KXAN Studio 512
By Patrick Floyd
KXAN Studio 512 "New Music Tuesday"
01/06/2015
Click on the link above, blue text where it says "KXAN Studio 512 "New Music Tuesday", to see the clip. Thanks again, Patrick!
Rant 'N' Roll - 2014 Top Tens
By Mike Greenblatt
The Aquarian Weekly
12/31/2014
Click on the link above, blue text where it says "The Aquarian Weekly" to see the list. Scroll down to "Top 10 2014 Country CDs". Oh yeah!
Indescribable and Uncategorizable: Five CDs to Salivate Over
By Mike Greenblatt
Goldmine
11/28/2014
If you’re lucky enough to live in Austin, a town where music is in the air, water and food, you could go to The Cactus Café on Guadalupe Street and see The Light Upstairs. This delectable duo is so damn delicious, you want to partake in its joyous pleasures over and over again. Emily Burns and Christian Glakas met in 2005, formed The Light Upstairs in 2009, released their “Disconnecting The Dots” later that year, followed it up with “The Hour Of The Pearl” in 2012 and now, with a feel that runs from profound folk and Fleetwood Mac-styled pop to, yes, real country goodness and what they’re calling “minimalist Americana,” have self-released “Breathing Out And In” (www.thelightupstairsband.com). It’s a perfect title because that’s how effortless their music sounds, almost as if they were siblings. Add some keyboards, bass and drums to their lovely voices–that intertwine and feel so close over, under and atop each other–plus their acoustic guitars, and you have proof positive that “country-pop” doesn’t have to be all phony glitz and glamour. There’s room for heartfelt atmospheric anthems stripped bare and laid out nakedly for all to see and hear the abject emotion within these grooves. Subdued, almost celestial, “like stained glass in a quiet church,” according to John Aieli of radio station KUTX, “Breathing Out And In” hits the sweet spot.
The Light Upstairs in Studio 1a 10/29/12 @ 11am
By Reid O'Conor
KUT Austin
10/28/2012
Emily and Christian of The Light Upstairs met in Austin, TX in 2005 when a mutual friend invited each of them to play in a new band. Emily was recruited for violin and vocals, and Christian filled in on various instruments as required by the band‘s ever-changing lineup. That band led to other bands, and while they enjoyed collaborating with all of the fantastic musicians with whom they played over the years, the two developed a certain comfortable style as a lonesome duo. By 2009 or so, they were spending more and more time working in this parsimonious format and found it to be both pleasant, easy, and inexpensive, when factoring in the substitution of kitchens and living rooms for studios and rehearsal spaces. On Monday night, The Light Upstairs will be playing at the Cactus Cafe on Monday. The indie folk duo will be in Studio 1a on Monday at 11am, when they‘ll play a live set on KUT.
The Light Upstairs
Bearings Austin
10/24/2012

Christian Glakas packed his bags and moved to Austin in 2000 from Maryland, after he saw three pages of classified ads in the Austin Chronicle looking for band members. A year later, Emily (Em) Burns arrived from Houston. They met as two members of indie band The Last Gasp, with Christian writing the songs and Em playing keyboard.

The two of them soon found themselves experimenting informally as a duo, after one day when Em first shared a song she had written called On And On. It turned out that she in fact had an entire collection already written. As she kept singing, Christian kept listening. “When she sings, it sounds like she‘s not singing to anyone except herself, and as a listener, you feel like you‘re part of something really special.”

They continued to collaborate for several years when other band members were absent. It became harder and harder to ignore that something exceptional was happening. “We went from being in big bands with lots of people playing really loud instruments in cramped rehearsal spaces to playing just the two of us in an open kitchen or a living room with no amplification and really paying attention to the sound as it settled into the space.”

Growing tired of having to put his ear up to the amplifier to hear his own guitar over the cranked-up instruments, Christian was rethinking the music he wanted to make. Luckily, circumstances helped settle his new direction of working exclusively with Em. “After a whole bunch of shows, lineup changes and overdue rent bills, we eventually just found ourselves with no one else around.”

