Every Monday we like to take a look at what some of the Do512 All-Stars have been up to. The All-Stars are a group of some of our favorite Do512 users who do cool things and stuff around town, and then make their adventures/interests/work/opinions available for public consumption through a website, blog, magazine etc.
This is one small way to keep an eye on the local scene, to find new things to see and do, and to get your social network on. We think our All-Stars are pretty damn cool, and every time we check up on them we find something interesting and informative. That’s what these weekly All-Star spotlight are all about. Check out this week’s list of selected updates from around the Austin internets:
All-Star Lucy The Poodle is a local artist and musician who keeps her ear to the ground on all types of local music. They also create a bunch of cool individually themed events throughout the year and dabble in promotion and graphic design. a couple of their recent updates have involved details on their next event along with a success story that rose out of the Girls Rock Camp:
Photo by Shelly Hiam.
Its official, teen sensations Schmillion have made it onto the cover of the Austin Chronicle this week. Schmillion formed a few years back while attending Girls Rock Camp and have since then become a local name to watch for. In the past year they have opened for The Bangles at SXSW, gone on a mini tour with the Arcade Fire and were voted best under 18 band at the Austin Music Awards. With all of this said it wasn’t much of a surprise to see them on the cover of the Chronicle this week but as huge supporters of promoting women in music and Girls Rock Austin (LUCY founder Naomi Cherie has been a volunteer for the organization for 3 years now) we sure are proud! Congrats Schmillion! Read the full story here.
Lucy The Poodle Presents the Chase Frank Album Release Party for Smile Trials (Produced by Ikey Owens of The Mars Volta) with special guests Megafauna, Bitter Birds and DJ Selector J.
Club De Ville
Saturday August 6th, 8pm
21+ $5 // 18+ $7
Do you like tales of woe with your rock and roll? Meet Chase Frank, a skilled singer-songwriter who’s often mistaken for a band. Her live loop layering combined with gorgeously stormy vocal stylings tend to impress (think Nick Cave & Tom Waits meets indie girl.)
Minimalism is her forte. With influences as wide as The Kills to Billie Holiday, Chase Frank writes haunting melodies with telltale lyrics and a timeless quality. This mid-summer party presented by local hosts, Lucy the Poodle Productions doubles as a tour kick off show and will mark the release of her fourth full-length album, a piece about nine incendiary characters titled ‘Smile Trials’. Working with LA Producer Ikey Owens (keyboardist for the Mars Volta and Free Moral Agents) Smile Trials is thick with both compassion and sarcasm. The album can be previewed at: www.chasefrank.bandcamp.com
Special guests on the bill include the increasingly buzzed about noisy power trio Megafauna led by local female guitar heavyweight Dani Neff plus dark indie rockers Bitter Birds (formerly known as Red Leaves) and DJ Selector J of 91.7fm KVRX.
All-Star William Trinity reviews albums, takes cool portraits of local artists, and tells us about other music and Austin-related business in Trinity Stardust and the Blog from Mars. In one recent entry he tells us about his four favorite albums by the Canadian artists Spencer Krug, who will be in town tomorrow night for a show at Emo’s under the name Moonface:
Spencer Krug has so much musical output in so many different bands that he makes Jack White look lazy. Along side the obvious material from Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown—Krug’s discography contains several albums as a member Frog Eyes, a couple as part of the three-head beast that is Swan Lake, and even as outing in a instrumental band. It all equates to a massive amount of music from this prolific artist.
His latest incarnation is that of Moonface, a new solo project. This new solo album Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped will be released on August 2nd via Jagjaguwar. His tour as Moonface hits Austin this Tuesday (07.26.11) at Emo’s.
