TRIPS DOWN MEMORY LANE
Austin looked back fondly at cultural touchstones, both local and universal, in June. The month began with a bang as hometown heroes Grupo Fantasma, once Prince’s backing band, led a cast of luminaries through the sold-out, two-night “Austin Salute 2 Prince,” a loving tribute to the late Twin Cities icon at Antone’s on June 1-2.
Two weeks later, ABGB presented a celebratory remembrance of Austin’s 1980s-90s musical heyday as “I Still Miss Liberty Lunch” drew a massive crowd to hear era-appropriate bands from the Wild Seeds to Joe King Carrasco to Pressure. The June 18 bash, benefiting Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, included a silent auction of Lunch memorabilia; all told, nearly $6,000 was raised for HAAM.
BEST LIVE SHOWS
June 22: James Taylor at Erwin Center. Though he’d been here last fall to tape “Austin City Limits,” the folk-pop icon got to play a longer set for more fans on this return visit. From his renditions of classics such as “Fire and Rain,” to new highlights including “Angels of Fenway,” to engaging stories about how tunes such as “Carolina in My Mind” came to be, it was a near-perfect night with one of the deans of American popular song. — P.B.
June 12: Andra Day “Austin City Limits” taping. The rapidly rising R&B talent took the stage at ACL Live than 24 hours after the shootings in an Orlando nightclub shocked the world. Day’s entire performance was marked by raw passion and boundless heart, but her decision to dedicate “Rise Up,” a powerful anthem of resilience, to the victims and their families was so moving and cathartic many in the audience wept openly. — D.S.S.
Also: Blink-182 at X Games, June 4; Refused at the Mohawk, June 6; Boston, Dennis DeYoung at Skyline Theater, June 11; Selena Gomez at Erwin Center, June 17; Echocentrics album release at the Parish, June 23; Flatlanders at Hogg Auditorium, June 24.
BEST NEW SONGS/VIDEOS
My Jerusalem, “No One Gonna Give You Love.” There’s plenty of depth and darkness to dig into on My Jerusalem’s new album, but the song that hits most immediately is this gorgeously melodic, richly arranged track that highlights Jeff Klein’s dramatic vocal delivery. — P.B.
Mobley, “Swoon.” Technically, we’re cheating here. The video was released in January and the song actually came out last year, but in June this gloriously catchy slice of poppy electro-soul topped 650,000 spins on Spotify. The rest of the country is clearly tuning in to this young Austin talent, so let’s not be late to the party. Mobley plays the Scoot Inn at 10:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday). — D.S.S.
BEST NEW ALBUMS
Mindz of Different Kind, “Foursight.” The full-length debut from our Austin360 July Artist of the Month, Mindz of a Different Kind, is probably my favorite release of the year thus far. It’s gritty and hard-edged, but also deftly lyrical and very positive. Each of the four emcees has a distinct voice and style and they stand together as a powerful team. Unflinchingly, they tackle the tough subjects — racism, violence, police brutality — over soulful boom-bap beats. The group of young emcees has been nurtured by the local hip-hop scene since they were teenagers and they’ve grown into the legitimate voice of the Austin streets. We’ll have much more on MDK tomorrow, but for now, check our video them performing the title track to their new release live in the Statesman studio. — D.S.S.
Charlie Faye & the Fayettes, self-titled. Faye’s previous records leaned toward sophisticated folk-pop, but this time she teamed with fellow Austin singers Betty Soo and Akina Adderley to revisit the girl-group heyday of the 1960s. Recorded in Los Angeles with noted producer/engineer Dave Way, the disc features an ace backing band that includes longtime Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas, Jellyfish keyboardist Roger Manning and X/Lone Justice guitarist Tony Gilkyson, along with her husband Eric Holden on a variety of instruments. All 11 tracks, which Faye either wrote or co-wrote, go down smooth, from the upbeat opener “Green Light” to the slightly jazzy “Carelessly” to the horn-section-spiked strutter “Eastside.” — P.B.
ONE NIGHT IN JUNE
The third installement of our new monthly series honed in on Monday residencies, the every-week gigs that are essential to Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. Check out the full recap, along with the video sampler of music from each of six stops: