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to 7:00 PM
28 schedule::attendeesLocation Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
Artists Suzanna Choffel
event::about "...Suzanna's learned from some of the greats about phrasing, playing around with delivery and beat, singing the emotions and the words rather than merely the melody. She slots nicely alongside Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux and Fiona Apple." Steve Hochman, Los Angeles Times. Suzanna Choffel is from Austin – born and raised. But shake the stereotype of Texas singer/songwriter like a snow globe; with influences that range from Erykah Badu and Paul Simon to Bebel Gilberto and Marie Daulne, Suzanna is as unique as the maelstrom of snow inside the glass ball. “I’m influenced by a lot of different things. I listened to World music in college, Reggae and Brazilian music and African music . . . I love jazz, I love hip-hop, I love pop. I love a really sweet story or emotional kind of experience and that’s what I strive for in my songwriting...visual lyrics and a strong melody, where the music is able to move people.” Suzanna’s music is difficult to categorize. Rock music critic Jim DeRogatis, sums it well: “equal parts beat poetry, smoky soul grooves and indie-pop eccentricity.” Whatever the descriptors may be, she has a distinctive sound for an artist from Texas, but it is still Texan. “Texas music is soulful and rootsy. Whether it’s rock, pop, blues, folk or country, it always has a raw feel to it and tends to have a sway and a swagger. I believe that comes from the heat. A lot of southern music shares that element, but Texas is unique in that it has a bit of the west, too, and the influences of our neighbors south of the border.” Suzanna captured the big musical heart of Austin with her independently released debut album, Shudder & Rings. Margaret Moser, the grand dame of the Austin music scene and music editor of The Austin Chronicle, dubbed her Austin’s "Next Fun Fearless Female Rock Star.” Driven by the single, “Hey Mister,” and a YouTube hit for the video of “Raincloud,” Suzanna wrapped-up three-years of promoting and touring for the album by winning the Austin Music Award for “Indie Artist of the Year” in 2009. Along the way she also won top honors in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, International Songwriting Competition, and the FameCast competition. On her upcoming album, Steady Eye Shaky Bow, Suzanna weaves a rich tapestry of colorful emotions and delivers, lyrically and musically, on the new voice in town promise of her debut. The album’s title is taken from, “Archer,” a lamenting song of disaffection wherein she sketches her lover with a “steady eye but a shaky bow,” and then calls him out, “you shot too low.” “Animal” continues on the theme of vexed love, “First you win my heart, then you tear it apart! You're a liar, that's what kind of animal you are.” "They've been in some of the best bands in Austin over the last 15, 20 years. So when I first got with this band, I was super-nervous until it became apparent they liked playing with me. My name's on the marquee – 'Suzanna Choffel' – but the music includes everyone. We're a band.” While putting the finishing touches on her new album a nice surprise fell into Suzanna’s lap in the form of an unwitting on-screen appearance in the documentary film, Catfish. Suzanna is heard and seen in the film via a YouTube clip of her sultry performance of the Jimmy Driftwood classic, “Tennessee Stud.” How the video made it into the film is as intriguing as the plot line itself but suffice to say that she got hooked into the movie on the web in a twist-filled true story of the filmmaker’s personal tale of a virtual relationship. Steady Eye Shaky Bow is due out in February 2011. It was produced in Austin by Danny Reisch, whose recent work includes White Denim and Bright Light Social Hour.
