Tag Archives: St. Patrick’s Day

SXSW Day 04: The Home Stretch

The last day.  It was the last day for SXSW Music.  I redeemed myself the previous day and now it was time to finish strong.  Instead of sticking around for the softball bbq the next day, we bolted town to get a head start on the driving.  So it was important to make sure all of the musical bases were covered and end SXSW on a fantastic play at the plate.  Enough baseball analogies, let’s see how my final day ended up:

  1. Needless to say after a week of partying and getting sick between all of the interactive and music showcases, I was pooped.  It’s a good thing the first stop was in the Austin Convention Center.  I was early for the first must see so I popped over to other stage and checked out music/video masher DJ Yoda.  I have to say this genre of mixing video with music at the same time is starting to blow.  It makes DJs more dynamic and provides another layer of skill to show off to the peeps.
  2. Toro Y Moi was going to feel my presence on St. Patrick’s Day but Montezuma said NO.  So, with the power of the badge, I found myself at the afternoon day stage in the convention center and witnessed a hot set.  It’s funky, it’s electronic, it’s ambient, it’s mega tasty.  This summer will be the summer of Toro Y Moi for me and I will raise a lemon rimmed pint of my favorite wheat style beer in salute every time Toro Y Moi comes on.
  3. I have on my list of notes two weird things, “Aussie Death Metal” and “Impress Records Weak Peeps.”  I’m guessing that they both stunk and I was out and about for badge fringes, or drink, food, and schwag.  On to the next tent!
  4. Kitten sounds familiar, right?   If you’re as old as me then you will remember the all-girl nu-metal band that popped up around the last 1990s.  Welp, there was no reunion to be had as this Kitten had a different coat.  Led by some lady that kept bouncing the tambourine off of her boobs, the male backing band that completed this Kitten gave us ample room to punk out and jump around.  The energized the crowd in the afternoon, all thanks to this pint-sized tank of a singer.
  5. The Dolphin City Records tent party had this band from San Diego called Dynamite Walls.  They were alright.   Nothing really jumped out at me and the band didn’t have enough crowd to get anyone excited about their sound.
  6. With the day party stuff done, it was time to line up the night-time shows.  I had huge excitement for one band so I lined up at least an hour before the show.  The badge gave me first shot in and the since the doors weren’t open yet, I was sure to get in.  So I plopped across the street into some green energy demo rest area and proceeded to listen to an Austin band named The Flesh Lights. Some hard-driving rock punking out in the street at Beerland passed the time perfectly and this little surprise held my attention enough to where I had to look them up afterwards.
  7. Now it was time to go into Esylium for The Ghost a Saber Tooth Tiger.  Sean Lennon formed a band with his model girlfriend and the sample song I heard was pretty cool.  The live show sucked.  They talked too much in between songs and they thought they were alot funnier than they actually were.  The old style instruments they played were pretty cool though so at least I came way with some decent musicianship.
  8. There were a couple of bands I wanted to see at the Austin Music Awards and I had to book all the way across downtown to check them out.  The real treat for me was to check out the last couple of songs by the Bright Light Social Hour.  The jammed out my ears so hard, they bled happily.  I’ll have to see these guys the next time they are in town.
  9. I had my psychedelic itch scratched yesterday, but I went full on with an Austin based band that reunited for the first time in forever for the award show.  The Bubble Puppy isn’t really known but after hearing a couple of their songs on YouTube I figured it would be a treat to see.  Boy was I right, the jam style they had made them seem more like The Allman Brothers Band than something like a Pink Floyd with their dueling guitar jams.  It was nice to get a peak into the history of Austin with this great sounding band.
  10. Speaking of Austin history, some guy named Rocky Erickson took the stage with the Meat Puppets and the locals went nuts.  For me, the two songs the Meat Puppets played were pure magic but Rocky’s set was a little uninspired.  That’s fine, a little bit of Meat Puppets is all I need.
  11. Next up was country time and I doubled over to Momo’s to see Terrie Clark.  My girlfriend loved this lady so it was treat for her to see Terrie up close and personal.  I, on the other hand, was just along for the ride.  She’s a pretty good guitar picker and she put on a good set.  I was more enthralled with the Porchstep electronic boot thumping device.  It was a piece of wood with a mic jack to capture a foot stomp when kicked.  I never knew that existed.
  12. I ended my SXSW experience at Emo’s Annex and got there early enough to see Fang Island first.  The building joy from this band filled the stage and poured out to the audience with each minute of ecstatic jamming.  The crowd, as well as myself, was into this fully and everyone left the set with a smile on their face.
  13. Lastly, it was the Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group.  He was out supporting a compilation with his band but SXSW made for a very special appearance by Cedric Bixler-Zavala.  For those of you who don’t know, put those guys together and you get The Mars Volta.  My SXSW experience was complete with the jamming and off tempo thumping of this collective.  Ho man, when they ask 1o years from know where music skewed off into fantastic directions I will point to these guys.

