It was 2001, and I'd just moved to Denver from the Bay Area. I didn't really know a soul and was homesick for the house music clubs and dance nights I'd known and loved, having yet to discover Denver's Mile High House. Basement Jaxx's Rooty had been on repeat on my portable and car CD player. Showing up to the Gothic that night to see their show, I expected it to be a similar experience to Chemical Brothers or Junkie XL, where original tracks from their releases were mixed into their DJ set along with other songs and sounds. What I witnessed instead was one of the first electronic dance acts to take their studio to the stage in true fashion, where the contributing guest vocalists were there, dressed in full regalia, singing those wondrous songs from Rooty, live and in person. It left an indelible mark on my musical memory.
Yes, this is a three-day festival. Yes, it’s the funnest, most enjoyable way to lead one to exhaustion, far better than working 12-hour days under fluorescent lights. While you may think that preserving your energy in a ‘marathon, not a sprint’ fashion is the way to go, getting to a festival soon after the gates open offers many advantages: you get in a lot quicker, get to see all the wonders of the grounds in their pristine shape before the swarms of people invade, and best of all, get to listen and support the bands that arrive early to kick off each day.
Temples made a big splash in the states last year at SXSW due to their live appearances featuring songs from the band’s debut, Sun Structures, on Fat Possum. Their wave of psychedelic magic hasn’t mellowed in the slightest, earning them the number one spot on Rough Trade’s albums of 2014.
I was in a conversation this week with someone in the music business who was attending SXSW, but was only going for Interactive and Film, not Music. For him, he’d kind of had it. It’s understandable. For those of us that have been going to Sx for a long while, we’ve been able to see it evolve and change over the years.
One of the must-attend SXSW events has announced their line up and RSVP - Filter Magazine's Culture Collide party. Returning to Bar 96 at Rainey St. and once again partnering with Dr. Martens, an exciting bevy of artists is in store, including Carl Barât's return to SXSW with his new outfit, The Jackals, BRONCHO, Gang of Four, and Palma Violets for their cross-pond reunion with the states and Austin.
For those of us who are fanatics for indie music that emerges out of the U.K., the small venue on San Jacinto and 6th Street, Latitude 30, becomes the haven known as the British Music Embassy Showcase during SXSW. The first glimmer of what’s in store for 2015 has surfaced, as BBC Introducing announced their showcase bands in conjunction with PRS for Music Foundation.
Oklahoma’s BRONCHO (bron-cho, not bronco, as in the Denver NFL team) are known to perform in the oddest places: a convenience store, the middle of the street, in a record store. Okay, so the latter is pretty common, but when their raw and dirgy garage rock splashes against the art deco walls of Denver’s Paramount Theatre on February 9, the ghost of ’20s past may flee in fright. Opening for Billy Idol, the bad boy of 80s new wave, will definitely throws things over the balcony.
There are certain moments in our day-to-day lives that cause us stop the fury of to-do lists and time chasing, where we embrace a moment for all its glory: watching the sunset from the window of a plane window, breathing in the view of the snow-topped mountains as we climb higher on the chairlift, or running down a beach in the early morning light. Such is the experience of Evermotion, the latest release from Guster, their seventh out this month on Nettwerk/Ocho Mule.
The men in Fat White Family give a performance, not a show; an anguished punk rock opera injected with joy while ejecting various types of bodily fluids, taking you through a frightening high that won’t let go. From the first beads of sweat that drip from Lias Saoudi’s brow, know that this is going to be a bumpy ride, and oh, what a good ride it will be.
The big news of 2014 related to Carl Barât has been the Libertines reunion, the band’s raucous show in Hyde Park at the British Summertime Festival, three sold-out nights at London's Alexandra Palace, and a new Libertines album announced for 2015. But that's not all folks. Barât's new band The Jackals, comprised of unknown members Barât discovered through an online search, have their own big plans for next year, including his return to Austin for SXSW 2015.