Fall Won’t Stop The Bleached Roses From Blooming

If you’ve read a few of the articles over here at Track Rambler, you’ll know all about Bleached Roses and their awe-inspiring, girl-boss lead singer (who I’m, okay, maybe a little bit jealous of). But if not, let me quickly recap – an indie rock band from good ol’ Austin, my girl crush – and generally badass, attitude god – Lexi Cardenas channels her 21 years of classical violin training with the band’s passion to produce raw, experience-focused music.

Now, you’re all caught up, I’ve got some news. Grab a seat, take a breath. Ready?

They’re unveiling a brand spanking new EP, right here, right now.

Blooms is to hit the airwaves – officially – tomorrow, September 16th. So really, you should consider yourself lucky; getting to listen to it today. Just go ahead and scroll down – maybe join them for their release party at Cheer up Charlies, more info {here}.

But first, let’s talk a little about it.

This EP is the signature on the declaration that Bleached Roses are here for the long run. Why, you ask? They take big steps, they highlight the beauty of classical instruments too often neglected while stirring up passion-filled lyrics that shake your core. This foursome is dynamic, and they will continue to evolve.

I can only recommend that you try to keep up.

 

Wild Moccasins Close Out Look Together Tour at Cheer Up Charlies

Cheer Up Charlies blossomed Saturday night with a radiant explosion of colorful pastel pop and euphoric dream-wave ambiance as the “ambiguous everybody space” played host to the Wild Moccasins’ tour finale. The indie-pop quartet kicked off their month-long national tour in Houston on July 7th at White Oaks Music Hall with the release of their latest album, Look Together. The 12-track LP is the band’s first album in four years and comes after the dissolution of a decade-long romantic relationship between bandmembers Zahira Gutierrez and Cody Swann. Themes of love, loss and vulnerability are elaborated through a vibrant blend of nostalgic, 80’s synth-pop and dreamy, new-wave disco grooves that captivate the conscience, awaken the senses and ignite the dancefloor. CUC provided a splendid evening of intoxicating pop Saturday with Austin’s blissed-out, shoegaze quartet of spouses, Blushing, and psych-tinged pop-rockers SMiiLe warming the crowds’ appetite prior to the Moccasins’ headlining set. Check out a few highlights from the evening below captured by Mark Bowers.

Wild Moccasins

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Blushing

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Photos by: Mark Bowers @markbowersphoto

Trish Connelly: The Best in Austin’s Booking Biz

In a city where the entertainment industry is anchored by live music, there’s hardly a subset of the community that works as tirelessly and strategically as booking agents and show promoters. Austin is home to approximately 250 live music venues with musicians playing everywhere from grocery stores to state of the art theaters. But, running the show entirely on their own is a luxury most musicians can’t afford.

Someone has to help organize events, coordinate logistics and advance shows in order to keep our live music scene thriving. And it’s near impossible to find a booking agent in ‘The Live Music Capital’ that can handle these duties with the class and gusto as Trish Connelly at Cheer Up Charlies.

As one of Austin’s top-notch music venues, the ‘ambiguous everybody space’ of Cheer Up Charlies (CUC) hosts everything from shoegaze and psych-rock to R&B and dream-pop on its two-stage real estate. And through her booking service, The Nothing Song, do-it-all Connelly plays a vital role in keeping CUC at the apex of Austin’s live music venues.

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Booking dates, sourcing bands, promoting shows, all of that is her. That gig you can’t wait to catch at CUC next week – guarantee you probably heard about it because of Connelly. Her job duties seem never ending but she graciously tackles each one with world class courtesy and professionalism. Her motivation for staying on top of such a daunting job description boils down to wanting people to feel like CUC is a welcoming, safe and open space to enjoy a drink, catch great local and touring bands alike and always at a reasonable price or no cost. There’s no doubt Connelly sets the bar for live music booking in Austin.

So, it came as no surprise to see her presented with the 2017-18 Austin Music Awards’ “Live Music Booker of the Year” trophy. But, how did Connelly go from a full-time job tutoring middle-school children to becoming Austin’s #1 live music booker? We were lucky enough to catch the Cheer Up Charlies’ Superwoman and hear all about her journey.

– How did you first get involved in live music booking and how did that lead you to CUC and creating The Nothing Song?

I moved to Austin about six years ago and started going out to live shows and catching local acts essentially from day one. I was tutoring at a middle school full-time but wanted to get involved with music in some capacity, and the booking and promoting fields really struck a chord with me. I had more interest in organizing and putting together shows rather than joining a band, so I started talking with some musicians and friends about how I could get involved. I put on some small shows here and there and did a short run at Spider House Ballroom as an intern before Maggie Lea and Tamara Hoover at Cheer Up Charlies decided to open up a promotion position and asked if I would like to join their team. The spring of 2015 was when I had my first show under The Nothing Song, mainly as a means of having a recognizable name/brand to associate my shows with. My logo (a black cassette tape reel) stemmed from wanting to incorporate a tangible and DIY symbol to the events I put on.

