Editor's note: Each month, we spotlight the can't-miss shows, anticipated albums, and must-know artists that make Austin the Live Music Capital of the World. And do note, interviews have been edited for clarity and style.
November is here, bringing even more festivals — Levitation (November 7-10) , Utopia (November 14-16), and the Austin Record Convention (November 9-10) — notable new releases and plenty of shows worth attending.
To start, let's check in with hometown heroes White Denim. The band’s first full length live album, In Person, was released October 29 via their own label, Radio Milk Records. Recorded over three nights on the outdoor stage at Radio Milk, which is their studio space on the east side, it’s a dynamic (and hefty!) 23-track effort.
CultureMap chatted with frontman James Petralli learn more about the new album, future plans, and how Radio Milk has turned into one of Austin's best spots for live music.
White Denim has had a really busy 2019. You’ve toured quite a bit and launched Radio Milk Records. The band put out a new album, a remastered version of [2010's] Last Day Of Summer, and now the live effort. How’s it all been? Do you prefer things to be stacked back to back in this way? Or will you be sleeping the first half of 2020?
It has been pretty busy, but it is definitely good to keep working on the music and the other stuff around it. It’s all been interesting! We are trying some things that are new to us. No sleep ‘til midnight most nights and waking up early most days, trying to be like Loggins.
Biggest highlight of 2019 so far?
I got to play and work on some fun music regularly and didn’t have to clock in at Home Depot.
What was the inspiration for the live album? Will there be more?
The studio’s proximity to the Radio Milk stage makes it easy to utilize the equipment inside to capture the performance that is occurring outdoors. There are some fun options for good sound inside the studio and Jim Vollentine runs the recording for us. It’s too easy.
And, yes, there are a few other performances by other artists awaiting release in some form or fashion. I’m not sure how’ll they’ll come out, but I’m sure they will be out in some way someday.
Seeing shows at your studio space, Radio Milk, has quickly turned into a real hot spot. Do you prefer playing there? Are your neighbors okay with it?
It’s really fun and feels right at the moment so we are doing it. The neighbors are really cool. We do our best to respect everybody’s sound boundaries — or soundaries as we like to call them — and try to have a somewhat consistent dialogue or at the very least an open door or even a gate to them. We are keen to keep going and want to be a positive thing for the neighborhood.
What will 2020 look like for Radio Milk Records?
I dunno. Lots of talking about releasing some releases. Lots of good music being made by the different people working here and we hope to be involved in the releasing of it on some level.
Who are some Austin-based artists that you’re currently into?
Being Dead is cool. Abram Shook is cool. Lots of cool music being made by artists based in Austin.
And more November highlights:
Kae Astra — November 14 at The Pershing
Dream popper Kae Astra has readied a new EP, Fortune, and on November 14 she’s going to welcome it to the world with a show at The Pershing. As if that wasn’t enough reason to go, she’ll be joined by two other fantastic local acts — Curtis Roush (of The Bright Light Social Hour) and Abram Shook, who released The Neon Machine, a great pop album, earlier this year. Admission for this show is free.
Dwight Smith — November 18 at Cheer Up Charlies
Kickoff the week of November 18th at Cheer Up Charlies with Dwight Smith’s release party for his new album, Ghost Town Atlas. Alongside the singer/songwriter you’ll find experimental rockers Food Group and Daphne Tunes, who just recently put out a great indie pop record titled Volume 2. The cover here is just $3 at the door.
Wild Child — November 21 at The Far Out Lounge
The rain claimed Wild Child’s October show at The Far Out Lounge, but the pop act is set to give it another go on November 21. This is a “limited capacity” show, so if you’ve been wanting to see the band in more of an intimate setting, now’s your chance. Expect special guests. Tickets are $20.
Abhi The Nomad — November 23 at Scoot Inn
ACL Fest 2019 alum Abhi The Nomad is set to perform at the Scoot Inn on November 23 in support of his new album, Modern Trash, which is a “plea for the betterment of the planet we live on." Atwood will open for the up-and-coming hip-hop act. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 the day of the show.