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Music blog Bucket Full of Nails included the like they do in movies song “ufos” on February 27’s playlist, along with Colleen Green, Houndmouth, Pete Greenwood, Pretend Sweethearts, Riverboat Gamblers, The Deep Dark Woods, The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries, The Whereabouts, and Town Mountain. Have a listen! The blog has a long list of well-curated weekly playlists, so check it out and discover some new music. You always need new music, right?

Fun fact: I first heard about The Deep Dark Woods (whose “Westside Street” is featured on the playlist) from a very nice stranger at a killer Dawes show in Las Vegas, NV back in 2011. Nice to have our paths cross in the digital world.

Maria Taylor played at The Mohawk on January 22; Carrie and I had been watching her tour dates and songkick, but somehow we missed it until the afternoon of the show. I hadn’t seen her live, even though I’ve been listening to her since hearing Azure Ray’s November; I remember buying the EP at The Dirt record store in Las Cruces, NM, where I bought most of my music back then.

Indie folk singer PJ Bond opened the show, with electric guitar accompanist Marko Casso playing one fantastic song solo during PJ’s set. PJ played a great heartfelt set, and I would’ve loved to see more from Marko.

Maria played the first two songs on drums, moved to guitar, then electric piano, then back to guitar, then from guitar to drums during the closing song. It’s fun seeing other multi-instrumentalists play and trying to guess what they’ll do next. She was engaging and interactive, and seemed to be having fun on stage and with life in general.

She played two of my favorites, “Song Beneath the Song” and “Two of Those Too,” the latter as part of a two song encore for those of us who stuck around. Taking requests even though she wasn’t sure she remembered them, she said, “I write songs, I record them, then I don’t play them for a year.” I was happy to hear that, because I typically work that way, too, and I’m always nervous someone is going to request an obscure song that I can’t come close to playing.

Shortly after the show, and while Carrie and I were still debating whether we should stick around for a chance to meet Maria, she came out of the green room and chatted with us. We bonded about our writing/recording/forgetting process. It was great seeing that such a talented songwriter and musician was also so down to earth.

Maria Taylor at The Mohawk Austin

Maria Taylor at The Mohawk Austin

Carrie took this one. I’m not that good.

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:

  1. hey, hey (guitar and harmonica)
  2. the road through the headlights (guitar)
  3. upright to the wind (guitar and harmonica)
  4. the only light (banjo)
  5. dust (guitar)
  6. details (guitar and harmonica)
Battle of Cannae

Public domain image courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.

rushmore beekeepers at Aside of Heart for PHX FMLY FEST 2013

Friday night I played at PHX FMLY FEST 2013, Phoenix’s second year and my first time performing at the music festival. Aside of Heart has a really neat outdoor stage and old theater seats for the audience. It was a little chilly out, but my instruments mostly stayed in tune and I had a lot of fun playing. The Aside of Heart and Lawn Gnome Books stages were back to back with staggered sets; I shared the 8pm-9pm hour with iji and played this set:

  1. breathe easy (mandolin)
  2. trace the constellations (guitar and harmonica)
  3. ufos (guitar and harmonica)
  4. all these things (mandolin)
  5. the eclipsed moon (ukulele)
  6. just passing by (guitar)
  7. some sense of purpose (guitar)

PHX FMLY FEST was also a great chance to catch live performances by some of my favorite Arizona bands: Run-On Sunshine (we’ll be playing together in Austin on February 1!), Hug of War, Diners, and Dogbreth. I saw parts of sets by Dylan Pratt (who also performed at Aside of Heart), Emby Alexander, and a number of other incredibly talented bands.

As a bonus, Hug of War, Dogbreth and iji (along with Straight Straws and Vacation Dad) played The Trunk Space the next night for Dogbreth’s Sentimental Health tour kickoff.

Run-On Sunshine at PHX FMLY FEST 2013

Run-On Sunshine at Bodega

Dogbreth at PHX FMLY FEST 2013

Dogbreth at Lawn Gnome Books

Diners at PHX FMLY FEST 2013

Diners at Lawn Gnome Books

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