Good Dannys @ Parish
My Old Kentucky Blog & Song, by Toad @ Hype Hotel
The Twilight Sad
Micah P. Hinson
Scottish Showcase @ Easy Tiger Patio
Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers
Tango in the Attic
Three Blind Wolves
We Were Promised Jetpacks
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We walk down the street to Arturo’s for a lovely breakfast among Mexican art.
We walk to 6th Street, only to realize that at 10:00 we are way too early for everything. We stroll down to the Four Seasons to sit in their park and check messages, etc.
At 11:00 we head over to The Parish, one of the earliest starting shows today. We hear Hollis Brown perform some straight-ahead rock licks. I recorded a few songs, worried that my peak limiter was working overtime.
They are followed by a country-flavored band, Crooks. Crossett likes them better than I do. I hear their first couple of songs from around the corner and I think they sound vaguely like The Decemberists. When I turn the corner, they sound a little different. Not bad but more country than from farther away.
We leave for our friend’s showcase. He runs “Songs, by Toad” out of Edinburgh and he has a great ear for bands (just don’t ask him about Bin Iver). His involvement in the Hype Hotel day show, on this day, was picking the bands.
As expected, The Twilight Sad put on a brilliant show. The lead singer, James Graham, has taken off the pot belly he sported last year. They are somewhat delayed, apparently their equipment had not arrived with them. They more than make up for the delay with a full-out performance that I’m sure has won over a new slew of fans.
Following is Michael P. Hinson, who has been opening for them on their current US tour. He looks like a cross between Hank Williams and Elvis Costello. He plays what appears to be a 3/4 sized guitar but gets 15 times the sound out of it.
Big Deal is a brother-sister act, and a nice looking couple a that. They both played guitar, nervously looked at each other, and played some decent tunes.
Blitzen Trapper closed the showcase with guitars blazing. They were unafraid to show their Led Zeppelin and Lynard Skynard influences. Bluesy, gutsy music, full of country bravado and swagger. (My camera battery has died by this point, the remaining photos are from my phone.)
In the evening we headed over to Easy Tiger Patio for the Scottish Showcase. We were very interested in seeing Django Django and We Were Promised Jetpacks (and really anything else the Scots were ready to throw at us). We missed most of the opening band’s set but got a good place to watch Tango in the Attic. They played a good set, nothing stands out particularly.
French Wives include a really tall lead singer/guitarist. I wonder if he might have Marfan’s Syndrome, like Bradford Cox of Deerhunter/Atlas Sound. Then I wonder if there’s a link between Marfan’s and creativity. Not that it matters. French Wives played a really clean and fun set.
Three Blind Wolves could be a Seattle group if they didn’t say anything. They come out in plaid shirts and play another great set with some very catchy songs.
We knew Django Django would be different when they started setting up. Unfortunately, all the electronics caused a long set up, something that does not mesh well with SXSW where you are generally playing a 30-40 minute set. They had the audience up and bopping around with their fun, frantic beats but was ultimately anticlimactic as they had to pay the piper for the long set up and stop after a very few songs.
By the time We Were Promised Jetpacks came onstage I was pretty beat. I made the mistake of ordering a real beer (which was nearly taken accidentally by King Creosote) and it was giving me the sleepies. Jetpacks were loud and rocking but I wasn’t. I retreated to a nearby bench to sit out this show. Tomorrow no beer.