A whole year? It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since my 2011 SXSW tour diary. What a whirlwind, y’all.
I am pretty psyched to be traveling again to Austin with one of my favorite-bands-turned-sweet-friends, QUILT.
The span of time from SXSW2k11 to SXSW2k12 has been a pretty transitional time-span for this caravan.
If you can recall, last year's tour diary took us through living rooms, garages, galleries, and other makeshift show spaces in the deep south and beyond. We trekked with Quilt's hand-stitched t-shirts, and home-recorded, self-dubbed tapes and self-burned CDs. On that tour, some mornings were spent scrambling to self-dub tapes before heading out to the next town.
Since that string of self-booked dates, some things have happened for Quilt: they continuously played Boston and New York, toured with Mmoss last summer, released a tape with the West Coast chillers at Burger Records. But the most influential energies started spinning in September, when they released their debut LP with Brooklyn label Mexican Summer. (Who’ve formerly released music by Best Coast, Ariel Pink, and Real Estate, to name just a few bands on the label's roster.)
With that record came more wide-spread national and international attention, more press, and being asked to play bigger shows.
"It's something we didn't expect because we never had that as a goal," said singer-guitarist Shane Butler yesterday morning in Fredericksburg, VA, before heading to last night's show in Chapel Hill, NC.But they are super psyched.
"I've been having a lot of fun making new friends all of the time," added vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Anna Rochinski.
This year at SXSW, Quilt are set to play at least ten official and unofficial showcases, including the a much-anticipated Mexican Summer showcase with Light Asylum, Oheohtrix Point Never, Peaking Lights, the Fresh & Onlys, and Mike Wexler. On the tour down, they’ve already played a show with Widowspeak on Saturday night at Glasslands in Brooklyn, as well as a house show on Sunday night in Philadelphia and a venue in Chapel Hill last night. (More on the Philly and NC shows later.) We’re in NC now, but soon we will head to Tennessee, then Georgia, Florida, and finally Texas.
Along the way, I’ll post snapshots, videos, recaps, and interviews from each stop. For now, check the Phoenix’s SXSW tumblr or follow me on Instagram for quick updates.