"She's Gonna Set the World On Fire"
(photo sponsored by ZICO)
WOO... what a ride. Thank Christ for my dear friend Emilie's compulsive Twitter use last week, otherwise I would have noo fucking idea what just happened to me.
Thus I've compiled this short review of my favorite PIXELHORSE moments of SXSW 2010.
Underwater Peoples' Ranch
Okay so Wednesday I got into Austin at like midnight and was reunited with my love, my lifeblood, (my Jewish Boricua), Bunny. By the time she pried my arms from around her waist and wiped up my eyeliner-streaked cheeks, gave me her car keys and her GPS, it was like 2AM. Flash forward another 30mins when I finally reached the Underwater Peoples ranch in Manchaca. Real Estate and Bleeker and the Freaks had just finished, topping off a seriously full day of amazing sets from the likes of Rainbow Bridge, Pill Wonder, Pure Ecstasy, and many many more. So I tucked in a very snuggly Big Troubles all cute in their giant bed and slung the ladies of Visitation Rites over my shoulder, along with some drunk kids looking to get back to Austin, and drove all their asses home.
MICRO-PIXEL-RITES @ 1204 Salina St
Well we all know THAT story.
Thee Oh Sees @ the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge
(via NY Times)
This show was so fucking good.
Bay area locals Thee Oh Sees were one of the bands I was most excited to see at SXSW, having seen them only once before in Brooklyn last year and falling completely in love with the energy of their live show. So on Thursday evening, despite being quite out of steam from a day of raging at MICRO-PIXEL-RITES and wandering around, Ian, Emilie, Sam and I threw back some shots at a downtown bar blasting old school STP and other 90's alt rock hits where we ran into the bro from Fucked Up. Then the bar closed, get this, at 2 fucking AM. So we went to get tall boys on our way to the show, at which point we discovered you cannot buy alcohol after 12 fucking MIDNIGHT. Sooo we made our way across town to the bridge anyway. A few hundred feet away from our final destination, I heard the opening of "Enemy Destruct," the first song off Help (one of my '09 faves) and I took off running, leaving my friends in the dust.
Crowd surfers, moshpitters, and energetic dancers filled up the tiny space in hundreds, causing the Lamar Pedestrian bridge to shake and buckle terrifyingly. Strangers turned to each other, "Holy shit! Do you feel that??" Somehow the prospect of being dumped into the body of water below just didn't matter. The moment was pure fucking bliss.
Sharing the tiny DIY space were NJ natives Home Blitz. After a few songs, Thee Oh Sees would yell out "Home Blitz!" who would then speed into a couple numbers before shouting back "Thee Oh Sees!" who would take the reigns again. Back and forth it went, to our great delight.
We wanted them to play forever. TOS' lead singer John Dwyer shrugged and said they'd just "play til the cops come, yeah??" The cops never showed, and an hour and a half later an exhausted band complied with a one-song encore and then explained, "We don't HAVE any more songs!"
Check out these gorgeous photos (including a horrendous one of yours truly). (via the Grizzly Life)
More photos and a video. (via Boston Phoenix) More video. (via BK Vegan)
Candy Claws @ Shake Some Action
(at TwoSyllable/Transparent Showcase @ Tiniest Bar 3/19 photo by Matthew Sage)
A friend and I, totally entranced, caught this Fort Collins, CO band Candy Claws playing one of the last sets of Shake Some Action's second day. Eyes wide, I must have turned to him and asked ten times, "Duuude, how OLD are they??" Aside from the older front man Ryan, the other members of the 8-piece band are all 22 and under. Lit by projector and twinkling lights and all topped with matching headbands, the youthful bunch looked like some sort of adorable mid-western cult. One that I would want to join. They are so pretty and happy and talented and dammit - they just sound dreamy. And the lil lady with the tambourine and bells? Get the fuck outta here! Swoon.
Oh and they've covered an Ace of Base song (via IGIF). This band was meant for me. We're totally MFEO, right?
Candy Claws - "Flashy Storm"
Alex Bleeker and the Freaks with Mountain Man @ Ms. Bea's
Taking the stage just before Woods' set, Alex Bleeker was joined by the following freaks at the Woodsist showcase at Ms. Bea's Friday night: Alex Craig of Big Troubles on guitar, Sam Franklin of Fluffy Lumbers on drums, Martin Courtney of Real Estate on bass, and Mountain Man on backup vocals. All-star style. Having gone to school with the girls and graduated with Bleeker, I felt a certain wholeness seeing Alex, Molly and Amelia perform with their dear friend and former housemate in front of so many people. To hear the girls back up him up on "Never Goin' Back," a song that is wholly reminiscent of an experience so specific to the time and place, I was transported to a tiny corner of the world, a secret sacred place that Bennington vets surely feel we all share with each other. They were bringing it all back home.
