Dive Austin Dive: A Benefit for Austin Pets Alive!

Hopefully by now you have seen our Austin Pets Alive! event posted up on our Twitter and Facebook, but if you for some reason do not do the social media thing, we’re here to tell you that we’re hosting a benefit on Saturday, May 12 at Swan Dive. Our killer lineup includes the soothing psych-rock of Kinky Machine, our pop-rock buddies in Little Radar, the howling, growling goodness of the White White Lights, and our newfound stripped-rock loves, the Couch.

Plus, while you’re rocking out for a good cause, if you’re one of the first 100 people in the door you’ll be drinking a complimentary beverage courtesy of Tito’s Vodka! My boyfriend Zack and I adopted our beloved Scooby (below) from APA! so we hope you’ll come out and play with us. After all, it’s Austin Writes Music presenting Austin bands for Austin Pets Alive! on Austin Day (5/12) — let’s keep it weird.

Little Radar release the rock at the Mohawk

Little Radar released their debut album, Up In Arms, last night at the Mohawk, and it’s about time — the band has been a local favorite for many, performing their upbeat, raucous pop-rock tunes seemingly non-stop around town. Up In Arms captures this energy perfectly, and barrels through a crisp six-song set giving you a taste of how great a Little Radar live show is.

“Cup O’Tea” is one of my favorite tracks on the record. It starts out slow and almost sea-faring, with waves of guitars playing on one another and wistfully sung lyrics by Sean Hale. Then, a little over halfway through, everything kicks into spunky high-gear, encouraging the kind of head-banging and hip-shaking the Empire Records staff were involved in.

Hale’s voice is particularly stellar on “Nature of the Beast,” which has an almost jazz-like rhythmic breakdown in it after each verse. It’s a high-powered ending that bookends Up In Arms‘ rocking opener, “Spitfire,” very well.

It builds on a beautiful Band of Horses-like EP the band had already put out (seriously, if you haven’t listened to the band’s Kill a Buffalo, do it now. I recommend “Wake Up” as your starter,) and solidifies Little Radar as an up-and-coming Austin band to watch.

The quartet were on point at their record release, proving why they are always worth a trip out to a local venue to see them perform live. Their live show puts even more muscle and bite behind their sound, and watching these four talented musicians do their thing is just a treat.

They also brought an incredibly talented group of bands along with them to celebrate. The Baker Family started the night off roaring out of the gate — it was somewhat reminiscent of Cursive’s emotional rock, but with its own flavor. The band is full of incredible instrumentalists; bassist Nathan Ribner is one of the best I’ve seen, wailing and flying up and down his instrument and acting as as much of a driving percussion force as drummer Darryl Schomberg II, who himself appears to disappear as his arms fly around his kit. “Mr. and Mrs. Baker” are the personality of the band, as Stu Baker bellows from his guts and Liz dances, sings, plays and is inviting and sweet, even in a Panda bear mask. They bowled me over and I immediately purchased their $5 cassette tape (with digital download inside!)

The Couch were up next, and kept dropping references (both verbally and musically) to the White Stripes and Jack White. Mostly, they were just a totally solid rock group with amazing energy and raw power behind their songs. In the same pure-rock vein as fellow Austinites Not in the Face! they add some attitude to our music scene, and they adore their friends in Little Radar. You can’t ask for much more than that.

The musicianship on display at Little Radar’s release show speaks to the quality they aspire to. Plug in and stay tuned to Little Radar.



Shot Through the Heart – Reviewed!

We had another amazing time at Frank on Friday, with four of our favorite local bands. From start to finish, the sound was tight and we were rightly rocked despite the stormy weather.


Shot Through the Heart – Showcase at Frank

Well, we’ve done it again. We’ve teamed up with our friends CoolinAustin to bring you a showcase of our favorite local talent, in a flurry of awesomeness. This Friday at Frank, doors will open at 9:30PM and we’ll party all night to Austin’s finest. First up will be the pop-rock sounds of Little Radar, our friends from Free Week who blew us away. Dead Black Hearts live up to the showcase in name, but their songs are sweet enough to only upset you gently. Then the artists formerly known as the Soapbox Spellbinders shake their worldly bodies for a new name, Your Friendly Ghost — it’ll be their debut performance under their new identity, so get ready for fresh licks and ghoulish howls. Finally, Royal Forest wraps it up with their awesome new experimental tape loop performance. If you want to be a part of their recordings, you gotta rock out till the end.

It’s only $6 to enter, and the bands get all yer dough, so come support your favorites and make sure you say hi!

Free Week Wrap Up

Free Week has come and gone, and this year”s was really quite glorious. Between our own showcase, new and exciting talent, and an old favorite back from the dead, I”d call it a riveting success. In case you were unable to participate, or if you did and were overwhelmed by choices, we”ve got picks below of some of our favorites.


Free Week 2012 – Featuring our own Broken Resolutions!

I know, folks. It’s cold outside for Texas, and as pretty as the days have been, the nights have been brutal. You might still be nursing a New Year’s Eve hangover, or perhaps you’re like me and feeling a bit despondent or melancholy about the passing of a year. Looking for something to brighten your spirits, wake you up and make you feel alive again? Look no further than Free Week 2012, Austin’s showcase of fantastic talent for those of us who blew all our money at the end of last year! This week is exploding with awesome showcases, and it may be a bit difficult to navigate them. That is what I’m here for. Below, you’ll see our picks for the best of Free Week — kicking it all of with our own showcase, Broken Resolutions, co-hosted by our buddies at CoolinAustin and featuring our favorite Austin acts. I have to work tomorrow, too; suck it up and we’ll make it worth your while. Plus! We now have free cake balls from SugaPlump Pastries. No excuses!

Read on for more suggestions…


Broken Resolutions – a Free Week presentation

After your New Year’s Eve hangover has passed, Monday will be staring you in the face as you scrape yourself up off of your bed sheets and try to remember what resolution it was you made at midnight (was it to finally find a unicorn? something about starting a(nother) band? flying to the moon?) Mondays can be a drag, but I propose that Monday, January 2 will actually be so mind-blowing, so magnificent, so rad, that it will challenge the awesomeness of your New Year’s party itself. This is because, in conjunction with our friends at CoolinAustin, we are putting on an incredible Free Week showcase at Swan Dive on Monday, and — as is advertised in the name — it’s totally free!

We’re featuring amazing resolution-melting performances by the Soapbox Spellbinders, the White White Lights, Little Radar and Royal Forest. It’ll be the bands’ first performances in the new year, so they’ll be primed for awesome rocking. Plus all of our awesome friends will be there, and you just can’t say no to that. Doors are at 9PM — we’ll see you there.



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