Arts in Context

This Austin band tackles politics and race with pure punk rock

This Austin band tackles politics and race with pure punk rock

Editor's note: CultureMap is proud to present the latest installment in our partnership with KLRU's documentary series Arts In Context. The series explores the process of creation and what it's like to be a working artist in the Austin area. You can watch more stories at klru.org/artsincontext.

Jonathan Horstmann and Taszlin Muerte, two of the musicians who make up the trio BLXPLTN (pronounced Blaxploitation), started performing in Austin in 2013. The founding group members felt that people of color weren’t represented in the punk scene, and thus the band was formed.

“I would describe our sound as brass knuckles in your back pocket. You don’t know it’s there, and then ‘bam!’ That’s BLXPLTN,” says vocalist/percussionist Muerte. “It’s a surprise, but in a good way.”

With a radical sound and politically charged lyrics, BLXPLTN champions social justice for people of color and other disenfranchised members of society. “I feel like sometimes people don’t want to book us because they’re afraid we’ll ruin everyone’s time, but our music rocks — and we have a good time,” says Muerte. 

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories that entertain, inspire, and change our lives. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique — whether music, arts, or public issues — by creating and distributing award-winning original content. KLRU produces several series including Austin City Limits, Arts In Context, Central Texas Gardener, Decibel, and Overheard With Evan Smith. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also prepares children to succeed in school and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Austin, Art in Context, BLXPLTN, January 2018
BLXPLTN first hit the music scene in 2013.   Courtesy photo
Austin, Art in Context, BLXPLTN, January 2018
With a radical sound and politically-charged lyrics, BLXPLTN champion social justice for people of color and the generally disenfranchised, forgotten members of society. Courtesy photo
Austin, Art in Context, BLXPLTN, January 2018
“I feel like sometimes people don’t want to book us because they’re afraid we’ll ruin everyone’s time, but our music rocks — and we have a good time,” says Taszlin Muerte. Courtesy photo
Austin, Art in Context, BLXPLTN, January 2018
Austin, Art in Context, BLXPLTN, January 2018
Austin, Art in Context, BLXPLTN, January 2018