We get it – you’re probably pretty tired of Christmas tunes by now. Well, you’re in luck: In this special installment of the Standard, we’re sharing some of our favorite musical moments from the past year.
The country music industry is finally facing a reckoning with race, as a new generation of Black country artists and fans usher in a new dimension of sound and social consciousness. Author Francesca Royster documents the change and its importance in her book, “Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions.” Revisit our interview with her upon the book’s release in the fall.
“The road goes on forever and the party never ends.” For generations of Texans, those words from singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen almost felt like a promise – even if it was too good to be true. So it feels bittersweet as Keen’s touring career concludes. But does the party have to end? We asked the legendary Texas singer in this extended interview from October.
Austinites and music lovers from all over mourned the passing of John Aielli, host of the longtime KUTX program Eklektikos, who died July 31 at 76 years old. Known for his genre-defying show and meandering conversations with guests – and oftentimes, himself – Aielli was a beloved icon of the local music scene and a companion for decades to countless Austinites during their morning drive. Friend and fellow KUTX DJ Taylor Wallace joined the Texas Standard’s Laura Rice for a remembrance.
Beyoncé’s seventh studio album, “Renaissance,” is a joyous mix of danceable hits inspired by disco and house music. Influenced by the underground, LGBTQ-dominated ballroom scene, Beyoncé incorporated the influence of Black queer and trans performers in the album. With “Renaissance” topping many best-of-2022 lists, it’s a great time to revisit our conversation with Dallas-based Essence writer Taylor Crumpton about the album’s intoxicating spell.
“Boleros Psicodidélicos” – one of two albums by Austin musician Adrian Quesada released in 2022 – is the result of a decades-long obsession. Quesada, half of Black Pumas, produced the album during the pandemic by collaborating remotely with other musicians, but its roots trace back to a song he heard on the radio decades ago. The result is a new record of both original tracks and reimagined tunes from another era.