2016: A Year In Pictures

The more accurate title of this post would be 2016: The Year I Waited Nine Months to Post My SXSW Pictures, since that is where 99% of these shots are from. The remaining 1% are from New Year’s Eve 2015, taken too late to be included in last year’s round-up.

So, yeah, anyway, here they are, better super late than not at all, I guess?

Here’s the one from NYE:

IMG_9730 The Molly Ringwalds, Biloxi, MS, NYE 2015

SXSW was, by turns, glorious and exhausting. There is so much music, and so little time, and so many people. I was pleased to be there – to have been invited to be there, given the honor of a place on a panel, because honestly, otherwise, I would not have gone – but I did not really feel like I was among my people until the third day, when I walked into a grimy punk bar far from the main (festival) drag. At that point I was also so tired and people’d out I was about ready to just lie down on the (disgusting) floor and let the sea of noise wash over me.

Here are the pictures I took:

Day 1

HarMar Superstar, who did one song before stomping off in the huff.

CHVRCHES, dj-ing.

Charlie Belle, at their first (official) SXSW.


David C. Clements, the man I drove two days to see. “Blowing the roof off” is a cliche, but he really did – his set was electric and incredible; the crowd was buzzing with interest afterwards.

Day 2

Interrobang (?!), busking with a full horn section, including a tuba.

Danie Ocean and the Soul Tide.


Deap Valley; I wasn’t feeling them at first, but they won me over.

Matthew Vasquez

Alberta Cross, who rocked so hard the lighting rig fell down. Thankfully nobody was injured.

Wintersleep, whose album I had been listening to somewhat obsessively on the drive over.

The Dirty Nil, who melted our faces and were rewarded with a pit. I have never been so pleased to have get out of the circle belling out and the center starting to spin.

Day 3

It was St. Patrick’s Day, and as they say in Ireland, “a fine soft day.” Translation: it was sort of chilly and damp outside for a while. Since my SXSW “plan” was basically “uhhhhh, I’m just going to show up and follow my ears to the good stuff?” I spent part of the day ducking in and out of mostly empty bars, and then a chunk of time slipping between showcases.

The Schisms were the first to lure me in out of the rain.

Then I followed the sound of the pipes to Capitol City Highlanders

Rodgie and the Waters were next, and a totally refreshing change of pace.

Everybody Sing: I liked the guitars.

Unknown, but he sure did have some pipes.

Conchúr White, from Silences, at the Northern Ireland showcase.

Girls Names, bringing some gothy grity and edge to the NI showcase

Back across the street to Voodoo Doughnut for Rusango Family, who brought propulsive rap from the west of Ireland.

Back to the NI showcase for round two of David C. Clements, and it was just as electrifying the second time.

Ciaran Lavery, who powered through a minor wardrobe malfunction and silenced a chattering room with just his voice and his guitar. He also managed to sum up the heartbreak of the Irish diaspora in one two minute song at the end, sung without the help of his guitar. It was sad, and sobering, and incredibly painfully lovely, all at once.

Jealous of the Birds (Naomi Hamilton). Her own songs were pretty but didn’t especially grab me; then she wielded a cover of Heart Shaped Box like a weapon.

Loretta Lynn, as sparkly and as fierce as ever.

Liebling, the first band I saw after I had decamped to my natural habitat, aka a grimy punk bar far off the (festival) path.

Basketball Shorts, singing songs about faithless pizzarias in a pit of darkness.

Voirvoir, or: here is where I hit the wall, and went home.

Final thoughts: I’m glad I could get to SXSW at least once. Looking back through these pictures, I feel all warm and fuzzy about the whole thing, and also bemused. I mean, where else can you hopscotch between the cream of the Northern Irish folk-rock crop, propulsive rap from the West of Ireland, Loretta Lynn and art-punk-rock all in one day? It was exhausting on many levels and often aggravating but mostly it was a great time.

