SXSW Day 4: Cold Weather Doesn’t Stop Hot Rock

The last day of SXSW proved to be much chillier than what I expected down here in Austin, Texas.  Winter wasn’t going out with  a band just yet and on the first day of Spring, a cold northern wind and storm brought things back to winter like conditions.  I speculated before the night time shows that the crowds would thin out.  I was only partially right, which is a testament to all of the  music fans who showed for SXSW.

During the day I hit up some of the SXSW sponsored and witnessed some free flowing music, along with some free flowing drinks.  I recharged at the IFC Crossroads house, hit a local pizza joint, and then headed out for the night shows.  By the time the winds calmed down, the night time air was more than manageable.  I didn’t stay out until 2 am, but we did get another full day of tunes under the belt.  Here’s the good stuff of what I saw:

  • The first stop for the day saw us hit the Soho Lounge for an Mpress Records Showcase.  The Meiko Canon played along and while they didn’t blow my lid off, the mix of folk and rock along with the female vocal marked a good start for concert going.
  • After a quick detour to the day stage at the conference center, we hung out at the Hauge party tent.  Nicad played and picked up the energy even more.  The lead singer push his voice toward Weird Al Yankovic territory while the punk rock rythms flowed through.
  • The Capital Records tent next door kicked off shorthly thereafter and I had a couple of drinks while watching Mackintosh Braun.  My interest didn’t pick up until they played their last song.  The synth and keyboard filled ambient noise washed over a baning drum set.  It’s worth checking them out.
  • I had a thirst for more food and drink so I went to the Aussie BBQ Showcase at Maggie Mae’s.  Andy Clockwise cursed like a sailor and rocked out like a soldier.   What better way to get your blood flowing to keep you warm than a nice hard rock set in the middle of the day?
  • The show off the night was at the Bungalow.  Street Sweeper Social Club brought down the tent with its funk infused rock and covers set.  Little known fact:  Tom Morrello of Rage Against the Machine just happens to be the guitarist.  Oh and it showed too.  That guy is an official guitar god in my eyes.
  • Hoofing it over to the Alehouse, I was expecting some Celtic music from the Mighty Steph.  What I got was a blues/country/irish mix of music that sat perfectly with the run down atmosphere of the joint.  If I ever need to just get drunk alone in a dank bar, I will be sure to play the Mighty Steph when I do so.
  • Finally, the last set of SXSW for me saw it being performed in the most fitting of places: the Driskell Hotel Cafe.  The Wave Machines are a British band from Liverpool and they sound like the evolution of another Liverpool band, the Beatles.  They had an impressive collection of drum machines, synths, and all things electric.  But they also had the standard rock setup of drums, guitar, and piano.  The didn’t go overboard on the instruments, however, picking and choosing the right piece for the right song.  All of it smooth, poppy, and dancy.  A great way to finish SXSW.