Entries tagged with: SXSW
by Bill Pearis
Bad Sports @ Burgermania, Hotel Vegas
I'm not sure how many artists I saw over the course of five days at SXSW but it was a lot. My week started (Kelley Stoltz) and ended (La Luz) at Hotel Vegas which was probably my favorite place to see bands in Austin. In between I tried to catch everyone on my list, and luckily quite a few of them played our day parties at Red 7. So of these, many were expected, but there were a couple nice finds too. Here's my Top 10 artists I caught at SXSW:
Jarvis Cocker (Wednesday @ Austin Convention Center)
I missed Jarvis and (Pulp guitarist) Steve Mackey's "Desperate Sound System" DJ night on Tuesday (and didn't get to see the Pulp documentary) but I did happen into Jarvis' talk, titled "Extra Ordinary," at the Convention Center the next day. It was an hour-long discussion -- complete with PowerPoint presentations -- that framed his lyrical style of finding beauty (and humor) in the mundane. As you would expect, it was witty, urbane and nobody wanted it to end.
Hospitality (Thursday, Merge Showcase @ The Parish)
I didn't really intend on seeing Hospitality (a band I've seen many times, but not since their new LP) at SXSW but the hour they were playing was free on my schedule...and I'm so glad I did. Not only did the songs off Trouble sound great, but the band took their expanded musical palette to the songs off their debut, offering up radical reworkings that made their whole set fresh and exciting.
Sylvan Esso (Thursday @ BV day party and Chevrolet Courtyard)
A real suprise, as I am against laptop acts in general, Sylvan Esso really made it work. A good set of songs anchored things, but it was the stage presence and chemistry between singer Amelia Randall Meath and beatmaker Nicholas Sanborn. One of the few times my first thought wasn't "get a live drummer" though, now that you mention it, that wouldn't hurt.
Gruff Rhys (Thursday @ St. David's Historic Sanctuary & BV Friday Day Party)
One of the true talents of the last 20 years, Gruff Rhys could probably read the SXSW schedule and make it entertaining. At the church (and at our Friday day party), he previewed his new album, American Interior, which is a high-concept project that involves a book, film and mobile app. It worked with just an acoustic guitar (and a few handmade signs) too.
La Femme (BV Friday day party @ Red 7)
As they made my #3 album of 2013, I knew I was going to like La Femme live. I didn't expect them to be so genuinely awesome, especially in the tough noon opening slot. They sounded great, oozed Frenchiness, were a blast to watch. Expectations way exceeded. I can't wait to see them do a full set on Sunday (which BV is presenting).
Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Friday @ Chevrolet Courtyard & BV Saturday day party)
No disrespect to the TPOBPAH line-up that made the band's first two albums, but the all new version of band Kip Berman has put together -- including Drew Citron of Beverly, Jen Goma of ASDIG, and Dream Diary's Jacob Danish Sloan -- are seriously talented. And the Pains were never this much fun before. New record's really good, too.
Protomartyr (BV Saturday Day Party @ Red 7)
Dressed in grey Dockers and a button-down shirt, Protomartyr frontman Joe Casey looked like he was performing our day party slot on his lunch break. He kept one hand in his pocket, chewed gum and barely moved. But not unlike Mark E. Smith or David Thomas, there's a seething indifference seeping out of that shirt collar, and to me that dichotomy -- and the general badassedness songs on Protomartyr's new album -- was about as punk as it gets.
Fat White Family (BV Saturday day party)
Another of the bands I was most excited to see, Fat White Family brought a genuine sleezy rock n' roll attitude. Most of bandmembers were shirtless and sweaty by the second song, and frontman Lias Saoudi had an undeniable louche...is charm the right word? These are boys you don't bring home to mom. You can catch them this weekend in NYC.
Curtis Harding (Saturday, Burgermania @ Hotel Vegas)
Burgermania boasted some 60 bands across Hotel Vegas' four stages, with a new group starting every 15 minutes. Most of them being on the Fullerton, CA record label that was as much the star as the bands. (Their t-shirt booth, sporting about 10 styles, sold out of everything except XXLs.) I think I caught about 15 over the course of four hours. I arrived in time for the soul-garage of Atlanta's Curtis Harding, whose magnetism, pipes and chops were evident from note one. Look for his album on Burger later this year.
Bad Sports (Burgermania @ Hotel Vegas)
Having enjoyed all three albums by Bad Sports a lot (very Damned/Buzzcocks-style punk), I somehow never realized the band was fronted by OBN III's Orville Neeley until I saw them on stage as part of Burgermania. Having only seen Neeley in wildman OBN mode, it was cool to see him channel that energy into a guitar, ripping out one burner after another.
