- The Rolling Stones - "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (2008 Soulwax Remix)
- M.I.A. - "Paper Planes" (DFA Remix)
- On iTunes
Friday, March 28, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Day 2 of SXSW booglaoo and I've slept in! Ah yes, but I planned on that happening and so begins this beautiful Thursday afternoon (roughly noonish). After an easy coast to the *ACC parking garage, my girl and I walked over to the French Legation Museum for day one of the All Roads Lead to Austin party. J. Mascis was scheduled to play a solo set, and there is no better to way to start a day than that my friends. Except that it was short. So short. Excruciatingly short. I mean, it seems like he played three songs, although there was a seriously long J.Mascis-I'll-cop-every-riff-I've-ever-done-and-cram-it-into-one-solo ending. Did I say that like it was a bad thing? ...because it wasn't. Still, I could've gone for way more.
*(I did learn one valuable lesson from this year's SXSW. As obvious as it seems, park at the Austin Convention Center parking. You can leave three times during the day (up to 11pm) and it's only seven bucks. Plus, that guy at the booth was rad.)
We walk over to The Parish to catch Bon Iver. Whoa. Huge line. We scratch that and decide to get inside Red-Eyed Fly early for a good spot at the A Place to Bury Strangers show. Huge line again. I realize quickly The Raveonettes are still on and after their set, the line goes in pretty fast. I didn't bother going to the outside area to watch The Big Sleep. Whatever I was hearing wasn't doing it for me.
The problem here is things begin to get a bit grey at this point. Holes in my memory. I tend to party a bit too hard during this week and well, have come to terms with this side effect. Here's what I do remember... the APTBS show was pretty good. I remember thinking that thought exactly, "this was pretty good." At the end, a guitar gets demolished. I need to see them again.
At this point, I want to be pampered and The Fader is a necessity. "I love you, you ice cold Bass." Watching the tribute to Lou Reed was pretty much a yawn fest for me. I left just before members of My Morning Jacket, and Moby, and Lou Reed himself, and apparently every other damn musician came on, and my girlfriend has let me know several times since, that we should have stayed. Who can think of staying at a yawn fest when Think About Life is only an hour away at Beerland?
Hell ya. I finally got to see a live show of them and I know there was potential for more, but there didn't seem to be a whole bunch of people there as eager as we were. My mates, Alex and Ryan, met up with me and we danced in the sound. They ripped through quite a bit of new ones, only playing two from the last album. If you were there, then you probably know us as the two drunk (and most likely annoying) guys singing in the mic and flailing limbs. Special thanks to Ryan for taking the blame on the ahem and getting kicked out so we could stay in. Love you bro.
We floated (yes, floated as we're now high from sounds and dancing of Think About Life) slowly over to The Austin Children's Museum for the performance of the week - The Mae Shi. The museum was filled with toys to play with and tons of stuff to help you feel like a kid while still getting your drink on. I've heard and read from countless people at this show that they thought this may have been one of the greatest live experiences they have ever had. Involving the crowd into your show is the way to get everyone together. The guitarist is up on the balcony. The singer is behind the crowd. "I Want Everything" is chanted and the song takes on a higher purpose. I've never seen so many smiles at once.
I am satisfied for once. So satisfied.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Monday night we waited in line with a bunch of other folks to check out The Laughing (still not doing it for me), Til We're blue or Destroy (still doing it for me) and Tokyo Police Club (unimpressive). People have told me that Tokyo Police Club put on a great show, but I personally couldn't stand more that three songs of it. Overall it was a fun night, but mostly just for talking it up with friends over a few drinks.
After running errands on Tuesday afternoon I stopped by to see what Daytrotter was up to, and they happened to be recording a couple of my favorite locals in Octopus Project and Brazos. I soaked that up for a while (thanks Sean) and then went up the road a few blocks to see what was happening at Ms Bea's. Met the Ninjasonik crew there, who I'd end up running into over and over again all week, and watched Free Blood (potentially good) and Juiceboxxx. Juiceboxxx is a white rapper from Milwaukee who put on an entertaining performance, jumping around all over the place and getting the crowd moving. At one point, in mid-song, he tried to climb up on the roof of the covered stage and immediately fell right through it, taking out some of the lights with him. He wasn't injured or anything, so it was pretty hilarious. A true professional, he never stopped rhyming and offered to pay the damage bill after the song finished. After that a friend and I stopped by Emo's for a drink and watched a band called The Last Vegas (meh), before heading to Red Eyed Fly for some rock & roll. Pearlene (rocks) was ripping it up when we got there, a solid psychedelic blues trio from Cincinnati. I stayed to catch a few songs from Amplified Heat before calling it a night.
On Wednesday I started off the day with some free refreshments at the Fader Fort, meeting some Canadian friends and catching sets from The Whip (pretty good) Jeremy Jay (okay I guess) and The Kills (kick ass). After that I moved over to the Canadian Blast just in time to see a smorgasbord of DJs including Grand Analog, Skratch Bastid, Megasoid, Cadence Weapon, and Ghislain Poirier. For the late night festivities I helped a good friend get into the showcase w/Black Keys at Emo's (thank you Frank), and as he was a non-wristbander we were stuck there for the long haul. The first band we saw was Longwave, who were truly awful. It was like listening to a bad radio station at high volume for 45 minutes. Thankfully Delta Spirit played next, and their spot-on performance was like a breath of fresh air. Be Your Own Pet followed with some high-energy garge/punk rock, and vocalist Jemina Pearl routinely flashed her underoos which the crowd didn't seem to have any issue with. Autolux came on next and gave a really outstanding performance, with bass lines so hard and low that they had my ears rattling. I haven't paid much attention to Autolux since Future Perfect came out in 2004, and their live show was much, much better than I had expected. The Black Keys closed out the show with a guitar-rific set, pounding it out in front of a huge crowd packed in shoulder to shoulder and playing a bunch of new stuff from the new album.
Thursday was pretty much completely dedicated to the party that I put together along with Sonic and Cubik. All of the bands were great and we were all thrilled to be able to work with them. On the outside stage, most of the people I talked to were really impressed with Table Manners Crew and The Death Set. On the inside stage Dead Confederate absolutely burned the house down, and they're such big UME fans that they cut their set a few minutes short and graciously asked them to take the stage for a few songs. I have come to realize that I am completely in love with UME, and would recommend that you find a way to see them live. After we wrapped up the party I was drunk, hungry, and exhausted, but still managed to make it downtown to see Fucked Up and Jay Reatard. I'm not an avid listener of hardcore music nor do I go see much of it live, but Fucked Up are absolutely phenomenal at it. A wall of speed-driven guitars, ass kicking drums, a tough chick on bass, and a humongous frontman with no shirt and a bad attitude thrashing all over the venue with blood on his forehead. I'd say that is pretty legit. It was cool to finally see Jay Reatard after he opted out of his last trip to Austin, but somehow the live show just didn't quite pack the punch that Blood Visions does.
Friday was another eventful day, starting out at the Fader Fort for some hip-hop via The Knux and Denmark new wave action from The Fashion. Next up was a stop at the Mad Decent party with Cubik for a beautiful view of Austin from four stories up, a free scotch bar virtually all to ourselves, and some fine Argentinian beats from El Remolón. We soaked up as much of that as possible before making the jaunt over to Red River where I caught Yeasayer and No Age in the sweltering heat on the outside Emo's stage. Yeasayer had all of the girls fanning themselves with a groove-filled set and No Age were even better than when I caught them at south-by last year, playing some great new stuff that I'd never heard yet. At one point guitarist Randy Randall jumped up on someone's shoulders and moved through the crowd while banging away on the guitar, which was a cool sight. After cooling off and chowing down I went over to the east side where a party was supposed to be happening, but no one was there. I still haven't figured that one out yet. So instead it was back over to the Mad Decent party for more scotch and warm Keystone Light. The first thing we saw after waiting in line for-ever was DJ Blaqstarr, which turned out to be one of the most awesome things I saw all week. He was bumping out some of the dirtiest Baltimore beats with some of the coolest backing visuals that these eyes have ever seen. A big breakdance circle formed right in front of us and everyone was pulling out their cameras to get shots of these dudes totally flipping out. It was an unexpected amount of fun. When Blaqstarr turned off the tables Simian Mobile Disco got started on the opposite end of the rooftop and quickly had the whole garage bouncing. I'm talking about a huge mass of concrete that has no business moving up and down, and you could actually feel it throbbing under your feet and shaking with the collective movement of the crowd. It was a great way to end the night.
