LIVE MUSIC

Conor Oberst in Top Form at ACL Live

If I’m honest: happy people bother me a little. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about focus on the positives to keep yourself from spiraling headlong into depression. But it does seem like if…

Mitski Broke All Our Hearts and We Sang Along at Mohawk

I would pay $20 just to see Mitski play “Your Best American Girl” one time, so the rest of the set is basically bonus. And that bonus is incredible.  Mitski has made several appearances…

Show Review: Julia Lucille Celebrates Release of Chthonic

Last Friday, songwriter Julia Lucille celebrated the release of her excellent new album Chthonic at Mohawk, supported by a solid bill of openers, Jordan Moser and Lomelda. Navigating song structures and lyrics evocative of…

A Journey to RF Shannon’s Jaguar Palace

As you cross over the Montopolis Bridge, the last vestiges of Austin’s expanding boundaries dissolve into rolling green hills and farmland. From the edge of the city, it’s just a half-hour journey to Lockhart,…

Adam Torres Furthers Music Legacy of Cactus Cafe

Steeped in songwriter history, the Cactus Cafe has hosted performances from greats like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Loudon Wainwright III. Only two albums into a career, Adam Torres may have a…

Joanna Newsom Dives Into Spellbinding Set at ACL Live

Touring behind yet another critically acclaimed and staggeringly beautiful album, Divers, harpist and avant-folk musician Joanna Newsom performed Austin’s ACL Live at the Moody Theater last week. Like great artists from across mediums and…

Mitski and Japanese Breakfast Bring Dark and Shimmering Pop to Sidewinder: Live Review

Someone somewhere must have done a calculation about the perfect amount of time for a band to wait before returning to Austin following SXSW, as it seems like bills of late have been…

Kevin Morby and Big Thief at Sidewinder: Live Review

Last week, two acts that both played SXSW and received notable attention returned to Austin for a sold out joint show at the Sidewinder. Initially known for his role as the bassist for Woods…

FPSF 2016: Mostly Highlights with a Chance of Rain

As a painful introduction, we just learned and feel it vital to with with the news that a festival attendee, Megan Tilton, passed away after leaving the festival in medical transport. For the…

Damien Jurado and the Heavy Light Bring Heavy Songs to the Parish: Live Review

I’ve known Damien Jurado’s live shows to be quiet, intimate, and transfixing solo performances. I’ve seen him play deep in the woods of Washington State and to a crowded bar in downtown Austin…

Live Review: Flaming Lips at Live Oak Music Hall in Houston

Amidst late spring and early summer tour dates mostly as part of festivals, beloved psych rockers The Flaming Lips stopped by Houston to play one of the first shows ever at the newly opened…

Big Bill Crashes Punk Rock Prom at Swan Dive

Ain’t no party like a Big Bill party, cuz a Big Bill party gets weird AF. Frontman Eric “Bill” Braden wandering into the crowd and inciting slam dancing among a rowdy bunch of…

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

I’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,…

In Our Natural State at Marfa Myths 2016

In the desert, you can hear yourself think. Maybe this is true of being in nature in general, but the desert seems to provide an unparalleled clarity of thought. And in our infinitely complex, cluttered…

Women In Sound Issue 2 Release (PGH)

We’re super-psyched the second issue of Madeleine Campbell’s zine Women in Sound will be released this Saturday. The zine serves to “showcase the achievements by women, queer, and trans* people working in all facets of…

Reflecting on the Slack Capital Release Party at Barracuda

The compilation has long been a go t0 method of cross promoting and getting the word out about a cadre of like-minded artists in an environment where they might otherwise fly under the…

Boogarins Find Psychedelia On A Monday

Youthful Brazilian psych-rock band Boogarins brought its incredible live set to Pittsburgh Monday night at Cattivo, awash in cascading phasers, guitar solos, and latin-fueled rhythms. Despite a modest-sized crowd, guitarist/vocalist Dinho Almeida was rarely…

We’re All Hiding Behind Kurt Vile’s Hair

What makes live music good? When you attend a lot of shows, people frequently ask you about the quality of the show they skipped out on. Nevermind that you wrote about it on your blog;…

