Hey all - I know this is a tiny bit post-facto, but I thought you might enjoy one more installment of my SXSW diaries, before the big show this Saturday.
Let's call this : SXSW - the Visual Diaries....
Here I am leaving the hotel to go prowl the hot and rock filled streets of Austin with my good friend Mr. Mike Jones from CD Forge...even elevators can provide for a rad rock and roll moment now and again....
We were off to see what was formerly an addictively danceable solo project by Charlie Salas-Humaras, PDX's Panther. They've expanded into a 2 piece, and now they not only forced my feet into funky submission, but they also looked pretty damn good doing it. They killed it at Emos...see below...
After Panther, I trucked over to the Sub Pop showcase and saw hometown heroes and close pals The Helio Sequence, whose dreamy epic rock duets consistently blow me away. These boys are on a pretty spectacular arc these days, with a new CD on Sub Pop that's garnering rave reviews, and a live show that kicks big booty. I'm kind of in love with this shot...
In all the ridiculous chaos of Texas, it really helps to see friends, share triumphs and terrors and get some good huggin' in....Here's Brandon Summers & Benjy Weikel of Helio with yours truly - now that's cute stuff!
OK, I have to ask - but when did Blitzen Trapper start rocking so hard? Granted these boys used to rule the quirky pop roost, but they must have bought the CCR box set and smoked a whole pile of doobies, cause their sound seems to have morphed, with a dirty Americana edge mixing itself thick into their brew. I can't wait to check them out PDX-side soon...special stuff.
OK, just one more bloggy bit about Scroobius Pip and Dan LeSac. They exploded my lobes more than once, see previous blog entry and below for proof. This pic was from a show that spilled itself onto the sidewalk come Friday at SXSW, enthusiastic fans in tow....I have such a mad crush on the Pip...can you tell?
During the day on Saturday, I decided to go without a gameplan and simply roam the streets and let me eardrums do the steering. Its a relatively surreal ambient experience to walk down the block in Austin during SXSW. A million sounds coming from a zillion doorways. Plus BEER, lots of BEER. Along my walk, I heard some pretty fancy tunes streaming from the left. It turned out to be a very well dressed Canadian combo called Islands. I have a record by them that's a couple years old. It's good, but not nearly as amazing as they sounded that day. Strings, keys, killer rhythms, skewered indie-orchestral rock with a nice juanty pop edge. Yay thanks Islands for catching my ears!!
After Islands, I ambled up the way to see the inimitably awesome Black Mountain. There's something pretty special about these guys. Dark, psychedelic, dirgy rock - but with enough form and function to woo all sorts of fans. Coldplay had them open up for them a while back. I still don't understand how that happened, but do check them out. Incredible stuff.
On my walk back from seeing Black Mountain, I took a little stroll by Austin's Capitol. Check it out!
Ah, Austin, you are a pretty little city. The rest of my SXSW adventures were pretty low-key. I saw a few more bands, and really had a great time hanging out with my peeps....Here's me with my girl Laurel and old friend Chris Swanson, who runs the Secretly Canadian label group. What a dumpling. Definitely take a moment to peep their roster of artists (including Black Mountain, Jens Lekman and a host of other hotties).
After a few more drinks, I hooked up with the Black Mountain crew and watched them kick each others butts in arm wrestling while watching seriously twisted metal bands at a really skanky bar. A welcome relief from the hustle and bustle that was outside the door.
Sometimes, you gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em...I think i bet on the wrong guy!
Anyhoo - that was my 2008 Austin SXSW-a-thon. I hope you dug my pix and commentary. I plan to bring some of the treats I discovered in Texas to Portland, via my new post as Music Curatrix for Live Wire...in fact, one of the bands that will be on Saturday's show - Grand Archives, was a direct hit from my trolling. Yay for that, and for the future! Onward and upward!
Lots of love
Alicia J. Rose
Curatrix of Radness