SXSW 2010, Day Three : Ted’s Recap

<img src="https://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/sxsw10recapTedDay3sm.jpg" alt=" " />After running around the first two days, spent all of the daytime & much of the night rooted at Stubb's for <i>SPIN</i> big-shots, before...

SXSW 2010 Day Two : Ted's Recap

After running around the first two days, spent all of the daytime & much of the night rooted at Stubb’s for SPIN big-shots, before closing the night north-of-the-border style.

 

We had a trio of correspondents covering South-by-Southwest in 2010: Ted Chase, Abby Johnston, and Robin Sinhababu.  This is Ted’s recap of Day Three; Abby’s is here, and Robin’s is here.

 

SPIN Party @ Stubb’s

Foxy Shazam, 12:20 PM
Foxy Shazam

Foxy Shazam & guitaristClick image for full gallery

Unlike the previous two days, I knew where I was going to be during the day on Friday: SPIN Magazine‘s invite-only showcase at Stubb’s.  One of, if not the biggest daytime party, SPIN had an interesting diverse (perhaps too diverse) line-up.  While not as exclusive as I had hoped for when I got my invite & photo pass, there was still a line of folks waiting at noon doors – a line that would only get longer.

Foxy Shazam smokingAnd SPIN gave a reason to show up at the start in Foxy Shazam.  He’d already blown away one person at the Q (QRO live review), leaving me curious, and that curiousity was rewarded.  Looking like a Three Musketeer transported to the (nineteen-)seventies, he was joined by a similarly wildly-folicalled band, like the keyboardist, whose head might have been shaved, but his ample beard met giant, fury lapels, looking almost like they were one.  Foxy (assuming that’s the name of the singer, and not just the band as a whole) ran Foxy Shazam on guitaristaround the stage doing things like push-ups, running around on all fours, high-fiving his guitarist, riding his guitarist, smoking a cigarette, and then eating the cigarette.  His horn player ran in place (a personal favorite), and said keyboardist did all he could to match his frontman, while still being tied down to the keys (for the most part – put his foot up on the keyboard at one point, at another stood on his stool to shout & emote at the crowd.

Foxy Shazam eatingWhile more show than skill, Foxy Shazam was a whole lotta show – especially that early in the day (noon is early in rock ‘n’ roll, dude!…).  The set was closed by Mr. Shazam telling the crowd he was going to climb on top of the roof to his right, and then disappear, which he promptly did – howling & posing in between.  If the point of SXSW is to make an impression, Foxy Shazam certainly did (even if you couldn’t remember a single song…).
Foxy Shazam leaving

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Goons of Doom, 1:20 PM
Goons of Doom

dum-dum-DUM-dumClick image for full gallery

Wasn’t sure if I could leave Stubb’s and come back without having to wait in a line, and anyways, the showcase was arranged so that, when the band on the main, outside stage finish, another started on the inside stage – and played until the next band on the outside stage was ready to go, so you didn’t even run the risk of missing any of the main acts (especially important for those with photo passes, as it was only open for the first three songs).

victimEnglishmen Aussies Goons of Doom were a seventies rock throwback, but not in a bad way.  Might have been more engaging if they hadn’t come after, and stood in the shadow of, Foxy Shazam (see above).  But you have to appreciate any band that ends their show by letting the drummer play guitar – and the singer simulate a shark in the crowd, and then attack the guitarist (also lets people know you’re not from the cold waters of Blighty, but the warm, shark-infested ones down under…).
shark attack!

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Rogue Wave, 1:30 PM
Rogue Wave

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bassist - or Kid Rock?Remember “Publish My Love”?  That was the last time I’d really listened to Rogue Wave, circa their debut Descended Like Vultures.  Unfortunately, they played nothing from that record, and probably mostly from the new Permalight, so was kind of left in the (figurative) dark.  happy guitaristThey’re certainly more upbeat than Descended era, especially the goofy guitarist (though not the Kid Rock-looking bassist), but while their set was pleasant, it wasn’t special.
Rogue Wave

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Audible Mainframe, 2:00 PM
Audible Mainframe

didn't quite make it past the barrier...Click image for full gallery

After interviewing Kenan Bell (QRO interview), I know better than to say, “I don’t like hip-hop, but I like [X hip-hop act]” – it’s kind of insulting to the band, and idiotic from the speaker.  But what one means is, “I don’t know hip-hop, but I like [this act]” – one can enjoy something from a genre you’re not familiar with, whether that’s hip-hop or zydeco.

