Yes, some people do listen to less famous bands at SXSW. Here were my favorites

6th Street around 9pm. Madness already, I think this was Thursday night.

6th Street around 9pm. Madness already, I think this was Thursday night.

As every media outlet has been writing for years, SXSW is a big bloated corporate monster that had some standard organizational problems this year, but it didn’t stop me from seeing 50 bands, there are problems every year. Years of attending and deep, former drunk knowledge of 6th Street from my college days helped me out immensely (miss you, nasty ole’ Treasure Island), as I bobbed and weaved through crowds and skipped the big elaborate shows to see bands I’d never seen before. I flew in Monday night to catch the tail end of Interactive, but mostly because I love watching the change in people as you move from Tuesday into Wednesday; blazers, jeans and Google Glass quickly turn into black skinny jeans, black t-shirts, and black hotpants. The streets were packed, but once you got inside most venues it was really roomy thanks to fire marshal capacity levels, and the bands were always happy to chat. Out of all those bands, these were the ones that stood out the most to me, and I can’t wait to watch their future career trajectories.

Mozes and the Firstborn

Mozes and the Firstborn


Mozes and the Firstborn: My favorite parties of the festival were definitely the Netherlands showcases at Bar96. Polite people, loud authentic garage rock and a food trailer inside made me keep coming back to them. I’ve been listening to Mozes and the Firstborn’s latest album a lot lately and expected them to be good- they ended up blowing me away. Walking a fine line between control and chaos, this Dutch garage band had top notch showmanship, a big crunchy sound with catchy hooks, and most of all skills. I do my best to dance and make other people know it’s ok to move, sometimes it works out to awesome photos like the one above of him pointing at me. They were one of the first bands I saw, and made a lot of the garage rock bands I saw after them seem like a bunch of fakers.

Skaters

Skaters


SKATERS: As you can see, photos of shows at night turn out pretty bland and boring with the same official SXSW banner behind them, so I mainly just shot photos during day shows. When I walked into the SKATERS show and saw some mega-hot rocker babes, I knew they were going to be good, and probably good looking. Right on both counts, this New York punk group had some of the catchiest melodies like an East Coast Rancid, and their cool, confident energy was so addictive that a rowdy mosh pit was going through most of the set, much to the chagrin of the young ladies that pushed their way to the front row then quickly were spit out to the sides.

Temples at Radio Day Stage

Temples at Radio Day Stage


Temples: Temples were one of the bands I was most excited to see, and they didn’t disappoint. Calm and confident on stage, their sound is gorgeous and full live, and people were singing along to every word. In a week filled with throwback 60’s psych acts, they were the most polished and the sweetest. Very composed.

Anna Fox Rochinski from Quilt

Anna Fox Rochinski from Quilt


Quilt: Gorgeous psych-pop out of New England, I walked myself out to East Austin to attend the Austin Psych Fest showcase to see them since they aren’t hitting up Denver this tour. They really got much wilder live than I expected, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the calmly beautiful Anna Fox Rochinski (loving the black/navy/brown combo). Unfortunately, their tour van was just totaled, so if anyone has an extra dollar to help a band finish their tour, it’s more than appreciated by the band and the fans:

http://quiltmusic.org/quiltmusic/HOME.html

Birth of Joy

Birth of Joy


Birth of Joy: Amsterdam’s Birth of Joy played a blistering set that caused me to text a friend I just saw “come back here now!!” When I wrote about their newest single I thought it sounded Doors-esque. Seeing them live did nothing to change that opinion, and that’s a great thing. Entertaining as hell, rowdy, psychedelic fun in nothing but music set without a moment to breathe. Less pomp than the Doors, more down to earth, straight up melt your face rock.

Eleven Songs I Like Today and the Best Tank Top Ever

20130505-172709.jpg photo by Russ Simon

My neighbor is a prize-winning tulip gardener, and the second the snow melted, the ladies came out! You should see her backyard. I’m allowed to take as many flowers as I want, as well as walk around in them, in exchange for occasionally shoveling her sidewalk. Community! Needless to say, I feel very fortunate to have such a nice neighbor. The tank top is Brandy Melville, it’s Dylan mixed with The Misfits. It is my favorite tank ever, and I wish I could find another. Literally went to the store in San Diego twice before the sales chick found one in a pile of other black tank tops. The skirt was a disaster, windy day, better with a bathing suit.

Here’s some songs I’m loving today (all song titles are links to the song):

1. Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue” : first time played live, Jagger swaggering and pointing with splendour, every note perfect. To Vegas or not to Vegas….

2. Deodato “Also Sprach Zarathustra(2001)” : my husband heard a version of 2001 that he thought was Phish with horns, did some searching, found it. This is the best rendition of a song ever. Timeless. It’s been played about a hundred times blaring through our speakers through the house. My life has felt very funky but dramatic.

3. The Bamboos “Happy” : continue the funk with this New Zealand band that really needs to tour the USA.

4. TEEN “Circus (Live at Union Pool)” : great, loud, pretty stuff, their name is around a lot right now, I like the flashlight video.

5. Metz “Wet Blanket” : if you have some patience and let the music inside you, it’s the most amazing feeling in the world. They are playing in Denver at Hi Dive on Tuesday. It’s going to be so forceful.

6. Lorde “Royals” : New Zealand is really cranking out unbelievable music! This song is slithery, minimal beat, nice vocals, I have a song of the day!

7. Faces on Film “Knot in the Vine” : this band has a slick, dreamy sound. Sounds like a movie where everyone is sweaty in a small town and most of them have slept with each other and drama sweaty drama.

8. No Joy “Negaverse” : opening for Metz this Tuesday, beautiful noise.

9. Chain in the Gang “Living in the Panther Cage” : love some quirky minimal stuff with male and female vocals and loud snare.

10. Goat “Goatman” : heard this year’s Austin Psych Fest was the best year yet, I’m in for sure next year at this new location. Kicking myself that I skipped it and missed these guys. So much to do, so little time…..

Update- song 11 came in last night and it’s just a perfect simple piece of beauty : “Big Talking” by White Woods

New Black Angels Album Streaming Now

20130326-130532.jpg photo by Black Angels

When I moved back to Austin in 2009, an old college friend introduced me to Christian Bland the very first day. All I knew was that he was a tall, sweet guy who could really rock a striped shirt. 20 something The Black Angels shows later, I am a total fangirl. These guys caused the resurgence of psych rock in Austin and run Austin Psych Fest, now 6 years running. Couldn’t be more proud or more excited about their success and only see them getting bigger. The new album is streaming today, and it’s wonderful as expected. Root for these guys, they work hard and are kind people.

free stream of the new album

link to Austin Psych Fest