NxNRG

Written by Amye Bueno
Photos by Wes Eng

Students gathered at NxNRG
Students gathered at NxNRG

As part of Stress Less Finals Week, and a chance to show off students’ talent, Student Life specialist Josh Garcia, hosted the first annual North by Northridge(NxNRG) showcase. “NxNRG is a showcase of student artwork of all different mediums” says Garcia.

Artwork included paintings, photography, digital art, and more. “We were going to have some music but the weather was kind of unpredictable today,” says Garcia. The weather was predicted to be a high of 86 with clouds in the sky and possible rain.

Northridge is known for hosting many creative and design departments including creative digital, music business, animation and more. Students submitted artwork and set up tables along the breezeway with their artwork on display. There were also interactive tables where students could paint flower pots, a friendship bracelet making station hosted by Riverbat Ambassador Dorothy Alexander. Plus, Student Life hosted a swag station with finals necessities like scantrons and pencils. Chick-fil-a was also nearby to show their support for students with sandwiches and prizes.

Students making friendship bracelets
Students making friendship bracelets

Wrapping up NxNRG, students had one last chance to de-stress by giving the piñata their best shot. This created an opportunity to network and interact with other students, faculty, and staff. As this was the first NxNRG, Student Life hopes to host this event for students every semester.

“Student Life is an opportunity for students to connect with their campus, with pretty much everything relating to outside of the classroom” says Garcia. Aiming to help students succeed in and out of the classroom, and connecting them with resources, Student Life is here to help students at ACC. “Student Life has done a lot, a lot for me, it’s another place I can call home” says gaming student and aspiring Riverbat Ambassador, Ty Howard.

If you would like to get involved or volunteer, stop by your Student Life office located on your campus or visit austincc.edu/sl for opportunities and resources available to you.

Q&A with Sego

Written and Photo by Nathaniel Torres

Sego, a Utah born and LA transplant band, was featured on NPR’s “The Austin 100″ and played their second official SXSW showcase this year.  The band was founded by members Spencer Peterson and Thomas Carroll and has since expanded to include Alyssa Davey (bass) and Brandon McBride (synth and guitar).  The band captures their audience by enveloping them in a groovy mirage. A sound I compare to a short-lived age of 90’s pop. A sort of mix between The Verve and Blur. Despite the older references, Sego stands on their own today while their crowds sing and dance to their tunes. If you needed any more convincing to take a listen just know the band’s cover of “Young Turks” was approved by Sir Rod Stewart himself.

How many SXSW have you attended/played?
Spencer: Second [as Sego]. We were here three years ago right after we started. Alyssa [bassist], this is her first time. She’s just getting acclimated to the noise.

Had you heard or known about SXSW before coming out?
Spencer: I’ve been here a bunch.  I was coming with different bands for years.  I’ve been to SXSW like 6 times maybe and it just continues to change every time I’m here.
Alyssa: I had always heard about SXSW. My dad actually was always pushing this other band I was in to go to SXSW. He was all about it.

Was it difficult getting an official showcase?
Spencer: It’s been relatively easy for us, in the past though. It’s interesting because you get one show and you are coming all this way for one show, but then within the month you end up picking up ten different showcases. As all these bands descend upon Austin there’s all this sifting and settling of the load. I feel like it’s hard because you have to put in some time, but once you’re kind of like in there, it really kind of pays off. You can find shows if you really push for it, even if you are not official. I’ve done SXSW [with different bands] three years in a row – not being official – and we played awesome huge shows. It was great.

How was your travel out here?
Spencer: We are trying to make a loop of it. A lot of out-of-state bands will try to make a route into and out of SXSW; which makes it tough touring in and out of SXSW because all of a sudden it means every band is routed on the same timeline and the same place.
Alyssa: I found that with a friend of mine; their band played here. They did the same thing and made a tour out of it. You’re already going out there so do some shows on the way and do some shows on the way back.
Spencer: It kind of creates a weird road culture where all these little towns that normally don’t get big bands are overwhelmed. All these bands need a place to play. Places most people haven’t heard of get decent shows leading up and coming away from SXSW. This place moves like a small little economy outside of Austin just because of so much cross traffic.

What are your feelings on the atmosphere? Were you well received?

Alyssa: The people here are into music because clearly they’re at a music festival but in a different way. It’s an appreciation. Here it’s a little different because you’re seeing so many bands that you don’t know that you’ve never heard of, so it’s like new ears every time.
Spencer: Yeah the whole attitude is different. It’s still cool.

