Friday, December 19, 2014

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Austin's reputation as the "live music capital of the world" means there is never a shortage of live music. Let TWC News' Andy Langer help you decide which shows to watch. Each Thursday Langer gives you his top picks for the week ahead in our Livewire.


Langer also takes us backstage of some of the most anticipated concerts music events in Central Texas introducing us to local and world renowned musicians. Join Langer in Backstage Pass every Friday.

12/12/2014 04:55 PM Posted By: Andy Langer
TWC News: Backstage Pass: Holiday Show Guide
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The end of the year is near and in this Backstage Pass, we look at the biggest shows left on the calendar before we throw it out for a new one.

First up is a genuine Austin tradition Saturday night at the Paramount. Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis’ Holiday show, which this year they're turning it into a live TV taping and upping the ante with a pair of special guests Joe Ely and Shawn Colvin.

Even without guests, Bruce and Kelly's impeccable comedy timing on Baby It's Cold Outside is worth the price of admission alone.

It's rare that a non-holiday themed major arena tour stops into town this late in the year, but that's what the Black Keys will do Dec 19 when they bring their Turn Blue tour to the Erwin Center. If their recent taping for ACL's 40th season is an indication, expect all the hits and plenty of deep blues from a band who's late-career-but-huge takeoff proves sometimes the good guys do win.

St. Vincent, who delivered a spectacular couple of sets at the ACL Festival a few months ago returns to open.

Next year, Robert Earl Keen will go into bluegrass mode, releasing and touring behind a much-anticipated new bluegrass album, but right now, he's in holiday mode, with his annual Merry Christmas from the Fam-O-Lee show, where you not only get the aforementioned Christmas-gone-wrong classic to sing-along-to, but all your favorites- from Keen's catalogue and the holiday songbook. That show is Dec. 19 at ACL Live.

While there's plenty of NYE shows across town to look forward to, really now, how better to usher in 2015 than with Willie Nelson on the street that bears his name and has a statue out front for him.

Vintage Trouble opens, setting the stage for a balloon drop and a genuine icon running through all the hits that made him so, right here at home.


12/05/2014 03:53 PM Posted By: Andy Langer
TWC News: Backstage Pass Holiday Shopping Guide
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It’s time for our annual holiday shopping edition of Backstage Pass, where we look at albums from Austin artists that might make excellent holiday presents.

We begin with Gary Clark Jr.'s Live album. The set documents not just where he's been, but just how far he's come. You'll find a band at the peak of their powers and a guitar player who not just represents the blues tradition in a deep, soulful way, but might just be a singular, once-in-a-generation talent.

At two CDs, it' s a lot to digest and a lot to get lost in. It'll also make you wonder what the new studio record due sometime next year might sound like.

Kat Edmonson may live in New York these days, but her sophomore album, The Big Picture, finds her honing the sound she developed. Her distinctive voice has never sounded as distinctive, or confident, and there are some terrific songs that'll play well in the winter.

Austin-born and raised, Shakey Graves is poised to be one of 2015's real breakthroughs. His latest, And The War Came, finds him expanding his sound from one-man-band to full-blown bandleader.

First single "Dearly Departed" has over 4 million Spotify streams and it's arguably not even the strongest song on the CD. Plus, there's still a chance here to give this one to friends who'll thank you later for turning them on to him first.

And finally, there's one I work on producing, Broadcasts Vol. 22. The two-CD, 36-song collection features live tracks recorded on KGSR from folks like The 1975, Vance Joy and Tori Amos, plus a bunch of Austinites from Bob Schneider to Saints Of Valory, Shakey Graves to The Wind And The Wave, Max Frost to Aaaron Behrens.

Every track is exclusive to the set and all of it benefits the SIMS Foundation and Seton Medical center.


12/04/2014 02:08 PM Posted By: TWC News Staff
TWC News: Music Spotlight: The Nightowls
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In this “Music Spotlight” The Nightowls perform “City Love” in the TWC News Studios.


12/04/2014 07:07 AM Posted By: Jeff Stensland
TWC News: Famed Musician Ian McLagan Dies
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The man who made his mark on music history as part of the British invasion, and called Austin his home, has died.

Ian McLagan died Wednesday from complications following a stroke he suffered Tuesday. A fixture in the Austin music scene, the British rocker was a world renowned music icon.

'Scrappy' Jud Newcomb plucked the guitar while Ian McLagan danced his fingers on the keyboard on stage. Newcomb grew up listening to McLagan's work, never knowing he would spend two decades playing alongside him.

"He was involved with creating the type of music that I really love. Every time we played together, it was just a great experience," Newcomb said. "It was kind of like a dream come true, really."

The Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame inductee took to Saxon Pub stage in its early days, and has been a close friend of owner Joe Ables ever since.

"Man, I think Mac is at the top,” Ables said. “He fits in at the top with his history."

Ables and Newcomb says Mac had distinct style--one they could spot with their ears.

"There is an early couple first generations of something that can never be repeated," Newcomb said.

The show went on Wednesday night for Johnny Nicholas and the band, but with a couple songs to showcase Mac's mark.

"I am sure we will all mourn for quite a while,” Ables said. “It is another big blow to the Austin music scene, if not the world."

McLagan planned to kick off his North American tour Wednesday night. He was 69 years old.


11/21/2014 03:46 PM Posted By: Andy Langer
TWC News: Mike Flanigan's Star-Studded New Record
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There’s no shortage of musicians crowdfunding new albums, but few have such a lineup of special guests.

Gary Clark Jr., Alejandra Escovedo, Billy Gibbons and more will all appear on Mike Flanigan’s new record The Drifter.

Flanigan said he just set out to record and the collaborators just kept saying yes when he asked to join him on the album.

Flanigan speaks with our Andy Langer in the video above. Click here to contribute to his Kickstarter.


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