Saddle Creek | The Mynabirds | Reviews


What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood

Author: Parry Gettelman
03/17/2010 | | | Live Show Preview
Venerable modern rock station WOXY, which broadcasts over the internet at, was already settled into the SXSW groove by Wednesday Day 3 of its 2010 live Lounge Acts broadcasts. The station is audio and video recording a host of artists in its "lounge" soundstage during the festival, including Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Frightened Rabbit and Surfer Blood, and it's also hosting four day parties and an official showcase. However, everything was functioning smoothly at noon Wednesday, when the Mynabirds played a live set and singer-keyboardist-songwriter Laura Burhenn chatted with music director Matt Shiv.

Burhenn, formerly of DC duo Georgie James, paired with producer-multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift to record the Mynabirds' forthcoming "What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood," but she has a proper band for SXSW and future tours. With her dusky, effortlessly dramatic voice and soul-inflected garage rock, she made the airy, modern WOXY studio seem like it was, indeed, a lounge, the kind of place Dusty Springfield might have hung out, listening to Neil Young on the jukebox from a back booth with torn vinyl seats, and the clock seemed to advance to some unspecified hour after midnight.

In previous years, WOXY borrowed a studio in East Austin for its SXSW tapings, but while SXSW is gradually expanding eastward, WOXY is now permanently headquartered on South Congress in the Texas Theater building ("the old porn theater," to you 78704 residents), where it shares space with ME-TV. Founded in Oxford, Ohio, in 1983, WOXY was one of the pioneers of the alternative/modern rock format. It went off the air in 2004, but got a new lease on life as an internet station, where you can find all kinds of cool performance podcasts and SXSW archives dating back to 2007. Last year, the station moved its base of operations to Austin, although general manager Bryan Miller, who was manning a video camera, confessed to residing in Oakland, Calif., having moved there from the more expensive San Francisco. His job, he said, is "doing anything someone else isn't doing."

Burhenn, meanwhile, told Shiv she moved from DC to Omaha. She knew some musicians there, and it's a much cheaper place to live, allowing her to make music her main gig.

Once the recession is over and Austin rents start soaring again, she can probably start a sideline up there as an apartment locator.


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