Top Ten Acts to See at SXSW 2015

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We’re not talking about Christmas, but SXSW! We’re back! We got in this morning and the experience has already been quite magical. Of course I have my 20 page “schedule” of bands I want to see, but even that can be quite overwhelming. To help with your show picks, here are our top selections this year.

1. Dear Boy

LMN band love Dear Boy is back in Austin. This band doesn’t get out of So-Cal that often, so it’s imperative to catch them here at SXSW.

Where to see them:
2pm Wednesday at Buzzbands Showcase (Bar 96)
9:30 Thursday at Red 7 Patio


2. Brandi Carlile

Just listen to this song. She’s only playing one show. It’s a can’t miss.

Where to see her:
11pm Wednesday at Central Presbyterian Church


3. Fatherson

I pressed play on an unfamiliar song entitled “James” and immediately fell in love with this Scottish band.

Where to see them:
3:50 Wednesday at The British Embassy (Latitude 30)
8:30 Sunday at The Conscious Immaturity Charity Showcase (Stubb’s)


4.Mallory Knox

One of the best aspects of SXSW is that is brings international bands that you may not otherwise get to know in a live setting. Mallory Knox sits at the top of the list of bands I’d like to get acquainted with.

Where to see them:
4:40 Wednesday at The British Embassy (Latitude 30)
10pm Saturday at Red 7 Patio


5. James Bay

I have been in love with the music of James Bay for a while now. I anticipate big things so I’d like to catch him in an intimate setting before it’s too late.

Where to see him:
1pm Thursday at The Spotify House (901 E 6th St)
11:45pm Friday at St. David’s Church


Also on the must see list:

6. Irontom

7. Highly Suspect

8. Jared & The Mill

9. Walking On Cars

10. Taymir


~ Kristen

Way Over Yonder 2014 – Festival Recap

I enjoyed a lovely weekend at the beach attending The Way Over Yonder Fest. Here are my takeaways (and photos!).

What’s in a Name?

Heartless Bastards

Way Over Yonder is part of the Newport Folk Festival umbrella and although many acts, including top billed Jackson Browne and Lucina Williams, might fit the folk paradigm, I would hesitate to call the entire event a folk festival. Other top billed bands like Local Natives and Heartless Bastards are more in the indie rock vein and Chris Robinson Brotherhood brought out a hippie psychedelic jam rock vibe, complete with the burning incense on stage. As a result, the audience was a bit of a mix. The one universal trait of the crowd was that they all loved music. At the end of the day, I think the Fest did a great thing bringing different types of music lovers together and expanding, just a bit, the idea of what Way Over Yonder might mean.

Jackson Browne         Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Discovering Something New

One of the greatest features of any festival is you’re bound to discover some great new music. Way Over Yonder provided it’s audience with a solid list of talented younger bands and songwriters. There were even a few unknown to me! Friday afternoon, the opening notes of the weekend were provided by a new LMN Band Love by the name of Bootstraps. Bootstraps, led by singer Jordan Beckett play rock music that is vibrant and emotional. The band started and I was just wrapped up in the music’s warmth, transported by the guitar solos and soothing vocals.Bootstraps

Another band that’s going on the “to watch” list is The Lone Bellow who revved up the audience at The Main Stage Saturday afternoon with their high energy set. You could close your eyes and enjoy the soulful melodies and pleasant harmonies, but its near impossible to stop watching the stage as the band members’ deep connection to their stories and songs radiates from their facial expressions and body language.

P1550753       The Lone Bellow

A few bands, while not new to me, came to the Fest with some new music. The Barr Brothers opened Saturday on the Main Stage, sharing a few songs from their forthcoming album Sleeping Operator out October 7th including my new favorite, the melodious “Love Ain’t Enough”.The Barr Brothers are always a treat with their unique instruments (there’s a harp!) and crafty ways of making noises on the stage. The band’s set started out with some lazier tunes, easing the viewers into the beautiful sunny afternoon on The Pier, but by the end, they had added an electric guitar and were having a proper “rock out” moment.

The Barr Brothers        The Barr Brothers

Other remarkable emerging artists include songstress Leslie Stevens whose sweet and easy drawl delivers songs that pack an emotional punch, and Jamestown Revival, a local band who is making waves with their new album, Utah.

