Cross Record Stops by Austin for a Hometown Show Amid International Tour

Cross_Record_052016-23I’m not sure if I’m Cross Record’s biggest fan, but I’m trying hard to be. In more than a few posts, I’ve asserted that the band is one of Austin’s most vital acts, that their arresting experimental pop deserves recognition as some of the most important music coming out of our fair city. And the band is living up to that praise, as they’ve garnered slots opening up for international touring act Shearwater on two European legs and one U.S. stint as well as a few select dates with Kurt Vile in the Netherlands and Germany. The duo of Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski are currently supporting their outstanding new album Wabi-Sabi, out now on Ba Da Bing Records. Last Friday night, Cross Record’s U.S. tour culminated with a show at Austin’s newest venue 3Ten ACL Live, a smaller club-sized sister venue to ACL Live at the Moody Theater. After an opening set of slinky, noir indie pop songs by another great Austin act, Tele Novella, Cross Record took the stage.

Cross_Record_052016-1The band’s show as as transfixing and spellbinding as ever. Being a husband-and-wife duo, Cross Record has always benefitted from an element of onstage intimacy between its two members, a dynamic that felt even more magnified after the band has been traveling for the past few months. With sponsor KUTX plugging the show all well, the event was well-attendended, particularly for an up-and-coming band playing an almost brand new room. Though the venue feels a little too pristine for acts that often play more divey rock venues, the space worked well for Cross Record, whose songs rely on subtleties of sonic texture. The stage, lighting, and sound system are impeccable. The only potential drawback of 3Ten is the less than acclimated clientele that might wander down from the more high profile shows upstairs and show young bands less respect than they warrant. As Florence and the Machine’s show let out, the noise at the bar definitely increased noticeably. Industry yuppies would do well to respect performing artists as such rather than seeing them as some sort of background entertainment for their drunken conversations. If they can sit in silence in the Moody Theater, attentiveness in its sister venue seems reasonable.

Cross_Record_052016-12Cross Record exercised their command of the stage, first by working in a few wry comments about the growing noise, which won over the respect of their fans, and then by performing their powerful, beautiful, and imposing songs, which wrestled back command of the room from the distraction. Though a few will always stubbornly remain oblivious, the band’s convincing presence did hush some of the noise. Ultimately, the fact that a writer must spend words addressing such a disturbance instead of discussing a band as talented as Cross Record, underscores why it’s so important for a venue to cultivate an environment that respects its acts. Let’s hope the venue doesn’t go the way of the embarrassment that is Lambert’s upstairs room where posh socialites yell over the live band on a regular basis. If you’re going to a show, go to see music. There are plenty of bars with house music if you just want to drink and talk.

Cross_Record_052016-17On the other hand, if you want to see one of Austin’s best bands, make sure to keep an eye out for Cross Record’s return from Europe, and don’t miss their next homecoming show. Check out photos from the night below. All photographs © Bryan C. Parker & Pop Press International; all rights reserved. Click any image to open set in slideshow viewer.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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