SXSW Day Two: More Cameras in My Monitors

Last year seemed to be all 'bout self-abuse, every morning spent bloodied and bruised with a brain full of mush. Not this year (I'm happy to report a clean bill of health -- wife, mother, father, and middle bro) as the local Whole Foods has contributed to expensive remedies (Tangerine Pom) and glorious produce. So 2008 is more for chilling, riding the wave, and not concerning myself with seeing every band within earshot.

Thursday in the sun, Steve and I only chalked up two bands, and spent most of the time taking in the sites and smells. We did see an early set from No Age, a band highly anticipated. The duo ripped through a taut set of their metaphysical skate-punk, throwing riffs, scattered percussion and ocean noise towards the winds to see what floats back. I was under the impression a lot of what they do is a put-on, like scaling the speakers and taping mics together for no particular reason, but their sincerity shines bright and the batch of new songs slated for their Sub Pop debut are painted with a wide swath of melodic discovery. Here's a little something to get the hype for this long-player rolling.

My favorite band of the day was undoubtedly Los Campesinos, a joyous twee-punk septet from Cardiff, Wales. This is exactly what emo could've become had it been built with earnest and Pavement guitar scrawls. These kids are adorable, rocking melodicas, violins, xylophones, wood blocks, synths, and hyper-syllabic group chants. My favorite line -- "I never like Henry Rollins." It's the ethos of new punk (they still hand make zines in Wales) dished out with plenty of smirk and heart-on-sleeve dedication. Plus they are the nicest group I've met in years. Please, if you're reading this, go see them at any cost.

The Campesinos are also big fans of Times New Viking. At this point in the fest it will be hard to find anyone who isn't transfixed by the buzz. We've made it a mission to marathon through every TNV set this week. Why? Because each show just gets better. I'm the guy who keeps jumping around, singing along with all the sing-alongs that have now morphed from slogans to gospel truths. As dusk approached at the French Legation Museum, the trio played what was probably the best and most concise I have ever seen them play. Keep on rolling...

Which lead me to the ultimate in showcasing, the (aforementioned on this blog) Siltbreeze get-down. Lo and behold I've not much to report because this was my view the entire night.

That's not sour grapes at all. I'm eternally indebted to Mr. Tom Lax, thanks for everything, now let's party). I loved seeing a new generation emptying wallets to buy avant-vinyl. I was particularly impressed by label newbies Naked on the Vague and the indecently loud psych bluster of a giddy Mike Rep and his Times New Quotas. Oh yeah, then there was this......

I can die happy if I hear the words "Psychedelic Horseshit" spoken on TRL. Onward champions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha! You saw it happen! I posted what John Norris wrote on MTV.com over on PWAH. That was pretty surreal.