Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Big Head Todd and The Monsters Pack Stubb's BBQ

Big Head Todd and The Monsters performed before a packed house at Stubb's BBQ on March 26, 2016. This was the final stop on the bands' 2016 Wipeout Turn Winter Tour.

Big Head Todd And The Monsters

Todd Mohr

Big Head Todd And The Monsters band members include lead vocalist/guitarist Todd Park Mohr, drummer/vocalist Brian Nevin, bassist/vocalist Rob Squires, and keyboardist/vocalist Jeremy Lawton.

Todd Mohr

Rob Squires

Jeremy Lawton

Brian Nevin

Big Head Todd and The Monsters is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year with a special show
at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater in Colorado on June 11. For more information about this special event:

Todd Mohr

Todd Mohr

Todd Mohr

Mike Doughty
Opening the evening for BHTM was singer-songwriter Mike Doughty.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Ben Rector at Stubb's

Singer-songwriter Ben Rector stopped by Stubb's BBQ Waller Creek Amphitheater on March 24, 2016 for a sold-out show as part of the Brand New Tour. The tour was in support of Rector's latest album, Brand New.

Ben Rector

Ben Rector

Ben Rector

Rector's band members include keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Cody Fry, guitarist Matthew Kidd, bassist Kevin McIntire, and drummer Jake Goss

Cody Fry

Matthew Kidd

Kevin McIntire

Jake Goss

Setlist for Ben Rector's Austin show:
Make Something Beautiful
Brand New
Favorite Song
When A Heart Breaks
Let The Good Time Roll
The Men That Drive Me Places
Forever Like That
Steal Me Girl (One Direction cover)
Like The World Is Going To End
The Beat
Note To Self
Follow You

White Dress

Ben Rector

Ben Rector

Gavin James
Opening for Ben Rector was Gavin James. James is an Irish singer-songwriter who has toured with Sam Smith and won the 2016 Choice Music Prize Irish Song Of The Year Award.

Gavin James

Gavin James

Gavin James

You can find information about Ben Rector:

You can find information about Gavin James:

You can find information on upcoming shows at Stubb's BBQ:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Natalia Lafourcade Tapes Austin City Limits Show

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Natalia Lafourcade visited Austin on March 23, 2016, to tape a performance for the acclaimed PBS television series Austin City Limits. The show has begun taping episodes for their 42nd season, which will begin airing in Fall 2016.

Austin City Limits Executive Producer Terry Lickona introduces Natalia Lafourcade

Ms. Lafourcade, although not as well known in the United States, is one of the biggest names in Latin American indie-pop music. She has earned 8 Latin Grammy Awards including 5 for her 2015 album Hasta la Raiz. 

For the ACL taping, she was backed by a talented quintet, including Alfredo Pino on trumpet, guitarist Gustavo Guerrero, and keyboardist Carlos "Champi" Benavides. Natalia played both the guitar and piano during some of the songs.

Alfredo Pino

Gustavo Guerrero

Carlos "Champi" Benavides

Many of the selections Lafourcade performed for this show are from her highly successful 2015 album Hasta la Raiz. She also performed two special selections in English for the Austin City Limits audience, "Lilac Wine" and Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender".

Setlist for Natalia Lafourcade at Austin City Limits taping:
Vamonos Negrito
Hasta La Raiz
Lo Que Construimos
Ya No Te Puedo Querer
Ninca Es Suficient
Lilac Wine (Nina Simone cover)
Amor De Mis Amores (Augustin Lara cover)
Casa (Natalia y La Forquetina song)
Love Me Tender (Elvis Presley cover)
Para Que Sufrir
Palomas Blancas

Estoy Lista

Friday, March 25, 2016

Grumpy Cat Returns To ATX To Promote New Friskies Cat Food Line

The most disgruntled feline in the world, Grumpy Cat, dropped  by the Interactive portion of Austin' s SXSW on March 12, 2016 to introduce the world to another new line of cat food. Grumpy Cat and several of her friends visited Austin last year during SXSW to introduce Friskies Bacon Flavored cat foods. This year the pop culture phenom came by herself.

Tardar Sauce, AKA Grumpy Cat, and her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, came to Austin to promote Purina Friskies newest cat food line, Cat Concoctions.  The favors are a mashup of "unexpected flavors that only a cat could think up: Chicken in Creamy Crabby Sauce, Cod in Cheesy Bacon Flavored Sauce, Lamb in Clam Flavored Sauce, and Scrumptious Salmon and Chicken Liver Dinner Pate.

You know it is time for SXSW in Austin, Texas when thousands of fans stand in line for hours just to get a chance to see and have their picture taken with a cat.

Of course, Grumpy isn't just any old cat. Since first appearing on the internet in 2012, Grumpy has garnered more than 8.5 million "likes" on Facebook. She has had a graphic novel and three books based on her penned. She released a Christmas movie on DVD, and is even being immortalized in wax for Madame Tussards Wax Museum in San Francisco.

I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Grumpy and her friend at Friskies came up with a new slogan for their visit to Austin.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Legendary Rocker Presents Extraordinary Performances In ATX

Austin, Texas music fans were thrilled when legendary English singer, songwriter, Robert Plant entertained audiences with two shows at ACL-Live on March 20 and March 21, 2016. The Sunday, March 20 show was the last stop of Plant's Southern US Tour, which started in Florida with the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival on March 4, and included 4 stops in Texas cities. The March 21 show was a taping for the 42nd season of the hit PBS television show Austin City Limits, which will be broadcast this fall. Plant also made an appearance at the Austin Music Awards on March 16 during SXSW.

Robert Plant has had an incredible career spanning 50 years including 12 years with one of the biggest bands in history, Led Zeppelin. One of the many honors Plant has received over the years has been receiving the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), the highest honor a British subject can receive below a knight or dame.

After Led Zeppelin disbanded, Plant worked with a number of artists including his former Led Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Alison Krauss. In 2012, Plant joined with a group of talented musicians and formed The Sensational Space Shifters.

In addition to Plant, The Sensational Space Shifters include an amazingly talented group of musicians: guitarist Justin Adams, keyboardist John Baggott,  multi-instrumentalist Juldeh Camara, bassist Billy Fuller, guitarist Liam "Skin" Tyson, and drummer/percussionist Dave Smith.

Plant's Austin shows featured both old and new music including songs from Led Zeppelin and Plant's years as a solo artist. He covered many fan favorites including the final encore selection, Led Zeppelin's iconic song Rock and Roll, which Plant introduced as "an old English folk song."

Many of the selections for both evenings were older songs performed with a newer twist. The Sensational Space Shifters are not just a run-of-the-mill backing band, but full-on talented musicians who each bring something different to the performances. While performing selections from Plant's latest album, lullaby and ...The Ceaseless Roar, featuring the Sensational Space Shifters, the band used many unique instruments to accomplish their sound including an African one-stringed violin- type instrument, the riti, played by Juldeh Camara. In addition to his guitar duties, Liam Tyson also played banjo for some of the songs. Justin Adams not only played guitar with incredible aptitude, he also played what appeared to be some sort of possibly African banjo. Bassist Billy Fuller put down his electric bass to lend the sounds of an upright stringed bass to one song. Even keyboardist John Baggott could be seen adding his hand to different percussion instruments including the hand-held bendir, played by all members of the band including Plant during "Rainbow." The driving force for many of the selections was the bands very talented drummer, Dave Smith.

While the sheer talent of the band was impressive, the highlight of the night was still Robert Plant. Even though he has been performing for 50 years now, it was not evident on theses nights. Plant was still in great voice. Maybe he had changed a key here or there on some of the older numbers to account for a more mature voice, but he was definitely still rocking hard, especially for someone in their later 60's. Some might say he is slowing down, but it wasn't evident in any of the Austin appearances. He isn't wearing the old-school "open shirt to show off the chest" these days, but he is still sporting his signature mane, although it has slightly grayed with age. He is still writing new music and touring the world. He is drawing sell-out crowds and sending fans home very pleased with the outcome of the shows. I know I was!!

If you get a chance to see Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters live in concert in your area, jump on it. You won't be disappointed. If not, keep an eye out for his performance this fall on the Austin City Limits television show on your local PBS station.

To the best of my knowledge here is the setlist for the shows.
Setlist for Robert Plant's performances in Austin, Texas 
The Lemon Song  (Led Zeppelin song)
Black Dog   (Led Zeppelin song)
Turn It Up
Spoonful   (Willie Dixon cover)
In The Mood
No Place To Go
Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You  (Joan Baez cover)
Little Maggie
Fixin' To Die  (Bukka White cover)
I Just Wanna Make Love To You/ Whole Lotta Love/ Hey Bo Diddley

Rainbow (Retake for taping on night two)
Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down/ In My Time Of Dying
Rock And Roll

For information on Robert Plant's albums and upcoming tours: