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Let loose on an unsuspecting Austin for SXSW.

Contributors

cwb
mauralyn
stickyc
keite
lurple

Links

SXSW 2009 Group Sched
SXSW 2010 Group Sched
Casadelove SXSW Flickr Stream
19 March 10
2 April 09

Streets and Music of Sxsw on Vimeo (via Vimeo)

23 March 09

Joe Jack Talcum

22 March 09

SXSW Night #4: Band Review

Rollo Tomasi @ Latitude 30

Lurple says:

Only caught one song. Very loud, screaming metal with a female singer (screamer?).

Sky Larkin @ Latitude 30

Lurple says:

They started their set by explaining that they had “shit out their livers last night”. The lead singer/guitarist has a forgettable voice and their sound is a bit sloppy. I’d probably have more fun drinking with them than listening to them.

Andre Williams @ The Continental Club

Andre Williams GoGo Dancer

Lurple says:

Old-school rock ‘n roll and blues. From the lead singer’s snazzy red suit and hat to the be-tasseled and underdressed go-go dancers, you can tell that these folks believe that sex, drugs, booze, and rock ‘n roll are the way to go. After watching them, I’m pretty sure they’re not wrong. If you don’t enjoy this show, I’m not sure you like live music.

Dash Rip Rock @ The Continental Club

Dash Rip Rock Dash Rip Rock

Maura says:

I <3 Dash Rip Rock.

Mojo Nixon @ The Continental Club

Mojo Nixon

Lurple says:

I’ve been to SXSW numerous times but always missed Mojo’s bash. It was nice to see that Mojo and the Toadlickers had “come out of retirement to get drunk.”, in their own words. If are easily offended you may dislike Mojo Nixon, but there’s no denying that the man can be entertaining. He’s got charisma to burn and his act is a lot of fun to watch.

Stereopony @ Japan Nite at the Elysium

Stereopony Stereopony

Special Thanks @ Japan Nite at the Elysium

Special Thanks

Alaska in Winter @ Submerged

Alaska in Winter

The Resignators @ Fuze

The Resignators

StickyC says:

Fuze must be a salsa/hip hop joint when it’s not SXSW as door security was extremeley heavy (pat-downs) and there were a lot of lost-looking folks in way too much makeup and hair product. Only a dozen or so people looked like they’d actually come to see a ska gig (and had a great time dancing unmolested in the front). The Resignators are astraight up ska from Melbourne, they were trying hard, but just didnt quite get into a groove. The crowd sucked the life right out of ‘em. I imagine they were also pretty jet-lagged.

Asakusa Jinta @ Japan Nite at the Elysium

Asakusa Jinta Asakusa Jinta

Lurple says:

These folks are pretty unique- a hard marching bad. Lots of brass instruments- French horn, trumpets, plus a clarinet and some kind of custom bass or cello looking thing. Very fast paced, and the leader singer used his machine-gun vocals and the band’s skilled backing to pound out some rocking tunes and even a rock polka. It was an electric performance. I believe it’s a sign that the performance is good if I find that I’m really into the show even though it’s not a kind of music I’d usually listen to.

Quaff @ at Japan Nite at the Elysium

Quaff

Lurple says:

Theatrical and partially made up like KISS or Detroit Metal City, but they’ve got a tight technical sound to back up their theatrics. Good upbeat rock ‘n roll. They covered Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” towards the end of their set, and the entire band moonwalked simultaneously. The crowd ate it up.

StickyC says:

Reminded me of a lot of almost-made-it 80’s ultra-big hair metal bands with a whole lot of Aquabats-esq stage antics and back-story, made even better by their minimal English skills (to their credit, they had on-stage subtitles for some of their bits. A definite crowd-pleaser.
Posted: 6:48 PM

Saturday’s Band Lust

  • Rollo Tomasi @ Latitude 30
  • Sky Larkin @ Latitude 30
  • Andre Williams w/ the Allen Oldies Band @ the Continental Club
  • Dash Rip Rock @ the Continental Club
  • Mojo Nixon @ the Continental Club
  • Stereopony @ Elysium
  • SpecialThanks @ Elysium
  • Ezra Firman & the Harpoons @ Submerged
  • Alaska in Winter @ Submerged
  • The Resignators @ Fuze
  • Asakusa Jinta @ Elysium
  • Quaff @ Elysium
21 March 09

SXSW Night #3: Band Review

My Latest Novel @ Latitude 30

My Last Novel

Lurple says:

Generic British folk/pop with a violin. Low-key and bland. Nothing you haven’t heard 100 times before. They’re technically sound there’s nothing wrong with their music, but I’m not inspired to write any more about their music, or seek it out.
They looked like they’d been awake for days, and I can empathize with that.

