Royal Forest & many, many more jam at Hole in the Wall this Saturday

This lineup is unreal. UNREAL I SAY! This Saturday for only $5, you can see 8 (count ’em! 8!) bands from Austin play incredible music. Our favorites Royal Forest are on the bill and slated to go on around midnight; The Sour Notes (including fellow KVRX veterans) and storied Austin group Belaire headline, and the Lovely Sparrows play an earlier set as well. This is a prime night to learn about new Austin bands and celebrate the established ones, so make it happen, folks. 9PM. Hole in the Wall. $5.

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.



Win a canvas of your photograph and decorate my home!

My lovely readers, some of you may know that I am about to move in with my amazing and also-music-writer boyfriend, Zack Teibloom from Festival Crashers. We are excited to share a space (and a bitchin’ vinyl collection) together, but we need some help with pulling together awesome stuff for our walls. Serendipitously for us, the fine people at Canvas Prints have offered to print out some concert photos so we can rockify our apartment.

This is where you come in. We are each hosting a separate contest for Austinites with concert photos, wherein we will pick winners and not only will your fabulous pics get put up in our place, but you, too, will take home a canvas of your winning photograph. The canvas the winner receives will be 14″x11″. Sound good? Read on for rules:

  1. You’ve gotta do some ‘liking’ of Canvas Prints, because we like them for letting us run this contest. PLUS, by ‘liking’ them on Facebook, every single one of you gets 50% off of your next order, and free shipping. So no matter what, everyone’s a winner.
  2. You’ve gotta submit a photo of one of these Texas bands, because – let’s be honest, we want our favorites displayed. (This is where the photo contests differ. Check out Festival Crashers for more winning.) Here are your choices:
  • The Bright Light Social Hour
  • The Black & White Years
  • Little Lo
  • Royal Forest
  • Brazos (Old skool!/Extinct :(  )
  • Sarah Jaffe
  • The Boxing Lesson
  • Spoon

The contest runs from now until July 15, the day before The Great Migration, and we’ll announce the winners post-move that Monday. Please email your entries to: caitlin AT austinwritesmusic DOT com. You can submit up to 10 photos, and make sure you link directly to your submission (not just your general photo site for us to peruse).

Also, for more chances to win free shwag, be sure to follow Canvas Prints on Twitter.

SXSW Preview No. 3 – Who to See

Here it is – the last preview before the South by Southwest Music Conference descends and we all lose our minds. I scoured the band list to try and find the best groups I could to recommend. Below, you’ll get a quick-hit description of the band from me, a link to a song that exemplifies their sound, and the time and venue the band is performing at. I break it all down day-by-day; if you really love a band, check the schedule to get all of their performance dates (a lot of ’em are playing 3+ shows). Read on, and then get out there and rock!

Tuesday, March 15

Admiral Fallow – upbeat orchestral pop from Glasgow; like if Freelance Whales had Frightened Rabbit’s accents. The Bat Bar, 9pm

Admiral Fallow – Squealing Pigs

Dry the River – Bon Iver-ish vox over sweet, smooth tunes. Like a brighter Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s. The Bat Bar, 10pm

Dry the River – Bible Belt

Fences – Beckish vox, gentle singer-songwriter stuff with a little folksy overtone. (His appearance = TOTALLY deceiving). The Bat Bar, 11pm

Fences – Girls With Accents

Mr. Heavenly – Man Man meets the Ronettes. The Bat Bar, midnight

Mister Heavenly – Pineapple Girl

Surfer Blood – Move the Drums south to Florida to beach up their sound; there you go. Emo’s Main Room at 1am

Surfer Blood – Swim

Wednesday, March 16

Brett Dennen – Paul Simon-y. Pretty voice, pretty songs. Moody Theater @ 7:30pm

Brett Dennen – Heaven

Erland & the Carnival – something familiar about this; like Travis-esque vox with throwback pop rock music. 8pm at Club de Ville.

Erland & the Carnival – Trouble in Mind

The Black Atlantic – saw ’em at CMJ, absolutely gorgeous music. Teitur with more folk leanings than pop. 10pm at Esther’s Follies

The Black Atlantic – Fragile Meadow

1,2,3 – gritty pop-rock with a snarl. 10pm at the Parish.

1,2,3 – Confetti

Sea of Bees – 11:30pm @ Central Presbyterian Church; somewhere between Stevie Nicks and Martha Wainwright. Gorgeous voice, she’ll shine in this venue.

Sea Of Bees – Wizbot

Flogging Molly – the perfect band to get you ready for St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday. 11:45pm @ Moody

Flogging Molly – If I Ever Leave This World Alive

Sharon Van Etten – heartbreaking singer/songwriter with vocal power that overwhelms you. Midnight at Swan Dive.

Sharon Van Etten – A Crime

The Spinto Band – these are my boys. Super fun and smart pop music. Midnight on the Barbarella Patio.

The Spinto Band – Japan is an Island

Young the Giant – This band has a song in heavy rotation on 101x right now, and it hooked me. I’m weary that they might be another ‘The Hours’ for me (where “Ali in the Jungle” is amazing but everything else falls flat), but seriously – watch that video and tell me you’re not curious. Midnight at Buffalo Billiards.

Young the Giant – My Body

The Dodos – I’ve been a fan of these guys for a while. If you’re into heavy rhythms and incredible guitar playing, check ’em out. The Parish @ 1am.

The Dodos – God?

Thursday, March 17

Sondre Lerche – gorgeous intricate delicate pop music. I’ve loved this Norwegian since I was 16 (I’ll be 24 on March 16). Not to be missed. Maggies Mae’s @ 9pm

Sondre Lerche – To Be Surprised

Phantogram – electronic rock, super catchy, bop-able. Playing Lustre Pearl at 11pm

Phantogram – When I’m Small

The Kills – Allison. Effing. Mosshart. ‘Nuff said. Emo’s at 11pm.

The Kills – Sour Cherry

Emmylou Harris – Classic country darling. Plus…will Conor make a guest appearance? She’s play his set at Auditorium Shores for sure. Antone’s at 11:15pm

Emmylou Harris – Making Believe

Miniature Tigers – saw these dudes open for the Freelance Whales, and fell in love. Incredible onstage charisma, great pop tunes – winners. Lamberts at 11:45pm

Miniature Tigers – Cannibal Queen

Maps & Atlases – really great vox, deep and luscious, plus uptempo rock to back ‘em; reminded me a little of TV on the Radio, but I like this better (keep in mind I’m not a fan of TVotR). Midnight at Red Eyed Fly

Maps & Atlases – Solid Ground

Dom – saw ‘em at CMJ, they totally won us over. Fun, dancey, energetic, depth – definitely a must-see. 1am at Club de Ville

DOM – I Wonder

Friday, March 18

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears – local funky rock; the baby-makin’ kind. Moody Theater @ 8:05pm

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears – Sugarfoot

JBM – A blog favorite. The kind of gorgeous folk music that will make you ache in your guts. Central Presbyterian Church @ 8:15pm

JBM – Years/Cleo’s Song

Alex Highton – sweet singer-songwriter from the UK. 9pm at 18th floor at Hilton Garden Inn

Alex Highton – You’ve Got the Trees

Sarah Jaffe – You know where we’ll be at 9pm on Friday. Jaffe is stunning, stunning, stunning. If you haven’t caught her yet – you must. She’s at Momo’s.

Sarah Jaffe – Stay With Me

The Bright Light Social Hour – Austin’s men of rawk. Put your fist in the air and let loose. Momo’s at 10pm.

The Bright Light Social Hour – Bare Hands Bare Feet

Thao with the Get Down Stay Down – Thao is a beast. She’s emotive and fabulous and crafts kickass pop rock tunes. See for yourself – 11pm at Antone’s.

Thao with the Get Down Stay Down – Body

Wye Oak – gorgeous folksy music with stunning lead vox. Great for woods-walking. 11:45pm at the Parish

Wye Oak – Civilian

Little Dragon – gorgeous R&B vox and moody/peppy electronic music from Sweeeeden!!! SVERIGE!! Lustre Perle at midnight.

Little Dragon – Feathers

Saturday, March 19

Man Man – Wild and crazy collaborative party good times. 4:30pm at Auditorium Shores

Man Man – Van Helsing Boombox

Middle Brother – Collab between Dawes, Deer Tick and Delta Spirit members. Old school country-fried rock. 5:25pm at Auditorium Shores

Middle Brother – Me Me Me

Bright Eyes – I don’t even know what to say about this. This will be my first ever time catching Conor with Bright Eyes. He’s my musical soul mate. Dig it. 7:30pm at Auditorium Shores.

Bright Eyes – Road to Joy

Pujol – Jack White’s babies. Raucous and fun. Mohawk Patio at 9pm

Pujol – Black Rabbit

Toy Selectah – mashin’ up the hits for you to get your dance on. 9:30pm at Prague

Toy Selectah – Cousins Remix

The Rural Alberta Advantage – kinda whiny vox (think Neutral Milk Hotel) but if you can get into it, the music is great. Great energy. 10:30pm at Central Presbyterian Church

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Stamp

Ezra Furman & the Harpoons – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! vocals set to folksy pop rock. 11pm at Speakeasy

Ezra Furman & the Harpoons- Take Off Your Sunglasses

Royal Bangs – forceful and fun electronic rock. 11pm @ the ND

Royal Bangs – War Bells

Royal Forest – Austin heroes; will sometimes cover Neil Young and the Talking Heads. (Full disclosure – I help manage these guys and they’re the bomb. See them.) 11pm @ the Marq

Royal Forest – Civilwarland

Deer Tick – Gritty country folk rock. 1am @ Lustre Perle

Deer Tick – Ashamed

Yoko Ono – Yoko! I mean. It’s Yoko. 1am @ Elysium

Yoko Ono – Walking on Thin Ice

BONUS: The Black & White Years are quickly becoming my favorite Austin band. They don’t have any official showcases, but they’re playing gigs every day until SXSW ends. Check out their show list here.

The Black and White Years – Two Reservoirs

Free Week 2011 Report – Friday and Saturday

My Free Week Friday was spent at Cheer Up Charlie’s, a cute tucked-away eatery with a backyard-turned-venue that is very homey. There was a fire pit raging (and I do mean raging — smoke shot up like we were trying to send an S.O.S.) I found a counter in the back to lean on and cleared my head (for some reason, there were a pair of horses hanging out at Shangri-la, and for some other reason, I hopped up on one before the show. I really don’t know.)


Austin Free Week 2011

After a long, long holiday, Austin Writes Music is back with our recommendations for Austin’s Free Week 2011! There’s a lot of incredible local talent on display, and it’s all free, so you’ve got no excuse when it comes to trying out groups that could end up becoming your new favorite band. Here’s our guide to where we’ll be this week. For a complete list of shows, click here.

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