Leslie Stevens         Jamestown Revival


Take a Ride on the Carousel


Most of the action remained near the main stage, but for those lucky enough to follow the signs pointing to the Carousel Stage found, tucked into a corner behind an actual full-sized (and operating!) Carousel, some of the greatest talent on display that weekend. I would have been quite content to just remain glued to this stage all weekend. Here, I was introduced to some exciting new acts like The Wild Reeds, a rousing female-fronted, harmony-driven act who had the distinction of drawing the youngest, and perhaps most adorable, crowd of the weekend.

The Wild Reeds

The smaller room, allowed for more of a story tellers vibe. This was perfect for singers like Joe Fletcher who, with his deep voice and cowboy hat, sings the kinds of songs that tell stories. Fletcher sang songs like fan favorite “The Wilsons”, a tune that paints the picture of a perfectly dysfunctional family over the gleeful picking of the guitar.  Fletcher’s pre 7pm set Friday night was a bit earlier than he’s used to, but as the set wore on, the audience was transported to a late night honky tonk in the heart of Nashville. You just had to replace the whiskey with Italian-style sodas from the soda fountain on the other side of the carousel.

Joe Fletcher        P1550512

The title of best storyteller has to go to another Joe, Joe Pug. Pug captivated his audience Saturday afternoon with his winning smile, smart narrative-style tunes and in between song banter that covered everything from his failed attempts at harmonica endorsement to an imagined theme park ride tour inspired by his current venue.  Other than his guitar strap covered in owls, my favorite part of Joe Pug’s set were those moments when a quiet, unassuming song was suddenly augmented by the passion of its performer who would get so into it, he’d be singing on his toes.

Joe Pug         Joe Pug

The lesson of you don’t have to be loud to be expressive was also full on display with the talented Nathanial Rateliff who ended the weekend of music on the Carousel Stage Saturday night. It was one of those sets where the packed room was utterly silent, rapt by the energy and emotion coming from a man and his guitar. I just can’t finish up this recap without mentioning Nathaniel Rateliff.

Nathaniel Rateliff


It’s All About Family


Houndmouth, a fun alt-country band from Indiana played an earlier set on Friday, but got the warmest welcome, introduced by a festival organizer as part of the family. This was the first of many incidents when a band was referred to as “family” and the label became a signifier of the entire weekend.

The festival grounds itself were constructed to have a very at home in the country feeling. Lawn games were set up in the bar area and hale bales covered in blankets were strategically placed for more comfortable viewing of the music. Food stands and trucks offered a variety of dining options from Mexican to BBQ and even oysters. Venders with names like Detroit Trash proffered comfortable dresses and unique, rustic-feeling jewelry.P1550681 (2)

Speaking of family, Way Over Yonder is a great event for the whole family. If anyone needs a break from the music, you’re already at the beach! Plus, The Pier has its standard amusement including Carousel and roller coaster rides, and a Ferris wheel which becomes a dazzling light display at night. Need a break from the kids?  There is ample room in the 21+ area to relax and grab a drink.

For more of my festival experience, check out our twitter @_localmusicnat or my pictures below:


5 Highlights of San Diego Music Thing 2014

I know I’m the LA half of LMN, but I too love the music community down in San Diego. One of my favorite annual events is the San Diego Music Thing. It gives me a chance to catch up with what’s happening with some of my favorite SD bands, venues, and fellow music-lovers. I didn’t go down so much to cover as to enjoy, but I wanted to share some of my experiences, thoughts, and of course, new band discoveries! Here are my 5 highlights from SDMT 2014.

  1. New Band Love: Colony HouseP1550121

The block party on Saturday was full of musical gems but I was particularly impressed by this band from TN. Colony House delivered in both performance and sound which reminded me a bit of Ivan & Alyosha (probably due to the fact that the singer was wearing an I&A t-shirt). They have a fun dance-able indie pop sound with catchy melodies and pristine vocals, but what really drew me in was the band’s rock flavor. They are not afraid of throwing in a fun guitar riff or head-banging moment. This was more evident in their live performance, but you can get a taste in their single, “Silhouettes”. You can catch Colony House on the road with Knox Hamilton who played before them at the block party and are also worth a good listen and follow.

