Sunday, March 20, 2011

SXSW 2011, Saturday

SXSW wrapped up for me with a bunch of favorites - an afternoon party with Okkervil River, then showcases with local bands SPEAK, Electric Touch - closing with surprise set by Soundtrack of our Lives playing acoustic in St. David's Church. SooL is a rockin' band from Sweden who I've seen several times at ACL and SXSW. They have a big sound and performance, but this set was subdued and pretty. It was a great way to see them in a different light.

SPEAK won Best Indie Band at Austin Music Awards last night, and Electric Touch and Okkervil River both have new albums, which they showcased during their sets. Check them out.

So, that does it for me. It was a crazy week. There were some mishaps and some injuries, but mostly a fantastic, exhausting, surprising, ridiculous and inspiring experience. Until next year, folks!

Check the Interactive coverage from my Texas State students at

Okkervil River


Electric Touch

Exene Cervenka

Soundtrack of our Lives

Saturday, March 19, 2011

SXSW 2011, Friday Night

Liz Phair is one of my all-time favorites. I was so excited to hear that she'd be at SXSW. However, she ended up not having a showcase (as far as I know), but playing a few special things, like this at the IFC/Crossroads House. It was a weird setup, a big camera rig in the middle of the room, and a dude in the crowd with another giant camera. And, it was hot. But it was so worth it. Got to hear lots of my favorites. She plays the Perez Hilton party tonight, so I may try to catch her again. BTW, Perez was there, standing next to me for a little while before the show. I tried to surreptitiously snap the photo below, but don't think I was all that stealth. It's a terrible photo, but I think you can tell it's him.

I felt a little guilty about calling it quits early, got home around midnight. But then I realized I had been out since 9am. For Saturday, I'm going to try to catch Okkervil River, Soundtrack of our Lives, some Electric Touch and SPEAK, if all goes well. Might swing by the Rachael Ray Party. See you out there.

Perez was cool. He had his pic taken with lots of people. I snapped one for some kids with their camera.

Sondre Lerche was a nice break from the mayhem outside. He played at Central Presbyterian Church. He's a great artist, such a beautiful voice and lovely songs.

Liz Phair - Supernova

Sondre Lerche

SXSW, Friday, Day Parties and Conv Center

SXSW is really a commitment. There are shows around the clock, and you've got to get up pretty early in the morning for some performances. I didn't. Every year, I hope to make it to the KGSR Four Seasons morning broadcasts, but every year, I sleep in. I couldn't even get it going in time to see Old 97's at 8:30am, and you know how much I like them. I did managed to scurry out of my home in time to catch a bit of Rhett and Murry at their KUT set at the Hilton though (9:45am, a little better).

Then it was on to the Convention Center to see some shows on the day stage. It's a great way to see a happening band without all the crowds and late-night mayhem. I finally got to see Fitz and the Tantrums, who are great and have played a million shows this week. Really an amazing fun act. I also caught a bit of the Black Angels and Black Joe Lewis in there, too (apparently, having the word "black" in your name is a good strategy. Think about it). I even caught a really cool panel while I was in there on engaging super fans as a marketing amplifier.

Then it was the last SX performances of Old 97's, the Brooklyn Vegan party at Barbarella and then a quick hike to Maggie Mae's for a Rhett/Murry duo. I could have called it quits right there and been content, but there's more to come for Friday night. Stay tuned.

Black Angels

Black Joe

Fitz and the Tantrums were completely amazing, even for the 2pm afternoon crowd. They had everyone up on their feet and dancing!

Where's Ken?

There he is. Nice rockstar move, jumping into the crowd for the big finish on Time Bomb!

Old 97's Every Night is Friday Night (sorry left the gain down on my camera. They didn't sound this hollow)

Fitz and the Tantrums - Money Grabber

Old 97's Victoria

Rhett and Murry - Singular Girl

Rhett and Murry - Lonely Holiday

SXSW 2011, Thursday Night

Thursday night was a big night, featuring 2 of my favorites, back to back. Quiet Company at The Marq (where coincidentally they played for a party I helped put together for Interactive on Sunday night) and then the Old 97's. It wouldn't be SXSW if some legends weren't involved. Emmylou Harris was on the stage before the 97's (but I really couldn't get close enough for good photos or video) and none other than Exene Cervenka of the amazing '80s punk band X joined Rhett and crew for a rockin' Four Leaf Clover. It was an absolutely pitch-perfect night!

More air for Rhett.

Nite Club

Please Hold on While the Train is Moving

Four Leaf Clover, featuring Exene Cervenka

Quiet Company, On Modern Men