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LOVE YOUR BOYFRIEND
April 1, 2016 10:47 am

Boyfriend is hard to miss. She’s the one wearing vintage lingerie, her hair in rollers, and depending who you ask, may have started a cupcake fight during this year’s SXSW. You may have caught her last year when she toured with Big Freedia, or learned about her three EPs, LoveYour Boyfriend, parts 1, 2, and 3. The performer from New Orleans is also a brilliant conversationalist, a connoisseur of diners. 

We met up with Boyfriend at Hey Cupcake! in Austin to enjoy some beautiful weather and even-more-beautiful cupcakes.

It’s been raining here, and the mud is full of clay.

BF: You can eat it if you’re starving. It has minerals. My grandmother grew up in the 1930s in rural Alabama, and she was telling me how when they were out working sometimes, they would scoop up a little clay and be like “om nom nom.” That is so Alabama.

I think they used to eat sparrows during the depression, as well.

BF: Oh dear. That’s disgusting to me. Those disgusting, starving people.

They probably don’t have a lot of meat on them either. They’re so small and have all those feathers.

BF: They barely have marrow in their hollow bones. I’m vegetarian so I’m a little out of my realm, so who knows.

I was raised vegetarian – my parents are hippies.boyfriend_2

BF: Did you revert?

I eat fish.

BF: I eat fish occasionally. If it’s a nice sushi place.

Is there good sushi in New Orleans?

BF: I love oysters. Raw gulf oysters. Sorry Pacific and any other place that has oysters, I’m all about the gulf oysters; I mean they’re the biggest and the most delicious. But I’m biased because I grew up on the gulf coast.

How is it in New Orleans since the hurricane?

BF: It’s thriving and vibrant and expanding and gentrifying, and all of the -ing words that you associate with a hip place. Much like Austin, or Nashville, or Asheville, or Brooklyn, just a neighborhood that you used to not go to, you now go to. I think that New Orleans, specifically, is back with a vengeance. There’s just so much going on there right now.

Do you feel like you have everything you need to run your career from where you are in New Orleans?

BF: I sort of resist the narrative of being a “blank-based artist” because I think anyone who’s being realistic knows that you’re an internet-based artist, and that physically you might be in one place but your emailing with people in different places every single day, and you’re going to places for meetings, and for sessions. So, could I have stayed in New Orleans and not leave, and become who I’ve become? No way. But I don’t think anyone could stay where they live and become who they’re going to become. You should always reach out. I’ve always been very much a tumbleweed, gypsy lady.

Have you lived in other places?

BF: I grew up in Nashville, I lived in LA for five years, then I lived in New Orleans. But during all of that, I’m also traveling constantly, bouncing around the country. It’s the nature of the life.

What are your favorite places to listen to music?

BF: I used to really enjoy Cheer Up Charlies, but I don’t know if I’m going to be allowed to go there anymore. Even back when it was called De Ville, it was a great space. I think our days are numbered.

What happened?

BF: I performed there the Friday of SXSW, and I brought cupcakes from Hey Cupcake! Before a show, I want a hot bath and I want a cupcake, and having been to Austin several times before, I was familiar with Hey Cupcake! and how delicious their stuff is, especially their cream cheese icing.

The person I shared my Lyft car with this morning said the same thing.

BF: So I’m not alone. So I was having one, and I said to the manager, “We need to make sure that everyone at the show tonight has one of these. I think that would be very special”. I was the final set of the night, so everyone was going to be hungry and drunk. We’ve got to feed them. So we brought 250 cupcakes to the show to make sure everyone there got to have one, and things got a little bit rowdy as they tend to at the end of a show. And, unfortunately, the venue was kind of upset about that.

Did you have to stay behind and mop the floor?

BF: Well, I didn’t.

Was this your first SXSW?

BF: My second, technically my third. I was there, sort of as a ghost my first year. As a spirit, haunting the place.

Did you perform?

BF: I did, unofficially. I enjoy.

Your costumes are great [she’s wearing a 1950s-style satin bra and panty set with a dressing gown].

