"Slightly off the beaten path, we had one of our most relaxing, best shows this year. Front lawn, sun shining, beautiful trees and cactus all around and people just lounging out. Cans of Lone Star on ice in the turtle-shaped sandbox nearby."
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Thursday, May 5, 2011
The Family Crest has these great video blogs on youtube and they're still posting footage from South by Southwest. Check out the shout out that they give me and Always More to Hear (and Hear it Local!) right before the houseshow at Cedric's house (it's at 3:40).
Loving the love!
And it's blog 13! My favorite number.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Yesterday was a fun day. Got a Jimmie John's sandwich and wandered around a bit downtown. Then headed to South Austin for some outdoor house parties, which by the way, are totally the way to go.
First I checked out the 3rd Annual Brooklyn BBQ party in someone's backyard off of South Congress to see alt-country/bluegrass/punk band the Defibulators. Erin's brother and my brother went to junior high together, so I keep up with what she's doing and her band is really fun. The bbq had two stages, food, drink and dancing.
Then I headed over to a house show at Brian and Elaine's house. They came to my show on Thursday and enjoyed it so much that they invited The Family Crest and Megan Slankard to perform in their front yard It was a blast.
It was also really nice to hear Megan play an acoustic set with just her guitar. This girl can sing.
Even on such short notice, a bunch of Brian and Elaine's friends showed up, many of them with their kids. It was so fun to watch them enjoy the music and just wander around. Watch this video and just look at all those little faces. Some of them were super into the music. I got another video on my camera of them playing percussion along with the Family Crest, I'll post it when I get home.
Then it was over to a funny little bar called G&S on South First that I had never noticed. I finally got to see The Hello Strangers live, which was a total treat. Larissa and Brechyn have all these new songs that I'd not heard before, like this gospel-y tune "Big Flood." I love the way these ladies harmonize. This song gave me goosebumps.
I have a lot more videos and photos to share, I'll try to roll some of it out in the next couple weeks.
Today we decided to go toobing in the Guadelupe River. It was WAY too cold for toobing. I don't recommend it. My butt is still freezing, and strangely, I got a little bit of color.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Here's the highlight of the evening for me (for obvious reasons). I have more videos and will load them up, but it's taking too long right now and I have to get moving. It was sort of dark in the room, but you can see what's going on. And, again, I'm super impressed with the audio on this little flipcam.
I HIGHLY recommend throwing a house show if you have ever entertained the idea. They are intimate and fun. Performers always seem to prefer them and throwing parties is just always a good idea.
This is the Family Crest performing "In the Avenue" featuing yours truly on vocals. I am now an official member of the extended Family Crest! w00t!
Had a great, successful house show, will post video from it tomorrow. Everyone had a blast.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Walking into the Ghost Room on 4th street, I instantly remembered how good Gary Clarke Jr. is. With his husky, yet smooth voice and mad guitar skills, why is this guy not famous? As a rock and blues guitarist, his sound is like a modern Jimi Hendrix. His vocal stylings are somewhere between Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and Ben Ottewell of Gomez.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to hear a whole other side of Clarke at a singer/songwriter in the round show and heard him play a beautiful acoustic with intricate finger-picking. I remember thinking, "where did this come from" and why can't I hear more?
Clarke told me after the show that he will be going on tour soon, and that he hasn't recorded any of the softer, acoustic tunes. I really hope he does, it'll show off how versatile he can be.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Finally I got to see Fitz & the Tantrums live! I'm also happy to say that I also converted two of my friends over as well who had not heard of them. I, myself, was converted after Amber Gregory's excitement of their Bay Area shows last year. So after finding rockstar parking, we slid over to the Waterloo Records parking lot (they no longer have SXSW shows in the store, which is good news for everyone) and were treated to the funky sounds of Los Angeles based Fitz & the Tantrums.
We found front duo Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs outside Amy's Ice Cream around the corner and had a quick chat, they were as nice as can be. The fangirl in me waited in line to get them to sign my newly purchased copy of their first album Pickin' Up the Pieces.