The Light Upstairs was officially named one winter night in 2009 as the two musicians were outside on a smoke break, racking their brains for what to call themselves. A single light was glowing from the room above where they had just been rehearsing songs that would end up their debut album, Disconnecting The Dots.

The band has just been selected as October Cactus Artist in Residence at University of Texas at Austin‘s renowned Cactus Café, where they are playing songs from their new CD, The Hour Of The Pearl. Songs include Illuminated, The Sun My Heart, Porchlight Song and Afterglow. With such titles, light appears to still inspire the acoustic duo, but as with real light, the colors and moods these songs evoke are ever-changing and complex.

KUT Song of the Day
By Art Levy
KUT Austin - Song of the Day
10/22/2012

Musicians Emily Burns and Christian Glakas met when they both belonged to a local band, but after years of playing together the pair decided to strike out on their own. They formed the Light Upstairs in 2009 and opted to self-record their debut album, Disconnecting The Dots, playing all the instruments themselves.

Their next step came with this year‘s The Hour of the Pearl. Recorded at Cacophony Recorders with Erik Wofford-who‘s lent his production skills to the Black Angels and Explosions in the Sky-the record keeps the subdued charm of their debut while capturing it more faithfully. The duo‘s rich harmonies are front-and-center, and this time around they receive some extra instrumental help.

Still, no note goes wasted. The attention is focused purely on the pair‘s sublime songcraft, like on the beautiful “Taxi.” Over acoustic guitar and some simple percussion, Burns and Glakas describe how waiting for something is sometimes better than the thing itself.

But you won‘t have to wait long to catch the Light Upstairs onstage. The group has been the Cactus Cafe‘s artist-in-residence for the month of October, and you have two more chances to see this promising Austin act: tonight and Monday, October 29. Both shows start at 8:30PM and are free and open to the public.

The Light Upstairs October Residency Show Tonight at the Cactus Cafe
By Laurie Gallardo
KUT - Austin Music Minute
10/08/2012

Musicians Emily Burns and Christian Glakas first met in 2005 when both were invited by a mutual friend to play in a new band. Burns was asked to take on violin and vocal duties, while Glakas had an assortment of instruments before him to deal with, due in part to a line-up that was constantly shifting and changing. It was a good experience for them both, but by 2009, common interests and tastes led them to collaborate as a musical duo.

Burns and Glakas rented some recording equipment and set up shop in Burns’ home to work on the new tunes. Eleven tracks were recorded, and the following year, The Light Upstairs made their official debut with their first acoustic venture, Disconnecting the Dots. This past summer, they released The Hour of The Pearl, beautifully-crafted acoustic Americana, warm and intimate reflections from the heart.

The Light Upstairs has a month-long residency going on at the Cactus Cafe, at 24th and Guadalupe, in the Texas Union on the UT campus. It’s a free show, and you can see them perform there tonight. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the music starts at 8:30 p.m. What a lovely way to start out the week. Recommended.

The Light Upstairs Is the October Cactus Artist In Residence
By Cactus Cafe Blog
Cactus Cafe
10/08/2012

Free Shows every Monday thanks to our friends at Lone Star Beer.

The Light Upstairs is the Cactus Artist in Residence for October brought to you by Lonestar Beer.

Openers: 10/8 Scott & Emilie Zuniga, 10/15 Brian Kremer, 10/22 Ted Nesseth, 10/29 Ted Nesseth.

Emily and Christian met in Austin, TX in 2005 when a mutual friend invited each of them to play in a new band. Emily was recruited for violin and vocals, and Christian filled in on various instruments as required by the band‘s ever-changing lineup. That band led to other bands, and while they enjoyed collaborating with all of the fantastic musicians with whom they played over the years, the two developed a certain comfortable style as a lonesome duo.

