Monday, March 19, 2007

SXSW pt. 1 (of 2)

This pic here to the left pretty much sums up my SXSW weekend in Ausin, TX. Had a pretty boss time hanging with new and old friends alike. Of course, I didn't catch every show I wanted to see (I'm looking in your direction t.g.t.b.t.q.), but I can't complain.

Thursday started off with a party at the Yard Dog Gallery, hosted by Schuba's (Chicago, IL). Rock-solid lineup featuring Midlake, Cold War Kids, Bishop Allen, and Russian Circles. Unfortunately, I didn't fully soak in Midlake. I'd heard plenty of good things about the dudes, however, the free beer and excitement of hanging w/ peeps I hadn't seen in a while took precedent. The same can be said for the first half of the Cold War Kids set. Although it wasn't particularly because of my boozing or hanging; more so because of the fact that these dudes are BLOWING UP and it was a little more difficult to fully post up on their set. From what I caught though, I was definitely impressed.

I'd been curious about Bishop Allen's live show for quite some time. I love listening to their tunes, but I wasn't quite sure how they'd pull it off live. They did not disappoint. Six piece lineup featuring xylophones, horns, and other fun instruments. Good time for sure. For the unfamiliar, I'd defintely encourage you to check out their tunes. This past year they self-released a monthly EP for 12 months straight. Amazingly, everything I heard from the EP's sounded decent. See for your self below.

Russian Circles tore it up as well. All instrumental spaced-out progressive metal. "Instrametal," if you will. Normally not my bag, but they definitely won me over. Before their set a friend introduced me to them and we realized that we all knew each other from way back in high school. As it turns out, 2/3 dudes are from StL and were old ska-punker peers from the scene we used to rock. Hilarious! So yeah, the show was great, but it was no Ska-O-Rama.

After the Schuba's party, hit a bar to relax for a while before heading to see Chin Up Chin Up. I probably would've opted out on this show, but these dudes are friends of the dudes I was running around with, so I agreed. I've been keeping track of them over the past few years and they definitely don't suck... and they're getting better. Jangly synthed up indie-pop with vocals that remind me of the dude from Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers. All indifference aside, had a solid time with them and they put on a fun show.

By the time we left that show we were more or less drunk. Coincidentally, this is when things got interesting. My partner in crime for the evening was all amped to go check out Matt & Kim. I'd never heard them, but I was down regardless. Good call brah! They were awesome. Super fast electro-pogo-pop; keyboard drum combo. They reminded me of a poppier version of Atom and His Package. We almost didn't even get in. Like most of the night shows, it was a showcase for some label or company and you had to have a badge to enter. We were denied access initially, however, my buddy swore we could get in because he "knew the band." I tried to convince him that this would do us no good considering they are about to go on and probably not hanging by the entrance. His response: "let's just fucking sprint past the bouncer and stage dive. Then we're in." Before I could even explain how bad of an idea that was Kim happened to notice my buddy and had one of their people get us in. Pretty hilarious really.

At this point it's about 1:15 a.m. and we're still looking for trouble. We knew Against Me! was playing at 1:30 a.m., but we also knew it was showcase for Sire Records, which meant you definitely needed a badge or a Rolex to get in the door. Doubt it! We covered our bases earlier in the evening. We had gone to the club just before midnight and somehow snuck in. While we were happy to have gained entry, we were also conscious of the fact that there was no way were going to wait there for and hour plus to see Against Me!. So we found this stooge who was working one of the doors and told him we were in "the band" and we were going to get some food before our set. Stooge was like "sounds good, I ain't going anywhere." This was music to our ears. We knew he couldn't forget our lovely faces so we'd be able to get back in. As it turned out, mission accomplished, stooge let us in.

Oh yeah, about the Against Me! show... They were awesome. This is the first time I'd actually got to see a full set of theirs. They ripped through both new and old tunes and absolutely killed it. My buddy got kicked out for stage-diving. No, I didn't bring a 18 year old with me; just a drunken punk who was ready to party. I stood in the middle of the pit with my shirt off and danced like a I was at a 1950's sock hop. I really had some people confused, but nobody punched me from what I remember.

So that's part 1 of 2 my SXSW festivities. If you've made it all the way through this post, good for you! You will now be rewarded with free tunes performed by the artists mentioned above. Whoohoo!

Cold War Kids - i don't wanna grow up [T.Waits/Ramones cover]
Cold Wark Kids - heavy boots

Bishop Allen - the same fire
Bishop Allen - butterfly nets

Russian Circles - death rides a horse

Chin Up Chin Up - this harness can't ride anything
Chin Up Chin Up - virginia don't drown

Matt & Kim - yea yeah
Matt & Kim - no more long years

Against Me! - don't lose touch
Against Me! - cliche guevara

1 comment:

paul said...

russian circles rule. thats it. that is all i wanted to say.