Sound Advice: : Xavier Rudd and Voxtrot

Upcoming concert reviews of note

 
Mary Sledo


Voxtrot



Xavier Rudd

Sunday · Madison Theater

He looks like he just walked off Bell's Beach from the flick Point Break, and he actually did. He supports the land, the water, the people and the spirit sustaining our universe. Xavier Rudd is a musician whose story speaks of his environmental experience and cultural connection in this universe: his life is his music, his music is his life.

On his latest release, White Moth, Rudd has incorporated his Australian roots and his wife's Canadian crux with Aussie Aboriginal and Canadian elder guest vocals. The recording of White Moth is a fantastical story in and of itself. Rudd encapsulated the energy of a live show and transferred it to the album — a much sought after feat for any musician. With help from co-producer David Ogilvie (who worked with David Bowie and Marilyn Manson), this was realized by recording most of the tracks in the woods at The Farm, Gggarth Richardson's studio located on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.

"On quite a few songs, it sounds like there's bass, but that's just me playing live," says Rudd. "I have a technique I figured out where I'm playing bass lines off my thumb while I play the melody with my fingers. It sounds like a bass player playing, but it's just me. So it's great, I'm especially stoked with how we captured that.

It's the most positive recording I've done, in terms of sitting back and saying, 'Wow, what a journey, here it is, I hope it reflects it.' "

A spot-on representation of this one-of-a-kind one-man-band. Rudd mans the instrumental fort on and off stage — guitar, stomp box, assorted percussion and a few of his native land's Yidakis (didgeridoos).

Rudd's wicked Weissenborn guitar approach on "Stargaze" and "Footprint" subliminally directs you to Ben Harper; the relaxed Reggae vibrations in "Twist" and "Come Let Go" ring of our formerly-Cincy-based/now-Austin-based Kris Brown's Family Sauce. The tempo of Paul Simon's worldly beats and Rusted Root's rustic rhythms are White Moth's respiration. "Land Rights" speak to Rudd's dedication to being the unheard voice of his native land.

"I feel like these (Aboriginal) people have been denied a voice in the white settlements in Australia. They've been on the planet for 60,000 years without leaving a stone unturned environmentally."

Rudd upholds the cause online as well (xavierrudd.com), including links to articles on the mortality of indigenous Australians, the removing of indigenous culture from educational curriculum and a timeline of the indigenous Yolu people. He's also partnered up with CLIF bar and their GreenNotes campaign on this tour to promote environmental awareness and action.

Rudd arrives in town after a Bonnaroo performance this weekend. Besides the Madison Theater show Sunday, he'll also appear on WNKU's Studio 89 Monday at 9 p.m. (listen at 89.7 FM or

 
Mary Sledo


Voxtrot



Xavier Rudd

Sunday · Madison Theater

He looks like he just walked off Bell's Beach from the flick Point Break, and he actually did. He supports the land, the water, the people and the spirit sustaining our universe. Xavier Rudd is a musician whose story speaks of his environmental experience and cultural connection in this universe: his life is his music, his music is his life.

On his latest release, White Moth, Rudd has incorporated his Australian roots and his wife's Canadian crux with Aussie Aboriginal and Canadian elder guest vocals. The recording of White Moth is a fantastical story in and of itself. Rudd encapsulated the energy of a live show and transferred it to the album — a much sought after feat for any musician. With help from co-producer David Ogilvie (who worked with David Bowie and Marilyn Manson), this was realized by recording most of the tracks in the woods at The Farm, Gggarth Richardson's studio located on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.

"On quite a few songs, it sounds like there's bass, but that's just me playing live," says Rudd. "I have a technique I figured out where I'm playing bass lines off my thumb while I play the melody with my fingers. It sounds like a bass player playing, but it's just me. So it's great, I'm especially stoked with how we captured that.

It's the most positive recording I've done, in terms of sitting back and saying, 'Wow, what a journey, here it is, I hope it reflects it.' "

A spot-on representation of this one-of-a-kind one-man-band. Rudd mans the instrumental fort on and off stage — guitar, stomp box, assorted percussion and a few of his native land's Yidakis (didgeridoos).

Rudd's wicked Weissenborn guitar approach on "Stargaze" and "Footprint" subliminally directs you to Ben Harper; the relaxed Reggae vibrations in "Twist" and "Come Let Go" ring of our formerly-Cincy-based/now-Austin-based Kris Brown's Family Sauce. The tempo of Paul Simon's worldly beats and Rusted Root's rustic rhythms are White Moth's respiration. "Land Rights" speak to Rudd's dedication to being the unheard voice of his native land.

"I feel like these (Aboriginal) people have been denied a voice in the white settlements in Australia. They've been on the planet for 60,000 years without leaving a stone unturned environmentally."

Rudd upholds the cause online as well (xavierrudd.com), including links to articles on the mortality of indigenous Australians, the removing of indigenous culture from educational curriculum and a timeline of the indigenous Yolu people. He's also partnered up with CLIF bar and their GreenNotes campaign on this tour to promote environmental awareness and action.

Rudd arrives in town after a Bonnaroo performance this weekend. Besides the Madison Theater show Sunday, he'll also appear on WNKU's Studio 89 Monday at 9 p.m. (listen at 89.7 FM or wnku.org). (Sara Beiting)

Voxtrot with Eat Sugar

Monday · Southgate House

Although Voxtrot has been together without a lineup change for the past five years, their recent eponymous full-length is the Austin, Tex., quintet's first full album. The band's three previous EP releases inspired exultant reviews and rising levels of expectation, all of which were heightened by appearances at last year's South By Southwest, CMJ and Pitchfork Festival, and this year's UK dates included an opening stint for The Shins at the NME Awards Show.

Voxtrot started in 2002 when singer/songwriter Ramesh Srivastava rang up longtime bandmate, drummer Matt Simon, and a group of friends (guitarist Mitch Calvert, keyboardist Jared Van Fleet, bassist Jason Chronis) to record a few songs he had written. Just as the band found their groove, Srivastava and Calvert departed for college in Boston; Srivastava would quickly transfer to Glasgow University in Scotland, further separating the band.

Visits home found the quintet reuniting to learn new songs, play the occasional local show and do some quick recording. Srivastava returned to Austin in 2005, forsaking his Master's degree to concentrate on Voxtrot. The band had already released Raised by Wolves in 2004 to positive buzz, following it up with the equally well-received Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives in 2006.

Voxtrot's SXSW appearances spurred a lot of label interest with their Smiths/Talking Heads/Belle and Sebastian arm-wrestling-at-an-'80s-Electronic-Pop-tent-revival sound, leading to their signing with Beggar's Banquet, the release of their third EP, Your Biggest Fan (which climbed to No. 4 on Billboard's Hot Singles sales charts) and, finally, the recording of their sparkling debut album in London under the keen technical eye of Australian producer Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, Beth Orton).

After five years of building a passionate fan base and a press kit full of critical acclaim, Voxtrot is well on their way to greatness and might be teetering on the verge of the rest of the world knowing it. (Brian Baker)

Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.