Plus I got to tell a room full of musicians that the secret to getting blog attention is “follow the damn directions” which, y’all, that really is half the battle. Other suggestions: don’t be tedious, or a pest; do some research; but mostly: just be who you are. Play what’s in your heart. Let loose that which brings you joy and don’t worry who you “sound like.”

And I was awakened every morning by someone playing Reveille on an actual bugle outside my hotel window.

You can’t do better than that, for real.

I won’t be at SXSW 2017. I may never go again. I’m hanging on to music blogging by the skin of my teeth. I’d say “blog more” will be my NYE resolution but wow would that ever be a waste of time. I guess all I can really say is that for now I’m still here, and still listening.

Lagniappe: This isn’t a musical picture and it’s not even one I took this year, but it’s my favorite picture from the crop I just uploaded: Dark Corridor to a Stormy Sea, Panama City Beach, December 2015.


A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink: BANDITS

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss.

In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire.

One of the bands I saw at SXSW this year was BANDITS, a three-piece crew from Colorado. Members are Lulu Demitro, her brother John, and Andrew Oakley, and they play blues-inflected rock and roll, with the occasional burst of guitar-heavy jamming for spice.

Here, as an example, is Kill Tonight, a musical foray into the power of shared madness and the dark places that can lead.

And with that, I turn the floor over to the three of them, who join us today to talk about a favorite book, record and drink. NB: They were extra good sports and did this LIVE and IN PERSON in a bar early in the day on St. Patrick’s Day, on the second day of SXSW.

BANDITS, #texas #sxsw

A photo posted by Rufus (@rufusowl) on

A Good Read

Lulu Demitro: My good read is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It’s sort of one of my favorite books because it takes place in California and I love the story and how many characters are in it and the development.

John Demitro: My favorite book is the Beatles Anthology. Because it’s a book that kinda lets you in on the life of the Beatles that a lot of people didn’t know about. I, I don’t know, I can relate to that book a lot and I enjoy it.

Andrew Oakley: My – I don’t want to say favorite book – but a great one that I just finished, is The Monkey Wrench Gang, by Edward Abbey. Growing up in Colorado and the Southwest and spending a lot of time out in the desert it’s really relatable for me and it’s just a great story.

A Good Listen

LD: I’m going to say a good listen is Iggy Pop’s new album Post Pop Depression. I think it’s so great. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see his concert last night – I wish that I did! – but his album, the new album, is just great and there are a lot of great musicians on it, so that is my good listen.

Iggy Pop - American Valhalla | #PostPopDepression

JD: My good listen is, I’d have to say – kind of a hard one – but I’d have to say Led Zepplin I. It’s just like the cornerstone for rock and roll bands. Every time it comes on it’s pretty awesome.

Good Times Bad Times

AO: My good listen is Gris Gris by Dr. John. Dr. John’s first album.

Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya

A Good Drink

LD: I’m going to say – I don’t do a lot of alcoholic drinking – I’m going to say a cold glass of sasparilla. Love a good rootbeer.

JD: I on the other hand do do a lot of alcoholic drinking, and my favorite drink is Jack Daniels on the rocks. Because it’s good.

AO: My good drink is just an ice cold IPA.

Administrative Update

Hi kids.

Here’s some news on what’s been shaking at the office(s) – by which we mean kitchen tables – of NTSIB.

1) April has made a TRIUMPHANT RETURN. Yes, darlings, the hiatus is over. If you’re just tuning in now and have missed this development, you can hit up her tag to see recent posts.

2) Jennifer is on the verge – nay, in the act, as we speak – of packing her bags and traps and moving to Mississippi. Yes, this is why service has been somewhat reduced this summer. But! Once she has settled, regular service, such as it is, will resume.

