Monday, March 22, 2010

SXSW 2010 Party Recap

Savoir Adore

I ♥ BROOKLYN+AUSTIN at FADO on Thursday night was an absolute blast. Thank you to all the bands who dedicated their time and energy to playing. It is so encouraging when artists are willing to share what they have worked so hard on essentially for free (two drinks a person) for music-loving festival-goers. Festivals really do seem like the only time art and money take a break from the tug-of-war.

In terms of talent, crowd and overall energy, this was the best show I think I have ever been involved with. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. The crowd was rowdy, I was slurring a little at the end, and the FLIP camera's microphone proved to be a complete piece of shit at close range, which is why the video is mostly scrapped. I am absolutely gutted, because the performances were so good and the sound is so bad on the FLIP. I salvaged what I could, but please don't judge the bands too harshly for my tiny microphone.

Savoir Adore was the FLIP's first victim. They put on a blinder. I just can't get the video to be watchable. Sorry. I plan on attending their Houston show this Monday to try and remedy the problem. They do have a great acoustic video from last year's house show, which you can check out in the meantime.

Wakey!Wakey! (photo: A. Annas Photography)

Wakey!Wakey! played a beautiful set, then proceeded to hang out for the entire evening. I actually liked the set so much that I went to see these guys again the next day. Together with The Pearl and The Beard on Family Records, these two go so well together - a duo and a label worth watching.

Sleep Whale (photo: A. Annas Photography)

Sleep Whale. We all know how I feel about Sleep Whale - one of my favorites. The video clips terribly, but I had to post it. I lost sleep over it, seriously.


ARMS was thrilling to have. Showing up right on time, starting early (what!) and then just making the crowd swoon. I saw Todd play last year with his old band, but ARMS is something completely different. Amazing. I can't wait to hear records and records, and see them play over and over in New York.

Drink Up Buttercup

My second DUB show of the Fest, and the 4th time I have seen them. The only non Austin / Brooklyn band on the bill, but they are honorary Brooklynites to me. If you haven't heard Drink Up Buttercup, then I can't do anything for you. Go listen to their Daytrotter session. It was awesome.

We managed to find a dusty old projector in the basement of FADO, just in time for Home Video. The Kippenberger photo mural didn't provide the best screen, and again the microphone on my camera clipped, but I felt this video had to go up.

Paul Banks and The Carousels. Thank God the video of Paul Banks was OK!! The first clip is a cover in honor of the late Big Star mastermind, Alex Chilton. Chilton's death was a big blow for me. The only time I ever saw Big Star play was at SXSW some 5 years or so ago. I was glad to see Paul do this song - it was epic. The rest of Paul Banks' live show is epic also, as you can see.

So that was SXSW 2010. I was badge-less this year for the first time, and I didn't really even notice. The bands I wanted see, I saw. Some of the bands I missed, I would have missed with or without a badge (Broken Bells). I am not telling anyone not to buy a badge, but this year I decided to skip it and sleep at a friends South Austin house instead of the Omni (the Omni is loud!). After putting some of that cash into the sound and backline of this show, I still came out almost 1,500 USD ahead of last year. I did spend more on parking though, I guess.

See you at Northside Fest!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

SXSW 2010 - Saturday

Wow, so in 10 years of going to SXSW, I can't remember a day as cold as Saturday was. The "Coffee, No Pants" party, in its second year, had just as good a lineup as before. For you SXSW veterans, this is the new Little Radio party, right down to the venue. The Red Eyed Fly provided protection from the cold (sort of) and a slew of awesome bands. I arrived late, just in time to catch the indie-dance-pop sounds of Jukebox The Ghost. Armed with a new album (not yet released), they robbed the audience of its duct tape and then made them dance.

Free Energy were next on the outside stage, and with all the stuff I had heard about them on Sirius all week, I was expecting it to be pretty great. Think Lizzy comparisons and all of that are definitely valid, but they have such a great front-man. No one mentioned that! For me, it's almost like when Julian Casablancas sobers up half way through a set and spends some of his energy on the crowd, rather than on balancing. Multiply that by 20.

"Freelance Whales" are words I hear about 20 times a day (don't ask). The record these guys have is beautiful, but seeing them in a circle, doing an old fashioned sing-song is their real appeal. I struggled to hear a little bit, but the camera picked it up quite well. The guy I was staying with in Austin had them on this morning when I woke up, so clearly they made at least one additional fan.

I heard it was the first time in the US for The Middle East. That would explain the crowd. "The Middle East" is my new Pandora channel, and I had to favorite almost everyone on it. They brought the most gear, btu they sounded amazing.

So that was SXSW 2010. More crowded, more out of place celebrities sponsoring parties, more wankers in the streets, more lines, but still an awesome time. Stand by for my sum-up post with pics and video from our Thursday night show At FADO, I (heart) Brooklyn+Austin!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

SXSW 2010 - Friday

Alyson Greenfield caught me by doing a cover of Coolio on the Glockenspiel. Not something I can say I have ever seen before. I hung out at Kung Fu Saloon for most of the afternoon.

The Pearl and The Beard were just as good as everyone had said. Probably one of the unique and entertaining performances of the fest, combined with some fantastic songwriting, of course.

Wakey!Wakey! played at our showcase the previous evening, but I didn't get a great video, so I thought I would re-shoot a couple of songs. These guys are the loveliest people, and seeing them a second time just confirmed to me how much I enjoy their music.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

SXSW 2010 - Wednesday

Grammatics were the very first band on the very first day of the Hype Machine Part "Lose Control 2" at VICE. I had actually been hoping to see them, but with no schedule at the Hype Machine until very late, I was just lucky.

Class Actress were another that I was hoping to see. I managed to get under I-35 to see them at teh music Gym, a strange little venue. It's more of a shack really, but Drink Up Buttercup were playing inside, and Class Actress outside. Not too crowded, a good line up and free beer. It was like an old-school SXSW day show!

The Terrorbird / Force Field PR party at Red 7 was rammed. This was one of the most packed SXSW day parties I have ever been to. Only 2 port-a-potties, hundreds of people outside in the line, unbearable, like the night shows used to be (before I stopped going). Neon Indian rocked though - probably the best band I saw, making it all well worth it.

Unfortunately I missed Those Darlins again, who were set to go on next. That band is my unicorn. I just couldn't hold on any longer. I headed back to the Hype Machine for some air and a civilized bathroom.

Woodhands rocked it at the Hype Machine party. Standing near the front, right speaker though during that 7 hz interlude nearly made me drop the camera. The video is a bit sub-par actually in the sound department, so I am pulling it until I get a better one.

I am looking forwar to our showcase tonight!! DJ Earthian is providing music between bands, though remotely, as he cant make it in person. More on him in a later post.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gogol Bordello

A description of the Gogol Bordello show can for me be summed up by two facts: as a result of people jumping, by the end of the show the floor was moving up and down 2 to 3 inches, and more importantly, we saw a guy heave his bass drum into the crowd and then surf on it.

The video above is my first FLIP video, so bear with me until I get used to it.

Gogol Bordello on MySpace
Buy Gogol Bordello's records!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Sitcom Serf Presents:
Thursday, March 18th, 2010
6pm - 1am

FREE NIGHT SHOW!! Open to the public.

FADO Irish Pub
214 West 4th Street (between Lavaca & Colorado)
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 457-0172
Contact (for questions about the venue): Keith
Google Map


6pm - Savoir Adore
7pm - Wakey!Wakey!
8pm - Sleep Whale
9pm - ARMS
10pm - Drink Up Buttercup
11pm - Home Video
Midnight - Paul Banks and the Carousels