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Late but worth the wait, here is the Rocker Stalker recap of SXSW 2014!

My sixth SXSW was just as exciting and insane as my first.  A  jam-packed week of music, walking, eating, and very little sleeping.

My first day out (3/11/14), I took a walk to enjoy the sunshine I had been missing in NYC for the past 6 months and wound up at the Oklahoma City Showcase. ¬†I walked in unaware it was an official show, but I’m super glad I did. ¬†OKC’s indie, electro-rockers¬†IndianGiver were onstage posessing onlookers to wiggle and groove in the middle of the day with their infectious riffs and pop catchiness, quite a challenging feat! Down the street at Oil Can Harry’s, a “locals” showcase was underway, highlighting Austin’s own, one-man band¬†Walker Lukens¬†and Latin-infused indie, percussive¬†rock from the Migrant Kids.¬† Power walking down 6th street, I made my way to one of my favorite Austin venues, Hotel Vegas (home of one of Rocker Stalker’s showcases a few years back!) and enjoyed the sounds of ¬†folky rock artist,¬†¬†Stewart Gersmann¬†and Brooklyn’s rocker/ serenader, ¬†Joseph King. ¬†My SXSW veteran status came in handy when I took the “Catch a Chevy” free car service down to the middle of nowhere on South Congress to check out jazz-infused indie rock band¬†The Bushwick Hotel¬†at Lunar Mattress (It was actually a furniture store!). The giant inflatable slide/obstacle course outside the store was definitely a perk! Closing out night one, I witnessed one of my favorites of the week, ultra-soulful, LA-based rhythm and blues act¬†Vintage Trouble¬†at Empire Garage. ¬†It’s been a while since I got to experienced such showmanship. ¬†Lead vocalist Ty Taylor ran amongst the crowd, encouraging every aspect of crowd participation possible, wowing listeners with his range and voice that called on some of Motown’s greatest.

Scope out the photos from SXSW Day 1 here!

Day 2 of SXSW was in my tops! Not only did I acquire an incredible farmers’ tan, but I saw an amazing bevy¬†of bands! ¬†I kicked of the day at FILTER Magazine’s Party ¬†slightly off the beaten path, featuring blues-rock trio out of New Orleans (I had heard them on the Walking Dead soundtrack and HAD to see them live!),¬†¬†Baby Bee, Boston’s folky-pop quintet¬†AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER, and rambunctious, dancy, soul-rock boys out of¬†Venice Beach,¬†Terraplane Sun. ¬†Continuing my LA nostalgia, I trekked to Red 7 to check out the punky together PANGEA¬† who blew my mind and were definitely a highlight band of the week. ¬†Around the corner, Long Island, grunge rockers The Montauk Project, Americana/rockers from San Diego,¬†The Silent Comedy, Austin’s quirky singer/songwriter Danny Malone, artsy Brooklyn-based, rock trio ¬†Bugs in the Dark, dancy electro-pop craftsmen, Miniature Tigers, my favorite NYC-turned-LA pop/rock act¬†Semi Precious Weapons¬†(Lady Gaga was even in attendence to support her friends and long-time tourmates!), and lady-fronted synth band¬†Super Water Sympathy¬†at Rusty’s for the CraveOnline/Effective Immediately PR Showase.

¬†Check out day 2’s photo gallery.

Halfway throught the festival, I wasn’t slowing down and started my day at Paste Magazine’s party at the Swan Dive. ¬†Walking in,¬†¬†Santa Barbara’s spacey indie rock 5-piece,¬†gardens & villa¬†and¬†Yellow Ostrich. ¬†A day of dancy bands, I arrived at No Shame’s showcase at The Blind Pig to catch ethereal and hypnotic¬†Incan Abraham¬†out of LA, and Brooklyn’s¬†BLACK TAXI, who, after 6 years of seeing them play, never fail to deliver a fun, energetic show and stellar tunes. My evening took punkier rock turn at Carousel Lounge, the place that is keeping Austin weird, ¬†with buddies and Rocker Stalker favorites out of New Jersey, ¬†Hot Blood and¬†The Battery Electric, ¬†along with lady-led punk rockers¬†TV Tramps. Joining the line-up were Rocker Stalker’s pride and joy,¬†hard hitting¬†¬†Dallas/Fort Worth¬†¬†The Phuss¬†at the¬†Little Dickman Records¬†Showcase.

