SXSW Interviews at The Horn



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Hey Austin Writes Music friends,

I wanted to drop a quick line and let you know that I’ve been doing loads of SXSW preview coverage for the Horn via some incredible band interviews I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of. Click on the links to read up on amazing artists from around the world.

White Sea

Band of Skulls

Holiday Mountain

Wye Oak

Carbon Tigers

Lily & the Parlour Tricks

Keep your eye on the Horn and M Music Magazine for more of my SXSW coverage. I’ll return after the madness of March subsides with a round-up of favorite discoveries. Xo, Caitlin

AWM’s Best Albums of 2013



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I’ve got plans for Austin Writes Music in the coming year. First, you might notice that the “About Me” page has been updated. I’ve finally decided to declare this my own personal music blog, since I’ve only ever had one other contributor since I founded this thing in 2009 (although she is written into history forever as our fabulous site designer. Thank you, Brittany!) You’ll be getting regular posts once more, with recommendations, reviews, and general music-based musings, and I hope you like all of it. For now, let’s look back at what was truly a stellar year for music, and life in general. I give to you, Austin Writes Music’s Top 10 of 2013. 

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AWM is alive! ACL 2013 Preview Post



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Hello, my lovelies! I have been absent from Austin Writes Music for far too long, but there’s been good reason. I’ve been spending a lot of time over at my other blog, Rock Love Austin, where we just took a trip to Europe and arrived back just in time for weekend one of the Austin City Limits festival. I’ve also been writing a lot for the Horn, where you can check out an interview I did with ACL Fest band Passion Pit, a preview of my top picks for the festival, and a survival guide I penned, among other things. But Austin Writes Music lives on, and I wanted to make sure I posted up a quick day-by-day artist guide for the acts I think you should see. I kept it very simple this time around – just the artist name, the time they’re playing, the stage, and a video of a song I think best captures their sound. I’ll be back soon with a big festival review; until then, do look over at the Horn because I’ll have rolling daily coverage going up. Thanks for reading, as always, and happy festing!

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Maybe I’m Amazed: MACCA in Austin



I don’t know how to write this review. I had five paragraphs written that I trashed, because they had this impersonal sheen to them that didn’t do justice to the glory of a Paul McCartney live show. I’ve been trying to write some heady-but-relatable review that includes anecdotes without being specifically from my perspective, but that’s the thing about absolutely brilliant music. It helps you transcend your everyday filters and the separation you might feel from your core, and really lets you be yourself, in the moment, experiencing all that is happening around you. And when a musician has been performing for 55 years for stadium crowds, it is a safe bet that their live show will reach that transcendence.

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Life and Death and Sigur Ros



 Photo from www.sigur-ros.co.uk

If you’re a human, which I’ll go ahead and assume you are*, your brain can get kinda funked up with stuff. You can hold strong beliefs that you’re worth something just as you are and then be bombarded with messages from the outside culture that, in fact, no, you need about 100 different products and 6 different diets and even then, you must always strive for perfection and, as Lowe’s has taught us, “never stop improving.” Our standard of “acceptable person” seems to be to basically disappear inside of ourselves like so many black holes while we blind ourselves to the fact that the earth is hurting and we come from it, so we should probably give a shit. Between our high expectations for events and holidays and our own futures, and our crippling self-doubt and anxiety, and some deep-seated guilt thrown in for good measure — it can feel a bit like we’re all just Han Solo trapped in carbonite, but in our own minds. Speaking for myself, I know that every day, I live about 99% of it in a state of distraction. Since mindfulness is hard work and can lead to feeling difficult feelings because, you know, those exist, I just float around outside of myself, barraging myself with criticisms cloaked in the thought that this will be somehow “motivating” when it never, ever is. Turns out, it’s actually self-defeating.

Knowing all of this has freed just a couple of fingers from the carbonite, just enough to hold a tiny pick so I can start escaping my self-imposed prison. The light seems to break through my numbness most of all when I can be in a state of mindfulness, and Sigur Ros takes me to that state every time.

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