BF: Thanks. Believe it or not, this was from a fan. I perform a birthday bash every year in New Orleans and it’s become sort of a thing where I give everyone gifts. I pretty much give everyone gifts at every show; cupcakes, tampons, something, but since it was my birthday I decided to really go all-out. So anyone who came in lingerie received an actual present in a bag. And that’s something I do for all my birthday shows – you dress up in lingerie, you will be rewarded.

Well, I started receiving gifts as part of the whole exchange and someone handed me this beautifully wrapped, it was wrapped in an antique mat with a sprig of lavender, and [gestures to her dressing gown] this robe was inside of it. She just took it upon herself to make this for me. So then I reached out to her on Instagram, my favorite place, and said “I love the robe, I want something to wear under it.” and so she found this vintage pattern, and I sent her my measurements, and I picked out the color, and it matches my nails. And there we are.

It looks great.

BF: Thank you! It feels great. I’ll never wear another thread of denim in my life. I need something slick.

Denim can chafe, especially if it’s hot out. When I was researching you for this interview, I noticed that certain publications were trying to describe your performance style. I think NPR called you a “mysterious, raunchy, feminist”, and Paper Magazine said you were “endearingly weird.” Do you feel like those descriptions are accurate? Or rather how would you like people to see what you’re doing, and what would you like them to get out of it?

BF: I practice bathtub meditation, and one of the things I focus on when I am neck deep in bubbles, is not being invested in the reaction of others, for I know I have no control over that. I can control whether or not my nails match my outfit, I can control how much champagne in pour into my flute before I get into the bathtub, but I cannot control how people react to me. So they will choose their adjectives and I’d say that NPR chose some pretty good adjectives. I hope other people agree with those adjectives. I’m sure there’s a few flying around after Cheer Up Charlies. I love the English language, whether the adjectives are favorable or unfavorable.

A lot of your songs focus around feminist issues. Would you say you became interested in that because they’re issues that effect you directly, or are you interested in feminism as a whole, or is it a combination of the two?

BF: Feminism as a whole, and feminism as an individual, and feminism as an unconscious mode of being. As being a woman, born into the world, and walking around the planet as a woman. These are just the things that I experience and encounter, and those are the things I comment on.

Have you performed in New York?

BF: I have. I was on tour with Big Freedia this fall, and we performed at Irving Plaza. And I’ve performed at Pianos, and I’ve performed at Joe’s Pub. I especially love Joe’s Pub because the cabaret setting is the perfect setting for Rap Cabaret.

What’s coming up for you this year?

BF: I released an album yesterday. It’s a baby, an infant, it has not yet suckled at my teat, it’s so young. So that was Love Your Boyfriend, Pt. 3. and it is the third and final part of the Love Your Boyfriend EP.

Do you listen to a lot of rap?

BF: I’ll tell you this: I don’t think that Harper Lee read a novel and turned around and wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. I think that she grew up in the south, as a woman, experiencing things, observing things, and then she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. And that would be my answer to who influences me, and why I avoid talking about music that I listen to. Because I think that journalism, the knee-jerk reaction is to be referential, saying “If you’re this band, you must like this band, this band, this band.” And the band says “Yes, we do like this band, this band, this band.” It just becomes a list instead of a dialogue. Waiting in line at the bank might be as influential on a song as a concert you saw when you were four years old.

I did actually go to the Lilith Fair when I was eight. My mom loved Sarah McLachlan, but when I was eight, I was loving Jewel. Pieces of You is like my jam. Yeah, I loved the Lilith Fair.

Do you have any last words before you hit the road again?

BF: Let them eat cake.

BASSH INTO SXSW
March 31, 2016 9:30 am

Though the name Bassh may be new to you, it’s members shouldn’t be; the band is comprised of CJ Hardee and Jimmy Brown of Matrimony. Though they have only released one single so far, Bassh has already managed to catch some buzz from sites like NPR and Perez Hilton.

We caught up with CJ and Jimmy in Austin to talk shop about SXSW and what it’s like being a new band working towards their own sound.

How did SXSW go for you guys?

CH: It was exhausting, but fun.

You did four shows?

CH: We had four shows, plus a couple of other things, we were running around nonstop, basically.

JB: We had a lot of fun, though. It was really awesome.

What sort of things did you do for fun?

