Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Roving Reports of Rock and Roll: SXSW 2010

Hello! I am back and alive (barely thanks to a head cold), but willing to tell the tales. Sorry I wasn't amongst those doing real-time postings...this year was great but also seemed to have the subtitle "SXSW 2010: If something can go wrong, it will." I'm working up the photos right now but some of the highlights off the top of my cold-ridden and exhausted brain (there will be others)..

-Ivan and Alyosha: awful name but wonderful band. Lead singer has a voice like Jeff Buckley but like an octave lower.

-Austin Hartley Leonard: wound up catching him twice, once acoustic with his banjo player, the other with his full band. Both times, awesome. He lives in LA so you kids with a more alt-country jones out there should check him out.

-Glossary: LOVED their sound and their musical timing...they change up tempos and do different types of hooks for sure.

-Street Sweepers Social Club: I haven't liked a rap-centered band since Public Enemy but good Lord was this good. The place was jam packed and the band's sound had everyone glued to the stage. (Although trying to shoot photos with mosh pits happening on either side of you is rough.) Met Tom Morello in the lobby of our hotel-really nice guy.

-Broadway Calls: Punk pop is back with a vengeance and this 3-piece is leading the charge. On same label as Gaslight Anthem so makes sense. Room sucked but the band was explosive.

-Superchunk: Four years in Chapel Hill, NC and I never got to see Superchunk play once (this was went they went into a bit of a hiatus). Eight years later, I can safely tell you: it was utterly magical. And fucking rocked my face off.

-Harlan T Bobo: Discovered this guy via the Memphis version of that "$5 Cover" show. Couldn't stay for the whole set as I had drinking to do with a KROQ DJ at the Hotel Driskill (and a drink, or five, at the Driskill had been on my list of things to do). But he's got this great sound and is quite the storyteller.

Wished I'd Seen:
-Surfer Blood: they played like 23 times over the four days and the first night I almost saw them but for bad location (they were put on a rooftop whose entrance was a tiny stairway next to the downstairs stage where another band was playing-quite the bottlenecked clusterfuck). From then on, it was just bad timing and I missed every other performance. (File under "bad timing").

-Cymbals Eat Guitars: file under "bad timing" and "Southwest Airlines is to blame"

More to come...stay tuned!

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