Thursday, September 20
Wye Oak at Music Hall of Williamsburg, NY- A girl. A guy. A guitar. Keyboards. A drumset. Beautiful music.
Bon Iver at Radio City Music Hall, NYC- Shit yeah. MCG will be there.
Oberhofer and Darlings at Rans Tea House, Brooklyn, NY - Cute boys making indie pop music. Oberhofer is a genius.
Friday, September 21
Plastic Flowers at Public Assembly, Brooklyn NY - Brit-rocky indie pop.
Bon Iver at Radio City Music Hall, NYC
Saturday, September 22
Bon Iver at Radio City Music Hall, NYC
Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie at Largo, Los Angeles
Catch Wild and Push Method at Arlene’s Grocery, NYC
Sunday, September 23
Animal Collective at Hollywood Bowl
- Lost in the Trees
- Alcoholic Faith Mission
- Wye Oak
- Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson
- Spirit Family Reunion
- Dirty Beaches
- Jeff the Brotherhood
- Ariel Pink
After YPOFH, I hung out again at the Paper Garden Records party to catch a bit of Xylos and take a load off, but soon had to part ways with my chair and head back to the main drag for the Noisey.com official showcase at Kiss and Fly where I wanted to see Oberhofer and Jeff the Brotherhood.
On the way, I happened upon NYC folk revival band Spirit Family Reunion plying their trade in the street, which was kind of cool.
Spirit Family Reunion
Kiss and Fly was a pretty cheesy venue; the human-size bird cages suspended from the second level gave away it’s real-life function as “Austin’s only gay nightclub.” But it did provide nice staging for the Noisey.com set. I was especially impressed with how the line-up held up together, each genre slightly overlapping the previous, so the evening presented an elegant progression of sound.
Dirty Beaches kicked it off. Listening to the minimalist rockabilly sound of one-man band Alex Zhang Hungtai’s debut full-length record Badlands after the fact, I can appreciate why he’s getting some buzz as an artist. ‘Lord Knows Best’ brings to mind Patsy Cline and whiskey and circus people, in a good way. But the show? Was that a show? It was karaoke to be sure, with Hungtai providing vocals to the piped-in music. He penned the music, but really? Does he not get along with others? Does he have no access to other musicians? Music masterminds like Delicate Steve somehow manage to bring a band together. Broken Social Scene? They can’t turn musicians away. But not Dirty Beaches. And not much stage presence either. Unless you count him combing his hair.
Oberhofer was a welcome relief. Frontman Brad Oberhofer ALSO writes all of his music, but has a band for live shows (duh) and led the lo-fi beach-pop outfit through an exhilerating set of tunes that included whistles, ooOOOs, jangly guitar riffs and general poppy goodness that sticks with you and makes you want to wiggle your body a little. There are whiffs of Real Estate and Beach Fossils, but Oberhofer brings more variability and complexity to the tunes and it all makes you excited to see what this 20-something delivers in the future.
I had no idea what to expect from Jeff the Brotherhood. I had heard no anecdotes about crazy shows or told to prepare my mind and body for a physically dangerous mosh pit experience. And with just two guys in the band, I was afraid I was in for flaccid rock.
Boy was I blown away. Jeff the Brotherhood was probably the best performance I experienced at SXSW, as the two brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall beat and shredded their way into my consciousness with their decade spanning sound: 90s-alternative-Smashing-Pumpkins-meets-80s-hard-rock-Black-Sabbath-meets-70s-punk-rock-Ramones.
It starts with Jake standing at the edge of the stage like a rock God, right above me, and hopping down into the crowd full of vampire grace. We part to make room for him and his guitar and he nonchalantly drags his chord through the crowd to play for the back of the room. This single act, coupled with the throbbing beats, begins pulling the crowd into a mosh frenzy. Jake makes his way back to the stage. He wants to see boys dancing in the cages! There is smoke! I get pushed from one side of the pit to another like a helpless sprig of seaweed in an angry sea. I get kicked in the back when Jake soars into the crowd. I rage with everyone, balancing my camera, my purse, a jacket and a hat. I can’t stop smiling.
Jeff the Brotherhood is playing with Screaming Females at Santos’ Party House in NYC March 31. I’m gonna be there with my ‘bows ready to rock out in the pit.
Jeff the Brotherhood
No band could really follow Jeff the Brotherhood’s performance. And Yuck, despite their dependable and satisfying 90s alternative sound, just doesn’t have the stage presence or yen for drama that those Tennessee boys have. They gave a perfectly enjoyable and respectable show. (I had seen them already at Stubbs) And I really like their music, especially ‘Get Away.’ But there’s just nothing magical about watching them in person.
I was urged by the photog crew to stay to see Ariel Pink (even though i had planned to leave to see The Pains of Being Young At Heart), so I did. And was disappointed. I left after three songs and one temper tantrum by frontman Ariel Marcus Rosenberg. Apparently there was a problem with the sound. I really don’t know what was going on, but for awhile he refused to play. Big downer after the professional awesomeness of Jeff the Brotherhood. Also a bummer because I do like Haunted Graffiti.
All photos by Shanda Boyett. Copyright 2011.
Fizzled out early yesterday after an early start. Easing into the day today by hitting @littband (Lost in the Trees) at Home Slice on S. Congress at 1:30 on my 2-mile walk downtown.
Then gonna spend a few blissful hours at the @lovelyheartsclub party at Uncorked to see:
6 pm @xylos
Might step away to check out the @StandardRecording Carnivale at Gypsy Lounge cuz I want to make some stuff.
@_afm_ Alcoholic Faith Mission is playing at the Hyatt at 8 but it’s a TREK from downtown so not sure will make it over there. Hoping they are playing during the day somewhere. Anybody know? Listening to their stream right now and just love love love.
@shimmeringstars and @oberhofer are both playing at 9 pm. Will thumb-wrestle myself to determine the winner.
Have heard good things about @Gayngs and they are playing at 10 pm at Lustre Pearl. Or might head straight over to Billboard Bungelow for @TheJoyFormidable at 11 and @thepainsofbeing (The Pains of Being Pure At Heart) at midnight. But @wyeOak is playing down the street at 11:45 so depending on the scene might dash out to catch a few tunes.
This schedule makes me tired. But it’s my last day in Austin so will rally. Heading to Houston tomorrow to see my daddy one last time before I return to NYC on Sunday so will miss the @papergardensrecords showcase tomorrow that includes _afm_ and @youthpicturesofflorencehenderson. Want to see Youth Pics of Florence Henderson so bad, but daddy wants to see me more. He’s got dibs.