Funsherpa talks to Jillian Burke, music blogger, ultimate fan, and future sound engineer. Thanks to Jillian, we’ve learned a whole lot about Austin, cool bands, and more than we ever need to know about the local music scene. Read on to discover amazing bands, musical tastes, and cool festivals.
Can you tell us a bit more on how you started becoming quite passionate about music?
I listened to my parents’ music (jazz, r&b, country and oldies) at a young age and enjoyed it. I was exposed to a lot of genres and liked music that was more relaxing at that time. I didn’t develop my own tastes until the end of middle school. The first band to strike an emotional chord with me were the Deftones. I heard the song “Change (in the House of Flies)” coming back from a school field trip. It was the first time I’d heard something that gave me chills. I’ve loved the band and basically everything they’ve put out ever since. My favorite music changed to being stuff I could escape with, so I liked anything that was very emotionally charged because I could relate to it.
I have also played piano, violin and guitar at various points in my life. I was more or less forced into playing piano, but have since come to appreciate it. In addition to that, I’ve also always been interested in the production side of music, and have since been studying to pursue sound engineering as a career.
How have your musical tastes evolved over time?
My high school years are when my tastes expanded quite a bit to where I am now. A few bands that really made me step it up were The Mars Volta, Incubus and Deftones. I mostly listen to rock, electronic and pop, but I’m a firm believer that you can find good music in any genre if you search hard enough. My tastes are still somewhat scattered, but I have a better idea of what I like and don’t like now.
Why does Austin rock for music?
I mean, we don’t call it the “live music capital of the world” for nothing. You can go downtown every night and find some good bands playing in bars. There are also so many different music festivals to attend at different times of the year such as ACL/ACL Live, SXSW, Fun Fun Fun Fest and Blues on the Green. There are so many unexpected places you can find music like at Whole Foods and Central Market- even at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport!
Who are your favorite local bands in Austin?
Ringo Deathstarr is a great shoegaze band. I’ve seen Ghostland Observatory, and they were a huge dance party. Explosions in the Sky make great relaxing music. Gary Clark Jr. is an incredible guitarist with a great band.
Outside of music, can you tell us some of the more fun and interesting things to do in Austin?
Any lake activities like water skiing and wake boarding, going to festivals aside from music (Pecan Street, Austin Film Festival), visiting Zilker Park (Barton Springs), going rock climbing and visiting the state capitol. South Congress (aka SoCo District) has tons of cool shopping, restaurants and food trucks to visit.
You have a lot of great music videos on your site. Can you tell us which ones are your favorite?
I definitely love the “Cheerleader” video by St. Vincent that I posted a while back because of all of the symbolism. I also love the “Henry Don’t Got Love” by Le Butcherettes because Teri Gender Bender is fucking awesome. M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” video is also badass.
If you could assemble a perfect music festival, what would you do and who would you have performing?
Wow, what a fun question! Let’s see, I think fall is a great time of year for concerts, since the weather is usually nice. Not too hot, not too cold. I’d love to hold a festival at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. It would take place over 5 days, starting on Wednesday. As far as musical acts, I would have mostly rock, electronic and pop acts. Headlining would be Deftones, Muse, Florence + The Machine, Kanye West, Incubus (everything before ACLOTM) and My Bloody Valentine. Other acts would be Silversun Pickups, Crystal Castles, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bad Brains, Le Butcherettes, Deerhunter, Queens of the Stone Age, At The Drive-In, Death From Above 1979, Ladyhawke, 2NE1, Big Bang, Built To Spill, Hum, Team Sleep, A Perfect Circle, School of Seven Bells, Sleigh Bells, Shiny Toy Guns, Kid Cudi (songs from his first album), M83, Gorillaz, The Weeknd (songs from his first mixtape), Santigold, Graffiti6, The Naked and Famous, Röyksopp, The Black Keys, Lykke Li, Lupe Fiasco (songs from his first two albums) and Brand New.