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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
From 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.
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.
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