I started this project during the pandemic to help local businesses to keep their doors open and raise awareness in the community. Austin is a forever-changing landscape and has lots of culture to provide. But due to political, economic, and socio-economic changes throughout the area, things tend to disappear or have to move elsewhere. This was a very real occurrence in 2020 and even has repercussions going on still in this recovery period.
I wanted to take a moment to stop and appreciate the things in this city that make it special. People that build businesses and spaces for us to go and enjoy. I wanted to promote shopping local and getting to know the people around you even in better times. This is just part one and hopefully will have more to celebrate in the future.
Sidenote, a lot of businesses did get attention and increases in business for this in 2020. Thank you to everyone that drew attention to these places and helped keep some lights on during a very dark time.
New Year, new blog! What has brought new life into me? The one and only the Distillers reunion tour. Everyone thought it would NEVER happen but all my punk girl dreams are coming true in 2018. The reactions have been nothing but positive since the teaser video was released on their social media on January 3. See the teaser below:
There are two main reasons this reunion has me excited more than most. I have lived to see the Refused and Misfits reunite after saying they said they never would. The reason I am fangirling out more than usual would be because this is a female fronted band making big waves in the scene. Growing up my heroes were Joan Jett and Debra Harry. But these are not women of my own generation. Brody Dalle would the closest musician that mirrored how I looked and felt. She didn’t sing about sugary things, didn’t wear pink shit, and she could play an amazing guitar. The raspy screams and hit songs are what makes this band shine and beloved even today. Throughout the years this band was filled with controversy and their eventual fallout but I feel no other band filled their void since. I am looking forward to a future album and this tour.
Reason number two I am psyched is because The Distillers apparently love Texas, my home state. We are lucky enough to get 3 city tours for this reunion. Certain punk acts have a hard time getting to Texas because of the location and funding but they are coming straight for us this spring. Photos popped up after the reunion announcement and one of the first dates was El Paso. I was even more thrilled to get tickets to the Austin date. Dallas will be blessed on May 2 at the Curtain Club. See you at the show!
The Distillers, Spring 2018 Tour:
April 25 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
April 27 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
April 28 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
April 29 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrown Palace
May 1 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
May 2 – Dallas, TX @ The Curtain Club
*Favorite reunions so far would be in order: The Misfits, The Descendants, The Refused, and The Impossibles. I think this will be #4 in the top five of all time.*
I have been fortunate enough to catch Refused three times in my life and this is a short list of the following experiences:
1.) The first time I saw Refused live, the first statement out of my mouth was ” I want to feel this good all the time!!” And yes I was sober.
2.) The second time I stated that “When I die and my life flashes before my eyes, the two times I saw Refused will be included.”
3.) Third time, I got to do a meet and greet.
Besides the details of my obsession, this tour’s lineup is pretty great. The local band they chose for this date was Residual Kid, which is an Austin favorite. I saw that their singer graduated from high school the previous week and then got to play a show at the Mohawk. Yeah, we are all a bit jealous. I like their style a lot but since they are so young I feel their style will keeping developing into something more complex. They are a great opener though for a tour like this though.
I also dug Plague Vendor. I liked their odd style the most; fashion and musically. Their members had styles varying from dad wear to goth but I like to keep guessing where this is going. Plus their music and style don’t feel forced, it’s who they are. They are here for the music. I think they are excellent musicians and I really enjoyed their live show. I can say it is not for everyone. I like that kind of dark and trashy (I use trashy as a positive here) style of music. Who am I to judge when I love Sisters of Mercy? They are also on Epitaph Records, and someone important definitely sees the appeal and I think you might too.
I was pretty excited to see The Coathangers since I had seen their name around the blogosphere. I really also love female supported bands since there are so few. But I didn’t really get that into them as much as I wanted. I love their vocals and they are talented musicians. I just think it is just difficult to judge when there are a lot of bands in their particular genre that does a similar style. It makes it difficult not to compare them with other bands too harshly. But I lot of people came to see them play and enjoyed their set. Also, they are opening for Refused, so that does say something about their band. The verdict is still out, so check them out for yourself and be the final vote.
Refused was and still is amazing. I was excited for the show since I was starting to see pictures from their Houston date at Free Press. They opened with “Elektra” and everyone lost it. Finally being able to see a festival headliner at a club show ultimately created a unique experience. They played all their newer songs sprinkled within their hits, which I enjoyed since I wanted to hear as much from their catalog as possible. I also really liked that Dennis Lyxzen has some poignant things to say about the ideas of freedom. They offered up Sweden to their fans and whatever they can do to keep that ideal.
