Category Archives: SXSW

Top Ten Sets of SXSW 2014

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Well SXSW might be officially over but we are trying to keep the magic alive here at LMN. And can you blame us? It was an amazing good time full of great acts, good friends, much love, and lots of fun. So in the spirit of keeping things going, we present to you our top acts of SXSW 2014. This list is in no particular order because let’s face it, that’s too hard to do. Instead, think of this list as the acts that affected us the most. There will be familiar names and new names but all of them got to us at SXSW.

 

Amanda’s Picks:

1. Morning Parade at Palm Door (The Universal Music Group Showcase)

One of the things that makes SXSW so fun is the opportunity to sample new music and discover your new favorite band. Morning Parade was a band that I wanted to casually sample. You know, stay for 3ish songs and go see someone else. That was my goal for the day. However, Morning Parade threw a wrench in my plans for the day. I was so enamored by them that I stayed for their entire set and was left wanting more from them. They had their fans dancing, heads bobbing, and feet tapping the whole time, mine included. They played new stuff, old fan favorites and I loved it all. Give me more! IMG_0036

2. Beware of Darkness at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos (Wahoo’s Music Showcase)

The show that nabbed the title for the craziest rock and roll experience ever was Beware of Darkness at Wahoo’s. I had only seen Beware of Darkness a few times beforehand but those shows were nothing compared to this wonderful insanity. I’m not really sure what inspired the frequent guitar shredding trips into the crowd or the standing on a table rockstar moments from frontman Kyle Nicolaides but all of it was amazing. Truth be told, I wasn’t even going to attend this particular show because fatigue had set in, I wasn’t feeling well, and I was already in the hotel but I knew it would be my only opportunity to see some familiar faces so, I made the trek. The set was short but absolutely crazy in the best way possible. Definitely an experience that will be hard to repeat.

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3. Dear Boy at Rusty’s (Swing House Austin Occupation)

I think there’s something really special in being able to support a band out at SXSW who is there for the first time. File the relatively new band Dear Boy under that category. They had a rather light show schedule at SXSW so it was imperative for me (well, us) to make sure we caught this particular show at Rusty’s. It was their best show of SXSW, which was impressive considering it was a day show and on a very tiny stage. Their set was far too short (isn’t that how it goes at SXSW?) for my liking but they had a great energy and were really into their groove. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.

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4. The Silent Comedy at The Tap Room at The Market (Official Showcase)

Seeing The Silent Comedy play at SXSW is always a good time. It’s an even better time when it’s at 1am, you’re tired from being up till 3am the night before, you’re in a small venue, and the stage is way higher up than you expect it to be. Sounds like a possible disaster, right? Nope. This was a crazy good time filled with some old favorites like “Prince,” “Gasoline,” and “Road Song” as well as some new tunes like, “Always Two” and “Avalanche.” Justin Buchanan, banjo and mandolin player extraordinaire gets an extra shout out for his crazy shenanigans, which involved leaving the stage to go play with the folks who thought it was safe to sit upstairs. You were wrong. I’m willing to bet there were a few folks in the crowd who fell for The Silent Comedy that night and really, who could blame them?

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5. Semi Precious Weapons at Rusty’s (Crave Online Showcase)

Semi Precious Weapons make me feel sexy. There. I said it. They were on my top picks last year and they are back again for putting on an even better show than last year. Since this was their only set at SXSW it was extremely important that this event not be missed. They had this really infectious energy about them that just bled into the audience, which kept growing and growing. The tight space gave me less dancing room but I didn’t care because being backed against a wall made it that much better. Their set included new/old favorites like “Cherries on Ice,” “Free Booze,” “That’s My Friends,” and “Drink” as well as two new songs “Vegas” and “Hands Up.” I’m happy to say that all of those songs will be on their forthcoming full-length album, Aviation. There was even a surprise visit from Lady Gaga herself who watched from the side stage. Needless to say, I left this show feeling Aviation High.

