2ND STREET DISTRICT STAGE
7:00pm - 8:00pm | Ben Kweller
5:30pm - 6:10pm | T Bird & the Breaks
4:30pm - 5:10pm | Latasha Lee & the BlackTies
3:30pm - 4:10pm | Gina Chavez
2:30pm - 3:10pm | KP and the Boom Boom
1:30pm - 2:10pm | The Nightowls
AUSTIN MONTHLY STAGE
6:00pm - 6:55pm | The Digital Wild
5:00pm - 5:40pm | Magna Carda
4:00pm - 4:40pm | Riders Against the Storm
3:00pm - 3:40pm | Wildcat Apollo
2:00pm - 2:40pm | Tinnarose
1:00pm - 1:40pm | Ben Cina
Stages Powered By:
7:00 PM - 2ND ST DISTRICT STAGE
Indie-rock icon, Ben Kweller, has captured the hearts of fans and critics for 15 years. Through his unique approach to music making, constant touring, and a punk-rock refusal to be pigeonholed, Kweller, has built the kind of career that rolls on regardless of fads and trends. His genre-jumping catalog of five albums, four EPs and multiple singles, has sold over half a million copies worldwide.
Kweller hit the world stage in the mid 90's as the leader of the self-proclaimed 'Sugar Metal' band, Radish. A top 40 hit in the UK gave the band a cult following and landed Kweller on the cover of Kerrang! Magazine. All of this, plus a world tour opening for Faith No more, forced the 15-year-old Kweller to drop out of high school and never look back. After the break-up of Radish in '99, Kweller recorded a lo-fi collection of songs entitled, Freak Out It's... Ben Kweller. 'Freak Out' made it into the hands of Evan Dando, Jeff Tweedy, Juliana Hatfield and The Violent Femmes, all of whom took the solo artist under their wings and out on tour. The education and support he received from those artists proved invaluable as the spontaneous and raw solo performances of those early days became the building blocks for his illustrious career. Kweller became a staple in the New York music scene in the early 2000's, touring and playing with bands like The Strokes, Adam Green, Moldy Peaches, Nada Surf, Fountains of Wayne, Guster and Jeffrey Lewis.
Kweller was ATO Records' first worldwide signing in 2001, and his time with ATO included a brazen collection of albums including Sha Sha, On My Way, and the eponymous Ben Kweller. In 2010, Kweller left ATO Records to work exclusively with his label, The Noise Company. In 2012, Noise Co released Go Fly A Kite, which gained a Grammy nomination for Best Album Packaging. Immersed in rich harmonies, lush arrangements and bittersweet lyrics, Go Fly A Kite is a celebratory offering of the essential Ben Kweller and serves as a career-defining album with the ability to resonate beyond its time. There's absolutely no telling what Ben will do next, but as he has always said, "I have no backup plan. All I know is music. All I've ever known is music and I'll continue to make it until the day I die."
T BIRD AND THE BREAKS - 5:30 PM - 2ND ST DISTRICT STAGE
RED BULL SOUND SELECT FEATURED ARTIST
Hailing from Austin, TX, T Bird & The Breaks play a style of dance music with its fundamental roots in the Funk and Soul of the late 1960's and early 1970's. It'll get you dancing. It'll make you sweat. It'll make you smile. But... T Bird & The Breaks cannot be narrowly classified as simply throw-back, retro, funk & soul. The original songs draw lyrical influences from greats like Dylan, Beck and Cohen, while the contemporary swagger of The Breaks' live show pays homage to the creativity and positivity of early and golden-age Hip-Hop. The band's "kitchen-sink-style" of music is evident on their cover of Shirley Ellis' 1965 R&B hit "The Clapping Song" in which they include verses from Tom Waits' "Clap Hands."
It's a melting-pot of influences from across musical genres, that baby boomers, gen X-ers and millenials can all dig and get down to together. In the last few years they've been invited to play shows with artists as eclectic as The Flaming Lips, The Funky Meters, Sting, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and Galactic. 2015 will see T Bird & the Breaks releasing their third studio album, Harmonizm, and bringing their electrifying, tear-a-hole-in-it, funk-bomb of a live show to a stage near you.
THE DIGITAL WILD - 6:00 PM - AUSTIN MONTHLY STAGE
The Digital Wild is an Indie rock/electronic band from Austin, TX formed in late 2012. The band released their debut record "Into" on January 17, 2014 on Out The Woodwork. Made up of Chantell Moody (vocals), Michael Wisdom, Chelsea Seth Woodward (vocals/guitar) and Ryan. The Digital Wild combine studied elements of modern indie pop with timeless vocals. Factor in a consistently potent live show, and it's no wonder they're on the fast track to becoming the darlings of neo-soul. Performing at hometown venues like the Parish and Continental Club along with major festivals like SXSW and Fun Fun Fun Fest, 2015 is expected to be a big year for them.
