Saturday, February 27, 2010

Today : West By West Campus


SXSW is just a few weeks away, but if you're already in Austin, you can get a little taste of multi-stage many-band mayhem today with West By West Campus. There are tons of bands playing over a sprawling three-house setup, its free, all ages, and BYOB. What more could you ask for in a community music festival? (Okay, maybe a keg, but that's okay!) Everything starts rolling around 2 p.m. and lasts throughout the day until a little after midnight. Check out the website or the Facebook page for all the details and get out there and have some fun!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Review & Photos : Akron/Family and Warpaint @ The Parish

The Akron/Family and Warpaint show at The Parish last night was the most fun I've had at a concert in a good while. The level of energy and joy in playing music these two bands exhibited hasn't been seen in a long time. Both bands were clearly enjoying themselves and that energy rubbed off on the crowd in the best possible way.

Warpaint played one of the longest opening sets I've ever seen and they were incredible. Their mixing of different genres works well and they do it better than most bands who attempt the same. The crowd was extremely receptive to the band's sound and they were the perfect opener for Akron/Family. I would go so far as to say the band almost served as a second headliner and some in the crowd felt the same way.

Akron/Family truly enjoy making and playing music and that seeps out of their performance. They engaged the crowd batter than most bands and had everyone smiling throughout their performance. Their set was well-balanced between fun-loving sing-alongs and noisier songs that found the crowd closing their eyes and drifting off. The highlight of the show, spectacle-wise, was the breaking of one of the largest pinatas known to man in celebration of Stella Mogzawa's (she plays drums in Warpaint) birthday. It was full of candy and confetti that showered the crowd and surely made for an unforgettable concert-going experience. Scroll through the photos for all the action.


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tonight : Akron/Family and Warpaint @ The Parish

Come check out Akron/Family and Warpaint tonight at The Parish. It's sure to calm you down and get you pumped for life, all at the same time. Doors open at 8. See you there! Tapers are welcome, according to Akron/Family's website, so bring out the reel to reel and get recording!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Photos : Balmorhea / Damien Jurado @ Central Presbyterian Church

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Friday, February 19, 2010

New Broken Social Scene : "World Sick"


It's been five years since anyone has heard new studio material from Broken Social Scene. That's a long time. There's a five-year-old out there who has grown up in a BSS-less world. That's all about to change when the band releases their new record Forgiveness Rock Record on May 4. Until then, you can listen to a new track called "World Sick". The wait isn't so long when you weigh it against five years. The band will be in Austin playing SXSW on March 18 and 19, so if you'd like to check out some of this new material in a live setting, hit up those shows!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tomorrow : Balmorhea's 'Constellations' Record Release w/ Damien Jurado @ Central Presbyterian Church

Balmorhea / Damien Jurado

As you may have gleaned from the poster, Austin's own Balmorhea will be playing a record release show this Friday at Central Presbyterian Church to celebrate the release of their new record Constellations. Damien Jurado will be opening and things kick off at 9 p.m. It should be a good evening.

SXSW Wristbands On Sale at 10 a.m.!

Austinist tipped us off to this monumental news: SXSW wristbands will be going on sale in about 15 minutes and they can be yours for the price of $129 big ones. Hit up THIS LINK at 10 a.m. and you can get the piece of plastic that grants you access to every official showcase (subject to capacity and after badge holders enter, of course). OR you could just chance it and pay a cover charge to that one big show you want to go to and follow our guide, which is coming soon, to every awesome free show your little heart desires. The choice is yours, and yours alone.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The SXSW Grids Are Here!


We haven't even begun to cover SXSW like we would like to, but it's all coming up so soon and we will have a ton of coverage for you so stay tuned. If you're one of those official types, the good folks at SXSW have released the official showcases and you can check them out here. If you aren't one of those people, we will have a guide to all the good free stuff just like we did last year, so keep your eyes peeled to the GL and you will get all the good info soon. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review & Photos : RJD2 and Kenan Bell @ Emo's

It's rare that as a concertgoer, you get to see what a full performance is like. A show, with different dimensions, however far reaching, is hard to come by. RJD2's performance at Emo's on Saturday night did just that. There were so many dimensions to his performance that the $18 cover charge was well worth the price and the fans thought so too because the venue was at capacity before RJD2 hit the stage.

Happy Chichester started things off, but not on the right foot. Most if not all of the crowd was itching to get dancing, have a good time and keep warm on the cold February night (which, by the way, all of the acts remarked how warm it was compared to their other gigs) but Chichester just wasn't doing it for most. He was pleased to be there and had a few people shouting "Happy!", but after he left the stage, the crowd had no energy.

That all changed with Kenan Bell. Bell, somewhat of an internet buzz machine with his remixes of Pink Floyd and Jose Gonzalez and rapping over The Smiths, really got things started. With the backing band and Bell's ability to work the crowd, nearly everyone was transfixed and surprised by his talent. He's worth a listen.

