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Gimme a Break: Shakey Graves

Hometown: Austin, Texas
Alejandro Rose-Garcia
Album: Roll The Bones
For Fans Of: Devendra Banhart, Iron and Wine, Sufjan Stevens

Shaking things up in the folk world is Shakey Graves, a Texas native producing one-of-a-kind freak-folk music. I recently interviewed Alejandro Rose-Garcia, the mastermind responsible for this amazing sound.

Who or what inspired the single off your record?

SG: I don't really have a single, but I suppose if I had to pick, I would choose "Built To Roam". That song is straight up about the personality of different cities and the mindset of never feeling settled.

I got shook pretty hard by Los Angeles and New York has taken all my loot in the past, but I love both those cities to death.

The song is about how I constantly end up returning to those cities, like abusive ex girlfriends that you crawl home to in moments of major weakness or absurd confidence.

Are you planning on touring or recording in the next six months? 

SG: I'm in the process of recording and refurbishing music for my second full length release, which will take the rest of the year to polish off and I would LOVE to hop out on a tour. Right now, I have been keeping my nose to the grindstone by playing as many shows as possible in Austin. But, a large part of my heart still lives in New York, part lives in the western United States, parts of my sanity live up in Chicago and Wisconsin, and my balls live in Mexico. So, yeah, I'll have to go tour soon.

What would your biggest fan say about your music?

SG: That they can't put their finger on it, but the music sounds like it's always simply been there, just waiting.

What has been your craziest show experience?

SG: Years ago, I was playing Shakey Graves music with a trio called Shakey Graves and The Albacores. We had a show at a place called the 21st Street Co-Op which is a notoriously psychedelically saturated tree house style complex on University of Texas campus, rife with nudity and "alternative folks." Basically it looks like the ewok village.

They were having a wild cartoonish party with tons of naked people painted blue for some reason, as well as your average drunk college students. We were playing loud and sloppy to a loud and sloppy room and my friends were all in the front row throwing keg cups and bottles at me for support.

Eventually, I tried to kick at one of them, lost my balance, and decided to dive into them mid song. I went down kicking, guitar and all, and the front row just sort of collapsed into a laughing beer soaked pile.

Right after that, a naked guy painted entirely blue came up to us and told us that me and my friends were too crazy and needed to leave.

What fictional character would you say is most like you?

SG: My right hand is like Muggsy Bogues in Space Jam. My left hand is like Charles Barkley in Space Jam, and the rest of me is like James Cagney. But since those are all real people, I'd say I'm most like Otis, the dog.


If you're in the Austin area, be sure to check out Shakey Graves at the Festival of New Horizons on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011.

Because we're all about giving back, Green Light Go will feature one band or artist per month that's not on our roster and give them the break that they deserve. If you are a band interested in being considered for Gimme a Break, please contact Janelle Rogers at Janelle


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Janelle is the owner of Green Light Go. When she's not spreading the word on her favorite bands she can usually be found riding her road bike through Michigan, designing super hip clothes or analyzing people much to their dismay.
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