Shiny Toy Guns @ Bat Bar at the Convention Center

StickyC says:

Just like all the other recent cookie cutter pop bands. The twist on this McBand was the stand-out female vocal contributions. Also, they need to sue DirecTV for having such a miserable sound mix for such a “professional” presentation. I guess if it sounds good on TV, that’s what counts.

Hammell on Trial @ Soho Lounge

Hammell on Trial

Lurple says:

Solo performer that does half standup/ half guitar and song. Very funny, personable, and vulgar. Some of them are really vulgar, but they’re still very funny.
He reminds me of Shel Silverstein’s more adult work, perhaps combined with a bit of George Carlin. As the man himself said, “I drove 1,800 miles to get here, you don’t think I’m gonna kick some ass?” Good stuff.

Dirty Old Men @ Elysium’s Japan Nite

Dirty Old Men

Lurple says:

Pop/punk group tending towards pop, but usually not as sappy as your generic j-pop. They did have some sappy bits in a song or two, though.
More enthusiastic than skilled; the longer they played the less I liked them.

Honeysac @ Elysium’s Japan Nite

Honey Sac Honey Sac

StickyC says:

Very high energy mainly female Japanese hard rock. Their first gig in the US and they grabbed the Texas bull by the horns and ran with it. They had all the prime pop ingredients, but very abrupt transitions (both in audience participation and key changes).

Lurple says:

REALLY high energy pop/rock girl band. The lead singer exhorted… nay, demanded that the crowd clap, hop, and sing along. Most of the crowd responded but I think these girls would have given it 100% even if only 3 people showed up.
Very charismatic and talented lead singer, and the rest of the band is really skilled too. Fun, upbeat, and hard working. I fully expect one of their songs to end up as an anime theme (which is not an insult-there are some very cool anime theme songs).

The Urges @ Red Eyed Fly

StickyC says:

Freaking amazing. Maybe the new #1 of the gig. Very early Byrds with a completely wrecked early (pre tights) Mick Jagger. Best quote of that gig “I wrote this song so I could get a big prick in my arse”. Great intensity and competence. If the British Invasion starts over again, these guys will be kicking the balls of anyone who gets in the way.

Grapevine @ Elysium’s Japan Nite

StickyC says:

Channeling a slight (very tiny) bit of Stone Roses twinkly bits but with more wailing vocals and half-as-long jams. Mix in a bit of Styx + INXS + late-era-slower-Cheap Trick and smack it with the generic pop hammer and you’ve got Grapevine. In Japanese.

Detroit 7 @ Elysium’s Japan Nite

Detroit 7 Detroit 7

Lurple says:

Wow. This trio- guitarist/lead singer, drummer, and bass rocked! One of the most technically impressive bands I’ve seen, skill-wise, and they give it their all. I wasn’t sure if I liked the singer at first- she has a bit of a low, growly voice. When she opens up and really sings, she’s great.
The drummer plays like she’s having a seizure but she’s also really, really good. The bass player would only be called layed-back in comparison to the other two, since the whole band plays like they’re possessed.
Music ranged from good ‘ol fashioned rock ‘n roll to metal, and a mosh pit broke out at one point. Highly recommended.
20 March 09

