3.17.2008
[SXSW - One Helluva Recap : Day One]
SXSW One Helluva Recap: Day One

March is definitely one month I always look forward to, and I contribute that entirely to SXSWeek - Austin's favorite time to show some love to film, music and technology. Buried into that schedule are four days dedicated to music, and it is in those four days that I really live. I apologize ahead for somewhat quickened recaps but there's just too much to really get into individual sets of all those days. So let's get to it - day one!

SXSW One Helluva Recap - Day One (artist name leads to site & all songs are right click - save as):

Chris Bathgate


Modey Lemon


Curumin


Frightened Rabbit


Shearwater

Shout Out Louds


Wednesday, I'm sure to most Austinites attending, usually carries a sense of disbelief. I'll let you in on a little secret. Sixth Street's not exactly the hippest place on most weekday afternoons, so seeing it blocked off to traffic and crawling with people is quick to remind a lot of us that it's no ordinary Wednesday.

This extraordinary Wednesday started under the makeshift venue white tent that was Emo's Annex. I've heard the name Chris Bathgate before and, understandably enough, fell under the impression that it was just one guy. Instead, I found myself watching a menagerie consisting of a dulcimer, brass, a cello, and a bit more. Nothing outrageous, but nothing unimpressive either. Bathgate was a toe-dip to ease me into the waters of what would undoubtedly be a crazy week.

Skipping on to Curumin - soundchecks are always pretty useful to gauge what a band is like. Heavily accented English akin to the "h'okay dis is urth" guy, I fell under the impression that Curumin was a French group. I obviously don't know what the hell I'm talking about 'cause those kids are from Sao Paolo. Relying on their music and not just a sound check though would have strongly revealed that. Curumin was refreshing and definitely carried their nationality in their music. Inserting a Brazilian groove into their rockish hip-hop was a most welcome fusion. He even taught us a bit of Portugese - fun AND learning.

Ask anyone in that tent that morning though, and I'm sure a majority would have told you that they were eagerly anticipating the likes of Frightened Rabbit. It was the reason I was there, and I'd say the anticipation was deserved. Intense, loud - their tracks just put on a different face when performed live.

If anything tops my Wednesday though, it is undoubtedly the set brought about by the Shout Out Louds at the Austinist's Gonna Gonna Get Down event. It can always be said that bands are better live, and that phrase these days may be a bit stretched out to be believable anymore. When I tell you that these guys are better live, I really mean it. Absolutely incomparable. The kids had just gotten fresh off their plane from the east coast, but the only evidence of that was the mention of three unused, broken instruments - one of which was, sadly, an accordion. Shout Out Louds brought out the dance among us that day, and with that South By officially began.

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1 Comments:
Anonymous Nat said...
I had some friends fly out for this and it's all they've been talking about. Luckily this helps keep me up to speed on some of the bands they saw, thanks