AftermathAs an annual tradition, Day Five kicks off with the Bay Area BBQ at the house where I stay. It ends up being an all SF Bay Area day, as we venture out for music later; but in the meantime, we’ve got Oakland’s Saviours represented at the BBQ, as well as Frisco’s Thee Oh Sees, who’s singer/guitarist John Dwyer (Coachwhips, Ziegenbach Kapf, Pink & Brown) picks me out from across the room. “You’re everywhere I go,” he tells me. “There’s actually two of me,” I reply.
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N.E.R.D., Today is starting off slow and low in the SXSW Day Stage at Austin Convention Center. Thanks to Center-wide free Wi-Fi and a constant flow of live music, this is the perfect place to re-cap the 17 bands I saw yesterday, sort through photos, and still not feel like I’m missing out on the action.

As I hammer away at the keys, Ravens and Chimes from Brooklyn, NY hammer at their own with a brief set (all sets on the Day Stage are a scant twenty minutes long) of piano-and-synth-driven jangly pop. Dare I say, cute? Well, it’s a good eye-(or, ear-)opener.

Heading in to the land of wax (ok, ok, Serato), Chicago, DJ duo The Hood Internet kicks out the jams mano-a-mano on the ones-and-twos, mashing up everything from MIA to Phil Collins in an intentionally brash, but nonetheless skilled fader collision sesh.

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David DonderoIf you’ve ever been to a convention center for any reason, you can understand how it feels like an airport without planes. Add to that, the security is almost more annoying, and to get anywhere you have to depend on your own feet, or a taxi—or bus—or, in environmentally conscientious Austin, a pedi-cab…

So, it’s a bit odd to kick off the rock-fest in the confines of the Austin Convention Center; but singer/songwriter David Dondero ( is the leader of this experience, and he is performing in the convention center’s SESAC (originally, the Society of European Stage Authors & Composers, which is oddly, currently based out of Nashville, TN…) Day Stage.

Regardless of location, Dondero is an amazing writer of both music and lyrics; and has become recognized in the wake of the popularity of Saddle Creek founder and artist Conor Oberst. This is a strange fact, as Dondero in actuality has been a huge influence on Oberst’s style, having been making music far longer that the Nebraskan sprite; but Oberst just happened to make that quivering, emo vocal style hip with the kids first.

Published in Event Reviews Archive
19 Aug 2008

The Fillmore, San Francisco
July 30, 2008

First off, the name: Does It Offend You, Yeah? It’s always slightly uncomfortable to utter it to people who haven’t heard of them, because you know exact what reaction you’re going to get. All you can do is shrug and reassure them, “Just trust me; they’re good.”

Here’s the skinny: In the early days, the group was much slimmer, consisting only of Dan Coop (synths) and James Rushent (bass, vocals). They were contemplating a name simply so that they could put their music online. They decided to switch on the television and use the first line they heard. It was the British version of The Office, and Ricky Gervaise (playing David Brent) said, “Does it offend you, yeah? My drinking?” And there you have it.

Published in Interviews Archive

Suffice it to say I was a bit floored to learn that Kele Okereke of Bloc Party wasn’t as stoked on their worldwide acclaimed debut Silent Alarm as the rest of us because the drums were mixed too loud. In 2005, that was a top five favorite album for most everyone I knew. But, time moves on and so do most musicians (we hope), and earlier this summer, Kele and the mates took a break from Bloc Party and he went solo with a full-length release, The Boxer.
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