3.15.2008

SXSW Day Three: Pissing Next to Keith Morris

...or smoking the bible with Bushwick Bill. Those starfuckers out there should be having a great time this week. Today Rachel Ray -- Tomorrow the world.


Say what you will about Pitchfork and their authority on modern music (the indie supreme court?) but they sure know how to fix a line-up. All one had to do is fashion a campsite at Emo's -- at least until four. I've never seen so many doods crouching and bouncing over tiny cities of junkyard electronic equipment (Playskool vs. Marshalls). The Animal Collective was mentioned yesterday, they are not playing here but their playful, mysterious, and transcendental composition is a common theme currently. High Places is the closest match fer sure. The boy/girl duo make make-believe out of tragic beats and found sound, sweetened with reverberated chipmunk vocals. Lykke Li (pictured above), a quartet from Stockholm, had a similar vibe, though she's an entirely different monster. Not monster, some wickedly beautiful cross between Joanna Newsom and Debbie Gibson. She was funky, fresh, dipping prog into pop, soul into pristine Swedish funk. Dance parties might not spring up at 1 PM in 89 degrees, still the band rode enough whimsy to challenge my feet.



Inside White Williams soldered stoner metal to Dayton street funk, all with blue-eyed passion. Then came Jay Retard, newly christened as a Matador Records recording artist. This is where the road started to shift and I was lead down an entirely dysfunctional avenue. I'm imagining Eno growing out his hair like Kirk Hammett, doing bubblegum thrash, raping the corpse of last year's garage rock wonders and spitting out the bones. Beware young children.



Ahhh....who else? Bon Iver did not fail to dissapoint. Anyone with a dry eye in the room didn't have a heart. Again, file under transcendental -- through perfect harmonies and rustic melancholy. Or Fuck Buttons, UK's rich privileged version of Wolf Eyes, only instead of diving into the bleak underbelly, they jet-set through rainbows.


Memo to Bradford Cox. I 100% prefer Atlas Sound over Deerhunter. Especially as you are flanked by chica bassist and chica drummer. Pushing cathartic rhythms towards a psych-punk maximum. Keep in mind, this was just my day, the clock hasn't even touched 6. We were met with whiffs of Enslaved, Matt and Kim, Fleet Foxes, and another triumphant TNV set before getting into nighttime.

I was happy to finally get a glimpse of Crystal Castles. Standing and stumbling on one leg they (now a trio with drums)drove white-hot Atari spikes through my skin, strobe lights and ecstatic din. I think I saw the future right before passing out. That album's gonna be addictive, the kids will soon fall in line.

If there's one thing that remains a constant, it's sticking with what you know. Now the essentialists are getting their profiles raised and bands like Psychedelic Horseshit and Los Llamarada are playing to packed rooms...being followed by Half Japanese (who are apparently going through their last go-round) and the Homosexuals and Bad Trips. The latter pummeling me into submission with "Sister Ray" reduxes to the point of saying uncle for the day.

Stay Tuned -- we're among the last throes of the insurgency.

1 comment:

D. A. said...

Awesome reports Kevin. Good to see you again, if only briefly. You can read about my three days of SXSW glory at Houston Calling. www.houstoncalling.net