CH: We went to a castle. We finished a show and met a photographer, and she invited us to this castle. It was literally a castle.

Was it nearby?

CH: It’s in Austin, somewhere. There was a pool-moat, it was literally a castle. I’m talking spiral staircases, the whole nine yards. And they had a full bar, they had a bass rig, a guitar rig. We just hung out and played as a band all night. So that’s what we did for fun.

How did your shows go?

JB: They were really good. There were lots of different venues, we really had a good time. We saw some new bands, and we were all just kind of exploring and figuring out how to do live shows in the best way. All of us have been in different bands before, so I really value that opportunity to acknowledge the fact that [Bassh] is a new thing and it’s raw and we’re still figuring it out. I think for me, to put it in layman’s terms, when something is happening to you it’s a lot more exciting but a lot of the time you don’t realize it in the moment. And then you look back and think, “That was a really good time.” We try to keep up with how fresh it is, and really enjoy it, not put too many expectations on it, and just let it happen.

Was there anything you learned in your past bands, that you carried over to Bassh?

JB: You learn a lot of stuff along the way. You learn how to play better, you learn how to sing better, how to deal with things going on better, how to cope with being really tired better.

How do you cope with that?

JB: You just have to get over it. Sarah, our PR girl, she brings us water and stuff to rehydrate us.

Have you been to Austin before?

JB: I’d been there a few times to play shows with other bands, Austin’s a great place.

Do you have any pointers for bands going to their first SXSW?

JB: Don’t expect to get a soundcheck. For someone that’s never done SXSW before, they might freak out that they might not get that. You get there, you have five seconds to set up, and they feel like “This is South By, I thought I was going to make it this year.” You never know who you’re going to meet, or who you’re going to see. You just got to kill it.

You’re based in Nashville now, right?

JB: I’ve been there 10 months or a year, something like that.

How do you like it so far?

JB: Well I’m still there. It’s one of those things where you move somewhere and you learn a lot because your environment changes. You get to enjoy the new things, and also the pros and cons. I think for Bassh and for the music side of things, I think Nashville is a good place.

Are there certain things in Nashville you feel you can benefit from, versus being based in a place like New York or Los Angeles?

JB: Probably, it depends on what your goals are. If you want to write with other people, and perform with other people, than those are all good places. Some people don’t want to do that, a lot of people realize that’s not for them and they just don’t want to do that. It just depends. It’s a good experience and it’s good to feel it out, and you’ll definitely learn something from it.

You released “Body”, your first single, recently. Is there an album coming?

JB: We’re going to do another single pretty soon, and we’ll put out an EP or an album. We’ve got a plan. Once you put an album out, it’s out, so it’s like the way the music industry is, everything is very instantaneous. So once you make an album, then you have to make another album. I think for us, we’re a band still defining what our sound is. I think doing it this way allows us to be more creative.

SXSW SPOTLIGHT ON: RONY’S INSOMNIA
March 17, 2016 11:17 am

Rony’s Insomnia is the female fronted and hybridized alternative rock project of local New Yorker and native Israeli Rony Corcos and company. Rony’s Insomnia, who will take to stage at 11:30 a.m. this Friday at the Beasts’ SXSW showcase in Austin, is a powerful symbol of feminine might and creative expression. With their cerebral blend of modern technology, intelligently employed effects, and traditional jazz-rock core, Rony’s insomnia creates a wall of sound that is sure to please both the punk-alternative enthusiast and the more refined musical tastes.

Rony’s knowledgeable production background is evident in their highly sophisticated set, while her Mediterranean Middle-Eastern roots can be heard in an almost ancient background whisper. Be prepared for lots of pedals and an impressive display of female vocals. The talented display can be heard on 2014’s well received Count to Ten EP.

With a new and improved line-up featuring Ben Fitterman on Bass and Colin Taylor on drums, Rony’s Insomnia is set to make their unique presence felt at this years Southby celebration. If you can’t make it down this year, be sure to see them at their upcoming New York dates, or catch them on the road this spring.

