SXSW 2016 Recap – Tuesday

Hype Hotel came to the rescue as SXSW 2016 started....
SXSW

SXSW 2016 Recap - Tuesday

SXSW returned for its 30th anniversary in 2016, and had everything from both Obamas to evacuated venues. Oh, and there was some music, too, whether it be brand new bands to ultra-established veterans, tiny artists trying to get noticed to mega-stars soaking up attention – and everything in between. QRO was there for all of it, or at least as much as we could get, Tuesday-Saturday, March 15th to 17th.

 

Hype Machine showcase @ Hype Hotel

Diet Cig

Diet Cig

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Hype Machine took over the warehouse at 1100 East 5th Street, just on the other side of I-35, for all of SXSW, for its Hype Hotel, which had drink tickets, but unlimited drink tickets (and straight-up free drinks in back press lounge, thanks to sponsor Mazda). Opening up the actual festival was Diet Cig, playing their first-ever SXSW show. Frontwoman Alex Luciano was jumping around with youthful energy, fitting for a guitar/drums garage duo that sounded pretty much like what you’d expect to start South-by with.

 

PARTYBABY

PARTYBABY

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A last-minute schedule change put up PARTYBABY next, whose curly longhaired rock was reminiscent of Wolfmother – or at least looked like them. Unfortunately, they were not that memorable.

 

HINDS

HINDS

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A group coming into SXSW with a lot of buzz was HINDS – and why, exactly? Was it because they’re all girls? All girls from Spain? Their girl-garage was not that original, but certainly enjoyable – and did feature kazoo.

 

Pumarosa

Pumarosa

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Pumarosa had switched with PARTYBABY on the main stage, but also played Mazda’s glass wall-enclosed studio space in the outdoor backspace, which had earlier featured the sweet sounds of Sunflower Bean. Pumarosa was British female-fronted indie-rock, a bit oddly ‘up on display’ in the glass studio space.

 

Jack Garratt

Jack Garratt

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Up on the main stage solo was Jack Garratt, but he didn’t sound it, skillfully using loops and a range of instruments in his emotionally evocative music.

 

Empress Of

Empress Of

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Emotional synth came from the evening’s closer, Empress Of, reminding one of Beach House (who had played NYC the night before – QRO photos), if not as subdued, or quite as good.

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Sweetwater 420 party @ Burnside’s Tavern

Courtesy Tier

Courtesy Tier

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It’s always great to see favorite local acts make the trek down to Austin for SXSW, and doing so was QRO favorite Courtesy Tier, who played the Sweetwater 420 showcase at Burnside’s Tavern. They are how gritty modern blues-rock should be, not the self-indulgent ‘look at me’ guitar wankery so common these days (let you fill in your own example).

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Other notes:

-Your correspondent flew to Austin on one of the overbooked NYC area-to-Austin SXSW flights, complete with no room in the overhead baggage space – only to have no only no one sitting next to him in the plane’s final row, but no one in the row across. Flight back to New York had similar room in the back, which goes to show that it actually pays to fly in the rear, despite the survival rate among tailies on Lost.

-It was really nice to get away from election coverage, on this latest of many so-called ‘Super Tuesdays’.

 

Unfortunately missed:

-Dale Watson (QRO photos) @ Stubb’s. BMI Brunch with gravel-voiced, hard-working Austin local.

-Doug Benson @ Esther’s Follies. Comedian (and @midnight veteran, though he recently lost the championship) Doug Benson had living taping of his ‘Doug Loves Movies’ podcast.

-Capsula @ Maggie Mae’s. Argentine psych-rock band Capsula played David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars – though could be as good as the actual Spiders, Holy Holy, playing The Man Who Sold the World (QRO live review).

-Iggy Pop & Josh Homme on Austin City Limits. Music icon Iggy Pop has teamed up with Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal) for his new record, Post Pop Depression, and they came to do a taping of the iconic music program, Austin City Limits.

 

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Concert Reviews