Even in Sweden, you can have alternative, grungy sounding music. Just look at The Soundtrack of Our Lives. Now they are not head banging type grunge, but something I like to call Swedish Grunge. Yes, Swedish Grunge, where one can get lost in the sound of harpsichords and bemoan wistfully about lives and days gone by. The Soundtrack of Our Lives, led by Ebbot Lundberg, will be at SXSW supporting their first greatest hits album this year.
When one listens to TSOOL, as they are known by the TSOOL-oupies, they can’t help but come square down on the conclusion that they are also the Swedish version of Muse. Which is the newer British version of Pink Floyd. Not unlike the American version of Tool, which found its progressive roots pulled from the foundation of American grunge. It’s all there in black in white. Listen to ‘Second Life Replay’ to hear a Nirvana/Pink Floyd mix blowing up to the Muse/Tool mix. Are we clear?
Man alive today was all over. I counted and I saw about15 or so different bands. Some big and some small, with surprises in between. So, in the interest of keeping things brief and at the suggestion of my lovely girlfriend, I will bullet blast what I thought was the better stuff of SXSW Music Day 2:
- The first stop of the day saw us hit up the Canadian party and Dehli 2 Dublin. What you say? Dublin, Ireland and Dehli, India from Canada? Yup, this bouncy world mash up made the day start out tasty. On top of the egg and tortilla gobblety gook.
- After they hit the stage, The Soft Pack A.D. rocked the joint big time. Think of the White Stripes except the genders reversed. Very bluesy and driving.
- On the way to one stop, the guys from F@#$ed Up put on an inpromptu show in front of Beer Land. The hefty, shirtless lead singer guy ran through some Nirvana and Sex Pistols covers, mixing in their original stuff. I was lucky enough to get some hardcore rock fixins as it was hard for me to find some time to fit it in on the trip.
- The said stop just happened to be Gordon Gano and the Ryan Brothers at Valhalla. Gordo, if you don’t know, is the lead singer of the Violent Femmes. He’s got a new group and he’s sporting a violin. They played some new songs and reimagined some old ones. We loved the show and were lucky that we saw them in such a small venue.
- I bounced around for a bit and made a pit stop at the Zone Lounge for some shwag and yet another Zone Energy Bar. What I didn’t expect was to catch a great singer songwriter by the name of Danny Malone. With acoustic guitar in hand and harmonica in mouth, Danny evoked emotion out of everyone in attendance and I’m checking this guy out the next he comes around Kansas City.
- The Everything, Everything show later on was pretty tight. They switched between keyboards with laptops and guitars. The sound was a math rock or intelligent music sense but just a bit off. Complex structures flowed out but made a quick turn here and there to keep you into the groove.
- I left before Everything, Everything finished to head on to my big show of the night. When I got to La Zona Rosa, it was much earlier than expected. Fortunately, The 88 filled the time nicely. The lead singer/guitarist had a Buddy Holly look with a much higher pitched voice. The were consistent in they lovely dovey rock and roll. I would play this in the car on the way to the hill to make out with my girlfriend.
- Ray Davies took the stage after The 88. If you don’t know who he is, you need to have hour face rocked. Davies was the lead singer of the great classic band, The Kinks. His songwriting was his strength and he brought out a great showcase of that with him and some other guy on acoustic guitar. Not soon after, however, he brought out The 88 to join him on stage to rock the joint. The Kinks rocked back in the day and Davies still pushing forward. Davies and The 88 even wrote a song for the show the night before. Very, very cool.
Now not all of the acts were as cool, but it’s all good. There is just so much to consume here it can get overwhelming. I’m just lucky enough to dip my toes in and catch some of the stream. My toes are certainly sore from all the walking.