Other sets I liked: Kelley Stoltz, Coachwhips, Gap Dream, LA Font, SVPER, Cosmonauts, Cate Le Bon, Tweens, Warm Soda, The Hold Steady, Christopher Owens, Destruction Unit, Cherry Glazzer, Peter Matthew Bauer, Shocked Minds, Bleeding Rainbow, Connan Mockasin, The Fresh & Onlys, Quilt, Weyes Blood, Arthur Beatrice (and probably something I forgot).
Bands I missed who I wanted to see: Boogarins, Withered Hand, Bo Ningen... Spandau Ballet?
A few more Instagrams (including a few bands that fell outside the Top 10) below...
Pains / Hold Steady
After Friday, which came after Thursday, which came after a night show on Wednesday, we said hello and goodbye to both of Red 7's stages one last time with our third and final BrooklynVegan SXSW day party at the 7th & Red River venue in Austin on Saturday (3/15).
Outside, despite the rain that plagued us that day, Palehound kicked things off with their noisy indie rock, and they were followed by the high-energy poppy punk of Cincinnati's Tweens. More poppy punk came from Northampton's Potty Mouth, and then came Mary Timony's (Autoclave, Helium, Wild Flag) riff-rockin' new band Ex Hex, who were one of the most fun bands of the day to watch. They were followed by Potty Mouth's Northampton neighbors Speedy Ortiz, who were great as always, and whose new stuff (like "American Horror") sounded great next to their older songs (like "Taylor Swift"). Wye Oak followed and previewed stuff from their upcoming guitar-less album (they did have their guitar on Saturday though), and the show closed with a super fun set from The Hold Steady.
The indoor stage got off to a great start with Saintseneca, who had a tight blend of Fleet Foxes/Arcade Fire-isms, then it got weird for the UK's Fat White Family, who brought filth and fury not unlike The Stooges or The Birthday Party. (They're in NYC this weekend.) Quilt kept things trippy (but cleaner) after that, and Connan Mockasin was his eccentric self too (though he admitted he was recovering from the night before where he told everyone at Swan Dive to take their clothes off). Then came the art pop of Hundred Waters, a mostly-solo set from Braid frontman Bob Nanna which included Braid songs and some Jack and Ace action with his wife Lauren LoPiccolo, sneering Detroit post-punks Protomartyr, and finally a headlining set from the new lineup of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, which is easily their most powerful and fun to watch yet.
Tweens / Ex Hex
Shiner beer was on special and we gave away free Jameson. Veri organic soda was free, plentiful and was there to help you rehydrate. We let in 20 people each day who were taking advantage of Esurance's SXSW-wide #EsuranceAccess program.
Indiegogo was there too, though due to the rain, like Marshall, they moved inside on Saturday.
Special thanks to all of our bands and partners and sponsors for making this party possible.
by Bill Pearis
Jungle @ SXSW 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
UK dance act Jungle were just over playing their first-ever U.S. dates, which included two in NYC one in LA and a slew at SXSW, where they were one of the more talked-about acts at the fest. A duo in the studio, Jungle played as a five-piece here and enigmatic main men T and J kept some of the anonymity going via large microphone windscreens which obscured their faces onstage. It seems a bit silly as no one at the Knitting Factory show seemed to care, they were too busy dancing -- the live band is tight and groovy and people (at the show I saw) were super into it. While too many of their songs sound exactly like the terrific single "The Heat" to me, I seemed to be the only one bothered by this. They are a lot of fun live.
Jungle are coming back for a proper (if short) North American tour in June, which includes a NYC stop at Bowery Ballroom on 6/18. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All tour dates are listed below...
Trust / OFF!
Like the one the day before, the second of our three BrooklynVegan SXSW day parties happened on both stages of Red 7 on Friday (3/14). Outside, the show opened nicely with Columbus, OH indie rockers Connections, followed by intense garage rock trio The Blind Shake, whose members were all decked out in uniform with tight black zip-up jackets and shaved heads. Then came together PANGEA with more garage rock but more on the melodic/accessible side, and they were followed by the punky pop of Upset, who count ex-Vivian Girl Ali Koehler and ex-Hole drummer Patty Schemel as members. After them came a wild set from more veteran musicians in the Keith Morris-fronted hardcore supergroup OFF!, and they were followed by ex-members of Women making shouty, jammy post-punk in their new band Viet Cong. Then came more (but darker and backed by a drum machine) post-punk from Beth Israel, and finally the show wrapped up with a headlining set from Parquet Courts...
