Though they just passed through last fall at Exit/In, after a couple years away from Music City, eclectic Austin rockers White Denim return to headline The Basement East tonight, Oct. 11 with a brand new LP in tow, their second in under a year, with their latest, Side Effects, a true callback to the experimental, freewheeling spirit of fan-favorite releases almost a decade ago. Along with fellow eclectic Austin artist Abram Shook, fans of weird, smart, artsy, and era-spanning rock, pop, jazz, psychedelic, and progressive music will want to make this a serious priority, and tickets are still available right here! Read on for more about the show.
One of the most interesting acts to emerge from the eclectic Austin rock scene, first formed more than a decade ago, in 2006, White Denim are always a fun, unpredictable, and enthralling live show. Initially the result of the merger of two other projects, though their lineup has shuffled a bit over the years, White Denim somehow manage to mix elements of psychedelic rock, punk, indie, jazz, experimental rock, progressive, and soul, all without feeling overblown or clunky. Though very DIY in their early days, the group have grown to amass a sizable cult following, and have shared the stage with the likes of Tame Impala and Arctic Monkeys, all the while continuing to produce some buzzworthy records and push their music to new directions and genre explorations. Arguably, the band found their stride with 2011’s fourth (or third, or fifth, depending on what you’re counting) album D, and continued to grow in recognition with critically-beloved 2013 “barbecue” effort Corsicana Lemonade, next furthering their reach with 2016 LP Stiff, the group’s first time working with an outside producer and first proper live, analog album, capturing the spirit of the band’s fast, heavy, uncontainable early sound fused with years of experimentation. With last year’s Performance, recorded in the band’s on Austin studio, White Denim once again augmented their sound, fusing rock with bits of garage punk, soul, psychedelic boogie, prog, jazz, and country blues to smart, thoughtful, adventurous, and great affect, at once modern, nostalgic, and timeless. Less than a year later, the prolific group returned once more with this year’s Side Effects, something of a callback to the experimental, freewheeling spirit of fan-favorite 2010 effort Last Day of Summer, capturing the spirit of their live shows in a way that’s sure to please longtime fans. Wholly unique and always fantastic in concert, any chance to see White Denim live is must, and with a new album in tow, their quick return to town is all the more welcome!
Raised in California, eclectic artist Abram Shook grew up studying jazz and world music and well as surfing, later moving around to Portland and Boston before settling into his longtime home base of Austin, where he subsequently launched what’s been an impressive solo career (and has also assimilated into the scene as a collaborator, formerly touring as a live member of indie group Shearwater). With his debut full-length, Sun Marquee, in 2014, Shook set the template for what’s become his genre and era-spanning sound, fusing psychedelic, soulful, and tropical indie pop with world grooves and experimental studio techniques, drawing from life experience and the places he’s called home (particularly California), while flexing his vast and off-kilter musical sensibilities as a unique and singular artist. 2015’s Landscape Dream felt more deconstructed and focused, while 2017’s Love at Low Speed saw Abram finally saw Abram open up with more personal themes of love, loss, and human connection. Continuing to flex and explore his range, Shook’s latest and fourth full-length, this year’s The Neon Machine, proved to be his most unabashedly pop work to date, though pop as only Abram Shook can craft, asserting that he, like White Denim, is an ever-evolving and subversive artist. If you dig the headliners, you’re surely want to catch this opening set; don’t be late!
White Denim and Abram Shook will perform tonight, Oct. 11 at The Basement East. The show is 18+, begins at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $20.