Gription – July 9, 2014 – Lost Lake Lounge, Denver CO

[Wisconsin/Boulder] Gumption was what I heard. First impressions, they’re depraved nerds or ex-heroin addicts. They covered Rolling Stones & Sublime to warm up. They have great stage energy – the lead particularly borrows from the stylings of Michael Stipe & Chris Robinson, which supports one description I saw of them as a boogie rock band. They claim punk & metal influences, which oddly weren’t completely far-fetched – particularly 70s punk (like Radio Birdman). Their second song was a good cover of “For What It’s Worth” and they ended with “No Sugar Tonight.” The lead singer’s got a genuinely good voice but sometimes made the mistake of doing silly mimes for every song line – but overall he is a firecracker of a performer. At first I couldn’t place their sound for the life of me which made me like them. They lead my mind to Blues Travelers (in a big way on some songs unfortunately), OAR, glam metal, Robyn Hitchcock, Def Leppard, Hunter S Thompson, southern rock, shoegaze. The crowd really disappeared but it was sort of a weak crowd to start with. I’d x the ‘six cylinder…’ song but keep the ‘take down a notch’ song. Perhaps the very best part of the show was the drunk frat boy at the lip of the stage having the time of his life – he kept shouting ‘Wisconsin!’ (the band’s from there) but I kept hearing ‘West Compton!’ and getting confused – one song had a line on ‘the parties we’ve been to when someone has died’ and he nodded grimly – and then he threw some metal horns but got so transfixed by his flexed bicep he lost track of it. The lead singer became determined to start every song with a profanities-laced indictment of some social issue (e.g., the government hates him, we all need to be free, fuck socialism, typical CO libertarian bullshite). I found him irritating because he pretended to be caustic but ultimately still believed – nihilism’s really the only thing that’s gotten me off for a long time now. I lost my patience when they dedicated a song to Johnny Cash, ‘a fuck you to Nashville,’ and then proceeded to do some Blues Travelers-sounding number – if you’re going to dedicate a song to a legend, at least have some sense of what he sounds like.

Breaching Existence – July 9, 2014 – Lost Lake Lounge, Denver, CO

Posted by Dara on 9th July 2014 in Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Prog Rock

Virgin Exquisite was what I heard. It was their first show ever… I had no idea which says a lot for them… They’re prog metal – the drama voice – big, full, and melodificul. They were so proggy the lead singer would walk off the stage in the middle of a song to go get a drink and watch the band from the sidelines for a while. He introduced the next song as “Part 2” – at least he’s honest. They’re gloomy and slow – kind of Tool. I was disappointed when the crowd didn’t react to the lead guitarist using both hands to finger the guitar neck. If anything I kept waiting for some excitement – I really really like sludgy metal but there was something lacking – they either need a more robust sludge or to crisp up and build some climactic moments like Iron Maiden. Like I said, it was their first show and I never would have guessed it – the boys done good. I’d never been to this venue before – I enjoyed the hipster/Ryan Gosling bartender with the tag of his little beach shirt ripped out violently – I was disappointed they used one of their stages as a staging ground for equipment instead of having the bands set up on alternate stages for a faster turnaround – I rolled my eyes at the hipster next to me in tattoos and a Jimmy Buffet sunhat who annoyed Gosling by being all coy with his order “I’ll have tequila please” “What kind?” “Ohhhh, how about silver? And a beer… an American beer…” “What kind of American beer?”

June 27, 2014 – Singer Songwriters in the Round, Gunnison Arts Center

Posted by Dara on 27th June 2014 in Americana, Singer/Songwriter

Typically, singer/songwriters make me want to prick myself with a pin just to feel alive again. But, as times go, I need girl friends so I volunteer around town now (volunteer selfishly obviously). My little volunteering gig tonight fortuitously took a turn toward music-watching, and with the plethora of bluegrass options in Gunnison, s/ss didn’t look so bad. Plus the arrangement was just right for a Dara: four s/ss on stage, talking to the crowd, talking to each other, and (this is key) limited to two songs each in a turn. Four songs from a band I really like can set me to yawning – I like to switch up, in nearly all aspects of life. Not to mention, the switching up enabled me to discern actual differences in s/ss for the first time in my life maybe. None of them, except maybe Kevin Walter, had great voices – but I imagined they were Kristoffersons. And if you’ve ever wondered what Gunnison is like, the personalities of these four s/ss pretty much encapsulates it.

