I'm sorry. So sorry.
It's been awhile, yes. Forgive me. I was in the warm Texas sun soaking up music, sun and booze for 4 days. Sunday - Tuesday involved lots of depression over being home, so I had to wait till my typical quirkiness returned before hopping on the keys again.
Can one label themselves quirky? Did I just color outside the lines?
Before I leap into recapping my faves of faves du weekend, I will give you a brief update on the experiment. After 4 days of beer and TexMex, coupled with very little sleep and no exercise other than walking and standing all day, I managed to maintain my weight. A minor miracle. A major miracle woulda been coming home down on the pounds. I'll take what I can get, however, and I'll happily roll along.
In updating some co-workers at lunch, I will say that I am down about 16 pounds from New Year's Day. Of course, the holiday season puts a wicked bloat on almost anyone, so a lot of that weight was easily expendable. Since my experiment started, I am down 4 pounds, which has stayed steadily gone. And good riddance.
Now. Onto Austin.
I will list for you all the bands I merit worth listing from my SXSW recon. There may be relevant commentary, there may be irrelevant commentary. On we go.
Just missed Deer Tick's sold out show at Empty Bottle in Chicago a few weeks ago, so I was super-juiced to see them at SXSW. I've coined a new genre term for them. Oil can honky tonk. We're talking baggy Wranglers, not-meant-to-be-funny belt buckles, cigarettes pinched twixt the 6-string, raw and dirty vocals and absolutely no bullshit. The kinda guys you'd expect to stroll out to your car at a Mississippi service station and shoot the shit with you, never bothering to remove the smoke from their lips. These guys sound a lot raunchier live than anything I've heard online. More swagger to boot.
The sounds of Deer Tick
The Bird and The Bee.
Cute girls in primary-color baby smocks. That was my first impression. Didn't even know the outfit was really a female/male duo. To me, it was all about the girls. Sweet and bubbly pop. Choreographed moves, which were also adorable, and made me feel like they gave a shit about stage presence and putting on a good show. TBaTB got extra lucky in that the sun was twinkling brightly overhead when they took the stage. And that I had an El Salvador beer in-hand. I had a smile on when they entered, and a teeth-a-plenty when they exeunt.
The sounds of The Bird and The Bee
The Temper Trap.
Australians playing a British Music Embassy showcase, weirdly enough. Sure, they were once occupied, and sure, they've got the Union Jack within their flag, but Australia had it's own showcase, yes? Regardless, they were fabulous. Going back and listening to them online now, they sound worlds away from where I stood that night. Of course, that happens often.
The sounds of The Temper Trap
Echo and the Bunnymen.
My God, they still sound so good. With a "Born on" date of 1978, these dudes were kicking ass while I was still wetting the bed. Okay, fine, I wet the bed till I was 9, is that what you wanted to hear?
The sounds of Echo and the Bunnymen
Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele.
If you read this blog with any semblance of regularity, you'll know that I recently saw Mr. May and his Uke here in Chicago. Typically, I wouldn't waste my time at SXSW seeing a band I'd seen before. Too many others to discover. I made a special exception for Mr. May, and am glad I did. It was interesting seeing people amble in and oogle him. He's a very odd bird. I love odd birds.
The sounds of Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele
Now that we've covered the highlights, let's shift into regrets gear.
Bands I missed that I am kicking myself for:
I didn't even know Justin Hawkins had a side project. Well, is it considered "side" if The Darkness is no more? Last I heard, Justin was swearing he'd never be able to tour again due to his battles with drugs and alcohol. And so here he is again, with his straight from Hair Metal Outer Space voice. My God, that man's got pipes. Hearing the new stuff makes me sad for the demise of The Darkness, which was so over the top. Codpiece rock. One of my favorite records of all time, their debut. At least Justin's out and about again. That little belting elf was selfish to try to hide his shit from the world.
Justin Townes Earle
A Bloodshot boy, and I still haven't managed to see him. Missed him at CMJ and at SXSW. He's got a solid twang and a Faces of Meth mug. Named for Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle, so what's not to love therein?
Some good ole Waterloo, TX boys. Aryn's got the pipes of Chris Cornell, but they sing about much more bad-ass topics, such as living with witches and heart attack thighs. They are my proof that good solid raunch rock is on its way back in. And I've baked it cookies to welcome it home.
The Pepper Pots
A Spanish soul/ska trio of some cute gals. The Pepper Pots. What a cute name. You just wanna love them from the name alone. I wanna be a Pepper Pot.
The She Creatures
Again with a female gimmick band, but I don't care. British alien-chick band, with crazy blue wigs, but damnit, I like the way they sound. They harmonize nicely, and they just so happen to look stellar in silver.
These guys can't be serious. I guess if they are, I can get over the evil feeling from mocking them. Not my usual type-a thing, with the duo DJ set-up, but these guys fold in the funny nicely. Makes you wanna listen to what's being said, not just shake yo' ass.
More Or Les
The one rapper on this year's docket that I really wanted to see. Reminds me a little of a cross between Fresh Prince babied up with Del Tha Funky Homosapien. Clean and clear, with little to no street-shit goin' on.
Hard rock verging on metal. From Canada. Now, usually, the Canadian association would turn me off like mom jeans, but these guys are sufficiently harsh. With titles like "Lucifer's Rocking Chair" and "Pneumonia Hawk", you know they have to have a sense of humor.
Considering the list above, you'd think I missed more than I saw. Not the case at all. I saw a lot, just didn't feel the need to shout from the rooftops about all of it. Could've been the ultimate case with the bands listed above had I seen them live.
At SXSW this year I decided 2 things:
I need to stop doing shots. For good.
Everyday should be SXSW. I need to commit to see more live music. No worries, team, I am on the way to making good on that as we speak. Stay tuned.