– Do you remember the very first show you booked?

The very first show I booked was at an art gallery & comics shop, Guzu Gallery next to Austin Books and Comics. It was a free show that took place during SXSW 2014 with four acts — The Ex-Optimists, When the Word was Sound, ArcDream and The Governors. The very first show I put on at Cheer Up Charlies was later that summer with Machete Western, Phantom Fox, Ichi Ni San Shi and Bobby Halvorson.

– With everything you are tasked with, how do you stay so organized and responsive?

It can be a struggle for sure! I use an app (Wunderlist) on my computer to help me keep track of tasks for each show, no matter how small. Working from home and setting my own schedule means quite a bit of self-discipline and keeping focused on the tasks at hand. I like having a balance of a routine — both with tasks that I work on every day like getting back to emails, promoting material online, updating my social media pages and the Cheer Ups’ calendar, but also keeping an element of creativity along with it. Brainstorming potential lineups, working in elements of a theme, a benefit show or a variety of artists and the like help keep the creative juices flowing and keeps things from feeling stagnant. It’s a world away from my tutoring job where I had a set schedule and once I was done with my work day then I was done, but I’ll find myself working on a Friday night or Sunday morning since there’s always something extra to be done or an idea that may come to me at whatever hour it decides to strike.

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– What did it mean to you to be awarded Austin’s ‘Live Music Booker of the Year’?

I don’t know if I felt more overwhelmed and honored to be awarded Austin’s Music Booker of the Year or to be nominated in the first place! I think anyone in the music business understands this field takes a lot of work and commitment — whether you’re a touring musician, booker, promoter, venue owner or otherwise. It feels really special to be recognized for the shows I put on, and really most of all to be recognized for doing something I love immensely. I see it as a sign that I’m hopefully doing something right, and it’s a huge honor and motivation to keep striving to always do better.

– I’m sure most have been great, but if you had to choose your top three experiences at CUC?

So many nights have stood out for a variety of reasons but my annual Luscious Heaven shows (as of three years ago) highlighting dream-pop and shoegaze bands have been a blast and have included headliners from outside of Texas to play the shows (Dead Leaf Echo from New York, LSD and the Search for God from San Francisco). I’m a big David Lynch fan and putting together a Twin Peaks party right before the premiere of the anticipated new season last May and having vendors and bands like Ringo Deathstarr and ANDY play inspired original music and themes from the show was incredible to see. Collaborating on a variety of artistic mediums for events has also been a highlight and getting to see different artistic communities integrate with each other. Last December we had a local film series called We Are which highlights the lives of seven women of color screen their episodes along with Keeper and Mélat performing afterwards which made for a really special night.

– Do you have a bucket list band to book at CUC?

I’m constantly listening to and researching both local bands as well as burgeoning bands from out of town or out of state — it’s a really exciting feeling stumbling across a newfound local act whose music I get swept away in right off the bat and I’m always excited to book bands like that and hopefully giving them their first stage or a spot to play at for their first tour if they’re from out of town. So I don’t know if I have any bucket list bands persay, but booking The Octopus Project or A Giant Dog would be a first for me!

– Anything in the works you are extra excited to see at CUC this year?

This month I’m really excited to see Carry Illinois’ EP Release Party on the 25th and the Name Sayers’ Album Release Party on the 26th. I’ve yet to see Palberta live but they’ll be on tour from NYC and playing at Cheer Ups on May 30th. I’m collaborating with The Cosmic Clash for an all female-identifying drummer lineup on June 15th and I’m working on a bill for mid-July with a band called Fringe Class from Portland that sound incredible. I’ve got a couple more things in the works for later on in the fall which is still a little hush hush but I’m looking forward to having it all coming together and announcing later this summer!

– Any major goals for 2018?

My underlying goal for 2018 is to continue to reach out to new bands and a diversity of voices as well as continue to integrate different artistic mediums into events. I also made it a New Years goal to start a record label — the process has been gradual what with researching and honing in on a vision for it but you can keep your ears and eyes peeled for that later this year.

Sydney Wright To Reveal Herself With Release of Seiche, This May

Sydney Wright is gearing up to release the title track of her debut album ‘Seiche’, at the start of May. After a busy SXSW and a new-found sound, the small-town-born musician explores a lyrical layout a little different to her typical sound – revolutionary in this track, the live-looping instrumentalist releases a side of her that Austin hasn’t seen before.

