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There are a lot of things Austinites care a little too much about. Local beer and breakfast tacos rank high on the list, but almost nothing beats the fervor with which locals live and breathe for queso. Saturday afternoon, teams of self-claimed queso aficionados came together at the Mohawk to fight for the Best Queso title at the fourth annual Quesoff, Austin’s definitive queso competition.

The Quesoff pitted 20 teams representing Austin restaurants, social clubs and family recipes against each other in four different categories: meaty, spicy, veggie and wild card. A panel of judges included radio personalities, local journalists and musicians.

Adi Anand, the creative mind behind the Quesoff, together with the Mohawk owner James Moody, had been plotting a queso competition for some time before the duo finally cemented the idea four years ago after a long night of Jameson cocktails. 

“Our inspiration was the love for queso we saw amongst our friends and, obviously, our own unending love for the dish,” Anand said.

Siena Magallanes, third year law student, entered the competition under the moniker “Thunda Fromunan” with her green chile and pineapple Sriracha queso. Magallanes and friends won the veggie category in 2012, but since the Quesoff attracts large crowds, competition is difficult for independent entrants like Magallanes.

“It only took us an hour to run out of queso,” Magallanes said. 

Contestants at this year’s competition brought in a record 100 quarts of queso, and the slow cookers and coolers were scraped clean by the end of the day.

After much deliberation, the panel of judges decided that Freedmen’s Brisket Queso was the absolute best Austin has to offer — at least until next year’s competition.

The most eye-opening moments — the moments when we are most capable of important and necessary reflection — are the moments when life stands still. During this year’s South By Southwest, that stand-still moment came in the form of a screeching halt. 

Early Thursday morning, outside the Mohawk and Cheer-Up Charlie’s, a drunk driver drove through a busy crowd, killing two people and injuring 23, including the driver himself. 

As a SXSW attendee, to say that it left a bad taste in my mouth would be a gross understatement. It left me devastated and stunned. Austinites and out-of-towners alike were left in disbelief. Life actually was standing still, and we were left to piece together and make sense of the inexplicable. The crazy, we-are-all-invincible illusion that SXSW creates was instantly debunked in the most horrific way. 

The pain hits us harder because of how indisputably relatable we all are to the incident’s victims. We were all there for the music. We were all trying to get through the busy streets. I was on Ninth and Red River streets mere minutes before the incident happened. As fellow SXSW attendees, it’s hard to shake the thought that it could have been us because, in a way, it happened to all of us — the SXSW music community. 

The collision did more than put mortality into perspective, though. It changed my perception of the entirety of SXSW.

It started when I was sprinting down Ninth Street to get to the press conference that was slated to start at 2 a.m. I was struck by the stark contrast to how I had seen Red River Street just a few hours before. The roaring, happy crowds were gone. The music that permeated every corner of downtown Austin had stopped. The silent street was barren, except for the eerie sight of yellow police tape and flashing red and blue lights.

From that point on, SXSW felt a little off-putting. The things that normally come with SXSW, like the ubiquitous advertisements and marketing ploys, now felt disrespectful, considering what had happened. It’s hard to feel the weight of two deaths and nearly two dozen injuries when festival attendees were attending shows and seeking out free drinks just as they were the night before. 

SXSW kept going, but it was hard to tell whether it kept going because this festival is just too big to be stopped or because SXSW simply had no choice but to go on.

Thursday, the day after the collision, Cheer-Up Charlie’s and The Mohawk canceled their day events, appropriately, but even after they opened back up for business Thursday night, there was a palpable awareness in the crowd. It was this feeling that we were standing in the exact spot where, shorter than a day before, a tragedy took place. The festival didn’t seem like this beast to conquer anymore. It just felt wrong, to some degree, that we couldn’t take a day off to fully absorb and digest the previous night’s terrible events.

Now that the festival is over, we can fully take in what has happened and figure out how we want to view future SXSW festivals. There will, undoubtably, be the same level of hype, if not more, as the festival grows past its already colossal size, but, to me, SXSW will always carry an asterisk next to its name.

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

Just after midnight Thursday, Rashad Owens drove a car through the South By Southwest crowd on Red River Street and hit 23 people in less than a minute, according to police. Three of those victims — Greg Cerna, Maria Belyaeva and Ryan Freeman — are UT sophomores. Here, Cerna, Belyaeva and sophomore Oliver Croomes, who was with them the at the scene, recount their memories of the collision.  

Greg Cerna

Nineteen-year-old Greg Cerna, computer science and electrical engineering sophomore, remembers getting pizza with his friends just before midnight Wednesday night. He remembers agreeing to walk to the Mohawk Bar to see Tyler, the Creator, despite not really being a fan. After that, he said, things get a little blurry.

“I remember getting to Red River Street but, after that, just loud noises,” Cerna said. “The next thing I remember really clearly is waking up in the hospital and seeing my aunt’s face.”

Cerna suffered a concussion and received scrapes and bruises all along the right side of his body after being hit. His head gash is now marked by nine metal staples. Cerna’s friend Croomes, who was at the scene but did not get hit, said he believes Cerna was carried up the block by the hood of the car.

“We had to walk toward people at the next intersection — that’s when I first saw [Cerna],” Croomes said. “I thought maybe he was dead.”

Cerna, who spoke slowly on Sunday, searching for words he has trouble remembering, said he is still in disbelief when he thinks about the reality of the collision.

“I never thought it was the kind of thing that could happen,” Cerna said. “And, like, to me.”

Maria Belyaeva

Maria Belyaeva’s body is covered with yellowing bruises and tiny cuts just starting to scab over. She has a sprained ankle, concealed bruises on her skull and several staples on the back of her head holding together a larger cut. 

Belyaeva, computer science and radio-television-film sophomore, said she was one of the first people hit by the car.

“It hit us from behind,” Belyaeva said. “I was told he accelerated afterwards, which is scary. I remember waking up, and somebody was holding my hand, and someone else was holding my neck. It was dark, and they told me that I had been hit by a car, but I kind of thought they were kidding because I didn’t feel anything. I mean, my head hurt a little bit, but that was pretty much it.”

Belyaeva said she feels Owens, who is accused of driving the car, should see strict repercussions for his actions.

“I think he deserves a really harsh punishment,” Belyaeva said. “I know he was drunk, but that’s never really an excuse to be like ‘Oh, maybe I should go through this barricaded street through all of these people.’ He should accept the consequences of his actions, whatever they may be.”

Oliver Croomes

Computer science sophomore Oliver Croomes has no idea where the blood-stained Mohawk Bar t-shirt on his blue living room table came from. Someone handed it to him after the crash, but Croomes said no one was shirtless, and he was in shock. 

Croomes, who was walking along Red River Street with Cerna, Belyaeva and Freeman at the time of the crash, did not actually get hit by the gray Honda. Instead, he watched his three friends bear the brunt of the collision. Initially, he could not find them in the chaos.

“I remember thinking, I hope no one’s dead,” Croomes said. “I saw [Maria] first — I didn’t see her moving, so that freaked me out, but at least I knew she was there. I found [Freeman] on the opposite side of the street, but then — where the fuck was [Cerna]?”

Croomes said he was surprised by how quickly the collision was over.

“When you imagine situations like that, you feel like you’ll have some sort of time to escape, or help yourself,” Croomes said. “It just happens way, way too quickly.”

Cromes said, since the crash, he has a new awareness of mortality.

“I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately, [and now] I guess I kind of have a phobia of cars,” Croomes said. “But I’m OK.”

Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

The small indoor stage at Mohawk would be crowded with four people on it. With seven people, it is jam-packed. But Mighty Mountain uses every inch of the stage to deliver a memorable show. The band’s catchy music and enchanting stage presence helped it garner the reputation as one of Austin’s up-and-coming indie rock bands.

Formed just a little more than a year ago, the band mixes orchestral elements, provided by Jodi Lang on cello and Alejandra Cardenas on violin, with rock ’n’ roll. Mighty Mountain wants to use its music to bring people together and lift them spiritually. They won’t be found holding hands and singing “Kumbaya,” although ukulele player John Edwards jokes about writing a cover of it. Mighty Mountain isn’t a Christian, or even a religious, band. Rather, they believe that everyone could benefit from some positive thinking and encouragement. 

As Jonathan Horstmann, lead singer and bassist, rips into the first song of the set with a leap and a howl, every member of Mighty Mountain starts moving and they don’t stop until the last note. Horstmann speaks directly to the audience in a speech that is half motivational and half call-to-action. The moment he finishes, the crowd begins to cheer but is cut off by the band immediately resuming the vigorous pace of their show.

“You don’t really come to watch a Mighty Mountain show, you come to be a part of it,” Edwards said. “You’re not separate from it, you’re involved. It’s unique and you’re feeling the music in your bones, heart and soul.”