"I can't remember a better show in the last five years--maybe 10--than the one Parquet Courts put on at the Brooklyn Vegan day party. It all depends on the show, right? Sometimes you can be transformed by an arena show or knocked over by some random punk band in a shoebox. But this was seeing a band that is RIGHT NOW! They have 1.5 albums under their belt, they have no fat, they have no gimmicks, they just flat-out torched the landscape. This was it, this is what seeing live music is about, this show--THIS BAND--is why I love music so much. A jaw dropping show." [The Portland Mercury]
Parquet Courts photos by Tim Griffin
Meanwhile, inside things got off to an eccentric danceable start with Parisian band La Femme, who were part new wave, part surf rock, part ye-ye, and highly entertaining. (NYC: We're presenting their show this weekend at Glasslands.) It stayed in upbeat mode for psych rock trio The Entrance Band, but then calmed down a lot for the orchestral indie pop of Mutual Benefit. Tomas Barfod was supposed to go on next but had to cancel at the last minute, unfortunately, though once Classixx took the stage it returned to dance mode. Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys followed with a set that was partially solo, partially with accompaniment and fully entertaining, and then we got downtempo electronic pop from Jessy Lanza before inside stage closed with the gothy house pop of Toronto's Trust.
Gruff Rhys / MixRadio thing & Marshall stack
Shiner beer was on special and we gave away free Jameson, not to mention all the Veri organic soda that was on hand to keep you hydrated. We also let in 20 people each day who were taking advantage of Esurance's SXSW-wide #EsuranceAccess program.
Indiegogo was there too. Maybe they fed you a free piece of pizza?
Special thanks to all of our bands and partners and sponsors for making this party possible. Pictures from Thursday HERE. Check out more pictures from the whole day Friday below (and a second set at BV Austin)...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Ex Hex @ Red 7, 3/15/14
As mentioned, Merge Records is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, including the four-day Merge 25 festival which happens July 23 - 26 in Carrboro, NC. Merge has released the initial line-up, which includes Wye Oak, The Clientele, Destroyer, Caribou, Lambchop (performing Nixon), Neutral Milk Hotel, The Rock*A*Teens, Ex Hex, and Bob Mould. While day schedules haven't been announced events will happen at the following venues:
July 23 Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University Campus, Durham, NCFull Festival Passes are $195 and will go on sale to the general public on Friday (3/21) at 11 am EST via the Cat's Cradle website. Individual tickets for the events in Carrboro will go on sale Wednesday, March 26 and the Duke University show goes on sale Tuesday, April 22.
July 24 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
July 25 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
July 26 Full Day Music Concert, outdoors, Carrboro, NC
Both Wye Oak and Ex Hex played our Saturday SXSW free day party this past weekend in Austin. Ex Hex (featuring Mary Timony of Helium and Wild Flag) put on a killer set of glammy powerpop. Pics from their performance are in this post and you can check out Wye Oak pics here. Ex Hex also have a new video for "Hot and Cold" that costars Ian Svenonius (Chain & the Gang, Make-Up, etc). You can watch that below.
More BV SXSW day party pics of Ex Hex, plus the new Ex Hex video, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
The Hold Steady @ Red 7 - 3/15/14
The Hold Steady were just down in Austin for SXSW, where they played a number of shows ahead of their new album, Teeth Dreams, which comes out next week (3/25) via Razor & Tie imprint Washington Square. One of those shows was our free Saturday BrooklynVegan day party at Red 7, where they wrapped up that day (and the entire 3-day run of parties) with a super fun outdoor set in the sun after the morning's rain had cleared. Pictures of their set from that show are in this post.
Though we still have to wait a few days to get the new Hold Steady album, there's a full stream available to listen to now on iTunes Radio. The album has some studio shine courtesy of Nick Raskulinecz (Foo FIghters, Ghost), but even if that sort of thing bothers you these are just more great songs from a consistently great band. Check it out.
More pictures below...
photos & video by Tim Griffin
Trash Talk cause a SXSW ruckus outside Beerland - 3/14/2014
Tyler the Creator wasn't the only one upsetting the police in Austin this SXSW. His good friends in Trash Talk (who also played our Thursday day party at Red 7) were up to their usual hijinks and that included a Friday evening set outside Beerland on Red River that Tim came across as he was leaving the Friday BV Day party around 6pm...
SPREAD THE FUCKING WORD!!! Trash Talk live at Beerland on the patio. Wild in the streets! Free / all ages! This gonna be a wild one.— Lee Spielman (@LeeSpielman) March 14, 2014
Quick on the draw, Tim, who also shot Trash Talk at Red 7, pulled out his camera and captured some great video of the action, and some pictures too. View it all below...
photos by Tim Griffin
Tyler the Creator w/ BadBadNotGood @ Red 7 - 3/13/2014
Odd Future rapper Tyler the Creator had quite a week at SXSW, filled with ups and downs and no shortage of drama -- some of which was from his own hands. Things got off to a bad start as the tragic events that went down Wednesday night outside of Mohawk (aka 'House of Vans' for the week) reportedly involved people on line to see him at 12:30...
