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SXSW Saturday Reviews

Flatstock 2011
Always great shit here. If you’re not familiar with it, Flatstock is the music-centric poster/art show in the Auston Convention every year. Great stuff and nice people, as usual. I’ll post pics of the prints I bought somewhere down the road.

Free show @ Lovejoy’s

Wolvhammer
Heard they were incredible. Thirty minutes from seeing them at Valhalla. Seemed like nice people too. Always cool when that’s the case.

Batillus
Layered, textures, creeping doom. Will be good on record. Fun band and worth checking out/buying the record.

Deafheaven
Missed ’em for Flatstock. Have heard both good and bad things.

The Body
Lots of people there to see them. Wasn’t my thing. Heavy 90’s-style hardcore. Lot of this around. Lame.

Grayceon
Missed ’em. Have also heard good and bad things.

Dark Castle
Badass, as always. Love the new songs.

Bruce Lamont
Ambient soundscapes, yet still organic. I’d actually listen to this at home, not sure what you’ll think. Kind of like Master Musicians of Bukkake.

Wolvhammer (redux)
Sheesh. Is everybody copying 90’s hardcore and turning it into metal? Enough of my friends are in unoriginal bands like this. What the fuck?! We need more musicians who aren’t record collectors. Think about that, seriously. Fuckin’ hell.

Scoot Inn Showcase

Primitive Weapons
Only caught the end, but didn’t sound like anything special.

Ancient VVisdom
Sounds interesting. We’ll see … Holy shit! Awful…

NAAM
Badass, bluesy-based heavy rockin’ shit. The way it’s s’posed to be. Yes, there’s still rock ‘n roll, you pussies. Fuck your cookie-cutter metal shit.

EYEHATEGOD
Good as hell, although I don’t trust their popularity.

Pentagram
Wicked heavy rock, not metal. You heard me.

SXSW Friday Reviews

Got out late again today so started at Lovejoy’s at 5pm due to Scoot Inn being too full with Green and Wood and Pentagram playing free. Hoped to see Eagle Twin at ND, but missed that too. Shit.

Lovejoy’s Free Show
I was told Cough was good, and I’ll catch their showcase at Scoot Inn on Saturday.

Gaza
Nothing is heavy after seeing YOB and these guys are proof. Not only that, they’re pretty much bringing 90’s metallified hardcore to the table, and if you’re not breaking new ground in this kind of genre what are you playing for? 90’s hardcore already happened, guys, and it mostly sucked then (with notable exceptions) – please leave it dead and buried. It only got worse with the singer proselytizing about the state of the world between songs. I can read, dude, keep your opinions to yourself. That said, the crowd seemed mostly into it – not that people have taste.

Wormrot
Pile-driving and taut pounding hardcore from Singapore. Kind of fun and interesting, but this show is turning into a typical hardcore show from 1992 – it bored me then and it bores me now. A friend said it best, “that was kind of fun, but I’d never listen to the record if I had it”. Tells you all you need to know.

Ringworm
I thought I’d heard of these guys and, sure enough, they’re a hardcore band from Cleveland that started in 1991. They’re on Victory records, need I say more? Decent to listen to, not awful, just, again, 90’s hardcore shit. To be fair, some of the thrashier elements are decent and interesting, but beyond that it’s not worth my time. The crowd full of fat, tattooed hardcore hippity-hoppity meatheads reliving their childhoods was pathetic and hilarious. Their silly “hardcore” disco dancing only made it worse. Most of these fuckers were pushing maximum density and making it hard to breathe from the laughing…and lack of oxygen. They’ll be gone in a few days, thankfully.

Heading to the showcase at Dirty Dog (a shitty, shitty frat bar) tonight. Highlights include Red Fang, Weedeater, and Saint Vitus. I hate Kylesa and Witchburn sound cheesy so we’ll see what transpires. Stay tuned!

Dirty Dog Showcase

Red Fang
Dirty, driving, heavy rock ‘n roll. Pretty fun stuff that’s easy to listen to, Red Fang are good musicians that write quality tunes. Strangely, this kind of music isn’t as prevalent as you would think or hope. Red Fang are carrying the rock torch – worth getting the record, for sure.

