Tag Archives: Jim Bianco

Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar: 7/16-7/22

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I feel like I missed out on a lot this weekend. Mostly, everything Comic-Con related: The Firefly reunion, the Lost Girl and Supernatural panels, all those new TV pilots, The Questionable Content guy, the Aushole gathering…I’m still a bit sour about the whole thing. It was also my 10 year high school reunion this weekend, but honestly, that would have probably been more awkward and uncomfortable than being immersed in a sea of costume-wearing Trekkies speaking in Klingon.  I did, however, get two references to Engelbert Humperdinck two days in a row, so…that’s exciting.

Moving forward, we have another great week for music ahead of us! If you haven’t made it out to Terraplane Sun’s Monday night residency at The Satellite, this would be a great week to do so. Friday night I’m looking forward to checking out Western Scene, a band built from the remnants of San Diego’s Dynamite Walls. Then Saturday night, it’s time to celebrate George Stanford’s record release at The Hotel Cafe. Here’s what else I’d recommend:

Monday: Terraplane Sun, The Mowgli’s, The Janks, Ry Cuming FREE at The Satellite (9pm)
ALSO: Keaton Simons at The Hotel Cafe (8pm)
ALSO: It’s a School Night at Bardot featuring Matisyahu, Foxes, Leftover Cuties, and The Royal You (9pm)…free with RSVP http://www.itsaschoolnight.com/losangeles/
ALSO: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 (9pm)
ALSO: Susanna Hoffs at The Grammy Museum (8pm)

 

Tuesday: Lovers Drugs at The Central (8pm)
ALSO: Milo Greene FREE at Amoeba Records (7pm)
ALSO: Foxes at The Bootleg Bar (10:30)
ALSO: Badwater at Amplyfi (8:15)

 

Weds: Indians FREE at 3 Clubs (9pm)
ALSO: Matt Simons and Chris Ayer at Room 5 (9,10)
ALSO: The Dig FREE at Silverlake Lounge (11pm)

 

Thursday: Butterfly Boucher and Missy Higgins at The Troubadour (9,10)
ALSO: Lovers Drugs and Picture Atlantic at Lot 1 (8pm)
ALSO: The Active Set, Hello Vegas, Of Verona at Bootleg Bar (10pm)
ALSO: Mind the Gap, Josh Tatum, So & So, and London Cries at The Viper Room (8pm)
ALSO: Bobby Long, Naia Kete, Jen Hirsh at The Hotel Cafe (8, 9, 10)
ALSO: Jessie Payo, Bryan Rooney, Belmont Lights at WitZend (8pm)
ALSO: NO at the Del Monte Speakeasy (9pm)

 

Friday: Western Scene at The Satellite (10pm)
ALSO: Barcelona at The Hotel Cafe (11pm)
ALSO: Howlin Rain at Saint Rocke (9pm)
ALSO: Haim FREE at California Plaza Downtown LA (12pm)
ALSO: Satellite and Uncle Daddy at WitZend (8pm)

 

Saturday: George Stanford and Brian Wright at The Hotel Cafe (11,12)…George Stanford’s Record Release Show
ALSO: Bloomfest LA featuring NO, Grace Woodroofe, The Neighbourhood, and more! FREE downtown LA http://www.bloomfestla.com/

 

Sunday: Jim Bianco at The Hotel Cafe (8pm)

 

 

To Keep in Mind:
July 25th: Emery at The Roxy
July 25th: Charlotte Martin at The Hotel Café
July 30th: The Silent Comedy at The Satellite
August 3rd: Cory Chisel at The El Rey
August 4th: Band of Skulls at The Annberg Space for Photography
August 8th: Langhorne Slim & The Law at The Troubadour
August 10th and 11th: Jack White at Shrine Auditorium
August 13th: The Kills at The El Rey
August 13th: Birdy at The Roxy
August 14th: The Dunwells at The Hotel Cafe
August 16th-18th: SSMF
August 19th: fun. at The Wiltern
August 23rd: Civil Twilight and Morning Parade at The El Rey
August 24th: Truth & Salvage Co. at The Troubadour
September 1st & 2nd: FYF at Downtown LA
September 4th: Gotye at The Greek Theatre
September 14th: The Hives at The Wiltern
September 22nd: Epicenter at Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre
October 1st: Ed Sheeran at The Wiltern
October 2nd: Garbage at The Wiltern
October 11th: Awolnation and Imagine Dragons at Club Nokia
October 19th: Tony Lucca at The Roxy
October 19th: Frightened Rabbit at The Troubadour
October 20th: Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers at Saint Rocke
November 2nd: NEEDTOBREATHE at Fox Theater Pomona
November 6th: Jens Lekman at Fonda Theatre

~ Kristen

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Amanda’s Top Ten Musical Experiences (cont.)

