Archive for March, 2012

St. Patty’s Day marked my final day in Austin.  Although I forgot to wear green, I still maintained a festive attitude as I headed “uptown” to the Victory Grill for an outside show hosted by Sol Collective, highlighting several multi-cultural artists and multi-genre acts, including “interracial fusion “ tunes by Zuzuka Poderosa, Outernational, who mixed plugged and unplugged versions of their songs, and reggaton group, Los Rakas.  A very far walk to the Auditorium Shores, I arrived to see the final half of Shiny Toy Guys. Following the dance-pop troupe, Austin’s infamously funky dance-blues band, The Bright Light Social Hour, had the honor of supporting  legendary act, The Cult, who are still churning out music that channels the energy of their classic sound. Heading back to the downtown chaos via pedicab, I caughtyet another Outernational show (so much rocking in one day!) and Brooklyn’s rising success story, rowdy party rockers, Semi Precious Weapons, who shook the venue with mostly new music from their upcoming third full length album, set for release on Epic Records.  Finishing my evening and my SXSW, I squeezed into the Treasure Island Pirate Bar for Peelander-Z, a Japanese punk/metal band based in NY. Their highflying energy, Evil Knievel helmets/outfits, and humorous antics were the consummate elements to tie up 2012’s festival.

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Thursday began at the Filter Magazine party in the Cedar Street Courtyard where UK-based bands filled the afternoon. Rock ‘n roll trio, Band of Skulls played to a packed patio along with the charismatic and energetic Kaiser Chiefs and pop act, Keane.  An afternoon jaunt around downtown led me to the beautiful architecture of the Driskill Hotel where Fuse TV was hosting a shindig with live music and comfortable couches. Brooklyn’s Outernational performed in acoustic form after Waters from San Francisco. I sprinted to Hotel Vegas on the very east side of the 6th street strip to catch the last Black Taxi’s ever-entertaining set. I turned in early in preparation for the Friday madness about to ensue…the Rocker Stalker Day Party!

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Day 2 of SXSW 2012 was a mishmash of musical genres.  I started my day with Brooklyn-based dance-rockers, Black Taxi,  at the Parish before jetting quickly­­­­­ to the Fader Fort to enjoy some free goodies and see Santigold. However, a confusion of set times left me milling around the event while tribal electro-pop Brits, Django Django, supplied the relentless soundtrack.  Scurrying back to The Parish, I caught the last moments of Austin’s The Frontier Brothers before making my way to the Paste Magazine Party for buzz bands, Tennis and Cavemen. Taking a break , I enjoyed a serving of Korean spicy fries from one of ATX’s several delicious food truck options (tasty invention!).  As evening fell, I decided to wander into a Scottish showcase where folk/electro/country act, Woodenbox, hit the stage. Across the street at The Main, I caught a few minutes of veteran punk rockers,  Pennywise’s, rowdy set, before making my way to the Flamingo Cantina for the Latin/World Showcase with Kenya’s Sauti Sol and NYC’s Outernational.  Running back to the Main and completing the night, I got to check out heavy rock Austinites, The Sword, and Kentucky’s finest, Cage the Elephant.  SXSW 2012 was on a roll!

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Here we are again. SXSW season. This week was as wild as the three previous years, with magical musical moments worth stalking!

The first day of SXSW 2012 started off drowsy and jet-lagged but was invigorated and perked up by the sights and sounds of downtown Austin. Dismounting the R&R Shuttle Bus, I scouted a few parties and giveaways, including the Vintage Clothing Arcade, where Dubstep shook the walls of the room housing threads from the 60s-80s, before heading to the JanSport Party at Mohawk.  Kicking off the day, Nashville’s Fly Golden Eagle got the groove going with a seductive mix of R&B, reggae, and pop-rock. Next, Brooklyn’s pride and joy, Bear Hands synthesizer-driven, punky rock brought the venue to capacity, and Austin-based Strange Boys channeled the country side of the city.  Closing the afternoon, Austin’s White Denim left the audience in awe with seemingly impossible rhythmic shifts, vibrant stage presence, and radiating energy.  A quick Tex-Mex break transitioned me into the evening entertainment. I headed to Friends Bar for the annual Oklahoma City showcase for country/punk rockers, Black Canyon, and folksy pop-rock four-piece, Mont Lyons. My consistently noted act and perfect closer, The Pretty Black Chains, who, although have shrunken from a quartet to a trio, have not lose an ounce of power in their heavy retro rock and tight knit sound. A good day of music set the bar high for the rest of the week.