What truly struck me as beautiful was during the week the verdict of the Brock Turner case come out, Lyxzen stated that guys need to get their act together to keep the female population safe against sexual assault. It was a tough week all around and it was refreshing to hear that kind of advocacy. I also told him this at the meet and great. And their band is amazing too.
I usually hate meeting people I really admire. That is because I want to continue to like them. I truly can say that Refused were SUPER nice guys. I was surprised due to my pessimism of people being awful. But they made that experience wonderful and I can’t wait to see what they have in store next.
Millencolin has finally done a legit U.S. tour after all these years. As a fan that has been waiting for a tour on this side of the Atlantic, this one was not to be missed. I saw them on a random date last year in Dallas but that left me wanting more from Millencolin. It was awesome that they came back to Texas and gave Austin a shot this time.
For myself, seeing a band like Millencolin was a right of passage. There are certain bands we listened to in our punk journey that we dream about seeing live. Basically, any band that was on a Fat Wreck compilation or Punk-O-Rama is on that list. Throughout May and June, they are joined by Success and MXPX, which are great additions to this tour. They are also doing tour stops during the Punk Rock Bowling Festival (Las Vegas and Denver dates).
Let’s begin with their opening band Success on this particular tour date. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure what I was about to hear. I just knew they are a band from Seattle. I have read a bunch about them over the past two years since they have been on several festival lineups and have been touring frequently. I was really surprised by their sound because I was built up to believe they were more pop punk than they actually were. When I think of pop punk as a genre, it sometimes can lean on the sugary sweet side. You can tell who their influences are in the punk genre but what was truly fascinating was the overall musical influences they have. They are music nerds and not afraid to show it. They fused their set by playing their songs that would somehow end up playing “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas. These poor guys played their hearts out in the hot Texas humidity and didn’t fail to impress.
Millencolin’s set was everything I expect from them. They played a few songs from their latest release True Brew, thus why the tour is named as such. What I really enjoyed about their set is that I didn’t feel like I saw the same set twice. It consisted of their hits such as “Penguins and Polar Bears”, “Twenty Two”, and “Mr.Clean”. Also my personal favorite “Black Eye”. I know I have seen these songs at the show last year but it honestly felt refreshing rather than repetitive. Especially since this band only does so many releases over the years, it is crucial to stay fresh and innovative for your fans. I definitely feel they keep this idea in mind on their tours and their music. I hope their absence from Texas won’t be the many years it has been and we will get more great music from this band in the future.
As a music junkie, I listen to music day in and day out. I have been to countless tours and have probably spent almost million dollars on this music fanaticism. I regret nothing.
Since I have worked in the industry and have listened to so many hours of music, I rarely get overly excited about a band. One weekend of my life, my asshole friends got married on the same weekend as Fun Fun Fun Fest. I was sad that I wasn’t at the fest but then there is real life. I bought a ticket for the last day of the fest and I thought at the very least I can see one solid day of music.
I want to thank the sound guy at Neutral Milk Hotel for being awful. If he wasn’t so bad and the band wasn’t so depressing, I would have never discovered one of my all-time favorite bands: Murder City Devils. I had never heard a single song by them but I thought anything would be better than the horribly mixed sound (I am an audio engineer). I watched the rest of Murder City Devils set and I couldn’t remove my eyes or ears. It felt like a piece of my life that had not be fulfilled was suddenly over full. I felt the electricity that gives you goosebumps and makes you feel suddenly alive. I didn’t even know what I had been missing all this time.
I devoured all the albums I could after that weekend. They are so dark, beautiful, and had this raw emotion that is very hard to describe. They have been a band 1996 and are on SubPop. They did break up for a moment back in 2001 but go back together in 2006 to play a few festivals. Their last album was in 2014, which was titled “The White Ghost Has Blood on its Hands Again”.
I have seen them as much as I could in recent years. I saw them play in a lightning storm at Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas. I recently saw them in a club venue, the Mohawk in Austin. Texas was blessed to have their tour dates this year, which included San Antonio and Dallas. I didn’t really know what to expect since every show I have seen them in had been a unique experience. Their set list was mixed with old and new songs, which is to be expected. But what really sold me on this show was watching the audience. Their fans are devoted and they get it. They get the darkness and the tongue & cheek of it all. Part of the set Spencer had the mic literally in his mouth because no one should ever take themselves that seriously. I think the best quote about Murder City Devils would be the one from that FFF fest handout that said “Murder City Devils are like the drunk uncle you invite over for Thanksgiving. He ends up getting drunk and crashing into a china cabinet.” Maybe it’s a simplified meaning, but they have the allegory just right.