Another year, another SXSW Music survived. It's crazy, it's five days of no sleep and eating on the run. But then you see that new band that knocks your socks off, or start chatting with that established musician whose music you've always loved on the street as you race from one venue to another, and no matter how tired you are, you know you're coming back next year.
Carrie Brownstein of Wild Flag @ NPR' Day Party @ The Parish
This year, I also covered acts from Washington, DC for the Washington City Paper, which you can read here. Wild Flag, a girl-super group of Mary Timony, Sleater-Kinney and Helium was tremendous. They may very well rank as my favorite act during SX. Other locals were These United States, Ted Leo, and the Bad Brains. I think the Nikon and I survived that madness by the grace of God and the 6'5 guy who stood behind me the whole time.
H.R. of Bad Brains @ Emo's Main Room
I'd never seen the Brains live before but I had a feeling it would be mayhem. What was really interesting though was watching while the crowd went insane, the band just stood there calm and collected-no leaping about for H.R. And he bowed to everyone, including the audience, after every song. Complete serenity in the midst of chaos. It was amazing to witness.
Other bands I caught Day 1 included Hayes Carll, The Tender Box, Duran Duran, and Fake Problems.
Hayes Carll @ American Songwriter's Day Party
The Tender Box @ Rusty Spurs
Duran Duran @ Stubbs
Fake Problems @ Dirty Dog Bar
(See the rest of the photos from each set here)
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Finally...Paste reported today that Color Me Obsessed, a fan-based documentary of The Replacements is finally coming out. Of the movie, director Gorman Bechard said, "I decided to present the band in a more iconic way. I thought, people believe in God without seeing or hearing him but rather through the passion, faith, and stories of others. After watching Color Me Obsessed, I’m pretty sure music fans will believe in The Replacements in much the same way.”
I'm a huge Mats fan and even that's a little strong for me. But we'll have to reserve judgment until after we see it. It may be worth seeing just for the interviews. Paste states that "the film includes over 140 interviews, including musicians such as Colin Meloy, Craig Finn, Patrick Stickles, Mac McCaughan, Tommy Ramone, Grant Hart and Greg Norton. Music critics Robert Christgau and Ira Robbins also weigh in on the importance of “the potentially true story of the last best band.”
Something with this big of an intro...could either really be great or really suck. Of course, we're hoping for the first of the two options.
"Color Me Obsessed" premieres 3/26 at the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa, FL, and then 4/2 at Madison’s Wisconsin Film Festival, 4/15 at the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, and 5/4 at Sound Unseen in Minneapolis, MN.
John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats is angry about the situation in Wisconsin and the whole union-busting situation. So he did what every good indie guitar player should do when something political gets his, uh, goat (hehe). He broke out his guitar, channeled that bit of Billy Bragg that lives inside all of us, and covered one of the best political songs ever, "There is Power in a Union." Says Darnielle
Everybody knows I don't generally do the acoustic guitar guy rocking political jams deal but as a former member of SEIU 660 & the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians & a kid who benefitted from great teachers I wanted to spend tonight saying WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE xo jd
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Superchunk singer Mac McCaughan will be on the WNYC show "SuperFans" today. It's an ongoing series that talks to, and about, ultra-loyal fan communities of all things. Today, they'll be covering Bruce Springsteen, which is cool in itself. But what will be even cooler is that McCaughan will be covering a Bruce song live on the air (doh!)
Our series on ultra-loyal fan communities returns with a look at the cult of The Boss. We talk with Daniel Cavicchi, author of Tramps Like Us: Music and Meaning Among Springsteen Fans, about the factions and rituals inside Springsteen’s fanbase. Plus, Mac McCaughan -- co-founder of Merge Records, leader of indie vets Superchunk and serious Bruce fan -- plays a Springsteen song live on the air. And, we open the phones.Show starts at 2 pm EST here.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
It's Fat Tuesday in Nawlins right now, the last bit of tearing things up before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent comes around. Professor Longhair was my introduction to Cajun stomp and New Orleans in general, so if you can't be there in person, at least your ears can.
Monday, March 7, 2011
The Strokes hit Saturday Night Live this weekend with two new tracks from their forthcoming record, Angles, due out 3/22. There are strains of Is This It? but it's...more evolved somehow. Nikolai Fraiture'a strong bass lines and Fabrizio Moretti's drums still drive the sound, but there's more of a change-up now in song structures and whatnot (great example, "Life is Simple in the Moonlight"). I'm praying they don't travel all the way to SXSW just for the single Auditorium Shores show, my Nikon is looking to love up on them up something serious.
"Under Cover of Darkness"
"Life is Simple in the Moonlight"
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Sondre Lerche has one of those other-worldly voices of beauty that can bring light to the deep and dark places. (Check out this video for a perfect example, long one of my favorites.)
Lerche is releasing a self-titled record, his sixth, on 6/7 this year. What will be interesting to hear is that many of the tracks are one-takes. "We recorded a lot of it to tape, forcing ourselves to either commit or burn bridges and move on," said Lerche. "We were killing darlings left and right. It was truly liberating."
Lerche also announced a slew of shows he'll do in support of the record throughout June (and prior to that, SXSW yayayayay!) Pre-sale for shows is on now through tomorrow (3/3) at 8 am on Sondre Lerche.com.
Sondre Lerche Tour
-SXSW Bookstore Signing (1:45pm)
-Paste Day Party (Stage on Sixth - 6:30pm)
-Rawkblog Party (The Liberty - 6pm)
-Yep Roc Music Showcase (Maggie Mae's - 9pm)
3/18: Bella Union / Zeitgeist Showcase (Central Presbyterian Church - 11pm)
5/31: Mod Club Toronto, ON
6/1: Sala Rossa Montreal, QC
6/2: Paradise Boston, MA
6/3: World Café Philadelphia, PA
6/4: The Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
6/7:The 9:30 Club Washington, DC
6/9: Cats' Cradle Carrboro, NC
6/10: 12th & Porter Nashville, TN
6/11: The Variety Atlanta, GA
6/12: Workplay Birmingham, AL
6/14: Southgate House Newport, KY
6/15: Old Rock House St Louis, MO
6/17: Fine Line Minneapolis, MI
6/18: Schubas Chicago, IL
6/19: Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
6/21: Larimer Lounge Denver, CO
6/22: Urban Lounge Salt Lake City, UT
6/24: Biltmore Vancouver, BC
6/25: The Croc Seattle, WA
6/26: Doug Fir Portland, OR
6/28: Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA
6/29: El Rey Los Angeles, CA
6/30: Belly Up San Diego, CA
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I photographed the Jonathan Richman show on Saturday at the 930 Club (read all about it here) for the paper. Shortly after their uploading, I got an email from New York Magazine asking about their using one of the photos for their concert roundup segment on their Vulture section.
A girl can't say no to that...So we didn't. Check out the photo they used here.