In anticipation, I look back at my four favorite albums from the many faces of Krug. Why three? Well, five is too many and three is too few. Here they are… countdown:
4. Sunset Rubdown – Dragonslyer (2009)
This LP begins and ends quietly. Yet in between, the mood ranges from epic, to monstrously epic, to epically monstrous. In line with the album’s title, the music here sounds like that which would play as the knights of Camelot ride into battle. “Black Swan” and “”You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)” stand in Krug’s catalog as some of the biggest tunes he has crafted. But what makes Dragonslyer really stand out is the supporting cast. Krug’s right hand “Jane-of-all-trades” Camilla Wynne Ingr steps up her duties and becomes a significant back up vocalist, adding a welcome contrast to his maddening yelps. It’s evident here that Krug may have found a circle of partners more suited to his unique song writing structures than his “primary” band Wolfe Parade. After Dragonslayer I had come to the conclusion that I would rather see Krug retire his partnership with Dan Boeckner and focus his main attention on this band. One Wolfe Parade album later (Expo 86) and it looks like that may be the case.
3. Fifths of Seven – Spry from Bitter Anise Folds (2005)
Probably the least recognizable project and album from Spencer Krug is an entry into the neo-classical/chamber music genre. With Krug primarily on keys (and putting in some work on the accordion), this band is rounded out by Beckie Foon (cello) and Rachel Levine (mandolin). Together they craft a somber and beautiful piece of music. Krug’s talent for constructing songs with a lot of movement is clearly evident when stripped down to an instrumental project. The album’s undeniable highlight is “Out From Behind The Ridged Bellows,” where the accordion creates a melancholy tone as the mandolin constantly builds with the song’s progression. As of right now Spry from Bitter Anise Folds is the only offering from Fifths of Seven, which kind of gives me the sad face. This was a remarkable showing for the three musicians. Hopefully Krug can carve out some time from his ever busy rotation of bands to circle back around with Foon and Levine. I would love to see them collaborate again.
2. Wolfe Parade – Apologies to the Queen Mary (2005)
The creative team of Krug and Dan Boeckner never meshed better than it did on their first full-length album together. It’s unforgettable how Apologies to the Queen Mary opened with Krug’s declaration of “You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son” over a snarling drum beat that lead directly into Boeckner rocking through “Modern World.” The two never sounded better then when they trade vocals back and forth on “We Built Another World.” The double shot of Krug penned tunes “Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts” and “I’ll Believe In Anything” showcased his teetering vocal style. Not to be outshined, Boeckoner shows his strength as a frontman on “It’s a Curse.” The later Wolfe Parade releases seemed to suffer from Krug and Boeckner holding back their best material for their then side projects (Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs, respectively), but on here they sounded like two gunslingers trying to one up each other. The result is a now classic album.
All-Star Austin Theater Examiner is Ryan E. Johnson, who has written for such outlets as Apartment Home Living, Soundcheck Magazine, MadeLoud.com and Austin.com. His favorite topic has always been theater, especially the exciting Austin scene, and you can always read his thoughts on Austin theater at the Examiner website. His most recent update is a review of the Broadway musical Hairspray, which is playing at Zach Scott Theatre’s Kleberg Stage through August 28th.
Even at his most popular, John Waters was always looked at as an eccentric, and few films more captured his madness than Hairspray. Full of cross-dressing, sexual exploration, and racial issues, the film was divisive to say the least, but is today looked back upon as one of his best films. When a musical based on the play hit Broadway a few years after, it softened a few of the edges, but still kept the Wateresque craziness intact, and, as it makes its way to the Zach, it’s obvious that director Dave Steakley has a bit Waters in him, putting all the loonyness and camp he can into two and a half hours. The play is almost pure camp, and at times disquieting, but it’s always a laugh-out-loud good time, playing up the aspects of what Waters so popular while not straying too far into the bizarre lands and losing its audience.
