Folk/Country

Folk/Country

Time: 
6:00 PM
Band name: 
Linda Draper
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://www.reverbnation.com/lindadraper
Venue name: 
Towne Crier
Band email: 
   

Joanna Newsom Impresses at Bates Recital Hall

 

With her most recent album, Divers (2015), almost five years old at this point, it was unclear what exactly Joanna Newsom would be performing the first night of her 2020 Austin concerts. Her last Austin performance in 2016 was at the Moody Theater in full promotion of that record. With a full backing band and almost half the set coming from Divers, this show was much different: a solo tour, hilariously titled The Strings/Keys Incident. Tucked into UT’s Bates Recital Hall, the audience took their seats in the intimate space. A three story organ loomed over the stage with nothing but a harp, a piano, and a multi-colored tapestry to set the scene. This venue is usually meant for student performers, but a few seconds into her first song it was clear a true master of her craft had taken the stage. 


Opening with “Bridges and Balloons” off of her 2004 debut The Milk-Eyed Mender, her labyrinthine string plucking seemed to transport the audience away to a safer, simpler place. We were teary-eyed before the song was even finished. She continued to parade through her albums flowing to “Emily” off Ys, then moving to the piano for “The Things I Say” from Divers and Have One On Me’s “In California.” Just as the first four songs had seamlessly drifted through her entire discography, the whole set was consistently balanced between all of her releases. Even without any percussion, her syncopated playing felt oftentimes quite groovy allowing some listeners to bob their heads to the beat, while others a-rhythmically swayed in a trance. Although each song in the almost two hour performance was truly moving, a personal highlight was “Monkey & Bear.” 


One would think someone with such ethereal music would be intangibly eccentric, like Björk or Prince, but she seemed so pleasant and normal. Walking onto stage drinking tea, waving to a friend in the crowd, and genuinely funny and polite crowd banter grounded her performance in a way that transcended labels such as “freak folk” or “baroque pop.” Even though it’s so early in the year, I can not imagine a more touching or memorable musical experience topping this one.  

 

- Hayden Steckel

   

Premiere: Albon releases “Kids on Fire”

photo credit: Mike Cardiello

Alexander B. Lappin aka Albon, began making music in his Northern Chicago suburban bedroom when he was but a boy of twelve. He eventually made his way over to California, where he makes folk rock music with Beach Boys and Grizzly Bear influences; we hear a touch of REM and a little Magnetic Fields, too. This new single off Albon’s Dream Weaver//Bee Keeper has a fun yet distressed energy about it. Lappin says of this song’s creation story that it was “...written in a pretty funny way!” Lappin and some friends were filming a tequila commercial and they all took a tiny bite of mushroom to go with that tequila. “I ended up on a roof where I was still very sad about my breakup but was also very high on this little stem of mushroom. I ended up laughing as hard as I ever had and then crying hysterically. It was all very cathartic. After words me and my two friends went for pancakes at some classic diner. I then went home and wrote this song." We do love a good story. The Deli is proud to premiere Albon’s single, “Kids on Fire.” -Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor 

   

The Saxophones release "Lamplighter" off sophomore album

Today Oakland's The Saxophones released the second single off their forthcoming, sophomore album Eternity Bay (out March 6 on Full Time Hobby). The song is a fusion of jazz, quiet pop and folk. Vocalist Alexi Erenkov says of the album, "While this record was influenced by a broad range of music the through line seems to be conveying a strong mood or sense of place. I love music that transports listeners to another space, whether it's Jonathan Richman making you feel like you’re walking the streets of Boston in 'I Love Hot Nights' or Arthur Lyman transporting you to a Hawaiian hotel lobby in the 50s." Erenkov and wife Alison Alderdice create songs that live up to that transportive feel. Catch their latest single here and be on the look out for upcoming tour dates and Eternity Bay. -Lucille Faulkner

   

Low Ceilings serves up pure alt-folk in latest record "Learn to Sew"

For those foggy New England days and beyond, the folk music of Windsor Connecticut’s Ben Mueller is uplifting: the sparkly electric guitar chords, lively drum beats, and merry-reflective lyrics brighten up the most somber of moods. His latest work under the project Low Ceilings titled Learn to Sew has tracks like “Alter Ego” which showcase all the previously mentioned elements of cheer while songs like “Forget the Fence” have an indie-rock edge to them, with reverb-dipped vocals leading the way past arpeggiating bass runs and shivering cymbals. The title-track gallops at a soothing pace as its rich harmonies add to the feeling of tranquility, and all seems well. The album, recorded at Janky Studios in Windsor, is indie-folk in its purest essence: exquisite with a slight spice. Listen to the contrast of overdriven guitar chords and acoustic strums in “Everybody Knows” from the new record streaming below. - Rene Cobar, photo by Abigail Baldwin