I've never had so many tacos in one week in my life as I did last week in Austin at SXSW. Beer, BBQ and tacos. I saw more bands that any year ever and spent a lot of time at HOT FREAKS at the Mohawk, surviving the sun and downing Tochie's Tacos. I'm still recovering from the late flight and all the poison, but here's a brief recap of my trip.....
CHRISTOPHER DENNY & THE OLD SOLES @ Club DevilleFinally caught CD with his band, The Old Soles, and it was better than imagined. It's refreshing to see actual, undeniable TALENT, that has nothing to do with fashion and hype.
WHITE DENIM @ The Mohawk (Hot Freaks)Hometown boys were the belle of the ball all week. All I have to say is, "Turbo! Turbo! Turbo!"
PEELANDER Z @ The Mohawk (Hot Freaks)If you missed this performance, you'll have to read about it forever. A spectacle in the best sense of the word.
Fantastic to see our dear friends SHOUT OUT LOUDS @ The Parish for the Merge showcase. SOL's and then DESTROYER was a highlight of the week for me.
OTHER STANDOUTS:GRAVEYARD @ Bourbon Rocks
Sweden's WOLFMOTHER - close your eyes and it's ZEPPELIN - a voice from another time.
CATHY DAVEY @ Soho Lounge (Irish Showcase)
Dublin's superstar in the making. Another huge voice on a beautiful person.
BIRDS & BATTERIES @ The Beauty Bar (Bay Area Takeover)
Barely missed being my runner-up show. Even better live than on the CD I adore.
THE DODOS & BON IVER @ The Mohawk
I put these two together because they were two sets that sored beneath HUGE vocals and emotionally charged lyrics. Breathtaking.
A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS, FILM SCHOOL and FIGHT LIKE APES were also tremendous. The Skewer Party at Maggie Mae's was also excellent, running up and down the steps to each stage helped work off the brisket and Lone Star.
It was far and away my favorite SXSW, and I did my best to stay away from every over-hyped party full of bands we've all seen a hundred times before and get back to what the festival was set up for initially - to showcase new and rising talent.
Thanks to Ryan Suffern for the photos and to HOT FREAKS for the hospitality.