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I bet you thought I forgot all about this! Well, the truth of the matter is… I haven’t been home to write and when I am home, I’m sleeping. I’ve been out making new musical experiences for 2012! As such I’m giving you three more of my top musical experiences and I promise the top 2 won’t be far behind.

 

5.SXSW- I don’t really know how to describe SXSW to anyone other than calling it a musical orgy of sorts. There is so much to see and do whilst in Austin, Texas that it’s hard to keep your head on straight. Last year was my first year and I hope to be going every year after. The cool thing about SXSW is you really only need money for a place to stay and some food. We never went to any official shows (which is what badges are required for) and we had a hard time keeping up with all the musical options out there. During our time at SXSW we saw; Fierce Creatures, Viva City, Purple Melon, AWOLNATION, Neon Trees, The Head and The Heart, The Kin, Dead Sara, Fitz and The Tantrums, Tailor Made Fable, Keaton Simons, Liam Finn, Atomic Tom, Ivan and Alyosha, Queen Caveat, The Gallery, Sabrosa Purr,  The Greenhornes, The Silent Comedy, Mother Mother, Agnes Obel, Brian Wright, Brooke Fraser, Cary Brothers, Holly Conlan, Jim Bianco, Joey Ryan, Kenneth Pattengale, Laura Jansen, Little Red Radio, OK, The Milk Carton Kids, Deluka, Hugo, Meriwether, My Cousin The Emperor, Sinai, Taylor Locke & The Roughs, The Good Natured, Augustana, Doll and The Kicks, Empires, Lenka, Twin Atlantic, and The Stone Foxes. Well, you get the idea…

 

4. Blink-182- I was never a huge fan of Blink. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t change the radio station when their music came on or anything but nothing about them made me have a burning desire to see them live. In 2011, I saw them not once but twice and they will always have a warm spot in my heart. The first time I saw them was for the Honda Civic Tour. I was working with Kevin and Rebecca Joelson and doing some shooting of the event which means I was in the pit for the first few songs and was able to be side stage for the rest of their set. I was surprised at just how many Blink-182 songs I knew and Rebecca and I sang along from the sidelines. What really blew my brain was when they ‘finished’ their set and this giant rig comes down from the batons where all the lights are. I had been staring at it all night trying to figure out what it was. Well, it was a giant arm with a drum set attached! Travis got on this rig and was taken out over the audience while he played a solo for a few minutes. The rig would tilt down, back up and move around. It was mind blowing!!!! Needless to say, I was a fan after that.

 

3. Bonnaroo- In 2011, Bonnaroo was what Coachella should have been lineup wise. If you’ve ever been to or know about Coachella, think of Bonnaroo as the cooler sister who is both hippie and hip. Bonnarro is also held in a giant field and while it lacks the artistic attractions like the wandering robot and the giant hand that can kill a car, it has yoga and it’s own post office. Bonnaroo also has this giant fountain which I’ve been told gets painted different colors every year but it’s a great way to stay cool in the heat. Coachella doesn’t have that. Granted Coachella is easier to get to, but flying out gave us the chance to hang out in Tennessee and check out Nashville for a day or two. Our highlights from Bonnaroo were already posted on this site but we had a blast watching Eminem, The Head and The Heart, Portugal. The Man, Neon Trees, Kopeckey Family Band, Mumford and Sons, Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons, Alberta Cross, The Black Angels, and The Decemberists. Bonnaroo is a new tradition in my book and I can’t wait to see the lineup for 2012!

 

See you soon for my top 2!

Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar: 11/7-11/13

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I’m still recovering from the awesomeness that was last Thursday night. Between Twin Atlantic at The Music Box and all the music, dancing, and friends at the High Voltage Magazine release party at On the Rox, I’m still beat. Could be because I’m still recovering from my bout of ill health. This cold weather isn’t helping. But I suppose I need to get used to it as I’m jetting to the east coast at the end of the week.

Friday night in Philadelphia I’ll be at The TLA with IKE, Stargazer Lily, The Shakers, Zelazowa, John & Brittany, and Placid Admiral (featuring members of one of my all-time faves, Jealousy Curve). If you’re on that side of the country, please come out and say hi!

