Watch Shannon & The Clams at the Paste Magazine East Austin Block Party Presented by Ilegal Mezcal

Music Features Shannon and The Clams
Watch Shannon & The Clams at the Paste Magazine East Austin Block Party Presented by Ilegal Mezcal

Our first East Austin Block Party recording session kicked off on Wednesday afternoon at The Coral Snake Austin, with indie music darlings Shannon & The Clams, who treated us to three songs, including two from their new album Moon Is in The Wrong Place, out May 10th via Easy Eye Sound.

Going first is no easy task, as it inevitably sets the tone for the whole event. But Shannon & The Clams stepped up to the challenge effortlessly. Moon is in The Wrong Place is a labor of love and grief, dedicated to lead singer Shannon Shaw’s fiancé Joe Haener, who passed unexpectedly in an accident in 2022.

Full session

For their first song, the band played the title track “Moon Is in the Wrong Place.” With trippy warm guitar tones from guitarist Cody Blanchard, as well as rhythms from drummer Nate Mahan and Keyboardist Will Sprott uplifting every track in the session. “Moon” is an especially beautiful song, musically and lyrically dichotomous, as the groovy, garage-psych ’60s tunes belies the tragedy hidden within their lyrics—with phrases like “colors changed when you left this world/ now everything’s a whiter shade of mauve” nestled within the harmonies. The song and album title come from something Shaw’s fiancé asked in one of their last conversations, referring mistakenly to mercury in retrograde.

“The Moon Is In The Wrong Place”

Moving straight into their second song, the band played “The Boy”, an old favorite off their 2018 album Onion. The ’60s doo-wop garage tunes of “The Boy” sound like a song out of time, a quality Shannon & The Clams has perfected in their music. With all the best parts of both their retro inspirations and modern touches, the band is truly in their element.

“The Boy”

Shaw has managed to create gold through her grief over such an unimaginable loss. Their final song, “Bean Fields” is off Moon as well. Dedicated to Shaw’s fiancé (as is the entire album), the bean fields are a place that became important to their loved ones after his passing as it became a communal meeting ground for friends and family following the accident.

Bean Fields

“Bean Fields” is another tune that contrasts the mood of the lyrics between that of the melody. Despite being an incredibly upbeat sounding song, the words paint the bittersweet experience of meeting together at the bean fields to reminisce over the life of Joe Haener. With lyrics like “Let’s live this life to pieces/ dedicate each day to you” and ”holding hands and dryin’ eyes /sharing tales / I’d bottle this and drink it everyday”, the band perfectly capture the feeling of our love for someone we lost keeping them with us, an experience that is both painful and beautiful.

Thank you to Shannon & The Clams, Coral Snake Austin, and our friends at Ilegal Mezcal for helping us put together our East Austin Block Parties. Tune in next week for more coverage from our Paste sessions!

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