Back in 2009 I met Neal Gorenflo on my one an only trip to Burning Man. We were in the same camp, called The Duck Pond (they make great cocktails, stop by if you're ever there). Neal was in the process of hatching a website called Shareable which is exactly what it sounds like: sharing information and how to share in real life (the quintessential attitude of a person to meet at Burning Man).
Shareable is doing so well that Neal has quit his day job and even published a book. I ran into him in Austin during South by Southwest this last spring. I told him what we were doing over at Hear it Local and he asked me to write a "how to" article for Shareable. Several moons later, here it is!
This mural on Sixth Street should say "self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World", but whatever, we love you anyway. Love the little buttons on the top there of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin (who spent like a year in Austin, but shhh), Townes Van Zandt and Roky Erickson.
I was super excited to catch a Planned Parenthood Rally right next to the Texas Capitol building (I LOVE that building so much). Texas-born President of PP Cecile Richards made it out for this rally, along with powerhouse Congresswoman Dawnna Dukes. There were performances by Marcia Ball, Carolyn Wonderland, Jimmie and Dale Gilmore.
Pro-lifer Rick Perry has shut down dozens of Planned Parenthoods in Texas, saying "no" to federal money. There were protesters across 11th St., one male high schooler had a sign that said "Don't' believe their lies". It broke my heart a little bit.
And on that note, this is a random sign I liked a lot.
At one point while walking down Sixth Street late at night, I thought to myself "there really is a distinct smell to this place that I would recognize anywhere". It's sausage, mixed in with sweaty people and beer. Tasty, right? I've eaten at BestWurst a few times in my years in Austin. That stuff is good at 2am. Smells like freedom. Tastes like Texas.
Yes, that is a guitar squid costume. I think someone off camera is climbing a tree.
I went to a Family Friendly show at an Organic Farm with ducks and chickens and saw Mother Falcon (again), and Japanese comic action punk band Peelander-Z. What Awesome fun NUTTY NUTTINESS!
My favorite song? WHY SO MANY MIKE? hahaha.
I did not take this photo, but you have to see these costumes.
And then there was my Okie Heights Hootenanny, which was a huge success. The bands had a great time, Elaine and Brian rented a bouncy house for the kids, all of the beer and milk was gone and we raised $500 in tips for the bands. It was great.
The Family Crest rocks the house... uh yard, as always. (See the yellow bulldozer behind them, yeah, it had just knocked down a house the day before and was still working that morning, but it quieted down before the bands started to play.)
This photo comes from Mashable of Backwords from Brooklyn (yeah, my party made it to Mashable). The caption read:
"Slightly off the beaten path, we had one of our most relaxing, best shows this year. Front lawn, sun shining, beautiful trees and cactus all around and people just lounging out. Cans of Lone Star on ice in the turtle-shaped sandbox nearby."
So awesome. The Backwords folks were so nice.
Stroller parking lot. Love this.
The ADORABLE Bella Ruse from Minneapolis. She played the typewriter and had kazoo solos. That's Marcus in the back futzing with the speakers. He helped us book the bands and took care of the sound system. He's awesome and we thank him enormously.
Miracles of Modern Science (or the "taped up F-holes") have the instrumentation of a folk or bluegrass band (fiddle, cello, mandolin, drums) but sound like a rock band. This band is super excellent.
Awesome puppets at a Rubblebucket show. This might have been one of my favorite new finds, imagine Flaming Lips zaniness, but with a horn section. And the lead singer lady doubles on baritone saxophone, which of course is super appealing to me.
Man, I wish I took this photo of the Austin bluegrass band Whisky Shivers with a better camera. My cousin has been talking about them sing Hardly Strictly Bluegrass last year. Here's a pretty weird and awesome video from them.
That's it folks. Jamie's headed to New York City tomorrow morning at 7am. Gotta be up in 4.5 hours.
Mother Falcon consists of dozens of members, with an ever rotating cast of musicians. Their music is something between the twee Sufjan Stevens and the exuberance of the Polyphonic Spree.
In an interesting converging of worlds, my friend Emily Marks who started the Austin Girls Rock Camp, now works as the Executive and Artistic Director of the Austin Scottish Rite Theater. It's the oldest theater in Austin, and with constellations painted on the ceiling and classy old school lounges encircling the theater space, it's gorgeous.
Emily was hired on to bring new life into the theater, bringing in folks like Mother Falcon and Of Montreal. A year ago, after telling her about the Family Crest, she turned me onto Mother Falcon as a good pairing of bands.
First getting together as most high school kids, the age range is somewhere in the vicinity of 17-25. Members have ventured to other cities and come home for spring break to play. What's funny is that they, like the Family Crest, wear mostly black with highlights of red.
If you're going to be in Austin next weekend, you are invited!
Last Friday, my parent's hosted The Family Crest in their living room to around 50 people. It was a total blast.
Leah Paul, my talented friend who has recently relocated to Los Angeles, joined the extended family and played a on a couple tunes (with only a 10 minute rehearsal). Fun, good music, conversation, cheese and brownies were had by all. Even my 92-year-old grandmother enjoyed herself!
Not only does The Family Crest make good, crowd-pleasing music, they're super nice, respectful, helpful people as well. We're going to be working together again at a South by Southwest backyard party in Austin on March 17th 1-6pm. After the success of the parties I helped organize last year, we're going to do it again! This time with a whole line-up of bands coming to Austin from Copenhagen to Minneapolis.
Email me at alwaysmoretohear[at]gmail.com if you'd like more info (invite and lineup above)!
This is fun: the below video is from The Family Crest's performance in my brother's backyard from a couple weekends ago. The Family Crest is playing a show a day in the month of September and they asked me to sing a couple tunes with them.
The below video of "All is Dark" (which is fitting, because it was dark out there) does not feature me singing, however, I am listed AS PART OF THE BAND at the end. I think that's pretty darn awesome. Thanks to the Family Crest and videographer/photographer Matthew Washburn for this one, it's a really beautiful video.
Here, however is a video of me singing "In the Avenue" with the Family Crest last March in Austin Texas at a South by the Southwest house show I put together.
These are pictures of The Family Crest performing in my living room last Wednesday. There were nine of them. It was awesome. The Family Crest is looking to play a house show a day in the month of September. It can be a big or small party, they just want people to experience their music. And believe me, this is the best setting for it: intimate and acoustic.
I will personally vouch for these folks, they are gracious and nice. I have now been part of hosting them in a private home on three separate occasions; they will come early to help you set up and stay late until everything is put away.
If you are in the Bay Area and are interested in hosting, here are the details (from the band):
Pick a few days in September that would be best for you
We're aiming to play for around 30 of your friends, though we will play for any amount, big or small. It can be a casual get-together, a party, a serious concert setting, a business fete - whatever you want.
We're not charging any fee, though we would like to pass a tip jar around or have a suggested donation, if you're comfortable with that.
We'd like to sell CDs.
We won't be promoting these shows in any way - we won't publicize your address, when/where, etc, so you won't have any strangers wandering around.
This means that we won't be bringing any of our contacts to the shows - this is just for you and your friends so that you all can become a part of what we do!
Let me know if you're interested, and feel free to pass this along to people you think might be interested!
The Family Crest has these great video blogs on youtube and they're still posting footage from South by Southwest. Check out the shout out that they give me and Always More to Hear (and Hear it Local!) right before the houseshow at Cedric's house (it's at 3:40).
Last Friday night I had the pleasure to help organize and be part of a 100 person SECRET CHOIR for the Family Crest at Notes & Words, a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland in the beautiful Fox Theater in downtown Oakland. It was a little bit of a bummer because they put us way up in the top of the balcony where no one else really knew we were there, but it was really fun event, and it was awesome to get some my friends out to sing with and experience my new favorite band.
Other performers were musicians HYIM and Megan Slankard ("Notes"). Authors Michael Lewis, Kelly Corrigan and Beth Lisick ("Words") told hysterical stories about being children and their own children. Michael Lewis' story (author of The Blind Side) definitely including peeing in the pool...
Sarah, Owen, Lucas, Liam, Ravenna & Laura
This is also the first time The Family Crest has gotten to play in a large space like the Fox Theater, and they totally filled it up, sonically and visually. Even from the third row from the back, I could tell how much fun they were having up there. And even though I'm not a huge fan of the sound at the Fox, they sounded pretty darn good to me.
We sang on a couple songs, but most notably, a new song called “As We Move Forward." Check out some of these dynamic photos by Matthew Washburn and video. You can actually hear our singing at the end a little bit. There were about 90 of us up there in the balcony and I think there were more folks scattered around singing as well.
In the video below the other entertainers of the evening join the Family Crest on stage.
Thanks to everyone that came out! Hope you had fun.
Lucas and Matt. Lucas is wearing his cello harness, so cool.
Best house show ever - frog sandbox full of beer (and milk for the kiddies)
Yesterday was a fun day. Got a Jimmie John's sandwich and wandered around a bit downtown. Then headed to South Austin for some outdoor house parties, which by the way, are totally the way to go.
First I checked out the 3rd Annual Brooklyn BBQ party in someone's backyard off of South Congress to see alt-country/bluegrass/punk band the Defibulators. Erin's brother and my brother went to junior high together, so I keep up with what she's doing and her band is really fun. The bbq had two stages, food, drink and dancing.
Brooklyn BBQ back yard show (double click to see larger image)
Then I headed over to a house show at Brian and Elaine's house. They came to my show on Thursday and enjoyed it so much that they invited The Family Crest and Megan Slankard to perform in their front yard It was a blast.
It was also really nice to hear Megan play an acoustic set with just her guitar. This girl can sing.
Megan Slankard plays Elaine and Brian's front yard
Even on such short notice, a bunch of Brian and Elaine's friends showed up, many of them with their kids. It was so fun to watch them enjoy the music and just wander around. Watch this video and just look at all those little faces. Some of them were super into the music. I got another video on my camera of them playing percussion along with the Family Crest, I'll post it when I get home.
Then it was over to a funny little bar called G&S on South First that I had never noticed. I finally got to see The Hello Strangers live, which was a total treat. Larissa and Brechyn have all these new songs that I'd not heard before, like this gospel-y tune "Big Flood." I love the way these ladies harmonize. This song gave me goosebumps.
I have a lot more videos and photos to share, I'll try to roll some of it out in the next couple weeks.
Today we decided to go toobing in the Guadelupe River. It was WAY too cold for toobing. I don't recommend it. My butt is still freezing, and strangely, I got a little bit of color.
Liam lets out a mighty sound at the Family Crest CD release
Last Friday I got to interview Liam and John of The Family Crest in my living room. They are opening for Megan Slankard at the Bottom of the Hill in a week (March 5) and Hear it Local has two tickets to give away for the show.
At the Cafe du Nord CD release, January 22 - Owen Sutter: violin , Sarah Dabby: viola/vocals, John Seeterlin: bass, Liam McCormick: vocals/guitar (photos: Ted van der Linden)
I recently came across The Family Crest because they signed up on Hear it Local (see folks, it works!) and fell in love with their sound. Not only do they combine classical and rock, which is something I always can appreciate, they also invite dozens of people to perform with them, including a choir. I definitely want to join!
I also want to say that I'm always glad to see some diversity in a band, especially diversity that represents its own city and community. So yes, I'm glad to see that there are two Asian guys, Liam McCormick and Lucas Chan, in The Family Crest.