Showing posts with label SXSW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SXSW. Show all posts

Sunday, March 18, 2012

SXSW 2012 - Day Five

All things must end. This is as true for SXSW as it is for everything else, but this year my SXSW experience ended in epic fashion. We started the night by heading over to Swan Dive on Red River to catch DC-area band Deleted Scenes:

I had heard about these guys from Office of Future Plans' Twitter feed and listened to them on Spotify a few times. They combine DC punk/rock with a playfulness and experimentation that ends up producing a unique, but listenable sound not quite like anything else out there right now. I found the live show to be very good and a great start to the night. The next stop was Spill bar to check out a band called Elephant Stone:

This was one of my picks based solely on a single sample track and in the end I wasn't disappointed. They put on an interesting show and it's not often at all that you see a sitar used in indie rock in such a fashion. Leaving Spill around 8:30, we heading south to Lustre Pearl to meet up with some friends and catch the always amazing Tim Fite:

This is the third time I've seen Tim Fite live and it's always a fun and unique experience. I highly recommend checking him out live if you ever get the chance and head over to his web site for plenty of free downloads as well. Quiet Company was our 11pm stop, so we headed over to the Chevrolet Sound Garage on 6th to set ourselves up early for the show:

As always, these guys rocked the fucking house. If I had to pick an Austin band most on the verge of blowing up nationally it would be this one. These guys have serious chops and a style with broad appeal while still managing to be 100% sincere about their music. Do yourself a favor and pick up their latest album "We Are All Where We Belong" before the hipsters catch on and try to make it seem like they were there first.

With nothing lined up for 12pm, we headed over to Friends bar on 6th to catch And So I Watch You From Afar a second time. My main goal was to get up front for this set and after the previous band finished and the front of the stage cleared out a bit, I was able to stake my claim:

The band put on a phenomenal set despite a few technical difficulties and instrument malfunctions. One of the highlights for me was in finally seeing them play "Don't Waste Time Doing Things You Hate", one of my favorite tracks from their first album. They closed the evening with a powerful performance of "The Voiceless" that saw guitarists Rory Friers and Niall Kennedy jump into the crowd and continue playing whilst crouched on the floor and surrounded by fans:

If that wasn't enough, as the song ended in a crescendo of feedback and noise, Niall handed me his guitar. For a moment I was dumbfounded and then (understanding his gesture) began strumming the hell out of the instrument, contributing to the cacophonous climax of the evening. After 30 seconds or so of being the 5th member of And So I Watch You From Afar, Niall took back the guitar, gave me a hug from on stage and said "thanks" ... I have to assume not just for the strumming, but for my obvious admiration of the band as evidenced by my hardcore rocking out over the previous 50 minutes:

So, drenched in sweat and with a giant grin across my face I reunited with my friends and bid farewell to SXSW for 2012. It was a perfect end to an excellent week of music in one of favorite cities in the world and a place I'm so glad to call home.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

SXSW 2012 - Day Four

Day four of SXSW this year was the best so far. It started off with one of my favorite local acts - The Sour Notes - at B.D. Riley's:

They played an amazing set as always and handed out a bunch of free CD's and 7" splits to the crowd before the show, which is probably a really smart move for any small act playing SXSW. From there it was over to The Whiskey Room at 9pm for Bright Moments:

They took a little longer than average setting up due to what appeared to be an uncooperative sound system on stage, but when they finally did play it was worth the wait and I'll be checking out more of their stuff in the future. At 10pm came a moment I had been waiting for all week, And So I Watch You From Afar at Bat Bar:

The last time I really listened to some good, heavy music at a show was during Fun Fun Fun Fest back in November and last night's performance by ASIWYFA was a reminder of just how much I enjoy that kind of stuff. The band played perfectly and seriously rocked the shit out of the place. It's not often these guys come over here from Ireland so I'm going to see them again tonight at Friends bar and planning to get as close to the stage as I can.

I didn't have anything lined up for 11pm last night, but we wanted to get in to see Temper Trap at the Parish at midnight, so we headed over early to check out Crystal Fighters who put on a really excellent show, featuring the kind of pop meets (insert genre here) style that British bands seem to grasp without difficulty. A little after 12 Temper Trap went on with a set composed mostly of new material from their upcoming second album:

We ended up leaving early however as they were running late and we wanted to get over to St. David's Bethel Hall to check out Mother Falcon. After ending up in the Sanctuary instead of Bethel Hall and catching the end of another act, we were lucky enough to run into someone who figured out that all of us were in the wrong place and headed around the corner to Bethel Hall to catch the beginning of Mother Falcon's set:

This year's winner of the Austin Music Award for Best Avant-Garde/Experimental Band did not disappoint in person. The group of 15+ musicians played a beautiful set that acted as the perfect close to a great night at SXSW.

Tonight my SXSW 2012 experience comes to a close with Day Five. In addition to the aforementioned second installment of And So I Watch You From Afar, I'm also hoping to check out Tim Fite's unique live performance, as well as a more traditional SXSW set from Quiet Company.

