One of the lovely things I saw during SxSW was the very charming set by Simian Ghost. The Swedes are not huge fans of the current political climate in these United States. Case in point, they would randomly change a lyric in a song to “Impeach the Clown” during their sets at SxSW.
Aside from having a clever video, “Stop Moving” is a sparkling example of why Swedish pop sensibilities need to permeate all corners of the globe. Their sound is more organic these days, in fact this track is downright disco in nature, as they have picked up the guitars in favor of the pure synths that dominated earlier recordings. There is a new record coming soon via Heist or Hit, but until then…
Who is ready to relive the greatest day of music ever assembled by John Laird and Nathan Lankford? Ever.
The jams were copious as were the tender moments. The showcase highlighted the talent in Austin with bands watching bands that shuffled up to be other bands. We had international celebrities in attendance, as well as every familiar face possible. I took photos, some with an Instax. We ate sausage wraps and drank beaverages. It was perfect air for a whisky.
Click through and be impressed.
Wear comfortable shoes. You will be in a line at some point. Let’s all make a deal and not judge each other by their lack of fashionable footwear.
It is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t go out too hard. You will burn up. It sucks. It is how you get sick. Keep that even keel.
Remember, this isn’t just Spring Break. There are people in town doing serious work. There are developers creating the next app you won’t ever download and directors trying to get their movie you’ll never see made. Most importantly, if you haven’t been embedded with a band for a day, you probably don’t know the hustle the artists put in. Buy them a beverage, help them load out, be polite when soundchecks go sideways.
Go see something alone. Sharing is fun, but so is a little you time. Relax, have a moment to yourself.
Come to the Showdown.
You can’t see it all. FOMO is dumb. You will always miss something. Don’t be ass trying to hustle your way in to every venue.
Be nice. GET OFF MY LAWN.
Our friends The Ocean Party made it to the US again to do a spell of touring. Their reason for coming to Austin was to visit sports bars, wear thongs while riding bicycles and crush some chicken-fried steak. Since that was all easily accomplished in a single 80’s montage, a show was in order. Given the affection we have for the Aussie’s, it would be natural to want to see them at a friendly venue with a friend-filled lineup. Cheer Up played host and joining the bill was Daphne, Summer Salt and Shivery Shakes.
I have a great big gallery of photos to share after the break along with a few comments.
I missed the first announcement about the new record from Geotic, the electronic/downtempo/looping project from Will Wiesenfeld, better known for Baths. Ghostly is home to the new LP called Abysma due end of March.
Previous material was more towards ambient, using loops of guitar taps and minimal synths with a drum machine to keep it all in motion, gorgeous stuff and an anchor of the soundtrack I use when I travel. The latest content is more polished, relying more heavily on synth and programming then pulling smaples and layering, but I love it none the less. It is an evolution, bordering on shimmy material.
I embedded the latest called “Nav”. If you dig, check out “Actually Smiling”.
Here comes a little bonus coverage. I was able to sneak next door to The Mohawk during the Tres Oui record release and grab shots of our friends Night Drive and the headliner Austra.
Pleasantly packed house, meaning while it was almost sold out feel, you could still get through the crowd, if necessary. Fans were there and up front early, ready to lose their minds to their favorite song. That favorite song varied. Some were in love with the recently released record, others held their excitement for the jams from the early buzziest buzzworthy material.
Click through for the pics, y’all.
Another week, another record released by Austin Town Hall Records.
The most recent excuse to get together with friends is the EP from Tres Oui. Singles Going Nowhere is five tracks perfectly crafted pop chock full of ringing guitar and driving backlines. It is a compact example of the concise EP as opposed to five goods songs with filler content. Oh, sure, they have new songs already, so be ready for that when you see them in your neighborhood. Did I mention this was a tour kickoff, too?
Hit the road, nerds.
Hi. Photo tech, here.
Sunbelt Emptiness is a triumph. How is that for a quotable?
Having torn up a couple of pizzas at King Bee (you must go, Billy and Collette rule), +1 and I made our way to see all the friends over at Cheer Up for the Pollen RX release party. High on my list was checking out The Infinites plus a little quality time with Kay Odyssey. I hit the wall a little after Pollen RX’s nearly perfect set; we could have used a little more vocal in the mix from Maud. #Gremlins I should have stuck around for Deep Time and Popper Burns from field reports.
Click through, pictures and stuff to follow.
As I mentioned in the preview, Midge Ure was last in town, almost exactly two years ago. Oh, those were much simpler times, weren’t they? Though not in name, the idea of the current climate was a subject of between song banter and related to several titles, even if just loosely. Fitting given the protest that night, call it a warmup for the women’s march. There were many songs that he could not do justice in the acoustic only set from The Cactus, in particular hearing “Reap the Wild Wind” was bucket list stuff for me.
Nite‘s set was a very pleasant surprise.
…so click through for show notes and plenty of photos.
Listen up, you whipper snappers. Midge Ure is an important figure in music. His work in Silk and Thin Lizzy shaped rock and roll while Visage and Ultravox still heavily influence the current flood of excellent synth pop. He co-wrote and played all instruments on “Do They know It’s Christmas”.
I last caught up with Midge almost exactly two years ago. He played an intimate acoustic show at The Cactus, one of the best things I have ever seen on stage. Midge, with band in tow, is back to play all those synth-laden jams he couldn’t play that night. His vocal is still outstanding, his stories endearing. Dallas-based Nite will kick things off a little after doors open at 8pm. Please join us.
Tickets available here.