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The penultimate day of my fourth SXSW was definitely the longest in my history of SX’s but THE best. It was the day of the Rocker Stalker Day Party!

Arriving at 10:30am at the Elvis Presley-themed Beale Street Tavern to host a show, I was out on the town for 16 hours to follow. Opening the morning, Austin’s Indie-meets-retro rock quartet, Ghost Bunny, and solo, blues-rock multi-instrumentalist and loop-master, Walker Lukens,  got the ball rolling. Most attendants woke up and arrived for a bevy of Brooklyn bands: Black Taxi, The Courtesy Tier, and The Click Clack Boom. The string of East Coasters was broken by LA-born Vas Defrans who put the sound system to the test with pounding drums and intricate instrumental layering. Laid back and local favorite, The Naturals, who contrasted with the electro/dance-rock quartet, Kid Savant. NYC’s Hollis Brown closed the afternoon with straight up great blues rock and Southern rock sentiments. Yet another Tex-Mex decompression resuscitated me for an extensive evening of street performances. Renegade rocker, Tom Morello, brought the music of Black Top Demon, Outernational, Anti-Flag,  and Wayne Kramer outside the Swan Dive as part of Occupy SXSW. Morello himself marched into the crowd of hundreds as a finale, and even as  police swarmed the area.  All ended peacefully, but it was an evening/early morning to remember! 16 hours on the town…personal record!

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That’s right! I’m finishing up the SXSW week in style at Beale Street Tavern. Doors are at 10am, music lasts until 6pm! NO BADGE REQUIRED!


Posted: March 12, 2012 in Entries

I’m sitting in the Washington-Dulles Airport, currently en route to the official festival of springtime, SXSW in Austin, TX. The music portion of this extravaganza officially begins tomorrow and  proves every year to be the most exhilarating yet exhausting  week away, and the best excuse to break out the cowboy boots and overuse of “y’all.”  Tons of Rocker Stalker notables will be hitting the Texas stages, but I’m excited to stalk the scene for some fresh sounds.  Stay tuned! 

This year, I’m  back in action with a showcase on Friday, March 16 at Beale Street Tavern (214 E 6th Street), featuring some of my favorites from LA, NYC, and ATX. Check out the flyer below! 


Friday night at Pianos was packed to the gills for electro-rock quartet Kid Savant and quirky rockers Freshkills, who were celebrating their album release and the first gig of their upcoming tour.  Kid Savant heads to Chicago before landing in Austin for SXSW. They’ll also be playing the Rocker Stalker SXSW Day Party on Friday! Next month, on April 4, they’ll be celebrating the release of their video for “NaNa Never Ends”  at Mercury Lounge.


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Last weekend, a whole bunch of Rocker Stalker favorites, The Wicked Tomorrow, The Courtesy Tier, and Black Taxi rocked Bowery Electric for a proper send off to SXSW. Now that the festival is upon us, check out each band’s schedule to find out when and where to catch them in Austin.  The Courtesy Tier and Black Taxi will be playing the Rocker Stalker SXSW Day Party on Friday March 16 at Beale Street Tavern!


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It’s that time of year when bands make a mass exodus from their place of origin to Austin, TX for the annual SXSW Festival, March 13-18 . Tonight at Bowery Electric, some Rocker Stalker notables, Black Taxi, The Courtesy Tier, and The Wicked Tomorrow are joined by ZZZ’s and Wishes and Thieves to give a proper tour send off and to celebrate Black Taxi bassist, Krisana Sopongpong’s birthday (He’ll also be DJing after. The one, the only… DJ Krispy.)  So, come on out and celebrate two fold! Tickets are $15 at the door but have been going quickly! Get there early, and I mean early, at 4pm when the doors open.