As is often the case during this SXSW marathon - you target a band to see - head to that venue - then are delightfully surprised by other artists you hadn't really planned on seeing, but make an impression, nevertheless.
And so it was after a full day of Day Parties, its off to the night portion of festivities.
Now completely worn out with running from venue on one side of town to another - I stake out one particular event to see a number of bands - the Killer Tofu! event presented by IguessI'mFloating and BigUglyYellowCouch at Lipstick24.
Starting the night's proceedings is a band called Secret Mountains
from Baltimore, Maryland
This was one of those bands I hadn't planned on seeing,
but left me impressed with their overall sound.
Next up was Guards
This is a band I did plan on seeing, having been hyped to their existence by dutiful PR Reps. I've been listening to their album for a short while and it made enough of an impression on me to make me want to see them.
Although they appeared to faithfully recreate the songs I had heard on their album, and even though they employed a somewhat interesting visual via the woman in the photo there - playing some kind of sit down stringed instrument - I found their overall stage prescence a little too "relaxed." I do think they have made a fine sounding album, however.
What I did find visually amusing was the fact that Steve there, played this slightly too-small guitar. I'd never really seen one with a body that undersized. I suppose it has been custom made for him. It seemed even more odd since he is actually rather tall. Once again, faithful renditions of the album tracks were delivered.
Out of Canada comes the electro-party act called
This "band" consists of one mastermind/vocalist/synth player, who, dressed in some kind of "fairy" costume, leads a pack of shirtless drummers/dancers and all around maniacs who thoroughly engage the crowd.
There are many props in this show - all gleefully stabbed out into the audience for maximum participation.
The light show was dazzling, and "fairy man" there was a hyper ball of energy.
I actually had some advance tracks from Gobble Gobble via various compliations, but didn't really know what to make of this helium-voiced hyper-dance music.
However, seeing the crazed live show - and how the audience insanely engaged with the dancer/percussionist/prop-ists - was a truly impressive thing indeed!
Gobble Gobble is one of those bands who clearly fall in the "much better live" than on record category. I highly recommend seeing this live show - at least once.
It should be noted that the venue Lipstick24 (like many in Austin here) have both an inside and outside stage. The shows were staggered so you could catch most all of them - simply by running back and forth between the two stages (not unlike Siren Fest in New York).
Knowing that New York's own Hooray For Earth was soon performing on the outdoor stage,
I hurried out there, just in time to catch their set.
Performing with HFE were the two vocalists from the closely related band Zambri
The Zambri girls add an even fuller element to HFE's vocal sound
Lead HFE Noel deftly incorporates crunchy guitar textures into the bands percussion and synth heavy sound.
Their sound is unique and worth checking out.
Kim and I had bonded the day before at the outdoor Vandelles show here, so to commemorate our newfound friendship, we took this photo.
Speaking of The Vandelles (who were scheduled to play later on this night), drummer extraordinaire and style icon Honey Valentine was spotted wearing her shimmy dress.
Soon another band that has been getting a lot of buzz lately - The Vacant Lots
took to the stage.
The VL's employ a dark, reverberated, hypnotically repetitive sound.
Frontman Jared possesses possibly one of the coolest vintage guitars around.
Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground's influence continues to inspire new generations of musicians. And we thank him for that.
New York Ladies love dark rock
Dead Leaf Echo's Ana B, Honey, Lulu and EE Presents Marta
Salt and Pepper
Finally it is time for The Vandelles !
Frequent viewers of this blog may be getting the impression
that I am quite the admirer of this band.
They would not be wrong
Jas and Honey
You gotta love that shimmy dress
Texas love dark surf from New York
Its a mixture of "yee ya!" yahoos and decadently styled femme fatales
Marta shows how casual rock should be done
Meanwhile The Vandelles thunder through another glorious set
Lulu Lapin is the new dark-haired style icon