Six weeks ago, we decided to approach the Austin music scene very differently from what we initially had envisioned. We had one basic impulse: get closer to our community’s musicians. If Vesper Magazine is a baby publication—and it is: we’re only a few months old—then it’s in a stage of development in which it has a nearly endless appetite for intimacy. The now hackneyed irony of the internet age is that while community members are connected in many new and meaningful ways, we somehow can’t shake the sense that we’re missing something. The reports we’re hearing from photographers about the recent decline in cooperation, socialization and good-spirit and the rise of insecurity and doubt in their community is echoed by the sense many mothers and fathers are evidently reporting in the wake of Time Magazine’s controversial breastfeeding cover: that parenting has in some ways started to resemble a competitive sport. While outlets for cultural coverage in cities like Austin, Brooklyn, Portland, San Francisco have all multiplied dramatically over the last few years, spawning dozens and dozens of new, well-manicured blogs and ‘zines that spare us from the bureaucratic coverage of Rolling Stone or–increasingly–Pitchfork, we wondered whether at the end of the day we felt closer to our musicians or just more informed.
So we’ve decided first to add a great deal more video content. We don’t feel that pictures and words alone are sufficient media to transcribe what we see around us. Everything above was shot in Austin in the last two months. Second–and much more important–we’ve decided to spend a lot of time with each of our subjects, even if it means we can’t cover as many acts. We think we need a long time to allow our artists to explore for us the notoriously difficult process of songwriting, performing, bandmanship, and everything else. We want to see artists when they are practicing in their bedrooms, behind their shower curtains, choking down small shows where everything goes wrong and lapping up big shows where everything goes right.
For our first installment of INDIE we introduce local transplant Jason Ludwig, a singer/songwriter with a vocal range as luscious and full as his beard. Hailing from Cincinnati Ohio, Jason gained local celebrity with rock group Noctaluca before trading it in for the terrifying freedom of solo performance. Impressively prolific, Jason released two full-length albums simultaneously in less than six months. Tanglings and Lost in Love are unnervingly raw, personal and yet accessible albums. Prepare to wet your knickers. Performed at sunset on Mt. Bonnell. You can see the episode here.
(Artists: if you want to drink beers, possibly trespass, and play for our unreasonably attractive video crew–please get in touch!)
Song credit: The Walking Dead by Dangeresque