During the show, as confetti cannons explode and a bubble machine adds to the atmosphere, the band inspires the audience to move. Horstmann, jumping around far more than seems possible on such a small stage, constantly brings the head of his bass within inches of Cardenas’ head, but she doesn’t so much as flinch as she plays her violin and dances. 

“You go to our shows and see these big frat dudes with their arms out and eyes closed, just really into it and you know that we’re doing something special here,” Horstmann said. “People know that they will meet great people at our shows.”

For the band, the music is about bringing their own passions to the next level, and inspiring others to do the same.

“It’s better to be broke and be doing something that you love, and that goes for anything,” Horstmann said.

At the end of the day, the band just wants everyone to have a good time.

“Come see us if you’ve had a bad day,” Horstmann said. “If people want to have a good time and feel better about their lives and just want to see a great show, we don’t hold back.”

Between South By Southwest, Chaos in Tejas, Fun Fun Fun Fest and weekly shows at clubs such as Red 7 or Mohawk, punk shows are as common in Austin as 5 p.m. traffic on Lamar
Boulevard. 

And while Austin City Limits Music Festival is usually lacking in punk bands, this year will feature three big punk acts in its lineup with Savages, Parquet Courts
 and FIDLAR. 

Savages is an all female quartet from London, known for giving intense and electrifying live performances. Its debut record, Silence Yourself, was released this past summer and includes forceful and explosive hits including “Husbands” and “She Will.” The band has gained a reputation for adhering to a strict set of independent values, but has become memorable for its talent. Every member of the group is skilled, especially the propulsive bassist Ayse Hassan and drummer Fay Milton, who might be one of the most brutal drummers in punk right now. Guitarist Gemma Thompson leads the band with a drive that echoes early Joy
Division, and singer Jenny Beth brings it all together with her howls that all but force the listener into submission. Even those who do not typically like punk rock would enjoy Savages.

Parquet Courts is a punk rock band with Texas roots. Formed in Denton by Andrew Savage, Sean Yeaton and brothers Austin and Max Brown, the band found success after moving to Brooklyn and crafting some of the best indie punk of the past few years by stripping the music down to its basics. Echoing post-punk and indie-rock legends such as Television or Sonic Youth, the band creates direct and hard-hitting rock with elements of jazz, all while featuring complex yet slightly detached lyrics in the vein of Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus. All these comparisons ring true when listening to its fantastic second album Light Up Gold, released in August 2012. Parquet Courts are set to put out a fantastic new EP called Tally All The Things You Broke, which debuted earlier this week on KVRX. They are also known for incredible live shows and are local favorites, so expect their stage to be one of the most crowded in the early morning. 

Finally, for fans of traditional Californian skater punk in the vein of Descendents, check out the delightfully bratty FIDLAR. The band revels in irreverent and adrenaline-packed hits such as “Wake Bake Skate” or the already classic “Cheap Beer.” Its self-titled debut was released earlier this year to critical acclaim and shows are always insane,
usually featuring the band just drunk enough to function as it shreds and whips the crowd up into a frenzied mosh pit. Led by the enigmatic Zac Carper, FIDLAR is one band worth arriving early for.

While ACL can sometimes get a bad rap for leaning too hard toward radio-friendly indie rock or Americana, the festival delivered this year with three of the most exciting young bands in punk rock.

A night of loud music at Mohawk

Willy Moon performs at Latitude 30 Tuesday night. 

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

We picked up our music wristbands and after much deliberation headed to Mohawk for the Pitchfork Interactive Showcase. Badges had priority, then wristbands. It was supposedly open to the public, though there was no evidence of a non-badge or wristband holder in sight. By 10:00 pm, there were more than 50 non-badge holders lined up outside with no hope. 

Night Beds

Night Beds opened the show indoors. I had never heard this band and I was blown away by the lead singer’s voice. They played several of their own songs and a Mac DeMarco cover. The crowd was huge for the indoor opener, and I had to squeeze in and see this band.

Listen to: “Ramona”

IO ECHO

After Night Beds, I headed to the outdoor stage to stake a spot for the later acts. IO ECHO was about to take the stage and set up a fog machine, screens on either side of the stage and a big paper fan in front of the drums. The lead singer stepped on stage in a kimono and cut off shorts. The band had an intriguing stage presence, but it was a mistake to be third row from the stage. It was the second loudest show of the night.