Badges are quite expensive and the word is that artists do not really make a profit.  What are your feelings on this?
Spencer: I think everybody treats it like a loss. I knew one band that actually made money on a show…and it blew my mind. We pay out just to get here, just get the opportunity. Personally, I go into it assuming that it’s just a wash. You can offset the loss a little bit by booking some shows in and out and making it more purposeful.

Does the festival open doors? What are the benefits of getting out here?
Spencer: Yeah and close some. Most people here are here with a purpose and have some industry clout. We had a crappy show and it turned cool people off on us. They were at that show and they were actually kind of high rollers. So, we learned the hard way you should never mail in a show, ever…especially at SXSW because you never know who’s out in the audience. It’s not like a random tour stop. Whether [it’s a] label or PR people, I feel like every time I’m out here I meet people I forge friendships with and relationships with.

What were some other things you got into while you were here?
Alyssa: Barbecue!
Spencer: I feel like I got to get some barbecue while we’re in town.

Will you be doing SXSW again or coming back our way sometime soon?
Alyssa: I hope.
Spencer: We have nothing in the books as of right now but I feel we come out here about every once a year, year and ha alf. So yeah, we’ll be back soon.

Sego is well on their way making the tour back home where the brisket is lacking. They are making sure to stop in their origin city of Provo, Utah where they say they always receive the warmest welcome. Sego’s music can be found on Spotify where you can also listen to their Audiotree Live set. They are also on social media if you’d like to give them a shout out. Just don’t expect it to compare to acknowledgment from Sir Stewart.

Q&A with Bad Pony

Written and photo by Nathaniel Torres

Broadening the scope internationally I spoke with Bad Pony, a five-piece from Down Under. Bad Pony has now traveled to North America twice and is the recipients of Australian Music Week’s prize of 2017.  The band is the result of Jarred and Sam’s need to break out of their previous band’s bluesy genre. Searching for their own sound, they poached a few other front men from different bands, divided the percussion responsibilities, and now showcase their individual talents as Bad Pony.  They brilliantly stitch together an array of genre sounds and tempos within their music, dropping bass and transitioning to a bluesy upbeat one song and then exposing their Aussie roots and relating it to a funky soulful chorus the next. I had the privilege to speak with the entire band which along with Jarred on vocals/percussion and Sam playing guitar/percussion also include Mark on bass, Cron on guitar and Isaac on synths/percussion.  This was the band’s first SXSW appearance.

Had you heard or known about SXSW before coming out?
Mark: Of course!
Jarred: It’s been a dream of mine just to come and see music here. When I was growing up I used to see bands who were quite low-level, then they’d come here and they’d blow up. It seems like a whole world of promise and potential.
Sam: The idea of SXSW in my head is I get to see all these bands that I’ve dreamt about seeing for so long and then walk into a random pub and stumble upon something brilliant I’ve never heard before.

How was your travel out here?
Isaac: We flew into LA. That was killer.
Mark: It’s about 24 hours, in transit, to get from home to Austin so that was two days of our lives spent super excited and anxious.
Jarred: If we could have come straight here that would have been amazing. LAX is like my idea of hell. It’s my least favorite place in the world.

What are your feelings on the atmosphere? Were you well received?
Isaac: The crowds here are just so welcoming. Just really, really up for a good time.
Jarred: Everyone has been so nice to us and looked after us.  Even the accommodation we stayed at, the dude gave us a great deal.
Sam: He just wanted Australian beer.
Jarred: He gave us three extra units in his house for a six pack of beer!

Badges are quite expensive and the word is that artists don’t really make a profit.  What are your feelings on this?
Isaac: We are just artists man. We just play. We don’t know the business side of it.
Jarred: We’re happy to be here – we didn’t have to pay a $1,000, so we’re happy.
Sam: I did.
Jarred: No, we did. We did.
Mark: Much more actually.

Does the festival open doors? What are the benefits of getting out here?
Sam: We had people see us two days ago who were just walk-ins and that’s one of the biggest benefits. They have no idea that you’re about to play and catch your set. Then, 15-minutes later they’re organizing an interview with you.

What were some other things you got into while you were here?
Sam: Everyone I worked with was like, ‘Man you’re going to Texas. It’s all about the barbecue sauce and the meat. And it was absolutely about the barbecue sauce and the meat.  It was everything I hoped it would be and I fell in love

Will you be doing SXSW again or coming back our way sometime soon?
Isaac: In a heartbeat.
Jarred: No brainer.
Isaac: As soon as possible.
Sam: All it takes is an email.

