"I Miss The Music In Austin" is our love letter to our adopted hometown of Austin, TX. We wrote it while on tour in Portland, OR eating bagels at a deli and missing home. We'd like to dedicate this song and video to the music of Austin and all the local artists.
Austin is a place where music is always breathing. Every night of the week you can go hear a great songwriter, band or even a world-class organ trio. South By Southwest is the time of year when all the normal residencies take a break and we roll out the carpet for favorite groups and up and coming musicians to add their musical breaths into the heartbeat of our city.
When SXSW takes over, everywhere in Austin turns into a music venue. This year our South By shows consisted of small boutiques, cozy listening rooms, and even the Austin Airport where Portlandia’s Fred Armisen randomly showed up and sat in on a song. Yes, it really happened.
There are so many different ways to experience South By as a listener. There’s always a day party downtown with an endless tap of free drinks, bulgogi sliders, and kimchi fries. Or you can stand in line for three hours to hear the most current trap rappers perform their radio hits. But over the past few years we have discovered a small oasis south of the river with fantastic music, attentive audiences, and lots of Ruby Red Shiner. This is where we chose to spend the majority of our SXSW this year – South Congress. Here are a couple of our favorites from the week.
The Dove And The Wolf
This Philadelphia band (originally from France) grabbed our attention from the first dreamy, reverb’d-out guitar strum. We were transfixed by their floating harmonies and laid back musicality – always building to the edge of taking off, but never giving us a full release. Being a band that utilizes harmony so much ourselves, it’s refreshing to hear a duo singing so effortlessly together. We definitely recommend The Dove And The Wolf for fans of The XX and The Staves.
Sara Watkins fiddled & crooned her way into hearts a long time ago. We are both diehard Nickel Creek fans and have so much respect for her and her music. It was such a treat seeing her play with guitarist/producer David Garza (local Austin legend) at the South By San Jose stage this year. A highlight of the show was her solo cover of John Hartford’s “Long Hot Summer Day”. Her grippingly sweet voice and desperate fiddle cried soulfully over the crowd and we could’ve listened for hours. Sara, if you’re reading this please adopt us and teach us your ways.
Matt The Electrician
Matt The Electrician was one of the first artists we ever saw when we first moved to town and he just gets better every time we see him. His creative lyrics and quirky songs have made him an Austin – and personal – favorite. He took the stage at Guero’s Taco Bar this SXSW with his full band of local pals (Little Brave, Seela, Jon Greene, and Tom Pearson). You can easily tell they’ve been playing & singing together for decades. From their amazing harmonies to a rhythm section that’s so locked in they couldn’t get any tighter, this was our favorite show we saw at SXSW this year.
Peaceout, SXSW! Until next year,
Beth // James