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Austin TV: Behind and Beyond the Masks

The Mexican indie-rock band Austin TV is known for performing in crazy masks and other disguises, but it needn't worry about gimmicks overshadowing its music. The group, which has opened for Yo La Tengo and toured with Café Tacuba, plays music that brings to mind the dreamy instrumentals of Explosions in the Sky — which Austin TV openly admires — if that band were processed through a hardcore punk filter.

The songs on Fontana Bella, Austin TV's third album, often feature Spanish-language spoken-word samples; in "El Secreto (De las Luciérnagas)," as in others, these help narrate the different stories being told through the music. Even though the band's songs feature no actual lyrics, Austin TV's music feels literary somehow, transcending all possible barriers: On its MySpace page, the group describes its music as "feeling like you are alive," and that description is surprisingly apt.

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Lily Percy