Take a look at the photos from 3/13/14!

Day 4 started with Vancouver’s lady-led, soul/blues rock quartet ¬†No Sinner, UK-based¬†Magic Numbers,¬†featuring two sets of siblings creating sythy pop hooks, Nashville’s straight-ahead rock ‘n rollers, The Heavy Heavy Hearts, Portland, OR’s progressive heavy-hitters, Ape Machine, and Nashville’s punky, party rockers Diarrhea Planet at Rusty’s/Swinghouse Showcase. ¬†I took a walk and caughtAustin’s ¬†pulsating electro-noise rockers¬†Beth Israel (ha!) and indie rock band out of Brooklyn¬†¬†Parquet Courts at Brooklyn Vegan’s Showcase¬†at¬†Red 7. Heading back to Rusty’s, LA, lady¬†rock quartet¬†The Cold and Lovely and one of my favorite blues guitar masters, Jared James Nichols, at¬†the¬†Swinghouse Showcase.

 Check out my fourth day at SX here.

My penultimate day of music in Austin covered a lot fo ground. ¬†Arriving early at the Palm Door, I caught Tacoma, WA’s charmingly nerdy pop band¬†Oberhofer, Leeds, England’s noise-rock group¬†Eagulls. On the outside stage, one of the¬†highlight¬†bands of the week had taken the stage, Toronto’s gritty yet simultaneously smooth bluesy, alt-folk ¬†group¬†July Talk, whose chemistry between vocalist/guitarist Peter Dreimanis and vocalist Leah Fay was almost palpable. Inside, Atlanta’s loose, rootsy and punky rockers¬†The Black Lips¬†were packing the venue to the gills. Heading over to my home away from home, Rusty’s, it was go time for Effective Immediately PR’s day show with back-to-back variety:¬†¬†The Bushwick Hotel¬†(see above), alt-folk/pop out of Fort Collins,¬†Fierce Bad Rabbit, indie pop-rockerst from Connecticut,¬†Ula Ruth, Brooklyn’s noise-pop lady trio,¬†Sharkmuffin, Irish-turned-Brooklynites, punk-tinged pop/rock quartet,¬†Von Shakes, and Brooklyn-born grungy blues rock group,¬†Graveyard Lovers. ¬†I took yet another trip far south on South Congress to join friends ¬†Hot Blood,¬†¬†The Battery Electric, TV Tramps, and¬†The Phuss¬†along with¬†Dennis Lyxz√©n’s (of The Refused) new band¬†INVSN¬†for an off-the-wall gig at¬†Red Shed Tavern¬†(A barn transformed into a venue!).

Day 5 in photos here!

The final day of SXSW was short but sweet. After a tattoo appointment for my long-awaited Zeppelin tribute, I made my way to Metal and Lace for an afternoon punk rock show,featuring Austin’s ¬†Shitty Advice and a someone unplanned appearance bylegendary NYC hardcore punk band¬†Urban Waste at Metal and Lace.

Last day of SXSW captured here.

Overall an amazing week that makes me miss ATX every day I’m away from it. ¬†Can’t wait to see what next year has in store!

Today is the day! It’s Rocker Stalker’s CMJ kick-off at Spike Hill in Williamsburg! The “Wake the Rock Up”¬†showcase features¬†Shady Elders (CO), The Tye Trybe (NY), Crush Distance (NY), Cadaver Dogs (OH), The Phuss(TX), STRNGRS (NY), and Black Wing Halo (NY)¬† and¬†It’s a¬†FREE! ¬†

Doors at 12pm, runs til 6pm! Check out the Facebook invitation for set times!