Athens Band Mothers Brings Delicately Powerful Pop to Stubb’s: Live Review

With indie rock songs both fragile and powerful, Athens band Mothers delivered a set that left the audience at Stubb’s’ indoor room transfixed and engrossed last Thursday. Falling somewhere between the music of Angel Olsen and…

UPCOMING: Ghost Guts & City Steps at BBT (PGH)

Though the band’s cryptic social media presence reveals little about its MO, Ghost Guts writes songs that cut straight. Punkified american rock and roll, twang, and garage all mix into a classic sound…

Backstage at Dana Falconberry’s Stunning, Theatrical Album Release Show

If you attended Dana Falconberry’s release show for her new album, From the Forest Came the Fire, at the Stateside Theater last Saturday, you experienced an incredible display of artistry, in terms of both…

UPCOMING: Sunflower Bean at Smiling Moose (PGH)

Fresh off the heels of a successful SXSW run and in the middle of a national tour in support of debut full-length Human Ceremony (Fat Possum), Sunflower Bean comes through Pittsburgh Saturday night, stopping at…

Big Bill Played the First and Best SXSW Show We Saw

The day before SXSW 2016 began, I wrote, “I can’t think of another current Austin band more iconic or resonant,” regarding weirdo punk rockers Big Bill. The band evidenced their vitality the next day…

Protomartyr Triumphs at Sidewinder, Returns for SXSW

A week ago, lauded post-punk outfit Protomartyr performed at The Sidewinder, an Austin venue still in its infancy. The event marked the first sold-out show I’ve seen in the space, since Red Eyed…

So Much shade At Spirit (PGH)

Last Saturday at Spirit showcased three of Pittsburgh’s most intense rock groups. A crowded basement buzzing with beer and pizza kept an engaged audience fed and imbibed as three different bands achieved climactic…

The Soft Moon Rises at Cattivo (PGH)

If anyone was doubting the veritable depth of Pittsburgh’s music scene, last Friday at Cattivo would have erased any lingering concerns. Two incredible local bands and a helluva touring band in the form…

Ty Segall Emotionally Mugs Mohawk: Live Review

I can’t tell you who said it first, but articles comparing Ty Segall’s latest artistic development to the combined influence of David Bowie and Iggy Pop abound as of late. When everyone’s saying the same…

Siren Sound Temple Lures Listeners with Reverb, Rhymes, and Rock n Roll

For its 2nd annual event, Nine Mile Records’ Siren Sound Temple put together an incredible and diverse bill of artists hosted by one of Austin’s newest venues, Barracuda. Although we arrived later than we…

Getting in the Party Spirit: Ouais and Mantiques Live Review

Last Saturday Spirit played host to four local bands with eclectic stage energy, giving the night a strange atmosphere riding the lines between humor, angst, and inebriation. Sure enough, the beer was flowing…

Bully and Diet Cig Shred at The Parish: Live Review

It has been a little over a week since Bully and Diet Cig careened through Austin to issue blistering sets of garage rock on the Parish, and the mere memory of the show…

Preview: Ouais and Dumplings Plays Spirit This Saturday

Get a sludgy fix of fuzzed out indie rock Saturday when Pittsburgh locals Ouais slouch into Spirit for a free show. Whoa, free. Gritty and grimy, Ouais sound like lo-fi slackers in the…

Julia Lucille’s Tape Release at Cheer Up Charlies: Live Review

Last Friday at Cheer Up Charlies, songstress Julia Lucille performed in celebration of her new cassette, The Bedroom Tapes Volume One, which features songs she has written periodically on the occasion of each…

Cross Record, Adam Torres, Nadia Play Spellbinding Sets at Mohawk

Cross Record’s album release event at Mohawk on Saturday night emerged as a transfixing and indelible moment in music. Years after musicians have become legends, people muse about what it might have been…

Shaky Shrines Enlighten Cattivo With Two New Records

This past Friday, local Pittsburgh psych-rock group Shaky Shrines played a tight set of old and new tunes at Cattivo, Lawrenceville’s hidden gem of a venue for both touring and local bands. Shrines…

Live Review: Shearwater’s World Tour Kickoff Show at ND in Austin

Long-time Shearwater fans rejoice: a new album recently arrived via Sub Pop, and the group’s hometown show at the ND last Wednesday, kicked off a tour that will make stops in the U.S., Europe,…

Gon’ Be Alright: Kendrick Lamar ACL Taping Review

The crowd last Friday night was younger than usual for an Austin City Limits taping. As the floor filled with people and smokers on the patio hurried to finish their pre-show cigarettes, a…

Show Preview: Julia Lucille at the Night Gallery in Pittsburgh 11/1

A photo posted by Julia Lucille (@julialucille) on Oct 25, 2015 at 6:25pm PDT Disclaimer, this preview is for a show the author (me) is participating in. More importantly, Julia Lucille is coming all…

Daniel Johnston Represents Everything Great About Austin

Saturday night, mainstay Austin venue The Mohawk hosted one of the city’s most legendary musicians, Daniel Johnston. Johnston sounded better than I’ve heard him sound in years–more present and less flustered. Undoubtedly, the songwriter…

Juan Wauters’ Quirky Party Vibes at Mohawk: Live Review

Juan Wauters is a special kind of performer and songwriter. “Outsider music” a friend called his sound as we discussed Wauters’ set between songs Saturday night at the Mohawk. I’m buying it, but…

Visually Captivating: Cross Record at Radio (Live Review)

Some bands I write about so frequently and like so much that soon I feel I’ve run out of ways to articulate the truly incredible nature of their songs and shows. Such is the case with…

The Sonics Prove They’ve Still Got It: Live Review

The Sonics are not a reunion band. Yes, since 2007 they’ve been periodically reunited for tours. And yes, they recently released their first album of new original material in 49 years. But the…

In Support of Pittsburgh (Part 2)

This is the second installment of my two-part look into Pittsburgh’s music and cultural scene. Dig part one right here. Friday night, I got myself to Pittsburgh’s newest venue, the Spirit Lodge, which recently opened in the…

In Support of Pittsburgh (Part 1)

Over the past week, yer humble PPI correspondent travelled to his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, to see what all the fuss has been about the last two-and-a-half years he’s been gone. Claims have…

Photo Gallery: Our Best Photos from FPSF 2015

Yesterday, we brought you our weekend highlights from the outstanding 2015 installation of Houston’s FPSF. Check out a gallery of our favorite photos from the weekend below. All photographs © Bryan C. Parker…

Hometown Pride and Festival Highlights at FPSF 2015

As soon as I glimpsed the FPSF 2015 lineup, I couldn’t wait for the festival to arrive. Over the years, FPSF has continued and furthered their commitment to two important categories of bands:…

Courtney Barnett’s Claim to the Throne: ACL Taping Review

Australia’s Courtney Barnett sits poised to become the queen of indie rock. As Austin City Limits’ Terry Lickona noted last night before Barnett took the stage: it’s rare for artists to perform on…

Julia Lucille’s Emergent Performance at Cheer Up Charlies: Live Review

Over the past half year or so, I’ve seen Julia Lucille perform a handful of times. She always delivers haunting, ethereal performances that hinge on her floating vocal delivery and ghostly guitar picking….

Abram Shook Welcomes Us to his Landscape Dream

Abram Shook’s last album, Sun Marquee, released last January, succeeded as one of the year’s best, in Austin or otherwise. The record employed bright, major-key guitar noodling, brilliantly syncopated rhythms, and Shook’s smooth croon….