  1. Best Food Discovery: City Taco

Friday was such a crazy day, getting dinner didn’t really happen until way past dinner time. I got lost trying to find The Irenic where Justin Furstenfeld was surely putting his audience in a music-induced trance and I ran into Amanda instead, realizing that perhaps this was my subconscious telling me to eat something. The San Diego food expert took me to City Taco where affordable gourmet tacos were the order of the day. I don’t know if it was my extreme hunger or the quality of the chorizo asado taco (with caramelized pineapple!) but the food was so tasty we ended up going back the next evening where I sampled an equally enjoyable and slightly less messy pollo asado taco complete with raisins and almonds. Delicious!


  1. Feels Like Home: Friday Night at U-31

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Usually, I’m more inclined to run around and sample bands, a few songs here, half a set there, but the lineup and people Friday night at U-31 kept me pretty glued to that venue. I walked in dancing to LA staples, The Janks (pictured right). They were followed by the very last show of one of my favorite SD rock bands, Deadly Birds. Although the singer of Deadly Birds had been in an accident and was unavailable, the rest of the band delivered a rockin’, more jam-y set, as bassist Johnny Rey stepped up to the mic. They brought up a guest vocalist, Jacob Underwood, who before whaling into the mic, revealed he was a member of the MTV-crafted pop group O-Town who I subsequently gathered has recently released a new album. After the Deadly Birds finale (sadness!), my beloved rockers Queen Caveat (pictured left) took the stage to share with an eager crowd the new music they have been working on. Per usual, singer Lauren Little, got the crowd going and despite a minor broken bass issue, the set was one of the best I caught that weekend. I’m loving the new Queen Caveat tunes. One of the highlights of the evening happened between the sets catching up with so many people including friends from Hunnypot Unlimted and Badass Bands Blog. I was surrounded by so many friends, it really felt like home. Dead Feather Moon closed out the evening with a late late set. I had to leave before I got too sucked in. Sometimes sleep > more music.


  1. We Are Perpetual Scholars – The SDMT Conference

SDMT is more than watching music, it’s a conference designed to gather together the local music community to help them grown and learn more about the business they are in. Panels on both Friday and Saturday made experts available on all kinds of topics from legal issues to social media, PR, and management to music writing and blogging. Witnessing the eager participants networking with each other and getting valuable advice to help them advance their careers is inspiring. Saturday, I sat in on a few panels just absorbing information. I love conferences. They make me feel like what I’m doing with my life is bigger than just me, more important I guess. As a bonus, in between panels and mentoring sessions, the day stage hosted some talented musicians like Dani Shay and Josh Damigo. Another bonus, the several pools located around the Town & Country Resort where the conference was taking place. Work doesn’t feel so much like work when it’s done next to a pool.



  1. Set of the Weekend: Meg Myers

I am a fan girl when it comes to Meg Myers. There is something about the power and intensity behind every performance she gives that just makes me giddy. Saturday at the SDMT block party Meg and her band were on point.  She dominated that stage playing many of my favorite off her newest Make a Shadow EP and even breaking out a song so new she needed a lyric cheat-sheet. The set was relatively early in the evening and I almost feel like the rest of my night was spoiled because of it as no one else could possible top the Meg Myers high.


~ Kristen

Warped Tour Pomona 6/20/14

Living in Los Angeles, seasons are not demarcated as much by changes in temperature or what is falling from the sky. Instead of spring, summer, winter, and fall my seasons are SXSW, festival season, Rocktober, and end of year music mix-making season.  Currently we are smack dab in the middle of festival season. Finances are restricting my full participation in this most joyous of seasons, but happy circumstance and good friends lead me to the Fairplex at Pomona last Friday for one of my favorite festivals, Warped Tour! This year felt a bit different for me. Instead of running around in the hot sun like a maniac trying to catch every single band I sampled and found promising, I focused on a select few. It was a year of celebrating firsts and lasts and I wanted to share a few highlights.