3) Jennifer has also been offered a shot at being on a panel at SXSW. You can vote for it here, until tomorrow, Sept. 4. The subject: How to successfully develop relationships with blogs as an emerging artist. The short answer to this question is 1) READ THE DIRECTIONS and 2) BANDCAMP, SOUNDCLOUD, FTLOG, USE THEM, I NEED EMBEDDABLE, STREAMABLE MEDIA. For the long version, with flappy hands and funny faces, will be at the conference, should the panel get picked up. (Or your local dirty rock club, should you meet Jennifer in the crowd.)

4) There really isn’t a four. But here is a picture of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, from when Jennifer went to Cleveland recently:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #cleveland

A photo posted by Rufus (@rufusowl) on

And also a seagull from Lake Erie, who had no fear. Be the seagull, darlings, be the seagull.

This gull has just no fear. #lakeerie #greatlakes #cleveland #seabirds

A photo posted by Rufus (@rufusowl) on

Guest Post: Joy Goes to SXSW, Pt. V: Friday, March 14

In which our intrepid reporter finds out SXSW really is as exhausting as everyone says it is, but rallies to attend more shows.

By day three, I had personally confirmed what we’ve all been told: SXSW kicks your ass. I managed to drag myself downtown before noon only by promising myself a cup of coffee at Mellow Johnny’s, where Wye Oak was playing a 12pm set.

The band was already playing as I bought my coffee, but I couldn’t tell if they were playing an old song or a new one. Like mr. Gnome, Wye Oak hasn’t changed their sound very much between albums #3 and #4. Jenn Wasner has switched from electric guitar to electric bass, and Andy Stack has added an electronic drum-pad to his kit, but at SXSW they were quite recognizably the same band. Wasner even managed to make her bass sound light and silvery at times, which was the most unexpected thing to jump out at me from their performance.

Ultimately this is unsurprising, considering the lyric-based character of Wye Oak’s previous records. Now as before, listeners should expect to make the music into a contemplative experience in order to really absorb it. Wasner — an extremely approachable frontwoman, if anyone ever wants to stick around a show to chat — understandably feels that anyone who doesn’t “get” it should listen to virtually anyone else: she performs for herself and for her fans. She’s quite open about her difficulties with writing a fourth record, and maintains that switching her instrumentation reinvigorated her creative process while inspiring her to keep getting onstage day after day. Judging by their latest single and the SXSW show I saw, fans of her established sound will definitely be interested in and not alienated by the band’s new work.

Next: blogmistress Jennifer had put in detective work to find out when Charli XCX was playing, so I put her time to good use and went to see my favorite British pop star play at the Flamingo Cantina.

Since I’d learned a lesson about being late, I went early, and that was a wise choice. For one thing, plenty of free swag was available for my free choosing. For another, I was treated to a charmingly eccentric set by a Welshman called Gruff Rhys, whose style shifted from guitar-driven folk to semi-pop to the only reggae I’ve ever heard played by a white man that didn’t make me feel instantly angry.

Finally, I got to watch the venue fill to capacity from an actual seat with an actual view of the stage.

Which was lucky, because Charli XCX‘s sets are made to be seen and not just heard. The young Brit, who is currently touring with a full female band, has a true rock-and-roll sense of style and stage performance — she roams the stage, dances, thrashes, flings her head of huge curly hair, and generally lets herself be free.

Some of it is surely due to the fact that she’s only 21, with years of international pop performance already under her belt, but none of it is obviously faked or put on: her rock-stardom seems as honest and natural as her breezy offstage attitude does when you, say, run into her at a vendor’s stall. She clearly makes big, brassy, sometimes silly, but nonetheless sincere pop music because that’s what she wants to make, just like she dances “like you’ve never seen anyone dance before” because that’s simply how she dances. The straightforwardness makes her live shows into a genuine thrill and a front-to-back good time, whether she’s belting out an ode to drunken crushes or a break-up song, and I genuinely hope age (and years in the industry) never tarnishes her luster.

Speaking of age: despite being somewhere just south of thirty myself, that show wore me out. After trying for the second time that week to see a Felice Brothers show and being thwarted by a long line, I scrapped plans in favor of taking a break. Somewhere along the way I helped myself to one of many Deap Vally posters as a reminder to gather energy for their set later that night.