Weedeater
Drugs and destruction. They’re fucking great. Weird that they played almost all old tunes when the new LP came out two days ago, but it was fun if you’ve been a fan for a while. Great dudes, great shit.

Kylesa
On now. They’re incredibly fucking contrived. And everybody loves them – never trust that. It’s like emo-metal. Awful, as usual … Kylesa’s set almost over, they’re an overamped emo band. How can you not see this? Wake it the fuck up.

Crowbar
They’re tolerable. That’s it.

Helmet
If you like this band I have a gas chamber in my basement. All you need to know about the world is that everybody left after they played and before Saint Vitus. Saint Vitus! This world is inexorably fucked. Ugh.

Saint Vitus
Once-in-a-lifetime, they were amazing. Sounds like they may be recording a new record too!

On to Saturday! Great show at Lovejoy’s during the day then on to Scoot Inn for Cough, NAAM, EYEHATEGOD, and Pentagram.

SXSW Thursday Reviews

Thrasher Day Party @ Scoot Inn

Weedeater
Runaway dogs, traffic, and flat tires will conspire to keep you from a Robitussin-induced trance, but nothing was keeping me from catching some of Weedeater. Even though I only got the last few songs, they rocked, as always. Got the new record on vinyl too, no mean feat for skimpy (and stupid) Southern Lord vinyl releases. I’ll be attending their showcase. Can’t wait.

Full Metal Texas Party @ Emo’s

YOB
“Four songs in forty minutes”? Fuck yes. Is YOB the heaviest band ever? Possibly. When I first heard them I summarily dismissed the records – boy, was I apocalyptically wrong. Organic and sinister, YOB is the new, yet surprisingly familiar soundtrack to the slow-motion apocalypse. Like armies of the damned undead rising from the earth. SALO666 put it best: “Tectonic plates shifting”. The most percussive guitar this side of Greg Ginn, and an atomic bomb-like rhythm section. Fuckin’ A. They’re playing one more show at Barbarella tonight at 1am and that’s it. Don’t miss them, they haven’t been here in five years and don’t often tour.

Free Show/Party @ 777 Shady Ln.
I live blocks from here, metal in the hood! Free beer and food. Go to this shit – starts at 8pm.

Showcase @ Barbarella
Witch Mountain
Just caught the very end of their set. Sounded good. Heavier NWOBHM with dueling female/male vocals. Buying the record – we’ll see.

Agalloch
I was expecting big things, but these guys just didn’t deliver. Part of the problem was the sound at Barbarella which was mediocre at best. That said, Agalloch simply had no punch, no low end, and attempt an amateurish brand of black metal infused metal-rock that really goes nowhere and breaks no ground.

YOB
Waiting for them to go on. Expecting another unreal set, but the sound sucks here and they’re playing outside so who knows. Get a YOB, motherfucker! … When’s the last time you grinned through a set like you were tripping on some heavy psychedelics? Been since Femi Kuti in 2001 for me. YOB is going to be hard to beat for THE shows of SXSW. Saint Vitus, EYEHATEGOD, Weedeater, HULL? We’ll see.

See you at the ND, Scoot Inn, and Lovejoy’s during the day on Friday, then the Dirty Dog at night. Smile and say you love Satan!

SXSW Wednesday Review

THRASHER DAY PARTY @ SCOOT INN

Dark Castle (St. Augustine, Florida)
Great! I usually hate two pieces, but Dark Castle is an exception. The new material is 70’s inflected heavy groovin’ shit. More atmospheric and throbbingly heavy than the earlier songs. Stevie, the guitar player, says there’s a new record out soon.

Gay For Johnny Depp (New York City)
Awful, awful, posing shit. These guys are fucking idiots and you can see it onstage. Something weird going on as if they’re trying to be tongue-in-cheek, but they obviously take themselves seriously. Horrible band. If you’re unfortunate enough to see them, laugh at them and yourself if you paid to get in.

 

BROKEN NECK NIGHT PARTY

Hull (Brooklyn)
Awesome. Atmospheric. Sonically complex. Hawkwind-ish at times and jazz chords at others. Check them out over the next four days of SXSW. Thursday they’re playing the Full Metal Texas show at Emo’s at 3:10pm.