But one thing I do know is that hip-hop is better with a full band, and that was something Audible Mainframe had.  Also good?  Bringing t-shirts to toss at the crowd, including patrons of Stubb’s Restaurant upstairs (even if if couldn’t clear the bannister.  And better?  Name-checking The Clash.  Their set was cut particularly short, but then got to play again in the next intermission.
Audible Mainframe

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Fucked Up, 2:20 PM
Fucked Up

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Damian AbrahamOne band that had a very good year last year was Canada’s Fucked Up.  From being part of the opening (QRO photos) of the new Pool Parties at Williamsburg Waterfront (QRO venue review) in Brooklyn, to winning the Polaris Music Prize, not only did Fucked Up prove that having ‘fuck’ in your name isn’t a career-killer (though it did almost keep NY state approval for the Pool Parties from happening, and Holy Fuck – QRO album review – almost killed Canadian state support for alternative music in 2008), but that being a hardcore band doesn’t keep you from success in the indiesphere (if anything, Fucked Up is almost the trite ‘punk band that hipsters like’).
fucked up hair

his own kind of nipple tapeThe set started off (relatively) subdued, but it wasn’t long before singer Damian Abraham was off the stage, past the photo pit, and in & amongst the crowd, shirt off, sticking plastic cups to his nipples, smashing aluminum cans on his (scarred) forehead and more.  A few punks slammed with him (a long hair & one in shades), while Abraham wailed as the band played on, taking time out to serenade Stubb’s balcony, pose for photos with fans, and, at one point, handing his mic off to a fan (with security making sure the cord stayed slack & untangled – a thankless task…) so he could the length of Stubb’s, including grabbing some soda from the tented Pepsi ‘lounge’ and picking up one fan, turning him upside-down, and dropping him back to earth.
Damian Abraham in the crowd

pose for the fansHowever, that could be any punk show.  Fucked Up set themselves apart by being funnier & nicer than your run-of-the-mill wild-punk band.  When, later in the set, Abraham got muddy and wanted to make others that way too, he’d first ask for approval before embracing & enmuddying someone.  He also joked that this would be the kind of show where afterwards, a thankless jobno one could look each other in the eye – and then told about the time when he was twelve that he & a friend masturbated in front of each other, and could never talk again [names withheld to protect the innocent].  And when they closed with a rendition of The Sex Pistols’ “Bodies”, he told the crowd, “We thought we’d keep it DIY and cover the biggest punk band ever…”
fucked up photogs

produce placement!But so? [wait – gotta put the hater-hat on] Isn’t this performance art (for the everyman), not music?  Could one remember a single (original) song?  Is the rest of the band just there to differentiate what Abraham does from an act, and if no one notices them (save photographers feeling bad for them and taking a few shots while Abraham catches his breath), is it any different?  A number of people came to Stubb’s specifically for Fucked Up, and got what they were looking for – but it’s not like they were listening for anything.photog placement?!?

To be fair & turn the tables, ‘watch the watchers’, describing a Fucked Up show might be impossible without photos – but might increasingly be becoming impossible to watch with photographers.  As soon as Abraham entered the crowd, a ring of people surrounded him, but the inner circumference of that ring were photographers, snapping away every moment (and there was no three-song limit, like with the photo pit).  When Abraham put a can of Pepsi on the ground, drank it without using his hands, and then smashed it on his forehead, it might have made for a great picture turn the cap & pour, Kyle...(and product placement), but it also made for photos at their most intrusive & annoying.  When the band tossed bottles of water at a muddy Abraham for those around him to wash him off with, they often went to the hands not of fans looking to douse, but photographers not knowing what to do with them.  Not only were they separating fans from their band, but photographers were altering the very nature of the show in some kind of Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle-like violation of Fourth Estate ethics.

