Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:10 pm
The members of The Bright Light Social Hour landed in Austin in 2006 and soon after got a reputation for what has been described as shows "melding fists-up rock and roll with muscular funk, soul, and psychedelia." Their first album won the band an unprecedented six Austin Music Awards in 2011 including "Band of The Year." Bright Light are working toward releasing their second full length album later this year. We are happy to present this set recorded at KUTX breakfast showcase at the Four Seasons just yesterday at SXSW as part of our Sense of Place visit to Austin.
For our Sense of Place: Austin we are excited to bring you the Baltimore duo Wye Oak from the Four Seasons in Austin. Next month, the band's Andrew Stack and Jess Wesner are releasing Shriek, the follow-up to their very well received 2011 album Civilian. The two albums are startlingly different. Wesner plays no guitar on the new one and instead, as we will hear today, concentrates on the bass. The songs written on bass are very different as well — it's the reinvention of Wye Oak.
Our guests today are PHOX in the SXSW portion of our Sense of Place visit to Austin. The band members have done an amazing job of describing themselves on Facebook: "PHOX is a bunch of friends from the Midwestern circus hamlet Baraboo, Wisc., a place where kids often drink poisoned groundwater and become endowed mutants. They make music that straddles Feist and Monty Python." Their debut is coming on Partisan Records in June.
Our guests on the SXSW portion of our Sense of Place visit to Austin are the members of Kins. They're a band that seems to like the southern coast of whatever landmass they're on — originally from Melbourne, Australia, their home base is now Brighton, England.
NPR Music's team in Austin woke up on Thursday, like many around the country did, looking for news about the accident that killed two people and injured 23 more at SXSW on Wednesday night. "It was hard to sort of walk out the door today and know that today was going to be another day at SXSW," Bob Boilen said at the end of what he called a long, very emotional day.
Our Sense of Place stop in Austin continues today with longtime resident and singer-songwriter Patty Griffin. In late 2013, Griffin finally saw the release of her album Silver Bell. It was recorded in 2000 as the follow-up to her second album, Flaming Red, but was shelved by her record company.
Listen to All Songs Considered at SXSW - Wednesday
For most of Wednesday, our team in Austin, Texas, had their eyes on the stage at Stubb's BBQ, where we presented our SXSW showcase featuring sets by Damon Albarn, St. Vincent, Kelis, Eagulls and Perfect Pussy. But near the end of the night, we started hearing news of a terrible accident involving dozens of people outside another venue.
The first day at SXSW is about getting your bearings. Shaking off the jet lag, figuring out what you forgot to pack, remembering how long the lines can be and how the overwhelming crowds can sometimes part for a moment to give you a perfect look at a band you fall in love with on the spot.
Austin, Texas, goes back a long way with psychedelic music — maybe all the way back when you consider the claim that Austin's own Roky Erikson's Thirteenth Floor Elevators was the first psychedelic band back in 1965. Our guests this hour on our Sense of Place: Austin show, The Black Angels, ably carry on the tradition. They are part of the "Reverberation Appreciation Society" that started the Austin Psych Fest in 2010. The festival has now grown into a three day event of like minded bands, and will take place May 2-4 this year. We are happy to welcome The Black Angels back to the show.