That break became longer than I’d expected, though, since I did not arrive early enough to beat the line for Klassik either.

The best I could manage was snapping a shot through the Thirsty Nickel window:

My lesson was relearned, too: thick drunken crowds on “Dirty Sixth” Street notwithstanding, I arrived at Trinity Hall when the Cherrytree Records party was just gathering steam. In fact, I even had time to catch a quick nap-sitting-up in one of the venue’s deep windowsills, and was a little revived for Sir Sly.

Since this band was one of Jennifer’s picks that I’d never listened to before, I briefly thought a pair of stage-divers were the actual band — although to their credit, they played a pretty decent impromptu song before exiting to cheers and clapping.

The real Sir Sly, however, combined surfer-ish rock with some hip-hop beats and no small number of huge pop hooks. Hearing that they hail from Orange County, CA, brought it all together for me: some bands sound like someone squeezed their geographic area into a pure living distillation, and Sir Sly is a particular subset of Orange County poured straight onto a record.

They threw themselves into their songs with untempered spirit, singing about love and angst the way only a recently-post-teenage Californian band can, winding the crowd up into one chanting sweating almost-entity. It reminded me of a sunnier version of that time we saw New Jersey kids moshing unrepentantly at a Titus Andronicus show.

After Sir Sly shook themselves off and loaded their gear out, it was Deap Vally time, though not everyone in the audience was excited for the same reasons.

The duo came onstage in some awesome outfits:

And I was really not in the mood for certain individuals’ reactions for many reasons, not least because it was clear within half a second of the set that these women were serious musicians. I was closest in proximity to Julie Edwards, who eagerly laid into her drumkit like it had wronged her. Meanwhile, guitarist and lead vocalist Lindsey Troy proved she could nail the ’80s-hair-metal thing live as well as she can in the studio, gleefully shredding and growling and screaming as though personally putting Steven Tyler in his place. They were everything I’d expected: loud and crass and good at what they do, purely and simply very entertaining.

Although this is obviously not their first rodeo, I would still happily punch anyone who ever reduces them to their bodies in my earshot again, and I think they’d approve of that on the basis of punk rock.

The only truly unfortunate part is that, as usual, I couldn’t stay for the whole late set. Instead, I met up with a fellow audience member I’d overheard delivering a perfect verbal smackdown to her own sexual harassers; we walked one another to our bus stops, taking more souvenir Deap Vally posters from the phone pole along the way. Although it was a little less showy than punching some asshole in the face would have been, looking out for each other seemed pretty in line with the band’s ethos too.


Guest Post: Joy Goes to SXSW, pt. IV: Thursday, March 13

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 SXSW 2014, I happened to see a band called Bear’s Den playing the New Shapes Day Party; another ensemble from the Commonwealth Nations who played Americana, they were upbeat and much more musically interesting than Mumford & Co., but they weren’t Doe Paoro. I moved on.

Ultimately, however, the effort was fruitless and I took a break rather than harshing any mellow.

Way to overachieve. The first show I actually saw that day was mr. Gnome, onstage at Rowdy Saloon at 7pm.

At least, the schedule said mr. Gnome went onstage at 7pm. Actually, they went onstage at 8pm. I got there early, left to get dinner, and still returned with enough time to watch the venue’s mechanical bull do its thing by itself for a little while.

Rowdy’s definitely got points for, and set the right party atmosphere by, being the first venue in my memory to feature a mechanical bull. Singer Nicole Barille agreed, and tried throughout the night to talk audience members into giving the bull a spin, but sadly nobody did so while I was watching.

To be fair, this was probably because the night was young and everyone was too busy watching mr. Gnome. I hadn’t seen them since 2010, so didn’t know what to expect — and they hadn’t changed much in the past four years.