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HM: Robert John and The Wreck at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos (Wahoo’s Music Showcase)

As it goes with SXSW, you tend to meet new people at shows and chat about similar musical interests and swap names of bands worth checking out. Well, I met this guy outside of Wahoo’s when I was wandering back to my hotel and stopped by to hear the beautiful noise from the venue. He told me their name was David and Olivia and I should come see his band play there later that week. When he said his band was Robert Jon and The Wreck I immediately recognized the name as someone The Silent Comedy had mentioned they were playing with and had seen it on the bill but had never seen them before. I promised to catch their set later that week and I’m really glad I followed through. When they started playing I changed from a walking zombie of myself to an alert toe-tapping individual who was ready to do some dancing. Although I failed to nab a picture of them playing (there was a sleeping Trina on my shoulder), they were really enjoyable and I look forward to seeing them play again sooner rather than later.

 

Kristen’s Picks:

1.  We Met Tomorrow at Karma Lounge (Official Showcase)

I discovered some great talent at this year’s SXSW, but one of the most exciting for me is this young Swedish band called We Met Tomorrow. Their set at Karma Lounge was particularly sweet because I had tried and failed by mere minutes to see them earlier in the week.  This band is instantly captivating with their genre-defying sound and unique set-up. Sans drummer, beat duties are divided between singer, Rickard, who works a bass drum and snare and bassist, Emil, who takes on a foot-pedal crash cymbal.  The energy of the band easily transitions from heartfelt country/folk to frantic blues/rock making every song a new surprise.  In a week packed with new sounds, We Met Tomorrow presented something different and exciting and that, for me, elevated them above the rest. New Band Love.

P15201582. Meg Myers at Red Eyed Fly (Official Showcase)

I adore Meg Myers. Her songs have a tantalizing mix of hard and soft that give them an addictive quality. I saw her at first opportunity Wednesday at The Empire Garage, but her set was way too short and left me craving more. Suddenly, I felt the compulsion to see Meg at every possible opportunity. I rearranged my schedule and was able to make it to her Wednesday night set at Red Eyed Fly. I think I was left unsatisfied at the previous occasion because Meg didn’t end her set with the gut punching “Heart Heart Head”, a song that just leaves you devastated in the best possible way.  The set at Red Eyed Fly included more of the hard-hitting tunes like “Go” and yes, “Heart Heart Head”. I felt cleansed.

P15101903. Sam Smith at St David’s Historic Church (Communion Showcase)

I didn’t think this show was going to happen for me. Friday night, I wanted to get to St. David’s for Hozier’s set at 9:45, but I was running late and the line for badges was the longest I’d seen that week. I camped out in the Church Chapel enjoying some Yoshiki and Gungor. Afterwards, I was just going to leave, but walking back past the main hall of the church, the line had whittled down substantially and within minutes I was ushered into the church. There was no more room on the pews, so I sat myself down in front of the stage. This casual looking band was in the middle of a song. They would have easily been mistaken for a garage band had it not been for the angelic voice coming from the man on the microphone. 20 seconds in and I was so mesmerized I swear my heart stopped beating so that I could listen all the more intently. I only caught 2.5 songs of his short set, but that was enough to make it one of my most lauded performances of the week.

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4. Parade of Lights at The Brew Exchange (The Green Room by Beautiful Buzzz and The Most Definitely)

Parade of Lights is my break-out band of SXSW 2014. I ended up seeing them 3 times over the week. It would have been four had they not had to cancel their super late-night set on Thursday. I am a long-time fan of this band, but SXSW 2014 proved to me that they have really gotten to a place with their line-up and their tunes that has elevated them to be worthy of the big leagues. They are so electric! You see them once and you simply must see them again. The Parade of Lights set at The Brew Exchange was the first I caught that week and really reminded me of my band love.  I was surrounded by friends, all dancing and falling in love with the music. The moment was perfection!

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5. Queen Caveat and The Kin at Whole Foods Rooftop (Quantum Collective Party)

I’m not cheating here including two bands in order to get more of my favorites mentioned on the list. Although both Queen Caveat and The Kin are longtime loves, what made this a truly unique and spectacular SXSW moment, was the pairing of favorites I would not expect to ever find on the same bill. Another standout feature of this “set” was the audience. The rooftop was full of families and fans who really seemed to connect to both bands. Queen Caveat drew in a bunch of younger girls looking up to rock star frontwoman, Lauren Little, in complete awe. Then I spent quite a bit of time post-show chatting with newly minted The Kin fans who were enraptured by the Aussie brothers’ vocal harmonies and ear candy tunes as well as percussionist, Shakerleg’s unique hands on approach to creating a beat.