(via New York Rockmarket)
Alex Bleeker and the Freaks - "Never Goin' Back"
Twin Sister @ Shake Some Action
It's no secret that Saturday in Austin was fucking miserable. It was enough to make you wish you'd gotten on one of those fated school buses to MtyMx.
Okay. No. It wasn't that bad.
But an overnight electrical storm late Friday did leave Austin at a mere 40 fucking degrees on Saturday, and all of us unprepared SXSW-goers were left shivering our asses off in our stupid denim cutoffs and socksless shoes. Personally I opted for carrying around a mug of spiced black tea from Karibu with a few shots of bourbon all day. Unfortunately though, later after about six cups of the rather potent Ethopian brew, my afternoon culminated in a caffeine-crazed dance-party/total-breakdown during Diamond Rings' really rad set... but I digress.
Twin Sister, wrapped in lovely blankets and scarves, took the stage and bravely performed an amazing, bright set at Karibu. My favorite part of their performance was "Milk & Honey," which opens with lead singer Andrea crooning, "I think it's time I bought you a suit // The jacket fits right, the lining is wool..." Um, yes please? I'll take two? This song will be on their upcoming Color Your Life EP out on Infinite Best Recordings. Get a live radio version of it below.
Twin Sister - "Milk and Honey" (live on WNYU).mp3
Yellow Fever @ Ms. Bea's
(via Visitation Rites)
Yellow Fever are a minimal art pop duo from Austin comprised of keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Jennifer Moore and drummer/vocalist Adam Jones. They put on a reallllly tight, super fucking fun show that left my friends and I buzzing with their lyrics for the rest of the day. Shivering on the sidewalk, muttering in happy unison, "Cats and rats and cats and rats and cats and rats..." They're a must-see. And you should find a copy of their S/T album that just came out this winter on Vivian Girls' label Wild World, if you haven't already.
Yellow Fever - "Cats and Rats" (via RCRD LBL)
Pure Ecstasy @ Shake Some Action
More Austin natives. Pure Ecstasy are some of my fave dudes. (Even their names are fucking perfect - Nate Grace, Austin Youngblood, and Jesse Jenkins. Straight out da psychedelic wil' wil' west.) I had the pleasure of hosting them at a Chocolate Bobka show in my home a few months back, and I've been enamored with these gentlemen and their songs ever since.
At Karibu on Saturday they played almost their entire set with eyes closed, and all of us in the crowd danced and swayed in time with the music, each paired off and wrapped with someone (often a stranger) in a blanket - the supply of which seemed to be endless. So refreshing was this instant camaraderie, I couldn't help but look around a few times at all the faces huddled so closely and smile. The usual sight of sullen individuals standing elbows-out, three feet apart and at least ten feet back from the stage, was gone.
But more special than anything about Pure Ecstasy's set was right in the middle. Eyes still closed, each band member brought such energy to their song "You're In It Now," the sun slowly emerged from behind a sheath of previously unmoving black clouds that had not yielded once all fucking day. Suddenly we were bathed in the brightest sunlight I've ever seen and will surely never feel again.
Pure Ecstasy - "You're In It Now"
Also check out Pure Ecstasy's newest song "Voices" (via GvsB) and get the single on Acephale Records.
Moon Duo @ Ms. Bea's
I'd been waiting to catch Moon Duo's live show for a while now. And I was not let down. Everything about this experience was deliciously dark. From Erik Johnson and Sanae Yamada's black shades and matching ensembles, to the black crow that landed from the ever-darkening sky, settling just behind the stage... it was psychedelically macabre. Their trancey, minimal Krautrock tunes buzzed along and peaked with their final song, a cover of the Scientists' "Set It On Fire." This was such a treat. I love their cover, and I cannot wait to hear it on their upcoming Catch As Catch Can/Set It On Fire 7" which I pre-ordered and have been patiently awaiting. But enough is enough - I want it NOW.
Oh Southby, like a green young lover, you wore me the fuck out. See you next year. Til then, I can definitely use a break from you...