Infinite Shuffle

March 19, 2011

SXSW 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 free food and drinks. (Sidenote: Of the $20ish I spent all day, only $7 was specifically for drinks; all the rest went toward tips for all those free drinks).

Anyways, knowing that would be impossible to duplicate, I didn’t even really try. Instead, I ended up sitting off to the side of several shows Friday, only really paying attention to the bands from the periphery.

Our first stop, after finding a parking spot, was the Pitchfork #OFFLINE festival over at the East Side Drive-In. We arrived in time to watch the last few songs by Cloud Nothings. The Cleveland group, which started as one teenager in a bedroom of his parents’ home, has really developed a fleshed-out sound that channels all the best elements of indie rock and twee pop.

By the time we headed toward downtown, my boxer shorts felt like a rainforest, and it was clear I would be in for some discomfort. That was confirmed at our next stop, the BrooklynVegan, Partisan Records & KF Records Free Day Party. It took place at two venues that are linked by a patio, which created space for three stages. Unfortunately, things became so tightly packed and congested, that it was almost inhumane.

I ended up sitting on the ground in a back corner of the patio and caught the tail end of a set by Jason Isbell & The 400 Watt. They churn out some solid rock/alt-country. I don’t know what kind of stage presence they have, since I never actually put forth the effort to see them on stage.

After a relatively lengthy wait, Deer Tick hit the patio stage. By that point, I found the rest of my crew. They had somehow commandeered a sofa that had been randomly placed in the middle of the crowd. There was also an empty chair nearby that I took control of and listened to the first few songs before the balmy conditions forced me to seek shelter indoors.

I should note, that even though I only listened to a few of their songs, Deer Tick are clearly a very solid indie-rock band, one that should definitely be added to every music lover’s library.

Having made my way through the circuitous path back on to the street, I headed back into Swan Dive to catch Wye Oak with a friend from college. The conditions were about as bad as they were on the patio — it wasn’t as tightly packed, but there was no air conditioning or fans in sight.

Even the two musicians kept complaining about the heat. But that didn’t stop them from pounding out several quiet-loud-quiet indie alt-rock that seemed tailor-made for the heydays of such acts as Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.

As much as I was really digging that show, I was very glad when it ended, so I could head next door to cool, dark confines of Barbarella’s inside stage. Will, the college friend, and I just chilled out back by the bar while The Dodos did their thing on stage.

Like I said, I wasn’t really paying close attention, but from what I noticed, they were turning out a lot of quality indie-rock tunes. I definitely need to go back and re-listen to their catalog.

By the time that show ended, all the members of my crew had re-assembled, and we made the painful decision to trek about 25-30 blocks southwest to SoCo (South Congress) to catch some friends of Laura — our host — who played in a band called Speak.

They sounded pretty good, with strong rock sensibilities. But, at that point, I was way more focused on my tasty tacos al pastor and frozen margaritas.

After that show, we meandered about for a bit before returning to Guero’s Taco Bar to see the final act, And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead.

I never knew they were from Austin. I also never really had any idea what their sound was like, and I’m still not really sure. For the most part, I just heard a lot of heavy rock instrumentals and solos, but very little vocals. It’s definitely not the type of things I’d care to listen to on a regular basis.

It was around this point that Sean and I decided we were going to pack up and leave a day early. There really isn’t anything on Saturday’s bills that we were dying to see, and we’ve already experienced so much awesomeness that we didn’t want to taint it was a lackluster final day.

So, we’ll be on the road the next couple of days, but I hope to file a final recap once I return to The Bend.

FRIDAY’S RANKINGS:

  • Wye Oak
  • Deer Tick
  • The Dodos
  • Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
  • Speak
  • And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
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3 Comments »

  1. […] I first saw Wye Oak perform at SXSW earlier this year, I described their style as something along the lines of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur […]

    Pingback by 84 – Wye Oak « Infinite Shuffle — September 27, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

  2. […] got my first real taste of their stuff earlier this year at SXSW, but, even then, I wasn’t really paying attention to their […]

    Pingback by 85 – The Dodos « Infinite Shuffle — October 2, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

  3. […] was during our last day of actually going to shows. It was the first day when the weather actually became something of an […]

    Pingback by My favorite live shows « Infinite Shuffle — April 17, 2012 @ 12:25 am


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