Monday, March 23, 2009

Ben Meyercord's SXSW 2009 Experience Days 2 to Day 5

Day Two

Day two was not very productive as far as music seeing goes. I saw a stripped down version of Department of Eagles ( a Grizzly Bear side project) at Howe Gelb, again at Waterloo, which was awesome. I love anything that man does. He does not give a god damn what anyone thinks. I guess you could say, he keeps it real. Then we went back to Adam's Grandparents for a meal. Then I went to the Parlour and played a very short (2 songs) Meyercord set and a regular Y La Bamba set. It was a pretty intimate setting which was fine.

Day Three

Day three was way fun. At about 1PM my band mates dropped me off downtown after I expressed that all I wanted to do was see shows. They went and did nerdy band stuff like got to music stores and stuff like that. I on the other hand, with out any sort of schedule, went around to see what I could see. I saw a lot of people and a lot of bands. One band, whose name I don't remember, was performing next to an open window which at the climax of the set was jumped in and out of several times wrapping the mic cord through said window. It was pretty crazy. Then I walked around some more and ran into Shelly Short and Alexis Gideon from Portland. Then at the same time, I was still talking to them, Casey Jarman, of Local Cut, showed up. I hung out with him for a little bit at the The Sidebar for a bit waiting for a band called Here We Go Magic. There I also saw Rob of CD Forge and End Hits. After waiting around for what seemed a bit too long. I bid farewell to Casey and headed over to Emo's Annex to catch Blind Pilot, the local Portland band that I seem to never be able to catch at home.

At the Blind Pilot show I ran into Matt the Booker for Doug Fir. He was enjoying the show to the point of mouthing the words of Blind Pilot. The rest of the guys from AristeiA showed up a little bit after Blind Pilot finished. We all gave high fives to Matt and headed out to see what else we could find.

Adam suggested that we go to Lovejoy's because it was his favorite bar when he lived in Austin. We had know idea what we were getting into. There was a band playing Bang Camaro. It was nuts. They are a butt rock band from Brooklyn with six lead singers. I mean they all had their own style going and poses and everything, but they sang in unison. Adam and Brandon were hooked and ended up splitting the cost of their new album Bang Camaro II. It comes with a documentary and everything. We left feeling like we had discovered the next big thing. Later we found out that they were featured on Rock Band 2 and The Sims 3. Crazy.

After that we headed over to The Parlour where AristeiA performed a set. I had the pleasant surprise of some family showing up. The band that played after us Cartright used to play an open mic that I ran in Denton. That was a pleasant surprise. There were a good amount of people and everyone was really cool. All the bands were good. It seems like everyone we talk to is either jealous of or is considering moving to Portland. It is kinda cool to to rep a cool place. The night ended with a hip-hop act named Phranchyze who through out a very large t-shirt to an inebriated Brandon Gordon of AristeiA who immediately put it on and looked like a little boy with a goofy beard. He danced around continuously "dusting his shoulders off". It was a good time.

After ward we ran into a band called See Me River. They are Band of Horses related band from Seattle. We talked to them earlier in the night when the roadie guy noticed our Oregon plates. Pacific North West Brethren unite! We traded CDs and talked about the people we kinda know in common. They mentioned a band that I have written about here on CIMTB called Spinning Wheels (if you guys read this, what's up?). Then we drove to where we were staying at Nick's house.

Day Four

Day four was a busy one. Honestly I don't remember how it started. I do remember parking the van very far from where anything was and then catching Asobi Seksu. We kinda know them we talked to them a little bit after their set and then wen t on a very long walk to check out this pedestrian bridge that we heard some bands play. Then we took a very long post-Taco Cabana walk back to the heart of things after seeing the poster and guitar show at the convention center (not much to report here, I mean it was cool but whatevs).

We were able to catch our host, Nick, play trombone in one of the many bands he plays in, The Low Lows. They were really good. They had six people on stage and the lead singer apologized that they were missing two integral members. It was a very full sound including two trumpets to complete the brass section (if you include Nick's trombone).

Then We saw Explosions in the Sky in an outdoor venue that held 100,000 people easy. It was crazy. They sound was no good, but it was cool to see fireworks at the end of their set. Very appropriate.

We then headed over to that Pedestrian bridge we scoped out earlier. We eventually found out that there was a show planned there that we were able to jump on. There were like eight other bands including a girl who used to live in Portland called US Girls. There was also a punk rock band called Tyvek who played a showcase earlier that week with Portland's Eat Skull. I learned that the bassist for Eat Skull sprained his ankle. I hope he gets better, cause I am sure it sucks to tour with an ailment like that. We met a lot of cool people and stayed as long as we could but called it a night at 3 am.

Day Five

Day five we kinda took it easy. We had some Tex Mex.We only saw one show and was a Red 7. It was the first and only show I payed for all week. But it was such a cool show. Providing you like metal or post-rock or all those bands that straddle the two. The four main bands that I had heard of and wanted to see were Pelican, Wolves in the Throne Room, Caspian and Junius. I was however really impressed with every band I saw though. We were so tired by the end of the show. So very tired.

So that is the most of what my SXSW experience was. I kinda wish I got to see more shows, But after talking to some other people, this feeling is inevitable. I would eager to hear from other people who went to see what shows I missed (just like at home).


I was at this show. It was the first time I have seen Asobi Seksu play, where the vocals were in the mix.

No comments: