B:

By Jennifer Meseck


She’s Authentic

It’s a known fact that after a while of basking in the celebrity lifestyle, many people appear to have changed. We can see a difference in how they act which can cause us to infer that the fame has gone to their head; however, Cardi B has been in the spotlight for a good amount of time now and is seemingly the same person as she was before. No matter the question, she always says what’s on her mind. She’s open about her opinions and doesn’t hide behind a mask of what she thinks others want from her. Honestly, she comes off like the kind of friend who is always going to tell you like it is. The way she speaks and tweets shows that she will not put up a front or change for anything —which is why we stan Cardi B.

Photo from the AV Club

Photo from the AV Club

She cares about her fans

Cardi tries very hard to maintain a connection to her fans. If you take the time to scroll through her twitter, you can see exactly that. She’s constantly retweeting fans who talk about her music, and quote tweeting people who make comments or ask questions. Again, her authenticity plays a huge role in this such that the way she responds to her fans is so obviously true to her as a person. She never comes off as if she’s trying to please anyone. Rather, it almost seems like she’s tweeting to her fans the exact same way she talks. She says exactly what she thinks in the moment and types exactly how she talks normally. By doing this, it shows she cares that her fans know she is personally taking the time to respond to them and acknowledge their thoughts.

Photo from YouTube

Photo from YouTube

She’s the underdog

Until I heard her personal story, I had no idea that she had experienced so many hardships. She doesn’t act like a victim. Cardi holds herself so highly and continues to see herself on the rise. I’m not going to go into extreme detail on this matter because I truly believe it can only be given true justice by hearing what she says directly on the matter—which she does do in a couple video interviews.

However, I will give a simple run through of her life from what I’ve heard. She grew up in the Bronx, eventually lived with an abusive boyfriend, and later escaped him by making enough money through stripping. Now, she’s here, and if that doesn’t give you enough reason to admire and respect her, then I’m not sure what will. Anyone who can go through hell and back while still refusing to view themselves as a victim deserves our respect and understanding.

She’s Relatable

As we’ve stated previously, she’s an authentic underdog who cares about her fans, but I think these all fit in to one overarching category—relatability. Cardi B is relatable. So many celebrities come off as perfect people, but Cardi isn’t afraid to appear vulnerable and different. Her openness about her past helps so many people to relate and understand her as a person. She’s comfortable being dorky and saying whatever made up word comes to her mind. We love her for that! People relate to being goofy, and Cardi B shows us that not all celebrities act in a similar manner. She is paving her own individual way which allows us to relate to her on a more personal level.

Cardi B is a queen who has continued to grow and “make money moves” all while remaining true to herself. Throughout her career, she has used only her musical ability and true natural persona to grow an image for herself. I think that that is admirable in and of itself. We love Cardi B, and if you didn’t love her before, then hopefully after reading this you do!

BLEND's Monthly Music Radar

By Berkley Moates


  1. “Bad” by Lennon Stella

  2. “Why” by Connor Pearson

  3. “RPG (feat. 6lack)” by Kehlani

  4. “Eyelids” by Travis Thompson

  5. “Pumpkin Eyes” by Feed Me, Chaney

  6. “Despicable” by grandson     

  7. “Don’t Call Me Up” by Mabel

  8. “Rule The World (feat. Ariana Grande)” by 2 Chainz

  9. “Tomboy” by Destiny Rogers

  10. “You Seemed So Happy” by The Japanese House

Spotify Link

grandson

Photo from AllMusic.com

Photo from AllMusic.com

Dirty, raw and dope. That’s what grandson’s persona has come to be in his recent underground success. grandson’s entire artistry is dedicated to using music as a weapon by using his platform to bring to light issues of our times. So while you vibe out to his rugged EDM beats think about his lyrics and use that to empower yourself and your world.

Lennon Stella

Photo from Ticketfly

Photo from Ticketfly

This 19-year-old is slaying us in the charts with her recent releases. Lennon Stella’s youthful lyrics are relatable, but grab your attention through dynamic chill bops. Gaining traction fast in the music industry, she is an artist to watch out for.  Check out her other tracks to jam out to this mad March!

Mabel

Photo from NME.com

Photo from NME.com

British female artist, Mabel, is making waves across world charts with her new single, “Don’t Call Me Up”. Her effortless, mature storytelling pours out of the rhythm but also makes you dance! Mabel’s presence in the music industry is not going unnoticed so check her out now while she is still slightly undercover!

