Archive for March 20, 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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