Listen to: “Shangai Girls”

Marnie Stern

The band was just three people: a drummer, bass player and guitarist/singer Marnie Stern. She tapped her guitar and also used pre-recorded loops occasionally. I can guarantee her music is not for every one, it is rough around the edges, as any punk influenced music should be I guess. But she is a badass chick and fun to watch.

Listen to: “For Ash”

DIIV

This band was the coolest looking of the night and also my favorite set. The lead singer is totally androgynous with bright blond hair, the keyboardist had on sunglasses at 10:30 p.m. and the bassist worked very hard to keep all of his hair in front of his face. The band was energizing and perfect for hipster kid head bopping.

Listen to: “Human”

Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings was the loudest set of the night. They didn’t seem to stop between songs. Then from out of nowhere we were shoved into the stage by a crazy mosh pit that didn’t end for the rest of the set. I can't remember anything else about this set or their music as I was trying to survive the moshing. 

Listen to: “Hey Cool Kid”

Local Natives

The surprise guest of the night was Local Natives. After playing a show across the street at Stubbs for the Interactive closing party, the band came over to Mohawk at 12:30 a.m. It appeared much of the crowd had waited for this moment with anticipation. After a painfully long sound check, they started their set. It was worth the wait. Their records are much softer than their live show. When they closed with “Sun Hands,” it sounded like the whole audience was singing along.

Listen to: “Who Knows Who Cares”

 

Emicida


Brazilian hip hop artist Emicida's show last night at The Whiskey Room was definitely not one to miss. He is well known for his incredible lyricism and smooth beats. Growing up in the northern part of São Paulo Emicida became prodigious for his ability to rhyme in underground freestyle battles. In recent years the rapper has gained a great amount of notoriety in the hip hop world in Brazil and internationally. His unique style not only resonates through his music but also through his DIY approach to distribution and exposure as an entirely self-distributed artist. If you want to skip out on ridiculous lines and experience very high quality music, Emicida and his band play again tonight at Meduse Lounge at 10:45. Highly encouraged.


Listen to: "Triunfo"
 

Q&A with Breathe Owl Breathe

Folk band Breathe Owl Breathe charmed audiences at the Mohawk last week (Photo courtesy of Breathe Owl Breathe).
Folk band Breathe Owl Breathe charmed audiences at the Mohawk last week (Photo courtesy of Breathe Owl Breathe).

A folk trio that lends its music to be the warmth on a winter-time journey, Breathe Owl Breathe is on tour with singer songwriter Laura Gibson and opened up the show at the Mohawk last Sunday night.

The Michigan natives Andrea Moreno-Beals on cello, Micah Middaugh on guitar, and Trevor Hobbs on drums were on their way to a bookstore show in Marfa when The Daily Texan spoke with the band’s drummer.

The Daily Texan: I Google’d your name and a “hire a mountain guide” website came up. What’s something you’re knowledgeable or confident enough to guide people through?

Trevor Hobbs: Yeah, the mountain guide is not me. But I do have an affinity for the Earth sciences and I did a master’s degree studying Geo-Morphology. So I think that I’m qualified to speak about that, it’s interesting you found a mountain guide though.

DT: Where did you get your Master’s?

TH: Michigan State University.

DT: As a drummer in a folk band, are there ever times you just want to rage?

TH: [Laughs] Uh, yeah, definitely. There are times when I just want to groove. It’s interesting because I feel that feeling [the rage] is slowly making its way into our music. But playing along with acoustic instruments like the cello and acoustic guitar, you definitely have to approach drumming in more delicate perspectives.

DT: So could you describe the way that “feeling” is making its way into the sound?

TH: I think we’re always interested in jumping on instruments that we are maybe not most comfortable with. Andrea has been playing drums more and more, and I’ve been playing keyboards. So in order to keep it grounded and held together we occasionally throw in a drum machine and try to lock into that rigid sound. But it’s hard to pin down where it’s all going. I think we are always looking to evolve in a lot of different ways with our songs, whether it’s toward a groove or instruments we’re not familiar with.

DT: So what are you guys traveling in?

TH: We’re traveling with Laura [Gibson] and her crew, it’s a passenger van. We got all our gear in here and we’re sort of folded up. We’re just tucked away with all of our stuff.

DT: And how did you guys meet Laura?

TH: We met in Portland. We started going to her shows and we just really admire what she does, so we just met through music that way. We started hanging out and seeing each other when we would come to Portland then she asked us to come along on this tour.

DT: It’s pretty cool how musicians meet up and make friends.

TH: Yeah! It’s a very open community.

DT: It seems you guys have an affinity with animals. What makes you partial to owls, dragons, wolves, dogs, moles and/or ostriches?