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Greetings music lovers! It’s that time of year again when bands and music industry folk infiltrate New York City for the annual CMJ Music Marathon! This year, Rocker Stalker is taking the “marathon” very seriously, with THREE official and amazing showcases featuring top bands from five states!

First up, on Wednesday, 10/16, the “Wake the Rock Up” showcase features¬†Shady Elders (CO), The Tye Trybe (NY), Crush Distance (NY), Cadaver Dogs (OH), The Phuss(TX), STRNGRS (NY), and Black Wing Halo (NY)¬†at¬†Spike Hill in Brooklyn. It’s a¬†FREE day show from¬†12pm-6pm. Check out the Facebook invitation for¬†set times!

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Thursday, 10/17, Rocker Stalker is back at Bar Matchless, this time for the “Loud and Proud” CMJ showcase with some evening shenanigans and debauchery brought to you by Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs (TX), Isle of Rhodes (NY), The VeeVees (NY), Cadaver Dogs (OH), The Battery Electric (NJ), The Tye Trybe (NY), The Phuss (TX), and Midnight Spin (NY). ¬†Come rock from 6pm-12am! Invite your friends here.

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The Rocker Stalker finale takes place on¬†Saturday, October 19 at¬†SPiN New York¬†in Manhattan (Fun fact, this club is owned by Susan Surandon.). The “Rock Steady”¬†CMJ showcase keeps the andrenaline going with¬†Raccoon Fighter (NY),¬†The Courtesy Tier (NY), Isle of Rhodes (NY), The Epilogues (CO), The Phuss(TX), The Hsu-Nami (NY/NJ), and¬†The Black Clouds (NJ). ¬†Come close your CMJ the right way! RSVP here!
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Not long ago, I had posted¬†BLACK TAXI‘s single “House on Fire” (which has gotten some high praise from MTV Buzzworthy) from their forthcoming Chiaroscuro EP. A product of the band’s¬†three-month stint in Austin prior to SXSW, the EP is finally ready to drop on September 10!¬†¬† For all those curious, “chiaroscuro,” as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, is, “a¬†:¬†the arrangement or treatment of light and dark parts in a pictorial work of art;¬†b¬†:¬†the interplay or contrast of dissimilar qualities (as of mood or character).” ¬†

An appropriate title, the Brooklyn-based quartet’s newest EP takes a turn for a much dancier (if you can believe it), ¬†synth-heavy, electro-based, 80s-inspired sound, tinged with dark, quirky edges. ¬†Jumpstarting with “The Runner,”¬†the EP opens with ringing guitars that build with twinkling synths that erupt into dance grooves swirling through ethereal reverb and blips and beeps. ¬†“Gone” slinks and swings with haunting and jazzy trumpet lines ¬†and is driven by choruses of hypnotic chants, ¬†disco-esque beats, and epic guitar solos (think Journey). ¬†“Can’t Stop Shaking” pulsates with robotic vibes and single, “House on Fire,”is the anthemic ¬†dance number that rounds out the release. ¬†BLACK TAXI also includes some special bonus music, remixes of “House on Fire” by SoundSAM No Time ¬†and ¬†“Can’t Stop Shaking” by Soul Puncherz for the true club goer.¬†

The four piece will be welcoming Chiaroscuro at their official release show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 10, where they will be opening for another “taxi” band, MOON TAXI. Grab your tickets here! blacktaxi_chiarscuroPHOTOIn case you didn’t get to check out “House on Fire,” listen below!

Dallas/Fort Worth-based Oil Boom is proud to welcome their new, explosive single “45 Revolutions Per Minute,” officially released on August 13 in 7″ form. ¬†Vinyl is fitting, as the tune evokes a classic aura, with pyschedelic reverb infusing raucous percussion, surfy vibes, ¬†and ¬†grungy, recurring riffs. ¬†The guitar-fueled trio’s newest single is bound to maintain the buzz ¬†garnered from their last EP¬†Gold Yeller, and it’s definitely a tune that will keep the summertime energy rolling.