FUCK IT, THE VANS SHOW TONIGHT THEY ARE GONNA LET ME GRAB 100 FANS TO WATCH THE SHOW SO COME AT LIKE 1230 AT MOHAWK HOUSE OF VANS YEAH!!!— Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) March 12, 2014
Show Isnt Happening, Something Sad Happened. I'm Bummed— Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) March 13, 2014
His next event, which he did play was a short set at our Thursday free day party at Red 7 where he came out for an impromptu set of songs with highly-skilled jazz/funk trio BadBadNotGood, who he's collaborated with before (pictures in this post). He didn't say anything about the night before on stage, though he did let everyone know he had to play a short set because he had another show to be at soon...
It was only hours later that he was playing the Converse x Thrasher Death Match party at Scoot Inn, where he encouraged the people online outside of that show to break down the fence and come in. SPIN writes:
Does Tyler, the Creator thrive on chaos, or does he thrive on subjecting other people to it? There's a difference. One tendency you tend to associate with artists, the other masochists. To wit: During his headlining spot at the Converse/Thrasher "Death Match" at the Scoot Inn Thursday afternoon, Tyler incited hundreds of people outside the already-packed venue to break down the gates, nearly causing a riot just hours after two people were killed and 23 injured outside his scheduled show at the Mohawk. SXSW came dangerously close to another tragedy.The show did eventually start again, and the SPIN report said that it seemed like even more of a riot would have ensued if it didn't.
"All you guys back there that can't get in," he said -- then implored the mob to bust down the gates. There was a split second when it seemed like the crowd wasn't going to do it, a possibility Tyler extinguished as he led the audience in a chant of "PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!"
And just like that, hundreds of people came rushing through the gates. I happened to be directly in their path when they did, and it felt like being hit with a wave: I pinged off this person and that person before stabilizing myself and catching my breath. I noticed the futile attempts of the security guards: a shit-kicker Joe Arpaio-type at the door tackled someone; another, meeker dude tried a clothesline that didn't work. It was of little use: the handful of guards were pushed aside like twigs in a flood. Someone came rushing to the sound booth where I'd moored myself and yelled at the sound guy to turn the music off. He did. I looked behind me and, to my horror, saw that they were locking the gates.
THRASHER SHOW WAS GREAT! HAPPY EVERYONE GOT IN. I PLAY PANDORA TONIGHT AT 1AM COME!!!— Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) March 14, 2014
A video of what went down at Scoot Inn was posted by TMZ and can be watched below.
The amount of rioting that did ensue though, resulted in Tyler getting arrested at the airport as he was leaving town, as Austinist reported. A police statement which since surfaced stated that Tyler was charged with a class A Misdemeanor, with a bond set at $25,000. They also posted his mugshot, which you can see below.
I DONT WANT TO CAUSE ANY TROUBLE, SOME ARE MAKING ME OUT TO BE A BAD GUY, SO IM NOT DOING ANY SHOWS TONIGHT. BE SAFE HAVE FUN ASSHOLES!— Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) March 14, 2014
ILL BE BACK THO AUSTIN WHEN EVERYTHING IS CHILL— Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) March 14, 2014
AND DALLAS IS STILL HAPPENING TONIGHT! MIGHT BE A LITTLE LATE BUT LETS GET NASTY AS FUCK— Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) March 16, 2014
More pictures of Tyler with BadBadNotGood from our day party, with his mugshot and that video, below...
Mobb Deep at Waterloo Records SXSW day party (via Waterloo Twitter)
Veteran rap duo Mobb Deep are soon beginning a previously announced tour that would have included a NYC show on 3/29 at Gramercy Theatre, but like many shows at that venue, it's been cancelled. Instead, they'll play NYC at the end of the tour on May 24 at Irving Plaza. That show also includes Smif-N-Wessun, and tickets are still available. Any tickets purchased for the Gramercy date will be honored, and if you can't make the new date, refunds are available at point of purchase. Updated dates are listed below.
Mobb Deep were also just down in Austin for SXSW. While they were there, both FACT and Fuse interviewed them about the 20th anniversary reissue of The Infamous, their upcoming new album, and more. Watch videos of those two interviews, plus a live video from their set at House of Vans/Mohawk, below...
photos by Tim Griffin, words by Andrew Sacher
Black Tusk / Mutoid Man at IO SXSW showcase - 3/13/14
The night after our official SXSW showcase, and only a couple hours after our first of three day parties, we put on a metal showcase with our metal blog Invisible Oranges on Thursday (3/13) at the Quantum Lounge in Austin. It's not a venue you'd normally see a metal show in, and it was a little surreal that the blue-lit-up bar kept its TVs on, playing closed-captioned versions of Malibu's Most Wanted and VH1's '40 Greatest Pranks' as the bands blasted their heavy jams from a corner. But it was a great time.
