There are only a handful of states that merit their own special chapters in any comprehensive survey of American music, and yet if you try to single-handedly explain what Texas music is, you’d better be ready for one of those long, possibly contentious conversations. Indeed, you could argue that as we have moved into the 21st century, Texas music has become far more distinctive, intersectional and influential than at any time in its history. And it’s even more impossible to pin down. But for the next hour, we’re going to do our best to talk about the state of the art and look back at the year that was, musically speaking.
Texas 2020 Music Recap Roundtable
Host David Brown is joined by Miles Bloxson, host of KUT and KUTX’s podcast “Pause/Play” about Austin’s music scene during the pandemic, as well as Amy Miller, program director for the North Texas public radio music station KXT. They talk about the Texas artists who made waves in 2020, as well as those who have had to pivot to keep their careers going while live music venues closed en masse. One of those artists is Austin’s Jackie Venson, who is featured on a episode of “Pause/Play.” And it hasn’t just been artists who’ve had to pivot; venues that haven’t closed have also had to get creative. Some are offering drive-in shows as an alternative to traditional in-person concerts. They also look ahead, since we’re just a few months away from what is normally the time for the SXSW festival in Austin, and the start of a long festival season. Organizing big festivals could be tricky right now; the pandemic has hit some promoters hard, including Margin Walker Presents, which recently shut down. It looks like virtual performances will still be the name of the game in 2021. But there are some signs of recovery, including SAVES – a special fund to try to help Austin venues stay afloat.
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above to hear some of the best music of 2020.
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