Gazing Ball

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Erin Cornett (aka DJ Bluebird) has been with KOOP since 2011. She started off behind the scenes as an engineer and now hosts The Gazing Ball featuring songs from the shoegaze and dream pop genres. Erin made her way to Austin from the Panhandle which was a smart move considering the panhandle. If this were a Coen brothers’ film it would be No Country for Old Erin (annnnnnd I’ll let myself out). All bad jokes aside, she was raised just outside Amarillo in the small town of Canyon, TX. A fitting environment considering her earliest musical memory was an album called The Cowboy Album, a collection of classic country western songs featuring artists like Gene Autry and Tex Ritter which she still considers to be fantastic. Erin enjoys spending her free time making art and crafting (especially sculpting).

Why did you decide to join KOOP?
I started volunteering because I wanted to support the station, but it was easier for me to give time rather than money. At first I didn’t want my own show, but I ended up engineering on a show about books and writing because I was a book editor at the time.

Why Shoegaze?
Shoegaze is just very interesting music. I mean, a lot of songs, especially those in the vein of My Bloody Valentine, are just noise that somehow is crafted into melodies. I respect the amount of time it takes to make that happen. Working with pedals and gear to get the right sound–the delay time on a reverb has to be just long enough to hear the reverb but not long enough to muddy the next note too much, stuff like that. A lot of experimentation.

What are some favorite albums of the genre?
I would start with the classics–MBV “Loveless” or “Isn’t Anything” and Slowdive “Souvlaki”. I’d also give them some recent more “rock-and-roll-y” stuff so that they could hear the effects and the relationship to the music compared to something they might be used to. Maybe Tapes ‘n Tapes “Walk It Off” and Hazel English “Just Give In/Never Going Home.” Also the Lilys and the Nightblooms. I listened to a LOT of Jesus and Mary Chain in high school–I wore out two cassettes of Honey’s Dead, and that wasn’t even my favorite album of theirs.

What was a memorable live music experience?
The best concert I’ve been to was by Foxy Shazam. It was a ridiculously over the top performance. The lead singer ate lit cigarettes and the keyboardist stood on his head and played. It was crazy. I don’t remember their music much, although it wasn’t bad by any means, but the stage show was very memorable.

Favorite local band?
I don’t know if I have a favorite local band. I do really like the Soda Lillies, but I’ve never seen them live.

Favorite Austin hotspots?
I don’t go to as many shows as a lot of people at KOOP, so I am not sure where the best bands play. I guess that’s your answer: whichever small clubs have the best bands playing. My favorite restaurant is the Brick Oven. Really bummed they are closing the one nearby, but I will travel for that bruschetta.

Best taco in town?
Taco Deli but I don’t try a lot of the small trucks. I suspect there are better ones.

Interview by Travis Tunnell.  The Gazing Ball airs every Sunday night at 10 P.M. 

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