Archive for Home Slice Pizza

SXSW: Over and Out for 2011!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2011 by 30daysout

Irish band Two Door Cinema Club perform at the MTV Woodies Award show. (Photo by Lily Angelle)

Despite being on the scene only two days at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, we could already detect the storylines vibrating through the air. Oh, okay, not really. On the other side of the world angry nuclear reactors are threatening to burn their way through the Earth, so who gives a shit about what they’re talking about in Austin?

The thousands and thousands (and more thousands) of people visiting the central Texas city this weekend are here to listen to music. More or less. The occasion is supposed to be about hearing unknown/unsigned/unheard acts and yes, there seem to be an awful lot of established stars around who don’t really need the publicity. Or do they?

Unknown and unsigned on the sidewalks of Sixth Street.

So over the past few days we’ve experienced a perfect storm of big name vs. no name, badgeholders vs. nothing-holders, the need to hear music vs. the need to eat and sleep.  Some of the usual storylines: who’s gonna play at Perez Hilton’s party? Why couldn’t we get in to see the Foo Fighters? Is R.E.M. gonna play a surprise show? A few people are grumbling again about Austin cops and fire marshals roaming around and strictly enforcing capacity codes and noise restrictions – the theory is that “official” SXSW is somehow leaning on the city to lean, in turn, on places hosting “unofficial” free side parties, or cracking down on noisy establishments hosting outdoor parties. The usual stuff.

Real life gets a little ugly when it nudges its way onto center stage at SXSW. Like on Thursday, the officially sanctioned outdoor show by the Strokes almost ended in disaster as the crowd got unruly. On Friday, a camera boom fell on some spectators during a set at the Stubb’s venue. Minor injuries were sustained in both cases, but residents are starting to ask questions. The usual stuff, including “has this all gotten too big?”

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SXSW: All Over But The Shouting

Posted in SXSW with tags , , , , , , on March 22, 2010 by 30daysout

Jake Dilley and the Color Pharmacy - the cameraman's name is Jim Morrison. (Photo by John Angelle)

So what happened to the “first day of spring”?  Forget that – spectacular thunderstorms early Saturday morning gave way to a stiff, cold wind with fangs that put a damper on many events during SXSW’s final day.  Some of the smaller side events were cancelled outright while even the larger, official shows were rearranged due to the weather.

A full schedule of performances at Auditorium Shores Saturday night was edited to give each performer about 20 minutes onstage, in order to get headliners She & Him onstage by 9 p.m.  They were still late, and just a few cheerful, poppy songs into the set by M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel a lot of cold, soggy people headed toward the exits.

J.P. Pitts of Surfer Blood (Photo by Lily Angelle)

You didn’t come here for a weather report, though.  The music was still pretty good.  We liked the psychedelia of Minneapolis prog-rockers Jake Dilley and the Color Pharmacy.   Lead singer Dilley played guitar, keyboards and a little percussion as he wove listeners in and out of candy-colored soundscapes.  Somewhere in the middle of a glorious mind-melding song he dropped in a few bars of “Eleanor Rigby,” to keep us all from flying off into a hole in the sky.  But the trio ripped through their rock stomper “Detour” and set us right back on terra firma where the journey began.

We also liked Surfer Blood, one of the festival’s so-called buzz bands.  These boys (and lead singer John Paul Pitts looked like he could still be in high school) rocked a windblown crowd with riff-happy tunes like “Floating Vibes” and “Fast Jabroni” and most likely sold a few thousand copies of Astro Coast, their first album.  Touring as a five-piece, the group from West Palm Beach seemed a little taken aback by the cold (sorry) but played about 13 shows over the four days of SXSW music.  They wound up a particularly tight set with their single “Swim” and I figure that’s good enough to make them big stars in a month or two.

Japandroids

Gotta hand it to Home Slice Pizza along South Congress – not only do they make a killer New York-style slice, they put on a helluva little music festival right in their back yard.  We dug Wye Oak on Friday, and caught some of Winter Gloves, appropriately titled (sorry again) for Saturday.  We really got into the bands playing a side stage, usually two or three sets while they got the main stage ready.  Like La Strada – the Brooklyn-based multi-taskers crowded onto a tiny stage to deliver some nice melodic tunes that went really well with a couple hot slices of pizza.  Anyway, Home Slice Pizza: they put on the best shows of SXSW and check ’em out next time you are in Austin.

And a word here about Japandroids, an intense rockin’ duo from Vancouver.  Oblivious to the cold, they rocked a hip happenin’ crowd behind the Urban Outfitters and made a lot of friends in the process.  Guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse can really shred, and they tore up “Young Hearts Spark Fire” with unflagging energy.  Look for these boys to make it big somewhere down the line, too.  Also let’s mention Cymbals Eat Guitars, A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Here We Go Magic, Sweet Apple and Free Energy – good luck boys and girls, you deserve it!

Well.  We made it through a SXSW post without mentioning any of the big names.  What do you need to know?  Jakob Dylan’s new stuff (with Neko Case and Kelly Logan singing backup) sounds nice, Courtney Love’s enhanced face is more interesting than her new music and we didn’t make it out to see Snoop Dogg either.

"The Nez"

It was fun people-watching and making fun of the hipsters, hopelessly un-hip as we are.  We especially liked the people who dressed like rock stars – jet-black, styled hair (think Ron Wood’s bed head), black jeans with skinny legs and a leather jacket.  When everybody who is Nobody tries so hard to look like Somebody, it’s hard to spot the Real Somebodys.  This one guy, his white hairline almost to the top of his head, passed me twice on the street before I recognized him as Michael Nesmith.  He’s no longer a Monkee, he’s now a visionary and foreman of Videoranch 3D, a nice little project that put live shows on the internet and allowed listeners to experience the music like being in a video game.  That would have been a good idea on a cold Saturday.

MP3: “Young Hearts Spark Fire” by Japandroids

MP3: “Swim” by Surfer Blood

MP3: “Nitetime Rainbows” by A Sunny Day In Glasgow

MP3: “Ballad Of Nothing” by Cymbals Eat Guitars

MP3: “Hope Child” by Free Energy

MP3: “Do You Remember” by Sweet Apple

Makin' the scene on Saturday before the weather got, well, shitty