Sharing Headphones is a Thing of the Past:

Ex-NFL Player Jason Fox founds the first social-focused music-sharing platform

Calling all music connoisseurs…you’re going to want to read this article. After playing six years of professional football for the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions, Jason Fox founded EarBuds, a real-time social music platform. EarBuds is a social music app that allows users to livestream from playlists they have curated on Spotify or Apple Music. Friends, followers and new connections can join to listen alongside the host. And, yes— it is completely free with a Spotify or Apple Music account, and you can save the music you find on the app back to either Apple or Spotify (ohhhhhh hell to the yes!). Even if you have Spotify and someone else has Apple music, you can still listen to/with each other...so the war between the two streaming apps can subside (at least a little bit). As someone who considers music one of the most important aspects of my life, I can honestly say that this is actually one of the coolest ideas...ever. Kinda mad I didn’t think of it first.

By Kimberly Webb

Photos Provided by Jason Fox


image3.png

Growing up, two of Fox’s biggest passions were sports and music; he wanted nothing else but to be a professional athlete, which he accomplished successfully. And now, Fox is accomplishing a way to connect athletes with fans by tying his two passions together. Fox thought of this creative idea one day about halfway through his career when he was warming up next to Cam Newton before the first game of that season. Cam had his headphones in and was getting in the zone for the game, and Jason found himself wondering what he was listening to during his warmups. Fox then thought to himself, ‘How cool it would be if Cam's fans could hear his pregame playlist? There are 80,000 fans here, and millions more watching at home. ‘ This is where Fox realized that a music social media app could really “connect athletes and their fans...or even just friends and family.”

image2.png
image1.png

“There are social platforms for everything these days,” Fox said, “but music has remained incredibly stagnant even though it can be, and is supposed to be, social.” Having always been the type of person to bet on himself, Fox set out to create EarBuds and give people the opportunity to turn into personal radio stations in complete real time and function as a social media app with messaging and collaboration. The business world and the sports world are often intertwined, and more recently, has tended to be with technology-based companies...and now, a few years after his idea, Jason just soft-launched the app in the app store. EarBuds already has some big names who plan to be on the app or who are already on the app, including Baker Mayfield, who did his first stream this past week.

“EarBuds lets my friends and fans listen in on my world. Whether that’s my pregame playlist, when I’m training during the off-season, or just hanging around the house. My music is their music, and it’s real. It’s real-time. It’s authentically me. I love it.”

— Baker Mayfield

Photo from Mayfield’s Instagram

Photo from Mayfield’s Instagram

So now, music fans of Austin (and everywhere else!!!), your call to action is:

  1. Download EarBuds on the app store

  2. Test it out and get your friends to do the same

  3. Give any feedback possible

They want to hear everything; EarBuds is a user first company. See you guys on EarBuds! I’ll follow you (;

Blood Orange's Sold Out Show in Austin

Blood Orange graced Austin with their presence last Friday night at Emo’s. The indie R.&B.  group has been on the indie radar for a while now, but have garnered more attention with the release of the album Negro Swan, that came out last year. Texas welcomed Blood Orange with quite the enthusiasm, having sold-out shows at all of their Texas dates, including Austin.

Written and Photographed by Karla Bruciaga


You may be wondering what the hype is all about, so here’s a little background about the group if you haven’t heard of them. Blood Orange is a project that began in 2009 by musician Dev Hynes. Hynes is also known for his production work and collaborations that he has done with artists like Sky Ferreira, FKA Twigs, and most recently Mariah Carey.  

IMG_2094-Edit.jpg

Even though Hynes is a creator of pop music, his own musical style is distinct in a delightful way. The show was a clear representation of this. Hynes and his band created an immersive experience that had the crowd in awe, but at the same time they maintained an upbeat energy that had everyone moving to the music.

The group played a lot of their new material from Negro Swan, but they also mixed in songs from past albums. Hynes fellow vocalists— Ian Isiah and Eva Tolkin, created beautiful harmonies with Hynes that showed the unity of the group. Dev Hynes has a flawless way of blending together classical music with R.&B., which is easier said than done.

The only downside to the show was that it passed by too quickly and when Hynes spoke into the mic “that’s it” everyone was left waiting for an encore, that sadly didn’t come.

If you’re interested in getting into Blood Orange, here are some of my song recommendations that were played at Friday’s show: “Charcoal Baby, “Champagne Coast, and “Jewelry.