That is not an insult. With a sound as unique as theirs, they don’t really need to change: because no one is doing anything too similar to what they’re doing, they don’t have to worry about standing out in a sea of sound-alikes, and a significant departure in technique would risk upsetting their formula anyway.

Newer tracks from their upcoming as-yet-unnamed fourth record sounded like a logical evolution from 2011’s Madness In Miniature, which was itself a subtle progression from 2009’s Heave Yer Skeleton, so the fresh material flowed easily and seamlessly back and forth from familiar older songs.

Other people who write about music have noted that the band’s sound is hard to pin down, but I felt it was nicely represented by the mix of people in their audience that night. Most showgoers were hipsters, seeming dazed but impressed by what they were hearing; an enthusiastic minority were metal fans and punks, and at least one psychedelic burnout evened out the mix. One young man wearing liberty spikes proclaimed early in the night that he’d buy a mr. Gnome hoodie even with his last dollar, and spent the entirety of one song holding his cigarette lighter aloft with the sincerity and reverence some would devote to praying at a shrine.

mr. Gnome might be weird and hard to describe, but they’ve obviously found and earned devotion from their people.

After I realized no one was ready to ride the mechanical bull, I headed over to watch Kan Wakan play at Lambert’s Barbecue. This time, the seven members were challenged to fit onto a stage best fit for a four-piece, but Kristianne Bautista assured me they’d fit on stages even smaller than that.

Sure enough, they all piled neatly on and got to work with another somewhat-shortened set, this one incorporating more unreleased songs. Watching them in this second, very different environment reinforced three things for me: 1. I really like this band, 2. They have all the goods to get famous, and 3. Their song “Are We Saying Goodbye” is super good stuff.

Kan Wakan "Are We Saying Goodbye" At: Guitar Center

Bautista tells me she once thought of her low voice as a flaw, but has fortunately changed her mind and now claims Nina Simone as an inspiration. Though I wouldn’t call Kan Wakan’s sound “jazzy”, that influence definitely comes through — and since so few indie-rock frontwomen work from the lower end of their range, hearing one this smooth and confident is a pleasure.

Even in a sort-of loud bar that kind of smells like vomit.

Jessica Lea Mayfield went on after Kan Wakan, but although I’d planned to stay for her set, I left in order to play safe again and catch a bus. However, I did see Jessica and her husband/bassist Jesse in the audience during the first part of Bautista’s performance. That, to my eyes, seemed like a good sign.


Guest Post: Joy Goes to SXSW, Pt. II: SXSW on a Budget

Joy’s first dispatch from Austin is about having fun without spending all of your money.

You have probably just read the title of this piece and laughed out loud. You’re right: there are many ways to empty your checking account at South By Southwest. But with a little creativity, the experience doesn’t have to end with tears and debt. Here is my list of tips on how to attend this festival as inexpensively as possible.

1. Book in advance.
Don’t be that person who gets stuck sleeping on someone’s floor for $50 a night while cursing those who booked better accommodations ahead. Be the person who gets cursed at. One can find really reasonable prices on decent places to stay through AirBnB — I saw a renovated Airstream in a good location, basically a hotel room, offered for $35 a night. But you must do your searching and make your arrangements at least a month in advance, if not in January. Otherwise you will be S.O.L.

Better still, know someone who knows someone in town who will put you up for free. If you don’t know anyone in Austin, go there some time that is not SXSW and start making friends.

2. Make every meal a picnic.

As a general rule, grocery stores are always less expensive than restaurants. Basically every restaurant and food truck in Austin is awesome, but so are the grocery stores. Grab some low-priced gourmet baked goods, a hunk of cheese, and even a bottle of inexpensive wine; believe it or not, the original Whole Foods store on N. Lamar is a great place to get all three for under $20 (less than that if you’re thrifty and/or don’t mind $6 wine). Supplement with items of produce, et voila: a picnic meal that, depending on the number of people you’re feeding, may last all day. Just don’t try to take any liquids into a venue: I lost a can of V8 that way yesterday.

