I spent most of the day on Saturday at the Asthmatic Kitty Records Party at the Okay Mountain gallery in East Austin.
(AK Records Party Flyer)
I got there early and had some time to kill before the bands stared. I ran into Michael (aka Slo-Ro and current member of Future Rapper and A&R guy for Asthmatic Kitty) who I haven't seen for years! It was really great catching up. I think the last time we saw each other was right around the time I did the remix for Soul Junk's 1937 (Michael used to be in Soul Junk). It was great to see him, and catch up on things. Also, I finally met Ray Raposa (Castanets) face to face. I did a remix for "Three Months Paid" months ago (a quick plug here, the mix is going to be released on vinyl this summer, and will be featured in a AK mixtape that I'm putting together as well) and it was nice to get to know such a talented musician.
(Ray of Castanets)
The performances of the day went like this...
2:00PM - Grampall Jookabox (Joyful Noise Recordings)
This guy played some of most interesting, twist-off, jump up, sample hybrid hot mess rock that I've seen in a long time. Check out his online world, and specifically the track "The Girl Ain't Preggers" is just awesome.
2:45PM - Smoke Detector
These guys are a part of the Okay Mountain crew. The duo does a hybrid of electronic (think analog keyboards not laptops) and acoustic guitar. They were really poppy, and did one of the most interesting covers of Prince's "Darling Nicky" that I've ever heard.
3:15PM - Son Lux (Anticon Records)
This was one of my stand-out performances for the day. Son Lux (aka Ryan Lott) is a new Anticon signee, and his record "At War With Walls & Mazes" is honestly my favorite record of the year so far. His live performance was augmented by an amazing drummer (also named Ryan), who managed to keep on track with the chaotic, wobbly syncopation of the songs that all seem to resolve somehow. Their live show was great, but for my money, you have to listen to the record. Cinematic in scope and detailed in the granularity of production, the record sounds as fresh technically as it does timeless. The since of urgency in the vocals, the use of space in the composition and the ability to make your head nod at the same time is nothing short of amazing.
After the Son Lux show, the combination of heat and lack of sleep caught up to me, and I had to head back to the hotel for a disco nap before the evening. The gigs were great, and the day was well spent. I hope to get back to Austin soon to see what the Okay Mountain people are up to.
One more thing, I wanted to shout out to Shaun, Anticon label manager and Joshua of Mad Management. These dudes were out in that sun all day hanging out and meeting folks. Shaun also does a radio show / podcast of San Francisco's West Add Radio called Soda Pop, so go and click away.
Until next year. Pictures from the AK show are coming soon.