Kata Rokkar — Kata Rokkar – A Bay Area based blog about music, life and stuff by Shawn Robbins.Kata Rokkar — Kata Rokkar – A Bay Area based blog about music, life and stuff by Shawn Robbins.

SXSW_MAR_14 (19 of 37)

The SUPER LATE SXSW 2012 Coverage // Wednesday, March 14th: Photos & Recap

2

04/10/2012

Concerts, Featured, Music, SXSW 2012

Since I ended my first day of SXSW kind of early, I knew I had lost time to make up. You see, unless waiting on line to see people like Jack White, Grimes, or Fiona Apple is your forte, it’s best to get to shows early or witness bands you’re “heard of” but never actually “heard.” Which is something I’ve said to people more than I care to admit. Wednesday was about catching bands that I’ve been meaning to see for quite some time now and I wasn’t disappointed.

Crooks

Band: Crooks

Venue: The Parish

Thoughts: Crooks sounded and looked exactly like what you would think of when someone says, “Traditional Texas bluegrass folk with that Creedance feel.” There’s even this mariachi style to their music, which made them one of the more unique country folk acts I saw at SXSW this year.

Sponsor: The Straw of Wheat You Hold In Your Teeth When You Want To Look Like A Badass Cowboy (but you’re totally not)

Website

MP3: Crooks – 18 Wheels from Lonesome, Rowdy and Restless (2010)

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Trust

Trust

 

Band: Trust

Venue: Flamingo Cantina

Thoughts: Trust was a band I had heard of but wasn’t too familiar with. The lead vocalist handled the mic stand like he was making love to it in a Morrissey kind of way while the backing band provided a gothic backdrop of simple synth layering and heavily complex drumming. Let me emphasize that; the live drumming was what made Trust stand out from the current scene of emotion based goth-pop right now. Even listening to the recorded material, it doesn’t do justice to what these guys can do live.

Sponsor: Sadness and Nihilism

Website

MP3: Trust – Candy Walls from TRST (2012)

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Niki & The Dove

Niki & The Dove

 

Band: Niki & The Dove

Venue: Flamingo Cantina

Thoughts: Short description: Swedish Bat For Lashes with a dash of positivity. Longer description: While it seems like Niki & The Dove want to be dark, the band is so colorful live and in spirit with each pop infused song that seems to reach spacious heights. I guess if you want to like Robyn but just can’t get into it, but you like Lykke Li, see Niki & The Dove live. The group seems to find that perfect balance of art house pop and escapist dance rock. It was quite impressive.

Sponsor: IKEA

Website

MP3: Niki & The Dove – The Fox from The Fox (2011)

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Hooray for Earth

Hooray for Earth

 

Band: Hooray For Earth

Venue: Flamingo Cantina

Thoughts: Hooray for Earth always seemed like a more mature and dense version of the electro-pop acts to emerge in the past few years. This would probably explain their struggle to really break out into the mainstream. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. HFE live is exactly the way they sound on record; huge and quite powerful. Hearing songs like Sails and No Love got the crowd fired up and forced myself to seek them out the next time they arrive in San Francisco.

Sponsor: Your Mom (I don’t know. I couldn’t think of anything)

Website

MP3: Hooray For Earth – No Love from True Loves (2011)

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Reggie Watts

Reggie Watts

 

Band: Reggie Watts

Venue: Flamingo Cantina

Thoughts: This was a treat. Reggie Watts was the wrench thrown in the cogs of this all-indie rock line-up. In fact, any line-up that involves Reggie Watts can expect something unexpected. This particular performance involved plenty of hilarious absurdist banter subjects such as hard-ons, existence, psychedelics, and politics (“If you vote, it’s all going to work out! It always does!”). For a guy that proclaimed that he just woke up and needed to only use his low voice, Reggie showcased a diverse mix of improvised beat boxing and goofball dance-soul that blurred the lines of any genre of music or comedy. Anyone there who wasn’t familiar with Reggie left that show telling everyone they knew what they just observed.

Sponsor: The Highest Form of Creativity

Website

MP3: Reggie Watts – The Artists Organization from The Artists Organization’s Album (2011)

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Shearwater

Shearwater

 

Band: Shearwater

Venue: The Parish

Thoughts: With Kimberly and Thor sitting SXSW out, the line-up of Shearwater emerged with a more rock sound than the usual chamber pop sensibility that most fans are used to. This was only slightly disappointing as it felt weird to hear 2009’s Rooks without the multi-instrumental talents of Thor. However, once the songs of this year’s Animal Joy kicked in, I began to realize why lead singer Jonathan Meiburg made this decision to add members of Appleseed Cast and The Lemurs to the live line-up. Every song sounded more brutal and enforcing. Plus Meiburg’s ultra dramatic singing style was in full effect. I should just stop questioning Shearwater and remember why they are one of my favorite bands.