Friday’s Band List

  • Gabriella Gilmi @ Bush Square Park (Aussie BBQ)
  • My Latest Novel @ Latitude 30 (British Music Embassy)
  • Shiny Toy Guns @ Bat Bar-Austin Convention Center (Craig, StickyC, Maura)
  • Hammell on Trial @ Soho Lounge (Keite, Lurple)
  • Whitechapel @ The Cedar Door (Craig)
  • Proclaimers @ La Zona Rosa (Craig)
  • Killola @ Smokin’ Music (Keite, Craig)
  • Dirty Old Men @ Elysium (StickyC, Maura, Lurple)
  • Honeysac @ Elysium (StickyC, Maura, Lurple)
  • The Urges  @ Red Eyed Fly (StickyC)
  • Grapevine @ Elysium (StickyC, Keite)
  • Devo @ Austin Music Hall (Craig)
  • Detroit 7 @ Elysium (StickyC, Keite, Lurple)
Posted: 12:02 PM

SXSW Night #2: Band Review

James Harries @ St. David’s Episcopal Church

James Harries

Lurple says:

A solo singer/guitarist. Very low-key performance, and I’ve got to say it was a nice break from the faster-paced shows and general SXSW hustle and bustle, and I enjoyed it. This is the only show I’ve attended so far where I’ve felt comfortable removing my Etymotic earplugs.
He’s got a good voice, and he’s got passion. Look for his songs on Grey’s Anatomy soon.

Nellie McKay @ St. David’s Episcopal Church

Nellie McKay

Lurple says:

Solo singer/ piano/ ukulele player. Good voice, witty and fun jazzy numbers that sometimes contain pop-culture references. She also has a love of traditional jazz numbers.
She’s also funny when she chats and jokes in between numbers. I would have loved to see this show in a small, smoky bar, as that seems like a perfect fit for her style. Not that there’s anything wrong with the church; it’s an excellent venue.
She had a nice selection of different songs that effectively showcased her talents. I didn’t expect to enjoy this show, but I had a great time.

StickyC says:

The voice was a bit on the Tiny Tim side of things - works some places, but not others. Fortunately, it worked well in this place. Surprisingly mature in sound, lyric, and attitude for her age. It’ll be interesting to see where her life takes her.

Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Banned @ Esther’s Follies

Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned

Lurple says:

While I loved this band’s name I wasn’t so crazy about their music. They have an 8-person group and possibly 30+ instruments between them, often swapping instruments mid-song.
That’s fairly impressive, but the music felt a bit jumbled and off here and there, almost as if they were stepping on each other’s toes. They’re still fairly unique and I expect some people would enjoy their show; I liked their last song of the night which was simply all of them singing together with acoustic guitar.
I counted the following: trumpets, slide trombone, tubas, french horns, a bandsaw, maracas, guitars (electric and acoustic), drums, harmonicas… I can’t help but ask why they don’t have more cowbell.

StickyC says:

In their defense, they introduced themselves as all having crashed on some nice Austinite’s floor, so I can’t imagine any of them got much sleep before the gig. All things considered, for so many people changing so many instruments so quickly in such a small space, I’ve gotta give ‘em big kudos. Not entirely sure where their music was coming from, felt very gospel-sourced. Surprisingly comfortable, despite all the varied instruments.


She Creatures @ Esther’s Follies

She Creatures

Lurple says:

Blue-haired space girls that would be at home in a ‘60s sci-fi movie. The band includes a Theremin player.
They had a very theatrical entrance set to music and including a smoke machine. Kind of sets the tone for the show, since they put on a good performance but their songs are hit & miss.
I got a kick out of a couple of the numbers, like “Sexy Robot”, and their attempt to massacre the crowd with a ray gun.

StickyC says:

Blue-haired girls in silver 1-pieces with clear plastic skirts singing about sexy robots? What’s not to like! No, they’re not the tightest, most technically skilled band out there and they wont be winning any lyrical awards, but the lead singer’s Janice Joplin-esque pipes and the bands hooks still have me humming their tunes 2 days and 15 bands later.

Cary Brothers @ The Parish

Cary Brothers

Sara Bareilles @ The Parish

Sara Bareilles

StickyC says:

Beautiful and confident on the mic, Sarah playfully re-imagined several of her popular tracks and a lovely cover of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. Wondferul, if short, set.