Whatever… [hater-hat off]
Fucked Up

~

 

Miike Snow, 3:10 PM
Miike Snow

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nice hatSPIN seemed to have booked a lot of hot acts for their party, but without as much care taken to flow, band-to-band (a problem common throughout South-by-Southwest), or whether this was the best setting.  Miike Snow is certainly a hot act – he’s jumped from playing Mercury Lounge (QRO venue reviewwho's who?albeit two nights in-a-row, and with a so-tight-they’re-dropping-people-at-the-door list) to soon Webster Hall (QRO venue review), but the Englishman’s sound & show wasn’t really right for outdoors under the hot Texas sun.

...and Miike SnowFirst off, it was hard to tell who was Miike Snow, since he began sitting, hidden behind a keyboard while three identical-looking red-headed stepchildsunglasses-wearers doing the same thing, but at least standing (not to mention another one who looked like a Hasidic Jewish version of those three – at least the drummer’s eyes were bare, and he was more ‘red- & bare-headed Charles Spearin’ – QRO interview).  When he did finally sing, you couldn’t hear the vocals, though that improved with time.  Still, you could tell the man/band was feeling the difficulties more than the music, and it was all too chill after Fucked Up (see above).
Miike Snow

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Harlem, 3:45 PM
Harlem

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Austin’s own Harlem is another garage-rock band, mixing sunny & speedy – nothing to write home about here.  Certainly no (late NY-based best band of SXSW 2009 – QRO recap) Harlem Shakes (QRO spotlight on).

a Jose (hopefully)Right after watching the lesser Harlem, actually ran into Todd Goldstein once-of Harlem Shakes, now of/is/leads his own Arms (QRO album review).  Told him of the coincidence & judgement, with which he remarked that both bands do/did have a bassist named Jose (QRO interview with the good one’s Jose).

[note: hopefully Mr. Arms caught that the ‘no Harlem Shakes’ comparison was about Harlem, not Arms – he left a little too fast for me to be sure, and fast enough for me to worry that he got the wrong idea…]

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Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, 4:00 PM
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

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dap-hornsSomething that shouldn’t happen, but often does at South-by-Southwest: one sees a band more than once at the festival, but by chance, not intention.  There’s not a lot to add to what I said about Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings on Day One (QRO recap) – especially since it was the same venue as well, and their sound isn’t exactly varied.  The sixties Motown Dap-Tone has sort of ended up in the wrong genre, akin to the classically-influenced Most Serene Republic (QRO spotlight on) also getting shunted into the dap-guitarsalternative scene, but at least they use rock ‘n’ roll instruments, whereas The Dap-Kings are full-on big-band soul.

Could go on a rant about how Sharon Jones, as effective as she is, steals the spotlight from the skilled Dap-Kings (most/all of whom make up the vocal-less Budos Band – QRO album review), especially the guitarist/hype-man who introduces her, but can’t find the hater-hat.  thumps up from Travis McCoySo instead will just mention that Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes was watching from the side of the stage, and in the fourth song (right after the photo pit cleared out) came out to dap-drumsbe serenaded by Ms. Jones.  I know nothing about Gym Class Heroes other than that they’re popular (and probably some degree of emo), but the thin, tattooed McCoy is heading out on his own – and was rather enjoyable on stage with Jones (but don’t expect the same reaction from Juliana Hatfield…).
Sharon Jones & Travis McCoy

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Free Energy, 4:50 PM
Free Energy

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alright, alright, alrightOne of the many, many shows that Free Energy was doing at South-by-Southwest, one can see their hook – and why it can/may/will? get tiresome.  Their seventies party-rock is not very original (note how often I mention that decade) – they even look like they’re out of Dazed & Confused – but they are having fun.  However, they’re kind of sleazy, more Wooderson than the main guy who refused to sign the no-drugs pledge his coach asked him to – but that was pretty much Matthew McConaughey’s best role ever, and that hero’s only a refused pledge away from being as forgettable as the main character in Caddyshack.
Free Energy

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Hole, 5:15 PM
Hole

Courtney LoveClick image for full gallery

Other than the ‘surprise’, worst-kept secret special guests like Muse (see below), South-by-Southwest’s biggest acts are those trying to make a return – 2010 had Cheap Trick, Stone Temple Pilots & more, but none was more anticipated/hyped than Hole – a.k.a. Courtney Love (a.k.a. the widow of Kurt Cobain, and if you had to be told that, what are you doing reading this?) and an entirely new rest of the band. Hole's hole The first U.S. appearance in over a decade of Hole was certainly what people came to the big show for, whether the line outside or the cluster-fuck of a photo pit up-front, everyone jostling for their shots like she was Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock – maybe it was right to knock down the pit limit to just two songs, even if they didn’t tell anybody about that until the two songs were over (though it took almost the whole third to clear out the pit…).
cluster-fuck in the photo-Hole

