There have been some pretty great moments at the music festival. Sometimes the best strategy is just to walk around and pop into places and get surprised.
Austin’s Okkervil River, who I think is on the shortlist for best Austin band, played an amazing set at Bourbon Rocks. When I say amazing, I just don’t mean they sounded great (they did). What pushed it over for me is where they played. Right in the middle of 6th St, Bourbon Rocks never has bands of this caliber play. Only during SXSW can you see some of the best bands around play cheesy theme bars.
I caught Deerhunter’s set during the day at Emo’s. It was just like their most recent album. Gloomy, and going from mellow to a raw boil.
The Laughing is my favorite local band right now. They have so much energy and so much potential too. Everything they do, looked on paper, is wrong. Matching outfits? Sleeveless white vests? Blue makeup? Glockenspiels? It all works. This band owns. They were cool enough to play our Misprint Magazine day party at the Creekside Lounge.
To be filed under “I’ve Never Seen this Before, Ever” is the show Monotonix put on. First of all, they’re from Tel Aviv. Second, towards the end of their set the drummer disassembled his kit and started handing it into the crowd. Then the crowd hoisted him up in the air on top of his base drum, and he proceeded to finish the song by drumming onto the other parts of the kit held up by the crowd.
posted by Bryan Keplesky
Props to Victory Grill and the Longbranch Inn for making 11th the most happening street on the eastside today. The line outside Victory stretches down the block right now. Thankfully, a super authentic blues band is manning the street corner and playing a little Sonny Boy Williamson so nobody goes without entertainment.
posted by Prentice Howe
Bishop Allen is a band that puts their music first. Black on black, well-manipulated bed head and skinny jeans just aren’t on their list of priorities. This came through loud and clear at Thursday’s day show hosted by Birds Barbershop on South Lamar.
This Brooklyn-based foursome has been on my list to go see ever hearing their debut album, Charm School, for the first time. I was blown away by their ability to write tracks that are to be taken seriously yet, at the same time, lure even the most hardened indie music fan into a blissful sing-along. Luckily recent lineup changes have not affected their carefree sound. Justin Rice and Christian Rudder continue to be the Elmer’s that hold them together. The sound was spot on. Their movements were honest. And they smiled a lot. This goes back to my first comment – they just love the music.
Seeing and hearing their female vocalist gave me a few welcomed shivers. It reminded me of the way I felt the first time I saw Juliana Hatfield sing alongside Evan Dando at Austin’s now defunct Liberty Lunch. Who the hell is this chick? Why are my teenage knees all of the sudden very wobbly? Why isn’t every band set up like this? Where do I sign up for more?
For those who missed yesterday’s show, be sure to catch Bishop Allen today at 4:15 at the Mohawk. Otherwise, just hit up iTunes every month for the rest of the year. The band is self-releasing an EP every month until 2007. So, let’s do the math on that. Four tracks per disc. Twelve months. That’s 48 new tracks in the span of a year. And I thought Ryan Adams was prolific.
posted by Prentice Howe
Homegrown Austin production company Beef & Pie premiered Life Is Marbleous! tonight at Red’s Scoot Inn and Bier Garden. The Marble Lady, Cathy Runyan-Svacina, was on hand to lend pointers as snap-buttoned patrons marbled their way through a hard-fought tournament. Haven’t heard of shooting marbles? Okay, neither had I. It’s of an era gone by. And that’s what makes this documentary so unique. Beef & Pie opens our eyes to a simpler world where marbles are collected, bought, sold, shot and all around adored.
Music by honky tonk purist Dale Watson.
Posted by Prentice Howe
Published March 1, 2007
Advertising , Branding , Bryan Keplesky , Design , Film , Guerilla Marketing , Interactive , Marketing , New Media , Panels , Parties , Promotions , Trends
In a little more than a week Austin becomes a completely different city. Actually I’d go further and say that Austin becomes sort of its own parallel universe, where watching hundreds of bands or movies, drinking beer at 11 in the morning or seeing Dan Rather hanging out with Leslie on 6th Street will be considered normal activities.
Austin will also host thousands upon thousands of advertising messages. The first half of the festival, the Interactive and Film, did a great job this year by providing a lot of panels dealing with different forms of advertising, particularly with new and experimental media. And when the Music starts on March 14 the real advertising blitz begins, right on 6th Street. Every year I’ve seen some pretty unique and successful marketing campaigns, but I’ve seen just as many bad ones. I’m not going to pre-judge or slam the industry. I just want to be surprised. Austin has a great cross-section of demographics, and all the major media outlets and publications will be in town. In a way Austin becomes a great testing ground to see what trends will stick and which ones will fall flat for the next year.
posted by Bryan Keplesky