The Proclaimers @ The Parish

The Proclaimers

StickyC says:

We showed up at the Parish amidst a poorly handled dynamic lineup - the Proclaimers played one song, a top-notch cover of Kings of Leon’s “17”, I’ve no idea how long they’ve been performing this song, but they nailed it spot on and beautifully. Shame they didnt stick around for more

HotelCafe all-star jam @ The Parish

StickyC says:

A little bit disappointing for a jam. As we’d shown up partway throught the showcase, there were several band members on stage we didn’t recognize (and several notables that didn’t return, including the Proclaimers and Shara Bareilles). Sal on keyboards drove the closing group number, with the Cary Brothers’ guitarist and drummer keeping up. Most of the backup vocals apparently werent too familiar with the song or a bit too deep in the cups to keep up with the chorus. A bit of a let down outside of Sal’s enthusiasm. Made us all a bit sad that we weren’t able to make his own performance.
Posted: 1:57 AM

Thursday night’s band list

  • James Harries
  • Nellie McKay
  • Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned
  • She Creatures
  • Blitzen Trapper
  • Cary Brothers
  • Sara Bareilles
  • The Proclaimers
19 March 09

SXSW Night #1: Band Review

Zolof: the Rock n’ Roll Destroyer @ Maggie Maes

Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer

Lurple says:

Fun, upbeat rock and roll. The lead singer (Rachael Minton) is more charismatic than talented, but the show was still a lot of fun. Bonus: they have a pirate song. 
Second most enjoyable band we saw this night.

StickyC say:

Total 80’s girl band feel, which is right up my alley. I totally fell in love with Rachel (then again, Keite says it’s all in the wig).

Fool’s Gold @ Dirty Dog

Fool's Gold @ Ditry DogFool's Gold @ Ditry Dog

Lurple says:

Hewbrew spiritual/drug rock.  The band is fairly skilled but the lead singer isn’t at their level.  It includes band members like a guy who randomly hits a drum pad (there’s already a drummer) when he’s not shaking gourds.
Several of the band members seemed really high, and I found myself wondering if I would enjoy their music more if I was taking whatever they were on.
Repetitive and dull, in the end I didn’t enjoy the show. Sure, people will dance if you have a decent beat, but if it’s just the same thing over for 5-10 minutes in a row only the really high or really drunk will appreciate it. I was bored.

StickyC says:

Aww Lurple just doesnt have rhythm (or understand Hebrew?). I fully enjoyed the sound and energy through the entire set. Heavy on the percussion side, blending a little ska and Carribean/island vibe (not at all what I’d call drug rock).

Dananananaykroyd @ Dirty Dog

DananananaykroydDananananaykroyd

Lurple says:

Super-high energy band, very good live show. These guys work! At one point the lead singer unplugged his mic while running around in the crowd.
Extremely friendly and cool group. Being infectiously enthusiastic, obviously having fun performing, and having the skills to back it up paid off: the crowd really liked them. So did I.
One of the singers gave me a hug at the finale, too.

StickyC says:

Best show of the night- punk-pop with two drummers and a frontman that looks like Tilda Swinton. The frontman and one of the drummers swapped up drumming/singing duties several times, with both making frequent forays into the crowd. Feet still hurt from the pogo-ing.

The Gay Blades @ Dirty Dog

The Gay Blades

Lurple says:

Bluesy rock. Only two members; guitarist/singer and drummer. These were some of the hardest working folks I saw all night; passionate and high energy. I wasn’t able to stay for the whole show, unfortunately.

StickyC Says:

I love seeing shows where the enterainers hold nothing back, these guys were terrific. Being a duo, they had plenty of free stage and the singer/guitarist used all of it, losing himself completely in the music and delivering a very passionate performance.

Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head @ Dirty Dog

StickyC Says:

Just stuck around for the first two tracks of these guys before heading out - it’d been a long day. Also, I somehow ended up in the lead singer’s favorite pelvic thrust target zone. File under the blur of recent pop bands emerging from YouTube, GH/RB promos, and TV soundtracks.

Echo and the Bunnymen @ Emo’s

Echo and the Bunnymen @ Emo's

Lurple says:

Pretty damn good live show. I’ve known about this band for ages but never actually listened to them (don’ t shoot me, I mostly review movies), but I’ll definitely consider picking up one of their CDs based of this performance.
I guess I would call this alternative/indie rock. I am sure that they’ve already been conveniently labeled by many others.
By far the most technically impressive band I saw tonight.
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