What Makes The Monkey Dance is the polar opposite of the standard ‘Cut and Paste’ rock biography. Author Stevie Simkin is an academic, and has applied all his stringent research techniques to documenting the career of an artist and a band whose profile, although ironically higher today than it ever has been, remains under the radar of the general public. Simkin cheerfully admits that part of his motivation is to rectify this injustice. Continue reading “Book review: Stevie Simkin “What Makes the Monkey Dance: The Life And Music Of Chuck Prophet And Green On Red” (Jawbone Press, 2020)”
One piece of received wisdom regarding SXSW, the sprawling music showcase held annually in Austin, is that it has become over-corporate and is no longer worth attending for an Americana fan. This I would refute strongly. It’s true that it was heading that way a few years ago, but the organisers have pulled back and taken the festival back to its roots as a showcase for new and established bands. The “big names” and overcrowding have stopped and the experience is just brilliant. I think that many AUK subscribers would be tempted to head to SXSW. I’m saying, if you can, then you should. Maybe a few details about how it all works will help you decide. Continue reading “SXSW 2019, Austin, Texas, 8th-16th March 2019”
The annual jamboree that is Austin’s South by Southwest Festival plows on with over two thousand artists descending on the town for a week long binge and that’s just the music. With film, gaming and politics all well served alongside a bewildering variety of showcases from well known acts to those just starting out on the ladder to possible success it’s entirely possible to be overwhelmed by the almost endless choices on offer. However duty calls and here’s the results of our search for those highlights which sit comfortably in the AUK canon. Continue reading “South By Southwest Festival 2018, Austin, Texas”
I normally advise Americana-loving friends who enquire about sxsw simply to visit Austin at any time of the year and check out venues like the Broken Spoke or the Saxon Pub to get the authentic Austin feel. You’ll be sure to see the likes of Jon Dee Graham, William Harries Graham, Bob Schneider, Darden Smith, James McMurtry and other such stalwarts of the scene. But there are certain sxsw American events that are unique to that week and are not to be missed.
The Yard Dog Gallery on South Congress has a yard at the back which is covered by a gazebo during sxsw and it is really worth spending a whole afternoon there, because the music is invariably top notch and the audience respectful and very much “up for it”. A common characteristic of all the places I shall describe is the superhuman amount of alcohol consumed. I’m by no means teetotal but I tell you, the amount these guys put away is mind-boggling. Nursing a three dollar local IPA, I was hugely entertained by a highly-wired Austin Lucas (whose Alone In Memphis always brings a lump to the throat), who also duetted with Mara Connor. Continue reading “South By Southwest Festival 2017. Austin, Texas”