[When the weekend arrives at SXSW, it always means you have to avoid 6th Street if you'd like to get anywhere in a timely manner. Locals who were finally released from their day jobs joined the masses in downtown Austin to roam around as well, but that didn't stop me from toting my laptop straight from the Austin Convention Center to both the Mohawk and St. David Historical Sanctuary. Here's what I saw on Friday...]
@Seraphina_L on Friday at SXSW:
Spreadsheets may be handy when figuring out SXSW schedules but sometimes the best shows are the ones you blindly go to based on the mere suggestion of a friend of a friend. Hozier, aka Andrew Hozier-Byrne, may have not been a secret — his video for “Take Me to Church” went viral — but his live performance was stunning nonetheless. A tall man with a charismatic smile and brown curly hair pulled back into a ponytail, the Irish singer-songwriter was down-to-earth while his songs were so heavenly the angels above must surely have been listening. He was playing in a church after all, however that didn’t mean that his spiritual songs were restrained or the least conservative. The walls of St. David Historic Sanctuary rang with a deep Delta blues tone, and messages in songs like “Take Me to Church” point a finger at organized religions on their close-minded about social issues. Toting a cellist, two back-up vocalists, synths, keys and a drummer, Hozier’s set was uplifting, even with serious subject matters. The young man also made sure to keep it light with a few jokes here and there that even he chuckled at himself. “I was very lucky to be sung to my parents when I was younger, and this is one of the lullabies they sang to me,” said Hozier. “It’s called Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene.” After no response, he made sure to clarify, “That was a joke by the way. What would you have thought of my parents?” Laughter filled the sanctuary; that definitely made the entire congregation of fans worship Hozier even more.
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[SXSW, where legs go to die ...]
(@krbronson) on Friday at SXSW:
The emcee at the British Music Embassy for Friday night’s all-Scotland lineup at SXSW wasn’t kidding when he trumpeted the region’s diverse musical palette. Earlier in the evening, the club Latitude 30 had hosted indie-folk, electro and post-punk bands — and then, as if to end the showcase with an exclamation point, Young Fathers. The Edinburgh quartet, whose album “Dead” recently came out on Anticon, infused new life into the crowd’s tired legs with a three-MC assault of tribal rhythms, searing electronics and wicked verses. Somebody likened it to the Beastie Boys fronting Radiohead, and the complex backdrop of tracks and live drumming [click to continue…]
[Fridays signify two things: 1) the end of the work week and 2) time to relax, yes? Not so much for our guest blogger at SXSW. No rest for the wicked, and all that jazz.]
Trina Green (@dharma69) on Friday at SXSW:
It was nearing 1 a.m. by the end of Deap Vally’s set, every part of my body wanted to be back at my hotel room and in the prone position. I was this close to making my move out the door from the Old School Bar & Grill when Ivy Levan’s masked bunch of a bandmates began setting up, an intriguing sight even if you didn’t know what was to come. I’m pretty sure that my legs groaned in protest, but I was in and shortly after, there was The Dame, herself, in all of her immaculate beauty and retro glory … and a mouth like sailor. The Arkansas-bred, L.A.-based singer, whose EP from last [click to continue…]
From Damon Albarn [top photo] previewing music from his forthcoming album “Everyday Robots” to the Green Day side project Foxboro Hot Tubs to emerging bands like the Strypes and the Color of London, photographer Scott Dudelson covered a lot of ground on Friday at the South by Southwest Music Festival. Here are his highlights.
Concert photography by Scott Dudelson
A brief Saturday rundown of L.A. shows as we continue to traipse around Austin:
► Joan Jett & the Blackhearts rock the Roxy Theatre.
► Dom Kennedy brings his type of party to the House of Blues, along with Skeme.
Also: [click to continue…]
[TGIF ... kind of. It's already Friday which means SXSW is nearly over, but we've still got lots to explore and we did our best to check out the bountiful goods last night. The usual energetic bustle of downtown Austin was a bit dampened after Wednesday's night late-night tragedy, but the Mohawk, Cheer Up Charlie's and other venues reopened for festival operation. Here's what I saw on Thursday night...]
@Seraphina_L on Wednesday at SXSW:
“We love Carpark Records, so we’ll endure whatever,” claimed Speedy Ortiz frontwoman Sadie Dupuis during their late-night set at the Parish Underground. Running 30 minutes late, the showcase at the small venue was suffering soundcheck difficulties and then monitor issues. Like the many other bands who were not happy with the setup or the sound system, both Dupuis and the crowd had trouble hearing vocals, but that didn’t stop the crowd form cheering the Northhampton, Mass.-based rock quintet on with encouraging exclamations like “You sound great!” and “Keep going!” And the raucousness did continue with newer songs such as “American Horror.” Both Speedy Ortiz fans (and those piling in for the Cloud Nothings acoustic set to follow) also roared when they began the set with the excellent “Tiger Tank” [click to continue…]
[The snack chip saleslady played a show Thursday night, and a bunch of other attention-whoring A-listers were seen crashing SXSW as well. I missed them all and have no regrets, although the tearful fans left standing on Red River Street outside the snack chip saleslady's show probably had some. Heard something about vomit. At least it wasn't mine.]
(@krbronson) on Wednesday at SXSW:
The Strypes answered an ages-old question at the 1100 Warehouse on Thursday evening: You can play blues and chew gum at the same time. The four lads from Cavan, Ireland — seemingly still a few years away from their first shave — are a hot item right now, especially among people who really really really want guitar rock to make a comeback. Y’know, so Arctic Monkeys won’t feel so lonely at the top of all those festival bills. The Strypes play dirty blues, they play punk blues and they play British blues, and they do it with all the requisite mic-swinging, guitar-slinging moxie of their forebears, many of which probably have toe jam older than frontman Ross Farrelly and guitarist Josh McClorey. The quartet’s debut album “Snapshot” [click to continue…]
[Foot rubs for our guest blogger?]
Trina Green (@dharma69) on Thursday at SXSW:
It took a little extra effort to get up and out and into the spirit of doing something as frivolous as enjoying music the morning after the tragedy that occurred on Red River, but it didn’t look like I was the only one: Crowds on 6th Street at South by Southwest seemed to be moving at a a less frenetic and more methodical pace, at least in the late morning/early afternoon. Perhaps it was the cooler temperatures, but I suspect most folks were still wrapping their heads around it — I know I was. Eventually the mental fog lifted, due to simply being glad to be here and grateful for the safety of friends and colleagues. As the day went on, the sun got brighter and my feet moved a little faster … which is surely why they’re so damned tired right now. But at the end of the day, there was this:
Ahhh, my Georgia peaches are back. Yes, I did say that out loud because I’m really fond of the Whigs, who are underrated, under-recognized purveyors of a good, raucous and rocking time, Southern or otherwise. Let’s just call them a fine American rock band and call it a day. The Athens, Ga.-bred trio of Parker Gispert (vocals), Timothy Deux (bass) and Julian Dorio (a whirling dervish and certainly the most masterfully controlled and concise drummer I’ve ever seen) kicked it on a rooftop stage at Cheers Shot Bar for their fourth (not a typo) set of the day, but there [click to continue…]
Buzzing new bands from Los Angeles [that's Bad Suns, top photo], a Super Furry Animal from Wales, some rockabilly from Mexico — photographer Scott Dudelson again mixed it up Thursday at the South by Southwest Music Festival. Here’s what he saw.
Concert photography by Scott Dudelson
Once again, we’re keeping this short because we’re in Austin putting the X in SXSW:
► Dave Stewart teams up with Lucha VaVoom at the El Rey Tehatre for “VaVoom … A Rock ’N Roll Circus” at the El Rey Theatre.
► No Age [pictured], Peaking Lights and Dunes at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock.
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