Wednesday, March 23, 2011

scratchin' the surface at SXSW

We had a tame South by Southwest in 2011 due to a host of other obligations and issues. Still Robert made it out for a little bit and results are in on his meager experience.

Wild Flag
Lower Dens
Smith Westerns

10. My Lord Buffalo @ the Grackle
- Cowboy Hats, Reverb. Talked to these dudes after and found out they have a record lathe-cutting machine. I suggested edison cylinders on old pepsi 2-liter bottles and I think I detected a smile through a thick beard.

9. Social Studies @ Liberty - Could have cracked the top 3 in a weak year if everyone in the band pulled their weight. The singer/keyboard player did it all. She could probably fire her bandmates, but I'm sure they bring in the fans with their ass-shaking and "killers of leon" hair.

8. Boone Graham @ PlantEscape - I haven't seen Boone in a long time and It's been even longer since I've seen him doing the old Hap Fam tunes. He looked like Christian Banal at the end of Rescue Dawn though. something.

7. Bryson Turner @ New Movement Theater - It IS a weak year when a stand-up comic makes the list. I dropped by the theater to see a friend and caught this guy's act. I liked it. Introspective observationalist humorisms.

6. The Oh Sees @ Beerland - Everybody knows these guys and everybody knows what the show is gonna be like. Can't argue with decent garage rock though. (Again, it was a weeeeak year). See the next list for more.

5. White Mystery @ Shangri La - Two gingers playing some greeeeeezy rock. Kinda like a female-fronted Cheeseburger if you want a comparison. Dug it a lot except the "i got an idea, let's partay" song. Literally those were the only words in a 4 minute song.

4. The Night Beats @ Shangri La - The "i'll hang at this bar and watch one song while i finish my tallboy" surprise of the year. Took a while to figure out who they were cause nobody gives their name much these days. Thank baby jesus for spraypaint stencils on guitar cases.

3. Dum Dum Girls @ Longbranch - Heard their sub pop album, hadn't seen them before. Great shit. Any band that flashes peace signs at the crowd is ok in my book. One of the guitarists asked for a shot of Jamison and the hipster male groupie boys bought out the bar.

2. OFF! @ East Side Drive-In - My most anticipated act... I think they were actually better than I'd hoped they'd be... musically. My only knock is the 3 minutes of talking to the crowd in between 30-second buzzsaw ripper songs. Gonna make you crawl.

1. Craig Wedren @ Clive Bar - Anybody who just read his name and knows who he is just thought "shit, how did I miss that?" Dude was so amazing. So amazing. I know you have to be a fan to enjoy it but it was pretty unbelievable. The mic check alone should be on youtube.


Austin bands playing way way too many shows
- Exposure is great and all, but chill. I think Zorch is playing as you read this, hoping that some LA stragglers are still in town.

The Sun - I only have myself to blame for not applying sunscreen, but shit. My forehead is peeling.

The 3 Bangbros at the Pub - During a break from music, having a beer. I grabbed the best spot on the back patio. Opened the door and waved to my friends. 3 young dudes thought I meant them and came out and sat right around me. I ended up talking to them and they were ok but my friends saw them snatch the seats and left.

That FAT THUMB from Fungi Girls - No explanation necessary. It's tiring to even see their band's name on the showlist.

Unidentified Singer/guitar player who shall not be named - Smug motherfucker to say the least. Kyle Smith knows who i'm talking about. I guess I got revenge by downing half his brand new dos equiis (with a lime, natch) while he had his back turned to the drummer "goin off"

The Oh Sees - While we're on annoying bands. It kills me that these guys do the play-the-floor thing everywhere. I get it, I know that's the point, intimacy, legit cred for not being too big, yada... But you can't get on stage at beerland? It's a 2x4 on it's side. It's a heel. You could have maybe 50 people experience the show instead of just 10. (still like em, but fuck that tactic).

SXSW Nazis at the Convention Center - Read me the riot act for trying to go up an escalator to find a friend who just got done at a panel discussion.

Sailor Jerry Rum - So cutting edge they have their own exclusive south-by within a south-by. Bi.

The two jerkoffs with no ID in line in front of me who argued with the door man while I stood behind them and missed a show - If the door guy had punched one of them, I was gonna take the other.

Longbranch Inn - 51 weeks out of the year, this is my favorite bar in austin. Not this week. About 60 people beyond capacity, and meaner n' hell, they started looking for reasons to throw people out. They found one when I was standing too close to the little slit where bartenders scoot in and out from behind the bar. Gain'd my ass out the front door.