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Monday, September 25, 2023


SOUND CHECK: Keep an eye on local talent

Leslie Krafka is just getting her feet wet as singer/songwriter in the local Texas music scene. While Krafka may be a rookie, her music is far from sounding green. There is a worldly feeling in her simple, catchy songs that have appeal beyond the tag of Texas music.?There is certainly a distinct folk influence, along with some country and bluegrass in the songs. For those turned away by country, you can still enjoy Krafka’s music, which makes the listener open up their ears and minds. Krafka, a proud wife and mother of two, spends her free time perfecting her craft playing local venues and attending songwriting festivals.?"Kiss Your Wife" is a touching song written from the perspective of a man who recently lost his spouse. The song was inspired from a eulogy given at a funeral for a friend of Krafka, and the song is celebration of life and marriage, rather than being somber.?Krafka is proof that it is never too late to start a realization of a dream.?News on the March

Guitarist Joe Weber has played in ska, pop-punk and indie bands, but none have caused the local-buzz that News on the March has. The band took home Best Unsigned Band in the Houston Press Best of Issue and has also seen write-ups in Free Press Houston and The Houston Chronicle.?While racking up accolades the band continues to showcase its live show locally, most notably with another solid set at the Westheimer Block Party. The songs are full of simple, sing-along alt-country sensibility and laid back indie-rock rhythm. If you are confused on what News on the March sounds like, think The Beach Boys and think Texas. Still not sure about News on the March’s sound? OK, picture Brian Wilson and Willie Nelson switching hats and trading guitars. ?Mike Damante

Pompeii is yet another gem from the lovely city of Austin better known as "live music capital of the world." The city has given us everything from…And You Will Know Us by The Trail of Dead to Explosions in the Sky. ?One of the most unique assets to Pompeii is easily its incorporation of the cello. Cellist Caitlin Bailey complements singer Dean Stafford’s vocals very well, and is a pivotal force behind Pompeii’s emotive delivery. ?The band is living off of the steam from its sophomore effort Nothing Happens for a Reason, which was released Oct. 21. Blending ambient and lush instrumentation and the calm and soothing vocals of Stafford, Pompeii has a sound akin to Death Cab for Cutie and Stars. The group’s debut album, Assembly, was nothing short of stellar and was easily one of my personal favorites of 2006, and Nothing Happens for a Reason will soon join the same ranks. Jealous Sound

This group may be one of the most unreliable bands in existence. The Jealous Sound released its self-titled EP in 2000, and its stunning debut LP, Kill Them with Kindness, in 2003, to very favorable reviews. Since 2006, promises of a follow-up full length were unfulfilled and left fans in limbo.

Got Friends is not necessarily the full-length that had been promised, but a worthy follow-up EP to Kill Them with Kindness. The band embraces the very taboo "emo" tag and is one of the best bands in the genre. Blair Shehan used to sing for Knapsack, which was one of the driving forces in emo in the late ’90s.?The Got Friends EP is just the Jealous Sound’s way of letting its fans know that it is still alive and kicking. Let’s just hope it delivers on that full-length sometime before 2013.

Roshan Bhatt

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