Daniel Bachman’s Deliberate River

Daniel Bachman’s new album River was released Tuesday on Three Lobed Records, prompting another round of reflective listening sessions. You can read our review of his last record here. This most recent release from the…

Reasons We’re Starting Our Summer with FPSF Again

To be honest, you had me at Future Islands, FPSF. I can’t figure out why other texas festivals haven’t booked the band, who have garnered spots on major festivals across the country. Future…

Elvis Perkins Entered the Cosmic Parish

Last week, I had the opportunity to see Elvis Perkins perform for the first time. He’s touring in support of his third album, I Aubade, an organically rich long play that showcases Perkins at…

You’ll Never Believe Who Was Dancing at the Tennis Show This Tuesday

It was me. Besides the egregious amount of rain to come into town Tuesday night, the Denver band Tennis also arrived playing to a sold-out dancing Parish crowd that sang all the words to…

Stephin Merritt Brought Humor and Love to Central Presbyterian Church: Live Review

The Magnetic Fields’ primary creative force, Stephin Merritt, brought his theatrical songs to Central Presbyterian Church on Wednesday night for a conceptual performance. Merritt was accompanied by cellist Sam Doval, another member of Merritt’s…

Photo Gallery: Levitation Presents Whirr, Holy Wave, Moving Panoramas, and More

Peruse these photos taken April 18th at Mohawk for this Levitation-sponsored bill featuring Whirr, Holy Wave, Moving Panoramas, Pollen, Tele Novella, and more. All photos © Pop Press International & Bryan C. Parker…

Unlocking the Spirit: Father John Misty Live at Stubb’s

Who knew the wonders of the human spirit that would be unleashed by a months-long psychedelics binge outside of L.A.? After Josh Tillman left behind a lengthy series of somber, experimental folk songs…

Adam Torres Gives Old Songs New Life at Cactus Café

For his show last Thursday at the Cactus Café on the University of Texas campus, songwriter Adam Torres revived a number of older tunes to celebrate the re-release of his underground gem Nostra…

Girls to the Stage: Sleater-Kinney Live at Stubb’s

Sleater-Kinney’s incredible performance at ACL’s Moody Theater proved to be only a warmup for the energy they brought to Stubbs’ outdoor stage last Friday night. Rain nor hail nor gloom of night (seriously, it…

Sleater-Kinney’s ACL Taping Melted My Face and Warmed My Heart

Sleaker-Kinney’s performance for their ACL taping (and live stream) last night was unlike any other I’ve seen in the history of the revered television program. One of music’s most appealing qualities lies in…

The War on Drugs Mesmerizes at ACL Taping

In recent seasons, Austin City Limits has continued to widen the appeal of their programming by reaching out to a variety of audiences. While roots and folk music still seem to dominate the…

A Pilgrimage West to Marfa Myths

Bent against the flow of the entire universe descending upon Texas’ capital for the inception of the nation’s largest film and music festival, I drove my car head-on into the sun with two…

Chill Phases of the Heart

This year marked the second iteration of a March gathering dubbed Chill Phases that occurs at the end of SXSW on a Sunday, the only day of the week appropriate for the mellow,…

Hotel Vegas Dominates SXSW with Impeccable Lineups

Despite the unmistakable sign of large budgets behind events at the Fader Fort, Hype Hotel, Pitchfork day parties, SPIN party, and Flood Fest (who all threw appropriately outstanding events with those budgets), underground hero…

Sea Change at South By

Having completed my third SXSW in as many years as living in Austin, I feel seasoned in my authority on the subject. Perhaps not quite marinated enough and certainly not smoked to the…

Partying with Fader, SPIN, and Hype Machine at SXSW

SXSW has garnered a reputation as the largest music industry party in the country. Of the innumerable shows, events, and gatherings that happen over the course of the festival’s ten days, the annual parties…

Swoon-Worthy Aisha Burns Plays the ATX 6 SXSW Showcase

As part of a project called the ATX 6, six musicians were hand-picked from the abundance of Austin artists and fully financed by the city to play 2014’s NXNE. This original attempt to infuse the…

The Ceremonial Torch of SXSW’s Inaugural Night of Music

Last week, a scan of a SXSW ad from 1989 (the festival’s third year in existence) popped up on my Facebook timeline. The ad boasted over two dozen venues and more than a hundred…

TV On The Radio Headlines NPR SXSW Showcase at Stubb’s

Wednesday night at Stubb’s saw a solid lineup of acts with a variety of origins for NPR’s SXSW Showcase. The night began with Long Beach rapper Boogie, followed by Shamir Bailey of Las Vegas…