The music is a sort of reinvention of soul music. It's modern, yet very much firmly based in Motown and STAX. Fitz has no guitar (score!) and instead has a baritone saxophone (double score!) played by Jamie King. The music is fun, but definitely has a certain edge to it, and a good amount of passion and anger. And that's what I think drives it. The performance is super tight and groove-worthy. The vocal combination of Fitzpatrick and Scaggs is perfect. And although Fitzpatrick has a great voice that suits the music wonderfully, I wish Scaggs would get to sing more lead. But, really, that's my only complaint.
I don't know the history of each of these musicians, but these guys are seasoned professionals that know their stuff. Bassist Ethan Phillips and drummer John Wicks lay down tight, funky grooves and keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna has chosen the perfect keyboard tones for each song that gives each song a specific personality of sorts.
The song "Dear Mr. President" pleads with (I assume) Mr. Obama, "Hey put your foot down, and take a look 'round, if you don't like what you see." Say it. Hallelujah. And songs like the fabulously catchy "Money Grabber" (see the video below) and "Rich Girls" suggest that Fitzpatrick might have had some specific troubles mixing money and women. I'm really enjoying the dark "News 4 U" with a chorus of call and response between Fitzpatrick and Scaggs that gets in your head.
I took video (including a cool cover of Sade's "Sweet Dreams"), but the amplification was too much for the little flipcam, so I give you their performance on Conan, the late night talk show host with the best taste in music.
This is The Beaumont from Lubbock. They are not for the un-humored, singing about every hedonistic, R-rated theme you could think of: drugs, Toby Keith being a pretty woman, having an affair with a member of the AARP, mayo as a favorite lubricant, burning churches and every sexual taboo you can think of. These good (?) old boys are not for the faint of heart and easily offended, so of course I was laughing my ass off.
In their cowboy hats, sunglasses and cowboy shirts, these middle-aged dudes could not have been more hilarious, making everyone in the room smile and shake their heads in disbelief. The Beaumont is like Z Z Top on a drinking binge.
This is a snippet of "Money for Drugs" (I took this with my friend's flipcam, pretty good!):
I was pleasantly surprised by Austin based White Dress. It's nice to see more and more powerful women with electric guitars in their hands. Singer-guitarist Arum Rae Valkonen has a versatile voice that spans a range of colors from Billie Holliday to Ann Wilson. Combined with her dirty guitar sound and the badass drumming of Grant Van Amburgh, a Black Keys comparison is unavoidable.
Monday, March 14, 2011
This will be my 5th time at the festival, and I *think* I've gotten a the hang of it by now. It helps that I can work from wherever there is internet and I have friends who still live there to stay with. It also helps that I know where all the good taco stands are.
I'm also very excited to be hosting my very first house show on Thursday the 14th with Bay Area bands The Family Crest, Dina Maccabee and Foxtails Brigade! It looks like we're going to have a full house! (Let me know if you're in town and you'd like to come) It's been such a pleasure working with my friends to put this together, and house shows are a really wonderful, intimate way to hear music. I think it will be especially excellent after dealing with the street crowds downtown all week.
My general SXSW advice:
- wear comfy shoes
- drinks lots of water
- don't worry too much about sticking to your schedule of bands to see. Even if you have a badge or wristband or whatever (and you don't really need one by the way, there's so much free stuff going on): shows are full, places are further away than you think, you might want to stay for the next band or you might find that there's a glorious sound coming from that tent over there! FOLLOW YOUR EARS! You never know what might come your way, and that's the whole point of this festival, to discover new things.
I have been a fan of the Bees since discovering them randomly on a sampler CD I picked up at a Radiohead concert in 2003. They don't tour to the US very often so I will not be missing this one, even though they are playing at 1 in the morning. They have an 1960s thing going on: garage rock with a psychedelic, folky vibe:
These ladies are Girls Rock Camp alums, so of course I'm excited about them. They were recently featured on a cnn blog. Woa! They are still in high school and embody what camp is all about. AND, they are sharing the stage of the Girls Rock Camp showcase with the Bangles. Not too shabby.
