SXSW 2013 – Another Fantastic Year of Fun, Friends, Films, and Music
This year, to help keep track of my SXSW experience, I took a photo at every show. Occasionally, I took more than one, and sometimes the photos have nothing to do with the music, but they’re all generally entertaining. I apologize for the bad quality (they were all taken with my phone).
Links on many images open to a track by the artist (Usually Spotify but Soundcloud or Bandcamp if unavailable. Never Myspace).
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Tall Tall Trees: This guy opened for Kishi Bashi at the Belmont. Worst picture of the set.
Great show. He does some very cool stuff with a variety of instruments and vocals and electronic loops.
Friday, March 8, 2013
This was from the Q&A after the new Evil Dead premier. I’m a huge fan of the cult classics and had low expectations for the new film. The verdict? Amazing. It brought down the house. On stage here is the director, Fede Alvarez, and the producers Robert Talpert and THE Bruce Campbell. Bruce was amazing.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
While waiting in line for a party we didn’t end up going to, saw this bad boy cruising down the street. I like the Car2Go behind it.
Saw this guy DJing in a onesie along with some other DJs, including I think RAC, at the pretty sweet Splash SXSW House Party.
Greg and Sean Glass have a lot in common, except one is a DJ and has a sweet onesie
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Ryan shows off his growing SXSW free sunglasses collection at the Blackberry House on Rainey. Later that afternoon, we went to the Mohawk for some free shows. I left to go to the Spring Breakers premier. That movie is horrible; please do not see it. They stayed and saw some excellent music, including the always fun Portugal, the Man.
Monday, March 11, 2013
We waited in line for the Rocket Fuel party at the Parish for a long time. Grumpy Cat’s giant projection on the building across the street kept us company. Apparently this cat is famous enough to make a living for the owner and host events at SXSW. (My cat just eats food and poops).
It was worth the wait. Open bar at the Parish, good music, and these gangsters.
Man Without Country, the opening band was okay.
Dawes. I like their recorded tracks, but two separate friends warned me that they’re “douchey.” I didn’t really know what that meant, but after seeing them, I somehow agree. Still, good tunes.
Alt-J, the headliners, killed it.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
DJ Skee was MCing the iheartradio party at the Main (old Emo’s). He played the hits.
Josh Baze, some decent hip hop.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: I thought they were terrible and left. Others enjoyed the show. To each their own.
ZZ Ward. Things got better from the Main. Went to Empire Control Room (a fire hazard room set up next to Empire Automotive) for the MTV showcase. ZZ Ward was pretty good. Didn’t realize she has a LOT of fans.
Somebody doing promotions for ZZ Ward gave Brett a harmonica. Now he’s going to be really annoying.
The showcase was hosted by Matt Pinfield.
Youngblood Hawke came on next. They’re very young and pop, but it was a decent set.
Guards was up next. They’re generic and uninteresting but I will see them two more times over the course of the festival. I’ve seen worse acts and actually liked them better the next day. They’re vanilla.
While we were getting ready for Jim James, I saw one of the My Morning Jacket Bears hanging out on the side of the stage. This made me smile.
Jim James decided to pose like Jesus, but it’s okay. He might be.
As Meredith described Jim James: “He sounds like an angel.” Here’s a video of the opening track.
Jim and his badass band than proceeded to rock our faces off. This is him wailing on his flying v.
I mean, look at this guy shred.
They could also make it more mellow and acoustic. Note: the bear loves it.
HE EVEN PLAYS THE ALTO SAX! I mean, what can’t he do? He played until nearly 3am, well beyond SXSW curfey. That’s it for Jim James pictures, until I see him again in May. Meantime, here’s a video of his performance of New Life.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I caught the end of the Blondfire set while meeting folks at Clive. They were okay.
And I got to see Guards again! They sounded a bit better. Still vanilla (note: I like vanilla, but not Guards).
Akron/Family was pretty good. I’ve been wanting to see them for a while, but here’s the problem. Half their songs are awesome: very pretty, kinda folky. Then the other half are harsh experimental noise. It’s clear why they aren’t enormously successful, but keep doing your thing guys.
Despite soundcheck problems, Lord Huron was fantastic. Great Americana. Although, Christina said they look like a boy band. I’m sorry if they’re talented AND good looking, Christina.
I cruised over to Red 7 for the rest of the night to catch a lot of acts. Mister Lies is a young DJ/producer from Chicago that was playing as we walked in. Also alright.
Blessed Feathers is a folk duo from Wisconsin. Banjo + Guitar + south american looking outfit = so so
Dan Croll is a new sensation out of England. From his single, I thought he was going to be a DJ, but no, he has a band. They were pretty good, if a bit too pop-romantic for me, but the ladies loved it. That’s him in the middle looking like Harry Potter.
Peace was alright. Honestly? I didn’t listen to much. They were taking too long to soundcheck, so I went inside to wait for the next act.
