To kick off your week, we’re going to introduce you to ten awesome songs from the Austin music scene. Sound good? Well then, let’s go!
This week, we’ve included some older acts including 13th Floor Elevators and The Original Bells of Joy to get readers acquainted with the beginnings of the music scene, but also with what’s happening in Austin currently. Check back next Monday for a new playlist!
Named after the 1999 film October Sky, one of Austin’s best upcoming bands The Rocketboys seem to get bigger with every song they release, including their latest single “Viva Voce.” The group is putting Austin and its music scene on the map — their music has even popped up in TV shows such as “Glee.” While there are plenty of great local bands to kick off your Monday with, tunes such as “Loud and Clear” will get your week off to a great start.
The Wealthy West
Started by The Rocketboys front man Brandon Kinder late last year, The Wealthy West dives into quieter tones and feelings than The Rocketboys, taking on a more mellow vibe. With acoustic stylings and beautiful vocals, The Wealthy West will help you ease into the week, while also urging you to keep listening.
13th Floor Elevators
While we always like discovering current music here at Austin.com, it’s the older bands that are sometimes the most exciting. Taking things back a few decades, we bring you 13th Floor Elevators, a rock band that played around Austin from 1965 to 1969. Despite only being around five short years, the group made their name known around town and in the music industry. The group released their debut single “You’re Gonna Miss Me” in 1966 and would go on to influence acts such as Primal Scream, the Shamen, and Spaceman 3 in the 1980s. While the band had success touring across the United States, various internal problems within the band, along with an unstable lineup, shattered any hope of future success. The members made the decision to hang things up after the release of their last album Bull of the Woods in 1969. The surviving members of the band would end up reuniting at Austin’s Psych Fest (also known as Levitation) for a 50th anniversary show in 2013, though no plans to reunite again have surfaced.
After getting their start in 1993, local rock band Spoon has risen in the local and national music scenes, and is one of our city’s most loved and recognized acts. After signing to indie label Merge Records in 2000, they released their third LP Girls Can Tell a year later. The album landed on Pitchfork’s Top 200 albums of the 2000s. While the group faded into the background for a few years, they earned acclaim from both music critics and fans for their 2014 release They Want My Soul.
Wood & Wire
Founded in 2010, Wood & Wire has become one of Austin’s breakout bluegrass acts. They released their self-titled record in 2013, which received much critical acclaim. This also allowed the group to tour outside of Texas. With songs that are honest and simple, Wood & Wire is a group that you’ll want to know and tell all of your friends about.
Explosions in The Sky
Known for their long artistic songs that are almost always instrumental, Explosions in The Sky has made their music known through song placements in such television shows as “Friday Night Lights.” While one of the motivations of the band’s music is to grab at your emotions, the group has become an Austin favorite that is still in existence 17 years after forming.
The Original Bells of Joy
After achieving fame in 1951 for their only hit single “Let’s Talk About Jesus,” the Austin based gospel group, Bells of Joy, is still singing today under the name The Original Bells of Joy. While it is a rare occasion for the members to perform, to get a taste of the “old Austin” there is no better band to listen to.
The Peterson Brothers
Austin blues family band The Peterson Brothers is one of the most talented groups in our music scene today. Brothers Alex (17) and Glen Jr. (19) front a band of musicians that sound like they have been playing together for longer than the brothers have been alive. After watching the siblings play live, any given crowd will leave the venue in awe of their talent and the command that they have over their instruments. A notable highlight of the show is when Alex goes for a bass solo, something that he does well. He plays on the same level as Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea as he slaps and plucks his bass as if he is performing the last show of his life.
The Leroi Brothers
Founded in 1981 by Austin musician Mike Buck, The Leroi Brothers would go on to become Austin’s longest running bar band during the ’80s. They would achieve national success with their record Open All Night which debuted on the Billboard Charts at #181 in 1987. To get a feel for Austin’s long and interesting musical history, The Leroi Brothers are a group to take a listen to, as the group’s tunes give their audience a window into Austin’s musical soul.
Another ’80s band to add to our list this week is country act The Wagoneers, who signed to A&M Records before breaking up in 1989. The band helped pave the way for the Americana and alt-country movement of the 1990s. The Wagoneers lay dormant for many years before performing at the 2011 Austin Music Awards which coincided with their induction into the Austin Music Hall of Fame. After the performance, the group felt that playing together felt so natural that they booked a few gigs in Austin, Dallas, and Houston. They also released a new record, The Essential Wagoneers.
If you are interested in reading more of Lauren Gribble’s features, you can head to her website Listen Here Reviews.
Featured photo: The Rocket Boys.