Bad Pony, who easily spent the most time and money (out of the bands interviewed) to get out here, expressed extreme gratitude for the opportunity not just to play but to see other bands performing.  They were recently picked up by Arow Agency and say they never take too much time off from touring stating that they easily become bored when not on the road. The band is high spirited on and off stage expressing there’s nothing better than getting to tour around the world with their best mates. Bad Pony’s music can be found on Spotify but make sure to check out the acoustic videos on YouTube made during their stay here in Austin. For a more in-depth interview including Mark’s SXSW reaction story and Isaac’s PSA keep a lookout for the full video interview.

 

Q&A with Löwin

Written by Nathaniel Torres
Photo by Sarah Vasquez

I spoke with Sara Houser (vocals) of Löwin, an Austin band that debuted SXSW in 2014.  The band regularly plays at establishments such as ABGB, Hotel Vegas and Barracuda. They feature a female vocalist who’s soothing croons accompany a unique blend of guitar melodies and hooks over a solid low end.  Löwin played seven shows this year and their members have been performing unofficial shows for the festival every year since they started calling Austin their home.

Was it difficult getting an official showcase?
Sara: I’ve played SXSW [unofficially] pretty much every year that I’ve lived in Austin, but this is the first year that any of the bands I was in actually made it as an official artist. I think [unofficial shows] are the case for a lot of Austin-based bands. From what I understand Austin-based bands are kind of last to be considered. We were lucky that we fell into a booking agency that helped usher us into SXSW as an official artist.

What are your feelings on the atmosphere? Were you well received?
Sara: All the shows we played were amazing. The crowds at SXSW are always refreshing because people are engaged and they’re moving around and dancing – not like your typical Austin crowd who have seen and done everything. People are generally out to enjoy themselves. It’s not their run-of-the-mill show.

Badges are quite expensive and the word is that artists do not really make a profit.  What are your feelings on this?
Sara: I think a lot of show-goers maybe don’t take into consideration that most of the shows that we’re playing that week are free; meaning we don’t get paid to play. We had a couple of shows that did pay us…not a lot. But all four of us had to ask off work, which for Chris and I…SXSW is a huge money-making week. We didn’t go into it hoping to make a lot of money.  We were just hoping to reach a fan base that, otherwise, wouldn’t have seen us…and that’s what’s cool about it.

Does the festival open doors? What are the benefits of getting out here?
Sara: Exposure for sure. We used it as kind of a testing ground for all of our new material that we’re going to be releasing, shortly now that SXSW is over. We connected with lots of great photographers and lots of new fans – but as far as did we have anybody walking up to us after a set waving contracts at us, no. Being an official SXSW artist is a great thing on a resume for any band. There is a level of legitimacy it brings to the table.

Even for the local veterans of SXSW there was more to learn about the festival stating that reaching out to the industry side of the festival could unlock further potential for the band.  You can catch Löwin at Barracuda March 30 and keep a lookout for that new material to be released. Until then, they have a few singles available on Spotify. Just hold down the “o” on your phone keyboard to get “ö”.

Check out our top 4 awesome local bands to look for in November

Story by Abra Gist • Online Editor

Photo by Jon Shapley • Video Editor

The Carper Family Bluegrass/Country

Formed back in 2010, The Carper Family is a trio of talented singers and string picking musicians that combine old country sounds with bluegrass and swing tunes. Melissa Carper [vocals, bass], Beth Chrisman [vocals, fiddle] and Jenn Miori [vocals, guitar] form the group, and this “family band” is an absolute gem to see live. All the ladies have fronted their own bands at one point, however they combined their talents and use their skills to give a contemporary twist to old time and bluegrass music by adding swing elements to the genres. Their lyrics are up to date.

While most of the songs are narratives about love, heartache and longing, they use an older style of music to share their modern-day tales.

Each singer has her own unique vocal range, and they each take turns soloing on original songs. Their three part harmonies will have you slow dancin’ and two stepping across the dance floor while their memorable lyrics charm their way into your heart and head. They are known for their intimate performances that keep audiences longing for more. They play consistently in Austin and the sur- rounding areas. A few good tunes include “Come See Yer Ol’ Daddy”, “Who R U Texting 2nite” and “My Baby Don’t Like Me.”

