Tag Archives: NPR

Yuck, Not So Much

Back again with another SXSW Music 2011 Showcasing act that I’ll do my damnedest to see.  This time it’s Yuck.  Yuck is a bunch of blokes from London, England.  Two of them used to be a part of Cajun Dance Party, Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom to be exact, but they got tired of the band and left in late 2009 to form Yuck.  Maybe they got their inspiration for the name by thinking about their time in Cajun Dance Party?

At any rate, they are coming out with a new album and will be in Austin to support.  Check out this B-Side called “Cocunut Bible.”  These guys sound like a lo-fi retread of some great early to mid 1990’s alt bands.  I’m thinking My Bloody Valentine or Sonic Youth.  Yuck got the touch of NPR from its latest All Songs Considered podcast so I would expect the inevitable 90’s alt rock revival to happen anytime now.  I, for one, welcome it.

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=true”]http://soundcloud.com/yuck/coconut-bible-1[/soundcloud]

SXSW Wrap Up

This chocolate covered bacon I just ate is starting to be all acid refluxy.  Looks like it’s time to wrap up the SXSW music experience!  I’m sitting here in the hotel chilling out saving up juice for the long drive back tomorrow.  The bacon treat came courtesy of a specialty candy shop down on South Congress in Austin.  Much like the sweet release of flavor both the chocolate and bacon provides my taste buds, the SXSW Music Showcase provided the sweet release of sounds to my ears.  Here’s my highlights of the whole shebang:

  • Mariachi El Bronx really kicked off the tunes even though I saw them at the Interactive closing party.  The happy bounce I had in the chair came from when I discovered that they were, in fact, The Bronx and they decided to take the Mariachi route from their hard rock road.
  • Sharon Jones and Dap kings stole the NPR opening night showcase.  Look, Spoon’s great and Austin local, but the party music and soul motions Jones and company brought to the stage eclipsed everyone else’s performances.
  • Muse delivered.  I have yet to see them and now I can say that the live show is worth every penny.  They do so much more on stage than just play their songs.  I’m now even more of a fan of Muse than what I was before they hit the stage.
  • Street Sweeper Social Club rocked harder than anyone else out here.  Even more so than F@#$ed Up.  Maybe it was the funk tones or the fact I got to see Tom Morrello work his magic.  It doesn’t matter.  The show was the only one I was at where the crowd actually all jumped up and down.
  • Miike Snow impressed me and the whole crowd.  They fused together clear tones of electronic bleeps and bloops with some distorted guitar jams to create a sound that touched everyone at the Mohawk.  You know what?  Wave Machines did that too.
  • Ray Davies can still kick you in the face with his music.   The Kinks patriarch played about 2/3 of his show as you would expect from an old rock.  He was all acoustic and reminiscent.  Then all of the sudden, The 88 came out and they all brought the house down with some Kinks classics and new tunes.
  • Gordon Gano can play the violin.  I didn’t know he could but he showed off his pluckiness with the wooden instrument with the Ryan Brothers.   He totally dipped into the Violent Femmes well so it was a guaranteed win of a show.

That’s all I can remember off the top of my head.  There were so many high points, it’s hard to remember them all.  Well that and the bacon is starting to hit.  I’m sure in the ebb and flow of recovery this week I’ll figure it out.

SXSW Day 1: Music Blast Off!

Okay Day 1 of SXSW Music saw myself kick into full swing of the tunes here in Austin.  It also helped that it was St. Patrick’s Day.  Naturally, me and my lovely girlfriend started out the Irish way and then ended up in the good ole nonprofit way.  In between shows, we checked some cool local shops.  But the important thing stuff was the shows.  So let’s get to it.

St. Patrick’s Day is a day celebrated by Irish alcoholics across the world.  So what better way to do so than at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30.  The only band the caught my eye was And So I Watch From Afar.  Those guys did some instrumental rock riffs that rival that of Kyuss.  I also enjoyed a lovely pint of Guiness in celebration.  Great times indeed.

We hit up the shops and then the convention center to get our SXXpress pass for the NPR Music Showcase.  The lineup was huge and we made our way to Stubb’s BBQ about 2 hours before the show.  The line was already long so we were glad to use the new pass types and be first inside the show!  The outdoor venue is a great place to watch bands and also snack down on some great BBQ, even though it’s not as good Kansas City.

The first two bands were alright.  Visqueen opened up with some rock that didn’t put me to sleep.  The Walkmen stepped on stage next and they rocked out in an almost Coldplay type style.  The lead singer hit the high notes well but really didn’t punch it through on the emotional side of things. The next three bands were the ones we really wanted to see.

Broken Bells is a collaboration of Danger Mouse and James Mercer.  They had a tough act to follow but they mellowed things out for the final performance.  The esoteric nature of their songs led to us jamming out but for some reason it didn’t fit perfectly with the line up.  It seems this is more headphone music than concert music.  That said, I’m anxious to sit down and listen to this album when I get back.

Spoon was the last show of the night and the Austin based rocked out pretty well.  We didn’t stay for the whole show and I missed the one song I really wanted to hear from them.  The show was swinging, however.  The crowd head bobbed pretty well even though they played until after 1am.  All in all good stuff from these guys.

The show of the night was Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.  The soul funk from Brooklyn had the crowd moving the whole time on stage.  Sharon Jones held the crowd in her hands and pulled strings of funk for the whole set.  If you ever want to get your funk down, check them out.  You won’t regret it.  And you won’t regret tuning in tomorrow for the next update.  Until then, off to more shows!