With one week until SXSW, and a snowstorm ready to hit New England, I had Austin on the brain this afternoon, so we dedicated today's BOSTON ACCENTS to a handful of bands headed to Texas this month. For each band's full SXSW lineup and itinerary, click on the links to their respective homepages and/or profiles.
From the ever-exceptional Montreal music community surrounding the Arbutus label – previously responsible for releasing early music by acclaimed experimental songstress GRIMES and ethereal out-there outfit BRAIDS – come dream-pop quartet TOPS. At yesterday’s Pop Montreal showcase, they put on one of the more memorable sets of SXSW so far.
Claire Boucher aka Grimes brings the house (of worship) down; photo by Nina Mashurova
On Thursday Morning, Sir Bruce Springsteen, the keynote speaker of this sprawling chaotic mess called SXSW, declared, among other things, that a concert ticket is a “handshake” between fan and artist -- which is a great metaphor and a nice-guy message, but doesn’t apply much to this festival where shows tend to not have tickets and artists are not playing for their usual fans.
WARNING: This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this blog post!!!
I was, trying to march crotch-first into a steamy mess of new
hip-hop, when my wasted ass – detached from whatever cranial
department it typically receives commands from – stomped across
Austin for a set by Mobb Deep. I just can't resist Havoc and Prodigy;
no little kid rapper with cool shades and an ironic t-shirt can curb
NOTE: Badass Live Show Pics (of these dudes and many, many others) Coming Soon...
whole plan down here was – and still is, for the most part – to
discover new hip-hop. Particularly hip-hop that doesn't suck, and
that will get me away from relying on Spotify and its endless rap
oldies to get me stiff. However – this is SXSW after all, and there
are a few spectacles that I needed to glimpse and get out of the way
before all of that craziness commenced.
We finally made it to Austin around 11:45 on Monday night. We headed straight to Club 1808, where QUILT played a set just after midnight.
It's been an inspiring ten days of new faces and spaces all over the East coast. Here are some more snapshots of what it looked and sounded like:
What do the three psychedelic hitmakers of QUILT listen to on the road? Wonder no longer, y'all. Here's ten songs from the tour-van soundtrack that we were real psyched on so far this week. But this is just the first installment -- expect a few more along to way.
The Beach Boys - Transcendental Meditation
Weyes Blood at Dreamcastle in Philadelphia on 3/4/12, playing with Quilt.
"Pennsylvania is noticeably spooky,” said Natalie Mering, a/k/a WEYES BLOOD, late on Friday night, in the dark kitchen of Dreamcastle, a house that hosts basement shows in South Philly.
Her observation spoke to the dark, psyched-out sonics looming through all four sets at Dreamcastle that night; the show was the second stop on QUILT’s tour to South by Southwest.
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.
Big ups to the presidents! This here three day weekend edition of BOSTON ACCENTS kicked off with 20 minutes of electronic bliss, then dipped into my upcoming Spring Preview, which runs in the Boston Phoenix March 1. Hey, I had to write it this week, so the bands –- Sand Reckoner, Twin Berlin, Autochrome –- were fresh on my mind.
You know a live performance warrants your attention when you immediately think the show flyer is fake. But apparently it's true -- DC hardcore punk legends BAD BRAINS will be in Boston on Monday, April 16, and they're bringing with them NYC aggro dudes H20. We couldb't get no love from the GZA? What the eff.
One of my favorite moments of this year's SXSW happened damn near out of nowhere. I was walking back to Phoenix HQ (a fancy hotel room at the Radisson) with Carl Lavin of Great Scott and a few other flash cats whose identities I now forget, and for some reason I voiced an uncontrolable desire to catch a SURFER BLOOD show.
I am horrified. I had no idea when I wrote my pair of posts about Wild Flag and tUnE-yArDs at SXSW last week that both bands (both!) had been prominently featured in NPR's coverage of the event. To make up for that oversaturation, here's a band that's received criminally little coverage but that were my favorite personal discovery of the week.
While some of us had to board the SXSW Sad Plane and get back to beautiful, warm and scene Boston USA, the rest of the Phoenix crew hung back in Austin into the engaging Sunday afternoon and caught a bunch of still-raging 617ers over at the Treehouse on 6th. It was all a part of the second half of Wadzilla Mansion's two-part showcase, and well, it sucks those cats can put on shows 1,993 miles away and not in Allston due to permit bullshit.