Second Opinion, Kate's Take!
My time at SXSW these past two years has been made easier, much more enjoyable, and more of a challenge to keep up, thanks to my wonderful niece Kate Wright, a grad student at the University of Texas. Here is her experiences and review of day two:
Long day yesterday, but mostly a good one. Spent most of the day at a label show, then a little more travel in the evening.
Peter Bradley Adams: (Friends) First act I caught of the Sarathan Records show. Pretty standard acoustic boy rock, but the singer is very cute, so he may go far.
Jason and Rachel Trachtenberg: (Friends) These two are part of the Trachtenberg Family Slide Show singers (they write songs about photoslides they buy at garage sales). Children's songs and really funny acoustic geek folk rock. He closed it with an incredible drunken frat boy version of "She Loves Me". .
Two Loons For Tea: (Friends) The owners of the label and the people I made friends with, which got me in. Nice trance-y alternative rock, with a vibraphone, if it hadn't been for the instrumentation I'd have called it soul. Sara's got a serious set of pipes. Like a more get up and go Sim Redmond Band.
The Ettes: (Friends) Way to go for three-chord punk, with a really great girl drummer. Couldn't hear myself think, but lots of fun.
Feral Children: (Friends) Weird alternative rock, like Modest Mouse crossed with the Clash, but doing some very cool Pixies-type things. Unfortunately, the volume's up to eleven. Went outside and wound up getting interviewed for a documentary about live music.
The War Tapes: (Friends) Lo-fi rock, a little too cool for school the way that lo-fi rockers seem to be. Great voice on the singer though.
Dell the Funkee Homosapien: (Auditorium Shores) Don't know much about hip-hop, but these guys were funny and had great energy and crowd interaction. And decent sound set-up, in stark contrast to...
Spoon: (Auditorium Shores) Okay, this ticked me off. I was really looking forward to this show. And the band was putting on a great show, but I couldn't hear it. I've never had a show so completely ruined by the sound guys, who need to be fired for this. No vocals, no rhythm guitars, no horns. In contrast to the rest of the venues, Auditorium Shores is much closer to your standard festival, open air, big beer lines. Also, because it was free, it was full of people who just wanted to get out, and didn't necessarily want to watch the show. We left after six songs, and could hear the vocals better in the parking garage.
Tim Fite: (Cedar Street Courtyard) I'd still be furious about Spoon if this show hadn't been so good and if we hadn't shown up just in time to get in. Really great show with harsh vocals and a range from hip hop to ballad.
Man Man: (Cedar Street Courtyard) These guys were the soundtrack to Hell's Carnival Sideshow. Freaky ass funky punky stuff with horns and flutes and a xylophone. Great energy. Kelly bought the CD.
The Weaker Thans: (Cedar Street Courtyard) Funny Canadian alt-rockers. The bassist was having more fun than any other person in Austin. Songs about curling and love lost. Wound up watching most of it sitting on the stage because apparently the tiny amount of ground my feet take up was asking too much. A lot of fun.
The Clicks: (The Dirty Dog Bar) Pretty standard chick punk. There may have been some passion, or they might just have been drunk. It's hard to tell. My energy's starting to go.
Fastball: (The Dirty Dog Bar) Kelly really wanted to see them. They do a good set, but it's so weird to hear their hits and not have them be a bad cover. The club is only quarter full and half of the people here aren't paying attention. I'm exhausted, but I enjoy the show.
Number of shows: 13 (today) 22 (total)
Number of CDS: 2 (bought) 5 (schwag! Uncle Scott also got me an autographed Jesca Hoop EP)
Total Interviews Given: 1
Number of Times Walked Sixth Street: 4 (today) 8 (total)