White Denim on the tele

I just saw Austin band White Denim on UK Channel 4’s 4 music. Pretty cool.

Oh, it was this video:

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Fleet Foxes

Again, I apologize for neglecting the blog. I’ve been so busy lately, and I fear it will only get worse from here on out. I forgot to mention I actually made it into the sold-out Fleet Foxes show at the Mohawk. They were really terrific, in that dreamy, My-Morning-Jacket-y way. Plus they apparently really like Casa de Luz, which means they must be pretty ok. You can see my shots over at Austinist (big thanks to Paige for letting me shoot).

Fleet Foxes

Atash

I know exactly where I’ll be on Wednesday nights: Red Fez, listening to an amazing middle-eastern fusion band called Atash

Atash was born in the vibrant arts and music scene of Austin, Texas, where musicians called The Gypsies began creating an exquisite fusion of world sounds as early as 1996. Quickly hailed as “Austin’s best-kept secret!” (Austin Chronicle), The Gypsies earned numerous accolades for their theatre and film scores, most notably their “live” score to Tod Browning’s 1929 silent thriller, The Unknown, and their incidental music to the play The Conference of the Birds, by Peter Brooks.

My friend and I had just left his music set at Hickory Street, and we were thinking of calling it a night when we passed by the open door of Red Fez. The crowd inside and the smell of hookah enticed us to enter. I’m so glad we did! The band sounded very traditional at first, and they would smoothly transition mid-song to more western beats. All of the members were outstanding musicians, and seemingly each was from a different corner of the world: Indian sitar player, Korean and Mexican violinists, Anglo stand-up bassist and drummer, Guinean Djembe player, and Iranian singer. Atash (which means “fire” in Persian) plays most Wednesday nights at Red Fez. Here are a couple of sample tracks from their site (press the little play button to the right):

Destiny (Majnun’s Song)

Al-Munaajaat (Conversation with God)

Austin City Limits – 2008 ACL Fest Lineup

logo_fest.gifI glanced at the headliners at first, and I was mostly unimpressed:

Mostly kinda meh. I mean, Beck’s cool, and of course so is David Byrne – if you will even be able to hear some of his more delicate arrangements. I wouldn’t mind seeing Spiritualized again, if they could somehow magically reinvent themselves as they were a decade or more ago. Band of Horses is decent. Foo Fighters would be ok to see in a big outdoor setting. And don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind seeing a lot of those acts, but I’m not jumping up and down to see them either. Upon looking further down the list:

Some decent smaller acts, really, and finally some modern relevance (if you don’t count Vampire Weekend above – and I don’t). But I’m not sure how some translate to the festival scene. I mean, Stars was great at Stubbs outdoors, so that might work. Jose Gonzales fit perfectly on the intimate Parish stage, but outside, during the day getting drowned out by Hot Chip thumping a few hundred yards away? It’s going to be an interesting ACL, good in ways I’m sure, but one I probably won’t mind missing this year.

Journey is coming

Journey + Heart + Cheap Trick. I was pretty young when they were really big, but I can’t help but get a strong sense of nostalgia when I hear the music. Especially in the Faithfully video, there’s something about the combination of the clothes, the cars, and the music that take me back to my childhood. What is it about the look of old film that feels so much like a memory? Will the digital photos and videos of today evoke the same sense of nostalgia years from now? I digress…

Get your Journey tickets on the official Ticketmaster site.

Enjoy:

(Sorry about the lame ads.)

(That last one’s courtesy of Sarvesh.)

Journey Finds New Lead Singer on YouTube

Just a city boy; born and raised in south Manila. How crazy would it be to be covering Journey songs in Hard Rock Cafes, and then getting a call from the band to be their new lead singer:

Neal called Arnel, Arnel called bullshit followed by promptly losing his shit when Schon confirmed it all via email: Arnel had received a formal invitation to be the new lead singer of Journey.

And he’s actually really good: