“Echotone,” the Movie. The Experience.

When I was a young teenager, I was obsessed with a little documentry called Hype! that was put out about the Seattle Grunge scene. I made everyone who came into my path watch it. And I mean everyone (sorry Grandpa!). I remember it made me feel excited about music and fall fully in love with every single aspect of it. No documentry has ever hit me like that until Friday afternoon when I attended a screening of the upcoming film Echotone. Looking around the room, everyone gave it their full attention as it captivated all of us.

Based on the Austin music scene in the present day, Echotone takes you on a ride with bands such as {{{Sunset}}}, Belaire, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, The Octopus Project, The White White Lights and more. Though there are other bands featured, the story is told for a good portion by Bill Baird of {{{Sunset}}}, Black Joe Lewis and Cari Palazzolo of Belaire. All three bring up different struggles in the Austin scene.

Baird, who was formerly in the now disbanded Sound Team, who released one album on Capitol Records, now plays in {{{Sunset}}}, a dreamy musical experience for your ears. He tells the tale of being screwed by the man, and then rebuilding himself as a musician. Lewis, delivers fish in the daytime and plays to packed crowds at night. Palazzolo struggles with not making Belaire a commercial band and trying to hold back at offers. She even makes the band’s cd covers by hand and tee shirts. In the midst of all of this, skyscrapers are being built around some of Austin’s best clubs for music, which to the artists, take away from the musical landscape. Neighbors complain about music from the venues blaring into their house, in which one man even refers to it as a form of “terrorism” (c’mon really??). It’s a struggle for the musicians on a daily basis. When the topic of SXSW is brought up, everyone seems less than thrilled that people are taking over their city for the week. Actually that could be an understatement. For the most part Baird and Palazzolo seem especially outraged by it.

Though the film is set in Austin, you do not have to live there to appreciate the scene. The live footage is specatacular, and the interviews and pieces with the musicians are very heartfelt and personal. You can tell how passionate they are about their music, and how much they want to share it, but still keep it very close to their heart without letting the outside elements exploit it in a fashion they see to be unfit. The music used throught the documentry flows perfectly as the story is told, shaping and molding it into a moving piece. It will make you appreciate music in a way that most people have forgotten.

The tale of Austin is far from over. Quite frankily, as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” it never will be.

Echotone comes out this Fall to the public. It was made by Nathan Christ in conjunction with Reversal Films.

Watch the trailer for the film below:

For more about Echotone visit the official site HERE

Bill Baird of {{{Sunset}}}


Black Joe Lewis