We’ve also got some great shows in LA this week. Vanaprasta starts their Monday night November residency at The Satellite accompanied this week by Rocco DeLuca and Beatnik Jr, Kill the Alarm is in town at Room 5 on Friday, and my beloved Milk Carton Kids are back opening for Over the Rhine at The El Rey Saturday night.

 

Here’s the whole list:

Monday: Vanaprasta, Rocco DeLuca, Beatnik Jr. FREE at The Satellite (9pm)…first night of Vanaprasta’s November residency
ALSO: Moderne Man and Roman Candle Wars at The Viper Room (8:15, 12:15)
ALSO: Maxim Ludwig, Little Hurricane and Fierce Creatures FREE at Bootleg Theater (8:30, 10:30, 11:30)
ALSO: Lights at The El Rey (8pm)
ALSO: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 (9pm)

 

Tuesday: Thrice at The Mayan Theater (10pm)
ALSO: First Aid Kit at The Troubadour (10pm)
ALSO: Hey Rosetta! At The Echo (9pm)

 

Weds: Harper Blynn and The Damnwells at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)
ALSO: Lovers Drugs at The Mint (11pm)

 

Thursday: Irontom at Bootleg Theater (10pm)
ALSO: Lady Sinatra at The Viper (11pm)

 

Friday: Kill the Alarm at Room 5 (9pm)
ALSO: Queen Caveat and Unwritten Law at Saint Rocke (9, 11)
ALSO: Jack’s Mannequin and Guster at The El Rey (7pm)
ALSO: Liam Gerner and Jim Bianco at The Hotel Cafe (7,10)
ALSO: Brett Detar and Olin and the Moon at The Mint (9,10)
ALSO: The Sheepdogs at The Echoplex (10pm)
ALSO: Toy at The Roxy (6:30)

 

Saturday: Experience No Ho Arts Festival featuring Taylor Locke and The Roughs, Maxim Ludwig, The Nervous Wreckords, and many more FREE at The Federal Bar (12-8pm)…for more info about the festival http://nohoartsdistrict.com/experience-noho/
ALSO: Purple Melon at The Central (11pm)
ALSO: Feist at The Wiltern (8pm)

 

Sunday: Honeyhoney at The Troubadour (10:30)
ALSO: Milk Carton Kids and Over the Rhine at The El Rey (7pm)
ALSO: Empire at TRiP Santa Monica (7:30)
ALSO: Elliot Yamin at The Hotel Cafe (9:30)
ALSO: Kyle Nicolaides at Room 5 (10pm)

 

 

 

To Keep in Mind:
November 14th: The Silent Comedy at Bootleg
November 15th: Augustana at The Hotel Cafe
November 16th: The Stone Foxes at The Viper Room
November 17th: Marketa Irglova at The Troubadour
November 19th: Milo Greene, The Belle Brigade, and The Civil Wars at The Wiltern
November 19th: Semi Precious Weapons at The Roxy
November 29th: Rachel Yamagata at The Troubadour
December 2nd: Fair to Midland at The Troubadour
December 2nd: Allen Stone at The Echo
December 2nd: Priscilla Ahn at The El Rey
December 2nd: Camp Freddy at The Roxy
December 9th: Camp Freddy at The Roxy
December 14th: Deas Vail at The Roxy
December 16th: Camp Freddy at The Roxy
December 16th: Oh Land at The El Rey
December 23rd: Camp Freddy at The Roxy
Feb. 2nd: Mutemath at Club Nokia
March 9th: William Fitzsimmons at The Troubadour
March 13th-18th: SXSW (Austin, TX)

 

~ Kristen

 

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Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar: 8/22-8-28

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SSMF 2011 might be officially over, but pictures, recaps, new band love announcements, videos, etc. are all being processed so the experience will be extended for a good week or so. Today has been difficult because as much as I need to recover from the totally insanity of the last few days, there is still so much to be done! Tomorrow is a big day at work and a big night out on the town. And let’s not forget that Sunset Junction is next weekend! I’m still not quite sure how it’s all going to go down, but here is my general blueprint for the week:

 

