One of the most impressive artists on my radar over the last year is Astronautalis, a wordsmith of the highest caliber that I first caught wind of at SXSW 2011 in Austin.
His unique blend of well crafted lyrics and melodies, Tom Waits-like grit, real Hip Hop sensibility and a damn good backing band put his performances at the top of my favorites list during last year’s SXSW-stint in TX.
He and his crew were good enough to let me film them and give me backstage access during their tour with Sims of Doomtree as they passed through Madison, WI. It was one hell of a night, but that’s to be expected when you’re in good company.
One of the best things about an Astronautalis show is the witty banter that precludes the majority of his songs. This guy is clever and sharp-tongued, and doesn’t let you forget it. At the same time, he’s one of the nicest and most approachable people I’ve met in the music game. Hats off to him, his band, and his road crew.
Here’s a couple of videos from that evening, including songs off Astro’s latest album This Is Our Science, and one of his earlier tunes, “Gaston Ave”.
First up, A song from the album “Pomegranate” called “The Case of William Smith”, about a Scottish man put on trial by his church for heresy after publishing opinions that the Old Testament may not be historically accurate:
Next, a one -two hit of new and old. Here’s “The River, The Woods” from his new album This Is Our Science and “Gaston Ave” from You and Yer Good Ideas.
Last thing to share for now is this small gallery of pics I took, all nice and wallpaper sized if you feel so inclined.
I may have more from this show, show keep an eye and ear out. If you dig the videos be sure to share them, and check out the Astronautalis website, he’s got great stuff on there.