You can stream “45 Revolutions Per Minute” below and take it wherever you go by purchasing it here.

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The fourth day of SX was a day well spent on South Congress. ¬†I kicked off my day at a small outdoor, garden party with punk and pizza at The Pizza Shop, that had pretty amazing thincrust pizza (even after being spoiled by NYC pizza). ¬†There, punk/rockabilly band out of Austin, Something Called ¬†Nothing¬†was busting out some swinging tracks in the sunshine before The Phuss rocked out a ¬†set accmpanied by some backyard moshing before hitting the stage yet again at Doc Motorworks later that afternoon. ¬†Heading back to Doc Motorworks, Deton, TX’s ¬†The Birds of Night accompanied the 80+degree weather with surfy tones and throwback vibes. ¬†Up next, Fort Worth’s¬†Roaming Soldiers¬†became one of my top new bands of this year’s SXSW, winning my heart with rock ‘n roll grit, bluesy sass, and southern twang. ¬†The close to my day of music wasn’t too shabby. ¬†I got a chance to catch Stilwater, Oklahoma’s rootsy rockers, ¬†Taddy Porter, before scampering off to The Auditorium Shores to see the bizarre antics of the one, the only ¬†The Flaming Lips. ¬†At the Shores, the field was packed with hula hoop dancers and people wearing strobing, seizure-inducing lights/jewelry. A theatrical performance by The Flaming Lips included quirky frontman, Wayne Coyne, wearing a robe of umbillical-like cords, while he held a fetus manikin. The kings of the unexpected, this show certainly lived up to the odd but impressive showmanship.

View the day’s events on Rocker Stalker’s FACEBOOK¬†and “like” the page while you’re there :).

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Somthing Called Nothing

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The Phuss

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The Birds of Night

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Roaming Soldiers
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The Phuss

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Taddy Porter

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The Flaming Lips

Day 3, SXSW 2013. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, they did.

I started the day off ¬†with a little dance music that I could see myself working out to, ¬†Brooklyn-based electro/DJ duo No Way Josie ¬†at The Parish, followed by polar opposites, Austin-based folky, pop/rock trio,¬†MARMALAKES. ¬†My Brooklyn favorite, Black Taxi, who have been calling Austin home for the last couple months while they write some new material and share their greatness with TX. These guys will be back in April for a residency at Rockwood Music Hall starting April 26 for three weeks. After a long power walk south of downtown, I finally arrived, sweating, to Doc Motorworks, where Fort Worth’s Ice Eater was breaking it down on stage with a experimental punky rock, featuring music from their aptly titled¬†Don’t Care EP. ¬†In between sets, the audience was, quite frankly, punished with some stand up comedians , but thankfully, my favorite Fort Worthian trio, The Phuss, brought salavation to the afternoon (Vocalist/guitarist Josh Fleming even had some jokes up his sleeve that saved the inter-set banter.). ¬†The ¬†band slammed the stage with their ¬†no-apologies rock, pounding drums, swaggering bass, punky aggression, and undeniable attitude. ¬†Their current self titled record is a must, and ¬†you can grab it here.

Just down the street, at Guero’s Taco Bar (they have the most amazing fajitas, just as a side note), I was lucky to catch a set by Beaumont’s Purple, who was impressing the Tex-mex indulgers with heavy rock fusion led by vocalist/drummer, Hanna Brewer. ¬†The second daily dose of The Phuss followed, quaking the taco bar, bringing about some interpretive dancers and a guy dressed as The Pope, and making it pretty difficult to keep a straight face.

The day’s music came to an earlier close than usual, but I got a chance to explore late-night Austin a bit and get my fill of SXSW chaos for the remainder of the night.

Check out Part III of SXSW here!

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No Way Josie

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