Holy Mountain introduces itself with some help from My Jerusalem
Back in July, after James Taylor announced he would be part of a group taking over the space on East Seventh Street recently vacated by Beauty Bar, the co-owner, booker and manager said no particular style or genre of music that would dominate the room, which they had named Holy Mountain.
“I want to do rock shows, dance shows, hip-hop shows, country shows, because that’s what I’m into,” he said. “I like Waylon Jennings and Wu-Tang Clan, and I think there are other people that like that, too, and I want to do both sides of that.”
Now the Red River-area live music world will get to see what Taylor’s vision looks like (Austin production companies including C3 Presents and Transmission will also book the room). The club opened up for Austin City Limits festival aftershows a couple weeks ago (and will also do so for Fun Fun Fun Fest), and again this past weekend, when it hosted three nights of shows, including an album release party for Austin “postmodern gothic soul” band My Jerusalem.
On Friday, the band showed off new material from Holy Mountain’s new stage, which rises a few feet off the ground. Frontman Jeff Klein took advantage of the renovation, leaping from the stage in the middle of a booming set to sing from the crowd. At other points, a thick layer of horns kicked in alongside Klein’s menacing vox — a close cousin to The National’s Matt Berninger — adding a tinge of Americana to the dark, thumping rock.
Taylor said Holy Mountain will consistently host live music Thursdays through Saturdays, with additional nights booked for touring bands. He also said he was open to the idea of a weekly residency.
Like nearby Mohawk, Holy Mountain opens for happy hour. With the interior mostly set, Taylor said he’s also looking to create an outdoor space behind the club, possibly with a food truck. “We’ve tried to make the place comfortable enough that it will be a good hangout.”
Austin at CMJ. New York’s SXSW-like CMJ Music Marathon happened last week, and several Austin-based bands performed, including Wild Child and Shakey Graves. Austin’s Holy Wave (who have a new album coming early next year) performed early in the week and spent the rest of the time checking out acts including the Paperhead and Maria Minerva. Though CMJ draws 1,300 performers and a slew of panels and parties, Holy Wave’s Joey Cook said the fest, which is spread across Manhattan and Brooklyn, doesn’t have the same feel as SXSW. “You kind of can’t tell that there’s a festival going on here, because there are so many people doing other things.”
South by Sugar Magnolia? On Thursday, South by Southwest Music announced an initial list of panels at the March conference. Amid the panels focused on branding, digital music, music policy and other issues, one didn’t quite sound the same: “Musician Business: Lessons from the Grateful Dead,” with Dead guitarist/vocalist Bob Weir. There’s no word on whether Weir or other members of the band will perform.
Austin Music Memorial inductees announced. The city of Austin has announced that it will honor Stephen Bruton, Connie “Pee Wee” Crayton, Manuel S. Limon Sr., Robin Shivers, Don Walser and Nathaniel Williams Sr. as part of the 2012 Austin Music Memorial. An induction ceremony will take place 7-9 p.m. Nov. 30 at City Hall. Each inductee will be honored with an engraved disc on display at the Long Center.
Choffel rocks “The Voice.” Austin native Suzanna Choffel made her second appearance on NBC’s singing competition “The Voice” last Monday. After making it onto country singer Blake Shelton’s team, Choffel took part in the “battle round” against Louisiana singer Lelia Broussard, where the twosang a duet of Florence + the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over.” Choffel out-performed her opponent and advanced to the next round. The show hasn’t announced her next appearance.