3. Public transportation is your friend.

Yes, shit does get real on the bus. Especially late at night, and often early in the afternoon if people were laid out cold from the late night before. However, a day pass is only $2, and you can’t beat that anywhere. Parking will cost you much more, and fuck taking a taxi: the streets will be closed where you want to go anyway. Pedi-cab if you must (support local bicyclists), but the best way to get around town is by waiting for a tolerably crowded bus and hoofing it the rest of the distance.

Make sure to remember your sunscreen and drink plenty of the free water offered at most venues.

4. Many shows are free.
If you’re in town to see smaller bands and don’t have a badge, you’re in luck: entry to most showcases will cost you nothing, especially during the day. While you may still end up waiting in line with people you can barely tolerate, the fortunate showgoer won’t even have to cut through that bullshit — time your entrance just right and you’ll simply show your ID, chat with the doorpeople, and get a fashionable hand stamp.

You’re in! Until you’re out. Venues generally have flexible reentry policies, but it’s a smart plan to check and be safe.

5. Fortune favors the bold.
At SXSW, the rules of social conduct are generally loosened and all kinds of behavior is tolerated. I will never recommend going the total-asshole, burned-bridges route, for reasons of basic human decency, but I am saying — don’t be shy about getting your free swag. All around SXSW, promotion companies give away stuff to those who ask. Drink coozies, t-shirts, tote bags, ear plugs, if you need it somewhere will have it.

For the more wily among us, a whole other garden of delights will open up. Gig posters abound and will be put back up if you take one down. Don’t want to pay $6 for a tiny little drink? Keep your eyes open: someone may have left a perfectly good one just sitting around.

Hey! Free drink!

[ed note: And free lord-knows-what-else, too! Stick to the free water!]

Exercise caution, of course, but these are only some examples. Go wild, be free, my friends, and have a safely thrifty SXSW.


6. Loyalty programs = Free stuff.

We’re all chasing that paper, and local businesses are no exception. As such, many locations in Austin show their appreciation for repeat business by hooking their customers up. If you don’t want to carry a hundred punch-cards, the Belly app keeps track of your visits electronically and allows you to redeem rewards after certain point tallies.

My personal favorite friendly R&R location, Halcyon Bar & Cafe at 4th and Lavaca, offers increasingly worthwhile free refreshments for their ascending loyalty tiers. If you stop in for your daily break every afternoon, you’ll have at least a free coffee to your name by the end of the week.

Neither Belly nor Halcyon has paid Paleotrees nor NTSIB for this endorsement. Joy just wants to bring business to a good location, and for people to get their money’s worth out of SXSW at the same time.

On a related note, just stay away from the vintage stores and vendor stalls unless you do have a budget cushion. Those places are great for people-watching, but put out all their best stuff this time of year.



These wares c/o Brookes General


Guest Post: Joy Goes To SXSW, pt. 1

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 End of the World.

Deap Vally-Hobo Playa

Deap Vally plays South By Southwest:

Mar 14, 11pm @ Old School at Trinity Hall

6. Wye Oak

If you have ever listened to this Baltimore duo’s music and thought, “Where is the driving bass line?”, they seem to have read your mind. Their upcoming release, Shriek (out 4/29), will see guitarist Jenn Wazner switching exclusively to electric bass and the band’s music shifting accordingly. Until we hear the results, let’s tide ourselves over on the standout track of their 2011 release, Civilian.

Wye Oak plays South By Southwest:

Mar 12, 4pm @ Hype Hotel
Mar 13, 10am @ Four Seasons
Mar 13, 11:45pm @ The Parish
Mar 14, 12pm @ Mellow Johnny’s
Mar 14, 4pm @ The Blackheart
Mar 15, TBA @ Red 7

5. mr. Gnome

Another duo, this time from Cleveland, mr. Gnome has long been a NTSIB favorite. Their music, at times a frantic rush of paranoia while at others a sweet hymn to the void, should be heard rather than described. They are also hard at work at a still-secretive fourth album, due later this year. As a retrospective, here is a live session featuring songs from their previous releases.

