Free Week Recap

Sadly, Free Week is over for another year, and the next large-scale opportunity for free live music isn’t ’til the day shows and after-parties of SXSW, still months away. But hey, you at least have some pictures to reminisce over ’til then.Ovenbirds

Ovenbirds – Mike Booher was originally known around Austin for Zykos, a band who has produced an impressive amount of songs that should by all rights have gotten them major national love but, by the quirks of music industry and fickle public, never quite vaulted them to fame. But he’s also made a reputation for cool, fun side-projects like Booher and the Turkeyz, and Ovenbirds, who are pictured above playing opening night of Free Week at Emo’s.
Riverboat Gamblers
Riverboat Gamblers have a new album coming out in March, and it’s pretty damn awesome. If you’re tuning in to 101X at other times than Chillville hours, you’ve probably heard them rocking out with A Choppy, Yet Sincere Apology. If you like the track, rest assured this is not an album that rests on one hit single – the entirety of Underneath The Owl is chock-full of songs that potentially could see major radio play. It doesn’t hurt that their live show is one of the best we’ve seen in Austin (and we’ve seen a lot). They played Saturday at Mohawk.
When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth
When someone talks about When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, the first adjective out of their mouth is inevitably ‘loud’, and when you’re standing a foot away from the speaker trying to get a photo the word gains a whole new meaning. Call it noise rock with experimental overtones, if you wanna try and nail down their sound, but it’s best to just let the sonic waves blow you away. Wednesday, Emo’sUme
Ume is punk rock, experimental, and interesting to watch. Lauren Larson is just tiny, maybe 5′2, but get her behind a guitar and she’ll head-bang her heart out. Her sometimes-dreamy, sometimes-wailing delivery always sounds great, and if you pick up their new EP, feel free to let us know what you think of The Means in particular (because we think it’s begging for an even more chilled-out remix). Thursday, Emo’sHarlem
If you wanna watch a live show where the band has obviously had a few alcoholic beverages and is just having a good, raucous time on-stage, Harlem is a good choice. Dirty, southern, jangly garage rock, laden with drug references and charming in spite – or because? – of them. Thursday, Emo’s
Strange Boys
The Strange Boys occupy a niche similar to Harlem, in that southern rough-and-ready style… but is that such a bad thing, if it’s executed well? second Friday, Emo’sBrazos
Brazos is modern folk, chilled out indie, and just really pretty stuff. Their members cut in half since spring, the sound is radically different from the fairly straightforward, guitar-heavy indie rock of a year ago, but Martin Crane’s distinctive songwriting ties it all together. One of the best bands in Austin, we are very glad they are back from hiatus and playing gigs again. second Saturday, Mohawk

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