Thursday, March 31, 2016

SXSW Day Three: Every Band Is A Girl

I pretty much stayed at Hotel Vegas(Hotel Hot Burrito, Mustache Central) the whole damn day and fuck you for telling me for two weeks now that I missed anything worthwhile anywhere else.

I saw Hinds from Spain. You pretty girls from the lets do reverb, everyone's doing reverb/you tube launched career of sorts did too many shows and blew your vocal wad long before your afternoon set complete with live language barriers between soundman and you. 2 chord mid tempo dour pop, yawny and scratchy(no relation to itchy, I'm talking vocal fry) Take your modeling income and pay someone to tune your guitars. The only band that had an autograph line that Id total teen town. As boredom glazed over I thought " Is Hinds a mispronounce/misspell mistake of a Spanish condiment?"  17 shows and they could have stopped at one if hype didn't force its hand.

I saw the marvelous Sunflower Bean from NYC. Trippy shredding dream rock like a faster D'arcy led Pumpkins, with the pixie dream girl Julia Cumming swaying and thumping on bad ass bass and vocals.

I saw Birdcloud. Dirty purdy bird duo of Nashvillettes all horned up and wet, and strumming and humming. Rub a dub dub on a 12 inch sub. Cowgirl soft porn, golden country greats with a harmonica inspired faux fellatio part for one of their trailer park meets I fucked a rodeo clown masterpieces. LUV. Spelled L-U-V.

I saw Mystery Lights from NYC. Sweater psyche in the raw, with a univox backbone and throttled on drums. Punk dust scattered over yelps and high kicks, and jaws dropped like flop sweat from the sky. One of the premiere sights of the day.A two beer worthy set in a mere 25 minutes.

I saw Guantanamo Baywatch from the PDX, full out tongue in cheeky rave up surf rock from the bridge city. Sloppy bass from a Blazer Jersey wearing trashette, but the songs didn't scatter the masses. Waves of people wading in.

I saw the miracle of Chicano Batman from LA. We were all cholos pogo-ing to solos from this incredible revitalized R&B meets low riding while crooning+ astrology signs plus palm trees +empenadas at the back door disco with a sunsplash of Santana and sultry burst of Yamaha organ runs from a transistor radio kinda-deal. Sexy Spaniards in powder blue tuxes fucked shit up with soul- riffic sambafied sounds.  The BAND of the DAY. This is why I come every year. I did not expect to dance. I did not know when I stopped.

I saw Thee Oh Sees pile up their ratty amps like pyramids and put the two drum kits in the middle of it all and I saw the crowd cinch up their breaths and clutch their beers like they were babysitting them and I saw the clear sg clone of a guitar slung solar plexus high on band leader John Dwers person and I saw the first squelching chord scream down and split the crowd apart like demagnetized ball bearings on a wave of phase and I saw people lifting diving crucifying themselves on the nails of outstretched arms from the crowd below their bodies. I saw the magic psychedelic mighty light leave the traveling garage and beautify the open space with amperage, spark and dance. I saw transformation, I saw sweat land in dust, I saw god with a lower case g in that courtyard for awhile. I saw no escape from a sore neck from the rollicking edge of the pit.

I saw Hundred Visions again, I saw La Luz, I saw The Sloths, I saw several other bands that were not breaking the bathroom line worthy and I felt old and tired and I felt like it was worth it one hundred times over.

I saw Sunday the next day, ate three chili dogs as the onslaught of girl bands drowning in reverb's swiss cheesy blanket surrounded me inside and out at Uncle Doug's Chili Dog Fest #7 at Empire Control Room and Side Bar.  I saw the trip home in front of a bad nights sleep and a burrito night cap. its taken a few weeks to get up to snuff and bullish enough to write about it.  Enjoy the bands in Bold. They are in my future and not just a post script or a bullet point on this silly blog.  SKB

Saturday, March 19, 2016

SXSW Day Two: Reverbolution

Ive lost my last Prednisone pill, the grackles are chatty right outside my window and rain looks threatening, but fuck it. Time to rock. But first , 2 mashed potatoes egg and cheese breakfast burritos to properly gum up the system. Rather than give you a play by play, I'm giving highlights with scatterbrained similes . Enough prattling on. 
First stop was the Antiquiet Showcase where I caught the Pom Poms set..Duane Eddy guitars washing over a dead weatherish type grind and a nice smoky voice coming out of a Gloria Estefan doppelgänger. Dark blues, leathered and pompadoured, never seen tighter jeans on a human, a good start to the day.
I headed over to the Hotel Vegas Annex while passing by a bloated bum splayed out on the sidewalk mouth agape but breathing and covered in various promotional cards dropped by desperate rappers in a lame attempt at humor. For a minute I questioned the risky selfish trip called humanity and kept going. Got there in time to see Pink Mexico, an oily coiffed trio of ruffians..lively high vocals, fuzz bubbles rising and popping above the robotic Regular John thud of drums. Reverb reared its head in comets of echoing chemtrails above the crowd, sipping cheap sponsored tequila while grafted to their phones(humanity again).
Then Next door to Hotel Vegas another loose locked trio called Heaters, or basically a modern day Ty Segall cover band. Reverb on reverb , tippy toes singer easing up to the mic while the cheeks flap from the wind tunnel forming around us. Every word was buried meters below the surface, canyon top yelping, completely unintelligible.
Luckily I saw on my digital schedule that Hundred Visions were coming up. I was up front , ears leaking burst fluid caused by the riffkrieg. Total gangbusters of crushing volume. This is racing an avalanche to your lunch date music. Monolith moving. Sending Thor home from a fight with Mjolnr between his legs. Music God uses to pass a stone to. Bamtastic melodic and throbbing. band of the day. Seek them out. They've got stuff on band camp and it hurts so good.

