Yes, you’ve probably been wondering where our posts have been over SXSW. Well, first off, only I was supposed to to do daily blogging; Levi and April were going to do theirs this week as recaps. So why no posts? Well, lets just say that the rest of my posse showed up Thursday and when you are in the middle of a hurricane you just try to make it through alive.
See here is the thing about SXSW, sure you have all the issues revolving around this big overblown marketing beast where small independent bands scream to be heard above the fray, but forget that. Put that aside and what you have at SXSW is this crush of humanity descending on our proud state capital every year to hear some great music and have a great time. I mean look at this fellow below.
Chris Gray – Responsible Writer
Yes, that’s our dear friend Chris Gray of the Houston Press working hard like the excellent writer he is. He’s got his press badges, his wristbands, and he blogged extensively throughout. Well, not us. No sir we are down in the trenches with you plebeians. While Chris was jumping from show to show in the evening, we had to pick our shows*, pay for each one, and drink like fishes at our homebase bar on 7th. While Chris was blogging extensively we were either too hungover to type in the morning or threatened with death for typing too loud at the early hour of 1PM. While Chris was bringing you the latest and greatest bands, we were discovering new uses for Guideon’s Bible that probably would fall under sacrilege in most denominations. So, no, you are not going to get the full SXSW musical experience here. Neither will you get a run down of all the silliness, weirdness, drama, and genuine party call me insanity of the weekend – this ain’t no personal blog. But here is a quick recap of what I got to see from Thursday and Friday. Blogger is being weird right now so Saturday’s recap will have to wait.
Thursday 19 April
Consider this a stand-in for all lame SXSW bands
Let this band take the place of all awful and middling bands of SXSW. Ya see, for all the good that you can find at SXSW, you can find something terrible. Now granted, the “Texas Rock” stage on 7th street is the worst crap you will ever hear at SXSW no matter what year it is and even these guys above couldn’t hold candle to that shit but in their own bar band/blues rock tropes kind of way they were pretty unbearable.
Elaine Greer’s death metal set at Casa de Gallo
Next stop was Casa De Gallo and when I got there I had JUST missed Giant Princess play. The setting was pretty nice – a small little home in an obscure street on the east side and there was a good representation of all your music friends relaxing while enjoying some food and music. Elaine Greer played a great set with Travis on bass being his usual jovial self and Austin lending his skills on guitar, accordion, and backing vocals. The room sounded great, the band delivered, and Elaine’s voice carried all the melody, wit, and intelligence of her songs with a charming grace. Of course, if you’ve read my columns or blogs, you’d know that this is nothing new. Buxton was to follow Elaine Greer but I had to leave to catch an old friend from Austin. No worries, you know as well as I that it’s an easy bet that Buxton would take no prisoners. Need proof? That new single they have coming out KILLS! When it comes out buy a copy, then you will truly know of this band’s might.
And finally here is one last image of the evening…
Friday 20 April
Friday ended up being my Battan Death March. Let’s just say, I paid for Thursday all of Friday and leave it at that but, using every possible method available to me, I plugged through. Still we did see some good bands along the way.
By chance Deer Tick was playing and given Tuesday’s show in Houston we figured we’d give them another chance and for me this was more a coming to terms with what Deer Tick has become show than anything else. I will say that the band opened with a version of one of the songs off his Jukebox Whore CDR that I hadn’t heard in ages so, for me, that was just one of those Oh man, I havent’ heard this in ages – I love this song kind of moments. And they closed with my favorite Deer Tick song which was played with all the ornamented beauty of the original. I think here is the thing about Deer Tick; they’ve become an Americana band. Gone is the signature subtle melancholy of his earlier work and in its place is a good Americana bar band. The kind of band that plays long aimless 12 bar blues songs and has frat guys high-fiving each other (Oh yes they did!). It’s a good band but it’s not the band I came to love. I’ll bet they get a bigger audience and they’ll be fine. So good sailing to you Deer Tick.
After that is was a race across town to see Jana Hunter at Domy books. I’d missed her Tuesday so I was glad to find that Domy was running a bit behind schedule. I mean c’mon you know Jana: that singular phrasing, that jangly guitar, the slow spacious emotional songs. Much like Lou Barlow’s set the prior night, Jana hailed in the cooler evening weather playing her haunting music as the sun began to fall and birds flew across the sky overhead. I couldn’t have asked for better.
My SXSW 2009 Posts:
Jameson and Lonsetar SXSW 2009 Part I: (Link)
April’s recap (Link)
*My band didn’t apply this year and so I didn’t ahve wristbands like I did last year.