The show kicked off righteously with Houston's retro/stoner doom band Venomous Maximus, and then came the metallic Mars Volta-isms of power trio Wild Throne. Up next was Yautja, who were one of the buzzier heavy bands at this year's SXSW thanks to a killer blend of sludge and utter weirdness. We had also caught them a couple nights earlier at Pitchfork's Show No Mercy showcase and they did not disappoint at either one.
Making things even more utterly weird, Toby Driver's experimental metal band Kayo Dot followed, covering tons of different genres throughout their set. And then Converge/Cave In side project Mutoid Man knocked everyone out of zoned-out mode with their bluesy swagger and tech-y fills. In addition to material from their 2013 debut LP, Helium Head, they did two covers, including a Dio-era Sabbath song for which they brought out female guest lead singer Sarabeth Linden (who fronts Dio cover band Holy Diva), and the intensely heavy version of The Animals' "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" that they included on their album under the name "The Manimals." Finally, Savannah sludge masters Black Tusk wrapped up the show, in typically great form.
Catch Kayo Dot in NYC on April 6 at the Acheron, another Invisible Oranges-presented show.
Thanks to everyone who came out. Pictures of the show are in this post, and they continue below...
Little Dragon salutes the crowd (by Tim Griffin)
Trash Talk (by Amanda Hatfield)
Though everyone was shaken up from the previous night's tragic events (which happened not far from and during the official BrooklynVegan showcase on Wednesday night), SXSW moved forward on Thursday morning, when we began our first of three day parties at Red 7.
Our day shows took place on the indoor and outdoor stages of Red 7, with the indoor stage on Thursday staying (mostly) on the folkier/quieter side with San Fermin, Sylvan Esso, Rhett Miller of the Old 97s, Torres, Nicole Atkins, Cate Le Bon and Basia Bulat. Meanwhile, the outside that day was crazier and a little more random with Little Dragon, Roosevelt, BadBadNotGood (joined by Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator), Nothing, Trash Talk, Overdoz, Cities Aviv and Calvin Love.
Basia Bulat was a nice start to the day where she performed solo with an autoharp, ukulele, and keyboard. Cate Le Bon did a fine job following with her full band who got pretty intense at the end. Then it was singer/songwriter Nicole Atkins who played songs from her new Slow Phaser (catch her on tour with Nick Cave), followed by the grungy folk of Torres (who previewed some new material), followed by Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller who had a ton of fun with the show and did a bunch of covers like Tom Petty's "American Girl" and Pixies' "Wave of Mutilation." After Rhett, Sylvan Esso, the duo of Mountain Man's Amelia Meath and Megafaun's Nick Sanborn, had the indoor crowd moving more than anyone else that day with their synthy pop and Amelia's dance moves. And San Fermin wrapped things up with their orchestral pop.
Rhett Miller (by Amanda Hatfield)
Outside, Calvin Love and his band woke everyone up with their indie rock, which was followed by the noise rap of Cities Aviv and the weed-obsessed rap of Overdoz. Then things got kicked up ten notches for Trash Talk, who opened up the entire floor outside at Red 7 for a circle pit and kept egging on the crowd, Damian of Fucked Up included, the whole set. Nothing followed, keeping the heavy vibe in tact, but in more atmospheric ways. Then the vibe totally changed as jazz hop trio BadBadNotGood played (including a Flying Lotus cover). Their set was instrumental... until the last two songs when they were joined by Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator (who's collaborated with them before). Tyler and BBNG really got the crowd going, and though many filtered out after their set, a new batch of people quickly filled it back up for Roosevelt and the Swedish electro party that was Little Dragon.
Thanks to Life or Death for helping make things happen, and to all our sponsors. We served complimentary drinks courtesy of Jameson, and had Shiner beer specials all day long, free Veri organic soda, Frito pies courtesy of HomeState, and free popcorn at the Marshall Headphones booth where you could win headphones every hour on the hour if you tagged your Instagrams #BVMarshall.
Yukimi poses for Indiegogo -- photo by Daniel Christiansen
Nokia MixRadio was on site educating us about their free music service and playing the BrooklynVegan MixRadio SXSW playlist between bands. Indiegogo was there with free earplugs and conversation. Songboard, a new "music destination that offers artists and bands essential services and unique capabilities to maximize potential" was there too and with free thumb drives and education. We let in 20 people each day who were taking advantage of Esurance's SXSW-wide #EsuranceAccess program.
Special thanks to all of our bands and everyone who helped make it all possible, including you. Thanks everyone who made it out, and sorry to everyone who waited on line but didn't get in (the fire marshals were cracking down on venues more than ever this year.).
One set of pictures from this party is posted over at BV Austin. Check out more pictures from the whole day (by Amanda Hatfield except where specified), below...
