Fitting for a region of colleges, it's hard to imagine any city having a greater fraternity of bands down at SXSW than our very own Boston. Once again, "Boston bands" were a street gang, congregating all over the city and showing support for one another's shows as though each were a Saturday night record-release gig at the Mid East down. A few dozen Masshole collectives took the trip this year, and at one point on Saturday afternoon, there were three Boston-centric showcases going on within a block of each other on Sixth Street. Not a bad look on St. Patrick's Day.
Psych-pop trio QUILT, riding high on a national Mexican Summer and satellite radio promo push, bookended their run in Austin with a national tour. Not satisfied with merely conquering Boston, BAD RABBITS took their party to Texas with gigs that stretched from house shows to shows with Mobb Deep.
Some bands — like STREIGHT ANGULAR and EARTHQUAKE PARTY — didn't have any shows booked but wanted to represent anyway. It was that kind of support system down here. And among the other bands to come correct around Austin last week included bouncy indie co-eds YOU CAN BE A WESLEY, who unveiled a new track, "Phase," that seems destined to be a hit, and tight-as-fuck rock quartet ANIMAL TALK, which diverted a Chugging Monkey crowd away from the NCAA tournament on the TV Thursday afternoon and earned a handful of new fans with or without the help of covering Phil Collins's "Easy Lover."
With a reach this wide, it's impossible to cite all the locals who brought the goods this year at SXSW. But a hat tip goes out to rural folk duo YOU WON'T; high-energy indie quartet CAMDEN; DIRTY DISHES, HERRA TERRA, and the entire Wadzilla Mansion lineup on Saturday at the Treehouse; GOZU at the Small Stone showcase; glossy electro-pop veterans GENTLEMEN HALL; the drunken blues brigade of MELLOW BRAVO, and roaring rock chaps PRETTY & NICE, now a part of the Modern Art Records tour alongside national acts Geographer and Chain Gang of 1974.
By the time Pretty & Nice hit Brighton Music Hall on March 24 with the Modern Art cavalry, let's hope the local love shows their out-of-town tourmates how we do up in Boston — whether on our home turf of Allston Rock City, or down partying in Austin Rock City.