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HM: Heymoonshaker at Trinity Hall (French Tech Party)

This band gets the award for most unique act of the week. They are a combination beat-box/blues band. Seriously, let that sink in for a minute. The duo not only has a unique and very compelling style, but they have serious stage presence and get additional points for audience participation (there was some hard core hip-shaking going on).  This particular set was also special due to the SXSW miracle that needed to occur for me to get in to see it. Let’s just say I owe huge thanks to my new “friend” who was standing at the door.

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SXSW 2014 – Saturday Recap

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I can’t believe it’s finally here. Last official day of SXSW. Everyone was a bit sluggish today and I got told a countless number of times that I looked tired, but it’s beyond tired really. It’s even beyond exhaustion. What I feel is somewhere on the spectrum of insanity and I must be insane to still be going full force after 5 full days and sleepless nights. I may be incapable of finishing a sentence or working a door knob, but I saw just about 20 bands today. I feel in love a few times and I cannot wait to put my SXSW ’14 music mix together.

Today started a bit drizzly, literally as the sky decided to sporadically open up and spit on us. It was bad enough to hinder a few of the outdoor events, including what was going to be my first band of the day, Holy Esque. This is particularly significant since I’ve been trying to see this Scottish band since they made my SXSW wish list a year ago. But more on that later. After catching a bit of Tumbleweed Wanderers, I ventured to The Aussie BBQ to have my second breakfast (or perhaps first lunch?) and sample a bit of Lime Cordiale and Money For Rope, both of whom get solid recommendations. I hope to catch full sets soon!

Lime Cordiale   Money For Rope

Then it was off to see the final set from one of my “bands of SXSW 2014”, the dynamic and very talented, John Flanagan. After that, it was time for my third meal of the day (w/in four hours mind you) which consisted of the famous and most delicious BBQ from The Salt Lick thanks to the Red Bull Sounds Select Media lunch.

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From there it was a flurry of band sampling on the west side of town. Desert Noises, Andrew Belle (a surprise act), Katie Herzig, and my third round of Parade of Lights all at Live Vibe’s Party In My Pants at Woodrow’s. Also spent some time at one of my favorite events, Quantum Collective’s outdoor party on the rooftop of Whole Foods where I saw Wakey!Wakey!, We Were Promised Jetpacks, and a new project from Keaton Simons called Keaton Simons & Deantoni Parks’ Best Revenge. Pop in a little Jake Bugg at Waterloo and I’d say I had a very productive afternoon of music. Another highlight was running into the guys of Neulore. They were a band I really wanted to see, but I just couldn’t seem to make it happen. I’ve got one more shot tomorrow, but they aren’t playing in walking distance of the hotel, so it would require some real luck of the SXSW.

By evening time, I had yet to press pause so I was a bit out of it.  Fortunately my band choices were fairly easy, there were no lines, and I pretty much avoided the big crowds. This evening brought some of my greatest thrills of the week. Firstly, I was finally able to catch Holy Esque (!). Secondly, I fell completely in love with Swedish band We Met Tomorrow. Thirdly, I partook in a Silent Comedy dance party. Doesn’t get much better…

I took one last walk down 6th Street, stopping briefly to sample one of my wish list bands, July Talk, and that was it.

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Sorry the recap wasn’t more compelling, but this girl needs to get to bed. There’s a trip to Magnolia’s on the docket for tomorrow and then we’ll start the music detox with just a small party or two. Top musical options include sets from The Foreign Resort, Wild Party, and, fingers crossed, Neulore.

If you want to sum up my experience at SXSW, it’s go a bit like this:

I love SXSW
I love my friends
I love music.

 

~ Kristen

SXSW 2014- Friday Recap

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If I’m being completely honest, I thought this post would be coming to you a lot earlier in the evening than it is right now. However, as things tend to go with SXSW, plans change.

Today was much more relaxed than yesterday with fewer long treks and more bopping around the same few blocks or just hanging at a venue. My feet were pretty happy with that idea as was my body as the wear of SXSW begins to settle in. The morning started off at the BMI + Billboard Brunch at the Four Seasons. It was a wonderful chance to eat and sample some artists. Particular favs were Phox, Betty Who, American Authors, Jamie Scott and The Kin.