Velo Releases First of Four EPs

Last Saturday, we here at Pop Press International teamed up with He^rd Entertainment to throw a blowout party at Empire Control Room and Garage, celebrating the release of Velo’s first EP, Winter. The Control…

Claire Morales Finds an Amaranthine Perspective

The Historic Scoot Inn played host Friday night to a great selection of bands spanning a north-south channel from Oklahoma through Texas. Celebrating was Claire Morales as she released her debut full-length LP…

Attendance Records In Flying Colors

I sit here listening to Attendance Records’ brand new 10″ vinyl release, The World, Differently, featuring local musicians Walker Lukens and the Eastern Sea, two of our favorites. But what makes this record extra special is the…

Towers of Youth: Celebrating Life with Raw Paw

When Raw Paw takes over a venue, they take over a venue. The upstart arts collective utilizes every inch of available space, filling it with vibrant art installations and playful games. Last time it was…

Otis the Destroyer Tour Kickoff at Red 7

It would not be unusual to find me sardined against the stage of some crepuscular downtown club, assuming the photographer’s position and whittling away at a Moleskin with a (very particular) black pen,…

Grooves Galore at Cheer Up Charlie’s with Taft & Sweet Spirit

I liked Taft before Thursday night, but the group’s performance at Cheer Up Cahrlie’s last week exhibited new levels of vitality. From the first time I saw Taft, I always felt the band, guided by…

Jump In The Fire with Salesman

Just over a week ago, we debuted two new tracks from local dark-folks Salesman in anticipation of the release show at Holy Mountain. I hope you were there to witness the magical evening…

Knifight Bathed Cheer Up Charlies with Waves of Dark Pop: Live Review

Many of argued the importance and influence of both New Order and Joy Division on contemporary independent music. Friday night at Cheer Up Charlie’s provided some undeniable evidence as the venue showcased two…

New Scenarios with Yonatan Gat at Hotel Vegas

After being converted by the gospel of Yonatan Gat last summer, I’ve been telling everyone I know that they’re the best band touring. There might be some caveats for bands with huge, entertaining…

True Sincerity Issue #2

Fans of honest Austin talent flocked to Cheer Up Charlie’s this past Friday night to celebrate the release of the second issue of True Sincerity written by Pop Press International’s own Editor-In-Chief, Bryan C….

Jousting with Death at Young Tongue’s Album Release Show

Saturday night at Cheer Up Charlie’s served as the launchpad for Austin rockers Young Tongue to share their debut full-length with the world. The band recently released Death Rattle through Punctum Records, who…

Mesmerized by Dana Falconberry & Adam Torres at Cactus Cafe: Live Review

I’ve said it so many times before, I’m running of ways to explain Dana Falconberry’s transcendent shows. Saturday night at the Cactus Cafe yielded yet another phenomenal performance from this experimental folk act….

What A Strange Trip: PPI Does Free Week, Again

Saturday night, Pop Press International hosted our second Free Week show at Cheer Up Charlie’s. Their cozy interior was the ideal venue on a cold and rainy weekend evening. Familiar faces spotted the crowd…

Feelin’ Shivery, Chipper, and Young at Spiderhouse

The third night of this year found me seeking solace between the warm velvet curtains of Spiderhouse Ballroom with Shivery Shakes, Chipper Jones, and Young Tongue. Two other bands, Yuma and Löwin shared the night’s bill, curated by Laurie Gallardo of…

The Cost of Efficiency: Reflecting on Seeing The Blow

Without a doubt, computers have made our lives easier, more efficient, and more productive. The hours and effort saved by technological advances when quantified and totaled would surely yield staggering numbers. But does…

12XU’s Punk Rock Values Demand Recognition

As a local music fan, I probably haven’t spent enough time at Beerland. As a music writer, I definitely haven’t spent enough time at Beerland. Luckily, 12XU exists as a shining beacon to…

Thanks for Free Week Partying with Us, Dudes!

