Monday, March 26, 2007

SXSW pt. 2 (of 2)

I woke up with a blanket of bulldogs covering my legs. The sad part about this: they were probably cleaner than the couch and sleeping bag I was sleeping on.

Regardless, I was ready to party and the first stop on Friday's agenda was Pok-e-jo's BBQ where the totally awesome Oakley Hall were set to rock the socks off of carnivorous indie rockers. This was truly a perfect start for the day. I was hungover as all get-out and the breezy, sunny weather, complimented by O-Hall's lazy psychedelic folk rock was the perfect setting to nurse a hangover. The free Shiner Bock helped some too. They ran through a pretty comprehensive set; even showcased some new tunes as well. Can't wait to hear their new album that Merge is putting out in the fall. Only complaint: the sound guy had no idea how to deal with their fiddle. Felt bad for the poor girl.

We stuck around for a little bit of +/-. They didn't necessarily suck, just wasn't really feeling it. I'd heard some of their tunes prior and I remember liking them more on album than what we saw of them live. Electronic indie rock with real soft vocals, if you're interested.

We left about half way through their set and set sail for the Longbranch Inn, who was hosting the ever-so-popular Vice Magazine party. We rocked the indoor section of the party and the bands we caught were far from memorable. We loaded up on free issues of their newest mag, but aside from that, pretty lame. The real party was outside where Turbonegro was playing. I was indifferent on checking them out. I didn't think that I gave a shit about them, really. As it turns out, they really rock live. It was a friggin' party. Their fans were going ape-shit and everyone else was having a good time as well. We saw "the Pete" from Bouncing Souls there too, which was kinda fun.

After Turbonegro it was break-time. We posted up at the Sidebar for a few bloody beers. The next show was truly the wild card of the weekend. The lineup: Fucked Up, Jay Reatard, and White Savage. We were primarily going for White Savage cos our buddy from Chin Up Chin Up was playing drums for them. He said it was their first show ever and the band consisted of a group of friends that gig around in different Chicago bands ( Tyrades, Chin Up Chin Up, and the Ponys - who are totally boss).

White Savage was fucking awesome. As loud and volitale as Big Black, and as fast and piercing as the Hot Snakes. They rocked so frickin' hard they blew the generator that was powering the whole show. Pretty impressive. After some old dudes fixed the generator they came back out and rocked a few more tunes. Easily one of my favorite sets of the weekend. Good luck on finding any more info on them. I couldn't find shit.

I cut out after White Savage. Dudes Mag allies, No Idea Records, teamed up with Volcom to throw a wicked party. I'd been looking forward to meeting up with the infamous Tony Weinbender from No Idea for a while and, just as suspected, he is truly a dude among dudes. I arrived just as Valient Thorr was about to take the stage. Holy shit, did these dudes kill! On top of a balls-to-the-wall set that was somewhere between Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, Clutch, and old Metallica, Wayne friggin' Kramer of MC5 came out and jammed with the band on their final song of the set. Truly awesome!

Up next was Chuck Ragan, former co-frontman of Hot Water Music. He's been doing the solo thing since the H.W.M. split and it was pretty decent. Definitely sounds like a stripped down acoustic H.W.M.; throw in some fiddle and, wha-la, you have Chuck Ragan.

I was nice and boozed up at this point (no thanks to the multiple whiskey shots provided by Mr. Tony W - see pic). I met a totally boss dude named Aaron from Gainesville, FL's Billy Reese Peters. I knew he was a solid dude cos immediately after meeting him, he agreed with me that there was no reason to be wearing a shirt at this show. We dropped cotton and proceeded to talk about this piece I'm going to do on their band for the next Dudes Mag release. We determined that the only way this piece can go down is if I get the mag to fly me down to FL and we conduct the interview in a hot tub. I'll keep you posted as to how that turns out.

The Draft, which is the other 3/4 of H.W.M., +1, closed up the evening. Their sound is obviously similar to their former outfit, however, a little more straightforward punk rock with more spaced-out guitar riffs complementing the rhythm guitar. They rocked a great set - oozing with energy and posi-punk rock. Perfect end to a wicked weekend.

Now, listen:

Oakley Hall - lazy susan
Oakley Hall - living in sin in the u.s.a.
Oakely Hall - eyes, lock and steel

+/- (Plus Minus) - steal the blueprints

Turbonegro - all my friends are dead

Valient Thorr - man behind the curtain" [via rock star journalist]

The Draft - new eyes open
The Draft - lo zee rose

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