What a week! We’re back home in Santa Monica now, ears ringing and coming down from all the excitement and the flood of great new music we’re ready to share with you. Check out our KCRW Music Blog for the full articles.
SXSW 2013 will forever be the year that pierced my heart with memories. There are many that come to mind but I will stick with a couple that left me inspired and hopeful for the future of music. Read More »
SXSW has come and gone and just like a sailor’s trip on the high seas – I’ve got a few stories to tell. In total, I managed upwards 40 artists across the 4 day span but below are a few of ‘em that cut through the noise of it all and capitalized at the capitol. Read More »
My first ever trip to Austin for SXSW is in the books and I’m already thinking about ’14. I tried really hard to balance the two types of shows you’ll encounter: The big, drool-inducing corporate sponsored showcases and the low-key corner bar with unknown band names. It was good to have the option to do both, but it was hard to face this reality; I missed 95% of all the shows. Read More »
Over 2,200 bands played over 100 venues (official and unofficial) at SXSW 2013. It’s quite daunting to sum it up, but one of the best parts of the festival is the “choose your own adventure” nature of things. Everyone has a completely different experience based on chance encounters, flippant decisions, and what their weariness will allow them to accomplish after days and days of hoofing it around the city of Austin. Read More »
Pretty much camped out last night, (Thursday 3/14) at the Belmont sponsored by Warner Bros. and presented by Chris Douridas
Surfer Blood. JP and Crew are in the running for the Ironmen award for most shows played so far but they’re only getting better. JP is starting to find his stage presence which was accentuated by coming out with “Kiss” style cat whisker face paint and jumping into the crowd. He walked around singing a catchy tune like some kind of Sammy Davis Jr sipping drinks out of crowd members cups.
Atlas Genius Keith is another front man starting to find is tiger stripes. Playing to the crowd on top of speakers and on the press railing he’s a power front man in training. Through some backline issues like loosing his kick drum half way through their banger ballad “Trojans” the young Ausssie kept plowing through.
Frightened Rabbit One of the bands I was most looking forward to seeing having missed them recently at KCRW last week. What can I say other than the Scotland Indie Darlings know how to squeeze every ounce of emotion out of the crowd and those guitars. Even though they were the band left holding the bag from set times going over time, they still left an impression. Must be those thick accents.
Joy Formidable Well, what can I say. I posted about them being the band I was most looking forward to seeing at SXSW because; “I wanted to leave a small venue dripping in sweat after being punched in the face by an arena rock band” Consider my face fully melted. These guys were everything I had hoped and so much more. I was front row fully head-banging and fist throwing I almost (accidentally) hit a cameraman. Show ended with a full on thrash-fest and the bass player slinging off his ax and laying on to the dude right next to me. Myself, the guy and the bassist each getting our hands on those strings contributing to the chaotic noise fest. I could have left afterwards, I was tired, sweaty, spent I even played the bass for the band. Why would I stay?
Alt-J Pure sex with a tight snare. Seriously. These guys don’t look it and they definitely don’t act in on stage but you can’t deny that sound as it slithers and pounds it’s way into you ear. If you haven’t seen them live you must. YOU MUST. They’re so wildly different than anything else you’ll hear. It was a welcome relief after my full on metal assault earlier
Hanni El Khatib Hanni ripped through his new Dan Auerbach produced tunes to a small crowd at the Scoot Inn. Straight up rock ‘n roll that went down easy with a Lone Star and taco. This new album is gonna be a big one for 2013.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra Jamming amongst the bicycles at Mellow Johnny’s…UMO impressed a capacity crowd with their blend of swirly, psychy guitar rock.
Local Natives Hometown boys closed down the Lustre Pearl Wednesday night with a set comprised mostly of material from their new record, Hummingbirds. They were tight, having fun and the crowd ate it all up.
Heartbreaker Banquet If you get the opportunity to head on out of Austin to Willie Nelson’s ranch…jump on it! What once served as an old west town (includes: saloon, post office, chapel etc) for films - has now turned into Luck, Texas…A town that Willie now owns. Great music, views and vibes all around. An Austin local told me that ‘Willie is the patron-saint of Austin…the ranch is hallowed ground’ and watching Phosphorescent’s country, sun-touched jams - was the perfect soundtrack to stepping back in time.
Rhye at the Pitchfork Day Party: They went on at noon after flying in from Berlin last night and going nearly 40 hours without sleep. That made singer Mike Milosh’s performance all that much more incredible. His vocals are fantastic and the backing band of pros – including cello and violin players – made me love the songs more live. It’s babymaking music – even at noon on a Thursday.
Willy Moon at Showdown at Cedar Street: THIS guy is a performer. Jack White is a fan, releasing a single on his Third Man Records label, and it’s easy to see why. He’s the best showman – with the talent to back it up – that I’ve seen so far.
Shout Out Louds at Showdown at Cedar Street: I had the pleasure of introducing this band and I told the capacity crowd that their song “Walking in Your Footsteps” has been stuck in my head for about a month. It’s true. And they nailed it live! I was bouncing up and down with the rest of the crowd.
Local Natives at Showdown at Cedar Street: There are few better musical moments than singing “Wide Eyes” with 600 people.
Icona Pop: Swedish dance pop at it’s best. Pure fun. They’ve been playing a ton around Austin but they seem to have endless energy and enthusiasm.
Caveman: This Brooklyn-based indie rock band has a new album due in April and I really love what I heard. And the singer’s tie…
The Specials: I was walking back to my hotel when I heard the sounds of “Message to You Rudy” and realized it was actually The Specials playing it live! A true SXSW moment and a real treat to end the night.
As most of us prepare to embark on our trip to Austin, our Music Director is already on the ground and Billboard is telling our story.
Jason Bentley did an interview with Billboard’s Math Diehl that he split into two parts — he give his recommendations on things to do and talks about why KCRW has a presence during Interactive this year.