TH: I think that affinity comes from Micah being interested in making songs about characters that are moving through space and going through time. They kind of have an element of story-like nature to them. I think it’s part of Micah’s songwriting. Just being someone who grew up always interested in stories and always having storytelling and poetry around him, it comes from him and that time I think.

DT: Last year you released The Listeners/These Train Tracks, a two-story vinyl with illustrations. What brought upon the idea for that project?

TH: It was kind of a long time coming. Micah has always had this idea to write a children’s book. It was kind of a three-year project in the making. He is always writing down stories or lyrics in little pocket books and keeping them in random places, like the cabin and coats and pockets. I think that’s how the book started. He imagined a story of a mole and an ostrich and how they meet up underground. The [band's] music was coming together at the same time as the story was and it dawned on us that they show together really nicely. Then we did a kickstarter fundraiser to raise money to fund the book. It was successful and it was a reality so we thought we should do it for real.

DT: You mentioned the cabin, what’s that about?

TH: All three of us lived at the cabin at one point. Just recently I moved but Micah and Andrea still live there. It’s this place that’s a Lincoln Log Style cabin that’s on a property that Micah grew up on. It’s where his grandparents lived when they were still around. They would go there to spend the winters. Now it’s a place where we’re setting up the music studio, Micah has his print making studio there, so it’s a place we return to when we’re off the road to recoup and create stuff. We make movies and record.

DT: Is living in a cabin more appealing then living in a house?

TH: Yeah, definitely. It comes with its fair share of pros and cons but the pros outweigh the cons. Just being able to go out the back door and get lost in the woods on an adventure and just having the freedom to create with few distractions.

DT: If you had to choose a landscape, or culmination thereof, which you say Breathe Owl Breathe sounds like?

TH: I think our songs are reminiscent of icy landscapes of the North. But I think more and more lately they’re sort of rolling canyon desert landscape filtering into our aesthetic.

DT: What’s the best setting to listen to your music?

TH: Maybe on a tape in a car. [Laughs] We have a lot of people say our albums have accompanied them on a journey somewhere.

Weekend Recs: American Spirit, American Icon, Keys, Skanky Chillwave

Local folk singer-songwriter Gabriel Strycharz of The American Spirit is playing a free, short set at the Mohawk on Thursday.

WHAT: HAPPY HOUR: The American Spirit
WHEN: Thursday, July 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: The Mohawk (indoors)
ADMISSION: No Cover, 21+


Spider House and Toy Joy are hosting their third annual art sale Sunday. The sale will feature more than 20 vintage clothing vendors, including Pop Noir, Dog and Pony Show, I Luv Video, Pink Fox Vintage and Meow Mod.

WHAT: American Icon Austin Presents: Spider House 29th Street Yard Sale
WHEN: Sunday, July 10 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
WHERE: Spider House
ADMISSION: Free

Local soul pop band Suite 709 is finally releasing its latest album, KEYS, Saturday at Stubb’s. All guests will receive a copy of KEYS, and the concert will also feature fellow local bands, The Canvas Waiting, The Vettes and BK & Mr.E.

WHAT: SUITE 709 Album Release Party
WHEN: Saturday, June 9 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
WHERE: Stubb’s, 801 Red River Street
ADMISSION: $5 with RSVP/“Like” on bit.ly/jgpPQP, $7 without RSVP

 

The Skank family is hosting a chillwave showcase of local electronic artists, featuring Galapagos, Selva Oscura, Lay Bac, Party Girl and Corduroi. There will also be live paintings done by visual artists and screen printing.

WHAT: SKANKY SUMMER: Chillwave Showcase
WHEN: Sunday, July 10 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
WHERE: The Parish
ADMISSION: $5 for 21+, $7 for under 21

New York City indie rock quartet Cymbals Eat Guitars will be opening for 90s rock veterans Cursive this Saturday at Mohawk.

New York City quartet Cymbals Eat Guitars got their start by playing Weezer covers when core members Joseph D’Agostino (guitars and vocals) and Matt Miller (drums) were still in tenth grade. Since then, the band has released two critically acclaimed albums, 2009’s Why There Are Mountains and last year’s Lenses Alien. These albums instantly won them the hearts of the heaviest-hitting indie publications like Pitchfork and Stereogum, and earned them tour dates at Lollapalooza and with The Flaming Lips. While it’s too early to know whether this young band will break into the mainstream, it’s safe to say they’ve come a long way.