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From there it was a leisurely stroll up the street to where all the main action was. I wanted to get in to see The 1975 but it was “at capacity” and I decided to wander off and regroup myself. I ended up at Rusty’s to catch a longer set of Wild Party. I went down the block after they played to catch Rocketboys, who were very fun. I drifted back over to Rusty’s to see The Heavy Heavy Hearts before going down the street to Palm Door for an encore of Parade of Lights. Sadly, the venue was running behind so we had to cut out a little early so we could get back up to Rusty’s to catch Dear Boy’s last SXSW show. From Dear Boy it was back down to Palm Door to see Sir Sly. I told you we just bopped around locally.

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After Sir Sly was a bit of a break and I wandered into Latitude 30 to catch a bit of Prides before getting overwhelmed by the crowd. I bailed and wandered a bit before I went back to Rusty’s to hang out and chill for a bit until Queen Caveat took the stage. Truth be told, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen those folks and they only gotten better. Kristen and I managed to hitch a ride with them over to their show at Whole Foods. The Kin were one of the special guests for the show so Kristen and I both got double the fun with Queen Caveat and The Kin today.

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I was pretty intent on being done with my day after that. Kristen and I would part ways, should would get out and I would go back to the room, eat my salad, and take a hot shower. Well, as luck would have it, I hopped on Instagram and saw that Beware of Darkness were having their final show at Wahoo’s tonight and it was in 30 minutes. I felt a second wind come on as I knew there would be familiar faces at that show. It was a crazy show full of climbing on things and playing in the crowd. Definitely a high note to end my night on.

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Since Kristen went on her own adventures, here is a taste of what she did today….

I just wanted to give a shout out to all the amazing bands I saw after Amanda and I parted ways. I headed to Church, St. David’s to be precise. I really wanted to see Hozier, but not only was I a bit too late, but there was a line so long I couldn’t see the end of it (a sign that perhaps I should move on). I couldn’t bring myself to move too far, so I went to the smaller chapel where I was impressed by some classical piano performed by a man who was later described to me as “a j-pop deity.” Yoshiki wrote a song on the spot using the prayers in the room.

I didn’t really feel like moving (and I discovered the church had free wi-fi) so I stayed and saw the next act, which turned out to be a band on my “to check out list” called Gungor. Gungor’s energy was infectious and gave me my second (or maybe third or fourth) wind. I was also super impressed by how the band changed up their act to suit the setting.

I was inspired to hit the streets and roam for music, but as I passed the main church hall, I noticed the line was significantly decreased so I was able to get in to catch the end of Sam Smith’s set. This was perhaps the best decision I made all week. Sam’s vocals were mesmerizing. I fell in love. LOVE. After that set, I was so melted to the floor that there really was no other option than to stay in my pew for the final act. Not that I would have moved anyway as the final act was another must-see, Vance Joy. It was a beautiful evening.

Saturday Show Recommendations:

  • Aussie BBQ at Maggie Mae’s (noon)- multiple rooms, great bands, yummy food
  • 1pm- Mike Mains and The Branches at Filter on Cedar St
  • 3:20- Moon Taxi at Palm Door on 6th
  • 7pm- Keaton Simons at Whole Foods Rooftop
  • 9pm- We Met Tomorrow at Karma Lounge
  • 11pm- The Silent Comedy at Wahoo’s

 

SXSW 2014- Thursday Recap

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Fact: It is currently 3:03am in Austin, Texas and I’m just sitting down to write this recap. That should give you an idea of how well the day went. Although it must be said that today definitely had a theme amongst our camp which in it’s most basic terms was, be prepared and go with the flow because things will generally work out better than you might expect.

Today I was all about having a plan and I quickly threw it out the window because even the best laid plans can have a wrench thrown in. My original intent was to start the day with Mia Dyson but I was not able to get myself out of the hotel in time. Instead, I journeyed over to Palm Door just in time to catch Morning Parade who are a band from the UK. I was so enchanted by them that I found myself unable to move on or away from them. “One more song” is what I kept telling myself. Judging from fan reactions in the crowd, they played some favorites from old albums to newer ones. I really enjoyed myself there. I went to the indoor stage for Tove Lo who was running behind. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a set up with two percussionists and a synth player to accompany a singer and I honestly enjoyed it more than I thought I would. She had a lyric that really grabbed my attention which was, “I’m not on drugs, I’m just in love.” A sentiment I’m sure a lot of us can relate to.

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I decided to journey down the road in the spirit of checking in on things, although I’m not really sure when that idea kicked in. I went over to Jackalope for our friend Jo’s Badass Bands Blog showcase. I got there just in time to catch the tail end of Little Wild which was definitely a little wild with one of the band members getting on the bar with a tambourine and what appeared to be a conga line going through the bar. Next up was Shakers, a band that was new to me and very fun to catch. Since I missed Mia Dyson earlier, I wanted to catch some of her set which was just up the road at Rustys and on our way to see Parade of Lights at the Brew Exchange. Kristen and I bopped in for part of a song before making the hike over to the west side. I finally got to see Parade of Lights play after far too long between shows. It was loud and it was good. It was familiar and new all at the same time.

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Just up the street was Blacklist Royalty, which we (Kristen and I) sampled before parting ways. I was on a trek back to the hotel on the east side and Kristen was staying on the west side for Nightmare and the Cat as well as The Kin. I moseyed back over to Jackalope to catch the tail end of The Janks. Also new to me but not my LA counterpart. I walked up the street to Rusty’s again to catch The Silent Comedy when I found out the venue was running half an hour behind. Hello wrench in my plans. However, it all worked out because my west side cohort suffered the same problem and came back over to the east side and I caught some of Yellow Red Sparks on the patio at Rusty’s. There was some much needed resting a a bit of restorative yoga before a gang of us sang and danced along with The Silent Comedy to a very small crowd.

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Since I had gone over to the west side it only seemed fit that I travel to the east side as well. Thankfully we found a wonderful pedicab driver by the name of Holt who happened to be driving a cab that was free! My feet were very thankful. The Rachel Ray Feedback House wristband was acquired and we went in to find G. Love was playing. In the spirit of sampling (my newfound “go with the flow and see what you can” motto), I went up the street to catch a band called Strypes, who are from Ireland and apparently playing their first US shows here at SXSW. Admittedly I didn’t know what to make of them at first but I quickly found myself really enjoying them. However, my feet were back to being angry. So after 4 songs in from Strypes, I wandered over to the IFC Fairgrounds to catch The Mowglis but truth be told, I wasn’t feeling well. After a brief respite (aka: twoish songs while I sat on the ground), I made my way back to the hotel in need of a break.

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My break didn’t last very long but after some ginger ale and leftover fried rice, I was feeling a lot better than I was earlier. I accompanied Chelsea on the trek back to The Brew Exchange on the west side to catch Foreign Resort. I was waiting to meet back up with Kristen on the west side for a second round of Parade of Lights and The Silent Comedy. On my way over to the venues on Colorado, I heard a wonderful sound coming from the Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. Yes you read that right. I hung outside to listen and asked someone if they knew who was playing. I was informed that the trio I was watching went by the name of David and Olivia. The gentleman I spoke with was playing there on Saturday with his band J. Roddy Walston and they were on the bill with The Silent Comedy. I told him I was on my way to see them when he told me they were going on an hour later than the schedule said. Hello again, wrench. This was a conflict because now Parade of Light and The Silent Comedy were going to be playing at the same time! But, I kept it cool. I walked over to The Tap Room to confirm the news. Then I wandered up the block to TenOak to chat with the Parade of Lights fellas. As it got closer to show time for them (and the conflict) it because evident they were going to have to cancel their show. Big bummer. I was really looking forward to seeing a longer set from them but it just wasn’t in the cards for tonight. Instead, I enjoyed some of The Griswolds who were dealing with a very drunk and kind of amusing-but-only-because-I-don’t-have-to-deal-with-it crowd. They finished just in time for Trina, Kristen and I to join up and end our night with The Silent Comedy. This particular set was different from the previous ones and featured older songs like Gasoline, Impossible Name, and Road Song. To name a few. It was the perfect way to end my way. Like a cherry on top of a neapolitan sundae.

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Honorable mentions from Kristen today go out to Brick + Motor and Nina Nesbit.

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Recommendations for Tomorrow:
10:30am-1pm: BMI Brunch at The Lawn at The Four Seasons (98 San Jacinto Blvd)
11:35am: Finish Ticket at Whole Foods Rooftop (525 N Lamar Blvd)
12pm: Hozier at Hype Hotel (301 Brazos St)
12:30pm: Noah Gundersen at Buffalo Billards (201 E 6th ST)
12:30pm: The Strypes at Palm Door on 6th outdoor stage
2:35pm- The Heavy Heavy Hearts at Rusty’s (405 E 7th St)
3pm: Kid Karate at Cheer Up Charlies (900 Red River)
3:20pm- Dear Boy at Rusty’s (405 E 7th St)
5:10pm: Barcelona at Whole Foods Rooftop (525 N Lamar Blvd)
6pm: Ingrid Michaelson at The Market (319 Colorado St)
8:30pm- Night Terrors of 1927 at Bangers (79 Rainey St)
10pm: Queen Caveat at Firehouse Lounge (605 Brazo St)
10pm: Sir Sly at Trinity Hall at Old School (401 E 6th St)
12am: Magic Man at The Market (319 Colorado St)-
1am: Shakey Graves at The Gatsby (708 E 6th St)

 

SXSW 2014- Wednesday Recap

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We are in the full swing of SXSW craziness over here in Austin. I have been keeping a low profile until today due to the fact that I picked up a cold the night before I flew out here for all the madness. My day was supposed to start at 12:30pm with John Flanagan but sadly I was still in bed sleeping off breakfast and trying to catch up on rest from the night before. However, I did manage to get myself out of the hotel room in time to catch Nicole Atkins at the Antiquiet show at Rusty’s. From there it was a very short walk outside to the patio to catch Sad Robot for the Swinghouse Showcase.

 

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The fact that I was still up and running after two shows seemed like a good sign (as opposed to yesterday) so I journeyed on a caught a touch of Wounds at the Annex. They were not what I had anticipated and although I appreciated the idea of getting in the crowd to sing and mosh, it seemed like too much energy for me to deal with at that moment in time. The beauty of SXSW is that everywhere you turn, there is music. So, I wandered up the street with Kristen and caught the last two songs from No at the Empire Control Room. We stuck around debating our next plan of action (we sometimes have to take this hour by hour) when The Crooks came on the stage. They were new to me, very enjoyable, and not to be confused with Crooks, mind you.

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  From there it was a semi-mad dash over to the west side to catch what we thought was Dear Boy’s first show of SXSW but it was more of a interview with a cover song. Not complaining mind you because afterwards, we ended up right across the street at the W Hotel for the Music Media Welcome Reception. Complete with tasty snacks like a small lobster stuffed sandwich, cheese filled puff pastries, and a potato mousse with avocado on top. Pretty swanky. We made some new friends and watched the Mayor of Austin speak. After he was done, they featured a lady named Jazz Mills, who had a beautiful voice. We picked up some swag bags on the way out which included some coupons, a few cd samplers, ear plugs, a harmonica, and some other fun goodies. We had to swing back to the hotel to drop off our swag before getting back to Rusty’s patio to catch the very first band we saw last year, Moon Taxi. Moon Taxi was the first band of the day to make me dance around. I’m not sure if it’s because I was feeling good or they just had the tunes. They played old favorites like “All The Rage” and “Mercury” as well as new ones like “The New Black” and “The Morocco.” Seriously good fun.

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The dancing only intensified later on in the evening with Dear Boy’s first full out SXSW show at the BMI showcase. En route to catch The Silent Comedy tear up the Crave showcase at Rusty’s (are you picking up a theme here?) we caught part of “Howl” from Beware of Darkness. As expected, The Silent Comedy put on a crazy good show and played all new tunes. There was a quick dash to catch Meg Myers over at Red Eyed Fly and a quick dash back to catch Semi Precious Weapons, who also played new music. They had a surprise guest show up in the form of one Lady Gaga. Needless to say, it got a little crowded up in there. But Semi Precious Weapons put on a hell of a great show, ending with a stage dive/crowd surfing from frontman Justin Tranter.

 

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Honorable mention goes out to Queen Caveat who I heard were “on point” tonight. I had already wandered back to the hotel to save my energy for the madness of tomorrow. We would also like to take a moment to think about all those affected by the deadly car accident here at SXSW. We are thankful that all our friends are safe and our hearts go out to those affected by the incident. Tomorrow is not likely to let up on the insanity. Here are some of our top picks.

  • Wind-up Records party at La Barbecue (1200 E 6th St) f. Jillette Johnson, Crobot, The Revivalists, Great Good Fine Ok
  • Badass Bands Blog show at The Jackalope (404 E 6th St) f. No Small Children, Little Wild, The Shakers, The Heavy Heavy Hearts, The Janks, The Soft White Sixties
  • We Met Tomorrow 1pm at Austin City Hall (301 W 2nd St)
  • Parade of Lights 3pm at The Brew Exchange (706 W 6th St)
  • Sir Sly 4pm at Bar 96 (96 Rainey St)
  • Nightmare and The Cat 4pm at The Brew Exchange (706 W 6th St)
  • Sam Smith 4:30 at Fader Fort (1101 E 5th St)
  • The Kin 5pm at MUVE Music Showcase ‘Fish Bowl’ Stage (4th and Congress)
  • Queen Caveat 6pm at Amped Downstairs (300 E 6th St)
  • Brick + Motor 9pm at Metal & Lace
  • American Authors 9pm at IFC Fairgrounds
  • Mighty Oaks 10pm at Lucille (77 Rainey)
  • Kid Karate 11:15 at Holy Mountain
  • The Silent Comedy 12am at Tap Room at The Market

SXSW 2014 – Tuesday Recap

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Today was another winner. Tuesday is when Music is beginning and Interactive is coming to an end and the cross-pollination makes for interesting conversations. I met quite a few cool people today! It all started at The Great Brisith Breakfast where I enjoyed quality people, quality food, and a quality musical act in the form of Rams’ Pocket Radio. The addition of a violin really upped the live performance from my last Rams’ show.

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I found myself back at the Trade Show, where something unexpectedly not-SXSW occurred…we might call it a miss. I wandered around a bit with the intent of heading to the Swedish Booth to see when the band We Met Tomorrow was going to do their acoustic session on Wednesday. After being slightly distracted (A Trade Show hazard), I found the booth and oddly enough the band who had just finished their acoustic set which I guess had been moved to Tuesday? Tragedy! Although, in the end, they gave me a memory stick with songs, videos, pictures, etc. so…maybe not a clear loss after all. I will just have to try harder to see them later in the week.

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I stuck around the Trade Show floor long enough to enjoy some of the delectables put out for the block party. SXSW really does food quite well. There were different stations with different types of comestibles ranging from chicken salad and pita chips, to mini BBQ sandwiches, to the most interesting combination of spicy and sweet in the form of something that resembled a thumb print cookie, but tasted like fire and ice at the same time (clearly I’m not a food blogger).

After food, I ran to my most anticipated show of the day, The Kin playing the Sounds Australia day party at B.D. Riley’s.  When I walked in, Sun Rai was on stage. He quickly won me over with some dance-able piano-based tunes. The bar was crowded, and not all were there for music. It was noisy and a bit awkward. The Kin began playing a more acoustic set and then, one by one, patrons were drawn to what was happening on the little stage. I wasn’t sure if the trio were going to do their usual, come out into the audience and sing bit, but they did, and by that time they owned the room (standing on top of the tables might have helped). After their set, I chatting with some of their new fans. There is nothing like seeing others fall in love with a band you think is the bees knees. 

P1500631 The KinP1500648

I met a few more kindred spirits at a networking event at The Chicago House, made a quick stop back at the hotel for snack hour and some tea and then my evening of musical adventures began! After sampling a bit of The Belle Game, I started wandering down 6th St and had a series of amazing run-ins. 3/4 of Dear Boy, Badass Bands Blog’s Jolynn, my High Voltage cohort Trina Green, and possibility the best run-in of the week, the one and only Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons (below with Trina). That last one was a bit of a SXSW flashback…and made up for the Imagine Dragons/Coldplay/London Grammar ticket I forfeited earlier in the day.

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The SXSW gods were smiling upon me again when I made a new friend who helped me get into the near capacity French Tech Party to see another one of my most anticipated bands, Heymoonshaker. This band is like nothing I have seen before. They define their genre as beat-box/blues, and, well, that’s exactly what it is…an intriguing combination that this dynamic duo puts together like peanut butter and jelly.  A definite must-see if you get the chance. The duo also gave the audience pointers in the proper way to shake ones hips; a lesson I employed and took with me the rest of the evening (p.s. my knees really hurt now)

P1500698From Heymoonshaker, I ran to Dirty Dog Bar and arrived just in time to see Driver Friendly play “Run”, the song that got me to put them on my list. Then I was off to the British Embassy to catch a snippet of Wolf Alice before the entire set from Glasgow band, Prides. I was skeptical when I saw it was two guys on keyboards plus a drummer, but as the set went on, I was more and more…involved (hip shake practice) and by the end when they played the familiar “Out of The Blue”, Prides had become one of my favorite new musical discoveries. Since I had a great position up front, I stuck around the Embassy to sample a bit of Bi-Polar Sunshine before running (again) to Buffalo Billards for the rest of Caught A Ghost. At this juncture I just want to state once more how much I enjoy the forthcoming Caught A Ghost album (out in April). I must thank the publicist who sent it to me because it was well-timed and basically necessitated catching the band here at SXSW. The songs were just as catchy and dance-able in their live form.