...and just needing to be smackedKeeping with the only theme of the showcase, Love had her own throwback going on, dressed up like a hippie rocker-chick one hit away from the final flame-out, with band members sporting not just shades but Def Leppard t-shirt & even a Slash-like ironic top hat.  Though there was a strong difference between those just happy to be here...two: while the Leppard fan was a smiling ‘just happy to be here’ older fella enjoying his small slice of the spotlight, the top hat was worn by a kid seemingly too young to remember when G ‘n’ F ‘n’ R released records (or records, for that matter…), where the only thing bigger than how cool he wanted to look was how badly he wanted to look it.

And for Love herself?  She wasn’t the crash-and-burn you were hoping for whether you wanted to admit it or not, with little more than a single leg-spread of rubbernecking-worthy behavoir.  But without the tabloid draw, is she that interesting?
Hole

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SPIN/MySpace Music Showcase @ Stubb’s

Metric, 8:30 PM
Metric

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Emiy HainesDuring the day, SPIN had the biggest unofficial party at Stubb’s – and at night, SPIN and MySpace Music had the biggest official showcase at Stubb’s.  When Muse (see below) was finally official announced to be playing the showcase, it hit the stratosphere, but it was already very large thanks to their opener, Metric.  The pairing had a definite fit (and not just in alliteration), as both electric-rock bands stretched from the alternative to stadium love at its most dangerous on their 2009 releases, Metric’s Fantasies (QRO review) and Muse’s The Resistance (QRO review).  In short, you shouldn’t have been surprised when the badge line snaked around the block before doors opened, not to mention the further lines for wristbands and those attempting to buy tickets to get in.
Emily Haines & James Shaw

Haines doin' the twisttake your hater-hat off & admit you love herSimilarly, one needed a special pass to enter the photo pit for either band, beyond the normal SXSW photo pass.  That did take away from the show, but this isn’t a ‘woe is me’ photog lament – rather, when there’s a photo pit, there’s a three-song limit, and any photos taken from the crowd just aren’t the same.  But when there’s no pit, you’re only shooting from the crowd – and singer Emily Haines makes it so hard to stop shooting.  receiving stadium loveSeriously – the blonde bombshell is an ultra-effective frontwoman, from doing the twist on “Empty” to enticing the crowd by turning her back to it, then looking over her shoulder in mock-surprise calls of “Stadium love?!?” for “Stadium Love”.  Metric are way better when you’re not trying to get the perfect Haines shot, “But it’s so hard, because she’s so awesome” [note: that’s from a female; the love for Haines crosses both genders].  A must-see delivers.
Emily Haines & James Winstead

Josh WinsteadOne could get a little fearful that Metric could just James Shawbecome ‘Emily & her boys’, so strong is the Haines-her-way, but guitarist James Shaw is still the rock-artisté of the outfit, and Josh Winstead would be the standout engagin bassist in any other band.  Plus, Haines’ solo work (QRO album review), albeit pre-Fantasies, was far more stripped, haunting and intimate than any “Stadium Love”.
stadium love

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Muse 10:00 PM
Muse

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Metric (see above) were playing South-by-Southwest before going on a West Coast massive venue tour [update: has since been extened to the rest of the country], and Muse were coming to Austin as part of their own stadium tour, including New York’s famed Madison Square Garden earlier in the month (QRO photos).  Like at MSG, Matt Bellamyphotogs had to shoot from the back – not as far away as the MSG soundboard, but a lot less prepared.  But it took a while for security to get everyone to go back there (were rather nice about it when finally told you, admitting to the silliness of the demand that obviously came from the band, not the venue), since the photographers were scattered amongst the crowd – and how can they tell between a photographer and a fan with camera?

