Not wind nor rain nor exhaustion could stop the SXSW music fest in Austin from happening… although maybe it sent more people to the indoor venues as the outdoor ones got muddy really fast. Here’s a bit of the Friday action to report for you from Mo.
Philadelphia’s dream punk group Creepoid turned day into night at the noonish show put on by Brooklyn Vegan, all melodic noise and smoke machines and tastiness.
Another outfit from Philly, Marian Hill, is normally a duo but played as a trio this outing, for the ever important addition of a live saxophone or bass. Think if the XX had a jolt of caffeine and were more sexed up, and you’re getting there with Marian Hill’s slinky yet minimal grooves.
Then on to see what our favorite California boosters, Best Coast, were up to. The new single, “California Nights,” sounded amazing live, and the old tracks were fun as usual too.
Out to the muddy stage of the Bay Area’s K. Flay, whose bass boomed so loud the puddle vibrated visibly as did anyone’s eardrums in a 100 foot radius. Just further testimony to the hip hop singer’s badassery.
Colombian born, Virginian raised Kali Uchis did her sultry alt soul thing, all day glo and retro with modern electro twists that kept her cooing and fawning for an excited party crowd.
The much buzzed about singer songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. did a very low key, piano based set at the Central Presbyterian Church, an appropriate environment for his hushed tones and mellow vibes.
French Cuban twinset Ibeyi used the same venue for a much more spirited show, with the two sisters dancing up and down the aisles demanding the now standing audience to sing along with them. Ranging from a soulful take of Bjork like delicacies without the extremes, or solid world influenced grooves amazing harmonies, this was an excellent way to get people to enjoy church.
South Korea’s Big Phony (by way of LA & NYC) is the project of Bobby Chan, a sweet singer/songwriter who decided to give dreampop a try and found people loved it. Maybe because it sounds pretty awesome?
And finally to indulge in a bit of nostalgia, LA’s thundering space rockers Failure played an epic 90 minute set (, which included an encore, unheard of in the ADD scheduling of SXSW) deep in a small Austin warehouse to clamoring fans. They were also treated to a new track, “Hot Traveler,” as the band is working on their 4th album (the last one was in 1996). The perfect exit to a cold, misty Austin night.