Driver FriendlyPrides

P1500743   Caught A Ghost

 

At this point, my feet were aching, but I still walked more blocks than I care to mention to catch a late-night set from Nashville’s Dinner and a Suit, a band I already adore. One song in and I knew I made the right choice. What a perfect way to end my day.

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Tomorrow is going to be insane. There are way too many bands I want to see playing at the same time. Here is a sampling of what I would recommend if you’re here in Austin.

* Antiquiet and Swinghouse have Day Parties at Rusty’s staring at noon and featuring some great bands (John Flanagan, Sad Robot, Ume, Moon Taxi)
* 8pm: Dear Boy’s SXSW debut at Bar 96
* 9pm: The Silent Comedy at Rusty’s
* 10pm: Queen Caveat at Chuggin’ Monkey
* 11pm: Semi Precious Weapons at Rusty’s

 

~ Kristen

SXSW ’14- Monday Recap

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Music doesn’t technically start until tomorrow, but we arrived in Austin today and the magic of SXSW immediately took over and I thought, that’s worth a post, no? After a very (very) early morning wake-up call, a quick flight and a short bus ride, I found myself in downtown Austin. As if to remind me of what SXSW can give you, within an hour, I had been offered an assortment of free food and drinks including espresso brownies, energy candies, coffee from a coffee dome (are we picking up a theme here?), etc. The best swag, however, had to be a battery powered phone charger kindly bestowed upon me by the lovely folk supporting Titanfall. They also gave me the most delicious Kind bar I have ever tasted…I think there were cranberries involved…

P1500512           Coffee Dome

And if that wasn’t exciting enough, while gathering credentials, we ran into one of my top ten SXSW picks, Sir Sly, and George Takei (!).

*imagine non-blurry picture of George Takei here*

Before the music really takes over, we took the opportunity to wander around the Trade Show, learning about a variety of products and services, collecting a week’s worth of t-shirts, and trading business cards with interesting vendors. I’d say the most mind-blowing conversation was with The Postal Service booth where we shown the lately in print technology, ads that when viewed through a lens have digital “pop-up” components.

As far as music goes, the day presented itself with a few too many almost amazing moments. I was at the Spotify House when Jetta was on stage, but because of a set time change, I only got to hear (and not see) her. Later in the evening, I heard a couple songs from The Colourist while standing outside the venue, getting only a peak at their heads. We met a similar fate trying to catch some of comedian, Bill Cosby’s set with Funny or Die. The best I did was see a bit of Phantogram at The Spotify House and Reggie Watts at Vice’s The Mobile Movement party.

Phantogram              Reggie Watts

Perhaps the most satisfying part of the day was the free burger and fries sponsored by Late Night with Seth Meyers. That burger from ShackBurger was one of the most delicious things I have eaten in months. Definitely worth the lengthy wait in line.

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I capped my evening with a quick stop at The British Embassy for the Belfast party where I danced off those burger calories with Unknown. I left when I saw the rain was picking up. I guess it was a relatively early night. Probably a good thing looking at my schedule for the week to come.

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Speaking of, if you’re in Austin, here are a few things I’m most looking forward to tomorrow, Tuesday 3/11:

* 10:30-1pm: The Great British Breakfast at Parkside Austin f. music from Rams’ Pocket Radio
* 4:30- The Kin at BD Riley’s Pub
* 6pm- Mighty Oaks at Embassy Suites
* 8pm- heymoonshaker at Trinity Hall
* 9pm- Driver Friendly at Dirty Dog Bar
* 10pm- Kiven at Soho Lounge
* 11pm- Caught A Ghost at Buffalo Billards
* 12am- Dinner and a Suit at Headhunters Patio

 

It’s going to be such a great week. I can’t wipe the ridiculous smile off my face…

~ Kristen