Chris Coady: [Gunnison, CO] A slight man, worker man jeans, a dress shirt covered in guitars. He plays with a pretty well known local band 18 Mile Radius. Gentle loner mountain man. His sound varied from Tom Petty to Townes (that’s a stretch – some of his songs had a lonesome sound at least). Simple spare guitar. Genuine heartfelt lyrics – hearing his song on youtube right now is actually kind of giving me a cringing toothache, but there’s no denying he’s a sweet and good man.

Alan Wartes: [Gunnison, CO] A pretty man, except that he was in 80s jeans, a long sleeved red knit shirt covered by a black vest, and red Converse (which he mentioned). He was the one on the stage I’d never heard of but apparently plays with a pretty well established band Avalon Road. He is the enlightened spiritual leader. He was a lighter version (if that’s possible?) of Cat Stevens and Gordon Lightfoot. His guitar playing was a relevation after Chris’ – not sure if it was a difference in guitars (Alan’s had the roundy back) or in the playing – but Alan’s guitar sound was round and rich and intricate – he does more picking than strumming. Most of his songs told stories of family and average life – every one of his songs described him crying. He went into a tirade about how there haven’t been protest songs since the 60s – this false nostalgia is a pet peeve of mine and I was forced to degrade him into the self-righteous category. He followed this tirade up with a song about the pains of working too much and not having time for family (hello Cat Stevens), and this was about when I had to revoke his rights to be moved into a better category. He also over-emoted while watching the others play. Despite our personal differences ;), he was polished and confident, and I liked his round sound a lot.

Evelyn Roper: [Gunnison, CO] Another pro – beautiful, calm and confident – respectable jeans, a sparkly sexy top toned down with a long sleeved gauzey top. She’s at the center of Gunnison’s music scene, playing solo shows, organizing musical kid events –respected – never had seen her. She’s the strong unpretentious woman who runs deep. In contrast to the whines and simpaticos that preceded her, she was raucous on her guitar (as racous as acoustic gets). She often swayed country but was so metaphorical and literate, she also reminded me of Dar Williams. Her music was full of metaphors: men as tumbleweeds. She also incorporated a lot of desert imagery, which I enjoyed as a former desert girl. She’s the rare breed who is a poet that gets things done.

Kevin Walter: [Gunnison, CO] ElPrimoHaole has often waxed fond over this performer, purportedly recently returned to Gunny after some messy love affairs – alt-country, rowdy, engages the crowd in insults. He was by far the youngest on the stage – baggy clothes, baseball cap pulled low throughout the show, and consistently eager to have a beer close at hand. Radiated nervous intensity. Whereas the others prefaced their songs with poignant stories, he tried and finally said, “I hate this…” It was refreshing. I was nervous for him, what with his nervousness, but he totally pulled it out. His guitar was just so much louder – bluesy, rocking – he was Almost a one-man band (a la Scott H Biram) rather than a s/s. There was definitely some 90s sound there (Cracker, Marcy Playground) but also some country rowdiness (Kid Rock) and then this weird great British rocker snarl (Pete Doherty – yum). Lyrics were rawer than the others but real and honest. I really liked him.

Proper etiquette as a s/s in a round: 1) nod head to beat (when there is one) to communicate appreciation, 2) nod more forcefully when a lyric strikes you as insightful or particularly truthful, 3) before playing, compliment your fellow players and express doubt as to whether you are even qualified to follow them up

Full Moon Radio – June 21, 2014 – Pride Festival, Olympia WA

Posted by Dara on 21st June 2014 in Alternative Rock, Goth, Grunge, Punk, Thrash

[Olympia, WA] It was a teenage Olympia dream come true! Thrashing all girl band, vintage clothes, magenta hair: riot grrrl! An unexpected follow-up to the previous band, which was a male singer in a beglittered cap backed by hard bodied fly boys with handkerchiefs for underwear, i.e., their handkerchief underwear being their ‘outfit.’ For some reason, K Records (out of Olympia) is one of the labels I remember from my youth. For some reason, I thought Babes in Toyland (complete goddesses) were on K Records. At least, in my head, during this show, it was all perfect. And then, no lie, we drove past a Sleater-Kinney exit on the freeway. (Their youtube songs sound more post-punk…)

