White Stripes Vault Package
In his weekly music column Zack Teibloom gives his suggestions on concerts, albums, and happenings around Austin.
After eight straight weeks of "Pay, Play, or Stay Away" suggestions, we left you to your own devices for the 4th of July weekend. Welcome back. Hopefully you didn't blow anything up or start a fire with stray fireworks. We have the usual suspects: a cheap concert, something Jack White you need to buy, and a quality stream. There is one thing I didn't expect. I'd penciled in Fun Fun Fun Fest for a "Pay" slot, but that was before the lineup dropped late Wednesday night. It has potential, but the fact of the matter is, almost none of the bands on the initial line-up would get a "pay" suggestion if they were touring on their own, so how can I recommend you pay for the whole fest? I still think you should go, but I'll explain why I wouldn't buy tickets yet.
Peelander-Z (Concert) at Red 7 for $10 on Saturday, July 14th
These Japanese super heroes couldn't possibly be more fun. They put on a wildly interactive live show that involves human bowling, hanging upside down while playing guitar and non-stop cue cards so there's always a sing-a-long. And for $10, this is easily the best value of the week.
The White Stripes (Vault Package) for $60 now through July 31st
Do you ever wonder what your favorite band's very first show sounded like? Somehow the soundboard recording of The White Stripes' very first show from 1997 was preserved and will be pressed on white vinyl for Third Man Record Vault members. For $60 you get the live show, a red 45 from the first open mic the White Stripes played a month before their first gig and a very fashionable tote bag. I've signed up for and quit the Vault more often than Michael Scott got (and reversed) his vasectomies on "The Office." I'd like to reverse my Vault vasectomy now, because I want to get this package pregnant.
RJD2 (Concert) at the Belmont for $20 on Thursday, July 12th
You may know RJD2 as the DJ who does the theme for "Mad Men." It doesn't sound much like the rest of his catalog, but he does have that signature build and release with a fast drum beat in other tracks like "Ghostwriter," which I was a fan of before I'd ever heard of Don Draper. Regardless, from what I've gathered, RJD2 is a solid live show. One friend I asked insisted it was a must see, another said he wouldn't travel to see him. For $20 at The Belmont on a Thursday night, go if it's convenient.
The Dirty Projectors album Swing Lo Magellan streaming for free on Spotify
I would even recommend buying this one on vinyl and putting it next to Bitte Orca on your shelf. Incredible new album, see them live or at the very least give it a few free listens. Layered and gorgeous as always.
Indigo Girls (Concert) at The Paramount on Friday, July 13th for $50-$60
It's almost entirely sold out. The only tickets left are for the seats with the worst view. It's at least $50. It's the Indigo Girls. Let's move on.
Fun Fun Fun Fest tickets on sale now for $175
I've felt lucky to be at Fun Fun Fun Fest the last three years. It's the Austin festival with the most personality, and year after year it's gotten bigger while continually getting better and bringing in wildly diverse artists. I think this year is a step backwards. I'll admit, the fact that almost none of the acts from the initial lineup got me hyped says more about me than the lineup itself, but personally I'm disappointed. I don't expect to know and love a lot of the black and blue stage acts before the fest, and I truly do enjoy discovering new artists, but for the orange stage to be so void of big names I care about is disheartening. I'm excited to see Givers again. I'm mildly curious about the Run DMC reunion. I always love seeing Astronautalis, Santigold and Girl Talk. I want to see Peelander-Z obviously, I'll check out Edward Sharpe and Sharon Van Etten and I do thoroughly enjoy Titus Andronicus. Those are all solid, but none of them blow me away. At least the comedy is top notch. David Cross is an all-time favorite, Doug Benson is consistently hilarious, Tig Notaro and Wyatt Cenac are strong, and Eugene Mirman and John Benjamin bring it. Look, I still want to go. I still think you should go. But I wouldn't pay full price in July. I'm not requesting the days off work. I'm just not sold yet. Maybe Fun Fun Fun still has a few tricks (and artists) up their sleeve. Maybe I'll just buy a pass later.
For the full Fun Fun Fun Fest lineup and more check out our coverage right HERE!