Saturday I started out at Stubb's for Black Moth Super Rainbow, who put on a good show for the small early day crowd. Then it was up to the campus area where I caught Sian Alice Group, who were lovely and hooked me up with an album. Holy Fuck took the stage next, who Lou Reed said were by far the best band he had seen all week. After that it was back to the Fader for Lykke Li, David Banner, Hood Headlinaz, BLK JKS, Santogold, Spank Rock and 2 Live Crew. David Banner was phenomenal, repeatedly jumping out into the crowd to spray a few beers in the air and throw some fans around in the mosh pit. Spank Rock was equally good, performing his unique blend of hip hop and dance music in front of a sea of appreciative listeners. Santogold was a big hit not just at the Fader, but at Stubb's also. 2 Live Crew was a sight to see if only for nostalgic reasons, and they played most of those memorable songs that you were never supposed to be listening to in the first place. We stayed for about half of their performance before fighting our way out of the crowd in order to head south for the big Do512 bash. The good times were in full swing there, and Man Man closed out the party with a banging set of their foot-stomping singalongs and stage antics. We had planned to have a nice little afterparty with a few close friends, but The Von Bondies, who were acting like douchebags the whole time, stole most of our vodka.
On Sunday I took the opportunity to finish off the week with a few more bands at the Panache day party at Beerland. After a full week of debauchery I kind of expected the scene on Red River to be a little more low key, but Monotonix and The Mae Shi squashed that notion with two equally fun-filled performances. Monotonix are a garage punk trio is from Israel, (Tel Aviv to be exact), and they put on what was by far the wildest show all week. Trash cans were thrown, various beverages were projected back and forth between band and crowd, and during their final song all three members jumped up on top of the bar (instruments and all), rocking it out to the fullest extent. I caught some great video of this, as well as lots of other stuff I saw last week, but it all got ruined in a soaking wet demise thanks to repeated dousings from Monotonix. After a couple of fairly average sets from Mika Miko and Finally Punk, The Mae Shi took to the stage for their umpteenth performance of the week. They threw a huge white sheet over the crowd and played a short set of their unique, high-energy experimental punk that was recommended back in February. This is a band that I would love to see a nice long set from in the future, because they were pretty damn good.
So over the course of six days the final tally of acts added up to 53. I didn't get a chance to see everything that I wanted, but I saw a bunch of stuff that I never would have expected, and that's one of the things that makes SXSW so great. The 10 Best Shows I saw all week were: Dead Confederate, David Banner, Fucked Up, Spank Rock, DJ Blaqstarr, No Age, Man Man, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Holy Fuck, and The Death Set. Next year we'll see if I can surpass the magic number of 53, and do so without having any equipment casualties. Thank you to every one I met, partied with, and to all of the organizers, sponsors, bands, friends, and everyone else, it was a blast.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I'm not here to tell you how to do a week of SXSW, because there are so many great ways to do it. Find what works for you. I've volunteered for the platinum badge for a few years, and I've done only free shows for a few years. Both work ya know?
However.... I got this shit down. Day 1, you make sure you get all the wristbands you need for the bigger, free parties. Such as The Fader party. Even better, I've scheduled for my guitar to get setup for free in The Fader while I kick back with a cold Bass and start the week off watching The Mae Shi. Yup. Perks baby...use them and abuse them.
Now I'm a bit shy at sparking up conversations with people, but I must find out what these dudes from The Mae Shi are like. They're pacing around the stage and I see there's about five minutes until they're supposed to start. I walk up to their singer and introduce myself. After listening to me he says, "thanks dude," and then immediately turns his head to the right and yells in unison with the rest of his band "I want almost everything...." Damn. Apparently, they were starting earlier than scheduled and this guy is able to get me off his back just in time to start his first song of the week. Nice job.