That was it.  My feet were tired and I beat up my body so much that I am just now getting over my SXSars sickness.  I’ll be uploading the videos I took for a good deal of these artists so look for that.  Thank you SXSW, for filling up my music discovery and rediscovery needs for another year.  It’s my music honeymoon.

SXSW Day 02: Montezuma

So Day 02 of my SXSW Music experience was an around the world roller coaster, so to say.  The first night rocked my socks of and I was ready to get my velcro shoes back on the dirt to check out what the day had for me.  It was also St. Patrick’s Day so I decked out in my luck green shirt, my lucky green beads, and my lucky green tie.  I could’ve used a little more luck as my night ended on such a terrible brown note.  But, minor explosions aside, I had a great time.  Let’s run down the list:

  1. Pollack is the name of the first band I saw and I can’t recall anything that stuck out in my head about this band.  Maybe when I go over the videos I gathered, I can remember but right now nothing seems to pop.
  2. Next up was Marianne Dissard.   She was part of the French Rocks party tent and she had her French hanging all the way out.  The sultry lady sung in deep French language and had a morose, romantic tone about her.  Whatever it was she was singing about it sounded like it was sad love.
  3. Emmylou Harris took the Radio Day Stage and I had a chance to hear two songs from her touring set.  She’s a country legend and the way she picked on the guitar left no question as to why.  The sound was apt for the afternoon Austin sun.
  4. I doubled back to the French Rocks tent and checked out Revolver.  They were the best of the three acts I saw at the French Rocks tent as I seem to remember they were a little more rock and hardcore than the rest of my listened to set.
  5. After that it was back to Latitude 30 for some more British Embassy music.  Matrimony and was playing and I want to say that his looks were way better than his sound.  The dread locks hanging over the eyes blocked the Boy George eyes he was hiding.  The music was more like piano with just a small hint of accompaniment.  Nothing really special here.
  6. The Lost Brothers took the stage next and pepped up the crowd a bit.  I like this band but I wasn’t sure if it was because of the previous dude or just their good natured playing.
  7. Flatstock, the poster convention, takes place at the same time as SXSW to help attract musicians to concert artists.  This year they put on acts in front of the place to help attract others there.  I dropped by there to check out the Sea of Bees.  My Indie quota should be filled by this group.  The harmony of the lead singer lady and her violin player shone through best for me.
  8. The shuttle saved some foot time for the Auditorium Shores to check out The Strokes.  They were top on my list to see this year and the ginormous venue didn’t shake any of the excitement off for me.  They all played a very tight set and convinced me double wise to check out their new album.
  9. This is where things turn weird.  I had a couple of tacos from Damn Good Tacos and after walking back to the hotel and heading out, I realized that they were doing a damn good number on my intestines.  Montezuma’s revenge hit and hit hard.  But not after I checked out Unicorn Kid at the Phoenix.  The small Scottish boy plays what I call video game techno music.  I could see myself saving a princess in some red and pink level while listening to Unicorn Kid’s crunchy music.  Or maybe I was hallucinating.

That was it for the night for me.  I ducked into a karaoke bar of all places to clean myself out before deciding that I needed to head to the hotel and call it a night.  I missed a couple of more acts but more importantly I didn’t die.  That said, the line up for Day 02 was respectable and I’m glad I got to rock out to The Strokes.

RAMS’ Pocket Radio is Better than an iPod

Now I’m stoked to be heading out to SXSW during spring break and all but I’m also mega stoked that I will be there during St. Patrick’s Day. Now, there will be plenty of Irish representatives there in Austin this year, including Flogging Molly, but I want to talk about RAMS’ Pocket Radio. Peter McCauley pretty much does everything for this electric outfit. That would be drums, piano, singing, and songwriting. He does it all.

Check out ‘Dogs Run In Packs.’ The piano bangs with attitude while McCauley’s voice tries to keep it cool. I want to say it’s an Irish version of The White Stripes, but RAMS’ Pocket Radio feels more melodic to me. Maybe it’s the piano that washes around the rough edges of the rest of the song. At any rate, I’ll plan on jamming out to these guys (or this guy) while trying to think I’m cool. Maybe it will work. Just maybe.