Friday, March 16, 2012

SXSW 2012 - Day Three

My third day of SXSW 2012 was more along the lines of what passes for "normal" for this event. There wasn't anything in particular that I had labelled as "must see" last night, but there were a few acts that I was interested in catching. First up was Sarah Jaffe at Club De Ville:

The laid back singer-songwriter (how this gets to be a genre description when it can describe ANY person who writes and sings their own songs, I don't know) was a nice, mellow start to the evening. We stayed for almost her entire set, but ducked out early to make sure we could get over to Esther's Follies on 6th in time to get seats for Mike Birbiglia's comedy act:

We were lucky in that the three comics on before Birbigs showed up were actually pretty decent and of course the man himself was as entertaining in person as he is in print or CD. My original plans had involved checking out one of two acts that I wasn't really that familiar with for the 10pm block, but Andrew was excited to check out Grimes (a more or less solo electronic act) that was slated to start around 10:45. Since I didn't have any plans for 11pm I decided to chuck the 10pm plans and stick with the rest of the group, waiting in line at the Central Presbyterian Church for about 50 minutes till we could get in for Grimes' set:

When all is said and done, it really wasn't my thing. Electronic music is something I'm a little more picky about than other genres, but I was impressed by the ability on display at least. Seeing someone orchestrate layered music live is always interesting. As 12pm approached we had the choice to head way over to Antone's for Honeyhoney or to the nearby Red Eyed Fly for Cymbals Eat Guitars. As much as I would have liked to see Honeyhoney (especially after missing them the day before) I was hankering for the brilliant noise of Cymbals Eat Guitars:

The band put on a great set, including the 8 minute "Rifle Eyesight (proper name)" and even played one unreleased song. Like the last time I saw them though, the set was light on stuff from the first album, which I find a little disappointing as a big fan of that record. As 1am rolled around, I was thoroughly satisfied after Cymbals Eat Guitars' performance and I really didn't care who we went to see next. Andrew wanted to check out Say Anything (a band I later described to him - since he had never heard of them before - as "3rd wave emo") over at Buffalo Billiards:

We got ourselves a table towards the back and some beers and it was late, so I didn't pay much attention to the show except to say that I sounded fine and had I ever been a Say Anything fan I'm sure I would have been delighted.

Tonight will mark Day Four of my SXSW experience and will include a chance to see The Sour Notes again, as well as the first of two And So I Watch You From Afar performances and hopefully Mother Falcon as well. Still one more night to go after this!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

SXSW 2012 - Day Two

This is going to be another short post because I've got one foot out the door for SXSW - Day Three and last night (while I saw a bunch of acts) I mainly stayed in one place. After failing to get in to see Honeyhoney at the Austin Convention Center (apparently that stage was badge only) we headed over to Frank for some food and then the Austin Music Hall to check out Quiet Company. All I knew going in was that Quiet Company was playing, but it turned out that they were playing as part of the Austin Music Awards. Admittedly we felt a bit as if we had just crashed the ceremony, but we were well within out wristband wearing rights to be there so we settled in and enjoyed a great set:

We had originally planned to head out after this, when rumors started flying on the internet that Bruce Springsteen was going to show up at some point during the night. Seeing the boss in a venue like this would have just been too big a chance to pass up so we stuck around for the rest of the proceedings which included several decent performances:
Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns

Sixteen Deluxe

Ruthie Foster

Carolyn Wonderland

Ruthie Foster and Carolyn Wonderland

Christopher Cross

Patty Griffin
Eventually Alejandro Escovedo came up on stage to close out the night along with a bunch of friends:
Including The Boss himself ... Bruce Springsteen:

After all was said and done, we were glad we stuck around. Afterwards we had just enough time to get over to Stubb's and catch Andrew Bird:
All told, it was a pretty kick ass night. Now for round three!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SXSW 2012 - Day One

I meant this to be a longer post, but I'm dead tired and I'm still dead tired from last night and I've only got an hour till I head back out for Day Two. Here's the round up from yesterday:

First stop around 3:30pm was the "A Music OVRLD" party at Guero's on S. Congress thrown by The Boxing Lesson and my pal Carter at OVRLD, where we caught several acts:

The Couch
Frank Smith
Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor
After a quick bite to eat at Home Slice, it was time to head downtown where (after nearly getting killed by several bad drivers) we headed to Bat Bar for The Apache Relay:

My friends wanted to check out Santigold, which led us on a walk to La Zona Rosa, only to relearn that valuable SXSW lesson: If you want to see a nationally recognized act at SXSW (even a nationally recognized indie act) plan on arriving well before their set time. Needless to say, the line was around the corner, so we headed back to 6th to catch the last half of the Marmalakes set at The Parish:

The next stop was Latitude 30 to check out British punk rockers Future of the Left. To my surprise and utter joy, they played a couple McKlusky tunes, including To Hell With Good Intentions. They ended the show with an overextended version of Lapsed Catholics that I have to believe was stretched out to mess with the Fire Marshall who wanted to clear the place out and refill it, claiming it was well over capacity:

We attempted to check out Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at the Hype Hotel, but indie famous is as indie famous does and after viewing the large twin lines, we rerouted to Buffalo Billiards in preparation for The Soldier Thread later on. That's where we caught a decent, but mostly forgettable show by Electric Touch:

After which The Soldier Thread closed out our night with some impressive vocals by Miss Patricia Lynn:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Or Maybe I'm Just Lazy

It's the first day of the music portion of SXSW and I've decided to stay in tonight. I had entertained the idea of trying to get in to see "And So I Watch You From Afar", but after considering the prospect of standing in line alone for hours to either a) not get in and have to take the Night Owl home or b) get in for a quick 4 or 5 song set and then have to take the Night Owl home, I'd rather drink a couple beers at home (it's St. Patrick's Day after all) and finish watching Dollhouse. 
And So I Watch You... will hopefully be back; they've made some waves, however small, and I'd relish a chance to see them play a decent set. I'm hoping I can scrape some people together to head out Friday night and see what we can get into and I plan on being downtown on Saturday afternoon and if at all possible Saturday night to attempt to get in and see Rival Schools and a fucking brilliant punk/hardcore line-up at Red 7 that night.