Fans of the movie “500 Days of Summer” will never forget the sequence in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, after a particularly wonderful night, dances through the streets to the tune of Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True.” In case you haven’t seen it, or if you just need an excuse to watch it again, here’s the clip:
If you happen to also be a fan of Train — or have kids who watch a lot of music videos on YouTube — you might have noticed that the band’s video for its current hit, “Play that Song,” has an eerily similar, infectious vibe. That’s on purpose, said Train lead singer Patrick Monahan by phone this week.
“Before ‘La La Land’ was out, there was ‘500 Days of Summer,'” Monahan said, adding that the idea to embrace a “500 Days” vibe came from the video’s director, Travis Kopach. “He was like, ‘Man, I got this idea, check it out.”
The result was this catchy video to this catchy song, which has been played more than 16 million times on YouTube:
Monahan, who will be in town next month when Train plays the Austin360 Amphitheater with opening acts O.A.R. and Natasha Bedingfield May 20, said it’s also been fun to watch “Play that Song” introduce “Heart and Soul” to a new generation. (“Play that Song” incorporates the melody of “Heart and Soul” and includes writers Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser in its credits.)
“We’re playing the Radio Disney Music Awards on Saturday — it was the most-requested song on their station,” Monahan said. “It’s really cute how that came about. I think it’s fun to bring back old music for people who don’t know what it is.”
Monahan said he’s looking forward to visiting Austin, “the coolest and best place in Texas,” again.
“What I used to do is we would park the tour bus and I would do an Austin run through town, mostly on trails,” he said. “Some of the best trail running I’ve ever done is in Austin. I remember thinking I was so fast and so in shape and this woman from Austin smoked me. It was really fun to see really cool, great athletes do their thing in Austin.”
Monahan, who said he was on his way into the studio to record a Christmas album on Thursday afternoon, said he can promise an upbeat, family friendly show when Train comes to town in May.
“As a band that’s been around for 22 years, this is the best live performance you’ll ever see us having done,” he said. “The camaraderie between us and the other acts is very honest and genuine. We’re going to have a lot fun. We’re for families — grandparents and moms and dads and kids of all ages. You’ll all know something that you’ll hear that night.”
How cool is that? Rachael Ray celebrated the 10th year of her popular Feedback party at Stubb’s on Saturday afternoon with a packed house and a slate of bands that included Weezer and De La Soul and even an appearance from “Entourage” star Adrian Grenier.
“It heated up a little bit,” Rachael Ray said from the stage before introducing Grenier, who was there in part to advocate for strawlessocean.org, which aims to keep plastics out of the ocean. “I don’t care. I think we all look pretty sexy sweaty. It’s my pleasure to be up here with musicians I love and respect.”
What started as a small party hosted by the Food Network star has become one of the quintessential SXSW party experiences and has featured acts including Jenny Lewis, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Delta Spirit and Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts.
In addition to Weezer and De La Soul, this year’s lineup included Margo Price, The Drums, the Districts, Benjamin Booker, Bob Schneider, The Cringe, Caitlyn Smith and orchestral performances by Teddy Abrams and the Artisan String Quartet. Hamilton Leithauser filled in for Action Bronson, who had a last-minute cancellation.
It was a crowded house on Thursday morning at the W Hotel for KGSR’s Live Morning Broadcast, which included performances from Spoon, Third Eye Blind, Karen Elson, Mondo Cozmo and a surprise appearance from TV personality Rachael Ray.
You have probably sung along to “Semi Charmed Life” at least 500 times since it came out. You also love “Jumper.” And “How’s It Going to Be.”
Take a deep breath before you process this information: This April will mark 20 years(!) since Third Eye Blind released its first self-titled album, which promptly rose to the top of the charts thanks to those hits and became your high school soundtrack.
If you haven’t been keeping up, you might be surprised to know that the band continues to tour and put out successful albums. On Tuesday, we caught up with lead singer Stephan Jenkins at Orb Recording Studios in southwest Austin, where the band was belting out a mix of old and new songs in preparation for its summer tour and upcoming album. The band also met with students from the Austin Independent School District on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a nonprofit mobile recording facility that provides hands-on experiences for students of all ages.
Want to see Third Eye Blind? They’ve got two gigs in Austin on Thursday. Here’s what Jenkins had to say about his time in Austin:
What ways have you seen Austin change over the years?
I’m all for growth in cities, I’m all for density. I just think you should make something beautiful. It bothers me when buildings go up, high-rises go up and there isn’t the requirement that you make something beautiful. Austin’s an amazing city. Cities change. You’re not going to keep things the same. I’m not into this whole thing of, “Oh, we have to keep it just the way it was.’ Cities are always in some state of movement. I’m just saying if it’s going to grow, I think it would be great if you could make it grow beautiful.
Do you think Austin is still an important music town?
It’s a place where the freaks of their society go to freak freely. There’s so much creativity that happens out of it. There’s still an Austin music scene, it’s really small, but it’s so influential. It’s that kind of alt-country thing, that outlaw thing. The whole Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson thing still has this influence.
What do you like about the Austin vibe?
You can’t fake a pedigree, and Austin really is a music town. It’s a music town in a way different than Nashville. Nashville is a music town, too, but the guys here, they all really love music, it’s super clear, and that’s why they’re here. You know when you go to a restaurant and you can tell the chef’s into it, that it’s cooked with love? That’s how it feels here.
What are you working on while you’re in studio at Orb?
We’ve got a big tour coming up this summer, it’s called the Summer Gods tour. We’re going to play for about two hours and we’re going to play a bunch of stuff we haven’t played before. It’s also the 20th anniversary of our first record. We’ve never played that whole record. We’re really not a nostalgic band at all, but we’re going to play that whole record and we have to learn how to play it. Our fans are really into it, so we’ve got to play it well. And then we have a new record that we’re trying to write, so we’re sort of mixing developing this really kind of big show for the summer with making new music. Austin’s a great place to do it.
You’re here through Friday. What’s on your agenda?
We wanted to see Deap Vally, Kate Nash, Samantha Ronson – she’s going to be opening for us this summer along with Silversun Pickups.
What do you like about SXSW?
It’s the culture of the place. SXSW is more about music discovery than anything else. Every time we’ve played here we’ve gone and played new music. We’re not afraid of how that goes because when we play SXSW we feel like we’re just a young band gunning for the gig.
You’re also partnering here with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, which helps students learn how to write, record and produce original songs, music videos, documentaries and live multi-camera video productions. Why did you want to do that?
I like the democratization of the tools of creativity, and I like it where people find a way to get making things into the hands of people, which is basically what they’re trying to do.
IF YOU GO: You have two opportunities to catch Third Eye Blind on Thursday. They’ll play KGSR’s annual SXSW Live Broadcast at 9:30 a.m. at the W Austin. Admission is a $5 donation to Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas; no badge necessary. The band will also perform as part of SXSW at The Belmont at midnight on Thursday.