Hippie Sabotage Sells Out Stubbs

If you asked anyone in the music community who the coolest brothers in the industry were, they would probably say Hippie Sabotage. Jeff and Kevin Saurer, the iconic EDM duo from California, have taken over the electronic community with various remixes and original songs made to make you want to dance. They are well known for working with artists such as Tove Love and Ellie Goulding but without these contributing artists Hippie Sabotage can stand their own ground. In Austin, Texas on Friday the two sold out Stubbs with fans of all ages ready to party.

By Kaylin Balderrama

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 4.37.32 PM.png
Hippie Sabotage from edm.com

Hippie Sabotage from edm.com

The mixture of people at Hippie Sabotage showed the sense of community they have among their listeners. Some of the fans at the concert were full on decked out in rave attire and others were simply in jeans and a t-shirt. Some DJs in the music community attire only hard-core EDM fans but the mixture of people who enjoy Hippie Sabotage was refreshing. One thing that sets Hippie Sabotage apart from other EDM artists is their incorporation of singing and live instruments into their mixes. Most of the voices on their songs are sung by the brothers themselves which made the concert much more intimate than if they were just voiceovers.

They have over 600 million views on their song they produced with Tove Love which you can watch here:

There are fans who show up to concerts just to hear the music and then there are fans who show up to see their favorite artists perform that music. Hippie Sabotage is known for responding to their fans regularly on social media which makes them so much more relatable than other big artists, their fan base is truly supportive of the artists and seeing them perform.

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 4.40.45 PM.png

It’s only up from here for this DJ group who I’m secretly hoping will end up performing at Austin City Limits this year. To check out Hippie Sabotage look at their instagram or twitter here.

Kaylin BalderramaComment
Contemporary Austin Artists that We Want to be Friends With

Austin is the live music capital of the world, and here’s our pick of Austinite artists who have elevated the city’s reputation and spread the sounds of Texas to a radio near you.

By Blair Fielder


Photo from Rolling Stone

Photo from Rolling Stone

Gary Clark Jr.

From his start playing Antone’s at age 15, this 35-year-old Grammy winner is well on his way to becoming the guitar hero of our generation. His fusion of rock, soul and blues has landed him on stage with legends from The Rolling Stones to Eric Clapton. Clark draws inspiration from his roots, and his ode to Austin, “Travis County,” exemplifies the mutual love between the musician and this town. Be on the lookout for his new album This Land rumored to be released March 1st.

For fans of: Jimi Hendrix, anything cool your hippie dad listened to in the 70s, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

 

Shakey Graves

When I think of contemporary Austin artists, Shakey Graves is the first to come to mind. If  Alejandro Rose-Garcia’s Americana style and poignant lyrics don’t win you over, then his skills on his hand-made retrofitted suitcase drum will. Shakey Graves is the real thing- no frills or autotune here. Start with his debut album, And The War Came Home to dive deep into where it all started.

For fans of: Mumford and Sons, beautiful music, and Alabama Shakes.

Photo from Twitter

Photo from Twitter

 
Photo from clture.org

Photo from clture.org

Wild Child

Self-described as a “seven-piece pop mini-orchestra,” Wild Child has been performing in Austin for almost a decade at everything from Blues on the Green to ACL Live. The band’s loyal following makes them a local staple, and their angelic harmonies will win you over if they haven’t already. Wild Child’s latest album, Expectations is best listened to on a blanket at Zilker, but Spotify is always a close second. Start with “Pillow Talk” and that smile on your face will stay there as you explore the rest of chill acoustic library.

For fans of: Mt. Joy, Angus & Julia Stone, and stress-free tunes.

 

Ghostland Observatory

This electronic-soul duo gained popularity by combining two things that everyone loves— light shows and funky beats. To call them “psychedelic” would be an understatement. Ghostland Observatory definitely helps keep Austin weird with frequent concerts sure to leave you feeling in another dimension. Their 2018 album See You Later Simulator put them back on the map after an eight year hiatus from albums, but their pure gold comes from 2010 on hits like “Sad, Sad City” and “Midnight Voyage.” For a deeper track, listen to “Silver City”— you won’t be disappointed.

For fans of: Cherub, STRFKR, and Ratatat.

Photo from upallnight.us

Photo from upallnight.us

 
Photo from TamercaJones.com

Photo from TamercaJones.com

Tameca Jones

Often referred to as the “Queen of Austin Soul,” Tameca Jones’ soothing vocals and unbelievable range live up to her title. Her residency at the historic Continental Club gave Jones the platform to serenade listeners to soft, gooey songs like “Sandman” and “Good Boy.” Look out for her show at Antone’s on March 22nd.