The band is coming to Mohawk this Saturday, when they will be opening for ‘90s rock veterans Cursive from Omaha, Neb. In addition to D’Agostino and Miller, the current lineup includes keyboardist Brian Hamilton and bassist Matt Whipple. These four 20-somethings are hard at work keeping the spirit of ‘90s indie and shoegaze alive for a new generation of cosmically-minded misfits. What makes D’Agostino’s songwriting so important, however, isn’t that it sounds like early Modest Mouse and Pavement. Cymbals Eat Guitars are indie traditionalists, sure, but they’re also making music that’s dark, serious and captivating — music that deserves to be judged by its own merits.

Typical CEG lyrics, usually sung in D’Agostino’s adenoidal yelp, can get fairly weird. If you ever get “Definite Darkness” from Lenses Alien stuck in your head, be mindful of your location before anyone hears you singing lines such as “there are people who put dirty hypodermic needles between the seat cushions in the movie theaters.” As for their instrumentation, the band is more conservative. The lineup is a power trio plus a keyboardist, augmented by an ever-growing guitar pedal collection that gives them the freedom to switch between apocalyptic feedback swells and clean-tone chords.

Also at the center of the blogosphere lately is D’Agostino’s philosophical lyrics, which have been frequently compared to Modest Mouse vocalist Isaac Brock’s from their albums The Lonesome Crowded West and The Moon and Antarctica. In an interview last October with Radio UTD, D’Agostino was asked about the concept behind “And The Hazy Sea,” which inspired the title of Why There Are Mountains.

“It was basically like dead bodies and bones being piled upon each other and compacted to make layer upon layer upon layer upon layer until there were mountains,” D’Agostino said. “It’s sort of about the ebb and flow of civilizations.”

While there isn’t much to laugh about in their studio work, it’s clear from their official Twitter account (@CYMBLS_EAT_GTRS) that they lighten up pretty fast once they’re away from their instruments. D’Agostino and Whipple generally use the account to share their thoughts on recent music news and crack goofy jokes, such as: “Don’t you wish Will Smith was cast as the Green Lantern? Think about it.”
Of course, their knack for pop culture hypotheticals isn’t why you should see them this weekend. You should see them because Cymbals Eat Guitars are using the same old indie ingredients to make brave new music. Besides, this could well be the last time you’ll get a chance to see them for under $15.

Printed on Monday, April 9, 2012 as: Cymbals Eat Guitars to perform '90s-inspired rock at Mohawk

Tunesday

Marnie Stern hits up the Mohawk

In November 2008, the beautiful Marnie Stern and her band received a hefty speeding ticket while on tour and couldn’t afford to pay it. Their solution was to set up a kissing booth at a San Francisco show, charging $3 for cheek kisses, $10 for lip kisses and a whopping $100 for a French kiss. Apparently the mood at the kissing booth was one of nervous tension among the men too timid to make a move, although there were a few takers.

Fortunately, Stern and her retinue have dug themselves out of that hole by now and will play at the Mohawk tomorrow evening at 9 p.m. with experimental math-rockers Tera Melos and Austin’s own Zorch. But be on the lookout for a kissing booth, just in case. Tickets are $8 at mohawkaustin.com or $10 at the door.

The death of lo-fi

“The ravages of age — and the Internet — [has] pushed lo-fi into the 99-cent ‘Buy It Now’ eBay bin,” said Jared Phillips, guitarist for the lo-fi indie rock band Times New Viking in a recent article in Vice magazine. “Now lo-fi’s the new slap bracelet. Max headroom. Moon shoes. JNCO jeans.”

It’s surprising to hear Jared Phillips mourn the death of the genre, considering his band and many others in the past decade have pushed to make its presence known. Times New Viking along with bands such as Psychedelic Horseshit and Wavves are part of a subgenre of lo-fi known as “shitgaze;” the genre’s proponents play traditional indie rock songs but in an abrasive way, maxing out amplifiers’ capabilities and distorting the sound to the point where it sounds like psychedelic noise. Shitgaze became popular in the past decade because of its affordability and ease; using sub-par equipment and shoddy recording techniques is appealing to bands on a budget.

But Phillips’ claim doesn’t bode well for many of the lo-fi bands in Austin. His solution? Get out while you can or record music correctly. He recommends recording properly, buying the best gear money can buy and practicing proper maintenance. Or if all else fails, “Watch the Grammys and learn, dumb-ass.” Read the full article from Vice at http://j.mp/dt-deathoflofi.