2014 was the year I finally managed to record a video for Couch by Couchwest, a kind of stay-at-home music festival. Musicians record songs on couches or in other non-stage settings for people who don’t want to (or can’t afford to) go to South by Southwest. Kyla helped me out on this song – or at least part of it, until signing out with her dog collar tambourine solo. (Her musical talents can also be heard on the Live From Las Vegas version of “The Sun is Out (Boom Cat)” by The Yellow Dress.)
Tour » Archive
February 1 (sometimes referred to as Groundhog Day Eve) I played a brunch show with my show buddy Run-On Sunshine from Phoenix, AZ and Tom Grrrl, a high energy and hospitable two-piece punk/rock band from Austin.
It was so fun to see Run-On Sunshine again so soon after playing together at PHX FMLY FEST (we played different stages there, but it still counts).
Danny and Rachel of Tom Grrrl hosted the afternoon house show and prepared a delicious vegan brunch of chorizo lentil tamales, queso, guacamole, potatoes, coffee and other good stuff.
- no alarms (guitar and harmonica) – as Carrie told me, not setting alarms sometimes causes brunch
- all these things (banjo)
- a brand new love song (banjo)
- anywhere you want (guitar and harmonica)
- like a pirate’s hat (guitar and harmonica)
- the road between (mandolin)
Sunday’s show at The Owl was a fantastic night of experimental and unique folk sounds. The Owl, a venue and art gallery in East Austin, is comfortable and welcoming with a homey DIY vibe.
Cole Bee Wilson performed as H. Thunderbolt using two guitars, a glockenspiel played with two bows, a kalimba/thumb piano, effects pedals and a loop station. (I might have left something out.) His set was based on historical events leading up to the Battle of Cannae and his songs, as well as the background he offered, were engaging, entertaining, and educating.
Human Behavior‘s lineup was different than their last Austin show and featured clarinet and violin in addition to 12-string guitar, banjo, TVs, chains, rattling bones and haunting vocal arrangements. I considered requesting “Crag” and/or “Always Cold,” but it seemed like they had a plan and I didn’t want to interfere. Seeing them live is such a surreal experience; powerful and mesmerizing.
The duo Cross Record closed out the night with enchanting vocals, electric guitars, a big bass drum (and a smaller one) and additional percussion. Emily and Dan relocated from Chicago last fall, but they already seem to be at home in Texas, playing Merle Haggard and Townes Van Zandt covers.
The crowd was nice, attentive and responsive; it was reassuring to see that The Owl attracts such dedicated listeners. I opened the show with a short set, mostly on guitar, and closed with a new song:
- hey, hey (guitar and harmonica)
- the road through the headlights (guitar)
- upright to the wind (guitar and harmonica)
- the only light (banjo)
- dust (guitar)
- details (guitar and harmonica)
Dark folk band Human Behavior is coming back to Austin, TX on Sunday, January 12 and I’ll be opening for them along with locals Cross Record and Cole Bee Wilson.
As you may know, I’m already crazy about Human Behavior. Their latest project is posting one song and video a day from Chile, starting on Christmas and ending January 6 (today).
I’ve been listening to Cross Record and I’m loving her experimental lo-fi folk sound, especially this album:
I’m just now starting to listen to Cole Bee Wilson’s avante garde folk music; here’s his latest tune on bandcamp:
I’m excited to see all of these bands, to play at a place called The Owl, and to perform with another “bee” musician. I wrote a new song around 2am last night/this morning. Maybe I’ll play it at the show. The world is full of possibilities.