By 2009 or so, they were spending more and more time working in this parsimonious format and found it to be… nice. pleasant. easy. Inexpensive, when factoring in the substitution of kitchens and living rooms for studios and rehearsal spaces. That winter they decided to work up some songs and make a record. After renting some recording equipment at a shop in South Austin, they set up camp at Em‘s house and recorded the 11 songs that would become their debut album, “Disconnecting the Dots”. Arrangements were constructed conservatively. Reverb was applied liberally. A smoke break during the recording process revealed the band‘s name, obviating the need for the dreaded “Band Name Brainstorming Session”, which has taken so many other fresh, young Austin bands before their time.

Since then, The Light Upstairs has been playing around town, writing new songs, buying new guitars, losing old capos, discovering new picks, and generally having a pretty good time.

Nice. Pleasant. Easy. TLU.

An Evening of Jazz
By Erin Green
The Bastrop Advertiser
05/10/2012

Photo caption: Christian Glakas and Emily Burns play onstage to an appreciative crowd at the Jazz in Bastrop fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Bastrop County Saturday at the Lakeside Professional Building.


Seated at a table in the warm late afternoon sun, Sally and Robert Horton were ready for an evening of good music for a good cause.

The Bastrop couple was waiting for the start of the 10th annual “Jazz in Bastrop” event, a fundraiser benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Bastrop County. The event was sponsored by St. David’s HealthCare.

Awaiting the start of the event, the Hortons said they came to the event last year and enjoyed it - they enjoy supporting the Boys & Girls Club, but they also love good live music, especially from favorite musicians like Eric Johnson, the Grammy award-winning guitarist and jazz musician set to headline the evening.

“We wanted to come hear (Johnson) play,” Sally Horton said. “We also wanted to come and support the Boys & Girls Club.”

But while Johnson - who took the stage at about 9 p.m. and played many of his hits - was a major draw for the Hortons, he was not the only musician to play. Other musicians to grace the stage Saturday night included Chris Maresh, Wayne Salzmann, Rick McRae, Paul Glasse, Alex Coke, Liz Morphis, Hailey Tuck and Grace Garne, among others.

The several hundred people in attendance - some from as far away as Dallas, Corpus Christi and even Connecticut - also enjoyed a dinner of brisket and sausage provided by the Boys & Girls Club, plus sides and beverages catered by Baxter’s on Main, Comfort Cafe, Le Roux, Maxine’s on Main and the Sugar Shack.

Amid the food and fellowship with other jazz enthusiasts, the main reason for the event - supporting the Boys & Girls Club - wasn’t forgotten. Club executive director Anthony Robles said the event, which rasies about $25,000 each year, will go toward serving about 300 to 400 kids in Bastrop, Smithville and Elgin.

Attendance at the Bastrop unit - and at the newly-opened Smithville unit - is growing, Robles said. The units serve an average of 150 kids per day, he noted.

“Right now, because of the fires, a lot of the kids don’t have places to go after school,” Robles said. “(The fundraiser) is a wonderful cause to help support these kids.”

The cause began a decade ago, when event organizer Gary Schiff began the fundraiser quietly in his back yard, with a few musicians and a desire to financially help the struggling club.

While it started, literally, in his own back yard, Schiff said the event soon outgrew its first home and he started searching for a place to hold the event and found the current venue, by the lake behind the Lakeside Professional Building on Highway 71.

“It’s a beautiful setting,” Schiff said, gesturing to the lake and the building, built in two wings to form a V. “Plus, the sound is great. The building naturally forms a bandshell.”

Those attending the event were clearly enjoying themselves. The musicians played a variety of songs, like “Summertime,” “Chico Chico” and “The Girl from Ipanema,” among others.

After a brief break between sets, Johnson took the stage, where he played a variety of his songs, including hits like “Cliffs of Dover,” “Gem” and “On the Way.”

The evening had another highlight, with the live auction of a Fender Stratocaster guitar autographed by Johnson. The winner, Teresa Kinsfather, bid $1,800 for the guitar and got her photograph taken with Johnson and the guitar.

Bill Pauley, president of the Boys & Girls Club board, summed up the evening.

“What you’re doing is helping these young men and women become adults,” he said.