Through the Turnstyle - mr. Gnome

mr. Gnome will play South By Southwest:

Mar 10, 7pm @ Clive Bar [FREE SHOW]
Mar 12, 3pm @ Cheer Up Charlie’s [FREE SHOW]
Mar 12, 11:30pm @ Javelina’s
Mar 13, 7pm @ Rowdy Saloon
Mar 14, 5:45pm @ The Tiniest Bar in Texas

4. Jessica Lea Mayfield

Jessica Lea Mayfield, the darling of Kent, Ohio (as well as an act NTSIB has been following since her first release), is preparing to drop her fourth record: Make My Head Sing … (4/15). Over the course of her career, this young guitarist’s tone has shifted from gorgeous minimalist folk to country-influenced dance pop to grunge-inspired noise rock. A sincere, down-to-earth performer, she says she calls her dog on the phone every day of tour — just to chat. Here she is performing “Our Hearts Are Wrong”, from 2011’s Tell Me.

Jessica Lea Mayfield - Our Hearts Are Wrong - David Letterman

Jessica Lea Mayfield plays South By Southwest:

Mar 12, 2:50pm @ Weather Up Bar
Mar 12, 5pm @ Cheer Up Charlie’s [FREE SHOW]
Mar 13, 12am @ Lambert’s

3. Kan Wakan

If you follow any of my social media presences, you have probably noticed that I am quickly becoming a Kan Wakan superfan. This up-and-coming Los Angeles band creates lush music that is like fancy dessert for the ears. Kristianne Bautista’s voice is incredibly, effortlessly deep and rich; her backing band provides intricately orchestrated but not overpowering accompaniment. Watch them play “Forever Found”, off their EP of the same name, and wait for their first full-length to arrive this spring.


Kan Wakan plays South By Southwest:

Mar 12, 1:55pm @ Red 7
Mar 12, 5:40pm @ Palm Park
Mar 13, 12:30pm @ Palm Door on 6th
Mar 13, 11pm @ Lambert’s
Mar 15, 10am @ Brazos Hall
Mar 15, 2:30pm @ Cedar St Courtyard

2. The Felice Brothers

Paleotrees wouldn’t be Paleotrees — and wouldn’t have met NTSIB — without these guys. This famously raucous five-piece ensemble from Upstate New York has undergone several lineup changes and numerous shifts in musical direction over their career, but they have never lost their freewheeling charm. They do what they want, and we just come along for the ride. Here they play a song off their compilation God Bless You, Amigo.

The Felice Brothers - Dream On (Live @Pickathon 2013)

The Felice Brothers play South By Southwest:

Mar 11, 9:45pm @ Cedar St Courtyard
Mar 13, 12:30pm @ Weather Up
Mar 13, 10:50pm @ Mohawk
Mar 14, 4pm @ The Gatsby

They will also participate in Willie Nelson’s Heartbreaker Banquet, during but apart from SXSW, on March 13 at Willie’s private ranch. (Set time: 3:30PM)

1. Doe Paoro

Doe Paoro, from Brooklyn, is a force to behold. The woman has a compelling, engaging stage presence and a positively terrific voice. Justin Vernon apparently agrees with me about her latent star power, since he sings on her upcoming release Ink On The Walls. Recorded this winter in Vernon’s studio and produced by S.Carey, the album will drop this April; “Walking Backwards”, below, is its lead single .

Doe Paoro - Walking Backwards (Official Audio)

Doe Paoro plays South By Southwest:

Mar 12, 8:30pm @ Banger’s
Mar 12, 10:15pm @ Holy Mountain
Mar 13, 2pm @ Do512 Lounge

… and I am honored to be part of her crew for some if not all of these shows.

So, Austin: stop by when you can, and I hope to see you there!

– Joy @ Paleotrees

[A version of this list also appears on paleotrees.tumblr.com.]