Jaggery, Oberon, Cambridge MA June 12, 2014

Posted by Andrew on 13th June 2014 in Art Rock, Performance, Singer/Songwriter

Fronted by Mali Sastri, Jaggery came to the Oberon ahead of their stateside tour to record a live album. The five-piece band (sporting, at the moment, two drummers) was in great form for the ninety-minute set. Part pop music, part symphony, Jaggery is anchored by Mali’s stunning range and acrobatic vocals. The band at times seemed to gel disparate sounds into one grand orchestra and the results were divine. The setlist spanned the band’s decade-long career, from the Ten Paintings​/​Ten Songs tracks (the haunting Garden and War Cry) performed for the first time with the full band to a ridiculously affecting performance of Demigod with harmonies by harpist Petaluma Vale.

The music was arresting and ethereal. Daniel Schubmehl and newcomer Dylan Jack traded time on the drum kit (it was interesting to observe their matching enthusiasm for the songs and the band despite a history with Jaggery at opposite ends of the spectrum). Tony Leva played (mostly) an upright bass although he swapped out a guitar for some songs and even a three-stringed Morrocan guimbiri (which he explained the origins of) which looks like a cricket bat. Rachel Jayson played viola (and sat at the keyboards while Mali floated through the audience for a ghostly performance of Elfin Arrietty) and occasionally took to the mic to speak directly to the audience, talking about the band’s working method and synergy (one word: chocolate). The set included the whimsical O Scorpio and pounding, cathartic 7 Stone which absolutely brought down the house. Mali debuted a wintry new track (if there was a title, I didn’t catch it) for the performance, playing solo on the keyboards with only Petaluma’s backing vocals.

Mary Bichner and Planetary Quartet, Oberon, Cambridge MA June 12, 2014

Posted by Andrew on 13th June 2014 in Quartet, Singer/Songwriter

Mary Bichner and Planetary Quartet were sensational. Playing songs arranged for a double-viola string quartet (Mary explaining the double-viola allowed for more harmonious benefits, especially in the lower range) with Mary on keyboards or guitar, the thirty-minute set was a joy from end to end. The compositions were suitably operatic, on subject of Sailor Moon (including the cradlesong Throw Stones), a treatment of the Edgar Allan Poe’s To Helen, and an original composition by Beck Why Did You Make Me Care? repurposed for the quartet. Mary’s voice is otherworldly, a sublime mix of Kansas farm girl (the energetic set opener Today is the Day) and Joan Sutherland (Finale). No where was this more evident, then on the Sailor Moon-inspired set closer, a pop-confection Route Venus sung in Japanese.

Rapidgrass – June 10, 2014 – I Bar Ranch, Gunnison, CO

Posted by Dara on 10th June 2014 in Bluegrass, Folk, Jazz

[Colorado/Texas] All the usual suspects: mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar, upright bass. They were solid. I was most intrigued when they segued into some gypsy jazz numbers. The group spokesman, Alex Johnstone, was very good at being enthusiastic (with an admittedly small and quiet crowd) without being cheesy.

The Punknecks – May 9, 2014 – Gunnison Brewery, Gunnison CO

Posted by Dara on 9th May 2014 in Americana, Punk, Rockabilly

[Nashville, TN] I was enthused about this show solely on the basis of their poster – they’ve got a look – or more to the point, they’ve got a look that isn’t seen around the likes of here: rockabilly/street punk. I’m sad to report I really really did not like them. There was just nothing pleasant about their music – and I know that’s kind of their point – the guy has tattoos from his scalp to his toenails and clearly wasn’t looking to butter us up. But they’re cowpunk and I kept expecting something more like The Tombstones. But it was mostly abrasive and irritating. The girl was slapping on a single low-grade drum. The guy’s voice wasn’t great. They were working hard to put on a live show but everything was more gimmick than quality. I just kept thinking they’re the sort of band you’d really like if you passed them playing a corner on Bourbon Street or something. Truth be told, I was way too tired to be out – and this venue’s sound system may not have been up to snuff for a band like them. The girl was a knockout and could really sing. They’re actually a married couple touring in a cute little silver trailer. They were great to the crowd, mingling before and after the show… But to get back to being a snobby jerk, I don’t like their name. Jokes about poor white people are only slightly less ech to me than jokes about poor black people. I was distracted by the braids on the side of the girl’s head which really mucked up her ‘look.’ The guy disappeared for half of the set, leaving the girl alone to do covers that weren’t necessarily bad ["In the Pines (Where Did You Sleep Last Night?)" and "Wagonwheel" (all right, I take back the not bad – if I hear Wagonwheel one more time in this town, I will stab myself in the neck with a fork)] but did seal the fact that they don’t have a band identity. I drifted outside mid-set – I returned for the end of the set and most everybody else had drifted off – I couldn’t blame them. Thanks to ElPrimoHaole for tracking the covers for me and recommending the best of their recorded stuff.