Whatever – they played the two songs from The Uprising that I wanted to hear.  If you’re a long-time Muse fan, you may have enjoyed the older material – but also probably enjoyed it more than the new.  If not, faced with the prospect of watching them from far away – again, and this time without the band on pillars & with much worse lighting, couldn’t be blamed for skipping out.
stadium rock

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Arts & Crafts Records/The Highline Ballroom Showcase @ The Parish

Zeus, 10:30 PM
Zeus

by Zeus!Click image for full gallery

The late change to this showcase, making it badges/wristbands only, no tickets, meant no line to get in at The Parish, a nice surprise after the (mostly skipped, but still) lines of Stubb’s.  The odd combination of Toronto’s indie-big label Arts & Crafts (nobody gets more state support from the The Factor program…) and New York’s Highline Ballroom (QRO venue review) was all Canada.

Zeus’ party-rock was, yes, seventies, like another Commonwealth act from earlier in the day, Goons of Doom (see above), little less party, a little more skill.
Zeus

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Jason Collett, 11:00 PM
Jason Collett

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Jason CollettZeus (see above) is currently touring as backing band for Jason Collett (QRO interview), and after he did his first song solo – name-checking Lenny Briscoe, the greatest character ever on Law & Order – they joined him on stage.  Collett is how sweet seventies should sound – fuck Fleet Foxes (QRO album review – actually, just in general, fuck Fleet Foxes…)!  And his show is really enjoyable, even if you did know his new record, Rat a Tat Tat (QRO review).
Jason Collett (backed by Zeus)

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Broken Social Scene, 12:20 AM
Broken Social Scene

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After Jason Collett (see above) ended his set, he told people to stick around for the next band, “I hear they’re pretty good.”  He was obviously joking, as Broken Social Scene – of which Collett was formerly a member of – were the big draw, as they’ve hit the headlining festival stage (QRO photos of them headlining Harvest of Hope Festival the weekend before).

Brendan CanningAfter ‘Broken Social Scene Presents’ records focused, at least nominally, on singer/guitarists Kevin Drew (QRO review) and Brendan Canning (QRO review), the full Scene is back with Forgiveness Rock Record in May (QRO upcoming releases), and they naturally played a bunch of new songs, such as Canning’s “Water In Hell”, one that was too slow, another rather funky one, and the one everyone will easily remember, “Texaco Bitches”.
Broken Social Scene

However, this was not a ‘new songs only’ set by any means, as BSS threw a number of curveballs.  Though they started with a brush-back: a few songs in, frontman Drew very friendly asked,

I want to not see those red lights from cameras.  Let’s just let this be, not be reported.  If you see someone with a camera, jus ask them no to, but don’t get violent or anything, because we don’t believe in that shit…

Kevin DrewZooey Deschanel (and flack guy – QRO Day Two recap) – take note: This is how you ask for people not to take pictures.  Don’t threaten photographers with security or plead with them about your faux-fragility; guilt them into it by asking the fans to be your non-violent supporters, forcing everyone with a camera to decide if they’re a photog first or a fan first (also, ask a couple of songs in, so you don’t look preemptively hyper-sensitive, remind everyone there why they’re fans, and non-photog fans will have had a chance to take a photo, but stop photogs from taking their many).  Worked on this multiple-camera wielder…
Broken Social Scene - with Lisa Lobsinger

Lisa LobsingerWhile Emily Haines didn’t go from her Metric gig (see above) to playing a few with the band that made her famous (probably because she’d done it the night before at Stubb’s – but what about some Josh Winstead?  He appeared with them at CMJ, when Metric wasn’t even in town – QRO recap), the female vocalist spot in Broken Social Scene that’s also helped launch Feist (QRO live review) into the stratosphere was still ably filled by Lisa Lobsinger (though personal favorite is still last tour’s Elizabeth Powell – QRO interview – of Land of Talk – QRO spotlight on – but loved her long before she was in the Scene).  And The Parish got its own guest-spotting star in none other than opener Jason Collett (had asked someone who works with both acts before BSS went on if Collett would join them, since he was here and all, Collett on the floorand he said he doubted it…), who joined for a couple like he’d never left, even doing the ‘rocking the guitar from his back & on his knees’.

