FT5: SXSW Myths

0313top5coverWhen surfing the ol’ interwebs around this time of year I find all kinds of posts about our famous little SXSW festival that goes on every March. Lucky for me, I chose a career in education so I get to spend the whole week wasting my life away and killing precious brain cells with loud music and alcohol. It seems like every year I come across a music fan or two who really wants to be a part of this party but just doesn’t know where to begin. Do I need to drop the cash on one of those wristband thingies? Do I need tickets? Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll answer those questions and more in our Friday Top 5 focusing on the top myths about SXSW.  Follow the jump to read the full list.

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2/7 Appleseed Cast @ Mohawk

ac_coverWe’ve been following Appleseed Cast since the days of End of the Ring Wars way back in 1998. It would be easy to think that maybe the guys have lost a step or two having been away from touring for so long, but that wasn’t the case at Mohawk. Some of the older tunes like “Forever Longing the Golden Sunsets” & “Steps and Numbers” were not quite as tight as they used to be, but encore songs “Fight Song” and “Fishing the Sky” sounded like the old days. New tunes from Sagarmatha also quieted the crowd in their low points and blew you away in those typical AC rising actions. Let’s just saw we got exactly what we came for. Before the show, we had the chance to speak with singer, guitar player and founding member Chris Crisci about the state of his band. Follow the jump to read the full interview and check out some pictures from the show.

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Marnie Stern In Austin

Marnie Stern, the current master of finger-tapping guitar play, will be playing a couple times in Austin this week.  First show comes this evening(11/18) at the Mohawk in Austin with tickets available now for only $8.  Marnie is accompanied by local Austin band’s Ume and The Sour Notes.  The following day, Mrs. Stern will be playing one of Waterloo Records weekly in stores at 5pm.  Do I need to mention the free keg beer?  If you haven’t heard any of Marnie’s insane guitar work, here’s a dandy called “Transformer”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/marnie-stern-transformer.mp3]

Download: Marnie Stern – Transformer [MP3]

Peter and the Wolf – Mellow Owl

Rating: ★★★★☆

As the winter weather wanders down the street and into our open windows, we’re all looking for that perfect album to accompany the complete change of the seasons.  We need something subtle, something soothing, yet something that challenges and thrills.  Enter Red Hunter.

Red Hunter is the local Austin legend, also known as Peter and the Wolf, who has just recently released another beautiful listening experience.  He’s known from playing on the edges of the world, where the water drops off into a great abyss of silence; he plays to the small crowds who still believe in mythical beasts.

Pacing is immediately established by the lyrical content and the title of the opening track, “Supermellofied.”  It speaks of a simpleness that most will not be able to describe, yet all yearn for from time to time.  Guitar track atop guitar track creates the effect of gentle rain dripping down from your roof and into the cracks in the sidewalk.

For some reason, the quietude of the album is the one thing that will speak to most listeners.  It’s Red’s simple approach to writing and crafting songs that allow us all to focus on the mundane details of our own world, allowing us all to realize the beauty that exists in every corner that we walk through.  It’s an album of simple folk songs and simple pleasures, such the things that should be in our lives.

Listeners may find it difficult to absorb the vocals of Red Hunter, as they seem to be sung through a can, clearly an echo of some sort resonates. But, the focus in his songs doesn’t revolve merely around his lyrics; it is the entire aesthetic appeal of these songs that sneaks into your soul.

Other hits that many will adore on this album are songs like “Trainhopper” and “Ballad of Redhook.”  Pleasant guitar strumming melds with overlying electric guitar, begging all to focus upon the minutest detail of this record; surely a metaphor for how one should approach their own life.

Several hundred years into his career as Peter and the Wolf, Red Hunter still has what it takes to craft some of the most personal songs many of us will come across this year.  If you miss him now, don’t worry, for he will surely go down in Austin lore.

Buy his album on Peter and the Wolf’s Myspace Page.

10/17 The Wedding Present @ Mohawk

Many in Austin seemed to have forgotten about the decades of hard work that David Gedge has put forth for our ears. Since 1984 he has consistently provided us with a plethora of guitar-driven pop music set to ideas of loss and love. Perhaps we consider it cliche now, but Gedge has been at the helm for a long time, and he brought his group The Wedding Present to the Mohawk Friday, October 17th. Follow the jump to read about the show.

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