Live Concert Photography: Ringo Deathstarr with Blushing Rosegarden Funeral Party and Lorelei K at Saint Vitus 11/19/19
Deriving their name from a mashup of The Beatles‘ drummer Ringo Starr and the famed Death Star in Star Wars, the Austin-based shoegazer act Ringo Deathstarr — currently, founding member Elliott Frazier (vocals, guitar) with Alex Gehring (vocals, bass) and Daniel Coborn (drums) — was founded by Frazier in 2007, back when he was living in his hometown of Beaumont, TX. After relocating to Austin, the band’s lineup initially stabilized around Frazier, Gehring, Renan McFarland (guitar) and Dustin Gaudet (drums).
By the fall of 2007. the band self-released their self-titled five song EP, an effort that was later released through SVC Records in the UK and re-issued in 2009 by Fan Death Records. The members of Ringo Deathstarr followed that up with a string of 7 inch singles that included “You Don’t Listen,” “In Love,” “Tambourine Girl,” their contribution to a split single with The Depreciation Guild and “So High.” During this period, Japanese indie label Vinyl Junkie Recordings released a compilation album Sparkler, which repacked their self-titled EP, the two tracks off the “In Love” single and two additional singles.
2011 saw the release of their full-length debut Colour Trip, which was released by Club AC30 in the UK, Sonic Unyon in North America and Vinyl Junkie Recordings in Japan — and by the time the album was released, the band had gone through a massive lineup change: McFarland and Gaudet had left the band and Coborn joining the band. They closed out the year with the release of the Shadow EP and a winter 2011-2012 tour with The Smashing Pumpkins.
The band released their sophomore album Mauve in September 2012. The first track “Rip” was featured as a preview CD single, released through Vinyl Junkie and a 7 inch single through Club AC30. 2013 saw the release of the God’s Dream mini-album. And their most recent album Pure Mood was distributed through The Reverberation Appreciation Society in North America. The Austin-based shoegazers headlined a night of Texas-based acts coming up to Saint Vitus Bar that included Austin-based JOVM mainstays Blushing, Dallas-based post-punk act Rosegarden Funeral Party and Denton, TX-based goth/synth pop singer/songwriter and producerLorelei K. Check out photos from the show below.
Over the past couple of years of this site’s almost ten year history, I’ve managed to write quite a bit about the Austin, TX-based dream pop/shoegaze quartet and JOVM mainstays Blushing. Featuring two married couples, Christina Carmona (vocals, bass) and Noe Carmona (guitar, keys) and Michelle Soto (guitar, vocals) and Jake Soto (drums), the Austin-based act can trace their origins back to 2015: after spending several years of writing material on guitar, Blushing’s Michelle Soto recruited her classically trained friend Christina Carmona to join the project. Shortly, after Christina Carmona joined, the duo recruited their spouses to complete the band’s lineup.
The members of the quartet then spent the next year writing the material that would eventually comprise their debut EP, 2017’s Tether, which was released to positive reviews across the blogosphere, including this site. Building upon a growing profile, the Austin-based shoegazers returned to the studio to record their sophomore EP, 2018’s Weak, an effort that further cemented their sound — one that’s seemingly indebted to Lush, Cocteau Twins and The Sundays but while being a subtle (and gentle) refinement. They ended 2018 with the Elliot Frazier-produced and mixed “The Truth”/”Sunshine” 7 inch, which featured arguably their most muscular and direct song of their growing catalog. Adding to a growing profile, Blushing shared stages with the likes of Snail Mail, Sunflower Bean, La Luz, BRONCHO, Illuminati Hotties, JOVM mainstays Yumi Zouma and others.
Interestingly, while the band has already achieved some success, last year may have been one of the biggest years of their relatively short history: they made their second SXSW appearance and they released their highly anticipated, self-titled full-length debut through Wallflower Records here in the States and on CD through Hands and Moment Records in Japan. The band closed out the year with an extensive US tour with acclaimed shoegazer act Ringo Deathstarr that stopped at Saint Vitus Bar late last year.
Rosegarden Funeral Party is a Dallas-based post-punk band fronted by Leah Lane and featuring Will Farrier and Mikka Vanya Brightheart. While the band describes their sound as “what would happen if Peter Murphy and Siouxsie Sioux birthed an Indigo Child later to be baptized in Alan Watts‘ philosophy, the act’s live sound also brought 80s hair metal to mind.
Opening the night was the Denton, TX-based singer/songwriter, keyboardist and poet Lorelei K. With the release of her first two albums — 2017’s Be The Doll and last year’s Lightbender, the Denton-based singer/songwriter, keyboardist and poet has quickly developed a reputation for crafting shimmering and brooding pop with arresting vocals.