MAGNA CARDA - 5:00 PM - AUSTIN MONTHLY STAGE
"Solid hip hop groups are harder to come by in Austin than say, country or rock, but thanks to local band, Magna Carda, the hip hop scene in Austin is that much better. (KUTX)" Having met in 2012 at St. Edward's University, Megz Kelli and Dougie Do teamed up to create their first mixtape titled "creature Creative" (2012). Now that the duo has found a whole band, they call themselves Magna Carda. Magna Carda is the collaboration of Megz Kelli (rapper), Dougie Do (keyboard/producer), Eric Nikolaides (guitar), and Derek Van Wagner (bass). Based out of Austin, the type of music they play is an infusion of Hip-Hop/Jazz along with Neo-Soul. As the duo released their mixtape "Van Geaux" in January 2013, the group's latest release "Like It Is" is available for free download/streaming via Bandcamp.
LATASHA LEE & THE BLACKTIES - 4:30 PM - 2ND ST DISTRICT STAGE
Latasha Lee, Corpus Christi, Texas-bred, (who cites icons such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Sam Cooke, and Otis Redding as influences) knew her sound needed to contain the raw essence of these artists to complete her own vision. Fast forward a few years to the age of 20 when she caught the attention of Universal Music Group signed platinum producer, Salih Williams. After signing to Carnival Beats in 2006, Latasha immediately started songwriting with Williams to create the Latasha Lee sound. In 2012, she made it to the top 50 spot on the top-rated television show X-Factor. In 2013, Latasha released her self-titled album on the Carnival Beats Soul imprint along with 17 compelling music videos on YouTube. Latasha Lee & The BlackTies performed live for the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2013 and she's been featured on many radio and blog sites such as: ThisIsRnB.com, Verbicide Magazine/UK, RedBullSoundSelect.com, Echoes Magazine/UK, the Bob Edward Show plus various internet radio and blog sites around the world!
Additionally, Latasha Lee & The BlackTies have performed throughout the US, drawing large crowds and leaving them wanting more. There is even a healthy buzz growing internationally in places like Holland, New Zealand, and the UK. Her soulful voice cuts cleanly and crisply through the music with a groove that slices directly to the heart with honest power. This music and her genuine heartfelt delivery come across with grit, teeth, heart, and soul!
RIDERS AGAINST THE STORM - 4:00 PM - AUSTIN MONTHLY STAGE
Riders Against the Storm (RAS) is a musical movement in Austin that can only be described as 'historic.' As recent recipients of 'Band of the Year' honors at the 2014 Austin Music Awards, Chaka and Qi Dada (husband and wife) represent a significant first in the 'Live Music Capital.' Over the past 32 years, hip hop has never received the top honor at the annual awards show.
Beyond the awards, RAS was featured in the Emmy award-winning PBS series 'Arts In Context.' 'Holy Water,' a song from their 2013 self-titled EP was chosen as one of 66 songs (from a pool of more than 20,000 submissions) to receive an award from the International Songwriting Contest in 2014. Most recently, RAS was selected to take the stage at the Austin City Limits Music Festival (featuring Outkast, Lorde, Eminem, and more).
Aside from headlining many shows throughout the country, RAS has opened for national recording acts including: George Clinton, Jean Grae, Pharoahe Monch, K'Naan, KRS-ONE, Wu-Tang Clan, The Geto Boys, Raekwon, Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Slick Rick, Nas, Rakim, Damian Marley, ?uestlove (of The Roots), Antibalas, Devin the Due, The Coup, Michael Franti, and Dead Prez.
GINA CHAVEZ - 3:30 PM - 2ND ST DISTRICT STAGE
Gina Chavez is a multi-ethnic Latin pop songstress, blending the sounds of the Americas with tension and grace. Her latest album, Up.Rooted, invites us on a sonic journey to uncover her lost Latin roots and has been hailed by NPR, The Boston Globe and USA Today. Gina is a native Austinite and four-time Austin Music Award winner, including Best Female Vocals and Best Latin Rock. She recently took home the Grand Prize in the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for "Siete-D," a song about her experience volunteering in a gang-dominated suburb of San Salvador where she founded Nina Arriba, a college fund for young Latinas.
WILDCAT APOLLO - 3:00 PM - AUSTIN MONTHLY STAGE
Wildcat Apollo, based in Austin, TX, delves into psychedelic rock, electronic, shoe gaze, dance and pop music to create their eclectic and infectious sound. Members Cat Tassini, Taylor Eichenseer, Aaron Eichenseer, and Alex Margolin pull from a wide range of artistic influences, exploring and creating music in a truly collaborative group environment. They recorded their self-titled debut album at The Bubble in 2013. It features distorted guitars, triumphant vocals, airy synths, and pounding rhythms. Wildcat Apollo has already tasted success: they were awarded the Grand Prize for the Rock category, a Lennon Award for their song, "The Colorado," at the 2013 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and were invited on the 2014 Vans Warped Tour. Locally, the band has made a name for themselves in "the Live Music Capital of the World" through their electric live shows.
KP AND THE BOOM BOOM - 2:30 PM - 2ND ST DISTRICT STAGE
AUSTIN MUSIC FOUNDATION FEATURED ARTIST
KP and the Boom Boom formed in the fall of 2010 in Austin, TX. They made major waves around town in 2013, releasing a three-track EP produced by AJ Vallejo, debuting a music video for their single, "Feel It," and stirring up buzz with their high-energy performances.
The band's sound, while cohesive and compelling, evades sure description. Pull it apart and you'll find hallmarks of funk, soul, disco, R&B, jazz, and world music - artifacts of the band's highly collaborative approach to songwriting. A funky stew, for sure, but once fermented and distilled it yields an aesthetic that's uniquely their own. It feels at once highly innovative and effortlessly danceable - music for the mind and the body.
In 2014, KP and the Boom Boom made their debut appearance at UTOPIAfest and The Horn named them one of the "biggest and brightest in the local scene," The band will be back in the studio this year to record their highly anticipated first full-length album.
TINNAROSE - 2:00 PM - AUSTIN MONTHLY STAGE
It's hard to pin Tinnarose down. The Austin sextet, led by songwriters Seth Sherman and Devon McDermott, like to draw on the music of their youth for inspiration: the folky sounds of AM radio Laurel Canyon hits, the technical pop of Steely Dan, and the gruff roots rock of Neil Young.
Critics praised their 2014 self-titled debut as "breathtaking" (PopMatters), "amazing" (Greg Vandy, KEXP), "refreshing and adventurous" (Austin American-Statesman) and "intriguing and exciting" (RichardThinks.com). The band has expanded their range to include tours all over the U.S., and are already preparing their follow-up record.
THE NIGHTOWLS - 1:30 PM - 2ND ST DISTRICT STAGE
The Nightowls, an Austin-based soul band that draws its dynamic, dancing-in-the-street-spirit straight outta Motown, has been igniting stages since 2013. Their original song "Nobody Ever Wants to Leave," from new EP Good As Gold B-Sides, was commissioned by the Austin Convention and Visitor's Bureau; it's now the live music capital's official theme song.
Led by frontman and founding member Ryan Harkrider, the ten-piece band released their debut album, Good As Gold, in late 2013, channeling classic R&B sounds while also pushing at the genre's boundaries, creating a unique, neo-soul sound. Fresh from a performance at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, The Nightowls are only gaining momentum. As they prepare for the vinyl release of Good as Gold's A-Sides and B-Sides on December 5, they're also putting the finishing touches on a new album, recorded at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, slated for release in Spring 2015; a short documentary about the Fame sessions is in the works as well.
BEN CINA - 1:00 PM - AUSTIN MONTHLY STAGE
29-year old seasoned Texan Benjamin Cina is not your ordinary singer/songwriter. Performing on a weekly basis to triple digit crowds in the 'Live Music Capital of the World' has become a welcomed norm, with no one more humble and visibly aware as to the significance of the public's reception than the charismatic crooner himself. In the past year Ben’s song “Criminal” was used in a 2014 Toyota Camry commercial, he toured throughout the state in Dallas, Ft Worth, Houston, Galveston, San Antonio and Austin and also performed during SXSW. ROC Nation artist Rita Ora shared the stage with Ben in October 2012 for a late night rendition of Usher's "Nice and Slow," only to later rave on Twitter about the experience. Ben has been writing and performing for the past ten years of his life and received training at the world famous jazz department of the University of North Texas.
Influences include beloved classics like Al Green and Curtis Mayfield to more modern songwriters like John Mayer, Maxwell or Gary Clark Jr. All play an identifiable role regarding the quality of craftsmanship, as well as attention to detail that Ben instills within his own music.