They scatter throughout the venue chanting the beginning of "I Get Almost Everything," finally coming together on the stage in time to really get this song to a climax. I want a wireless unit now, damn it. Nevermind that, The Mae Shi came and showed everyone how it needs to be done. Constantly moving around and trying to keep the crowd involved. (It's 1:30pm on Wednesday... ok, so it was me and about twenty other people) Small fits of spastic energy sprinkled here and there. Sweet pop melodies that tickle your ears into making your lips mimic the sounds. Mmm.... that's good.
Here's what the Fader blog had to say about it:
"They climbed around on the bleachers, their pants fell off and they yelled their balls off. Oh and they played musical instruments. Really loudly, which is always good. They kind of sounded like Man Man on Sparks Plus which is apt since one or two of them were drinking Sparks Plus at 1:30pm aka You'll Be In Jail Later Brunch. The crowd is still filing in, so it was kind of funny that dudes were yelling/singing almost exclusively to/at FADER staff as we were standing up front, but they didn't fail to give it their full effort nonetheless."
After grabbing my freshly setup guitar and all the perks that came with it, I moved on through the rest of the day playing shows with my band and not catching much else. Til We're Blue or Destroy played just before us later that night and sounded amazing. If you've only listened to their songs on MySpace or elsewhere on the internet, you're not getting the full spectrum here. The amount of energy radiating from the stage with that many members is obviously felt physically - like it's pushing you backwards at times.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
As far as pre-south-by goes, tonight night Beach House and Transmography are both providing entertainment at Emo's. (I Blog Fresh-ed Transmography just the other day.)
Saturday is dedicated to the inaugural Psych Fest with Black Angels, Strange Boys & more, which I told you about.
If you really want to get out on Sunday, imeem is hosting DJ Klever, Prince Klassen, and Fluokids at Beauty Bar for free, with an open bar from 8-10pm.
Monday night Tokyo Police Club, Til We're Blue or Destroy, Car Stereo (Wars) and more will be holding it down at Mohawk.
On Tuesday things really start to get in full swing. Team Robespierre, Videohippos, DJ Dre Skull and more are at Ms. Bea's starting at 6pm. Lions, Young Heart Attack, Transmography, Pearlene & more are at the Red Eyed Fly. A bunch of good locals are mixing it up with DJs from Scotland and London, all night at Beauty Bar.
The Cool Kids (Chicago, 4:45pm), Holy Fuck (Toronto, 4pm), Bodies Of Water (LA, 3:15pm), Ghosthustler (2:30pm), White Williams (1:45pm), White Denim (1pm), The Party DJs (Dallas) at the Peacock (free, free beer, 21+)
Death Set, Ninjasonik, Best Fwends, Deer Tick, Vivian Girls, Finally Punk, Dan Deacon, Best Friends Forever, These Are Powers, The So So Glos, An Albatross, Gowns, Karl Blau, Video Hippos, Little Claw, Scary Mansion, Headlights, Dark Meat, dd/mm/yyyy, Meneguar, Muggabears, Woods, Jeremy Jay, Hawnay Troof, Hard Bop on the UT Austin Main Mall at midnight.
O'Death (11:40pm), Phosphorescent (11pm), Deer Tick (10:20pm), AA Bondy (9:40pm), Bark Bark Bark (9pm), Lucky Dragons (DJs/video artists) at the JellyNYC Texas Garage (421 W. 3rd St., poolside rooftop stage)
No Age (5:30pm), Yeasayer (4:30pm), Fleet Foxes (3:30pm), Bon Iver (2:30pm), Jay Reatard (1:30pm), Lykke Li (12:30pm) at Emo's (outside stage, free)
A Place to Bury Strangers (5pm), Times New Viking (4pm), Atlas Sound (3pm), Fuck Buttons (2pm), White Williams (1pm), High Places (12pm) at Emo's (inside stage, free)
Matt & Kim (7pm), Mika Miko (6:15pm), The Death Set (5:30pm), The Mae Shi (4:45pm), The Strange Boys (4pm), Sebastian Grainger (3:15pm), Abe Vigoda (2:30pm), The Muslims (1:45pm), Coconut Coolouts (1pm) at Victory Grill (1104 E. 11th St.)