Upcoming shows

Nov. 8 from 7-9 p.m. for the “Carper Dog” Release Party at Honky Tonk Hot Dogs Nov. 9 at 9 p.m. at the White Horse Nov. 15 from 6:30-9 p.m. at Central Market Westgate.

Visit www.carperfamilyband.com for more information.

Phranchyze Hip Hop

Local lyricist, Phranchyze keeps it smart, hilarious and live. Many ask, where is the Austin Hip Hop scene? Look no further, because Phranchyze is keeping it alive and strong. His beats are original, eclectic and he refrains from using that overproduced sound that dominates the mainstream hip hop and rap scenes. He rose up through the battling circuit and made a name for himself, receiving national recognition. Afterwards Pranchyze decided to take his flows and put them to music.

Phranchyze reps Austin love in a ton of his songs. Watch his videos and you’ll see him rollin’ all over the Austin area. Yet he’s more than just an Austin artist reppin’ his city. He pokes fun at the whole industry, including himself and has some clever ob- servations about life, people and making music. Yet he keeps it weird with his unique vocals and quirky lyrics and rhymes.

Some of his songs are completely off the wall but they’re refreshingly smart and articulate. His style reminds me of old Outkast and Eminem but toned down with that laid back Austin attitude that we’ve all come to know and love. Nevertheless his musical stylings are still unique and indigenous to an Austin hip hop sound that’s definitely trying to make its presence known in the hip hop scene. Be sure to check out his latest albums and mixtapes on his website. My personal favs included “Dolo” off of “The Black Larry Bird” and “Exodus” and “Big Money” off of his latest album, “Phranye West.”

Upcoming shows:

Nov. 7 at the Triple Crown in San Marcos, Texas

Nov. 17 at Stubbs

Visit www.phranchyze.com for more information.

Kay Leotard Psychedelic Grunge Rock

Kay Leotard’s music is a sexy psychedelic trip for your ears. Kristina Boswell [guitar, vocals], Mirna Hariz [bass, vocals], and Pink [drums] form this dreamy trio and they are just as good live as they are on their recordings. If you like re- verberating guitar riffs, haunting vocal harmonies and feeling like you have trav- eled back in time to the era of the flower children, then you should have a listen. Their latest release “Witchuals” will put its spell on you and have you hitting the repeat button on your MP3 player or iPod. They put a teaser on their bandcamp site so only two songs are available for download. The full album will be released mid-November.

While the sound is reminiscent of that ‘60s psych sound, it is a bit heavier and distorted on some of the tracks like ‘90s grunge, so it is not all daisies for these ladies. The tunes are mellow yet rockin’. The vocal harmonies between Hariz’s sultry deep vocals and Boswell’s sugary sweet soprano are amazing. At times Boswell’s notes rival an operatic singer. After performing at South by Southwest 2011, they have been riding the wave of Austin’s music scene and recording new cuts. You have to listen to “Rolling”, “When I Call” and “Yell It High”.

Be sure to check out their bandcamp site and live YouTube videos or even better, just go see a live show!

Upcoming shows:

Nov. 16 at 9 p.m. at Hotel Vegas

Visit www.kayleotard.bandcamp.com for more information.

The Nouns Blues/Punk/Garage Rock

The Nouns have been and will hopefully continue to be one of the best live shows that Austin’s Punk/Rock scene has to offer. They look surprisingly tame, but their vintage garage blues-rock sound is high energy, loud and fun. This Aus- tin three piece is sure to get you dancing and pumped for a night of fun. Their sound is good ol’ rock n’ roll fused with blues inspired riffs, punk energy and the lo-fi recordings seem to have stepped straight out of the ‘70s punk scene.

Is that Joe Strummer’s voice singing the lead vocals? Nope, but it’s so damn close you almost can’t tell the difference. Travis Beall [guitarist, vocals] sings with raw scratchy vocals but he can still carry a tune as he howls into the microphone before engulfing it into his mouth. This dude does not hold back. He’s wild and free and seems to represent what all those old-timers were so worried about when rock n’ roll first played on the radio.

Nick Stout [drummer] and Chris Rodriguez [bass, vocals] keep it tight and steady yet they aren’t afraid to party with Beall and follow along his path of utter reckless rebellion. You could listen to it on their bandcamp site…but you couldn’t possibly understand their musicianship until you see it live. Songs to check out include “What Did You Do with my Girlfriend?”, “Malibu”, and “Way You Walk”.

Visit www.facebook.com/thenouns for more information.