Sponsor: Jonathan Meiburg’s scream face

Website

MP3: Shearwater – Breaking The Yearlings from Animal Joy (2012)

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Javelin

Band: Javelin

Venue: Chevrolet Sound Garage

Thoughts: Javelin isn’t like any other dance punk duo out there (and there aren’t many). Just when I thought I had them pinned down, the band would switch from chill-out synth-pop to Hot Chip-style dance soul to 8-bit video game hip-hop absurdity. They were probably one of the more interesting acts I had seen since arriving in Austin and I don’t think there was a single moment where I felt bored. In addition they pulled of an ace cover of Beastie Boy’s Sabotage, which they made their own.

Sponsor: 2-Guys One-Mic

Website

MP3: Javelin – Soda Popinski from EP 1 (2012)

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Pictureplane

 

Band: Pictureplane

Venue: Chevrolet Sound Garage

Thoughts: Sporting an over-sized “bikini body” t-shirt and a lopsided black baseball cap and performing behind a blood-soaked DJ-tablecloth, Travis Egedy aka Pictureplane offered a kind of rave-punk flavor to the half-house of SXSWers. In between songs, Egedy took it upon himself to make fun of the various sponsors to this own showcase. While I am in full support of poking fun at the overly commercialization of this festival, you would think he’d pick a better shirt to do it in. I kept on thinking, “C’mon man! You’re wearing a “bikini body” t-shirt! How is anyone going to take you seriously?”

Sponsor: White Trash Clothing-R-Us

Website

MP3: Pictureplane – Beyond Fantasy from Beyond Fantasy (SINGLE) (2010)

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Brendon Walsh

Todd Barry

Band Comedians: Brendon Walsh & Todd Barry

Venue: Esther’s Follies

Thoughts: I can’t review comedy (especially as a fellow comedian). So I’ll say this, this was the third time I’ve seen Brendon and he’s still consistently hilarious. As for Todd Barry, who poked fun at the lady up front who was taking pictures of him with an iPad, was gloriously dry and gut bustingly amusing. See both these guys do comedy when they come to your town.

Sponsor: Dumb People That Take Pictures with iPads

MP3: Todd Barry – Nurse’s T-Shirt_Kid’s T-Shirt from From Heaven (2008)

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Friends

Friends

Friends

Band: FRIENDS

Venue: Hype Hotel

Thoughts: Okay, I understand what I’m seeing here; It’s Brooklyn indie-pop that takes all the accessible parts of Santigold and combines it with Cults. Sound a little annoying? Yeah it kind of was. It reminded me of what would happen if Best Coast turned into an electro-pop group. I’m not going to say hipster though. I hate the word and the general aspect of the definition but …but…. Jesus Christ could you be more of a band that just stumbled out of a Urban Outfitters? Anyway, they were okay.

Sponsor: Williamsburg

Website

MP3: FRIENDS – Friend Crush from Friend Crush (Single) (2011)

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Miike Snow

Band: Miike Snow

Venue: Hype Hotel

Thoughts: So the main sponsor for the Hype Hotel was Taco Bell and if you got into the venue, you would receive free food from the aforementioned fast food conglomerate. Either a regular taco, bean burrito, or (GASP) a Doritos Taco. So like the idiot that just tries anything once no matter what it is, I had a couple of these things with a few Miller High Lifes and an unhealthy dose of dehydration. Cue Miike Snow please! At this point all critical cynicism had departed my body and all I could focus on was “Oh My God they’re playing Burial!” and “Oh My God I don’t feel so good!” The familiarity with the single machine that is their 2009 debut was in full effect on me and the rest of the hyped up crowd of SXSWers. It was a satisfying close for anyone that night.

Sponsor: Diarrhea

Website

  • http://twitter.com/jess_hallett Jess Hallett

    Sounds about right. I can be seen in the first HFE photo!

  • Non-materialistic

    if Friends looked like they walked outta Urban Outfitters, then Shearwater looks like they just walked out of the Gap. I’d see a Friends anyday over a Shearwater show. Good post otherwise. Lates.