Headed back across the tracks to catch a fairly hyped band called Night Beats who came all the way to Texas and didn't tune up. The reverb swallowed everything in sight and sucked it into a big black hole of I don't care. So glad you spent all that time on lyrics that sound like Charlie Browns mom on three klonopin. A damn shame. Little Peter drowned in a well of you blew your one shot.

Got wind of an off the beaten path yard party starring those current Detroit demigods Protomartyr, post punk leaning foursome complete with a frumpy frontman with a marble mouth delivery and a stance and demeanor from the balled up shirts on the floor of Oscar Madison's closet. The kids died for it. I enjoyed the scenery of the rhythm of swaying carabiners, overall jorts, dirty babies running in the lumberyard/grass and lost dogs .

My earache was something no belly full of Lone Star could dissipate. Took a long break and went to The Grand Billiard Hall for the Rock Candy showcase. Saw Patsy's Rats..a fast pace Runaways aping rock band that held my attention until they motored through a cover of one of the worst songs in history..New York Groove by the genius Ace Frehley. I freely moved towards the exit, back to the sleeping porch and the cackling grackles to come.


Friday, March 18, 2016

SXSW Day One: High Waisted Jorts

High waisted jorts are in and apparently easy to perform drumming duties while wearing. I'm in Austin the morning after my first day at my almost annual trip to SXSW. I feel old and just missed skipping the whole damn thing after a three week toe to toe with inner viral catastrophe. Got me some prednisone good enough to help bench press a baby rhino and some Vicodin for straight kicks and/or ear pain.
So I'm good to go wander among the road cases the show cases and the closet cases. My bud and gracious host Alex suggest we head down to El Sapo for an hors d eurve of musicafter securing my wares on the sleeping porch so we took the short drive and happened upon an impressive trio of ladies called Moving Panoramas. A great mix of dream pop with clairol hair and hot pants. Think Mazzy Star under a glissando blanket of punch drunk reverb. And the drummer flailed gracefully around clad in high waisted jorts. We stayed for the obligatory 4 songs and returned to home base.

After meeting up with our lovely vacationing friends Eric and Alison, the boys decided to head to a place called Pendejo Park for a hidden showcase of sorts that was neither a park or very hidden. Upon arrival we were pleasantly overwhelmed with a heady mix of B.O and vegan hot dogs on the grill. Maybe they smell the same I don't know....but the "park" was a front porch extended out with a makeshift stage made of pallets and bricks. And the music was provided by a fierce but friendly trio of heathens called Bummers Eve. What a rush of huffed distortion and failed mission space scuzz these guys brought. The hipper than thous almost left their beach towels patchwork on the gravel to dance. I had a hotdog or two, passed on the moonshine, petted a few strays and we left for a place called the Carousel Lounge.

The Carousel Lounge is a circus themed bar with a low big top pitched ceiling a red puffy Naugahyde bar cover and clown murals just freaky enough to  get you to remember the wares of John Wayne Gacy.  The band we saw was yet another trio Stargazer Lillies who's guitarist insisted on bludgeoning all 12 of us with 2 100 watt Marshall Heads worth of reverb in a bar made of cinder blocks. The deer in the headlights lady singer with the gossamer voice wasted her words under this muddy wave of whatever and could not compete with joe guitars layer. Stop the trapeze I wanna cut the nets out from under me and swan dive the concrete. For some inexplicable reason they were selling tote bags which I wanted purchase just to choke myself out with.

I was left alone for a while and what's a guy to do but buy a fabulously gaudy western shirt and post a suave pic of me wearing it on the FB only to be burned at the fashion stake. That's why I stick to monotones.....

We regrouped at the fabulous Spiderhouse compound...hard to call it a bar ..itsa massive malaise of everything complete with a taco trailer and a ballroom where I saw my favorite band of the day, Pujol from Nashville TN. Super hyper power pop foursome with tight harmonies, steady pulsing
drums and busy bass....with screamy warm fender solos on top..think Big Star and Television in a practice space next to immense meth vats. Their new album is called Kisses and the future looks like a fresh pile of tight flannels and skinny jeans for these four men. Other bands we caught at Spiderhouse included the wacky Lemons.... a straight up mix of the Fugs and the Archies, and Apache with a squirrelly shirtless Apache? Frontman doing his best Ramones/Dolls impression. Loads of messy Thunders licks and the crowd's attention.

The night ended up,the road on Guadalupe at the legendary Hole in the Wall where for some strange reason on ST Patrick's day....they were serving free  Sapporo. We caught Very Fresh(Brooklyn) set. This trio(again) harkened to a feminine tinged Velvets with more melodramatic quips like Lou Reed on the tail end of his period.

So far, one day in to SXSW, lots of estrogender specification, lots of rock because, #rocklivesmatter, tight harmonies,,I still like my new shirt, my wristbands number three as of now, hook em horns, I got some fill of good music in only half a day...good music,  some sophomoric, some laborious, but mostly glorious.
I'm hoping for double the tacos, double the bands, double the groundswell of reporting today on day two.