Show Review: Lemuria/Cayetana/Mikey Erg

This show lineup is where music fans that love punk and indie rock live and coincide. From the Against Me! and The Menzingers t-shirts to the fashion clad hipsters; there is something for everyone. This was my first show of the year and I have to say it was a good pick. Nothing to crazy or heavy but a true quintessential classic.

All of my friends were excited to see Mikey Erg. Personally, I missed this part of the punk history. Like most of the great pop punk we have heard out the New Jersey area, Mikey Erg is definitely is keeping those great songs alive. He does a solo set that is similar to an acoustic solo set. But he is not exactly an “acoustic” guy (sorry Chuck Ragan) so he plays with a guitar and an amp. This is unorthodox but the songs are well written and catchy, exactly what you can expect from 1/3 of The Ergs! His band had a short-lived reunion but I think that might be it for now. His solo stuff is worth checking out if you are getting over a breakup, driving through the east coast, or riding your bicycle in Converse on a Wednesday.

What really sold me on this show was the band Cayetana. I have been annoying my partner by playing this band over and over in the apartment for the past year. I highly believe that “Hot Dad Calendar” is a perfectly written pop song. The lyrics are catchy, the guitar and bass are in synch, and vocals are silly and intense all at the same time. I was glad I was able to see this band live and it definitely made me more of a fan. They have a new album coming out this year which I can’t wait to check out, especially if it is as great as Nervous Like Me. Check out more below:

Speaking of classic albums, Lemuria has mastered this art. Get Better is having its 10th anniversary and it is an album I like to revisit time to time. The best things about Lemuria is there layered vocals and harmonies, riffy guitars, and their self-doubt lyrics with splashes of optimism. Living in a place between pop music and with a dash of punk is a

hard stunt to pull off as a band but Lemuria really makes it work. They probably over think everything as a band but that is something that always pays off for them. From their song structure to the merch they sell, every piece is given care and thought. I think more bands need to over care and get to be this professional. This is why a lot of their fan base (and indie labels) care about what this band does next. I was really glad to see all these artists finally in my hometown and in one of my favorite local venues. 2017 is going to be a great year in music if artists like these keep making pop music in these dark times.

 

The Austin Punk Scene Renaissance

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Austin Chronicle Week of February 4-10 2016

 

Austin is stereotypically known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”. You see it plastered all over 6th street and in ads on television. I wish it were more true. When you think about Austin’s love affair with music, it is a beautiful and poetic one. We have the days of the Amardillo World Headquarters, the golden days of blues at Antone’s, and the Austin City Limits show. The brief punk wave happened here in Austin around 1978 with such bands as The Violators, The Dicks, The Skunks, and Big Boys. Austin became an important touring stop for punk/new wave bands during this era.

Travel forward to today. It is very hard to get bands from the East and West coasts to tour in Texas due to costs. This isn’t that stop anymore. Sometimes when I see a movie at the Ritz Alamo Drafthouse, I look at the pictures of Black Flag on the wall. I think, “why can’t we have that again?” They say that desperation is the mother of invention. I believe this is why in the past few years the punk scene in Austin has truly grown. It might be due to punks that moved here from other places in our current population surge. Or maybe there might be another punk wave to about to happen.

The truth is the Austin punk community has had it rough in this town lately. Living in an Indie/EDM scene, we are still the outcasts. Which is fine, we are used to it. But what is making life difficult is the city shutting down our fine establishments for condos and big business money. Since punk is about DIY and resilience, we have decided to join forces in certain ways. There are many advocates out there that booking shows, bars letting us have a weekly spot, and friends supporting each other’s bands. Recently this state of affairs was covered in the Austin Chronicle. Thanks to the help of Tim Segall, writer and member of the band The Hormones, wrote a piece on our scene. See article below:

Austin Chronicle

I just wanted to add more bands to the list to watch. There are a ton of hard working punks in this town. Unfortunately, print media has a maximum paper size and word count. But here are some more awesome local bands to check out: