Monday, March 19, 2012

South By South West 2012 - Day 1

Tuesday, March 13th began the music portion of Austin, Texas' wonderous and maddenly chaotic South By South West festival.  Having made plans to attend all six days of this gloriously shambolic event, I hit the ground running early that day.

Packed and loaded, that silver bird made sure everyone made it to Texas on schedule.

The Texas crest lets you know you've arrived in the correct location.

Articles of the tourism variety can be had here, as once might expect.

Guitar themed eateries are more the rule than the exception here.

But I suppose when your baggage claim area has guitar sculptures anchoring it

One is quick to realize that laying at least partial claim to the title "music city" is serious business.

Bags in hand and hitting the ground running, I catch a ride with the legend that is Dead Leaf Echo and Vandelles guitarist Christo Buffan and head towards the action.

I headed off to catch the early part of Steven Matrick's Pianos and Prefix mag presents at Club Deville on Red River Street.

An early evening performance by local New York grunge n' electronic purveyors Tiny Victories set the night off just right.

They channel a big sound for just two dudes (though it should be noted there is quite a bit of electronic equipment there).

A spirited set concluded I set up to catch another performance by the next act (my first in Austin of theirs, however) - the glorious ExitMusic

Having developed a sincere appreciation for what this band presents over the many months preceding, I know what kind of quality to expect from these Brooklyn based musicians.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist Aleksa Palladino is the central focus, as her presence commands attention.

A gentle confidence is initially felt

The songs build to a heightened intensity

The other half of the songwriting team - guitarist Devon Church - delivers punch and power with star-like quality.

Together they create a most appealing tandem, both with unique songwriting and intense performance.

Percussionist Dru Prentiss adds rhythmic patterns that provide a fluid base for Aleksa and Devon's sonic forays.

The hooded druid

Back out onto the street for more adventures

Passing up the opportunity to get a tatoo and/or piercing - I know soon that another fave band of mind (this time an actual Austin based one) is about to play at The Bat Bar - so off I go.
The venue is layed out in a clever way that allows those watching from the street (and who cannot get in due to capacity already reached) to watch from wide open doors just behind the drummer.

Ume is already on stage and rockin' as I arrive - and if you've even attended one of their shows, then you know how intense it gets.

Having the unique perspective of practically sitting in the drum chair as the band plays is something of a magical experience.

This band kicks ass in so many ways that you practically have to catch your breath inbetween each song.

An appreciative (and some, no doubt - awe struck) packed house witness the throttle and mayhem

The Bat Bar experiences all that Ume has to deliver.

Lauren never disappoints

After the show I catch up with drummer Rachel - and help out with the gear.

Catching a breeze with Rachel

Then over to the East Side to catch my ride and prepare for a very busy Wednesday


Anonymous said...

Cool photos Dave! It's nice to see the things you've seen, looks like it's been a lot of fun.

DaveCromwell said...

Thanks, Anouk.

It was mad crazy fun!

Patricia Mena said...

Wow Dave, great and wonderful photos! That shows you had a superexpialidous experience there, i'm glad you could have fun moments.

DaveCromwell said...

Paty! As a writer myself - I have to commend you on having the confidence to use a word like "superexpialidous" ;-)

I may have to attempt it at one point in my journeys.

Mr Smork said...

nice caops, dave.
those guitars on airport looked cool and promising. :)
and i see you catch some bands/musicians you wrote before. i think it is cool.
did you saw some new cool bands? ;)

DaveCromwell said...

I love those guitar sculptures at the airport!

Yes, in addition to making sure to see many of the bands I know and love - I also discovered many new artists to now know and love!

All will be revealed daily here in the photo recap blogs ;-)

William said...

One day there will be festival called South By South Cromwell... held in Cromwell, CT - Until then this will have to do - Looking forward to reading the rest of your updates

DaveCromwell said...

I too look forward to that day, Will ;-)

I just got done reading about the history of Pitchfork - and would like to know what the secret steps were involved in going from "some dude with a blog" - to a million dollar (direct quote) entity.

Till that day - there will be Cromness here in my humble outpost for all to witness.

Unknown said...

Yes, great pictures, Dave...looking forward to more coverage!

Anonymous said...

This is great, Dave. Other posters have already noticed that once again your photos and writings caught the atmosphere of the events described- and it will be great to see more of this.

Andy Von Pip said...

A nice travelogue of Day 1 at SXSW. Look forward to the rest over the next few days !

DaveCromwell said...

To quote a band I have the utmost respect for (Ume) - "the task makes me happy, when energy's lacking."