SXSW 2013 Wrap Up

Ok. I’m recovered. Of course I missed a lot that I had hoped to see and ended up in some places I didn’t expect. But that just goes with the territory of 5 days and nights of overindulging in music, drink, and food (good and bad). In alphabetical order, my top 10.

IMG_38101. American Aquarium @ Guitartown/Conqueroo Party at The Dogwood, Wednesday, 3/13 and @ Saxon Pub, Thursday, 3/14
While I really liked “Burn. Flicker. Die.” from last year, the live performances of those songs – anthems of frustration, aspiration, and regret – firmly shifted like to love. Saw them relatively early and fresh at on their second day, and rough and ragged at their last festival show. Equally great.

IMG_37492. Sam Baker @ Zax, Saturday, 3/16
First time catching Sam Baker live. A short set of just three truly beautiful, goose bump inducing, songs.

IMG_35503. Bobby Bare Jr @ Saxon Pub, 3/14
One of the best BBJ shows I’ve seen. Rocking, wisecracking, and twisted.

IMG_38194. The Beaumonts @ Karma Lounge, Wednesday 3/13
Crack Honky Tonk. Filthy and hilarious. To clip a phase from Austin Sound, “blasphemous bliss.”

IMG_38165. Glossary @ Ceder Street Courtyard, Wednesday, 3/13 and @ Ceder Street Courtyard, Saturday 3/16
Two nights, same stage, two very different sets – the first, sweet and relaxed, the second, full-on rockin’. Over the past handful of years, I’ve caught Glossary at least once a year – and never been disappointed.

IMG_37546. Israel Nash Gripka @ Sin City Part at Maria’s Taco Xpress, Friday, 3/15
Probably my biggest surprise of the festival. Had not heard of Gripka until a few days prior to heading West. An impressive and impassioned set, hinting more Neil Young than his last record’s Rolling Stones country swagger.

IMG_38217. The Howling Brothers @ Guitartown/Conqueroo Party at The Dogwood, Wednesday, 3/13
A great way to kick off the first full day. Self described as “a ’lil bluegrass, a bit ole time & a whole lot of country blues flavor American roots music,” but that hardly captures their foot stomping, Dixieland laced, live show.

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8. Henry Wagons (with Clairy Browne) @ 2nd Annual Lucy’s South By South Austin Fried Chicken Revival at Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Thursday, 3/14
Henry Wagons seemed to be everywhere the week of SXSW. But we caught him at the delicious Lucy’s Fried Chicken. On the last song of a somewhat low-key, only slightly cheeky, set, Wagons accidentally yanked out his guitar input during the noisy, guitar heavy “A Hangman’s Work Is Never Done.” So, Wagons dumped the guitar and jumped into the crowd for an extended, sidesplitting, audience assisted, closing.

IMG_37739. Whiskey Shivers @ Hillgrass Bluebilly XSXSW at Frontier Bar, Friday, 3/15
A great evening all round, with Austin Lucas, Possessed By Paul James, and Left Land Cruiser (missed the early part of the night and didn’t have the stamina to catch Boomswagglers at the end of the night), but the exuberance and joy of Whiskey Shivers was the highlight.

IMG_382310. The White Buffalo @ Bungalow, Tuesday, 3/12
The White Buffalo (aka Jake Smith) is an imposing stage presence with a commanding voice. It doesn’t hurt that he writes songs are about murder, drinking, and guns (and sometimes love). A great way to close out day one.

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Honorable mention…

photo-22The Waco Bros @ Bloodshot Records Party at Yard Dog, Friday, 3/15
11 trips to SXSW and haven’t missed them there yet. An excellent tradition that once again did not disappoint.

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Some of the rest…

IMG_3782Deadman and Deadstring Brothers @ Sin City Part at Maria’s Taco Xpress, Friday, 3/15

IMG_3544Phosphorescent @ Hype Hotel, Wednesday, 3/13

IMG_3586James Hunter @ Antone’s, Thursday, 3/14

IMG_3802Shinyribs @ 2nd Annual Lucy’s South By South Austin Fried Chicken Revival at Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Thursday, 3/14

IMG_3588The Low Lows @ Rebels Honky Tonk, Thursday, 3/14

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Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes @ The Iron Bear, Saturday, 3/16

IMG_3585Dale Watson @ 18th Floor at Hilton Garden Inn, Thursday, 3/14

IMG_3691Possessed By Paul James  @ Hillgrass Bluebilly XSXSW at Frontier Bar, Friday, 3/15

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And the downside? After 11 years it barely seems the same event. The crowds, always large, are now oppressive, often with an undercurrent of hostility. No longer the place people want to be, it’s just the place to be. And nothing wrong with corporate sponsorship, but the last view out the hotel window, at a sea of orange chips being swept up as the Dorito’s stage tower was being dismantled, illustrated the tidal wave of often incongruous commercialization drowning SXSW. Was this my last year? Not sure.