RJD2, as I said earlier, put on a full, multi-dimensional show. He came out in a jumpsuit with reflective tape all over it with some kind of beat-making sequencer pad attached to his crotch on kind of a lazy susan. When he turned around, the back of the jumpsuit read "Commisioner Crotchbuttons". Needless to say, the show started off on the right foot. After the Crotchbuttons intro, RJ headed behind the turntables and started the set off with a mix of his Mad Men theme song which got just about everybody dancing. I almost forgot he composed the theme for the show and it was a pleasant surprise to hear it right off the bat. From there, the set continued on the turntables and then went to the full band, where they pulled from RJD2's latest release, The Colossus. After the band portion was finished, RJ went back behind the turntables and used a video camera to show the crowd the intricacies of his set up and what he was doing to make the music they were hearing. His sequencing pad had a portion of the Donkey Kong music programmed to each button and he brought out a Mario puppet who jumped over a barrel while the music played. All this played out on the screen behind him, played through the camera he had set up. It was quite the set up and one of the most unique aspects to the show. The differences between each act of the performance and the fact that they worked well together made for a fun and interesting evening.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tonight : RJD2, Happy Chichester and Kenan Bell @ Emo's


RJD2 will be bringing a huge party to Emo's this evening, so put on your dancing shoes and get ready to get sweaty! The weather is beautiful outside (at least right now), so the outside stage at Emo's should be perfect for tonight's show. Door open at 9 and tickets will be $18 at the door. If you don't have a valentine, you may end up finding one this evening and it could be the best $18 you've ever spent. It'll be a story to tell the kids and the grandkids. Happy Chichester and Kenan Bell are opening. It's going to be a good night.

Video : RJD2 - "Let There Be Horns"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SXSW : The Day Before The Mess Fest @ 21st Street Co-op


This one is going to be awesome. Before the hoards of music fans descend on our fair city, you will get a chance to take in some awesome bands with the locals (and probably a few early arrivals from out of town). The 21st Street Co-op is hosting The Day Before The Mess Fest, featuring Thee Oh Sees, The Fresh and Onlys, Woven Bones, Wounded Lion, The Baths and Shapes Have Fangs. It kicks off at 9 p.m. on March 16th and runs through 2 a.m. on the 17th. It may or may not be free, but if anything, there might be a suggested donation of a few bucks to help out the touring bands. It will be worth it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Review & Photos : Julie Doiron and Bowerbirds @ Mohawk

If anything can be said of the show featuring Julie Doiron and Bowerbirds, it is that both acts are endearing and play music reflecting that. Doiron was clearly happy to be playing music, unlike some of the acts that come through town. She was giddy and smiling through the whole performance and interacted with the crowd like they were her hometown audience, full of friends who had seen her play a million times before. At one point in the night, she said this show felt like her first, as if she had just started out, but she played it like a veteran of the road.

Bowerbirds played a sometimes quiet, sometimes rousing set that seemed to please the almost-full crowd at Mohawk. The crowd sang along and looked up at the band with adoration throughout the entire set. Doiron and her guitar player came back on stage for an encore that ended the show in a way unique to these kinds of shows where bands who are also friends tour together.

Photos : Julie Doiron and Bowerbirds @ Mohawk
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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Buy Los Campesinos! First Glockenspiel, Help Haiti


Gareth of Los Campesinos! has put the band's first-ever glockenspiel on Ebay and it can be yours if the price is right! As of writing this, the glockenspiel has received 25 bids and is up to 180 British pounds sterling. Here's what Gareth has to say about it:
"It is featured on our initial demo recordings, their Sticking Fingers Into Sockets EP and their debut album Hold On Now, Youngster... . It was also used in approximately our first fifty live performances. Taking in shows in the UK, Europe and their first ever gig in the US, at Lollapalooza festival. I have treated it sternly but sensually. I will also throw in some 7"s of our previous singles. Some very limited edition. ALL MONEY RAISED FROM THE SALE OF THIS ITEM WILL BE DONATED TO THE AID RELIEF IN HAITI. The glockenspiel will be signed by all band members, past and present, upon request. Please bid generously to own this piece of ROCK MUSIC HISTORY, and to donate to a very worthy cause."
So, if you want to own this piece of history and want to help support the relief efforts in the Haiti, now is the time!

Review & Photos : Girls @ Waterloo Records / Girls @ The Parish with Magic Kids and The Smith Westerns

It's hard to tell if Girls will be able to keep the momentum that has been following them, but there's no doubt that they are here and people are taking notice. The crowd at the free in-store on Friday evening at Waterloo Records was a big indication that Girls have taken off in a big way. The record store was practically filled to capacity (at least all the spots worth viewing the stage from were filled) despite the band showing up half and hour late and I haven't seen that since the in-stores at SXSW. I'm not quite sure I've ever seen a crowd exhibit such zen-like patience for a short-by-design record store show but it payed off. The band played several of their Album crowd-pleasers and signed autographs after their set.

I honestly didn't expect the band's show at The Parish to sell out and neither did a lot of the people who were there. The line started forming a good hour before the doors opened and fans took their places at the front of the stage as soon as they were let upstairs into the venue.

The Smith Westerns kicked everything off with their nostalgia-filled garage/punk sounds and were certainly a pleasing last-minute addition to the bill. The baby-faced members of the band look so young that a few girls in the crowd spent a good deal of time trying to figure out exactly how old they are.

Magic Kids played a more than interesting set. I'm not even sure what the band has released but when they get a few good reviews under their belts, they are sure to get some kind of a following. They took a good deal of time to set up but their performance didn't even feel that technical. At the end of the set, the stage was covered in water and it was hard to find someone without a smile.

This particular show was a special one for Girls frontman Christopher Owens. He said his mother was in attendance and this show was the first time she had seen him play since he was about 16. He must have done her proud by playing in front of a sold-out crowd in the music capital. The crowd was singing along to the songs from Album and taking in all the new material the band played throughout the set.

Girls @ Waterloo Records
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Girls / Magic Kids / The Smith Westerns @ The Parish
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