About Last Night – Wednesday, March 15th @ SXSW

Another day, another bunch of bands to talk to you about. The ATH team hung together for a bit, then splintered to go fall in love with our own favorite acts. It was a late night, but definitely worth it as a few of us caught the Zombies and wrapped up with Sweden’s Girl Scout. Hit the jump to find what we loved.

Nathan’s Favorite Bands

Kindsight – I’ve been hyping this band for a good long while now, but seeing as this was the band’s first time in America, it was great to finally see them live. Just imagine the hooks and pop sentimentality of bands like Alvvays, but only with a penchant for playing things louder and harder.

Thus Love – I hadn’t heard of this band when our friends booked them for their Music for Listeners party, but boy did they bring it. They remind me of a Ought, only they’re not trying to be clever, with the angular notes removed for a little heavier riff work. Energetic rock with loads of stage swagger.

Band I Saw Again and Still Love: RVG

Nathan’s Random Thoughts

Sure, there’s issues with SXSW, but if you dig deep enough in the industry, there’s trouble everywhere, like web sites (not us) just copying and pasting PR blasts. For me, I still stand by the opportunity to embrace the whole scene on a different level. I spent my day with friends from two labels in Sweden, a radio host from Cleveland and caught up with friends from Australia. It’s a chance to celebrate and share in it all together, so I’ll always love the smallest inkling of community that SXSW provides.

RayRay’s Favorite Bands

Humour – I had these Glasgow lads high on list of bands to see this week and I managed to see them twice yesterday at Sahara Lounge and Creek and The Cave. It was clear during both sets that the band had prepped for this Austin moment and the tight musicianship with just a touch of raw energy from front man Andreas Christodoulidis. Think Fontaines D.C. but with small hints of Viagra Boys and and without the “can’t be bothered” style.

Slow Fiction – Another band I liked so much the first time, I raced to see them again for their second show of the day. You can sort of hear hints of their NYC garage rock influences mixed with bands like The Walkmen but with raspy and emotional female vocals. Another band I had to see this week and they did not disappoint.

Bedlocked – A surprise early find on the Hotel Vegas Patio, this Houston based outfit brought the very best of slowcore style tunes to kick off the day. Wild to see bands influenced by some of the early emo rock pioneers like Mineral or Pedro the Lion, but I am here for it.

True Body – Taking a step away from the more garage rock or guitar driven bands, NYC based True Body delivered a killer set of goth, post-punk meets dream pop tunes at Iron Bear. Lead singer Isabel Moreno-Riano truly commands the stage backed by gnarly synths and heavily distorted guitars. One hell of a performance.

RayRay’s Random Thoughts

Wednesday was another day of fun, mini reunions, seeing tons of bands and making new friends from across the globe. It’s also great to see some of the new venues like Chess Club and Creek and The Cave (old Barracuda/Red 7) putting on shows with great sound and well run lineups. Hopefully both of those and the other new venues will continue this surge well after the festival is over. On another note, I feel like those of us involved in the music scene should create some sort of guide or manual of do’s and don’ts for some of the bands coming to town, especially the international ones. Like hey it might not be great to book a show at this super douche headquarters of a bar or here’s places where you can stay or eat for cheap. Just a thought as bands seem to struggle with the overwhelming nature of it all. For any of ya’ll reading this, feel free to hit us up if you are in need of anything at all. Oh and of course, FREE PICKLES RULE!

BGray’s Favorite Bands

I was fully down with Been Stellar‘s set. Imagine if Oasis had a baby with Interpol and you get the stage presence of this group out of New York. A lead singer, just singing, guitars on the opposite sides of the stage, super tight. Gonna say New Order for their keynote and the random insights into origin of their sound as they left behind Joy Division, talked travelling with five Prophet synths anticpating they would fail (but none did), dealing with early Apple computers, creating a genre. I got my first taste of RVG. The evolution of the band, their musicianship, lovely to see, but the tracks from several years ago still hit you pretty hard, especially given the current idiotic political climate.

BGray’s Random Thoughts

Festival lung has arrived. Curses to pollen and Hotel Vegas dust. #chortle

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