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SXSW 2013 – Playlist 8

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Dale Watson and Cree Rider Family Band will be at the Broken Spoke for Twangfest, Watson on Thursday, March 14th, Cree Rider Family Band on Saturday, the 16th. Watson has a number of other appearances listed here. Ted Russel Kamp is at Maria’s Taco Xpress for the Grand Ole Austin on Thursday. For the rest, appearances listed below.

1.) 0:00 – Dale Watson • Hey Driver
2.) 2:35 – Sam Doores + Riley Downing & The Tumbleweeds • This Morning I Was Born Again
3.) 6:57 – Ted Russell Kamp • My Turn To Cry
4.)10:35 – The Dirty River Boys • Carnival Lights
5.) 14:35 – Them Duqaines • Riding Too Long
6.) 16:57 – Israel Nash Gripka • Louisiana
7.) 21:16 – Chelle Rose • Weepin’ Willow On The Hill
8.) 25:06 – Lord Buffalo • Pale Horse, Pale Rider
9.) 29:20 – Dusted • Property Lines
10.) 32:31 – Caveman • Easy Water
11.) 36:14 – Gringo Star • Come On Now
12.) 39:19 – The Orwells (& here) • In My Bed
13.) 41:42 – Parquet Courts (& here) • Yonder Is Closer To The Heart
14.) 44:38 – Jaill (& here) • Always Wrong
15.) 47:27 – The Coathangers • Well Alright

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SXSW 2013 – Playlist 7

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The Mighty Stef is only listed as a 10:50 AM show on Saturday at the Continental Club as part of Mojo’s Mayhem. Saturday? 10:50 AM? Five days into SXSW, I’m quite sure that’s not going to happen, but having caught him a few times in the past, I hope he’s got another appearance – at a decent hour. The Record Company were one of the biggest surprises last year. They are listed as part of Grand Ole Austin party at Maria’s Taco Xpress on Thursday. Jimbo Mathus is on the same bill. Shinyribs at Lucy’s Fried Chicken on Thursday, McDougall as part of the Hillgrass Bluebilly party, The Howling Brothers have a couple appearances, and Joe Fletcher is part of the The Outlaw Roadshow.

1.) 0:00 – Shinyribs • Who Built The Moon
2.) 4:56 – McDougall • Line By Line
3.) 9:31 – Jimbo Mathus • Skateland Baby
4.) 14:18 – Howling Brothers • Sugar Hill
5.) 16:52 – Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons • The River Is Hot
6.) 19:46 – The Record Company • This Crooked City
7.) 23:48 – The Mighty Stef • We Want Blood

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SXSW 2013 – Playlist 6

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The Hillgrass Bluebilly Records party at the Frontier Bar Friday night (the 15th)  includes 2 acts here – Left Lane Cruiser and  Possessed By Paul James – as well as Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Austin Lucas, Whiskey Shivers, and McDougall. Possessed By Paul James is also part of a great showcase Saturday night at Cedar Street Courtyard, including Glossary and Chuck Ragan among many others. Bobby Bare Jr. isn’t on the showcase list, but is listed at the Bloodshot Yard Dog Party (not on the site, but on the event poster). That’s earlier in the day the 15th (noon–6). Just about everything I can find written about Wood & Wire live is glowing. Didn’t know the Turnpike Troubadours before, but really enjoying “Goodbye Normal Street.” I’ll have to try to catch both.