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Bowling For Soup
43 schedule::attendeesLocation Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
Artists Bowling For Soup
event::about Talking with Bowling for Soup singer Jaret Reddick, you may not immediately get the sense that this affable, down-to-earth Texan fronts a Grammy- and Emmy-nominated pop/punk band with over a million album sales to their credit. “If you compare our first album to our 10th one, you could be like, ‘Let’s see... Well, their voices finally changed, and they got a lot better musically, but they still sound like the same guys to me,” Reddick says, the grin audible in his North Texas drawl. “Man, I would hope we’re still the same guys! Can you imagine what a bummer it’d be if we weren’t?” Frankly, we can’t—and on their 10th studio album, Sorry for Partyin’, Bowling for Soup prove that no matter what lame new trends may lurk outside their studio walls, they’ve got the hits, fits, shits and giggles to keep coming out ahead. From side-splittingly funny double entendres (the I-can’t-believe-they-got-away-with-that lead single “My Wena”) to call-and-response jams you’ll undoubtedly be hearing in high schools worldwide (“No Hablo Inglés”), Sorry for Partyin’ features some of the funniest, most infectious songs of BFS’ 15-year career. Of course, the album also packs some of the strongest, most confident songwriting in BFS’ catalog, proving once again that these guys are masters of their craft. “We’ve created our niche, and our niche is us,” says Reddick, who formed Bowling for Soup in 1994 and today rounds out the Denton, Texas-based quartet with guitarist Chris Burney, bassist Erik Chandler and drummer Gary Wiseman. “We know there are lots of people out there who think guys in their 30s shouldn’t be writing about stuff like their ‘Wena’ and farts and beers and chicks.” (Incidentally, you’ll find all of the above on Sorry for Partyin’.) “But I say why not? What should guys in their 30s be writing about? The economy? War? Organic food versus non-organic? We like funny movies, and we like to drink beer and talk smack about each other’s moms. There’s nothing contrived about it—this is who we are.” For anyone else who thinks humor doesn’t belong in music, let’s also remember that this is who BFS are: A worldwide phenomenon with a string of hit singles (including 2006’s “High School Never Ends” and the 2004 MTV and radio smash “1985”) to their credit. A fan-favorite live act whose chemistry is so innate they’ve never had to prepare a set list. And a TV- and movie-soundtrack juggernaut whose Emmy-nominated contribution to Disney’s Phineas and Ferb is literally the most widely heard cartoon theme song on the planet. Quite a step up from the salad days when they were handing out demos in Warped Tour parking lots—even if the motives behind the music have stayed pure since then. “There was nobody in Texas that sounded like us in 1994,” Reddick remembers. “Obviously you had the Orange County, CA, explosion that we felt a part of, because we were all ripping off the same bands. But as all the bands from that era started finding success, people started getting super-serious and making these really dreary or angry records. I’m not saying I don’t like that stuff, but for us it’s always been a case of ‘Let’s never do that!’ We want to be that point of somebody’s day where they can get off work and put us in and think, “Okay, yeah: Everything else sucks, but this is awesome.” Fittingly, “awesome” was an operative word during the Sorry for Partyin’ sessions. Working with producer Linus of Hollywood (also Reddick’s partner in the year-old Crappy Records label), BFS cut the album in a whirlwind 24 days at Wire Recording Studio in Austin, Texas, where the ideas flowed as readily as... Well—let’s just say there’s a reason they titled one of Sorry’s singles “Hooray for Beer.” “We had close to a two-year break between the last record (2006’s The Great Burrito Extortion Case) and writing for this one,” Reddick says, “so we were ready to have some fun.” The anything-goes atmosphere lent itself to some interesting collaborations, too: After discovering that one of their musical heroes, former ALL vocalist Scott Reynolds, lived just blocks from the studio, BFS rang him up to make a cameo on “America (Wake up Amy).” Fastball’s Tony Scalzo, another Austin native and band friend, ended up collaborating on the rollicking kiss-off to an ex “I Don’t Wish You Were Dead Anymore.” And, even if he originally dropped by just to hang out with his friends, Nerf Herder frontman/YouTube mega-star Parry Gripp also wound up making a cameo on vocals. “It literally felt like more of a party than work, and I think that shows up throughout the record,” Reddick remembers. “People are gonna hear this and be like, ‘Okay, well, it sounds like they had just a little bit of fun.” Of course, they also got serious—or as serious as you can when your album’s lead single is a wiener joke. “I think a song like ‘My Wena’ is a perfect example of us being like, ‘Okay, whatever people think is as far as we’re gonna take it, we’ll just keep pushing things to the next level,” Reddick explains. “But there are a handful of songs on this record that really mean a lot, too. I think that was also a part of the studio environment—whether we were goofing around or wearing our hearts on our sleeves, we weren’t afraid to go for it.” Considering how long they’ve been a band, it’s no small wonder that Bowling for Soup still find new ways to go for it in the niche they’ve carved out for themselves. But as Reddick notes, that sense of abandon is just the thing that’s allowed BFS to tackle Sorry for Partyin’ as if it were their first record, not their 10th. “We’ve always said that the day it’s not fun anymore, we’re just not gonna do it anymore,” he concludes. “So why focus on the down side? Let’s keep doing what we do best. Let’s keep having fun.”
to 9:00 PM
90 schedule::attendeesLocation Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
Artists Blue October
event::about Blue October have risen through the ranks to become a platinum selling rock band with a body of work that includes modern rock hits like “Hate Me” and “Dirt Room” and the #1 VH-1 smash, “Into The Ocean.” The band’s sixth album will be released in the summer of 2011 when they will take their heart on the sleeve live show from Austin City Limits to the world.