Palehound, Great Scott, Allston MA May 3, 2013

Posted by Andrew on 4th May 2014 in Alternative Rock, College Rock

I knew I liked this band before we ever stepped foot into the tiny venue. Great Scott, with its mix of bar and concert venue was the perfect place for this four-piece band fronted by Ellen Kempner.

Ellen had her wisdom teeth out and was still in discomfort but none of that showed during the half-hour set. The band was lively, her vocals were spot on (although occasionally drowned out in the mix.) The entire band used every inch of the minuscule stage to full effect. They have the energy of the B-52′s (pre-Good Stuff) with a drop of grunge in the indie pop brew. It all added up to a great set. Buried beneath some of their stylings were some serious melodies that would make a great pop record. (It’s much more evident in their studio recordings).

They closed the set with their fan fav Pet Carrot.

Palehound – May 3, 2014 – Great Scott, Allston MA

Posted by Dara on 3rd May 2014 in Alternative Rock, Grunge

[New York] A reunion with TheIdeaMan! The originator of all this and so much more – we debated whether this was the first joint venture of Concert Central’s two primary contributors – my records show that on January 15, 2010, we saw Monarchs (??) at the Hole in the Wall in Austin – boom. My records also show that on March 20, 2004, I compared Scout Niblett to him (looks-wise) in a review of a show he was not at. This comparison looks to be based on faulty information as I am unable now to detect even a distant resemblance. TheIdeaMan and I go back to 1998 – i.e., we’re getting really really old. Also got to meet the very suitable and instantly loveable DeepWatersRunSilly. So, to the review. Hello, Sub Pop. Breathy unpredictable 90s indie rock. Ultimately very Weezer but they also obviously spend time listening to Meat Puppets, Nirvana, Liz Phair, Cracker, Primus, Daisy Chainsaw. Totally derivative but I really liked them. And I liked them a lot despite being super tired. Even though I’m pigeonholing them, they were diverse – quality songwriters. She had a stocking cap and an I-am-a-minor ‘X’ on her hand. “Pet Carrot” is a standout – rare for me to remember a new song after one listening.

Gramatik – April 19, 2014 – Western State College University, Gunnison CO

Posted by Dara on 19th April 2014 in Dance, Electronic

[Slovenia] I wasn’t even planning to go until I heard he was on the Pretty Lights label – I am familiar with the ‘band’ Pretty Lights thanks to my CousinWithTheBestShoes. Not to mention the event was about two blocks from my front porch. Not to mention Gramatik hails from Slovenia, my homeland – I remain mystified at how this tiny school gets pretty big-name artists to headline this annual event. The stage was all mysterious and dark – he was in a hoodie and jacket slouched over his stuff – no idea what he looks like. The light show was just short of being seizure-inducing. We were also dodging glitter bombs and small firecrackers. He is soul and funk samples over heavy dupstep bass. In one of the greatest parts of the show, his sidekick DJ accompanied some songs with a flute and then a trumpet (I mean the real instruments). In another great part of the show, my Slovenian roots stood up and clapped when he did a gypsy punk number that I’m sure was a tribute to our homeland – maybe I’m just delusional – but my delusions make me happy. The third great part of the show was the smell – Spring grass, grass wafting through the air, incense – the smells of Gunnison in basic. The kids were all over it – waving their cell phone wands and potted plants (I am speaking literally here) – unfortunately I was flanked by two grumpy old men who were harshing my mellow.

Two Faces West – April 19, 2014 – Western State College University, Gunnison, CO

Posted by Dara on 19th April 2014 in Hard Rock, Southern Rock

[Gunnison, CO] Locals who won the opening slot through a battle of the bands. Solid – they’re southern rock, Black Keys, Chili Cold Blood. Put on a big stage show – even some behind-the-back guitar playing. Also did a Gunnison Blues song dedicated to our winters.

