The first time Chatter heard Kam Franklin was about 11 months ago. She was then an emerging vocalist with a gift for traversing musical genres, but mostly known only in the hippest of circles. Now, as both performer and promoter, she appears to have taken over the local music scene; with a SXSW performance scheduled for next week, it looks as though Austin is next. We caught up with Kam briefly to discuss her impending multicity dominance.
Houston Press: The last time we saw you live was a little while ago at the Continental Club. You were a bit more of a supplement to that band [the Umbrella Man] than a featured act. What's going on with your solo album?
Kam showcases at SXSW 11 p.m. Friday, March20, at B.D. Riley's, 204 E. 6th St. in Austin.
Kam: Yeah, that's my regular Tuesday night thing. It's actually Nick Gaitan's project, I'm just happy to be a part of it. My band is Heptic Skeptic. Right now I'm finally, finally, finally recording my solo stuff. I'll probably put [up] some YouTube videos and pretend like somebody cares. I'll hopefully release my [album] before my birthday.
HP: When's that?
K: June 7, same day as Prince.
HP: Nice company to have. A SXSW show is a pretty coveted gig. How'd you get tied in so quickly?
Kam: How'd I get tied in to South by Southwest? Umm, I applied.
HP [laughs]: Hmmm, interesting.
K: Yep, yep. I wrote my name down on a little application.
HP: That's not interesting at all. We thought you had a cool story or hookup. You know, you performed with this guy who knew that guy or whatever.
K [laughs]: Well, I performed with a lot of people and worked my ass off and "got found," I guess — that seems kinda lame to say. I guess if I had been "found," I'd be making some money now.
HP: True. Where and when are you performing [at SXSW]?
K: I'm performing at B.D. Riley's. It's an Irish pub on 6th Street. I'm performing with R&B and jazz musicians.
HP: So it's, like, the "black" showcase?
K [laughs]: No, I'm actually performing with, like, a French jazz band playing after me or something. Last year I performed on the black musician showcase and I loved it. I was secretly hoping that I could get on there again. I was gonna go and get up in Solange's shit [laughs].
Closed since February 2008 – not long after it had relocated from the Heights – due to lack of an occupancy permit and other necessary city paperwork, East End performance-art/music venue Super Happy Fun Land (3801 Polk) finally reopened last week. The converted warehouse now has an occupancy load card of 290, and owner Brian Arthur has already started booking as many SXSW spillover shows as he can given the short notice. Confirmed are North Carolina's Beloved Binge (March 15), Californians Brown Shoe with Canadians Attack in Black and Shotgun Jimmie (March 17), Brooklynites Afuche with Hollywood's Intercept (March 18) and an overseas bill of Canja Rave (Brazil) and CLP (Germany) March 19. SHFL is also available for private parties and events; call 713-880-2100 or see www.superhappyfunland.com for details. Welcome back, guys.
2110 Portsmouth, 713-926-5272
1. The McKenzies, s/t EP
2. Van Morrison, Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl
3. Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
4. JJ Cale, Roll On
5. Various Artists, Dark Was the Night
6. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel, Willie and the Wheel
7. The Gourds, Haymaker!
8. M Ward, Hold Time
9. ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail Of Dead, A Century of Self
10. Morrissey, Years of Refusal
Treasures of the '60s
KTRU (91.7) FM
Wednesdays, 9-11 p.m.
Selections from DJ DavidB's March 4 playlist
1. The Kinks, "David Watts"
2. Silver Apples, "Program"
3. Soft Machine, "Hibou Anemone and Bear"
4. Vashti Bunyan, "Where I Like to Stand"
5. Them, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"
6. Poco, "Calico Lady"
7. The Persian Market, "Shine Your Monkey"
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8. Traffic, "Forty Thousand Headmen"
9. The Byrds, "Nothing Was Delivered"
10. H.P. Lovecraft, "At the Mountains of Madness"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)