Saturday, September 17 at 7:30 p. m. FREE
“There’s a band from Austria, of all places, who we heard… It’s a husband and wife team called Son of the Velvet Rat. He’s got this great sexy, gravelly voice. He reminds me of this Dylan-esque thing. It’s beautiful melodies and sort of this Nick Drake/Mark Lanegan kind of thing. I freaked out when I saw them at this little place called the Hotel Cafe.” Grammy Award Winning Singer/Songwriter, Lucinda Williams
By Lisa Morgan
This Saturday, the internationally known Austrian band, Son of the Velvet Rat, will celebrate their seasonal return to the high-desert with a unique, first-time-ever event that fuses visual art and music. Some of the high desert’s most highly sought after troubadours will be joining them, making this a collaborative event music and art lovers will not want to miss.
Austrian artist, Gilbert Bretterbauer, sponsored by the Austrian artists association, INTRO-GRAZ-Spection, will transform the outdoor stage with a fabric installation entitled “Desert Desolation Décor,” creating a unique acoustic effect and an extraordinary spatial feel to enhance the live music performances. Joining Son of the Velvet Rat will be none other than the iconic Victoria Williams, as well as The Sibleys, Joe “City” Garcia and his Urban Desert Cabaret, Adobe Collective, Myshkin, Lucio Menegon’s Reverend Screaming Fingers, Gar Robertson, Megan Hutch, Phillip Rosenberg’s Rags and Bones, Arroyo Rogers and Dylan Luster!
SON OF THE VELVET RAT (SotVR) have made their home in the high desert in recent years, and the music community has been happy to receive them. Inspired by a wide variety of artists and styles, including Townes Van Zandt, French singer, Georges Brassens, and American garage rockers, Dead Moon, songwriter Georg Altziebler and his wife Heike Binder founded the band in Austria in 2003. Three years later, in their “Fall With Me” single, released on Monkey Records, reached #3 on the charts of Austrian national public radio station FM4, and #47 on their 2007 full year chart. In 2008, Son of the Velvet Rat was nominated for the Amadeus Austrian Music Award in the “Alternative” category. Their albums Red Chamber Music and Firedancer also received “Best Austrian Album of the Year” awards. Altziebler was labeled, “Best Austrian singer-songwriter ever,” by leading Austrian newspapers Kurier and Wiener Zeitung. Their award winning catalogue includes collaborations with Lucinda Williams and former Wilco-drummer, Ken Coomer.
In spite of their impressive list of successes in their native Austria, the husband and wife team found themselves wanting more from their ventures. “We just got a little bored with the situation there,” shared Alziebler with CV Weekly. “We just wanted something new. The idea developed over the last few years starting with some people we knew in LA, but we couldn’t afford any housing there. We looked around and found this place with a great music scene. That was the main thing that attracted us. It’s been a great experience. People have been very supportive. The reception was much warmer than what it would have been in Europe. That’s the great thing about America; people, especially in the music scene, are very supportive.”
This weekend’s special performance event highlights the couple’s return from a six-month tour in Austria, Poland and the U.K. on the heels of a newly-recorded and yet-to-be-released album produced by Joe Henry (whose most recent collaborators include, Billy Bragg, Bettye LaVette, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell). “We wanted to have our good friend and music aficionado who has done album covers for us bring his art to the community,” said Alziebler. “We have also done two books together where we combine his photos and my lyrics together. We’ll be presenting the second of those books at the event.”
Gilbert Bretterbauer is an Austrian artist whose works span a range of visual, architectural and interior design. In addition to being an artist in the fields of textiles, painting and installations, he also writes using his autobiographical experiences and circumstances to create his own words of interwoven language texts. To present his textile collections and limited furniture editions to a broader public, he started the company bretterbauerobjects.com. Bretterbauer also teaches in the Department of Textiles.Art.Design at the University of Arts Linz, AU. His work is shown at the Harry Bichler Rauminhalt Gallery in Vienna, AU. INTRO-GRAZ-Spection, who is sponsoring Gilbert Bretterbauer’s project, is an Austria-based art initiative producing interdisciplinary projects and international public offerings in the form of visual arts, literature, theater, music, film, architecture, photography, etc. with unusual, new perspectives and possibilities.
Joe Garcia, who will also be performing at the event as well shared, “Son of the Velvet Rat are important and fascinating. I’m simply riveted by Georg’s writing – the beauty of the sad mystery. It’s a great honor to be asked to perform at this event, and to be a part of the production team for Desert Desolation Decor. It’s an ambitious and intriguing collaborative project, and will be a truly unique show musically and artistically. Gilbert Bretterbauer is a great artist, and a wicked-cool, unique character.”
The Palms is located at 83131 Amboy Road, Twenty-nine Palms, CA 92277 (760.361.2810). For more information and updates about this event go to the Facebook event page under Desert Desolation Decor – Art and Music at The Palms. Follow Son of the Velvet Rat at sonofthevelvetrat.com