[note: talked to Collett while BSS were on, but before he was, to praise his set & ask about his shirt (see below), and mentioned Drew’s no-photo policy – Collett said to just be sneaky, so when he took the stage, really had the okay to take some photos of him… and the rest of the band]
Broken Social Scene - with Jason Collett

Charles SpearinUnlike the big-name acts that had played Stubb’s earlier in the night (see above), Broken Social Scene weren’t playing just one show at South-by-Southwest, but many (QRO SXSW preview), including the night before (QRO Day Two preview) – at Stubb’s.  The show at The Parish was likely not as ‘epic festival party’ [note: was not at the Night Two show, so just working off what others said/making an educated guess], but more intimate and personal a party.  It did mean a more frontman (i.e., Drew)-dominated experience, and not enough of nice-guy best-bud Canning (QRO interview – kind of the Al Gore to Drew’s Bill Clinton), buttoned-up mad musical scientist Charles Spearin (QRO interview – disappointed there was nothing from Spearin’s fascinating 2009 Happiness ProjectQRO review), or buttoned-down Tom Waits-meets-Cuban salsa-meets-a singing mime Andrew Whiteman (QRO interview – a.k.a., Andrew Whiteman, a.k.a. Apostle of HustleThe Apostle of Hustle – QRO spotlight on), not to mention newest scenester Sam Goldberg (of Hawaii – but that bump-and-grind act probably had some influence on the new funky number) or drummer Justin Peroff (but that’s always the wall with drummers…).  But it also meant that Drew felt free enough to call BSS off, invite another band, Abraham, to the stage, and Drew himself to jump into the crowd to watch his friends for a few, before the Scene reunited [note: have no photos of that though, because of Mr. Drew…].

It was kind of like seeing them at Music Hall in Williamsburg (QRO venue review) rather than Central Park SummerStage (QRO venue review) – both of which BSS will be playing this summer (QRO Music Hall concert listingQRO SummerStage concert listing), as well as Webster Hall (QRO venue review) in between (QRO concert listing), size-wise.
Broken Social Scene

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Unfortunately Missed:

Choosing to stay at one place for all of the afternoon meant not catching a number of other bands at other places:

– Gringo Star (QRO interview) & Murder By Death (QRO album review) @ Beauty Bar, 4:10 PM – 5:20 PM.

– Andrew W.K. (QRO photos) & Stardeath & White Dwarfs (QRO photos) @ The Blind Pig, 4:25 PM – 6:00 PM.

– Grant Hart (QRO interview) @ Canvas, 4:15 PM – 5:00 PM.  Possibly only artist I ever actually wanted to see at Canvas.

– Local Natives (MFNW coverage), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (live review) & The Temper Trap (QRO live review) @ Cedar Street Courtyard, 2:40 PM – 5:15 PM.

– Letting Up Despite Great Faults (QRO interview) & Twin Tigers (QRO photos) @ Clive Bar, 12:35 PM – 2:25 PM.  Wish I’d listened to their Gray Waves (QRO review) before SXSW, or I would have tried harder to catch Twin Tigers.

– Lucero (QRO album review), Centro-Matic, The Antlers (QRO live review), Holly Miranda (QRO album review), Sondre Lerche (QRO album review), Nicole Atkins (QRO live review), Twin Sister (QRO photos) & Princeton (QRO spotlight on) @ Club de Ville, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM.  Damn it, Brooklyn Vegan!  Why’d you have to put your best showcase of SXSW up against SPIN‘s?

– We Were Promised Jetpacks (QRO live review), Holy Fuck (QRO album review), Avi Buffalo (QRO photos), Matt Pond PA (QRO live review) @ Galaxy Room, 2:25 PM – 6:00 PM.

– Superchunk (QRO live review), The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (QRO live review), Surfer Blood (QRO album review) & The xx (QRO live review) @ La Zona Rosa, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM.  Already saw the one I’d most wanted to catch, Superchunk, yesterday (QRO recap), have already seen all of those bands before (curiously, three of the four at South Street Seaport – QRO venue review), and, while official, this was free & all-ages.

– Frightened Rabbit (QRO live review), Everybody Was In The French Resistance… NOW! (QRO album review), The Rural Alberta Advantage (QRO live review), The Wooden Birds, We Were Promised Jetpacks & Still Life Still (QRO live review) @ Mohawk, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM.  Okay, wasn’t going to make the late acts, and wasn’t that interested in the middle ones, but if I’d gotten downtown by noon like I had planned, would have at least caught new Canadian favorite Still Life Still (also missed them kicking off the Arts & Crafts showcase at The Parish – see above – at 8:00 PM).  Plus, this was being thrown by The Onion & my favorite PR company.