to 1:40 PM
The Groundwork Music Orchestra
5 schedule::attendeesLocation Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
Artists The Groundwork Music Orchestra
event::about The Groundwork Music Orchestra. Not your typical kids' music. From old world to American roots to modern pop, these songs light up kids and adults alike. Excellent song craft, guest appearances on the recording from the likes of Ben Kweller and David Garza, and a live show that will have everyone dancing and singing along. Singer and principle songwriter, Neal Kassanoff, is a versatile artist who continues to thrive in the kids' genre and with his rock band The Dead Left. He is founder of Groundwork Music Project, a non profit organization that provides free music classes to preschoolers.
to 2:30 PM
8 schedule::attendeesLocation Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
event::about Celebrated Los Angeles culture-mashers Ozomatli welcome the New Year with a series of 'Ozokidz' shows a special family friendly set geared towards children and adults alike. Many Ozomatli fans who've embraced the band since their inception now have kids of their own, and Ozo are thrilled to now offer a show that an entire family can enjoy together. The band are currently in the studio with acclaimed producer Tony Berg, recording a children's album for release in 2011. Ozomatli has spent 15 years working diligently to spread its message of peace, communication and understanding through music, with a long standing tradition of performing for children all over the world, from the schools of North St. Louis to the orphanages of Southeast Asia. Vocalist Asru Sierra adds, 'we felt it was a great idea to do a family record so that everyone can come together and dance as a family at our shows. And they don't have to be kids, as long as you're a kid at heart which we all were to begin with, anyway!'
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to 4:30 PM
Kurt Vile And The Violators
298 schedule::attendeesLocation Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
Artists Kurt Vile And The Violators
event::about Kurt Vile has a way of tying time in knots. You can hear it on his new album Smoke Ring For My Halo from the get-go – the pinwheeling guitars and reaching atmospheres of ‘Baby’s Arms’ are as strange as they are familiar: a demonstration of how Kurt can put worn methods and sounds through himself and end up with something that isn’t emotionally or sonically obvious. Instead we’re left with a record that contains traces of the past but doesn’t waste precious time in the now being reverent. Once compared to Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Psychic TV, and Animal Collective in the same review (for 2009’s Childish Prodigy), Kurt can bring to mind anything from Suicide to Leo Kottke to My Bloody Valentine, Bob Seger, Nick Drake, and Eastern ragas. Still, he pieces together these disparate elements so seamlessly and unpretentiously that such reference points are rendered pointless by the singularity of his sound. Kurt Vile might belong to a long lineage of classic American songwriters, but he’s the only one who’s alive and in his prime today. This is the fourth time Kurt Vile has put an album’s worth of songs together and stuck a name on it, but in a sense Smoke Ring For My Halo is his first real album – every flinching guitar arpeggio and vocal wander was made to be here, made with this record in mind, to sit alongside another in situ and in sequence. It seems weird saying this given the amount of ground he’s covered already, but Smoke Ring For My Halo is the perfect way into the music Kurt Vile makes. It’s tender and evocative, elusive but companionable, tough in the gut and the arm but swollen in the chest and giddy in the head. It’s a record that is perfect for any given day during whatever season, to satisfy all moods in every possible scenario – be that first thing in the morning or last thing at night; today, tomorrow or five years from now. In short, it’s real. Kurt Vile isn’t just the loneliest of ten siblings born to parents on the outskirts of Philadelphia, the former forklift truck driver who makes rock band guitar songs in the solitude of his bedroom. Smoke Ring For My Halo brings all of that together, marrying the introspection of the nocturnal stoner with the exploration of a troubadour frontiersman to arrive at a record you know is so much more than the sum of his and its constituent parts because often he sounds like he doesn’t know how he got there himself.