For fans of: Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga’s Joanne, and Amy Winehouse

 

Mobley

Mobley is the embodiment of what it means to be an artist. In addition his musical talents, the solo-act designs his album artwork, produces every album, directs his music videos, and even makes up his own instruments to be used for live sets. Mobley’s rhythms will capture you into the layered instrumentation of his music. Check out the music videos for “Swoon” and “Solo” to get his full artistic vision.

For fans of: Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, Glass Animals, and interactive live sets.

Photo from abeautifulperspective.com

Photo from abeautifulperspective.com

 
Photo from theboot.com

Photo from theboot.com

Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis

Although they aren’t from Austin, these married musicians have been Austin country to their core since they moved here. Bruce and Kelly often play shows together, giving them the opportunity to perform both their solo work and duets. Robison’s lyrical genius is carried throughout all of his music, in addition to the songs that he’s written for the Dixie Chicks and George Strait. Start with their duet “If I Had a Rose,” and check out their album Our Year for more.

For fans of: Randy Rogers Band, Texas country, and Charlie Robison, Bruce’s brother

What We Really Think About Ariana Grande

It is no secret that Ariana Grande is one of the most influential artists of this generation. Her music has reached millions and topped charts. She is the first solo artist since the Beatles to take the top 3 spots on Billboard 100. However, she is no stranger to controversy. Recently people have been calling her out on some of the issues with her songs and the messages they convey. Being at this level in the industry comes with a lot of responsibility, has Ariana forgotten that?

By Kennedy Woodard


Photo from Pinterest

Photo from Pinterest

Ariana is without a doubt an amazing singer with vocal cords made of actual gold, however, she seems to always be in the spotlight for saying something controversial or being involved in some kind of feud. Let’s start with the most recent hot water this tea queen has been brewed in. After Mac Miller’s death fans took to Ariana’s social media to attack and blame her for his death. I want to go ahead and say no one should be blamed for the death of another human being unless they murdered them. It is wrong and sick to think that Ariana could have caused this in anyway. However after the initial shock had died down and attention had been moved on from the pop singer, she’s back in the spotlight for tweeting at people and talking about Mac Miller, posting photos of them together on social media. This is a little strange to me because usually when grieving it is a private thing, but in this day and age social media is being used to exploit personal matters so I can’t entirely be upset with Ariana for this. Our own society perpetuates a culture that glorifies depression and grief by publicly showing it online. After all of this I thought maybe she will take time for herself. And then the song hit.

Thank u, nextwas released and people lost their minds. The song references specific people in it, one of them being the late rapper Malcolm. At first I was singing this song at the top of my lungs on my way to class., but the more I listened, the more i couldn’t shake the feeling of uneasiness with the entire atmosphere of the song. The fact that it came out right after the whole Pete engagement gate and the passing of Mac made me feel as though this is all for publicity. It is marketing at its terrifyingly best. Take tragedy and a highly publicized relationship break up, put them together and you have the perfect platform to sell some records. Although I do respect and admire the message of loving yourself at the end of the song, I have a problem with the circumstances and climate that it came out of.

After that, it seemed like Ariana was just pumping out music. Now with a new single, “7 Rings” and a new album she is seemingly back on her grind. Once again, she has sparked controversy with her song “7 Rings”. I listened once and liked it. Then I listened to it again and I can’t get the fact that the beats are stolen. Not only are these beats not hers, the entire image she is suddenly embracing is stolen. The music video parades tropes of R&B, hip-hop aesthetic as well as using black women as props to further feed off of the culture she is appropriating. She is profiting from the same ideas and music that the black community and artists originated and were never given the same platform or publicity she is getting. Don’t get me wrong, she is not the only artist who has done this. It is a problem with the environment America has created throughout history, but it certainly does not need someone as influential as her perpetuating it.

Ariana Grande is not a bad person or a villain, but she is certainly not perfect and has some significant things to learn and grow from. The Grammy feud just furthered my growing disdain for the ‘me, me me!’ aura about her. It is one thing to have a problem with the Grammy’s wanting to market like how you market ( greedy and off-putting) but it is another to publicly air the drama on Instagram. Is Ariana Grande a great artists who is simply being persecuted for doing nothing, or are her catchy lyrics and rhythmic beats distracting us from the real message she is sending?