Austin’s Stacks project was inspired by Ready Player One (and helps kids out)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 2:24 pm January 4, 2018

The Stacks – Songs from the Oasis, various artists (2018, Brash Tracks)

by Tim McMahan,

This year in Lazy-i I’m filling in the holes when nothing’s happening locally with record reviews (mostly local), gossip, and stories like the one below, which are pretty cool. Plus, I like Austin…

* * *

So I’m about 100 pages into the novel Ready Player One, which I picked up at the library (Yes, some of us still go to the library) after I saw the trailer for the upcoming Spielberg film and then read a brief review of the novel. It’s pretty good so far, certainly something someone from my generation can relate to (as it’s about a tech genius who deifies ’80s pop culture).

I bring it up because yesterday I got an email from Brian McKinney of Brash Tracks cluing me in on a new record called The Stacks, Songs from the Oasis. It’s an album of 18 classic ’80s songs covered by 16 Austin-based bands, with part of the proceeds going to help foster kids get free music lessons and mentorship — could the charity be any more heart-tugging?

The record was actually inspired by the novel Ready Player One by Austin dude Ernest Cline (“The Stacks” are stacked up mobile-home trailers — sometimes stacked 25 high — where poor people live in the future). After reading the book, McKinney got that bright idea of tapping Austin bands to record versions of songs mentioned in the book, like “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol, “The Wild Boys” by Duran Duran, and “Dirty Deeds” by AC/DC, etc.  Austin artists involved include BOOHER (ex-Zykos), Pocket Sounds (Mike St. Clair ex-Polyphonic Spree), Mobley, Belcurve, Obscured by Echoes and more.

You hear about these kinds of multi-band charity efforts all the time, and I always wonder how the producers manage to pick the bands from the crowd, so I asked McKinney.

I was managing (Mike) Booher the last couple years – Mike Booher used to front Zykos and I met him on tour with The Good Life in Chapel Hill around 2002,” McKinney wrote. “Through him I met Robyn (Foxworth) who’s one of the biggest supporters of Austin music that I know. We put together a list of bands and started contacting them. The 16 that are on the album we’re the ones who were interested and had the time and resources to record something. Since it was for charity and we’re giving 50 percent to Kids In a New Groove (KING) and the bands split the other 50 percent, we didn’t have a budget to pay for studio time or anything.

The record comes out Feb. 2, but you can see the track listing and pre-order it at their Bandcamp page here, and hear samples below.

Here’s a sample mix…

* * *

Got news? Send it to me, and read it here…

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.