Bo Ningen @ SXSW 2014 (photo via @8boyboy8)
By the second song, "Haken," the band was furiously bouncing around the stage in unison to its roller-coastery waves of reverberating guitar noise and pulsating rhythms. Singer/bassist Taigen Kawabe led the charge with a manic, sometimes cackle-like vocal style and dramatic, wild-eyed gestures that included a tear through the middle of the crowd near the end of the set. - [Minnesota Star Tribune]One of the most talked-about bands at SXSW this year was Japanese band Bo Ningen, due in no small part to their wild, guitar-swinging, in-your-face shows. The band will release their new album, III, via Stolen Recordings on May 20. (The record does not have last year's collaboration with Savages' Jhenny Beth but she is on another song, "CC.") You can stream "DaDaDa" from it below.
For those who weren't in Austin (or those, like me, who managed to miss them there), Bo Ningen will be back over for Coachella and then touring after. Those dates include two in NYC: April 25 at Knitting Factory and a free afternoon in-store at Rough Trade on April 27. No word on tickets for the Knit show just yet.
All tour dates are listed, along with the song stream, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Tweens at BV-SXSW party at Red 7 - 3/15/14
Cincinnati trio Tweens were one of the many bands who played our BV SXSW day parties at Red 7 in Austin last week, taking the outdoor stage at 12:45 on Saturday (3/15). They woke up the early, hungover crowd with a set that was way more energetic and punk than they seemed from the two singles off their upcoming self-titled debut LP (due out 4/8 via Frenchkiss). Pictures from their set are in this post, and you can check out those two singles -- "Be Mean" and "Forever" -- below.
Tweens will be doing more touring this year, and they'll hit NYC for a show on April 3 at Death by Audio with local faves Shellshag. Admission is $10 at the door.
All dates are listed, with more pics and those song streams, below...
by Bill Pearis
(photo via @soundbitesnyc)
There was a while there where The Fresh & Onlys were competing with Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall and Bob Pollard for the title of Most Prolific Band in Indie Rock. They have since slowed to a respectable one major release a year, with maybe a 7" too for a tour. (Mind you frontman Tim Cohen puts out a Magic Trick album once a year too.) The band will release their fifth album, House of Spirits on June 10 via Mexican Summer and the first track released from it, "Bells of Paonia," is out now. Fuzzy and ethereal, the track is unlike anything they've done before, sonically, with layers of guitar, organ and harmonies going ocean-deep. Say the band, "Jam this on your stereo or headphones, otherwise you'll be missing nearly half of what's lurking in this swamp. Not recommended for those puny computer speakers." Crank it up below.
When the Fresh & Onlys were in NYC for Mexican Summer Five back in the fall, their normal rhythm section (Shayde Sartin, Kyle Gibson) were not with them but the regular line-up was in fine form at SXSW this past weekend when I caught them at the official Mexican Summer showcase. The band are playing Austin Psych Fest right before their new album drops, hopefully we'll have some East Coast dates soon.
"Bells of Paonia" stream, plus House of Spirits cover art and tracklist, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Angel Olsen / Warpaint / EMA @ SXSW 3/14/2014
After our Friday BV-SXSW day party at Red 7, Amanda and I headed to Austin's Central Presbyterian Church for the Pitchfork showcase. Opening the show was EMA, whose material from 2011's Past Life Martyred Saints sounded great as always, but most excitingly Erika and her band used the opportunity to preview her upcoming sophomore album, The Future's Void. The new stuff sounds great, and definitely doesn't seem like PLMS pt. 2. They had a good amount of diversity too -- there were grungy parts, one song with a lengthy instrumental jam, electronics and folk. Definitely a record to look forward to.
Then it was Angel Olsen, who others at BV have caught before (like Amanda), but I never had, and was really blown away. Angel's got an intense stare that never falters, and a great band that knows how to keep quiet music on the edgy side, but can get loud when they need to as well. Her voice echoes the cult bedroom folk singers of the '60s/'70s, and even as she ably belts it through a big church, she doesn't lose that eeriness.
After Angel, we headed back to Red 7 to catch Destruction Unit. The Arizona psych punks were one of the best bands I saw at last year's SXSW, and a year later nothing has changed. They never really play the same show twice, so even if you've seen them before you don't necessarily know what you're getting yourself into. They can switch from blisteringly fast punk, like the one-two punch of "The World On Drugs" and "Slow Death Sounds" that they opened the show with, to slower, more atmospheric parts, and complete dissonant noise. It's cerebral music, but it's also something you can mosh to (as many people at this show did). And even in their droniest parts, the band are always a thrill to watch with each member totally in his own zone the whole set.
Then Amanda went to House of Vans/Mohawk for Warpaint and I stayed at Red 7 for Perfect Pussy, who we also caught on a bridge, at NPR and at the Pitchfork day party. No pics of them this time, but I'm happy to report they got a new bass.
