Monday, February 25, 2008

The Black Lips @ Good Records

The Black Lips brought their own brand of garage-esque rock to the astro-turf at Good Records yesterday and surprised us. They were funny, genuine, and their energetic set packed a good deal of songs into a short amount of time. The band proved to be well worth the wait and provided a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

All photos by me, Trent Lesikar, and belong here, on The Grizzly Life.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

SXSW Shows to Know: KEXP

On our second edition of SXSW Shows to Know, we are featuring a just-released announcement that has us very excited. You heard it here first folks, KEXP will be back at SXSW this year, and they are bringing a wonderful line-up with them. Not only will they be bringing along some exciting acts, but they will also set up HQ in the KRLU/ACL Studios in the Communications building on campus at UT. Take my word for it when I say that you will not want to miss these performances. Not only are the bands great, but the sound is amazing inside the historic studio that has held some of the best live performances ever broadcast on television for the Austin City Limits TV series. We covered some of them last year, and they were easily a highlight of SXSW. The shows will take place on Friday and Saturday of the festival and the line-ups and times are below. 

Friday 3/14/2008
11:30 a.m. DeVotchKa
1:30 p.m.  The Breeders
3:30 p.m.  Handsome Furs
5:30 p.m.  Does It Offend You, Yeah?
7:30 p.m. Holy Fuck

Saturday 3/15/2008
2:00 p.m.  These New Puritans
4:00 p.m. Tapes 'N' Tapes
6:00 p.m.  The Raveonettes 
8:00 p.m.  Blitzen Trapper

SXSW Daily Schedule Now Availible

Yes folks, the barrage continues. For the next 25 days or so, you will be hearing a lot from us about SXSW, so I apologize if you aren't going to be headed down to Austin for the festival this year (we will still keep covering what's coming through the area, just at a little slower pace). Anyway, for those of us lucky enough to be there, SXSW looks pretty good this year, and even better now that you can fully plan all of your visits (at least to the official stuff). 
Head on over to this site: to check out all of the showcases. 
Similarly, Yaris and Free Yr Radio have teamed up to provide SXSW goers with the perfect way to plan out their week. On their site devoted to planning it all out, you can check out their multitude of shows (it doesn't have them all, but probably will soon) and add them to a personalized itinerary. Your picks will automatically be added to a map to help you get around and you can save them as a PDF for your convenience. While at the site, you can also plan to have them pick you up at the airport, receive SMS messages on your phone, get mp3s of bands at the festival, and even "Win Yr Way to SXSW 2008". The site is certainly worth a look if you are headed down there, and if you aren't, you can just drool over the schedules. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

SXSW Shows to Know: Merge Showcase

This first installment of our SXSW Shows to Know column highlights the Merge Records Showcase, which just so happens to be our most anticipated showcase at SXSW this year, thanks to none other than the headliner, Destroyer. It is no secret that we are infatuated by Mr. Bejar's tunes, and his new album Trouble in Dreams has only increased that infatuation with each listen. This is one show that is guaranteed to have our attendance, and if my senses are correct, this one will be on a lot of people's minds. Just in case you think about blowing this one off, keep in mind that it is Destroyer's only scheduled performance at the festival and when he goes on tour in April, he won't be coming to Texas at all.

Not only will Destroyer be on the bill, but the highly anticipated super-duo (?) of M. Ward and actress-turned-singer Zooey Deschanel, aka She & Him, will be playing together for one of their first shows. The duo has garnered a lot of buzz as of late, and this will likely be your first chance to hear them do their thing live. Haven't heard them yet? Well look no further. A link to their first single Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? is provided at the end of the post. 
That being said, the rest of the bill isn't anything to scoff at:
Friday, March 14th @ The Parish:
She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward)
Radar Bros
Shout Out Louds
Wye Oak

Thursday, February 14, 2008

SXSW Wristband Info Out, Confusion and Disappointment Reign

For those of you who thought you might just be able to hit up eBay to get your SXSW wristband this year, think again! The festival has foiled your plan this year and forced you to enter a drawing online, which does not automatically qualify you to purchase a wristband . The rules are a little bit daunting to understand at first glance but it goes something like this:

The "initial" drawing (there isn't anything about additional drawings from what I can see) will consist of 4,000 wristbands and the prices will be $139 for Austinites and $180 for out-of-towners. You will be able to submit your information from Thursday, February 21st at 9 a.m., through Monday, February 25th at 9 a.m. in order to enter your name in the drawing. After that 96 hour period of time, some automated machine will pull names at random and if you get one, you're in luck, and if not, you're not so lucky! The wording implies that there will be additional drawings, but there isn't anything on the site about that. I think that the additional drawing might be separate for out-of-towners but I'm not quite sure. Additionally, you will have to pick up your wristband the week of SXSW while you are there, and it will be placed on your wrist at that time. So much for resellers!

