Well, another SXSW is underway.
Met up with the crew of about 10 at Lovejoy’s, I was drinking the Hazelnut Stout. At $2 a pint, an excellent way to begin an evening.
After trying to slap together a plan that would absolutely not be followed, we headed out.
Started at The Mercury, a venue so wisely alphabetized under T by the SXSW website. Midlake from Denton, TX. They are a 5-piece, ranging from mostly guitar to mostly keyboard. A good, danceable band. They vary from Coldplay to 80’s Manchester to 60’s psychedelic.
Headed to either Friends for Jabarvy or BD Riley’s next door for the Corb Lund Band, I was leaning toward the former. But when we arrived there was still a band playing at Friends and it didn’t sound interesting. After deciding on a pint at the Irish bar, we were hooked there, though Michelle did get a cell phone message from next door: “great horns”.
Corb Lund a 3-piece traditional country, might be monikered alt-country. They are from Edmonton, Alberta. They were very good, I looked for a CD before we left, but couldn’t find one. They’ll be in Houston next wednesday, so I’ll get one then. The bass player was using a concert stand-up bass. For several songs he bowwed it instead of plucking. It gave an almost eastern sound. Michelle, who couldn’t see the band asked if someone had a cello.
After meeting back up with those next door and a bit of a walk, there were several bands we wanted to check on.
The Iguanamen of the Galapagos were at the Lounge (attached to the Spaghetti Warehouse), we tried there first. Two guys familiar to Austin had traveled to Ecuador and the Galapagos and soulful bluesish with accoustic guitar album, i looked for a CD, again, before i headed out after half the show. It was somewhat politically active folk blues with belting vocals at times. I liked it.
Down the street to the Cedar Street Courtyard, we caught the last half of Alexi Murdock. Los Angeles-based, Scottish singer songwriter. He was good. A nice voice, a cute face (many swooning females were in attendance), and good songwriting.
Heading out after that we stopped into a non-SXSW venue. I think it was Fadeau. Dale Watson was playing there. Caught a few songs and headed out a gain.
Michelle and I tried out the bicycle rickshaw to get to the next venue, which was at opposite ends of the layout. We paid $10, which was prob’ly a bit high, but fun for the experience. The Lava Lounge Patio, as we should have recalled from last year, is a very cement, very loud, though very small place. The Mechanical Walking Robotboy from San Antonio wasn’t all that great, certainly not good enough to suffer through the sound setup. So we headed to Stubb’s.
The B-52’s were scheduled to be at Stubb’s, but cancelled due to a death in the family. It would have likely been packed. The following band started earlier (and prob’ly played a longer set). Los Angeles-based jam band Particle was playing. They had an interesting light show going, but it wasn’t all that compelling.
More disappointing was the fact that Stubb’s, a bbq place, wasn’t selling any food like they usually are. Heading back to the other end of the strip, we took my car, parked only a half block away.
Unfortunately, I’d forgotten about The Rocket Summer at Spill. I really wanted to catch them. We headed to Momo’s and saw Eleven Hundred Springs from Dallas. I’d thought they would be more alt, but they were just about straight country. We headed across the street to Opal Devine’s Freehouse. They moved their vanue from the front porch to a much larger tent in back.
Two Hoots & a Holler was a band that formed back in 1986 (when i was in college) and has been around Austin forever. A countryish rock, with a bit of cajun, band. We ran into Lee and Margaret there. They had been at the music awards at the Austin Music Hall. There were some interesting bands listed for during the awards, but we had avoided it because… you know how awards shows can be.
After that the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash played. I’m not sure if it was all the buildup the San Diego band gets, but I wasn’t overly impressed by them.
We tromped over to see the the Flametrick Subs at Fox and Hound (Waterloo Brewing R.I.P.). An Austin rockabilly band whose performance has to be experienced. With Satan’s Cheerleaders on stage with them, it is a site to behold.
Mmmm, rest… this is a marathon, not a sprint.
(If you saw something i didn’t, please post and let me know how it was)