Pictures of Warpaint are in this post. More of those, plus more shots of EMA, Angel Olsen and D Unit, below...
suspect Rashad Owens
The tragedy that struck SXSW this past Wednesday (3/12) is getting sadder. The Austin American Statesman confirms that Sandy Le, one of the 22 people hospitalized, has passed away, making a total of three deaths.
Statesman also reports that five others remain at University Medical Center Brackenridge, two of which were in good condition as of Sunday, and one remains in fair condition at St. David's Medical Center.
The suspect, Rashad Owens, is still in jail with bail set at $3 million for capital murder and aggravated assault with a vehicle. He was in Austin this week to perform as a rapper under the name KillingAllBeats or K.A.B254. That's his Bell County mugshot above.
A 'SXSW Cares' fund is also open.
photos by Steven Noreyko, words by Bill Pearis
Julian Casablancas & The Voidz @ Chevrolet Courtyard, SXSW 3/14/2014
After some secret shows on their way to Austin, The Strokes' Julian Casablancas officially debuted new material and a new band -- The Voidz -- at SXSW, playing a 1 AM headlining set on Friday night (3/14) at the The Chevrolet Courtyard at Cedar Street. I'm pretty sure every Strokes fanatic in Texas was at the show and they were hyped for a chance to see him in a fairly intimate setting.
I am more of a casual fan but I was there. It came after a long day of music -- which started off with our second day party -- and I had hit the wall by the time Casablancas went on. Julian sang hunched over and often with his back to the crowd, vocals in the red the whole time. He played five new songs plus returned to play "Instant Crush," his contribution to Daft Punk's new album, for a demanded encore. What I remember more than the music was that The Voidz looked like they were plucked from a Jersey Shore pizza place circa 1987 -- extra cheese. (Dig the mullet and 'stache on the guitarist.) The was also an old Apple Computer on stage that was rigged up to display random graphics via the soundboard, which tied the whole thing together.
Casablancas and The Voidz have an album on the way -- release date TBA -- and you can watch a teaser video for that (also very '80s) below. After the Cedar St. Couryard show, the Voidz also played Fader Fort on Saturday (3/15) too. NYC can catch The Voidz (and The Strokes) at Governors Ball. You can check out live video from the Chevrolet Coutyard show, plus a few more pics, below.
Damon Albarn @ NPR SXSW (more by Tim Griffin)
Damon Albarn played the Fader Fort at SXSW last night (3/14), where he brought out some special guests to help him perform a pair of Gorillaz tunes. Del the Funky Homosapien and Dan the Automator joined Albarn for "Clint Eastwood"--it was the first time the original collaborators teamed up to perform it--and Snoop Dogg also came out halfway through the song to spit a verse of "Drop It Like It's Hot." Albarn also invited De La Soul out to do "Feel Good Inc." Check out some video footage of "Clint Eastwood" below...
With LP#2, Gap Dream transformed from '60s-ish Nuggets psych to synth-heavy, dance-friendly spacerock. At the controls is main man Gave Fulvimar, whose charisma and general good-vibe stage presence makes Gap Dream such a fun band to see live. The band will be spreading those positive vibes around Austin for SXSW this week, including at the all-day BURGERMANIA III at Hotel Vegas TODAY (3/15). There's also Burgerama III which happens in Santa Ana, CA later this month. Amidst all this burgering, Gabe was nice enough to answer our 5 QUESTIONS:
1) What is your favorite venue to play in the country and why?
The Happy Dog in Cleveland cuz it's one if our home spots then I guess I'd have to say the observatory in Santa Ana since that's our other homespot but I like anywhere honestly.
Mutual Benefit @ Mercury Lounge, Feb. 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Brooklyn resident Jordan Lee records under the moniker Mutual Benefit, making lush orch-folk as heard on 2013's gorgeous debut, Love's Crushing Diamond. Now fleshed-out as a band, Mutual Benefit will be busy this week with many appearances at SXSW, including the Friday (TODAY) BrooklynVegan free day party--they play at 1:30PM. While getting ready for that, Lee took time out to answer 5 QUESTIONS:
1) What is your favorite venue to play in the country and why?
Definitely this big outside stage in the middle of the Ozarks in Arkansas that used to be a secret queer club in the 80's but was recently found and re-started again by this group of young kids. Our show was cut short because a girl on psychedelics called the cops on herself and ended up getting tasered when she (perhaps rightfully) confused the police officer with a lizard person.
TPOBPAH @ Indie Pop Prom 2013 (more by Bruno Simões)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are pretty consistent with their love for '80s and '90s indie, but they don't repeat themselves, and continue to navigate new territory on their upcoming third album, a quieter, poppier record than the Corgan riffs of 2011's Belong.
