Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Subways - March 29, 2006 Richards On Richards

I will go on record as saying that although it's still March, The Subways were the best show I'll see this year.
The Subways
The Subways3 copy

The Subways1 copy

I love the album Young For Eternity. It mixes up Ramones like Punk/Pop like Holiday with subtle emotional pop gems like With You. They've also got the whole youthful rockstar thing down to an art and it seemed genuine to me. It was one of those shows where you see someone just on the cusp of greatness. They were having a great time and were so happy to be there. They closed the show with the Oasis epic lik Rock and Roll Queen (of course) that saw Billy Lunn jump from the drum kit, climb the railings to the upper level of Richards, climb
over the bar, and finally end with a stage dive.
Charlotte Copper
The Subways2 copy

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City and Colour - March 26, 2006 Mesa Luna

Save Your Scissors is such an amazing song that it wasn't hard to believe how big a deal Dallas Green has become.
Dallas Green
City and Colour - March 26, 2006 at Mesa Luna
What's amazing to me is that he's also part of Alexisonfire which is like the polar opposite of City and Colour. It was just him and a guitar, and lots of adoring fans.
City and Colour - March 26, 2006 at Mesa Luna
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

SXSW - Sunday March 19, 2006

SXSW is actually officially over on Saturday, but the unofficial end is when Alejandro Escovedo plays his show at the Continental Club of South Congress.

We got there in time for Gordie Johnson's set with his new band Grady
Grady at The Continental2
Grady at The Continental2

After 10 years with Big Sugar, he moved to Austin and formed Grady, a chance to keep it simple and keep it loud.

It's true I'm not a big Big Sugar fan, but Grady was nothing but bad noise. It was so loud I put paper in my ears.

Charlie Sexton and Nick Tremulis were next doing a couple of songs
Charlie Sexton
Charlie Sexton at the Continental
Charlie Sexton at the Continental

Finally what everyone had come for. After an introduction which made reference to Alejandro's recent illness, he took to the stage with his band which included 2 cellists and a violinist.
Alejandro Escovedo
Alejandro Escovedo at the Continental
Alejandro Escovedo at the Continental

Alejandro Escovedo at the Continental
Alejandro Escovedo at the Continental

After an amazing hour plus set he returned to the stage with a number of special guests including everyone who had played that night, plus Garland Jeffries
Alejandro Escovedo at the Continental
Alejandro Escovedo at the Continental

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Monday, March 27, 2006

SXSW - Saturday March 18, 2006

After an amazing dinner at California Pizza Kitchen (no joke. Don't judge me!!) we headed out to Numo's to catch Moneen. It was very dark and photo ops were not really an option, but I did capture this moment of Chris Hughes. Dreads are fun.
SXSW -Moneen at Numo's
I wanted to go see Small Sins (formerly Ladies and Gentlemen) but the line up to the Parish was enormous. We went to see a few songs of a few acts before deciding that maybe the could badge our way in to the Parish.
Small Sins
SXSW -Small Sins at the Parish
I'd never seen them before despite the fact that I loved the CD and they'd been through Vancouver about a half dozen time in the past year.

Saturday was clearly the busiest night as we also had trouble getting into Emo's Annex for the Pink Mountaintops.
Pink Mountaintops

I had heard one song and loved it but was surprized to see them in the flesh. They sound a lot like Kings Of Leon, but better and look like they'll be a jam band but aren't. They were a revelation. Of course I found out later they are a real buzz band, and I see things about them everywhere now, but I'm really happy I got to see them here.

Last stop was Antone's for Robert Pollard.
Robert Pollard
SXSW -Robert Pollard at Antone's

Former leader of the legendary Guided By Voices, he's obviously still got lots of rabid fans because the place was packed.
Before the show even started I was worried as the Norwegian guy in front of me was flinging his arms around like a mad man.
SXSW -Robert Pollard at Antone's
He took to the stage with about a tray of a dozen, what looked liked, double shots of something and of course a copius amount of beer was already on the stage. His drinking is as legendary as his music which is saying a lot. When Barb saw him in Vancouver he'd apparently downed 2 dozen beer BEFORE he got on stage.

Of course he was amazing. A great way to end the official SXSW events..

Stay tuned for more on the Sunday night at the Continental Club with the legendary Alejandro Escobar, Charlie Sexton, more...
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Sunday, March 26, 2006

SXSW - Friday Night, March 17, 2006

This was the best night for me. It started at Bourbon Rocks for The Lovetones from Australia. Now Bourbon Rocks is a strange venue as the stage has a fence around it, and the two bands I saw there had lots of members so it was like watching them in a pen.
The Lovetones
SXSW - Lovetones at Bourbon Rocks
Very educational banter about Aussie slangs and numerous guests appearances which made the stage so crowded the band was forced to all play facing the same direction.
SXSW - Lovetones at Bourbon Rocks
Matthew, looks and acts a lot like Joel, formerly of Brian Jonestown Massacre. (Watch DiG! if you want to see for yourself) I wasn't surprized to hear that the Lovetones have toured with BJM many times. Of course Matthew had skills beyond the tambourine.

This was followed by one my highlights of the night, OK GO!
I've seen them before in 2002 opening for the Vines in Vancouver.
Damian Kulash circa 2002 in Vancouver
Damian Kulash-OK GO
They had magnetism and stage presence then, and I totally remember their set from 2002. There was also dancing (though not a routine) after the show, so the roots were always there. ANYWAY, this show was fabulous! Damian is wicked funny(drunk) and genuine pearls of wisdom included..."celebrating St Patrick's day during SXSW is like celebrating your birthday on Christmas" SXSW -OK Go at Dirty Dog
Mid show, he sent a girl from the crowd to get the band double whisky's ("I'm a rich rock star, I can afford it") then confused another girl for the first girl and said "I don't mean to bother you but you aren't going to get those drinks are you." Other snippets. "Last time we came through Austin we were arrested for wrestling naked in the meridian of the freeway....It was rush hour." Now I think it DID actually happen, but I think it was the crew. To see more about Damian's ACTUAL arrest in Orlando the week before, click HERE
SXSW -OK Go at Dirty Dog
The paisley lighting complimenting their gorgeous attire complete with really tight stovetop pants really added to the entire groove.

They ended the show with "The Backyard Dance" If you don't know what I'm talking about or are wondering what the hell is going on in these following photos the please click HERE
SXSW -OK Go at Dirty Dog
SXSW -OK Go at Dirty Dog

Off to see Brian Jonestown Massacre. I'd never heard of them before DiG! but I was really excited to see them now. (If you haven't seen the movie do yourself a favour and find it now!!). I got in easily enough, but was stuck in the another sub room and stuck in my first real line to get into the main room. I found out later that the back entrance was a free for all, but it ended up not mattering as I did get into the main room before the show started.
Anoton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre
Brain Jonestown Massacre - Bourbon Rocks
I ended up more or less behind the stage, that same cage/pen stage I was talking about with the Lovetones as the place was packed. Anton got on stage, made an elaborate show of having his shirt removed, and proceeded to have the stage lights turned completely off. I guess I was expecting (hoping) some crazy Anton, but he was pretty cool and as promised played the sitar.
Brain Jonestown Massacre - Bourbon Rocks
Last stop of the night was to see a band called the Feeling from the UK. Another highlight in an evening of highlights.
The Feeling
The Feeling at Blender Bar At the Ritz
Dan Gillespie has a wonderfully expressive voice and performs with the gestures of an actor. Sewn, their last song, almost made me cry. I met him after the show and when I started to babble Barb had to drag me away.
The Feeling at Blender Bar At the Rit

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

SXSW - Friday Day, March 17, 2006

So we got up really early because we'd heard that Neil Young was going to make a surprize appearance at the KGSR radio show breakfast that had been happening every morning during SXSW. We got there at 7:00 and found a bit of real estate, and waited. I'll save you suspense and tell you that Neil Young was a no show.
Lyle Lovett was there as a guest weather man and the morning's headlining performer.
Lyle Lovett
SXSW - Lyle Lovett
The show opened with Rocco Deluca, who I liked. This was followed by Gemma Hays, and the amazing KT Tunstall who's like a little one girl band.

Governor of Texas hopeful Kinky Friedman made an appearance as well. Kinky is everywhere. Kinky is everything. Kinky is everybody. Kinky is still the King.
Kinky Friedman
SXSW - Kinky Friedman
Sure there was no Neil Young, but there was a great performance by Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, and Rodney Crowell.
SXSW - Lyle Lovett
Home for a nap, spent an insane amount of time(and thankfully not money) at Flatstock and then the NXNE party at Caswell House.
Barb took this photo of Cuff The Duke.

SXSW - Thursday, March 16, 2006

So, Okay, I'm using my new camera for the second day, so you'll notice a few less heads lopped off, but take note of some serious closeups as I learned how to use this thing.

First up, a day show at Jovita's. I love Marah, and they didn't disappoint. It was actually better then show I saw in Vancouver, maybe because Serge wasn't sick, or maybe it was because the crowd was crazy for them. This would of course be serious closeup number 1.
SXSW- Marah at Jovita's
SXSW- Marah at Jovita's

We hung out at Freddies next door after that, and had an amazing chicken fried portabello mushroom cap which was the closest I got to a vegetable in 12 days.

