We all shed a tear when we learned that Sound On Sound was cancelled. We have a lot of good friends that put so much effort into making this year’s festival amazing, a quantum leap over last year.nnWe will not debate the valor of their efforts to save the festival or lament the missed opportunity of seeing Iggy Pop surrounded by a Ren Fair here.
The thing we may not understand about the festival circuit is that bands are on tour and need to use the festivals to home base around a few stops nearby before and after. Knowing this, the SoS team was able to schedule a few makeup shows to accommodate the travelers. One such show was for Lindstrom, a guy from Norway that was travelling a long way to hang with us. This set was high on my list for standing in a field with friends vibing. We replace the open spaces and axe-throwing for the friendly confines of Cheer Up Charlie’s.
As previously mentioned, I’d caught the Jesus and Mary Chain a handful of times since their return a few years back, but I had yet to catch them in an intimate indoor setting, such as Emos. Some brief thoughts below.
Thirty plus years into their career, and people, such as myself, are still clamoring to catch The Jesus and Mary Chainlive. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch the legendary act twice, though both have been at festivals, so perhaps the intimacy was missing…until now. Tomorrow night in Austin, the Scottish act will grace Emos, allowing those in attendance to get just a little bit closer to the band. They’re touring in support of their recent album, Damage and Joy, which was their first release of original material in almost 20 years. Even if you haven’t listened to that new LP, they’re guaranteed to play some of their “hits,” so fans will be sure to get a taste of nostalgia. Plus, the Dig are opening up, who’ve started to map out some solid performances in their own right, so be sure to show up early.
There’s a special show awaiting Austinites on Saturday evening over at Cheer Up Charlies: LSD and the Search for God. The band is probably one of the quintessential modern shoegaze bands; they’ve garnered praise since their inception in 2005, with the release of Heaven is a Place further cementing their status. But, don’t rest on your laurels here, as the rest of the line-up is fleshed out with some of the finer shoegaze/dream pop acts in town. You show up, as you should, and you’ll get sets from She Sir, Single Lash, Krista Van Liew and Ringo Deathstarr…might not be a better place to be on Saturday night. Stream Heaven is a Place below. More show info HERE.
Friday night is nigh approaching and if you’re like me, sometimes you need a little bit of darkness to bring you to the weekend. The bringers of this darkness this week are Protomartyr, who will be joining us for a lovely night of dark wave, post punk tunes over at Barracuda. While there are quite a few great local bills you can choose from on this Friday night, if you’re in the mood to spice things up and jam along with distortion, you’ve gotta go check out Protomartyr playing jams from their latest release,Relatives in Descent, which came out at the end of last month. The album is filled with grumbling, heavy riffs, which will get you raging along into the rest of your weekend. Openers are Sweet Themes and Flasher, who will open the night with their grunge and shoegaze on steroids, respectively.
Get your catharsis on and and pick up your tickets before this one sells out–scope out some tunes from each group below.
This first little snap of cooler temps around ATX has got me yearning to be outside listening to sweet jams, and lucky for me, The Mohawk has the perfect bill to fit this desire. Alvvays, soaring into our town on the wings of their sophomore release, Antisocialites, will be bringing their pristine pop to our ears and there really isn’t an excuse to miss them. While their self titled debut was catchy in all the right ways, their most recent record showed maturity and dreamy layers of growth to their surfy indie pop. I personally can’t wait to hear the band play hits off the new record like “Not My Baby” or rambunctious “Plimsoll Punks.” Oh, and to top it all off, Nap Eyes will be opening up the night with their college rock. Tickets are still available, you can and should pick them up here. There simply is no better way to spend a Tuesday evening. Check out tunes from both bands below.
So if you’re not going to that ACL thing that’s going on in our city or attending an after show related to the fest, it’s time to make your Friday night a slam dunk. LA’s Wand are coming down to Barracuda with their psych rock in tow, and you should be there. Their latest effort,Plum, which came out last month, showed the band headed down a slightly different direction than the past, with more focus on the vocals of front man Cory Hanson and in creating more in depth song structures. The result is an excellent release, and I’m stoked to see how the band fleshes them out at Barracuda. Doors are at 9, and make sure you get there early to catch openers Darto, Hidden Ritual and The Maples. Tickets are only 15 bucks– scoop ’em here. Also fall in love with the band’s new stuff with “Blue Cloud” below.
I got photo coverage started with a little gallery in our ACL Weekend One Recap. For me, Weekend One was all about the head down grind of chasing photos. Modern problems, I know, but it is hustling from pit to pit, sweating, lining up to make sure you gain access, attempting to keep everything clean enough and not have dirt ruin “the shot” and not having a panic attack knowing you have three songs to get it all right. It is a strange way to take in a music festival, often oblivious to the actual music as sensory depravation takes over and you enter a tunnel through the viewfinder.
…and loving every minute of it.
The Friday edition includes The Wild Now, Methyl Ethel, (Sandy) Alex G, The Aces, Hamilton Leithauser, Mutemath, Crystal Castles, Lukas Nelson, Bonobo and The XX.
David Sackllah posed the question to Twitter (@dsackllah) on the eve of the band’s sold out show at Austin’s Barracuda. Sackllah goes on recalling a time not so long ago when a Pinegrove performance seemed like an under-attended and perhaps under-appreciated experience. Back then, turnouts hovered around thirty people. That was a year ago. Maybe he’s exaggerating the crowd’s smallness, but the visual goes a long way in driving the point home; Pinegrove is now suddenly huge, or at least hugely important to a lot of people.
Unfortunately, a festival has to curate line-ups that cater to that audience, and as such, some bands unfortunately fall victim to the undercard slot…the slot before the day really gets going or on the smaller stages. Whether you see it as a slight, or just one of the many headaches with scheduling a mass festival…here are my highlights for bands on the Undercard slot (pre-2 PM).
Recent things that we loved that fit this description: Lucy Dacus, Slaves, Jose Gonzalez, Albert Hammond Jr., Rey Pila, The Rosebuds, Wild Nothing, FIDLAR, Widowspeak, Pinback, Willis Earl Beal, Gardens & Villa, and on and on…