Infinite Shuffle

March 18, 2011

SXSW 2011: Day 2

Filed under: Austin, SXSW — assman41 @ 11:30 am

When I last posted here, about 36 hours ago, I was dreading what was in store for me Thursday. I was already incredibly tired the night before and knew I was gonna have to get going earlier than before.

As it turns out, my second full day of SXSW was a never-ending stream of awesome. Now I’m worried about a letdown today, because there’s no way Thursday can be topped.

It started with us scurrying downtown to get to the Canada House party in time to see Great Lake Swimmers perform. We showed up at the second floor of Paradise Cafe during the middle of the Swimmers’ set. While Sean watched from the front, I glided to the back of the room where there was a nice breeze and some rustling about going on near a table full of food.

Unbeknownst to us, they were setting up a free taco/nacho bar. The food was quality and just a sign of things to come. We sat out on the balcony for a little while, enjoying our bounty, a free drink and the cool Austin breeze.

Then we headed in to catch a few songs by another Canadian band called In-Flight Safety. I had given them one star after hearing them on the torrent and was looking forward to their set. Unfortunately, it was cut short by a broken guitar string that took too long to fix.

But I was able to surmise that they are a pretty solid indie-rock group.

After that, we decided to check out a joint up 5th Street called Antone’s that Sean had noted the night before. We saw that The Boxer Rebellion was on the bill but weren’t sure if it was worth it. Then the bouncer noted it was an open bar, and we were sold.

We proceeded to stay there for the next two or three hours, drinking up a storm and listening to three solid bands.

When we arrived, The Mighty Stef was onstage. At first, I thought they just sounded like another rock band with maybe a country twang. But, as their show progressed, the really started to grow on me. And by the time the were sampling U2’s “I Will Follow” in their finale, I was hooked on these Irish lads.

Next up was Pulled Apart By Horses. It was the type of stuff that I would’ve skipped on the torrent within 10 seconds, but I was forced to stick it out. It’s not that the group from Leeds was bad, I’m just not a big fan of hardcore punk.

While I didn’t care much about the music, the show was entertaining. At one point, a guitarist draped his axe over a bandmate and played it from behind him. Later, the lead singer knelt down and vomited off the front of the stage.

After that interesting act came the “featured” band, The Boxer Rebellion. They put on an amazing set, loaded with tight, indie rock songs that had the ever-growing crowd jamming along.

By the time that show was over, we’d been drinking in the dark cavern for a while and were rudely awakened by the sunlight upon exiting. After coming to our senses, we decided to head to the Lustre Pearl in the southeast corner of downtown for a few shows.

When we arrived, there was a longish line and I was in dire need of a bathroom. So I went in search of a secluded alley somewhere and instead found a gap in a fence where I was able to sneak into a private party.

Long story short, I ended up feasting on some amazing empanadas and tasty beer for a couple of hours, while the rest of my crew slowly made its way into the show and saw what was apparently a really good set by The Givers.

I stand by my decision, as I ended up meeting a bunch of interesting people, including Rex, who’s been living in Austin since 1993 and has SXSW down to an art form.

Once their show was over, I rejoined the rest of my group and we headed back into the den of downtown, eventually deciding to focus on Lanai, which was featuring a band we interested in.

We didn’t have RSVPs, but after a few minutes, they gave us badges and we were on our merry way. It was a rooftop venue and the vibe was awesome. There was a constant breeze that kept the mood serene, and they even served up some halfway decent complimentary barbecue.

We arrived on the roof just in time to see Hi Ho Silver Oh finish its set with a cover of a Tom Petty song that was solid. Next up was The Sundelles, which turned into another nice, unexpected discovery.

Early in their set, the indie rock-pop group kinda gave off something of a ’50s pop vibe, but eventually they settled into something for reminiscent of Guided By Voices. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from them.

After that, we were inundated with the trance-like sounds of Inspired Flight, an airy-fairy, electro-sampling outfit from San Diego that channeled The Avalanches and Thievery Corporation. They weren’t exactly my cup of tea, but seeing them in that particular venue made it easier to digest.

Then came the band we were there for, Family of the Year. The five-piece band — which included a sexy Jedi-looking girl on keyboards — churned out infectious indie-pop that had the small crowd enthralled for the entire set.

At that point, I figured that was a perfect capper to an all-around awesome day. As it turned out, I wouldn’t be heading home for another few hours.

We traipsed around downtown trying to locate a splinter member of our group who had apparently located another open bar. Unfortunately, by the time we met up with her, said bar had kicked everyone out.

So then we meandered back toward the Lustre Pearl to figure out what to do next. The Cold War Kids were playing the closing set there and I was content to stand in the street outside the venue and watch from there.

I was joined by Heather, the latest addition to our crew. Our feet were killing us and we weren’t eager to move for a while. Everyone else went to some other joint that ended up having a CD release party that supposedly wasn’t bad.

In the end, Cold War Kids put on a great show and played several songs I recognized, except that they didn’t play the one I really wanted to hear, “Audience”, off last year’s Behave Yourself EP.

Anyways, I know today’s post wasn’t the most flowing prose, but a lot happened yesterday, and I was just trying to get it all down in the most succinct manner.

As for our plans today, we’re gonna head to the diner where our host, Laura, is waiting tables this afternoon, then we’ll try to catch some shows over at Barbarella. From there, it’s anyone’s guess.

THURSDAY’S RANKINGS:

  • Family of the Year
  • The Boxer Rebellion
  • Sundelles
  • The Mighty Stef
  • Cold War Kids
  • In-Flight Safety
  • Great Lake Swimmers
  • Hi Ho Silver Oh
  • Pulled Apart By Horses
  • Inspired Flight
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2 Comments »

  1. […] 2011: Day 3 Filed under: Austin, SXSW — assman41 @ 2:59 am As I noted in my last post, Thursday was possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with a constant stream of awesome bands and […]

    Pingback by SXSW 2011: Day 3 « Infinite Shuffle — March 19, 2011 @ 2:59 am

  2. […] It’s been almost two years since I saw them live at SXSW, but now seems like as good a time as any to talk about Family of the Year. […]

    Pingback by 143 – Family of the Year « Infinite Shuffle — January 21, 2013 @ 8:22 pm


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