reason I had missed SXSW 2010 was celebrating her first birthday 2000
kilometers away as I started my 16th SXSW. I felt a bit guilty for not
being back home, but it also felt great to return in Austin for a few days
of Texas sun & food, and an overdose of music.
Lucinda Williams calls someone “my new favorite artist and an amazing
guitarist”, it’s a good idea to pay attention. Anne McCue’s [Broken
Promise Land] is a showcase of singing, songwriting, and guitar playing
excellence.” – David Maine, popmatters.com
Hemispheres party had an interesting line-up all afternoon, and I went
there early to check out an artist whose albums I own but had never
seen live before: Anne McCue. When
I arrived at 12:30, techs were still fiddling with the PA, but luckily
the band scheduled to play first was a no-show, so Anne started on
time. As it turned out the PA wasn’t really ready yet, her second song,
an ode to Johnny Cash titled “I Want You Back” was interrupted not
once, but twice by major distortion, but she managed to work her way
through an impressive set in front of a handful of people.
See a video from another performance during SXSW here.
strong DIY ethic and a Carter family chemistry, Or, the Whale weaves driving
indie-rock with sweet folk lullabyes, bootstompin' roots, drifting porch
anthems, honesty and energy.” – Amazon.com
Back to the
hotel to park the car, then on to 6th Street. Technical difficulties
front and center on the Cheers Patio. I can’t even remember how often
the fuse blew, but the band handled it well and switched back and
between completely acoustic songs and partly electric tracks...
See a video of "Call And Response" from a 2008 show here.
most of the songs fall into the folk-rock category, [American Nomad]
still displays an impressive range, including the Motown-inspired
“Watering Hole.” A cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “State Trooper”
features a tense buildup and sharp breakdown, with frontman Ford’s
earnest delivery holding everything together. Bands’ lifespans may
vary, but Ford sings like he’s in it for the long haul.” – Katie Chow,
One thing that is constant around Austin’s Sixth Street and Red River
is change. As soon as I got to “Swan Dive” I recognized it as the old
“Spiro’s”, one of the places I detested most during SXSW 2009. Let’s
just say the change in name did not make it any better. Three
lightbulbs were used to illuminate the stage, superloud music between
sets made conversation difficult, but the line-up at the American
Songwriter party was interesting enough to make me stick around for
most of the afternoon. The first band I saw there was The Apache Relay,
who delivered a highly energetic set.
Watch a video of "Home Is Not Places" here.
is locked in a not-so-fierce battle with Ryan Bingham for the title of
new king of alt-country. Here he splits the difference between
Bingham's tender musings and a more raucous brand of humor. It's no
surprise a guy best known for ''She Left Me for Jesus'' would turn in a
one-night-stand saga as funny as the Democratbeds- Republican duet
''Another Like You,'' but he can play it beautifully straight — and sad
— too.” – Chris Willman, Entertainment Weekly
Had never seen
Hayes before, but heard many good things. This was a great opportunity
and he certainly got the crowd dancing. Or in his own words on his
guest blog for the Austin Chronicle: “4:30pm: We take the stage. I have
five fans, and they're all exceptionally bad dancers. Their enthusiasm
inspires me though, and I drink more whiskey.”
Watch a video from another SXSW performance here.
songwriting gifts are on ample display throughout Own Side Now, with lyrics
that show a knack for poetic turns and artful understatement in equal measure
-- a combination too seldom found in young songwriters' work -- and humble but
hummable melodies that make the most of her grounding in both alt-country and
pop.” – James Allen, allmusic.com
artist that came highly recommended. This set was okay, but I didn’t feel the
urge to run out and buy the album.
a video from this show here.
songwriters today write with Isbell's combination of lyrical economy,
deep-seated empathy, and masterstroke axe melodies.” – Jim Caligiuri,
I always enjoyed
the songs Isbell wrote during his time with the Drive-By Truckers. I
thought that his solo-debut was good, and that his second album showed
a lot of growth as a songwriter and that his band had really become a
unit after the many shows they had played together.
Initially I was
a bit disappointed that he would play without the 400 Unit at this
party, but his set turned out to be the highlight of the day and the
entire festival. He was joined by Amanda Shires
(Thrift Store Cowboys) on violin and harmony vocals and the obvious
on-stage chemistry between them and the strength of the new material
even won over the “fans” constantly yelling out for “Outfit”. They
mesmerized the previously chatty party-crowd, and as the next band was
running late, they got to play a few extra songs. Pure magic.
"Alabama Pines", "The Magician", "Codeine", "Go It Alone", "We’ve Met",
"Outfit", "Goddamn Lonely Love", "Tour Of Duty", "In A Razor Town",
Listen to the stand-out track of the new album here: “Codeine”
along 6th Street it certainly did not feel like a Wednesday afternoon. Crowds
were out in force and music was everywhere.
“You’d be hard pressed to find a lesser known band with as many great songs as The Silos.” – My Old Kentucky Blog
party was one of the first Wednesday afternoon parties at SXSW and used
to be a “must-attend” in the earlier part of the decade. However, some
questionable venue choices, increasingly shorter sets and so many
alternatives have certainly eroded the popularity of the event. This
year it was held at a venue with an unfamiliar name at the location of
the old Mother Egan’s. But while Mother Egan’s was a great place to see
live music, the Dogwood clearly isn’t. Nevertheless the Silos delivered
the usual high-quality set, despite the fact that drummer Konrad
Meissner only joined after the first couple of songs, arriving straight
from playing a show with another band across town. The setlist
(“Teenage Prayer”, “Election Day”, “Coming From The Grave”, “White
Vinyl”, “The Only Love”, “The Ring Of Trees”) showcased quite a few
songs from the outstanding new Florizona album.
Watch a video from this show here.
Listen to a song from the new album here: "White Vinyl"
Continue to evening...
(c) Steffen Paulus 2011