Friday, March 20, 2009

sxsw day 2

Thursday, March 19

This day was scorching! Seriously, I think if this is any indication, then I simply cannot handle summer this year. I'm already sweating just walking outside.

I hit up a day show today and spent more time in the intense heat. Nothing like a cool glass of medicine to keep me relaxed and happy. My dear friend Sean was in town so we went to 4th Street together for some good times. We ended up at Cedar Street Courtyard, pushed our way to the front, and saw Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. If you can catch this band during SXSW, you totally should. They are local and play around Austin frequently, but even if you are from Austin GO SEE THEM. This is one of the best live shows I've seen in a long time. First of all, Black Joe is a huge baller. He was wearing G-Unit shorts. The rest of the band was matching in coordinated white shirts and black pants and SMILES. Seriously, all the dudes on stage looked like they were having so much fun that it made me want to dance around even more. It was soulful, funky, loud, amazing, bluesy. Some of these dudes are so young! I can't get over being such a badass in your twenties.Bottom line: fantastic live show, sounds even crisper in my car driving down South First. TIGHT.

Later, I headed to Club 115 for a Western Vinyl Showcase. When we arrived, Callers was playing. The band is from Brooklyn and the female lead singer has a great voice. They sounded sweet and light. It had some folksy elements but also got a tad jazzy. Nice stuff.

Next up was local fave Balmorhea. One thing that is super cool about this band is that they can command an audience's attention. It's really crazy to go to a show and see grown ass people sit and listen and focus. Of course, there were talkers at this show and people glued to cell phones, but for the most part, people are interested. The band has a super lush sound with a violin, upright bass, and cello in the mix. The two lead dudes switch off between guitar (acoustic and electric), piano, and banjo. Some of the songs are like floating on a cloud. I just think it's neat to watch young people with so much musical talent, because I can't do anything except play the beginning of the Jurassic Park theme song on a piano. I guess the autoharp counts for something, even though a monkey can learn how to play that.

The next artist featured in this showcase that I stuck around to see was J. Tillman. This dude is a singer-songwriter from Seattle. You might be familiar with him as the current drummer for Fleet Foxes. I saw that band in July so I was curious to see him solo. He has a nice, even voice and the music is simple yet sweet. This is perfect winter music. I want to curl up in a blanket and listen to his records. The only crappy thing about all these sets is that Club 115 is located right next door to THE COCK PIT, the gay dance club. Which is all fine and good. But the pounding bass made it difficult for the stripped down performances this showcase had to offer. It was clearly irritating J. Tillman and Nicole, cellist for Balmorhea, said she almost started "playing along with it." Too bad since these artists need quiet and peace. What matters, though, is the performances were luscious and managed to shine through.

Another day, another world of music to conquer. Don't hold it against me if I see Black Joe Lewis AGAIN today. It's just too good to pass up for free. I've got a lot on my schedule for this Friday night, so I will see you tomorrow for an update.

1 comment:

Bucho said...

Yo, I'll never forget having to tell Steve and Megan about the Cock Pit after their show at 115.