Folks attending SXSW this week can get an early taste of Days of Abandon (and TPOBPAH's new line-up) and their schedule includes the Saturday BrooklynVegan free BrooklynVegan day party. (For those that aren't, they'll be touring soon too.) Nice guy frontman Kip Berman, a genuine music lover, put some thought into our 5 QUESTIONS:
1) What is your favorite venue to play in the country and why?
Kip: I'm not going to include NYC, because hometown shows are always super special. But the Bottletree Cafe in Birmingham, Alabama is incredible. They have these airstream trailers that serve as the "back stage" area, they feed bands good food, and everyone that works there is pretty awesome.
Diarrhea Planet x The Midgetmen x Melissa Etheridge (via)
The Midgetmen's annual Jumpstart Texas day party took place on Thursday (3/13) at The Sidebar, with Diarrhea Planet, Connections, Big Ups, and many more. During that party, Diarrhea Planet joined forces with The Midgetmen and special guest Melissa Etheridge(!) to play Tom Petty's "Refugee." Check out some video footage of the rip-roaring cover below...
photos by Tim Griffin
Damon, Annie, Kelis, Eagulls and Perfect Pussy at the NPR Showcase - SXSW 2014
"Damon Albarn hasn't played yet, has he?" we ask. The woman on the door shakes her head. Flushed with the thrill of absurd luck, we don't stop to wonder why.Damon Albarn presented much of his solo debut Wednesdaysday night (3/12) in SXSW at Stubb's as part of NPR's official showcase. (It was the same night and on the same street as Tuesday's tragic events, though most attendees were unaware.) St. Vincent played before him and went on a little late -- and maybe played longer than scheduled. Damon didnt go on until 1:20AM ish -- He was supposed to start at 12:30. It was cold. Damon apologized for having to pull some songs from his set list, but mentioned with so many acts and set ups it couldn't be helped. His set up took a while but he sounded great once it eventually got underway.
The venue inside is half empty. Damon takes to the stage almost an hour late, around 1.30am, and with his touring band runs us through a raft of wry, meandering art pop tunes. There are shades of Gorillaz when he pulls out the melodica, misguided chugs of rock'n'roll, bittersweet ballads. It doesn't sound great, but his presence is entertaining enough. He's still beautiful, if a little grumpy when the performance gets cut short. He apologises. "We got messed about this evening, I'm sorry," he offers. "It happens sometimes." - [The Music]
Albarn also played The Jimmy Kimmel Show (part of his SXSW Week) while in Austin, performing "Mr. Tembo" & "Lonely Press Play." You can watch video of that below.
The whole evening was pretty stacked, as mentioned, with St. Vincent delivering an electrifying performance, plus Kelis serving up Food songs and her first live show in three years. (You can stream audio of her full show below.) Eagulls and the bass-tossin' Perfect Pussy played too.
More pictures from NPR's SXSW showcase, plus Kelis stream and Damon Albarn videos, below...
(via @David Armano)
After the tragic events of Wednesday night (3/12), SXSW -- and the venues on Red River where it happened -- has continued. Stereogum's Thursday day party at Mohawk was canceled but the venue (and neighboring Cheer Up Charlies) reopened at 7 PM. Said SXSW:
After talking with the Austin Police Department, we have determined that the most prudent course of action is to move forward with the SXSW shows scheduled at the Mohawk and Cheer Up Charlie's...if we were to turn away potentially thousands of people who will arrive to see the shows, it would create a serious safety issue...to avoid confusion we plan to carry on in order to serve our tens of thousands of participants during this tragic time.Many performers on Thursday around Austin mentioned the incident, offering salutes and dedications in the victims honor. And there was also a moment of silence at midnight last night to honor those injured and killed. It was definitely on everyone's minds and a constant topic of conversation and puzzlement everywhere you went. SXSW rolled on, but returned to normal, definitely not.
SXSW has set up a benefit fund called SXSW Cares and "funds will be disbursed to those most affected through a community-based process to be created by representatives of SXSW, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Austin with the Austin Community Foundation." More info is here, and if you'd like to donate, you can do so here.
In other news, the name of the suspect in the incident -- which killed two people and injured 23 others when a car was driven through a crowd of people on barricaded-off Red River on Wednesday -- has been released. Twenty-one-year-old Rashad Charjuan Owen will be charged with capital murder and aggravated assault with a vehicle.
Connan Mockasin @ Glasslands in January (more by P Squared)
As charming as he is eccentric, New Zealand's Connan Mockasin is the genuine article, whether making quirky guitar pop (2011's Forever Dolphin Love) or deep shag slow jams (last year's Caramel). He's even better live, and he'll be in Austin this week for SXSW (full schedule below), including the Saturday BrooklynVegan free day party. (For the rest of us, he's touring later this spring.) Leading up to this week's fun, Connan answered 5 QUESTIONS:
1) What is your favorite venue to play in the country and why?
St Morinteen is nice. it's just beautiful, truly beautiful!