– Man or Astro-man?, Man Man (QRO live review), Frightened Rabbit & YACHT (QRO spotlight on) @ MWTX Loft, 6:40 PM – 9:00 PM.

– Liars (QRO photos), Shearwater (QRO album review), Quasi (QRO interview), Basia Bulat (QRO album review) & Plants and Animals (QRO album review) @ Antone’s, 9:00 PM – 2:00 AM.

– Cheap Trick, The BoDeans & Cracker (QRO spotlight on) @ Audiotorium Shores Stage, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM.  Okay, was never going to catch Cheap Trick after Day One weirdness (QRO recap), but after only getting a shortened Cracker on Day Two (QRO recap), should have swung south for them in the outdoors, as opposed to falling asleep charging my iPhone in the Convention Center.

– The xx, Holly Miranda, jj & Band of Horses (QRO live review) @ Central Presbyterian Church, 8:55 PM – 2:00 AM.  Figured there would be a huge line, but it was badges-only.  Still, had mostly wanted to see Band of Horses.

– Ra Ra Riot (QRO spotlight on) @ Club de Ville, 12:30 AM – 2:00 AM.  Love, love Ra Ra Riot, but was after a host of acts I had no interest in seeing.

– Twin Sister, Phil & The Osophers (QRO spotlight on), Admiral Radley & Say Hi (QRO spotlight on) @ Galaxy Room, 7:45 PM – 11:45 PM.  Unfortunately, friends-of-the-Q Phil & The Osophers & Say Hi weren’t playing much at SXSW.

– Black Rebel Motorcycle Club & Murder By Death @ La Zona Rosa, 10:00 PM – 12:00 AM.  Why did BRMC only play on my most-booked day?…

– She & Him (QRO album review), Broken Bells (QRO album review), Surfer Blood & Here We Go Magic (ACL coverage) @ Lustre Pearl, 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM.  After Day One’s experience with Broken Bells (QRO recap), and Day Two’s with She & Him (QRO recap), was going nowhere near this showcase, despite its limited attendance by being badges-only.

– The Octopus Project (QRO album review) performs HEXADECAGON @ Whole Foods, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM & 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM.  One of the few instrumental post-rock bands that are actually interesting to watch, add with a new audio-visual project, at home.

 

Other Notes:

– Waited until I had some Stubb’s BBQ before hitting the free drinks at the SPIN daytime party.  At first, wasn’t sure there were free drinks, since it cost money to buy a bottle of water (though there were also coolers of ice water for free), but when everyone had a Dos Equis in hand, you knew there was a sponsor.  Later, the free beers were gone, leaving only strange themed mixed drinks – and was waiting in line for one of those when Hole started, forcing a (drink-less) race to the pit.

– Pepsi had a tented ‘lounge’ at the SPIN daytime party – which apparently included people getting to take their picture with Lou Ferigno & Vernon Troyer?…

that red, red shirt– Jason Collett was wearing the same very red shirt at The Parish that he wore when I interviewed him (QRO interview) two years ago.  When asked, he said this might be the first time he’d wore it since then.

– The ‘backstage’ at The Parish was also the way to the bathroom (though there was a further, ‘real’ backstage, and an outside smoking area), so was easy enough to end up seeing the band from the side/back, right next to the roadie tuning their guitars.  And back there, in addition to running into Collett again, saw Brendan Saarinen of Still Life Still (QRO live review), plus another Brendan involved with Arts & Crafts.  So that makes four Brendans, when you add in Mr. Canning (QRO interview) and publicist Brendan Bourke (who’s not actually Canadian, but might as well be).  And guess the first name of QRO’s first Canadian writer (QRO articles by)…

– Hit up Best Wurst sausage cart before heading home.  While in long line, saw police on horseback break up some impromptu performance/crowd on Sixth Street (though the horses got spooked, too) – and then watched people obviously walk in the horse crap after the cops & crowd was gone…
Sixth Street

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Concert Reviews
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