“Hops and Wax” (Zio Carlo Magnolia Brew Pub): This mouthful of a restaurant features some pretty lofty pizza options for a bar and grill. But the spot’s namesake, Carlo Galotto, hails from Torino, Italy, and has been toiling here since 2008, according to this exhaustive SideDish article from a couple of years ago.
Tonight the brew pub will be showcasing another of its specialties, the ever-popular craft beer, and in this case it turns out to be musically themed. Did you just whisper “uh oh” softly to yourself at your work desk? Because that’s an entirely reasonable reaction. Austin’s pop metal act The Sword has just released its second beer, which is called, “Iron Swan,” after the 2006 song by the same name.
Lest you think that a band having its own beer is an oddity, it is actually quite common. Turns out there is an entire micro-industry of acts with their own branded alcoholic beverage. Here are a few, divided by category:
Acts Who Should Never Have their Own Themed Alcohol:
Acts Who Deserve their Own Themed Alcohol:
I’m a little disturbed by the posthumous beer marketing of both Miles Davis and Robert Johnson, but that’s a different issue altogether. I can only imagine that the Sword’s sophomore beer effort will be as successful as their first, since I’ve seen people drinking it everywhere since its release late last year. I keep asking friends if it’s “watered down,” or “not as heavy as you think it would be,” but they never get it. ZCMBP will be spinning the Sword’s Age of Winters on vinyl this evening, hence the “wax,” and you are also encouraged to bring your own records. I encourage that too. The event starts at 7 pm.
Kurt Vile and the Violators/Sonny and the Sunsets (Trees): I’ve been a longtime fan of Austin music site, Cover Curiosity, but I’ve been struggling with a sentence that was posted on the site earlier today:
Kurt Vile is quietly becoming one of the great American songwriters of our time.
That’s quite a claim. KV has certainly stuck out from the never-ending glut of the singer/songwriter, a genre that seems to never really go in or out of style so much as it just is always there, its opportunities for artistic narcissism proving to be just too irresistible for the aspiring musician. Vile’s breakthrough record, 2011’s Smoke Ring for My Halo, was remarkable in its lack of force, a quiet, largely acoustic record that seemed to just mourn privately with little cessation. His newest album finds Vile a little more seemingly motivated, though his penchant for indulgent song-length is still intact: As Covert Curiosity mentioned, that opening track is nine actual minutes.
Speaking of Austin, Transmission Entertainment had a hand in booking and/or promoting this show, along with the locally based Tactics Productions. It’s an outsourcing that seems to be more and more commonplace. If local booking entities and promoters can’t really compare to out-of-town booking entities or do it all on their own, then perhaps we should outsource everything to Transmission. That’s if Dallas can’t get the job done. Can we start with our festivals?
“Vinyl Tap” (Double Wide): Mark Ridlen’s record swap is actually the most charming night in Double Wide’s various weeklies, since the music is always reliably well-selected due to the veteran DJ’s involvement. Not only that, you have the ability to play your own tracks “for up to ten minutes,” and you can even find something from a local vendor if your collection is not up to par. And if you’re a collector, you know it never is.
“Cool Out Monday” (The Crown and Harp): Resident Tony Schwa’s guest this evening is Tim Funatik.
Vulgar Fashion/Daniel Francis Doyle/Hex Cult (J&J’s Pizza): Earlier this week, former Plano resident (and current Austinite) Daniel Francis Doyle began a tour with his band The Dreamers which will see the singer headed up to Michigan and back. Doyle has a new collection of songs which have yet to see physical release or a spiritual home, aka a record label. I’m patiently awaiting news of either, and a preview listen to the songs revealed DFD returning to the blunt minimalism of his past, as he moves further away from his heavily distorted and tortured period of his early solo career. There are one too many Bo Diddley licks in there for my taste, though the synthesizers and Young Marble Giants-esque moments of tenderness make up for it. I am thrilled that his backing band finally has a name, and this is a solid lineup all around. (Full disclosure: I’ve known Doyle since Kindergarten, and I once helped put out one of his records. It sold out of its initial print run, so thanks for that, Danny.)
Other Tuesday Shows—
Ancient VVisdom/The Saint James Society/Terminator 2/Cleric (Club Dada)
Riverboat Gamblers/Blacklist Royals/John Tole/Stymie (Lola’s)
Blake Ward (Sundown at Granada)
Photo: Mark Ridlen at the Nervebreakers show, July 2013. Credit: Andi Harman.