Inventive lap-steel-pop quartet Snowbyrd recently learned that they were accepted for a showcase at North By Northeast in Toronto. The music confab, an Ontario answer to SXSW, is now in its 13th year. This year’s NXNE will run from June 7-10, and feature more than 450 bands performing at 30 venues.
After 35 years in the music business, Mike Alvarez figured he was ready to handle some serious, self-imposed creative pressure. Alvarez, a former Austinite who has produced and recorded Texas titans such as Roky Erickson, the True Believers, and Daniel Johnston, currently resides in Hollywood, California. Eager for a musical challenge, he pushed himself last year to write and record a spanking-new, full-length album in only two days (cheating on the composing front with one song, a cover of Marc Bolan’s “Mambo Sun”). And just to make the process a real challenge, he cut the tracks on an archaic Fostex eight-track reel-to-reel machine.
The resulting album, 2324, was released last fall on Not Records Tapes, and Alvarez’s 48-hour whirlwind was also captured by filmmaker Tom Koester in a 3-D documentary entitled, appropriately enough, 2324: The Making of an Underground Rock Album. The film premieres in Hollywood in May, but San Antonians can see Alvarez in the flesh when he comes to Limelight (2718 N. St. Mary’s) on Saturday, April 28, for a show with Not the Government, This Horn of Afrika, and You Make Engine. Showtime is 10 p.m.
— Gilbert Garcia