“I’ve been listening to this ‘Gangster Rap Gym Motivation’ playlist on Spotify lately,” Sydney said, sparing a minute in her busy schedule to speak to us.“I like the percussive layout of the lyrics and I want that musical style to be fresh in my head while I’m making new music. 

“I wrote the single, ‘Seiche’, while I was going to UNT in Denton. 

“It was a time when I was working through a lot of changes nearing graduation, dealing with my first band breakup, and making a plan to support myself and fly solo in the music industry.”

A feeling prevalent in the coming months, as universities wind down and students tense up for graduation, the multi-talented singer is reaching out a hand of support that is not always on offer. A success story, it feels like, that pushes your worries away – her voice freeing your mind on the high notes, like a delicate bird flying far away with them.

“I struggled a lot with blaming myself for things out of insecurity or simply because someone else was assigning the blame to me. I’m still learning and changing, but I came out of that chapter of life with my very own beliefs, effective ways to express myself so that I’m heard, and a list of unfair and abusive behaviors and attitudes that I do not allow to thrive in my space.

“Seiche is about freeing yourself from expectations. It’s a story of transcendence.

“It’s inspired by finding solace in being okay with yourself and being unaffected by people who aren’t. ”

Stealing the show from Star Wars, the musician is set to shock Austin all over again with her sunny disposition yet heart-wrenchingly emotional voice with the release show on May 4th at Cheer Up Charlie’s but that’s not the end of it. A calendar full of plans for this year, this musician is going to be one to watch now more than ever – 2018 will be the year of Sydney Wright.

So, get listening to gangsta rap until then and be sure to check out Sydney’s Facebook below so more details!

Author: Megan Matthews

The Warm Embrace of Sun June and Lolita Lynne at Cheer Up Charlies

Is there really any better way to spend a beautiful, early Spring evening than succumbing to the soothing ambiance of Sun June and Lolita Lynne surrounded by the wonderful folks at Cheer Up Charlies? Yeah…No! We didn’t think so. Take a stroll through our site and you’ll notice very quickly how much we enjoy coolin’ out with Ms. Lynne. We’ll take up just about any chance we can get to cover the Fool’s Moon singer-songwriter…especially at CUC. Backed by a pint-sized orchestra, Lynne’s dreamy, psychedelic beach pop is absolutely captivating and the perfect Spring introduction to the warm and sunny weathers ahead.

Sun June is an extremely promising ‘Young’ band led by singer Laura Colwell (Moving Panoramas) that’s gaining a lot of momentum following their official and unofficial debut during SXSW 2018. The emotively cool, ‘regret pop’ outfit premiered their first video, aptly titled ‘Young’, last month and their highly anticipated debut album is slated for release in June with an accompanying US tour. You’ll have a few more chances to catch this alluring pop band before they blow up and take to the road this Summer. We’d advise you get in early on Sun June so you can say, “I was there when…”

Check out a few highlights below of Sun June and Lolita Lynne at Cheer Up Charlies

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Lolita Lynne

Lolita Lynne Floats Into Cheer Up Charlies

The dreamy, psychedelic beach tides began to roll in as a Fool’s Moon rose over Cheer Up Charlies Wednesday night. Fresh off the release of her latest album, velvety-voiced, cult-pop singer-songwriter, Lolita Lynne headlined an evening of spellbinding performances from several of Austin’s leading ladies at the Red River favorite.

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Still reeling from the disappointment of missing the Fool’s Moon album release last month, I was eager to catch a Lolita show and couldn’t think of a better venue than Cheer Up Charlies. And Lolita immediately soothed my misfortune with a memorizing performance complete with backing violin, trumpet and standup bass. She set the pace early with a relaxing guitar intro that led into ambient harmonies with violinist Alyssa Grace. Lolita played a couple of hits from Fool’s Moon including “I Want” and “Human” as well as a fan-favorite about astro projection. The most captivating moment came from hearing Lolita melodic cantillate  “Lighting in my soul / Frighting and I know” over a very personal track before she closed with a silky guitar solo.

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Preceding Lolita was Calliope Musicals’ rambunctious and pleasantly comical frontwoman, Carrie Fussell. The vivacious singer began the evening with a subtle down-beat twist on her usual party folk persona and threw in an added splash of nu-disco and looping vocals. She debuted a stripped-down, yet eccentric, new joint that was recently commandeered by Calliope Musicals for their next album and tossed in a John Dee Graham cover for good measure before signing off with a special dedication to her “Cat of the Year”, Crackers. Fussell’s performance was far more tame and intimate than the outlandish, celebratory flare we’ve grown to expect from a Calliope product but still possessed those humongous vocals we’ve fallen in love with.