Though the leads perform to the best of their ability, in the end, they often ended up being upstaged by their supporting cast. Janis Stinson brings the power as Motormouth Maybelle, her soulful gospel voice adding real pathos into the play’s only true ballad, “I Know Where I’ve Been”, while still injecting plenty of fun and levity into songs such as “Big Blonde and Beautiful” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat”. She takes to stage like a old hand, completely owning her space and leaving the audience awe-struck every time. Joshua Denning is also sure to leave some mouths agape as Seaweed J. Stubbs, his dashing good looks and dance abilities only matched by his fine voice and acting chops, which won him the Austin Critics’ Table Award earlier this year for his role in Rent. Austin has been blessed with a true triple threat in Denning, and I’m sure we can expect plenty more in months to come.
Also stealing the show is Warren Freeman as Corny Collins, an Austin newcomer destined for good things. The moment he walks on stage, the audience is washed over by wave after wave of raw charisma, his smooth voice comforting and cuddling the audience like a warm blanket. In scenes where he was absent, I found myself counting the minutes until his next return, and every time he came on stage, I couldn’t look away.
All-Star Alamo Drafthose always has new and interesting content on the Drafthouse Blog. One of the more a recent entries is an interview by Drafthouse founder Tim League with actor Jesse Eisenberg, of such films as Adventureland, Zombieland, and The Social Network. His latest film is 30 Minutes or Less:
Obviously, we immediately oppose his wish.
Tim League sat down with Mr. Eisenberg at Home Slice Pizza the other day to talk about his upcoming film 30 MINUTES OR LESS. In the film, Jesse plays a pizza delivery guy (hence the Home Slice setting) who is attacked by Danny McBride and friends, has a bomb strapped to his chest, and is forced to rob a bank with his BFF Aziz Ansari! Crazy!
Anyway, forced armed robberies aside, Tim’s interview consisted of trying to get Jesse to do one of our infamous “Don’t Talk” PSAs. Usually when we’re presented the opportunity to talk to a celebrity guest, this is somewhere on our priority list. Turns out though, Jesse doesn’t exactly share our sentiments.
(Not included: Tim’s wrap up to this interview saying “Well, let’s agree to disagree…”)
Okay, really Jesse just hates watching himself on screen and would rather talk to friends so he can be distracted. We kind of get that.
Sometimes these “Don’t Talk” PSAs don’t really work out the way we’d hoped! So, while you won’t be seeing a brand new Jesse Eisenberg “Don’t Talk” on screen anytime soon, our sentiments remain the same. Don’t talk in our theater, EVEN IF you’re trying to distract Jesse Eisenberg from watching himself on screen. Plus, if you talk during his movies, he’ll just think that you hate him and his movies and you’ll make him feel bad!
30 MINUTES OR LESS comes out August 12th. We’ll definitely be showing it at our theaters!
All-Star Austin Social Planner is a digital magazine and interactive calendar website located at AustinSocialPlanner.com, which highlights some of the biggest and most talked about events around town. One upcoming event they most recently focused on is the second annual True Colors Young Professionals Fundraiser:
We just can’t think about True Colors without hearing the Cyndi Lauper melody that showed us the pop diva’s softer side and refused to leave our tape deck in the late 80s. The second annual True Colors fundraiser – put on by the local Anti-Defamation League’s young professional supporters – also looks to be a platinum hit.
Summer is a calmer time of the social season and the event planners have taken heed. The setting is a spacious East Austin home and guests are invited to attend, relax and mingle. Most likely, Cyndi Lauper will not be on continuous repeat – though we wouldn’t mind it. Instead, the evening is filled with live music, signature refreshments, beautiful artwork and décor splashed with shades as beautiful as a rainbow.
Tickets are available online and buying ahead versus the door saves you $25 off the ticket price. And when you purchase your ticket, you can feel good knowing your donation will go toward the ADL cause of helping our community fight hate while promoting diversity, equality and justice for all. I challenge you to find a better way to spend a Thursday.
True Colors: Celebrating Shades of Diversity with Art
When: Thursday, July 28 | 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Where: Private East Austin Home | 1619 Willow Street, Austin, Texas 78702
Benefiting: Anti-Defamation League
Individual Tickets: $50 online | $75 at the door
To Purchase Tickets, Click HERE