Anyway, moving on the Opal Divine, which was near where we were staying. We caught a band from Winnipeg called Inward Eye which were pretty heavy and one of the Canadian Buzz bands.
Inward Eye
SXSW - Inward Eye at Opal Divine
more head lopping...
SXSW - Inward Eye at Opal Divine
and a photo of a drummer for Deb, who notices that I never take any.
SXSW - Inward Eye at Opal Divine
SXSW - Inward Eye at Opal Divine
The Royal Highness are from Denmark, and part of the EMI family, so we totally checked them out. This was only the second place that ever stopped me from taking photos. The other place was at Dirty Dog while watching the incredibly crappy Office.
The Royal Highness
SXSW - The Royal Highness at  The Drink
Yup, more head lopping and drummers.
SXSW - The Royal Highness at  The Drink
SXSW - The Royal Highness at  The Drink
We got totally lost finding the Oslo which ended up being on the way to La Zona Rosa, which was convenient. Vallejo was one of my one song picks, and they turned out to be pretty good. The nicest thing about them though was that they played at a club that actually had seating which was amazing.
SXSW - Vallejo at Oslo
IV Thieves (Nic Armstrong)
SXSW - IV Thieves (Nic Armstrong)at La Zona Rosa
SXSW -  IV Thieves at La Zona Rosa
The thing about SXSW is that they seem to have all the good shows at the same time, so decisions need to be made. We chose Kris Kristofferson because he's totally cool, and because it was close to home.
Kris Kristofferson
SXSW - Kris Kristofferson at La Zona Rosa
New Camera
SXSW - Kris Kristofferson at La Zona Rosa
Similar to my old camera. Hmmm.
Off to bed because we'd heard that Neil Young was going to be playing a surprize set at this radio breakfast that they had every morning during SXSW.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

SXSW- Wednesday March 15, 2006

I'm going to try to post a day to day account of my SXSW experience. I'll start by saying the camera was brand new, and I wasn't expecting to take so many band photos as I'd been under the impression that cameras weren't allowed without a special press tag, but I guess they don't really care about little point and shoots. If there isn't a photo posted, they sucked. Band or photo?? You can use your imagination.

It all started today. We kicked off by going to the Canadian Consulate party where we received red tags that said "I talked to a Canadian". I don't know what that was all about. Anyway, we followed that up by going to the Canada Blast party for BBQ and tunes.

The Trews

SXSW -The Trews at Canada Blast
The High Dials

Magneta Lane
SXSW-Magneta Lane at Canada Blast

The Beastie Boys aren't my favourite band in the world, but I think their videos are amazing, and I was intrigued to see them, so went to their Q&A panel.

Genuine sample question....
"Do you guys smoke pot, and if so, can we hang out later?"
The Beastie Boys
The Beastie Boys Q&A at SXSW
Despite questions like these, they were really humourous, and light hearted, and I was glad I made the effort to see them.

First show of the evening I went to was Mary Lou Lord at the Soho Lounge. She followed this up by often busking on 6th St which was pretty cool.
Mary Lou Lord
SXSW-Mary Lou Lord at the Soho Lounge
Modena Vox

Although most shows were SXSW, I also saw a couple of non SXSW showcases including a set by Modena Vox.

First surprize of the night was a band from Darlington UK called We Start Fires. They were really loud, but pretty good. The BBC was filming a documentary about them, and I was asked to give an interview, which I quickly declined.
We Start Fires

SXSW-We Start Fires at the Parish II
My favourite show of the night though was a band called The Chalets from Ireland. They were kind of a combination of the B52's and Abba. Now this description has thus far not convinced anyone that they could have been any good, but they were so joyful, and the songs were so full of power pop goodness that I encourage anyone to seek them out at the link below.
The Chalets

Here's where I learned valuable lesson number one. The bands you aren't expecting turn out to be fabulous....

and the bands you are looking forward to will often let you down. Case in point, the Young Knives from Oxford UK. I had d/l'd one song from the SXSW site, and really liked it, but I learned you can't really judge from one song.
The Young Knives

From there we went and saw Belle and Sebastian at Stubbs, The Pink Spiders at the Blender Bar and we tried to go see the Secret Machines at La Zona Rosa, but the "band" on before them was still playing (he was a house DJ) and it was looking like another hour til the Machines, so we called it a night.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Been in Austin, Texas now for 4 days, and I'm already tired, and the festival hasn't even started yet. I also have a killer sunburn from todays relaxation by the pool. I'm radioactive.

So far I've seen Lyle Lovett, Charlie Sexton, and Mojo Nixon.

I've seen no live music yet though. Tonight, we're going to see Bob Schnieder, an Austin favourite.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Supergrass - Feb 26, 2006 The Commodore Vancouver

Supergrass are one of my favourite bands. I didn't see them last time they were in Vancouver, and I still regret it. Life On Other Planets is one of my desert island CD picks.
Supergrass concerts
Gaz Coombes

We missed Pilotdrift. In fact, we were so used to the headliner starting at 11:30 that we almost missed the show!

The show opened with Gaz alone on stage with his guitar and his solo performance of St Petersberg. Song by song the rest of the band joined in.

All in all, an amazing performance. Road To Rouen wasn't my favourite album, but I was suprized how much more I liked those songs when I heard them live. Gaz has a really remarkable voice.