I was pretty stoked to see NO CEREMONY/// They were good, but not as amazing as I expected. I think though a lot had to do with the acoustics. They do some really cool sound and production stuff that was lost in the crappy sound at Red 7. The lead singer/bassist is gorgeous and talented.
Fellow Hippohonkers and friends had a little dance party during NO CEREMONY///
In the Valley Below was fantastic. Better than I expected. The lead singer is rocking the “sister wives” look, as a friend described it. I said, Amish Meets Stevie Nicks. It’s something…
SOHN was pretty interesting. Kinda melodramatic, but not bad.
The Thermals punk rocked it up. They’re great and were a nice change of pace from all these weird indie bands.
Flume is a GREAT Australian DJ. Hip hop, electronic, whatever it’ll make you want to dance.
CHVRCHES was the highlight of the night. They sounded great live. Indie pop rock whatever it is. Great British group. They need a record deal ASAP.
Oddience delivered some unremarkable but not bad hip hop
Poolside rocked out the last 20 minutes of the night with a dance party.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Spring showed up during SXSW this year. We’re still in a drought, but flowers are blooming.
We stopped by ShortBus Subs at their SXSW on W. 6th for a sweet afternoon party. Got this great pic of the Klusman brothers and Campion. Way to go you sandwich masters.
This Korean band, Windy City, asked to play outside the ShortBus, and so they did. They weren’t that bad. Love the gongs. Korean reggae basically.
We proceeded over to the Belmont for the rest of the night, where the Warner Sounds party kicked off with this monster making some speech. No idea what it was about.
Then the night kicked off with Guards. Again.
Surfer Blood came on next and killed it. The lead singer had kitty whiskers painted on his face and danced among the crowd. Does that matter? No, but they were good. Better than I expected.
Atlas Genius was unmemorable for all the hype they’ve been getting.
Frightened Rabbit were fantastic. Much better than the lost time I saw them 3 years ago. Really rocking.
I forgot about seeing the Joy Formidable at a past SXSW, but they rocked as well. Great live set.
Eric, Ross, and Ryan getting stoked for Alt-J and the Flaming Lips while wearing their sunglasses at night.
Alt-J, show 2, even better than the first. Fantastic.
Between sets, Jesus showed up and told us that the Flaming Lips were going to play all of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. I doubted him, but he was right. Lesson learned: Trust in Jesus.
So, the Flaming Lips set at the Belmont was amazing. They played a very uncharacteristic stripped down set, but it was intimate and beautiful. They did play the entirety of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, and I loved every minute of it. Wayne, you remain a hero.
Friday, March 15, 2013
I didn’t see any music on Friday. I was tired and hung out with a friend who had surgery after breaking his wrist earlier in the week. Nonetheless, Ryan and I picked up our wristbands for the upcoming Prince show on Saturday, and I took this picture of him with one of the teaser Daft Punk posters. Daft Punk rumors? Every SXSW. It’ll never happen. Although, I will gladly eat my words if it does.
I also ran into this camel and burro show that afternoon. Not the same as my burro from SXSW 2011, but this one had zebra stripes on it. These white boy handlers really learned something from Mexico.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Last day! I caught The Coup indoors at the Mohawk. Fantastic set. They still bring the East Bay punk/funk/hip hop combo. I hope they succeed in their fight for justice.
I caught a little bit of Frightened Rabbit for a second time at Mohawk. Still good.
Skeletony showed up repping for Hippohonk at Dirty Bill before heading over to the Prince/Tribe Called Quest Show.
While waiting in the long line to get into the Prince show, they handed out these weird 3-D sorta paper glasses. They made lights look like crosses (part of Prince’s bag? idk). So I put one on my phone camera to use as a filter. This is what the street looked like. I too am unimpressed.
And we got to see A Tribe Called Quest live. And they were amazing. And yes. yes yes. SO GOOD. They even played my favorite Tribe song, Find a Way. Phife and Tip were even talking to each other! Expect a tour soon.
Prince brought a 20+ band, with a ridiculous Samsung screen/light show behind them at the re-opening of La Zona Rosa. I complain a bit, but it was pretty amazing. Prince lays down a crazy funk/blues dance party. My problem was that he didn’t play much prince. No Little Red Corvette OR Let’s Go Crazy? Yeah yeah, 1999 and Purple Rain, but come on. Still. I saw Prince at La Zona Rosa. Sick. Here Prince recaps SXSW for Funnyordie.
Ryan, Lauren, and I took this picture with a new friend I made at the show. He later got kicked out during Purple Rain. Not sure what he was doing other than loving that song. Go figure.
This is how SXSW ended. Not with a whimper, but with a bang. 10 Days. 10 Nights. Like I say every year, “Thank god it’s over.” Now only 355 days left to get excited again.
Thanks to all the awesome bands, filmmakers, interactive nerds, SXSW organizers, volunteers, my friends, my family and everybody else out there. It’s a crazy world, and we’re pretty lucky to live in Austin, Texas, USA and not have to worry about staying alive every day. Instead we get to put on skeleton suits, dance, be critics, people watch, and generally have a good time. Don’t take it for granted. It never lasts.