So being a SXSW first-timer, my ambitions were high as I strolled into downtown Austin yesterday morning. (And when I say high, I mean I decided to ignore the fact that it was St. Patty’s day and wander into as many free shows as possible.) I actually caught two of the four acts I had planned for the day and ended up seeing way more than I anticipated.
I started the day at Emo’s, where I caught Summer Cats (who were a throwback to some angsty teen days) and Tobacco (who are not meant to be seen in the middle of a day in a tent.) I next checked out Joe Pug at the Paste showcase, where he charmed the pants off the crowd with his endearing personality and honest music. At the Creekside Lounge patio, I luckily caught Casiokids who gave the most upbeat and energetic show of the day, complete with odd hand gestures in sync with their beats. Inside, Ezra Furman and the Harpoons (pictured above) were my surprise new favorite of the day with a sound comprised of equal parts Tom Petty and serious indie rock.
Everyone Was In The French Resistance… Now was a bit of a let down so I took off in search of food. After a bit of a break, I saw The Howlies and it was then and there that I caved and bought a wristband for easier access to showcases. Good thing, too, because after catching a lively set by Skybox, I waited for 35 minutes and was able to see Fanfarlo at the outdoor Paste party. Though at this point it was 11pm, I didn’t give into exhaustion and kept wandering in time to come across Banda de Touristas, who did some serious rocking out. My night ended quite perfectly with an amazing set by The Morning Benders, despite a delay in sound issues and a broken guitar string on the first song. All in all, I’m pleased with day one and just hope I can keep this energy up for the next three days!
Here are some things you should know about This Moment in Black History:
They are playing Carabar tonight.
They just released a new record called “Public Square” on Smog Veil Records.
Said record rips.
They played the Donewaiting.com 5-year anniversary show.
Bim Thomas is from Columbus, used to work at Used Kids Records and plays with Gibson Brother,
MarkDon Howland in The Bassholes, whose latest record is out on CDR.
This Moment in Black History is playing SXSW.
Sun God(Cleveland), New Creases(Columbus) and Beast in the Field (Loud) open the show.
Did I mention “Public Square” rips?
Video from the anniversary show and SXSW info after the jump.
Come out and buy me a shot! Continue reading
So apparently James Mercer and Danger Mouse met each other few years ago while both playing the Roskilde Festival. (I’d like to imagine while watching Iggy and the Stooges.) Since then, they’ve been exchanging ideas, recording and Broken Bells was born from this amicable indie union. They’re a must see for me at SXSW this year, playing showcases for both NPR Music and Dickies Sounds. Their debut album will be released next Tuesday, March 9th, but you can listen to the album streaming in its entirety right now on NPR.
Nashville-based Turbo Fruits (led by ex-Be Your Own Pet member Jonas Stein) are currently cruising all over the country opening for Surfer Blood. Turbo Fruits will be playing a handful of times at SXSW, including the Panache Showcase.
You can download three songs here and follow their shenanigans on their Turbo Blog.
I’ve never been real fond of SXSW rumors – there are a number of blogs that pick a bunch of really big bands that are touring, look at their tour schedules, and if those bands don’t have a date schedule during SXSW week, these blogs put these bands on a “well, they DO have the dates free” rumor list. For instance, last year neither Elton John nor The Faces had dates booked during SXSW and therefore made the rumor list.
That being said, Saturday night’s Stubbs schedule so far only lists The Drums and Minus the Bear. For those unfamiliar with Stubbs, it’s the big outdoor venue that the “big names” play during SXSW. Last year, Metallica was the secret show. Could Muse be the secret show this year? They are playing dates in Dallas (March 17) and Houston (March 18) which means they COULD potentially play in Austin on Saturday night. I’m not the only one thinking this – somebody on the Muse message board claims that their friend booked the band and crew at an Austin hotel that week.
Looks like the rumor has been on Twitter for at least a week. Somebody has mentioned that the Deftones will be on the Muse bill too.
Wait and see.
MP3: The Morning Benders – Promises
Ever wondered what it would be like if EVERYONE from the Rock Potluck worked on just one song? That’s what The Morning Benders did in their most recent video, congregating friends in San Francisco to record this track (“Excuses”) Phil Spector-style. Keep your eyes peeled for Chris Owens of Girls and John Vanderslice. Morning Benders will play the Rough Trade showcase in Austin along with Warpaint (who’ll be at The Summit March 6th).
The moment we wait for every year is upon us – SXSW has posted the day-by-day, venue-by-venue schedule for the SXSW 2010 Music Festival.
Check it out here.
We’ll continue our pre-coverage of SXSW 2010 by highlighting bands we think are worth your while to check out in Austin if you attend this year.
MP3: Race Horses – Cake
Welsh natives Race Horses claim they are bored with modern music. In their first full-length release Goodbye Falkenburg (released last month on Fantastic Plastic), they’ve managed to create quite the intriguing album sans computer editing. With enchantingly dark influences like Michel Gondry, Tim Burton and Where The Wild Things Are, they tell maritime tales of unruly sailors and sunken WWII ships while weaving the typical relationship/love themes. (Plus the songs that I cannot begin to comment on due to the inconvenient fact that I can’t speak Welsh.) The album was recorded over nine months in multiple settings including parties, an eco village and a chapel. Tracks include samples from a pig, zoo animals and a choir of dental trainees.
Race Horses currently have two performances scheduled at SXSW.
If you’re a sucker for clever Brit-rock like me, be sure to catch Gabriel Stebbing’s (ex-Metronomy) band Your Twenties
this year in Austin. next time they’re stateside. Due to unforeseen circumstances they will be unable to attend this year’s festival. They’ve already had singles released on both Germs of Youth and Neon Gold.
As it turns out, The Drums did not open for Phoenix here in Columbus in December. Bummer. But that won’t keep you from enjoying their surf-pop from now til Austin.