Posts Tagged ‘sxsw’
Did I tell you about the time that I lied and cheated my way into church? Terribly ironic for an agnostic, isn’t it? The chance to catch the mighty Tune Yards at her official showcase will make you do wacky things, it turns out.
About a half hour before show time, we approached the front entrance of the gorgeous Central Presbyterian Church on 8th Street, an official SXSW venue since 2006, to investigate which long line we were supposed to stand in. They were split between badges and wristbands, with preference to badges. Class warfare at work, folks. At the front of the designated line for us wristband plebeians, I spotted a gentleman wearing this shirt. That’s an ISO50 design from my favorite graphic artist, Scott Hansen. If you hadn’t noticed, The Decibel Tolls’ interface is basically a second-rate rip off of his aesthetic. Hey, all art is imitation in some form. At any rate, I approached him. “Dude, you an ISO50 fan?” “I dunno man, got this at a second hand store.” “Ah, well you should check it out. The designer is Scott Hansen and he’s amazing. I know that guy [editors note: I don't, this was a total lie] and he’s totally rad, blah blah blah.” We shot the shit for a while, and as the conversation trailed off… we just sorta stuck around… right there, at the front of the line. After all the badges were let in, there was only room left for 20 wristband holders. Had we entered the line in an honest fashion, we wouldn’t have been admitted. I did this at a church. I maliciously bullshitted in the eyes of our Lord Jesus the Christ. Should it exist, I’ve secured my coach seat in the 2nd or 3rd layer of hell.
Was total damnation worth it? Yes. Tune Yards slayed. As evidenced by the photos, Merrill Garbus is bananas live.
Tune Yards treated the supposedly over-capacity room (the fire marshall showed up) to their first taste of her forthcoming full length whokill. Apropos to her more expansive sound, Garbus produced a backing horn section to do proper justice to lead tracks “Bizness” and “Gangsta.” Additionally, she accurately recreated just about all her dynamic recorded sounds in a live setting flawlessly. Beyond her famous acute uke licks, it turns out she’s a decent percussionist as well, spending much of the performance behind a tom set. After a particularly powerful rendition of “Fiya” from Bird Brains, Merrill remarked, in an almost paradoxically soft spoken tone, that this show might’ve been the best they played at SXSW. That’s always nice when your best performance is at the official showcase, but I’m sure the palpable energy in the room played a notable part. I don’t follow hype, but there’s a reason why people coming out of South By Southwest were talking about Tune Yards. If I had to pick my favorite performance from the entire week, it’s a safe to say Tune Yards claimed that prize. She crushed it, dudes.
Yeah, while you clowns were busy rioting outside Death From Above 1979′s Beauty Bar show, gettin’ mad dogged by Austin’s finest in the process, I was cold lampin’ and feelin’ fine in the VIP section of Hotel San Jose – vibin’ out to a home turf show from The Black Angels. Yep, life is good when you don’t give a shit about reunited buzzbands.
At any rate, The Black Angels, as usual, delivered the goods. Droney, crunchy, commanding, powerful… they’re a reliable live band always worth the cost of admission wherever they play. And dare I say… for a group of people who write songs about bad trips, the desert, skulls, and scary mysticism… they sure do smile a lot. Seem to be solid bros (and lady). If you find yourself in Austin again at the end of this month, don’t forget the amazing festival they curate, Austin Psych Fest.
While I tend to pick out the three to five best photos, I ended up shooting, like, 300 photos of this performance and just couldn’t narrow all the nice ones down, so you can find more after the break.
POSSIBLY RELEVANT :::
[Interview] Christian Bland of The Black Angels
I had to outsource photog duty to my boi Dustin on this one, as I was only able to hang for one song. As someone who didn’t know how to operate a Nikon SLR until I said “here,” he did a nice job, particularly in the presence of direct sunlight behind the band.
So yeah, I don’t know if Mercury’s retrograde is out to harsh my mellow or I’m just due a celestial cockpunch, but every one of No Joy‘s 27 shows at SXSW conflicted with some sort of engagement I couldn’t get out of. They were one of my must-see bands, so I made every effort to attend a full performance. That was certainly a bummer. The closest I got was the Impose party Friday night, but Bloggins doesn’t wait in long lines (unless I’m able to summon some black magick to get to the front, see the forthcoming Tune Yards entry). However, what I did see at Dodge’s MOKB day party at Peckerheads was a performance as loud, boisterous, and epic as their debut Ghost Blonde. They tour a lot, so I anticipate bookin’ it to any club they play within 100 miles of me a.s.a.p., star alignment be damned.
Not much to say about Gary Wilson that has not yet been said. I’m glad he’s back. I’m glad I got to hear “6.4 = Make Out” live. I’m glad that he feigned rearing a child to a packed house at Red7. I’m glad the on-stage baby powder explosion did not adversely affect my camera. I’m glad that, after seeing him in person, in tandem with his Linda meme and the fact the he was discovered working in an adult theater after a two decade absence, I can say I unequivocally believe his creepiness is sincere. I’m glad Gary Wilson is here to give people something to think about. I’m glad Gary Wilson is teaching dudes that you too can be a babe magnet by taping a blanket to your head. Most of all, I’m glad I caught him at South By Southwest.
The Brooklyn-based case study in tympanic fortitude, A Place to Bury Strangers, made up for the loss of their seizure-inducing light show during their daytime set by moving their amps to the front of the stage and blowing out the crowd. I appreciate this, though I’m sure the neighbors didn’t. Strangers were absolutely spot-on, which is par for the course from the dudes who started Skywave back in the Bush years. Seeing the band in the bright sun aslo revealed interesting aspects of the band that you might not notice under their usual chaotic club performances. Besides basking in the awesome power of Oliver Ackermann’s mustache, you get a clear look at dude’s guitar. Damn. Axe got straight meatballed. That’s punk rock.
POSSIBLY RELEVANT :::
[Photos] A Place To Bury Strangers and K Tranza – Zanzabar, Louisville – 9.29.10