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235 schedule::attendeesLocation Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
Artists Man Man
event::about Man Man Life Fantastic (Anti-) It's hard to imagine what looked worse: the night a sleep-deprived, Ambien-addled Ryan Kattner hallucinated his way into a motor bike accident or the afternoon an electrician checking out his sublet's faulty wiring walked into his room and found nothing but a boar's head, half-drained bottles of booze, scattered tax forms, a Wurlitzer, a frame-less mattress, and writing on the walls. (They were song lyrics, but still.) 'He was severely freaked out. A haunted, wordless, freaked out. Maybe I wasn't living very sanely,' says the Man Man frontman, who also goes by his keyboard-clobbering alter ego Honus Honus. While it's easy to nervously laugh at the absurdity of it all now, Kattner's personal life got so dire a couple summers ago that he found himself wondering whether music was worth it anymore; whether a mounting pile of heartbreak, the heaviness of several friend's tragic deaths, and IRS bills outweighed the need to express it all on stage or in the studio. 'It's funny, because in the past, I was able to take bad situations and turn them into something creative,' explains Kattner. 'This time I couldn't at all. I felt nothing, which was worse than feeling miserable or depressed.' As a black cloud hovered above his head on the east coast, Kattner did what many aimless artists have done before him-he put most of his possessions away in storage and lived out of a suitcase. His wandering took him to Los Angeles, Austin, Portland, and wherever else a friend had a couch, floor space, and patience to spare. In the end, it took many months for the singer/multi-instrumentalist to pick up the pieces and funnel an endless procession of love and loss into the demo stages of Man Man's fourth album, Life Fantastic. But once the breakthrough moments started kicking in, he had no choice but to soldier on. Take what happened on New Year's Day not too long ago. Already a few months into some actual songwriting, Kattner stumbled into his very own after school special, best summed up by a new song 'If I razor cut some bangs,' he howls in 'Dark Arts,' clawing at the album's most unhinged arrangements, 'Will I forget who I am? Stare at the man who's in the mirror; how the fuck did I live this long, this way?' 'I sent my father a demo of that song,' says Kattner, 'and he called me afterwards to hear my voice. Make sure I was on the level. Everything about it sounds unhealthy, from the words to the vibe itself. But at the same time, I needed to get it all out of my head.' The exorcisms didn't end there, of course. Thanks to a renewed sense of purpose, the songwriting for Life Fantastic continued throughout the past year alongside promising sessions with the rest of Man Man: Drummer/Percussionist Chris Powell and multi-instrumentalists Billy Dufala, Jamey Robinson, and Russell Higbee.. Which isn't to say that things came together quickly. Contrary to the shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later rep of the group's live show, Man Man records have always involved months-or in this case, years-of refinement to reach a level everyone's happy with. For instance, it took an entire day-literally two nine-hour stretches-to develop just two verses in the aforementioned 'Dark Arts.' 'That's just the way that I work,' explains Kattner. 'I usually have to sing something at least 300 times before I bring it to the band. I work on the melody and the cadence, but I also want a delivery that feels real. I have to be able to sell what I'm saying, even if that mean sitting there with one verse on repeat." Not every song was the sonic equivalent of giving birth, however. Life Fantastic's title track is one example of every last piece falling into place perfectly, from subdued bursts of brass and swooning strings to a piano progression that literally dances circles around anyone within earshot. And then there's 'Steak Knives.' Easily one of the most beautiful, barebones cuts in the Man Man catalog, it sounds like a cavernous confessional set against creeping chords and heart-sinking chorus lines. Simply put, the thing's gonna make at least one person cry this year. To add to the considerable headphone candy quotient of the entire LP, Life Fantastic is the first Man Man album with a proper producer behind the boards. And not just any knob-twiddler, either. We're talking Mike Mogis, the Bright Eyes member responsible for the widescreen backdrops of nearly every major Saddle Creek release. 'The songs were fully-formed entities by the time we got to Mike's studio,' says Kattner, 'But he was there to say things like, 'Okay, that's a bit much.' He was able to help us carve the beauty out of the chaos we brought. It wasn't whittling down the points; it was sharpening them so they'd puncture even deeper.' Mogis was also there to fulfill any random requests the band may have (a gang chorus here, a childlike melody there, even some field recordings) and flesh out their flashiest ideas with the delicate string arrangements of fellow Bright Eyes member Nate Walcott (see: the climatic close of 'Oh, La Brea' for Man Man at their most cinematic). All while maintaining the order ab chao ethos that's been at the core of Man Man since their rail-jumping 2004 debut, The Man In a Blue Turban With a Face. 'I want us to be the kind of band you could bring home to your parents,' says Kattner, 'but at the same time, they're worried you might steal or break something. And you know what? They appreciate you for that very reason.'