Monday: Ben Rector at The Hotel Cafe (8pm)
ALSO: Scarlet Grey with The Dead & Departed and Dead Country at The Troubadour (8pm, SG at 9:45)…this will be the last local Scarlet Grey show for awhile, so if you’re a fan, you’d best make it out
ALSO: Some Hear Explosions at The Viper Room (11:15)
ALSO: Chappo FREE at The Satellite (10pm)
ALSO: Jenny O, Robert Francis, and The Constellations FREE at Bootleg (10,11,12)
ALSO: The Lexingtons FREE at Silverlake Lounge (12am)
ALSO: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 featuring Kyler England, Joel Eckels, Stephen Wrabel, and John Schmidt (9pm)

 

Tuesday: Brett Hite FREE at the W Hotel (7:15pm)
ALSO: The Trews at The Viper Room (8pm)
ALSO: Chris Thile at The Largo (9pm)
ALSO: David and Devine at The Dragonfly in Santa Monica (8pm)
ALSO: Beachwood Rockers Night at Piano Bar: and evening of FREE great local music starting at 8pm

 

Weds: Anna Nalick and Meiko at The Hotel Cafe (10,11)
ALSO: Fiona Apple at The Largo (8pm)
ALSO: The Lookout Kids at The Viper Room (8:50)

 

Thursday: The Veronicas at The Viper Room (9pm)
ASO: Abbot Kinney FREE at The Hard Rock Cafe (10pm)
ALSO: Madi Diaz at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)
ALSO: Red Circle Underground at O’Briens in Santa Monica (9pm)
ALSO: 100 Monkeys at The El Rey (8pm)

 

Friday: Patrick Park at The Echo (8pm)
ALSO: Will Hutchinson at Room 5 (10pm)

 

Saturday: Sunset Junction featuring KD Lang, Chasing Kings, Milo Greene, Brian Wright, Cary Brothers, Butch Walker, Lovers Drugs and SO MUCH MORE (noon)…for the complete schedule go here: http://www.sunsetjunction.org/index.php/street-fair/performance-schedule
ALSO: Golden State, Brendan Hines, and Sunset Junction after party at the Hotel Cafe (10, 11pm)
ALSO: The Goo Goo Dolls at The Greek Theater (7pm)

 

Sunday: Sunset Junction featuring Hanson, Rooney, The Belle Brigade, Lady Danville, The Rescues, Honeyhoney, Jim Bianco, David and Devine, and SO MANY MORE (noon)…see above link for schedule
ALSO: Holly Miranda and Uh Huh Her at Bootleg Bar (9,10)

 

 

To Keep in Mind:
August 29th: Carbon Leaf at Saint Rocke
August 30th: Fiction Family at Bootleg Bar
September 1st: Fierce Creatures at The Hotel Cafe
September 3rd: FYF
September 8th Dead Sara at The Viper Room
September 9-10: San Diego Music Thing
September 16th: Lobster Fest with Andy Clockwise and more
September 17th: We Barbarians at The Satllite
September 20th: Howie Day at The Hotel Cafe
September 22-24: Hotel Carolina (South Carolina)
September 22nd: Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights at The Viper Room
September 23rd: Inara George at Bootleg Bar
September 23rd/24th: Lee Dewyze at The Hotel Cafe
September 24th: The Script at Hollywood Palladium
September 24th and 25th: William Elliot Whitmore at Bootleg Theater
September 25th: The Lonely Forest at The Wiltern
September 28th: Puddle of Mudd at The Viper Room
October 11th: Rival Sons and Evanescence at Hollywood Palladium
October 14th: Butterfly Boucher at Bootleg Theater
October 22nd: The War on Drugs at The Satellite
November 12th: Feist at The WIltern
November 19th: Milo Greene, The Belle Brigade, and The Civil Wars at The Wiltern
March 13th-18th: SXSW (Austin, TX)

~ Kristen

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Listen to This!: Jim Bianco’s “Loudmouth”

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I absolutely LOVE that the very first thing you hear when you press play on Jim Bianco’s new album, Loudmouth, is laughter. I have been a fan of Mr. Bianco for a couple years now, seeing him play at The Hotel Cafe, Hotel Carolina, and, most recently, SXSW, and one of the things I love most about his live performance is that it always puts you in a good mood.  Not afraid to speak/sing his mind and often delivering the unexpected, this CD succeeds in capturing the essence of a live show and takes the listener on a journey to fun and somewhat unexpected places.

My first thought after l began listening was “I can’t believe these songs haven’t been released already!” Seriously, “Elevator Operator”, an infectious tune about a woman who aspires to be an elevator operator, was the first song I remember hearing Jim Bianco sing a couple of years ago. And the song “Sinners” has long been the anthem I’ve associated with Bianco; that song that calls all the musicians in the room to the stage and gets the crowd on their feet singing along.