M.I.L.L.K. – April 12, 2014 – Brick Cellar, Gunnison CO

Posted by Dara on 12th April 2014 in Funk, Reggae, Ska

[Gunnison, CO] This band needs a bigger stage. The second they started playing, strumming, hitting, blowing, etc. a happy glow fell over the room – heads bobbing, shoulders swaying. Partiest happiest band I’ve seen in a long time. They are five guys and a girl – saxophone, keyboard, drums, trumpet, guitar, bass (substitute bassist tonight). Multiple band members sing. Classic sounding funk with some reggae-ska funk songs thrown in. They did at least one cover (“Tell Me Something Good”) but rumor says their keyboardist writes a lot of their songs. They make me want to know a whole lot more about funk. All strong musicians and the synergy is there – big thick sound. And this was like their third gig ever – Gunnison’s lucky to have them.

Tedo Stone – March 15, 2014 – Side Bar, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in College Rock, Psychedelic

[Atlanta, GA] At Side Bar again because of a bust due to schedule changes, but happily reunited with CameraSmoothie after many many months. This band was unremarkable psych-y jam-y indie pop. I called them “pub rock” which is never a compliment in my book.

Jimmy Whispers – March 15, 2014 – Spiderhouse, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in Art Rock

[Chicago, IL] What? We thought it was a joke or a mistake. Just a solo fellow wailing on the mike. I almost like him now that I see him singing into a corn dog on a Chicago cable access show.

Anya – March 15, 2014 – Spiderhouse Ballroom, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in Hip Hop

[Austin, TX] Smart girl-power rap. Mellow. She was backed by a DJ and accompanied by a guy rapper on some songs. She reminded me of Erykah Badu but less a songstress and more a rapper. Very good. Most of her stuff was conscious rap but she did one party-hard song that she kind of chuckled over before she started. She was extremely sweet and gracious with the crowd. Internet says her abilities are founded in her dad teaching her to say MLK’s dream speech with rhythm.

Endless Bummer – March 15, 2014 – Spiderhouse, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in Heavy Metal, Psychedelic

[California] This band had inexplicable charm. There was the awfully big fellow, Josh Homme looking. The female drummer, always a good thing. And the swishy blonde haired surfer dude. They apologized for being from California and then threw beach balls into the crowd – and the crowd loved it. They chided the crowd for not sharing and a guy shuffled to the front and potted them. Rockboy was totally mystified as to how they were so excellent when he had found them disgusting in his research – turns out there’s an Endless Bummer from Baltimore who are abrasive screamo. Whereas this Endless Bummer is spaced out hardcore – psych metal – and maybe some grunge and rockabilly. Canned voice a la The Ponys. We both liked them an awful lot. And their name is evocative of teen angst and California mellow all at the same time.

Kap G – March 15, 2014 – GPEN Annex, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in Rap

[Atlanta, GA] Far and away the best rapper I saw. A mix of styles (stoner, southern, street) done very well over slow heavy bass. Genuis mix of cultures and emotions – Mexican pride, self-effacing humor, serious social statement, and rap bravado. He went from rapping about la familia and his mama to tattoos and cocaine. Jose got no tacos. And the crowd was dancing through all of it. He’s already associated with people like Pharrell and Wiz Khalifa so everyone but me knows…

Atlanter – March 15, 2014 – Cedar St Courtyard, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in Arena Rock, Modern Rock, World Music

[Norway] We were in the Warehouse District at 11am specifically to see this band. It turned out to be a set of Nordic shows with free breakfast tacos – Rockboy was pleased (by the tacos). 4 males on 2 guitars, a bass guitar, and a drum. They had a big dense lush sound – melancholy – a little bit of Godspeed You but more Calexico. They mixed atmosphere with hard beats. When they got really anthemic, they reminded me of U2. They were charming fellows. The guitarist mouthed along to his own guitar picking. Another had a blonde Norwegian hipster moustache. The lead singer told the crowd: “Our songs stretch out so we don’t have time to play many” – and at first I thought he was describing the music very aptly with metaphor but then realized his English was just a little sketchy. In reference to the rainy morning: “Lone Star state… with all this humidity… god is making love to us right now.” He really said that.

