Well we’ve reached the final countdown people, SXSW music starts next week. Most of us here at ATH have made some lists of bands we need to see and even marked a few party lineups that look promising. As always, we are about the music and won’t chase a free pair of sunglasses or a Taka vodka mixed drink. Keeping in tune with our music first attitude, I’m continuing our SXSW interviews today with one from L.A. based musician STAL. Hit the jump for full interview.
I’ve obviously been talking a lot about SXSW recently as I think I’m finally ready to prepare for the crazy events in a short couple of weeks. Part of me prep work is making a list of bands I absolutely have to see, and one of those is German based group JAGUWAR. Their sound blends styles of 80s new wave bands with a more modern, European pop take. Think a little dark pop, a little bit of brooding, and mix in some brightness underneath the surface. I dig it. If it sounds like something you might be into, hit the jump for an interview with the band.
Today’s the day you’ve all been waiting for, the announcement of our annual AustinTownHall vs Side One Track One SXSW party. We’re throwing down at Hotel Vegas/Volstead again, and we’ve booked a pretty solid lineup of acts. We’ve got some bands with huge buzz like Caroline Says or Why Bonnie, a handful of ATH Records artists…and we even got in a few out of town acts like Nite and El Lago. Best news of all? It’s absolutely free, so all you have to do is come on over and just enjoy yourselves…there’s something for everybody. Show kicks off at 2 PM and lasts all day and night. Plus, we love you, so you don’t even have to RSVP! Check out the event page, and plan ahead, you’ll be here all day!
Our friends, The Spook School have been on tour with Great Grandpa and Diet Cig. Winter tours can be fickle things, especially if you run through the southwest, shorts and a t-shirt to parkas and snow boots. In speaking with the band’s spokesperson, aka Niall, he shared a few tour anecdotes as he was warming up pre-set in his customary vest and boxer shorts. House party shows, sold out gigs, long runs cross country, actually paying rent while on the road, things are on the up for the band. We are huge fans and love their songs, their message and their shows. Though The Spook School played first, they were our headliners.
Click through for pics of the set and some notes on the bands sharing the stage…
I don’t hide my love for Night Drive. They are friends and good people. They are fans of photographers here in Austin and the photographers are fans of theirs. +1 and I were long overdue for a date night/dance party.
Agenda: Empire for Emme, Moving Panoramas and Night Drive. Click through for a few thoughts from the evening along with a gallery ripe of fam.
Blushing‘s latest EP, WEAK, was released to the public last Friday and with it, we had an excuse to take over a venue and feature some favorite bands to celebrate. Cheer Up Charlies played host via The Nothing Song who added Ringo Deathstarr, Single Lash and All In The Golden Afternoon to fill the before and after spots.
I focused on spending time with friends, so the gallery is very Blushing-centric, but it was the EP’s brithday party.
Click through to view some scenery…
Free Week is great. The concept of having people fill venues so bartenders and stage crews have a little cash in their pockets is totally a get-behind theme. Now, my epic level of cynicism that creeps in from time to time means that I will give the evil eye to anyone mad about one-in-one-out at a venue. These bands are playing all over town, all year long and sometimes opening for a touring band you would think is too expensive to go see. #value Let’s go, Austin, spend that twelve bucks.
My Free Week rant is over. Let’s get on to some notables and photos. A. Sinclair is a constant fave for rock and or roll. Abram Shook lends credibility to any music catalog. That performance had two-thirds of Feverbones; they are wicked excited for the new record, naturally so are we. Tres Oui‘s invisible bass player had a killer set (#sarcasm). Space-sparse of Soft Healer was a reset. I got to see The Infinites at Beerland as a full band. I do miss a little of the DIY nature of looping to fill sounds, but the layered gazy post punk sounded really rad with guitars filling the room. Fave thing of the time I spent Red Rivering.
Peep the gallery. I spent time taking photos of friends and the people that make Free Week go. I even used a flash. Crazy right?
I love y’all.
Let’s get this out of the way. No, I did not get to shoot Day for Night from the photo pit. In fact, my “media” approval amounted to a discounted 3-day wristband. It was disappointing, if I am to be honest; I was truly looking forward to shooting this year. The organizers saw it differently. I guess one day we’ll have to relent and buy fake followers on social media as an insurance policy.
Alas, the hotel was bought and paid for already, so off I went to make the most. Saturday, I left the camera behind as there was confusion, too much of it, about camera policies, etc. Turns out, I had a great time wandering aimlessly through the cavernous space, spending much of my time in the art installations, occasionally paying attention to the stages. I had no schedule and stumbled into people, sometimes standing in the crowd only to look to my right and realize a friend had been right next to me for a half an hour. Sunday, I mounted the trusty 55/1.8 to the a9 and revisited the installations and took in way more music.
The art ruled the weekend – I went to an art show and caught some bands. Pop through and read about highs and lows and discoveries and disappointments…
Bauhaus was a genre defining band. BUT, it was Love and Rockets, Bauhaus minus one Peter Murphy, that I really fanned out about. And then, Tone On Tail, Love and Rockets minus one David J., that created and whole new thing to one-up friends. The curious case where a group minus a member could improve or be a complete thing unto itself was on full display last Thursday night at The Mohawk when Poptone, Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins with Haskins’s daughter Diva Dompe, brought songs to life that I never thought I would get to see live. The fuzzed out basslines, the distant nearly monotone vocal, the ringing twelve-string or echoed out saxophone – this was as important a show to me as Belle and Sebastian would be to Nathan.
Click through for the rest of my thoughts and so many pics of not just Poptone, but the opener Geneva Jacuzzi and her girl in the bubble performance. …and holy crap it was cold.
Austin favorites, and one time ATH Records act, Big Bill have just released their excellent new album Stand By Your Bill. It’s filled with some of the best song’s the group has written to date, and the band aim to share those hits with you this evening over on a stacked bill at Hotel Vegas this evening. The line-up is fleshed out with some of Austin’s finest, such as Annabelle Chairlegs, Pollen Rx and the Infinites. That’s four incredible bands for one low bargain price, not to mention you’ll get your chance to pick up the Big Bill‘s LP on vinyl, released on their own First Human Records. Come one, come all…I’ll see you there!