Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 3 - Part 1 - Thurs 15 SXSW

First thing up on Thursday the 14th was the I Am The Programmer Showcase at The Vortex

The venue was a few minutes away from the main drag, and provided a bit of a break from the more chaotic atmosphere of the 6th street area.

Just inside the outdoor deck area were quaint furnishings not usually found in most rock music clubs. 

A mirror provides reflective photo opportunities.

The bar area - soon to be bustling - we had a tasty cheese and cracker platter there.

I Am The Programmer  is the ongoing musical vision of Ryan L. Abato.

Ryan organized and presented this Showcase with a relaxed professionalism that kept everything running smoothly.

The first band to play were the wonderful Dead Leaf Echo

 Ana, LG, James and Christo delivered crackling set of their best songs
Other than LG having to protect himself from microphone shocks by way of a towel wrapped around it, the band played a high energy set that showcased their increasingly appealing sound.

Enjoying the show were the members of other bands scheduled to play later on - including the lovely dreampop duo Lilies From Mars

Dead Leaf Echo's sound has become more streamlined since my early days of hearing them.  The songs are full of hooks and the frequent dual tandem vocals of Ana and LG emphasize a more defined melodic quality.

In addition to great guitar playing and exquisite vocals, Ana's tambourine work on one song provides an essential rhythmic quality.

Recent addition drummer James plays with the sensitivity and skill of a seasoned professional.

Ana and LG do "guitar battle"

Christo, as always, exhibits a mastery over his instrument that complements every song he plays on.

Following DLE over on the other stage were Washington, DC's The Mittenfields

Led by Dave Mann, the group played through a crisp set of songs from their latest release.

Back inside the bar area, ornate photo collages could be found throughout the premises.

Another band performing were Australia's Alpine.

They presented a high energy show, have great songs and appeared to be very much enjoying themselves

Really nice people who were a lot of fun to talk to as well.

Also performing was the synth pop duo Silver Swans

They had a bit of an "EDM" sound to them, with strong female vocals that exhibited well-crafted melodies.

Taking a break after their set, we headed into the main part of town to recharge body and devices at the Whole Foods Green Zone

Free water and power charges were quite popular with this active festival crowd.

Then it was deeper into the thick of things in center city, and the preparation for one of the biggest, most significant nights of the week.

Austin Legends honored on their own wall of fame


Patricia Mena said...

Great one, Dave, I like the pic about collage on black and white, i think that makes very special the decoration.
All photos are really nice. Must have been an interesting experience :)

DaveCromwell said...

I'm not surprised that someone with an artistic eye such as yours, Paty - would like that b&w collage. Yeah, something about it fascinated me.

As for the overall experience - I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all. These recaps are as much theraputic for me, as (hopefully) informative to anyone looking at it.

Andy Von Pip said...

Crazy place !! Maybe I'll make it over before I retire .. :)

DaveCromwell said...

"Sometimes crazy people - come in to my space - I got to handshake"

Come on over next year, Andy! We'll set the blog-o-sphere on fire with our coverage.

Anonymous said...

Interesting venue! I really like the photos of the bands.

Anna Bouchard said...

Wonderful photo essay, Dave! Thanks for reviving my memories of the day. DLE, Lilies on Mars and Alpine were all such a treat to see in such a beautiful and well-thought out setting. Kudos to Ryan Abato for that. And thanks for giving me a peek into the artfully decorated men's room. ;) I had heard it was cool looking, and I was dying to see it. :)

Mr Smork said...

nice caps.
seems like it was a really good say.
good piece.

Ivanka said...

so cool ! i really like these photo sessions from you Dave! looks like the musicians and you had lots of fun:) I'ma bit jealous (in a good way):)

DaveCromwell said...

Anna so nice to see you here! I'm glad I could give you an insight to that otherwise unatainable view ;-)

Yes, it really was a lovely outdoor setting for all of those great shows. Ryan did a wonderful job.

Ivanka, I know that jealous (in a good way) feeling (and the other one too) - fortunately this was the good kind.

William said...

Great as always Crommeister- glad to see some Aussies representing- I'm wondering if you got to catch Pond while you were there? I think theres a couple guys from Tame Impala in it- I think you would possibly enjoy if you don't know them

DaveCromwell said...

I was at an event where the TI/Pond guys were scheduled to play later, Will. But I had to run over to something else ;-) (the constant activity there)

I did have a nice chat with your countrymen in Alpine - about a number of bands from your land - that made an impression on me (like, Bridezilla, for instance).

William said...

Oh yea Bridezilla are great- they are friends of friends, I have met them once somewhere at some party

Anonymous said...

Great entry, Dave. As always you do a great job recapturing the atmosphere of the events described. Lots of great photos here.

DaveCromwell said...

If there were only one singular goal here - it would be to (as you say) "recapture the atmosphere of the events," Eagle. So it pleases me to know this is being accomplished.

As for Bridezilla, William - they toured the US two years ago, and I was fortunate enough to catch a couple of their shows. Good stuff!