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The aforementioned, neo-soul artist Alyssa Grace was next to put her stamp on Cheer Ups with her hypnotic stage presence and luscious R&B-esque vocals. Grace was backed by a fantastic, one-man brass section that peppered her performance with smooth sax solos on “Little By Little” and a funky flute solo during “People”. You heard that right. A flute solo. Grace even debuted a new song “Heartache” while receiving a hailstorm of support on percussion from Michael Longoria before Grace joined Lolita on stage. The entire evening, from start to finish, was constructed around soothing, eargasmic melodies.

Check out the photo gallery below captured by Valerie Riels @photo.atx.

 

Homegrown Songstress Allysa Grace Serenades Cheer Up Charlies

Neo-soul singer-songwriter, Allysa Grace, is a beautiful product of Austin’s diverse musical community. The home-grown vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and session musician was raised through the orchestras as a violinist before featuring in jazz/RnB groups as a vocalist. A phenomenal singer and keyboardists, Grace also draws the bow for Chicano rock legends Tito and Tarantula, Austin soulwriter Ray Prim and Golden Age Latin romantics Trio Los Vigilantes.

Graces’ many endeavors throughout the music community have now led her to front a band of her own namesake. Her sound is “reminiscent of your favorite soul artists, but her experience draws you to her worldly roots. This beautiful combination of neo soul, jazz, and raw talent will blow you away.” She’s a “frontwoman leading a collective, reflecting her musical experiences growing up in a beautiful city.”

When Grace is not serenading the Austin community with her lovely interpretation of roots-soul, she spends her time teaching piano at Sense of Color School of Music and participates in community outreach with Afro Caribbean Soul Collective.

Last night, the multi-talented songstress led a rich and soulful set at Austin favorite, Cheer Up Charlies. Check out the highlights below and be sure to give a spin to Allysa Grace’s debut project, The Power of Roots, featuring various artists from the music community at home and abroad.

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For more information visit https://www.musicallysagrace.com/.

 

Photos by: Mindi Westhoff

https://www.timeandplacephotography.com/

 

 

Shana Falana Plays Cheer Up Charlies Recap

Veteran NY psych-pop musician Shana Falana delivered a transcendental live experience at Cheer Up Charlies late Thursday evening. Emerging from New York’s vast drone/psych scene, Falana combines live looping of reverb-drenched vocals and guitar with tribal drums and stunning visual projections.

Falana is currently on tour in support of her latest album, Here Comes The Wave. The album’s nine ‘dark pop’ tracks deal in “paradoxes and oppositions: drones stormy and serene, layers of warmth streaked with wildness and troubled riffs, ethereal forces at war and play.”

The origin of Here Comes The Wave began in 2006 after Falana lost half of her index finger in a workplace elevator accident. Oddly enough, the morning of the accident, Falana was stopped for a minor traffic violation. As she sat in her car waiting for what would be a warning, rested cassette tapes of Django Reinhardt and Jerry Garcia, two guitarists famous for adapting to missing or damaged fingers in the pursuit of their art.

Falana, who previously battled with addiction wrote furiously following the accident and the burst of productivity led to nearly half of Here Comes The Wave a decade later. “Somehow, I knew those songs would serve me well later,” states the long-sober and creatively disciplined artist.

The emotional turmoil of addiction and calls to clarity through recovery, acceptance and affirmation wash over Here Comes The Wave. The underlying themes of the album deal with the songwriter’s gain from loss, maturity and closure. On the album’s single, “Cool Kids”, linked at bottom, Falana delivers an ethereal message to her younger self and to all young people disfigured by social pressures, driven to addiction, marginalized by gender and racial identities.

Check out the single along with the images below of Shana Falana at Cheer Up Charlies.

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Photos by: Mindi Westhoff of Time and Place Photography

https://www.timeandplacephotography.com/

Sydney Wright Celebrates at Cheer Up Charlies Photo Recap

Have you been picking up what Sydney Wright’s been putting down? If not, you’d better get ready to do some heavy lifting. Aside from dropping riotous covers of iconic hits, the multi-instrumental, singer-songwriter also creates heartfelt original materiel that delicately balances between cathartically chill and straight-up lit af. This past Saturday, the live-looping, musical magician hit Cheer Up Charlies to celebrate her beautiful debut single ‘You Can Stay’. Check out the images below captured by Corey Mendez.

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http://www.sydneywrightmusic.com/
https://soundcloud.com/sydneywrightmusic
https://www.facebook.com/sydneywrightmusic/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNNCeZVK7Ubh4sANJFGchtQ

Photos by: Corey Mendez

http://www.coreys-photos.com/