Pop Press International alongside the Loyalty Firm presented a Free Week showcase at Austin’s own Holy Mountain this past Friday night. “Five of Austin’s raddest bands” performed, showing the packed venue some of the…

Live Review: Motopony with Gold Beach and Cross Record at Mohawk

Offering a place to toast up our cold December bodies in their festive, atmospheric indoor space as we ardently digested the sounds executed before us, The Mohawk triumphed once again. Wednesday night’s bill, consisting of Seattle’s Motopony with Austin-based bands Gold Beach…

Ruby Fray and Indian Jewelry Kickoff Psychedelic Night at Mohawk

Friday night at Mohawk featured an epic six-band bill that occupied both the venue’s indoor and outdoor stages. Sometimes, live music reports feature the headliners and all but ignore opening acts. Since this…

The Spirit Sustained: The Deer, Nightblooms, Devon Sproule at Spiderhouse

This past Friday night, the Spiderhouse Ballroom hosted the record release of The Deer’s new album, “On the Essence of the Indomitable Spirit,” slated to be officially released at the start of the…

Attendance Records Hosts Holiday Party, Plans Membership Program Launch

Last weekend at the Mohawk, non-profit educational program Attendance Records, which works in schools to teach students about the music industry, held their annual holiday party. The night featured a photo booth stocked…

Matthew Squires Takes Us Where the Music Goes to Die

Matthew Squires is a truth-teller. Or he’s trying to be. Telling the truth is hard–next to impossible, really. All we can do is work tirelessly, fearlessly to try to tell the truth, attempting to…

Grapes & Friends Blow Out the Hole in the Wall

Last Saturday night, the sixth annual Grapes & Friends XMAS Extravaganza took place at the Hole in the Wall, filling the joint with enough ugly sweaters, tinsel, and Christmas covers to get you well…

Walker Lukens Seduced Me at the Empire Control Room

Yes, I was seduced by Walker Lukens this past Thursday at the Empire Control Room. And I’m still waiting for Walker’s nude selfie to find its way into my inbox. Belle Adair, who…

Worshiping with Prayher’s Minimalist Experimental Pop at Whip In

Phoebe Rayher was graced not only with an excellent voice but also with a first initial and last name that, when combined, work as a moniker that seems shockingly sensible in the current indie-rock…

Kiss My Grits at the J. Lorraine Ghost Town

The J. Lorraine Ghost Town in Manor is a little bit hokey. A fact apparent at once when we arrived for Kiss My Grits, an evening featuring a slew of folk-centered bands. Even…

Live Review & Photos: 101X Homegrown & Vagabond Collective Showcase at Holy Mountain

Two stalwart entities, 101X Homegrown Live and Vagabond Collective, both of which book great bills that support local acts and get Austin’s music-loving public out to some of the city’s best venues, teamed up for…

Night Drive & Ishi’s Dark Dance Party at Cheer Up Charlie’s

Two outstanding synth-pop bands performed on Cheer Up Charlie’s outdoor stage this weekend. Dallas based Ishi brought jubilant and shimmering pop that demands dancing. John Mudd certainly feels the call to get down,…

The Black Keys ACL Taping: Live Review

The Black Keys continue to progress and develop their sound, amassing a global following and critically acclaimed list of albums. They recently released Turn Blue, their fifth release on Nonesuch Records and their…

Why Studium Is Important

Studium, a new record store and retail space for designer and handmade goods, is open now on Austin’s East 5th Street. The space is a collaboration between Byron & Blue boutique and Punctum Records…

Gold Beach Celebrates Single Release at Studium: Live Review

Gold Beach makes sense as a moniker. These songs shine with the glint of gold, but they’re also surprisingly soft and malleable, shifting from one moment to the next. Imagine an entire beach…

The Destination: Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014

“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” is a cliché you are likely familiar with, and is most applicable when used in regard to a time frame during which one underwent a variety of occurrences and…

The Allah-Las Transcend at The Parish

Los Angeles band the Allah-Las came to Austin Saturday night with a heavy dose of California surf-inspired garage rock tunes. Opening was fellow L.A. group Tashaki Miyaki whose mid to down-tempo glimmering pop…

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