Pell – March 15, 2014 – Red Eyed Fly, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in R&B, Rap, Underground Hip Hop

[New Orleans] R&B infused hip-hop – he was backed by some five DJs or back-up groovers at least. One in particular danced like he was interpreting the song in sign. He’s got that flat kind of monotonic style – something of an Odd Future sound. L.D., a little sweetheart, was with him for a few songs. He mostly seemed really young and nervous – especially when he told the crowd to cheer for drugs and then to put their middle fingers up, but I think he has potential.

Protomartyr – March 15, 2014 – Beerland, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in Alternative Rock, Modern Rock, Punk

[Detroit, MI] This band was on both of our lists, and deservedly so. The show was kind of mellow but they’re the real deal – a band I would actually listen to and so a top SXSW show. The lead singer was in a dumpy suit and brought despair and death to mind. They’re clang guitars, quiet tribal drums, well-paced flat vocals. A little atonal. I heard Hold Steady, Minor Threat, Dinosaur Jr., Swans, and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. Rockboy heard The Fall and disagreed with every band I heard. My original description of this band was apocalyptic folk punk which is just about right.

Urge Overkill – March 15, 2014 – Jackalope, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in Indie Rock

[Chicago, IL] I don’t know this band outside of “Girl I’ll Be a Woman Soon” from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack – apparently they had their day. As evidenced by the audience of eager men in their 40s reliving the glory days – I kid, I kid. They were solid. I was just dying on the inside. In my head, I group them with rocking bands I should like but just don’t: Husker Du, Buffalo Tom. The lead singer was wearing sunglasses at afternoon, and called out “You know who you are!” – the classic sleazy rocker call out to every girl, any girl. I was somewhat contented when I realized I was in my very own Singles moment. They’re grunge-lite or just straight up rock n roll. They do it well. Rockboy stopped speaking to me after reading this review. And then recommended four songs to change my attitude. They didn’t.

J.C. Satan (AKA Jackie Chan’s) – Spiderhouse Ballroom – March 15, 2014

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in Modern Rock, Punk, Thrash

[Bourdeaux, France] Waiting to get in, a sassy lady ahead of us was explaining to the guy behind her why her band was called Jackie Chan’s, cracking jokes. A charmer for sure. Little did I know she was about to become my hero – my absolute favorite band from SXSW. “I reach for the glory because I kill everyone around me.” They were bizarre, dramatic, hard and gripping – reminded me of The Coathangers, Daisy Chainsaw. You couldn’t help but be swept up in their insanity, riding the wave. That hard/quiet phenomenon or whatever. They’re from France, Italy, and Spain? The internet tells me they’re some sort of a supergroup – with even a DJ in their midst. In addition to the magnetic lead lady, there was the sexy stout guitarist and the skinny dark mysterious female bassist. They led me to develop a new genre: stoner yell-o. Death vocals over groovy hard synth. And the fabulous lead didn’t even take herself seriously – she would throw her flowered-dress body to the ground in dramatic emotion and kind of snicker to herself at the absurdity of it all. God I’d love to drink sparkling wine with her on a Sunday. For some reason they were going by Jackie Chan’s at this show but they’re J.C. Satan online and on their albums – maybe they knew America couldn’t handle the mixing of Jesus Christ with Satan.

Meatbodies – March 15, 2014 – Spiderhouse, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in Heavy Metal, Psychedelic

[Los Angeles] We arrived just in time to miss Dune Rats, again. BUT we did run into lovely EyesPoetic and her lovely boyfriend. This band was rocking right off – post-rock metal. Fast with some psych overtones. They took it to 11 when they covered Black Sabbath’s “Supernaught.” Incredibly clean. They were an instant “get them.”

Ian Moore and the Lossy Coils – March 15, 2014 – Hole in the Wall, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 15th March 2014 in Adult Contemporary, Pop, Rock and Roll

[Seattle/Austin] Rockboy begged for a stopby at his favorite watering hole. It was packed and the band was high quality as is typical for The Hole. They were 60s pop rock – lots of harmonizing which made me think of The Beach Boys. They really reminded me of bands that are an Austin’s Pop Culture Press label. Moments of the Traveling Wilburys. They’re accomplished but not what I look for during SXSW. Enjoyed watching their middle-aged girl friends swoon in the audience for sure though.

