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Night Drive Illuminates Barracuda with New Wave Synths


While dance/electronica music usually isn’t at the top of my list when I’m browsing my next show, Barracuda is always an intimate space where you can have a good time. Across the street was Austin Terror Fest at Empire Control Room where a curious juxtaposition of sound blended when you were outside.


[Michael] Parallax went on first. In case you were wondering, Parallax is a scientific term about the displacement of lines. The show had lots of light work, like a miniature rave. On a surface level, Parallax's performance was fun, yet not musically something I’d sit at home and listen to. Several people there looked like they had wandered off 6th street and just wanted a spot to drink, the music being secondary. Many couples were huddled together on a date night. Michael told the audience to do a slow motion mosh pit, and that was amusing to watch. Some parts he unnaturally told the crowd to do things like pull out their phone lights and swing them around, or all do a certain dance. 


In contrast, Kae Astra made music that should accompany a night time dream or a guided meditation.The instrumental was similar to Beach House, and the high pitched, ethereal singing reminds me of Grimes. The backdrop changed as the musical atmosphere evolved, that aspect made the show more immersive. Her giant curly hair bobbed as she played her one woman show. Dream pop is a broad term but I would call her dream pop because of the light, airy atmosphere the music created. Overall, it was fun to close my eyes and listen to the music, but it didn’t draw the crowd in for a substantial amount of time. The eager “let’s get this over so I can see who I came for” energy was in the air. People going out to smoke, or having a conversation by the bar.


Ever since the show I have had Night Drive’s song “Anyone’s Ghost” stuck in my head. “Anyone’s Ghost” is the song that aired on KUTX and with 4.7k views putting it at their most popular song. If you’re a fan of strobe lights this is the show for you. Tastefully around the mic stand, drums, and synth stand were colored strobes that would periodically flash with the peak of the songs would go faster and faster. The band’s sound was similar to 80s new wave synth pop bands like Eurythmics, A Flock of Seagulls, New Order, or even Depeche Mode. It was the musical and emotional darkness of the songs that drew me to 80s new wave synth pop. So the familiar sound with a futuristic twist kept me and the audience engaged. The band draws inspiration from sci-fi cinematic landscapes and brings the visual of those landscapes into an audio sound. The audience gyrated like one giant mass wrapping around the singer as he stepped onto the ground to sing, immersed in the audience.


-Hillary Harris


Dilly Dally Blows Out Barracuda with Canadian Grunge


Toronto is under the national spotlight with Drake and his beloved Raptors in the NBA finals and consequently all over our television screens - yet some of Toronto’s chosen children slipped into Austin, under the radar, with a show at Barracuda on Saturday. Dilly Dally has a signature serrated grunge sound with idiosyncratic vocal affectations that coalesce into a table saw of vicious melodies and chord progression bliss. 


 Lead singer, Katie Monks, has all the attitude and humility that you can handle from a Canadian rocker, and then some, but while the crowd wasn’t the largest i’ve seen them play for - they still went about eviscerating mediocrity with wanton abandon. Hits from their debut album, Sore, are still as magnetizing as they were when they arrived in the national consciousness four years ago. “Desire” and “Candy Mountain”  are anthemic in a way that makes pop and rock  music writers green with envy.


The Canadian quartet would cover Drake’s “Know Yourself” in calamitous and thundering fashion, while also making their way through hits from their 2018 album, Heaven.  A gem that fell out of the pocket of 90’s grunge band influences and rolled into the late 2010’s with unrelenting ferocity, Dilly Dally is showing that the fire that burned in rock audiences twenty years ago is roaring back to life with uncompromising sound and authentic attitude.


Peanut Butter Wolf Delights Poolside at the Line Hotel


A lazy summer heat beat down on the Line Hotel’s outdoor pool as mass of laissez-faire humanity lounged around the oasis like bespectacled sun lizards. Local musicians, instagram-obsessed 20-somethings, and tattooed Californian bros all assembled to absorb the easygoing aesthetic, as well as the brilliantly curated music of music legend, Peanut Butter Wolf.


Kicking off a music-focused Summer pool party series, The Line Hotel pulled off a coup in getting Chris Manak aka Peanut Butter Wolf to appear in such a casual and understated setting. PBW is producer/ DJ and founder of Stones Throw Records, one of the most successful and influential indie labels of all time. Yet there he stood, pulling vinyl out of crates behind a poolside DJ setup, largely ignored by the oblivious bathing suit-clad day drinkers. A gaggle of hip-hop heads and inspired bikini girls floated around the DJ booth as PBW dropped audio jewels on his decks.


Time evaporated as the sunset of the evening’s pool party began to avail itself.  Peanut Butter Wolf continued to paint the ambience with deep hip-hop cuts and danceable rhythms. A quintessential Austin afternoon that ebbed away beautifully and helped frame what a casual Sunday pool party should look like.



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Caleb De Casper
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Indoor Creature Shines with Funky Show at Cheer Up Charlies

 If you live in Austin, you’ve likely seen Indoor Creature stickers around town. Their show provides more than just a sound, but also a warm camaraderie to associate with the band. The show at Cheer Up Charlies on Saturday highlighted their EP release, Both Sides. The venue was packed with their friends and supporters. There was a total of 5 bands playing that evening, and between sets all the band members were socializing and smiling. Cheer Ups felt more like a hometown house party where everybody knows everybody, and everybody is relieved it's finally summertime in Austin. The band chose a great weekend for their release; due to UT’s graduation everyone and their mom was out to celebrate.

Spotify categorizes this Austin-born band as ‘pop,’ but I’d describe their sound as refined chillwave with creamy vocals and sophisticated melodies featuring an array of instruments. You can lose yourself in the groove. And the bongos.


A saxophone also appears during the set that really ties the funkiness together. Listen to “Paradox” at 2:00 to hear the sensuous brass.


I lost consciousness during their second song of the show, Ode to Boone. It might have been the day drinking, the oversugary watermelon vodka, or the bassline penetrating my soul, but regardless I passed out for 6-8 seconds. I’m glad I didn’t miss too much of this playful, truly fantastic story of a song. The chorus goes: He’s not a puppy anymore, he’s a middle-aged dog, he’s a grown-ass man, now.


Indoor Creature is comprised of 4 talented musicians who aren’t afraid to experiment with sound, image, and ideas evidenced by their poetic lyrics. They’re bridging genres and co-creating a new vibe for those coming of age in Austin. Get a taste of their dynamic in their music video for “Dreams or Whatever,” an EP they released in 2018, OR catch them at their next show at Electric Church on June 1st.


-Melissa Green


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