SAY GIRL SAY SPEAKS AT CMJ
November 2, 2015 4:46 pm

Who knew there’d be a whole showcase dedicated to bands from Texas? CMJ was packed with delightful bands playing around the city, but the “Texas Takeover” at The Delancey was something that was worth checking out and helped me discover some bands outside of the local scene I’ve been stuck in lately. Even if you missed it, no worries! We got to speak to one of the talented bands, Say Girl Say, and hear what they had to say about music, tacos, and their bond to mother nature.
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How’s CMJ so far?

Suzan: SO COOL. We started off with the kick-off party at Pianos on Tuesday and then we played a private dinner party at the Chef Club.

Was it part of CMJ?

Suzan: No, not really, but it was really cool. It was like a Houston by New York mixer. So it was like Houston culture being introduced to New York. It was just us. There were a couple of chefs there from Houston that are pretty well known and got some really awesome food down there.

What’s your favorite food?

TACOOOOOOS(in unison). Straight up!

I thought you’d say BBQ!

Suzan: We’re known for that, but we’re vegetarian. But tacos…Breakfast tacos, lunch tacos. Put eggs, veggies, mushrooms, spinach, avocado, onion, red pepper, green pepper, jalapeno, sriracha!

So have you discovered any good taco places around New York?

Suzan: We stay away from that food when we’re here because we can have it when we go back home. We’ve had pizza and bagels- The food’s great here.

How did you guys get together as a band?

Suzan: Bridget and I worked at an environmental non-profit and we immediately clicked once we found out we love music and at the time I just learned how to play the ukulele and later on Bridget bought a ukulele and started playing infront of friends at open mics. There’s a local bar called the Avant Garden that we play at on Tuesday nights and that’s where Luke met us!

Luke: They were actually on stage when we walked in. I immediately flored at their voices and performance. Both these girls were singing into one microphone and they both had ukuleles and were playing it into the other microphone. It was funny, but I loved what I was hearing.

Bridget: It’s pretty DIY

And how many years ago was this?

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Luke: This was on October 10th, 2011.

Suzan: Wow, Luke remembers the date!

All this face paint- Tell me all about this tribal look you guys portray!

Suzan: So we have a lot of tribal rhythms in our music. Luke uses a lot of different instruments- jambes, tables, steel drums, so there’s a wide range of influences globally to our music. So yeah, the African beat man. We have a connection to mother nature, so we really like to look like we’re coming out of the dirt sometimes, like we’re growing out of the earth. And so the more face paint, the more raw it looks and closer we are to ourselves.

How would you describe your sound in one sentence?

Suzan: Let’s make it a long sentence. Indeginous free folk soul R&B world awesome. Everything we do is very organic. The way that we write music, so it’s really cool that technically we’re all just friends, and it’s awesome that brought us together. So we like to just sit down and mess around, constant jam sessions. That’s how we write music so we just produce what comes out in the moment. We channel our productivity. We feed off each other very well, very naturally.

Pageantry’s Got Girl Breath
September 14, 2015 1:40 pm

“Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present”. No, that’s bullshit. Today is a gift because Pageantry is releasing their brand new single, “Girl Breath”. The Denton, Texas band saw their first brush with the big time during last year’s CMJ conference, earning accolades from Pancakes and Whiskey, who gushed “I have a feeling we won’t be seeing the last of these Texas natives here in the big city.”

The band is currently preparing for the release of a new album and an autumn tour of the Midwest and West Coast. ATYPICAL SOUNDS spoke with leader Roy Robertson on how he plans to take it all in.

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Hello, please introduce yourself.

RR: Hi, my name is Roy and I sing and play guitar and record some of the music. Ramon plays the drums, Pablo is on bass and Chase plays the keys. 

You’re about to begin a 15-date tour. Will it be difficult to put your personal lives aside to do it? Did you need to give up any day jobs?

RR: Right now it’s actually closer to 20 dates. It’s not much of a sacrifice to put our lives on hold to tour; it’s what we want to do and what we knew we’d have to do being in a band. We have jobs that know we’ll be leaving town for 3 weeks at a time so thus far we haven’t had to give up too much.

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Which bands will you be performing alongside on your tour? Anyone you’re looking forward to performing with? 