And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, The Black Keys, Health, The Cribs, Soundtrack of our Lives at La Zona Rosa (noon-5pm)
Diplo, Matt & Kim, Simian Mobile Disco (DJ set), Cut Copy, Switch, Santogold, The Toxic Avenger, The Whip, Amanda Black, Flosstradamus, Heartsrevolution, The Black Ghosts, Blaqstarr, Ocelot Men, The Death Set, Tommy Sunshine, Drop the Lime, Rye Rye, Har Mar Superstar, Franki Chan, Roxy Cottontail, Nick Catchdubs, Team Robespierre, Totally Michael, Zizek Club, Paper Route, Ganstaz/Hood Headlinas, Walter Meego, Boy 8 Bit, Lies in Disguise, Klever, Moonrats, Hollywood holt, Mike Terror, Acid Girls, Juiceboxx, Skeet Skeet, Peer Pressure, Million Dollar Mano, Scottie B, Fluokids, Dave Nada, Hood Internet, Bird Peterson, Staccato, Dan Oh, Paparazzi at JellyNYC's Texas Garage (421 W. 3rd St., 2pm-2am, free, 21+, 4 stages, 2 pools, fire pit, ice cream truck, RSVP here)
Simian Mobile Disco, Islands, Black Mountain, Yeasayer, Lucero, Jay Reatard, No Age, Two Gallants, White Denim, Matt & Kim, comedians Jeanane Garolfalo, Eugene Mirman & more at Waterloo Park (1301 Trinity St., noon-10pm, free, all ages)
* Man Man (9:15pm), The Von Bondies (8:15pm), Portugal the Man (7:15pm), Wild Orchid Children (6:20pm), The Viet Minh (5:30pm), Carlis Star (4:30pm), Meridianwest (3:40pm), Low Line Caller (3pm), DJ Thibault (2:30pm), Capitol K (between sets) at the Do512 Compound (2208 S. Lamar, behind Strut, 3pm-10pm, free with rsvp here)
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
After a few months spent plotting a killer day party with my good friends from Sonic Itch Music and Cubik Musik, we're excited to invite you to Above The Radar. It's taking place on March 13th at Trophy's on South Congress, with two stages and 12 different acts from all over the map. Whether you have a taste for guitar-swinging rock & roll or something a bit more dance friendly, you'll find it here.
We have a few people to thank in assisting with the production of this party. Do512 and the Blog Fresh Radio show are both providing generous support and promotion, which we couldn't do without. DJ DOJO and Nomad Sound are both coming through to provide some much needed equipment, and the Switchburn video team will be there to capture the action on film. Even the venerable Seattle music blog Sound On The Sound is on board to help make this a smashing good time. Doors are at noon and the music goes until 7pm. We hope to see you there!Below is detailed information on all of the artists playing Above The Radar, with an mp3 and review from each of them. You can use the widget at the top of this post to see video and more.
ON THE OUTSIDE STAGE
“Montreal’s indie guitar bands got plenty of coverage last year, but in 2008 they might be usurped by Ninja Tunes-signed hip-hop producer Poirier. The French-Canuck connoisseur of grime, booty bass, ragga and “world riddum idioms” makes music that is accessible, innovative and above all danceable.” - (The Independent)Tyler Fedchuk, My!Gay!Husband! and Tony X. They regularly host a "hands up singalong dance party" on Friday nights in their homeland of Vancouver, supplying sweat-filled hospitality for some of the hippest touring acts around. Check out some photos of their events at the link.
"Newcomers to the Austin scene, but already making a name for themselves are the young ladies of Lady Pterodactyl. The beat mavens compose infectious, heavy soundscapes that grow on you with every listen." - (Party Ends)
Montreal's Land of Talk spits out a kind of churning, bright, deliberately melodic rock that embodies the enduring spirit of youth -- that period in our lives marked by overwhelming optimism and uncorrupted naivety." - (Prefix Magazine)
It’s the brooding, dissonant guitars and ominous rhythms bringing visions of storm clouds and waves across the ocean that make this an under the radar gem." - (Harp Magazine)
"A message scrawled on the disc's back cover exhorts listeners to "play this record loud." And it isn't an idle request. This Seattle-based quartet's garage-style punk rock erupts with fury and frenzy." - (eMusic)(Austin Chronicle)