Honestly the last two days in SXSW are the best and the worst, all tweets show the tired souls of everyone who's been there since Tuesday (in my case since Sunday), but at the same time Friday in particular the best bands play and gosh darn it they all play at once (at least it feels like).
I headed to the All Things Gold party to watch a performance by Penguin Prison, since because of meeting some friends from home I missed Clock Opera (one of the many bands I regret not watching).
As I arrived, Ohio band Walk the Moon was playing. I don't know why, but you can always hear influence of the environment the band or song writer are in by their music; although this band is self described as Indie Rock, you can tell they are more influence by Pop culture than Independent music. The best indicative can be seen in their video Anna Sun, where the band is wearing neon color makeup (hipster haven't done that since 08) and bold 80's revival workout clothes ( again hipsters haven't done that since 08),which can be best compared by the same style of the videos of LMFO, not independent at all.
Penguin Prison put out a spectacular show; even though the lead singer looked like he was ether really hungover or really exhausted, the moment the music started it was like fire was lit under their arsses and they played for all it was worth. I got to see them again at the Fader Fort on Saturday while I was waiting for the stupid last secret artist to play (it made me miss the concert by Rosie and Me) and they all looked like bad asses.
Penguin Prison - The Worse It Gets
To be honest the only two shows I enjoyed there was Kimbra and Blood Orange and they both played back to back. You might remember Kimbra by that Gotye song, that after a few months I wish it would go away, what you might not know is that she also has a very successful music career and she is actually pretty good. During the show, she not only looked superb, but she buried her soul in the audience (and what a soul).
Kimbra - Settle Down
After came one of my favorite performance of SXSW, Blood Orange. In case you haven't heard from him, he is Devonté Hynes a Brooklyn song writer, who's worked with a huge array of artist. As I was waiting for his showcase to start, I was expecting for a band setup, but instead he walked by himself to the stage set up his laptop and guitar and put out one of the best shows out there.
Blood Orange - BloodOrange Champagne Coast
After failing to go into Beauty Bar to see Rubblebucket I headed down to the I Guess I'm Floating party, and I guess no body knows who everyone is working for, because I ended up having one of the best nights, not only I got to talk to Kalmia Traver from Rubblebuckett, I also got to see some amazing bands.
I got to see Brooklyn band, White Rabbits.I'm not going to claim to have heard of them previously, but after seeing them in concert I was mesmerized, so much so it made me want to learn more about them.
White Rabbits- Heavy Metal
The next band that blew me away was Baltimore band Lower Dens, I found their sound (at least live) very sexy, I found my self standing there perplexed with a taco in hand, feeling oddly attracted to the lead singer even though as we all can see its a bit strange.
Lower Dens- Brains
As I was walking to have a better look at the Lower Dens, I ran into Jason Faries drummer from Neon Indian, turns out while I was too busy gagging over the bands, a group of old friends from Denton have all gotten together including old Neon Indian guitarist Ronnie Hart, so he directed me to where they all where and we all started reminiscing over the past ( a bit) . The whole night became even more enjoyable as I had forgotten how much this kids love preforming, Alan has the chemistry to draw people to him even though his stature would make you think otherwise.
Neon Indian - Hex Girlfriend
To finish up a perfect night, came New York band Caveman, who finished my night with songs from their latest album. Their presence on stage was of a more mature band, it felt like I was listening to rock and role royalty and in all honesty perhaps I was.
Caveman - Old Friend
On Saturday as my body started to ache from every single angle, I decided to take it easy, I head arrived at SXSW, I had battle lines and seen some amazing shows; also Saturday tends to be a slower day, as most of the bands are already leaving to other festivals or gigs.
Body Language .The reason I was impressed was because I received plenty of music from them, but somehow on MP3 they don't sound as impressive as they do on stage. I was specially impressed by their lead singer Angelica Bess, who was the life of the show.
Body Language -Falling Out
I headed down to the Dive Swan to listen to Rubblebucket, but as always you have to wait for other bands to play and again as always they can be winners and they can be losers. In all honesty I did see two bands before Rubblebucket that was not only boring but bad, but I choose not to mention it. The band that got my attention is Chicago Band The Soil & The Sun. The band was divided on stage between Women (The Sun), and Men (The soil), man played the rudimentary rock and roll instruments while women played more classical instruments. It was a great concert all around.
The Soil & The Sun - Spirit of Memory
Rubblebucket - Worker
After leaving the Swandive I saw some show that where a disappointment. First off I do not condone the use of the N word by "anyone" Black, White, Hispanic, or Asians, it's a nasty word and it should not be used. second of all when did music needed a horn to make it interesting it, if your music is so band that you need to make it sound like a morning radio show, you probably should retire.
To finish SXSW in a positive note, after missing Rosie and Me in order to watch a disgusting show, I headed down to Malverde to watch French band Anoraak. To be honest I'm not very familiar with their own original work, but I have been following them since it was just a DJ project. The cool thing about this concert is that you could see their enthusiasm and energy, breaking down the stereotypes of the aloof French men. The music was superb very Anoraak, I was smiling from cheek to cheek after I left the club.
Anoraak- Crazy Eyes (Disco Version)