The Hello Strangers:
My friend and former classmate Larissa Chace Smith and sister Brechyn, whom I've written about before, will be in town from central Pennsylvania! Think Neko Case times two! I love the vocal harmonies. Their music tells the stories of women caught in bad relationships who might take matters into their own hands every now and again. I've not gotten to see them live yet, but love their recordings.
Erin B. is the younger sister of Eli, who is my pianist when I sing in Los Angeles. Eli and my brother played music together in junior high. The Defibulators throw a raucous party of what I'm gonna call country-punk. I've been getting to know their music over the years and it keeps changing. The new album "Corn Money" has a fun combination of honky-tonk tunes and 1930s-type ballads.
And, of course, I will be eating lots of tacos.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Watching rock stars get too far into sex and drugs on film is nothing new, but watching a 15-year old girl who’s thin enough to break in half get strung out on cocaine and booze is, well, a little weird. During the movie I kept thinking, “where were these girl’s parents? Would this happen today?” Sadly, it does indeed happen today, it’s just packaged a little differently. Also, and luckily for this, minors have more protection. One can only hope that their parents are guardians help to make good decisions for them.
CLICK TO READ MORE...
What did you think of the film?
Girl in a Coma perform The Runaways hit "Cherry Bomb" with special guest Cherie Currie of The Runaways at SXSW March 19, 2010.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I was a guest blogger for Girls Rock Camp Austin for South by Southwest: Those Darlins and Girl in a Coma, supporting bands who support the community
Rock Camp has been around long enough that it is not just about the girls anymore. While the girl campers who sign up for Rock Camp all around the country (and the world) are the fire that keep it all going, Camp is just as much about the adult woman who support it: whether it be the staff, volunteers or the bands who play.
Girl in a Coma and Those Darlins are two bands that I have become a fan of due to their involvement in Rock Camp. It’s a musical symbiotic relationship. Women have a history of solidarity and this is no exception. BUT, and hear me on this, it takes GOOD music to hold my attention as a fan, it doesn’t matter who makes it.
Girl in a Coma played the Girls Rock Camp 2009 SXSW Showcase and I have been a supporter since. READ MORE ON THE ROCK CAMP BLOG HERE.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Not that I'm complaining. In fact I know Noise Pop 2010 featured many women this year from the San Francisco all-female chorus Conspiracy of Venus to Yoko Ono and the Watson Twins; I just happened upon a night that was very manly: Tempo No Tempo, Bear Hands, The Lonely Forest and We Were Promised Jetpacks. Usually I can be very hard on the indie rock boys and their guitars, but I rather enjoyed this music of funky boy bands.
All of four of the bands that played were new to me. I had heard of local band Tempo No Tempo and headlining band We Were Promised Jetpacks had caught my notice just because the name is so awesome. (Can I call my next band, You Said You Said You Were Going to Wear Polka Dots?)
All of these bands are on tour in the United States right now and headed to South by Southwest in Austin, so listen up!
All of these gorgeous photos were taken by Anna Gazdowicz courtesy of the Bay Bridged
We Were Promised Jetpacks
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
The Benders have embarked on a nationwide tour including both coasts, South by Southwest, parts of Canada and the Midwest. We'll see them when they'll be passing through the Bay Area and playing at the Independent on Tuesday March 30th.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
SxSW Day 3 highlights: Peggy Sue, Steve Taylor, The Environmental Encroachment Marching Band & Theresa Andersson
Later that night I ended up at Antone's, a special place for me (I was Clifford Antone's teaching assistant while he was working for the University a year or so before he died) and got to see Theresa Andersson, a Swedish ex-pat living in New Orleans. She's got quite a voice on her and with the help of looping, she's a one-woman band. Check her out with her apartment setup (I like this video because you can see all her pedals).
Friday, March 20, 2009
GIRLS IN TROUBLE started as an attempt to get out of writing a thesis for a masters degree in theology and grew into a song cycle which grew into a band.This was my favorite tune of the set:
These are songs that tell ancient stories of girls in trouble from that hotbed of human and divine darkness, The Bible.
Girls with names like Dinah and Tamar, and some whose names were never recorded. Tales of runaways, human sacrifice, and illicit seduction from a time before God and the Devil got separated out from each other.
Hunter from hoovesontheturf on Vimeo.