I suppose it’s appropriate to open the album with this song that goes, “Heave ho to hell we go. Look out here we come!”  Bianco’s voice lends itself well to the more debacherous tune and I’m fairly sure he could make a children’s nursery rhyme into a song that would turn your cheeks pink. But don’t let the theme of the first tune deceive you into thinking the entire album follows this lead.

The rest of the album goes back and forth between upbeat tunes with a devil may care attitude like “Take You Home” and “Shut Up and Kiss Me” and songs showing more emotional vulnerability such as “Talented” and “Ok, I Suppose”.  The gruff in Bianco’s unique voice pulls off both ends of the spectrum equally well and with the aid of the musical arrangements (horns versus strings, the piano versus keyboard,  acoustic versus electric guitar, an array of percussion), this CD has the ability to take you from headboppin’ smiles to heartbreaking sighs in the matter of minutes.

Let Loudmouth grab your attention with catchier ditties like “Sinners” and “Elevator Operator”, but stick around to see this loudmouth’s softer side. After several listens, the tune that really stays with me is the album ender, “Home”. I’ve always enjoyed this song, but there is something about how it’s arranged on the album that seems to elevate its emotional intensity.

“Home” also brings the album great closure. It’s like that “Sinner” from track one, who has been through all these emotional ups and downs has come to some sort of conclusion about life.

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound. A sinner’s prayer is heard while falling to the ground. I once was lost but now I’ve found. Home.

“There is only one voice whispering in our ear. There is only one place, we’re already here. There is only one word. It’s the word you’re thinking.”

Loudmouth is a seamless transition from Bianco’s 2008 release, Sing. If you are a fan of that album, or enjoy any of Bianco’s brethren on the Hotel Cafe circuit (Cary Brothers, Laura Jansen, Jay Nash, Meiko, Brian Wright, etc.), this album will fit quite nicely in your collection.

And if you’re in Los Angeles TONIGHT (Monday April 4th), Come to Bardot to celebrate the release of Loudmouth. Jim Bianco plays at 10pm!

 

~ Kristen

Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar: 4/4-4/10

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Couldn’t really tell the difference between the last two days and the five that proceeded it. The world looks the same when all you can see is your computer screen with that darned blinking line, so taunting on the blank white page…ah writer’s block. On top of the fact that I worked through the weekend, I will probably be limiting my concerting schedule once again this week. Life of a grad student…

For those of you with a more sane work schedule, please go out to these events in my stead. Trust me, there’s not a bad one in the bunch!:

Monday: Jim Bianco CD release at Bardot (10pm)…free with RSVP http://www.itsaschoolnight.com/
ALSO: Graham Colton at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)
ALSO: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 (9pm)

Tuesday: Jonathan Clark and Satellite at Molly Malone’s (8,9)
ALSO: Run Devil Run at The Viper Room (8:50)

Weds: SO and SO and Armada at The Viper Room (8:50, 9:40)
ALSO: Little Red Radio at The Central in Santa Monica (midnight)
ALSO: Maniac at Crazy Girls (9pm)…yes it’s a strip club…
ALSO: Little Hurricane at Silverlake Lounge (8:30)
ALSO: Pete Yorn at The Wiltern (7pm)

Thursday: Little Red Radio and Queen Caveat at Tommy’s Place/USC (8pm)
ALSO: Satellite at Harvelle’s (8:30)
ALSO: Holly Conlan at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)

Friday: The Oak Creek Band at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)
ALSO: The Naked and Famous at The Echoplex (10pm)

Saturday: Parade of Lights at The Vault in Temecula (6:30)…I know it’s a drive…but it’s worth it
ALSO: Warner Drive at The Roxy (10pm)
ALSO: The Entrance Band at Bootleg Theater (??)
ALSO: The Naked and Famous at The Echoplex (10pm)

Sunday: Milk Carton Kids at The Hotel Cafe (two performances 7, 9)…it’s seating only so get your tickets ‘cause it WILL sell out

 

 