to 6:25 PM
128 schedule::attendeesLocation Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
Artists Middle Brother
event::about Middle Brother played their first show at 2010’s SXSW – a tiny, late-night, unannounced event under the moniker “MG&V.” Other than recording the album and rehearsing once, they had never played the songs live. The audience (and the mob of onlookers crammed in the doorways and windows) was treated to an impossible-to-forget set by a band of musical comrades who seemed genuinely surprised by the fire that was ignited on stage. It was a rollicking and boisterous show that could have fallen apart at any moment and instead centrifuged into melodic and harmonic brilliance. What held it together was each member’s sense of song and performance – a perfect, intuitive balance of craft and feel, equal parts playful and earnest. In a time when synthesizers and laptops are taking over stages, Goldsmith, McCauley and Vasquez are leading the pack of young rock songwriters who strive to carry on the tradition of figures such as Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty. Middle Brother came together in mid-2009 when the three songsmiths realized, after several on-stage collaborations, that they shared a unique vision and wanted to take it one step further, into the studio. Their songs are anthemic, soulful, passionate and confessional. The 12 tracks on Middle Brother are the result of their off-the-cuff yet diligent workshop experience. The songs are world-class, the performances raw and immediate as each member pushed the other to bring the best of what they do to the proceedings. The record captures a potent moment in time for these three burgeoning song-writing stars who are just beginning to feel the real power in their respective talents. The members of Middle Brother are confident, but not resolute and stuck. They are willing to explore and are open to each other’s ideas as they work towards the common ideal of the redemptive power of the song.
to 7:15 PM
The Felice Brothers
141 schedule::attendeesLocation Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
Artists The Felice Brothers
event::about The Felice Brothers Bio Celebration, Florida out April 19, 2011 on Fat Possum ' what separates The Felices' mud-stomping folk from that of their peers is their no-winking honesty the sense that these songs and the places and people they're singing about aren't literary devices but actual people doing their damnedest to rage against the growing darkness.' Filter Good Music Guide, 2009 Here's what's already known about The Felice Brothers: they are a close-knit band of two brothers and three longtime friends, all in their twenties. They are self-taught, not one of them played an instrument prior to the band's inception in 2006 when they started busking in New York City subway stations. The Felice Brothers have released three full-length albums; their last, Yonder Is The Clock, on Team Love Records (2009). The majority of their work was recorded in a converted chicken coop in upstate New York near their hometown of Palenville. Esquire, Filter, The New York Times, NPR, Spin, Time Out New York, Uncut, and Under The Radar have praised them, among others. They are on virtually constant tour in the States and overseas, and have performed at festivals including Bonnaroo, All Points West, Outside Lands, Langerado, and the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Recognized for their live show, The Felice Brothers will play for their audience come hell or high water; the foremost example is their transcendent performance at the 2008 Newport Folk Festival, where they soldiered on, unplugged, in the rain, and barefoot in the mud after a lightning bolt shorted their stage's power supply. Here's what might come as a surprise about The Felice Brothers: their new and fourth LP Celebration, Florida is an exhilarating amalgamation of frightening horn sections, unexpected 808s, ambient synth lines, schoolyard taunts, booming, primitive drum beats, heavy bass lines, piano, violin, accordion, ringing guitars, rave beats, and sinister acid jazz that captivates and mystifies. Recorded in the library and theater of Beacon, NY's old high school, the band explores a multitude of sounds and instrumentation throughout the expansive album. It's inspired, imaginative, heady, menacing, passionate, and rollicking. Most importantly, it's as steadfastly authentic as ever, expanding upon the dark, woozy undercurrent of ramshackle barroom blues, vaudevillian atmospherics, and surreal storytelling of their previous albums. Under The Radar wrote in a review of Yonder Is The Clock that The Felice Brothers find 'inspiration and freedom rather than constraints in the traditions of folk music.' Celebration, Florida revels in this inventive, outlaw spirit; it's the sound of a band that knows its roots and knows where it's growing. It's a group who just might expand the definition of Americana music along the way. Celebration, Florida casts scenes of dreamy characters and stories interwoven like a block of primetime TV. Among the tales: a young woman who sets off to find a secret paradise; a teenager who enters a boxing gym in Catskill, NY; a late night host recounting his rise to fame to his honeybee while traveling in a private jet; shady degenerates who get lost in a mystery concerning a Honda Civic; a young girl who crimps her hair and spies her dead father driving down the road; a Wall Street scandal hits a little too close to home; and even a trip through space to find long forgotten Hollywood parties and hopefully make it back there in time to walk down the red carpet. The Felice Brothers are: Ian Felice, James Felice, Christmas, Greg Farley, and David Turbeville.
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