RR: Every night we’ll be playing with 2 to 3 different bands, so it’s really hard to name all the bands we’re looking forward to seeing. At the very least we’re happy about the tour we’ve booked and know we’ll make some new friends and visit with old friends on this trip.

How do you deal with the long drives between performances?

Listening to lots of music. Other than that it’s just enjoying the view out of the window.

Which of your songs do you think sounds best when played live? Which gets the best reaction from the audience?

I don’t know. It depends on how our day has gone and what type of band we want to be that night. Sometimes you represent certain songs better than others for no real reason. At the end of the day we’re going to play the songs we’ve brought and build the show how we want to.

You’ve toured throughout the Midwest and West Coast before. Have you noticed any major differences in the people who come to your shows?

At this stage we’re still working things out in a lot of ways. With every tour we see more and more people coming to see us play and it’s really nice to get that support from strangers. Hopefully with the new record, people will be more familiar with the songs we’re playing now.

You were included in The Huffington Post, on their “Best of the Fest” list for SXSW 2014. Were you able to make any connections through that?

Stuff like that is nice to have and we’re honored to be on that list but it’s hard to say what gets you what anymore. It might be press, might be word of mouth, might be something else. I don’t try to figure it out anymore.

Your first New York City performances happened last year during CMJ. Was there a reason you waited to come to the East Coast?

There’s not a real reason, no. We wanted to go up there sooner or later but when we got the invite from CMJ we just went for it and booked our flight.

What did you think of the famed pizza in New York? Are you planning to come back?

The pizza was good, we should have researched more but we had four shows in a couple of days so most of the time was spent at clubs or in the subway getting to shows with all our gear. We’ll come back, more likely as part of an East Coast tour next year.

Do you have any new music in the works? Post-tour plans? 

Yeah, definitely. We’re about to release the first single from our new album next week. The album is called Influence and it’s our first “studio” record. The single is called “Girl Breath.” We’re working on getting videos and other pieces together for the album release, then we’ll finish the new songs we’re working on now and have them ready to test out on this coming tour.

T0W3RS Brought The Electric Groove To ATX
August 21, 2015 6:12 pm

A hot Saturday night, August 15th in the heart of downtown Austin, Texas. I was lucky enough to catch T0W3RS in the middle of his current summer tour.

Derek, the lead of T0W3RS was fierce as hell. I just have to say, he pulls off the bolo tie. He is one that brings all kinds of attitude to the stage with badass style and jamming tunes. His ongoing album TL;DR started off in the midst of the night- a hot night, but it was rad. The lighting was vibrant and the bar was awakened at Red 7.

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T0W3RS owned the damn stage! People were groovin’ and Derek’s charisma towards the audience was captivating; his body language was strong and endearing. His presence took over the venue and he gave off strong feelings for the music; there was a great connection between him and his equipment, you can tell he truly expresses himself when he is up on stage. Taking advantage of all the time he had, he was all over the place expressing this refreshing, freeing persona, sharing this experience with everyone ready to witness. The songs were relative to everyday moments of life with spacey electro-pop wave tunes to flow along with you. T0W3RS rocked it out and never missed a beat. They had everyone watching Derek, totally unrestrained and off the wall. I couldn’t stop watching because you never knew what he was going to next.

His vocals are textured and full of feeling, never missing a single beat. His music is intertwined in all types of passion and perception with the fun loving/I do what I want/feel how I want to feel beat and don’t forget, the KILLIN’ IT attitude.

He is still on tour for the rest of the summer and might be rolling through your city!  Click here for more info.

AUGUST 21st – BLOOMINGTON, IN
AUGUST 22nd -CINCINNATI, OH
AUGUST 23rd – DETROIT, MI
AUGUST 26th – CHICAGO, IL
AUGUST 27th – CHICAGO, IL
AUGUST 28th- DAVENPORT
AUGUST 29th – MINNEAPOLIS
AUGUST 30th – CLEVELAND, OH
AUGUST 31st – PITTSBURGH, PA
SEPTEMBER 1st- PHILADELPHIA, PA
SEPTEMBER 2nd – PIANOS, NYC
SEPTEMBER 4th- BROOKLYN, NY

If you get the chance to see T0W3RS live, DON’T MISS IT!

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