1.) 0:00 – Hollis Brown • Rode On The Train
2.) 4:33 – Great Peacock • Take Me To The Mountain
3.) 8:16 – The Lost Maples • Need A Hallelujah
4.) 10:50 – Turnpike Troubadours • Wrecked
5.) 15:39 – Patrick Sweany • Sleeping Bag
6.) 18:49 – Left Lane Cruiser • Lost My Mind
7.) 21:59 – Western Medicine • Big City
8.) 22:56 – Kids From Nowhere • Lost My Mind
9.) 26:01 – Hanni El Khatib • Build. Destroy. Rebuild
10.) 28:56 – Possessed By Paul James • Come To The Water
11.) 32:06 – Wood & Wire • Ramblers Blues
12.) 34:50 – My Daling Clementine • I Bought Some Roses
13.) 38:50 – Bobby Bare Jr. • Don’t Go To Chattanooga
14.) 41:48 – Ramsay Midwood • Maybelline

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SXSW 2013 – Playlist 5

SXSW 2013 Playlist 5

Looks like the Guitartown/Conqueroo party at Molotov Lounge is where I’ll likely be spending the day Wednesday (the 13th).  American Aquarium, Henry Wagons, The White Buffalo, and Dustin Welch, all included here, are just a few acts from a great lineup. The American Aquarium and The White Buffalo tracks are off must-get albums, from both last year.  The Dustin Welch track is from his just released second album, “Tijuana Bible.” Some Dark Holler aren’t on the official list, but their Facebook page indicates a couple SXSW shows to be announced.

1.) 0:00 – Some Dark Holler • Bar Tabs
2.) 3:05 – Mount Moriah • Only Way Out
3.) 8:08 – Big Harp • You Can’t Save Them All
4.) 12:18– American Aquarium • Abe Lincoln
5.) 15:54 – Dustin Welch • Across The Rubicon
6.) 20:24 – Sons Of Bill • Life In Shambles
7.) 23:27 – (Henry) Wagons • I Blew It
8.) 27:03 – The White Buffalo • How The West Was Won
9.) 30:45 – Scott H. Biram • Been Down Too Long

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SXSW 2013 – Playlist 4

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I know Deadman isn’t on the official list. But front man Steven Collins is. Not sure what’s up with the band, but the Deadman shows the past few years have been highlights. So, I’m including a track from the band’s last album, “Take Up Your Mat & Walk,” released in Europe in 2011, but never released in the US. Which is a real shame. I picked the album up when they performed at the Sin City Party at the Maria’s Taco Xpress last year and it’s been played at a groove-wearing frequency ever since. Try picking up a copy here or here.

1.) 0:00 – Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes • Love Letters
2.) 3:01 – The Dynamites & Charles Walker • Burn It Down
3.) 6:46 – JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound • I Got High
4.) 10:12 – The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band • My Old Man Boogie
5.) 13:08 – The Cadillac Black • Days Of Gold
6.) 17:43 – Chuck Ragan • Rotterdam
7.) 20:09 – The Black Lillies • Two Hearts Down
8.) 23:40 – Corb Lund • One Left In The Chamber
9.) 26:46 – Deadman • Till The Morning Comes
10.) 30:20 – Daniel Romano • Lost (For As Long As I Live)
11.) 33:18 – Leo Rondeau • Land Loving Lad
12.) 35:47 – The Lost Brothers • In The City

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SXSW 2013 – Playlist 3

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Slowly digging through the official showcase list and poking around for off-festival shows. This mix starts with a few Austin treasures, and end with a few elder statesmen of country music – including Bobby Bare and his terrific cover of Alejandro Escovedo’s “I Was Drunk” off of “Darker Than Light,” released last year on Plowboy Records. In between, there’s Communist Daughter who impressed while on tour last year with Jason Isbell, Corizonas from Madrid (made up of members from Arizona Baby and Los Coronas), and 2 great acts I was previously unfamiliar with – The Austin Steamers and The Carper Family (The Austin Steamers debut and “Come See yer Ol’ Daddy” by The Carper Family are both well worth checking out).

1.) 0:00 – John Wesley Coleman • Get High Babe
2.) 3:12 – The Golden Boys • La La Birdie
3.) 5:56 – Andrew Collberg • Dirty Wind
4.) 9:19 –  Communist Daughter • Ghost
5.) 12:11 – Corizonas • Run To The River
6.) 16:41 – Spirit Family Reunion • I Am Following The Sound
7.) 19:47 – The Austin Steamers • Freight Train Blues
8.) 23:44 – The Carper Family • Come Get Your Lonesomke
9.) 26:08 – Butch Hancock • Brother Won’t You Shake My Hand?
10.) 28:53 – Bobby Bare • I Was Drunk
11.) 33:10 – Billy Joe Shaver • Fame

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