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Alt Rock





Levitation: Devendra Banhart Kicks Off Levitation Weekend

 

One of the first acts of the festival, Devandra Banhart christens Levitation and sets the bar high for the weekend. Banhart commands the stage and all the audience’s attention with his charisma, confidence, and contagious mirth. (Shouldn’t Angel Olsen be opening for him?) While singing, he gesticulates and orients his wrist like a “Fancy Man,” and when singing this song he pours himself into microphone like an old crooner. Banhart, full of class and sass, will make you want to have him over for dinner and will make you forget that it’s 40 degrees out and drizzly cold. 

 

“I know it’s hot out there, Austin!” Banhart warms us with laughter,” I know it’s hot out there, but if we play this song well, really well, then in the next two months please go buy someone a pair of socks because people are cold out there.” What a beautiful preface to the following love song, “Shabop Shalom,” from his 2007 album, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. They played it really well and if everyone at Stubbs that night could go buy someone a pair of socks, there would be less cold feet in Austin.  Along with “Never Seen Such Good Things” from 2013, Banhart playing songs off his older albums woke dormant parts of my soul. Amazing how music connects us not only to each other but also to our past selves. 

 

Amidst the play and whimsy, Banhart and the band introduced songs from their new album, Ma, with composure and tact. “My Boyfriend’s in the Band” features Banhart’s quintessential code-switching, the lyrics swimming between English and Spanish. The new album enchants with the same spirit at his previous projects. His magnetic presence is as inescapable as ever and amplified by his enduring sound.

 

- Mel Green

 

Photo: Casey Holder

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Fine Motor Control - Shoegaze/Brit-Rock Combo, Bovine Sex Club 11.16

Fine Motor Control are a 4 piece group based in Toronto. Their sound is a solid combination psychedelic shoegaze and contemporary brit-rock. They started rocking together in 2018 and have released one album thus far. This self-titled album begins with “Radio My TV” which gives a solid understanding of this band’s style. It’s a rockin’ tune with plenty of shoegaze noise all while not losing the vocals in the mix. Fine Motor Control are opening for LA’s Goon on Tuesday November 19th at Bovine Sex Club. Sicayda and Foreign Moon are also on the bill. – Kris Gies





Alt Rock

Time: 
20:00
Band name: 
The Motor Tom
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://facebook.com/themotortom
Venue name: 
Baby's All Right
Band email: 
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The Early November deliver emotionally driving earworms on "Lilac," play Anchor Rock Club 12.31

United as a band for nearly two decades, New Jersey's The Early November has released seven albums over their prolific career, with their most recent effort Lilac dropping in September. The album begins with “Perfect Sphere (Bubble),” a driving earworm of a tune with clear vocals that recount the experience of always being there for someone who is perpetually unavailable, described as remaining “up in the air.” This bittersweet piece creates a sense of comfort  as the vocals endow the listener with feelings of being kept close and safe—at an emotional distance. Generally, The Early November's gentle vocals and easygoing instrumentation, combined with a harmonized vox creates a sense of forlorn melancholy, the outfit seemingly able to recall elements equal parts sad and sweet. Each of their records creates a different emotional environment, but every one is able to incorporate immaculate songwriting and fierce, driving instrumentals. Stream it below, and them at Anchor Rock Club (in Atlantic City) for their New Year's Eve bash. —Karigan Wright

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Plain Jade - Psychedelic Debut "Anagram", Horseshoe 11.17

Plain Jade are a throwback psychedelic band from Toronto lead by Cameron Brown along with Tom Valkanas, Rachel Gerry, Chris Rikkerink and Charlie Wear. They released their debut single earlier this year titled “Anagram”. This tune really feels like it was from the 60’s with the reverb filled jangly guitar. It has a grittiness to it while not losing any sonic quality. The lead guitar has some surfy vibes and the extra percussion adds a great element to the track. Plain Jade will be opening up for Mikal Cronin as well as Shannon Lay on November 17th at the Horseshoe Tavern. – Kris Gies

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