THE M.U.S.I.C. PROJECT IS WORKING The second meeting of the newly formed M.U.S.I.C. Project (Musicians Uniting and Supporting in Communities) took place on January 14, but the meeting will be felt at least until 2015. Bekah Kelso, Pop Pistol’s George Garza Jr. (also M.U.S.I.C.’s president), Chris Duarte and other local artists were there to hear Austin-based guest speaker Nakia (aka Nakia Reynoso, who you may have seen as part of CeeLo Green’s team on the first season of The Voice) stressing the importance of unity for the sake of the scene, yes, but also of becoming a member of The Recording Academy—if you’re a musician or producer, you get to vote at the Grammy Awards, thus helping yourself and other colleagues (still skeptical? Ask anyone who has ever been nominated whether that hurt their careers). But joining the Academy goes well beyond winning an award or a nomination: The Academy paid for Nakia’s substance abuse treatment through MusiCares, the Academy’s branch that helps musicians in need. Moreover, M.U.S.I.C. secretary Candyce Slusher mentioned that one of the main goals of the group is to work towards having health insurance for local musicians, which they’ll try to achieve sooner than later.
“One of our primary goals for 2015 is health insurance for our members,” M.U.S.I.C. executive director Tim Slusher told SA Sound (yes, the Slushers are the nice couple behind Riff House Concerts, on hiatus until April). “Some musicians work full-time jobs just to afford or obtain coverage, others give up, brushing off this necessity that only employees of corporations can acquire. Considering the fact that many musicians juggle their music careers and a full-time job or multiple part-time jobs to meet their household expenses, it is not hard to understand why [they] have come to view health insurance as an extravagance that is out of their reach. M.U.S.I.C. Project’s goal is to have, at the very least, a group rate option.” Not discussed was the impact the Affordable Care Act will have on musicians looking for coverage, though Tim Slusher said he’s been discussing it with healthcare professionals.
However, according to Candyce, even with the ACA, M.U.S.I.C. will still endeavor to secure a group rate for their members.
Go to musicprojecttx.org to find out more about the group, which, among other things, makes it easier for artists to record in exchange for some cool community service.
ATX BRINGING EDM TO SA EDM-oriented RealMusic Events will produce its first show outside of Austin on March 1, choosing the North Side’s Greenhouse Rooftop bar for the occasion. The show will feature New Zealand dubstep duo Mt Eden as headliner with support from DJ Shwann, DJ Crias, CompleteJ and The GoGo Gadgettes. Why SA? “We’re excited to expand into San Antonio, our metropolitan big brother to the south,” RealMusic owner Andrew Parsons told SA Sound. “San Antonio is a massive market where EDM is just starting to thrive and grow. We can’t wait to be a part of it and [we] want to help take things to the next level in the music scene.” Tickets for Mt Eden’s show are $20 at ticketfly.com.
NEW BANDS TO WATCH Hans Frank (Glambilly, El Gallo) just launched The Smart Boyz, also featuring members of the Lower Class Brats and Bone Machine, described by Frank as “rock ’n’ roll, early Stooges, MC5-influenced.” Frank fronts the band, but it was actually the brainchild of EVO, bassist for LCB, who started thinking about the project in 2008. “I had wanted to start a band that encompassed a lot of my influences: hard glam rock, ’70s proto-punk and rock ’n’ roll,” EVO told SA Sound. “It’s been a rough road in finding the right people that [shared] my vision.” The band plans to record its first two singles within the next two months, film a music video for one of them and continue writing. Go to soundcloud.com/rock-n-rollerz and, if you like what you hear, catch their debut at The Mix on Friday, February 7, featuring the Bent Gents and the Lucky Odds.
The Oblio’s (a psych-garage band featuring the Rich Hands’ Nick Ivarra) will play Limelight every Tuesday this month. The instrumental heavies formerly known as Accord of Dissonance have renamed themselves as Remanon and will play Zombies on February 28 with Televators, Righteous Kill and Breaking Boundryz.
NAT’L PARKS HAVE NO RECREATION The jazzy, avant-garde band used its free time to record a “pseudo-live album” titled As Live As Life Allows, which is the product of a live performance at The Circle School coupled with studio embellishments. The album will be presented with not one, but two sets at 502 on February 15 (others on the bill include Wolverton, an intermission DJ set by Trip the Light and Mission Complete), plus a show at the Mix this Friday with Royal Punisher. “We never intended to release this as an album,” Josh Glenn told SA Sound. “It all came together after Douglas Miles Clarke got his hands on the 37-minute audio recording … and started doctoring up the mix. Douglas found me a few weeks later and gave me a copy of the mix (with just my guitar and some vocals). It sounded really good, but had all this extra space. That’s when we decided to make an album out of what we had.” Glad they did: The album is a seven-track magic groove that grabs you and won’t let go.
BLACKBIRD SINGS AND FILMS Blackbird Sing has just filmed a video for “Manxiety” (included in Enemies From Years of Loving). The video was shot by Bleeding Heart Productions and will premiere in late February/early March. You can get a behind-the-scenes look on YouTube.
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