To Keep in Mind:
April 11th: Chris Robinson Brotherhood at The Echoplex
April 15th: Scarlet Grey at The Roxy
April 16th: Matt Wertz and Ben Rector at The Troubadour
April 16th: 10,000 Maniacs at The HOB Sunset
April 20th: Ellie Goulding at The Music Box
April 22nd: Purple Melon at The Roxy
April 25th: Airborne Toxic Event at The Satellite
April 25th: The Head & The Heart at The Troubadour
April 27th: Andy Clockwise at The Troubadour
May 2nd: Xavier Rudd at The El Rey
May 4th: The Pipettes at The Satellite
May 7th: The Silent Comedy at The Roxy
May 9th: KT Tunstall at The El Rey
May 15th: Eisley at The Troubadour
May 27th: The Script at Club Nokia
May 27th-29th: Sasquatch Music Festival (Washington)
June 2nd: Manchester Orchestra at The Music Box
June 7th: Death Cab for Cutie and The Lonely Forest at The El Rey
June 9-12: Bonnaroo (TN)
June 13th: Florence and The Machine at The Greek Theater
June 29th: Brooke Fraser at The Music Box
July 26th: The Indigo Girls at The Troubadour
August 18-20th: SSMF
September 22-24: Hotel Carolina (SC)

~ Kristen

 

 

SXSW Day 4: A Story

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So if you have ever been to SXSW you know that by the 4th day, you have pushed your body beyond every possible limit you thought you had. Day 4 was not quite as crazy as the previous days…a lot less running around (band choices were highly determined by proximity), not quite as much dancing (early morning Viva City and late night Little Red Radio aside), and more attention paid to things like eating and hydrating. At a certain time of the day we kind of hit a wall. There was a lull in the schedule. Resting in some way was a popular option. I, however, couldn’t bring myself to NOT be around music for any prolonged period of time.

I noticed a conveniently timed tweet from Joey Ryan saying that him and Kenneth Pattengale (AKA The Milk Carton Kids) were playing a set in about an hour at The Hotel Cafe showcase and it was open to the public. Previously I was under the assumption that these showcases were badges and wristbands only so none of them were on my schedule. But I located Saint David’s Sanctuary and made my way in.

Seeing that The Hotel Cafe feels like my home away from home in LA, I wasn’t surprised to find that the Hotel Cafe Showcase produced a similar vibe. It took place inside a church so seating was plentiful and MUCH needed at the time. The rows of pews extended quite a ways back, but each and every artist was somehow able to reach out and connect to every person in the room. Plus, the venue provided for plenty of humorous “church” references throughout the evening.

When I first walked in, two women were on the stage playing keys and cello. I was unfamiliar with them, but the peaceful and soothing sounds they were producing were exactly what I needed at the time. Turned out, the keyboardist was German artist, Agnes Obel.

After Agnes was The Milk Carton Kids. Of course I’ve seen Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale numerous times, but this was my first official Milk Carton Kids experience.  As they played several of my favorite tunes, I glanced around the church. The Audience seemed so moved and so intent on the music it was almost as if they were stunned into silence. A silence only broken by bouts of clapping or laughter brought about by Joey and Kenneth’s unique sense of humor and general stage banter.

I only intended to stay for this one set, but then I saw Brian Wright setting up and I just couldn’t leave. I’ve also seen Brian Wright many times, but this might have been my favorite of his performances. I don’t know if it was the venue, the fact that it was at SXSW, or my general mood, but his first song literally gave me the chills. By the end of the set, he had the audience standing (not a trivial accomplishment) as he led them in a chorus of “Halleluiahs” made even more poignant by the church setting. It was one of those magical moments…a song sung a particular way at a particular time with a particular audience that will never be captured in that exact way ever again. Magic!

At that point, I knew I wasn’t leaving until I absolutely had to. It continued to be a night of magical moments. Jim Bianco also took advantage of the setting to sing this song about sinning, but I feel that his bringing his band into the aisle for “Sing” was the transcendent moment of his set.  Holly Conlan sang my favorite of her tunes (“OK”) and then brought Joey Ryan unto the stage for a duet that was so beautiful it nearly brought me to tears. Then Laura Jansen took the stage and mesmerized the audience with her gorgeous voice.

After Laura, I forced myself out the door (I had other places to be). On the way out I ran into Cary Brothers and Brooke Fraser (both to perform later). It was hard to leave, but I am just so grateful for that tweet that led me to at least attend the event for a little while. Seeing a showcase of singer-songwriters amidst a sea of mostly rock bands and dance parties made me appreciate my Hotel Cafe experience even more.  These artists’ ability to captivate simply with the power of their voice and beauty of their songs is a true testament to their talent. Even though my goal of SXSW was to discover new artists, I don’t think the experience would have been complete without my little oasis of The Hotel Cafe showcase.

 

~ Kristen