Touche Amore – March 14, 2014 – Beerland Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 14th March 2014 in Punk, Thrash

[Burbank, CA] This band nearly managed to override my dislike for screamo. First they really weren’t screamo – more yell-o ;) Second, the music was terrific – melodic math rock – melancholy. The lead singer looked very much like McNulty from The Wire. Rockboy described them as a meld of 80s hardcore (e.g., Fugazi) and early emo (e.g., Rites of Spring).

Buck Biloxi and the Fucks – March 14, 2014 – The Grand, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 14th March 2014 in Punk, Rock and Roll, Thrash

[New Orleans, LA] This used to be the pool hall I pooled at! Punk n roll with thrash overtones. Riff heavy. Yell-singing. The Ramones. Good variety of sound. Cute female drummer! So we had the name of this band wrong for 16 hours (schedule change) – and ended up seeing this band again the next day… Rockboy refused to pay $20 for their album. Sidenote: I feel the need to state that I was nauseated by all of the indie pop I was subjected to during SXSW research and so any hard band that popped up was treated favorably by my recommendations. And so in the dearth of possibilities for night shows, our limited time for seeing music, this venue was perfect for this evening – although it was an onslaught of same-old punkish bands. They were all excellent though.

The Residuels – March 14, 2014 – Empire Control Room, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 14th March 2014 in Blues, Punk, Thrash

[Philadelphia, PA] This band caught my attention during SX research with a cover of The Gun Club’s “Sex Beat.” They do have a tone of The Gun Club’s blues punk but they’re harder, rawer – garage punk maybe. The show was a little off-putting because: 1) there were 7 people in the crowd and the singer referenced the fact a little too bitterly (it was before noon), and 2) there’s only two guys in the band and they don’t have a ‘look.’ The singer wore a pork pie hat, played guitar, and stared us down with an angry I-drank-a-lot-last-night look about him. The drummer had long hair that wasn’t clearly metal or hippie, and a Jesus and the Mary Chain t-shirt (thus the noise-y-ness of the band). Despite being two, they manage to make a whole lot of sound and create a whole lot of atmosphere. They covered the 60s garage song “My Little Red Book.” I liked them a lot.

Gavin Turek – March 14, 2014 – Swan Dive, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 14th March 2014 in Dance, Pop

[Los Angeles, CA] On my list. EVERYBODY loved her – particularly the boy in skin-tight jeans and a tank top who bum rushed the stage before she even started, and leapt throughout the entire show. Dance house –Whitney Houston, Tiffany – some disco. She’s a dance commander – shimmying in her fringes – covering the whole stage – swinging her halo of curls. Loved that the guys backing her up with bass guitar, guitar, and drum had suits and skinny ties on – reverse Robert Palmer. Although she put on a better show than practically any performer we saw, there was something a little calculated about it all – seemed she was trying to mask her actual serious, smart, professional self – but it worked. Her music isn’t something I’d ever listen to, but she was like a cool breeze during SXSW.

Great Good Fine Ok – March 14, 2014 – Sidebar, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 14th March 2014 in Electronic, Pop

[Brooklyn] 80s flavored electro pop – I’m kind of a sucker for this stuff because it reminds me of listening to the radio while running errands with my mom in the minivan. Three keyboards and drums. Rockboy heard Eurythmics and MGMT. They had the BEST outfits.

Flash Boys – March 14, 2014 – The Grand, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 14th March 2014 in Glam, Punk

[Austin TX] We didn’t used to be allowed to see Austin bands, but we don’t live in Austin anymore. And a lot of the good bands were Austin! We both loved this band – they were tighter and cleaner than the previous band. Plus the lead singer was fantastic – kind of glam. Loud rollicking 70s punk. Great musicality. Some moments of Jim Carroll. A band member asked the lead singer: “Have you bought your lawn bricks yet, Julian?” It turned out they were associated with Nick Curran, a beloved Austin musician who died of cancer when we lived there. Rockboy had an adventure with the very high lead singer in the parking lot trying to buy their album. Graffitti in the bathroom: “Everything that costs money is cheap.”

Touch Sensitive – March 14, 2014 – Empire Garage, Austin TX

Posted by Dara on 14th March 2014 in Electronic, Modern Rock

[Australia] Guy on an electronic guitar with a Mac in front of him. The venue insisted on maintaining like a 35% capacity so I watched over the shoulders of bouncers – silly. He was big bright electronic pop. Pleasant – soothing.