Follow the link for all of the rules:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

SXSW Goes All Official on Us

Luckily, you won't be seeing any more rumors about SXSW around here, because the official list for showcasing artists was released. You will however be hearing from us about those side shows that seem to be the best part of the week, but that will come later when more information is released. For now, these are the standouts on the list that we think you'd like to hear about. Don't sift through the list, we've compiled the best of the fest right here!

Akron/Family, Asobi Seksu, Atlas Sound, David Bazan, Best Fwends, The Blow, Bodies of Water, Born Ruffians, Cadence Weapon, Castanets, Jason Collett, The Concretes, The Cool Kids, The Death Set, Destroyer, DeVotchKa, Diplo, The Dodos, Dr. Dog, Evangelicals, Fuck Buttons, Handsome Furs, Holy Fuck, Jana Hunter, Jim James, Jens Lekman, Matt & Kim, Thurston Moore, Peter Moren, My Brightest Diamond, My Morning Jacket, Okkervil River, Peter and the Wolf, Pink Nasty, Kimya Dawson, Vampire Weekend, and Yo La Tengo, plus tons more.

Check out the full list here:

We are certainly looking forward to SXSW this year, and we will let you know as soon as the shows are finalized and things begin to take more of a definite shape. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Xiu Xiu is Too Fun!

(photo by David Horvitz)

But I guess one can never have too much fun right? Anyway, if you haven't been paying attention to Xiu Xiu lately, you'd better wise up! Not only did their new album Women As Lovers come out last week, but with it, they have launched a sister-site to the album that contains a few fun things that you might want to check out. 

1. Xiu Xiu has started posting a video magazine, called I Do What I Want, When I Want, that is quite entertaining. The first two issues are on the site now. The first one, Star Hoof Deer Trek, features Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier talking extensively about his love for Star Trek and a new episode, entitled Cute Attack, which features cut little rabbits, was released yesterday.

2. If you've kept up with Xiu Xiu's main site, you know that frontman Jamie Stewart has a particular fondness for the writing of haikus. That being said, if you send in a picture of you holding a copy of their new record and agree to answer some simple questions about yourself, Jamie himself will write you a personalized haiku. Mine should be on the way soon and I will post it here when it goes up on their site. 

3. The band is also offering for you (yes, you) to sing on an untitled song of theirs. They then post the songs for everyone to listen to, and I'm not even quite sure what goes on after that. Right now, only ten songs have been posted, but if you want your potential shot at some sort of fame, sing on their song!

4. Did I mention that Women As Lovers is an amazing album? I don't think so, but it certainly warrants you having a copy.  With each release, the band continues to give more stimulating and thought provoking songs. Their catalogue continues to grow and they will end up as one of the best bands to come out of our time. Xiu Xiu is playing a show in Ft. Worth at Lola's on April 3rd (which we are attempting to sponsor) and we are very very excited about it. 
Oh hey! Remember when we interviewed Jamie Stewart? Yeah, that was funny...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Holy Fuck and The Fiery Furnaces @ The Granada Theater

As you can tell by the title, we skipped out on Super Furry Animals, but we've never really listened to them and they could not have topped The Fiery Furnaces anyway. Sorry if you're disappointed!

The show was kicked off by Holy Fuck, who did their best to get things started on the right foot. Their performance got a good deal of people to at least stop and sway a little, while some seemed more prone to freaking out. Either way, the band did a fine job of warming the crowd up for The Fiery Furnaces.

If one thing became a little bit clearer after the band's performance, it was that they are not just a brother and sister duo. Yes, Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger do bear most of the weight, but the live sound with ex-Sebadoh bassist Jason Loewenstein and well-bearded drummer Bob D'Amico completes the total package. They played a good deal of the best cuts from 2007's excellent Widow City and various older tracks. Every song had various live tweaks that worked well with their live setup and would make for a great live recording or videos (which someone was recording...). To us, The Fiery Furnaces were the headliners of the night, and with good reason. 

The Fiery Furnaces

All photos by Trent Lesikar and copyright The Grizzly Life 2008