Our intrepid reporter goes to see some (more) live music. Also a mechanical bull.
On Thursday, I woke up to more than a dozen text messages asking if I was okay. Until I saw a news story about the night’s fatal accident, I had no idea why so many people would be concerned and wondered if I’d been sleeping for more than one day.
Once I read about what had happened, I debated skipping the day’s festivities out of respect, but eventually came to a conclusion: those who could party should get on with the partying in honor of all those who cannot party. I waited for the downtown bus with a spirit of gratitude.
That spirit started to fade after three city buses, from two different routes, passed our stop with partygoers packed inside to legal capacity. Everyone who could party definitely seemed to be partying, and I found myself wishing they had timed things a little more conveniently for us old people.
The bus ride, when I finally got one, was appropriately interesting.
I made it downtown just in time to miss several shows. While trying not to miss the final Doe Paoro show of … Continue reading
While I cannot be in Austin this year, NTSIB friend Joy is, and she has graciously agreed to be a roving reporter. Below is her first dispatch. If you want to follow her adventures live, you may do so on Twitter and Instagram.
This year, I am pleased to be NTSIB’s correspondent-at-large in Austin. It’s my first South By Southwest, and I have thrown myself directly into the deep end. Swim along with me here on the blog, with live updates on Twitter!
Since SXSW can be an impenetrably overwhelming mess of day parties, showcases, special sessions, and free shows, I’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff according to my own personal preferences. In reverse order, here are my most-anticipated acts of 2014.
7. Deap Vally
They’re loud. They’re crass. They’re women. And they crochet. This Los Angeles duo has found success in the UK and is on the verge of making it big in America. NTSIB friend Geordie McElroy describes them as “two-thirds of a girl gang” who should be “basically every teen girl’s role models”, and I am inclined to agree. Enjoy a sample of their balls-to-the-wall sound with “Hobo Playa”, off their single … Continue reading
Regular Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog Jennifer is taking a well-deserved vacation, and NTSIB friend Nate Burrell was kind enough to contribute his favorite photos of 2010 from his own collection. In addition to being a hell of a nice guy, Nate is a great photographer, and we’re very pleased to feature him again.
The Black Keys:
To Summarize: this band kicks ass. They have since 2002, and they are finally getting their due respect on a wider scale in 2010. Their most recent release, Brothers, opened them up to popular outlets, due to its groove-thick gnarly sound and the hit single Tighten Up; but don’t be fooled- their catalogue prior to this year’s album is disgustingly good. Get learned if you haven’t already.
Dan Auerbach stepping to the edge of the stage for the sold out crowd at the Pageant – St. Louis, MO.
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three:
After successfully touring the US and the UK, as well as having been named Best New Discovery at 2010’s Newport Folk Festival, this St. Louis-based American Roots Music band is definitely a band to look for. Absolutely awesome … Continue reading
Somewhere between home and the Beachland, I managed to lose one of my camera batteries, but I did manage to attain a concert-going companion (NTSIB friend Joy) with a camera phone. We didn’t get any shots of Soft Speaker, but we do have some fittingly atmospheric pictures of HotChaCha and mr. Gnome.
This Chicago quartet, whom my brain persisted in thinking of as the Red Guitar Brigade due to the color of all their string instruments, weaves in and out of styles, sometimes moving from a more funked-up groove to treble-heavy indie rock within the same song. And it may just be my background playing up things that weren’t there, but it seemed at times that the vocals and lyrics were influenced by a dusting of late-’90s goth. While it is easy to hear how a track like “I Stand To Lose My Fortune, Easy” can grow quickly on the listener, Soft Speaker’s encompassing style is perhaps too much for a first-time listener to process at a live show, and they never seemed to spark with the audience.
Now that the news of the Black Keys move to Nashville has been officially announced, I can christen mr. Gnome as my favorite-local-band-that-is-still-local*… though, as seems to be the way of things, this will probably precipitate Nicole Barille and Sam Meister’s move to distant lands. I’d like to apologize to all the other mr. Gnome fans in advance.
But until then, we have the chance to enjoy them here at home this Saturday when they headline a show at the Beachland Ballroom with another band of local awesomeness, HotChaCha, and Soft Speaker from Chicago. Our friend Nate Burrell was kind enough to share some beautiful photos with us of mr. Gnome’s recent show in St. Louis, Missouri.
- Bryan Simpson has announced his departure from Cadillac Sky. An announcement about his replacement is forthcoming. We are grateful to Bryan for the great music he’s given us and wish him much happiness.
- Dust-to-Digital reports the passing of blues biographer Stephen Calt, author of King of the Delta Blues: The Life an Music of Charlie Patton and I’d Rather Be the Devil: Skip James and the Blues among other tomes.
- Now on to better news: the Magnetic Fields would like to bring their film Strange Powers to your town. Learn how you can help make it happen.
- mr. Gnome has almost completed it’s third album and has announced tour dates starting in November.
- Mat Davidson of the Low Anthem has released his second album with his project Twain. Interesting stuff. Check it out.
Speaking of the Low Anthem, we’ve been slowly falling in love with them since seeing them open for the Avett Brothers last winter. Here’s a nice little docu-video on them.
mr. Gnome: best band to come out of Cleveland or best band to come out of Cleveland? Those sexy-ass kids played a little loft gig in Seattle on their recent tour. Here’s some footage from Jonathan Houser.
Mr. Gnome 1 from Jonathan Houser on Vimeo.
Mr. Gnome 2 from Jonathan Houser on Vimeo.
Nicole and Sam are back home and working on their next album (or will be if Nicole can lure Sam back from going feral – it’s best not to ask). They’ve also added some massively cool shit to their already massively cool online store, like a spectacular vinyl “bag” set and the regenerated “Better than porn.” shirt.
- While Dan is away, Patrick still plays. NPR has a piece on Drummer, the side project of Patrick Carney of the Black Keys.
- No fear for Black Keys fans though, as Patrick and Dan Auerbach will be releasing their sixth album, Brothers, on May 18th.
- The Carolina Chocolate Drops, who released Genuine Negro Jig last month and will be playing the Beachland Ballroom next week, get the Fresh Air treatment
- mr. Gnome’s new 7″, “Tastes Like Magic”, is now available for pre-order and download.
- The Flaming Lips get back on the road this month.
- The Builders and the Butchers are out and at it, as well.
- The Levon Helm Band/the Duke and the King show in New Jersey that was postponed last month has been rescheduled for March 12.
- Further to the Carolina Chocolate Drops new joint, watch them perform “Cornbread and Butterbeans” for WDVX’s Blue Plate Special: