Image via Tumblr/Chulita Vinyl Club

From Texas Standard:

Music is undergoing a transformation – chances are you've not only heard of Spotify and Pandora, you're a subscriber too. The vinyl of old is long gone.

At clubs and bars, the DJs – most of them are men – typically work fake turntables controlling mp3 files. That's just the way its done today.

Image via Flickr/Marc E. (CC BY-2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Lady Gaga is just as well known for her fashion as she is for her music.

Image via YouTube

From Texas Standard:

Today, the Houston hip-hop sound is known around the world: hypnotic, narcotic slow-motion beats, pioneered by DJ Screw, which have found their way from the bayous of Syrup City to the Billboard Top 10.

Fans of the Texan pop star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez got a treat this week. 

Twenty years after her shooting death, and after years of requests from fans, the singer's family released an early demo of the previously unheard song, "Oh No (I'll Never Fall in Love Again)."

Image via Flickr/Mark Taylor (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Tuesday it was the iconic song from Rocky – “Eye of the Tiger” – used at the Kim Davis and Mike Huckabee rally.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Demetrius Hardison and Israel Uballe are warming up for their guitar lesson.

This summer, Hardison and Uballe are the only two students taking guitar here. But during the school year, there are two sections of guitar lessons with four to six students each. Students can earn academic credit for taking the lessons, which take place twice a week during the school year. 

Jeremy Osborn, a teacher from the Austin Classical Guitar Society, leads the boys through their warm-ups. 

Flickr/ Dave Hensley (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas has inspired a lot of great music.

To pay tribute, the Texas Standard talked to KUTX’s Laurie Gallardo last week and had her pick her top five Texas songs. But of course, that left out many favorites and classics.

The Standard heard back from listeners, compiled the comments, and brought Gallardo back into the studio to react to some of them.


From Texas Standard:

Last year, music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify generated more revenue than CD sales. Musicians say they aren’t happy with how much they’re getting in return, especially now that streaming companies like Amazon, Google, and even NPR, have formed a lobbying group to try to lower the amount they pay to musicians. 


From Texas Standard.

Austin Police returned a pretty special Gibson guitar this week. It was one of only three produced. Willie Nelson owns one, Dan Rather owns one, and now, Walt Wilkins has his back. Wilkins is a singer-songwriter based in the Texas Hill Country.

Simon Crow/Colchester 101 Magazine

This story comes from Texas Standard.

Steven Walker has thick-rimmed glasses and full beard. He’s wearing a pearl snap shirt with a Western pattern sewn on the pockets. He looks right at home in artsy East Austin.

“People are shocked when they come in and they see all these amazing American artists on the wall and then the guy in the beard and the cowboy shirt comes up to them and says, ‘yuh alright?’ (in a British accent). It is a bit weird for them I guess,” Walker says.

Walker’s journey to Texas wasn’t direct.


We check in with KUTX program director Matt Reilly about some of the live shows on his radar, including performances by Of Montreal, Stevie Wonder and Stars.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

You might be surprised to hear that Sweden is the world’s third biggest exporter of music. ABBA, Ace of Base, and the guy who invented Spotify are all Swedes.

And when Swedish musicians travel outside their country, one of their first stops is South by Southwest.

But what makes Swedish music so popular?

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

At South by Southwest Music you can hear everything from metal and rock to hip hop and electronic music.

Dozens of genres – but for the most part, they all have one very basic thing in common.

If you’re a musician, it might sound familiar to you:
The musical note A, above middle C, equals 440 hertz.

It’s the basis of virtually every piece of music you’ll hear today. And probably every piece of music you have ever heard, with a few exceptions.

It’s called reference pitch or concert pitch. It’s the note that every other note is based on.

Take a listen:

Every instrument in Western music – more or less – is tuned to this standard.

Matt Karp

It’s the busiest weekend of the year for live music in Austin, and trying to look at the listings is like drinking from a fire hose. We spoke with KUTX program director Matt Reilly about a free concert for locals, a mini-fest at a boutique hotel on South Congress and a family friendly music experience in North Austin.

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Maybe you didn't RSVP to the events, or maybe you didn't buy an $895 music badge or a $189 wristband, or maybe you hate lines, but you still want a taste of Austin's largest annual assembly of live music? There are options.

Fader Fort is livestreaming four days of live music performances in ultrahigh definition. Dell is organizing the technology and says it's the first time a concert has been livestreamed online in 4K.

"You're going from HD to basically four HD-sized screens, so you're quadrupling the detail," Dell's Scott Hamilton says of 4K technology. "This just takes it to the next level."

This weekend's shows includes an album release by a local 70s-influenced rock band, a chamber music experiment by the drummer of the Police and a concert by singer-songwriter John Mellencamp.

KUT’s Nathan Bernier listens to quick clips of who’s playing with KUTX program director Matt Reilly.

He was a songwriter who nurtured Texas music for decades from his honky tonk in San Marcos. Kent Finlay lost a battle to cancer Monday at the age of 77. He passed away at home. 

In 1974, Finlay opened the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos and hosted performances by artists such as Willie Nelson, Towns van Zandt, Guy Clark, George Strait and Stevie Ray Vaughan. 

"Kent is one of the stealth legends of Texas music," Texas music writer Joe Nick Patoski says. "As an arts patron, I don't think I've ever met anyone better." 

Listen to our conversation with Patoski about Finlay's life and legacy.


Music legend Ian McLagan has died of complications related to a stroke. He was discovered in his home in Manor last night after he failed to show up for a band rehearsal. He was 69.

McLagan was rushed to University Medical Center Brackenridge and placed on life support. He passed away this afternoon at 2:39. 

"He was a beloved friend to so many people and a true rock n roll spirit," McLagan's manager Ken Kushnick said in an e-mail. "His persona and gift of song impacted the music across oceans and generations."

Matthew Yake

Our KUTX family is always working on interesting things. This week, in the short lull between the two weekends of Austin City Limits, host John Aielli did an interview we just had to share.

Aielli sat down with three throat singers from Tuva – a republic of about 300,000 people that's a subject of Russia, and is near Mongolia. The members of the group Alash Ensemble have trained in this style of song since their youth.

Though the group has gotten some broad attention, including collaborations with artists such as Béla Fleck, we'll bet you've never heard anything quite like this before.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Larry "LAK" Henderson, founder and CEO of Smart Music Entertainment, and the creator of a new sound of hip-hop music that is used as a tool to inspire learning, and awaken the consciousness of youth and people in our communities.

Henderson's educational hip-hop music has received airplay on major radio stations around the world, and he is a noted speaker on hip-hop and its impact on our communities.