My favorite first: Queen Caveat 


My LA band love, Queen Caveat knows how to rock so it makes sense that they would find themselves invited to take the Warped stage. I have experienced several firsts with this band and I did not want miss seeing them play their first Warped tour. The trek out to Pomona and suffering through the heat, crowds, and a few questionable musical offerings was all made worth it seeing the crowds mesmerized by the four-piece, particularly fierce front-woman, Lauren Little who drew people  in by offering to share her water (smart move on a hot day).  My favorite new fan had to be the front man for Japanese band, One OK Radio who had just played the adjacent stage. After greeting some fans, he stuck around and watched Queen Caveat’s entire set from backstage. Can we say One OK Radio/Queen Caveat tour through Japan?!?



My last dance with Anberlin

P1530762After Warped Tour, Anberlin are doing one massive farewell tour and then are calling it quits. I saw Anberlin play Warped Tour back in 2007 in Atlanta and remember after their set standing in a looong line to get their album, Cities, signed.  I’ve seen them a handful of times, but that moment, was one of my favorites. I found it fitting to see them one more time at Warped Tour. The band came out blasting “Feel Good Drag” and I was instantly reminded how incredibly dynamic and infectious they are. I smiled ear to ear as they played several of their older tunes, brining me back to ages and Warped Tours past. I’m really going to miss this band…


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The end of the moshing era

P1530701Signs prominently displayed on all the major stages emphasized the seriousness of Warped policy against moshing and crowd surfing. While I certainly appreciate this effort (and yes, it was enforced), it definitely changed the dynamic of the event which in my mind has always been closely associated with massive circle pits and rowdy crowds. While I still observed a few crowd surfers, there was no band that egged it on. Gone are the days of trying to set records for crowd surfing or mosh attendance. Although I didn’t really see any of the uber aggressive hardcore bands, I’m left wondering how those fans are celebrating that music, if not by shoving into one another…


Other notables from the event

K.Flay – I’ve been a fan of this Bay area indie hip hop artist for a few years now, but when I heard her new album Life As A Dog, I started craving another K.Flay show so I was thrilled that she was on the bill for Warped this year. Her unique style which, as best as I can describe, is a slowed down vibey hip hop, is a great fit for Warped which, despite what some people might think, does a great job at covering an array of genres.

Bayside– Bayside is one of those bands that take me on a journey through memory lane. I only caught a bit of their set, but I love their high energy performance.

The Acoustic Basement– The Acoustic Basement is one of my favorite parts of Warped Tour. I was slightly dismayed this year when I realized that I wasn’t the only one with that sentiment. Just about every time I wanted to sample an artist in that tent, I could barely even see the tops of heads through the crowd. If I could do multiple days of Warped, I would spend one just sitting in this tent all day. I discovered some great new names this year including Nick Santino, Rob Lynch, and Front Porch Step. And as long as we’re discussing acoustic acts, I also quite enjoyed This Wild Life.

One Ok Radio– These guys played right before Queen Caveat so I caught most of their set. They were great, but what really surprised me were their fans. For a band I hadn’t heard of before, they had quite the devoted audience.



And here are a few more pictures:

P1530494P1530480P1530446P1530579 P1530688 P1530667  P1530570 P1530527 P1530528   P1530473 P1530451

Kristen’s Top 5 Coachella Set Recommendations

I won’t be making it to the desert this year, but if I were, here are the 5 sets I wouldn’t miss…

1. Tom Odell: Friday noon, Mojave Tent  

Get a spot where you can see him playing the piano

2. Bastille: Friday 5:25, Mojave Tent  

And to think, just a year ago they were playing The Troubadour

3. Saints of Valory: Saturday noon, Outdoor Theater

A recommendation from my Rock Boat friends.

4. Frank Turner: Sunday 3:55, Gobi  

I know there’s a whole tent for crazy dancing, but this is the set where my hands would be waving wildly in the air.

5. John Newman: Sunday 8:50, Gobi

Because I can’t get this song out of my head and I’ve yet to see this guy live


If you’ll be in Indio, stay cool, stay hydrated, and discover some great new music!


~ Kristen

Top Ten Sets of SXSW 2014

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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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!


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.


SXSW 2014 – Saturday Recap


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.

John Flanagan    P1520019

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.


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