Asahara (Austin)
Same old punk/hardcore shit. I’d heard they were good, but they’re not breaking new ground. If you like your punk with 80’s speed and 90’s recycled hardcore riffs you’ll like Asahara.

Skycrawler (Austin)
Heavy, groovin’, keyboards! Just their fourth show and already they sound good. Super fucking heavy four piece, but, unfortunately, I couldn’t hear the keyboard player. Look for them around town, they’re worth your time.

Green & Wood (Los Angeles)
Rocking heaviness with a healthy 70’s undercurrent of rumbling riffage. Very jamming. Looking forward to seeing them again at the Thrasher party at Scoot Inn before Pentagram on Friday.

Say you love Satan!

SXSW Tuesday Review

SWAMP FEST @ KLUB KRUCIAL

No Moleste attended the $6(!) Swamp Fest metal show at Klub Krucial (lame hip-hop club with surprisingly good acoustics converted into an Emo’s annex for SXSW) on Wednesday evening – here’s a breakdown of the show in reverse order.

Kylesa headlined with their douchy, arena rock bullshit and it was as laughably bad as every other time I’ve seen them. I still don’t get the attraction to this band; it’s like a group of posed out metal head middle-school kids put a band together to cover Damad songs for the school talent show. Only that would be kind of fun, this band is just high-comedy. Being surrounded by douchebags from Westlake and Beverly Hills didn’t help and only made it easier to bail mid-set.

Austin’s The Roller absolutely crushed through the best show I’ve ever seen them play. I didn’t think the crowd knew what to do with their slow, bluesed-out heaviness, but I got different opinions from the No Molestess and others so perhaps I read it wrong. For my money, if the crowd isn’t rocking the fuck out they aren’t into the shit on stage, this isn’t MC5 blowing the faces off people standing in ’60’s stunned catatonia. Do yourself a favor and get their new record, they are destroying more popular/well-known bands off the stage.

HOD from San Antonio is decidedly fat, cheesy, and hilarious, and I had a good time laughing through their set. The singer sounds like he’s ripping off Inquisition badly, but the music is fun, especially if you’re not stuck looking at them. They were too lazy to set up a merch table so I didn’t get a record, unfortunately. Regardless, my single favorite moment of the night other than the Roller and some little metal guy getting destroyed whilst attempting to start a pit was when the singer said, “Y’all are a lame crowd. This song is called ‘Beneath the Mountains of the Scorpian'”. Zing! Nice one, uber metal singer guy – you might be taken seriously in San Antonio, but you are an absolute joke in this town.

Mammoth Grinder opened and were surprisingly good. They’ve been opening for any and all metal shows in Austin for a while and I hadn’t gotten a chance seen them yet so they made for a nice surprise. They play a varying brand of rollicking, rock and 70’s punk influenced rock/metal that deserves better than a perennial opening slot. Looking forward to listening to the LP.

Overall, the show was a fun way to ease into SXSW, and tomorrow will be the start of good day shows. Dixie Witch, Dark Castle, and Rwake will be playing a free show at Scoot Inn starting at 1pm before the day gives way to a great night lineup at Emo’s. OFF! and Bad Brains highlight the outside showcase, and Arson Anthem, The Secret, and The Roller will be playing inside. See ya there!

SXSW Thursday

FREE SHOWS AND PARTIES

Austin Facial Hair Club presents Grackle Rock Day 2: Japan Preview Show with Vampillia (7pm), Oh Sunshine (6:25pm), Takashi Kamide (5:50pm), Hystoic Vein (5:15pm), YDESTROYDE (4:40pm), Suck Piggy (4:05pm), Lolita #18 (3:30pm), White White Sisters (2:55pm), DJ Teraoka and the Revolution (2:20pm), Mo’Some Tonebender (1:45pm), Zukunasisters (1:10pm), Sonodaband (12:35pm), Puffyshoes (noon) @ The Grackle (1700 E. 6th St.) [free, free beer randomly throughout the day]

Sacred Bones/Stereogum/Chaos in Tejas present a Free Show in Austin: Altaar (Oslo), Amen Dunes, Anika (Berlin, DJ Set), Chelsea Wolfe, Cult of Youth, Frankie & the Heartstrings (UK), Human Eye, Liturgy, Moon Duo, Pop. 1280, Slug Guts (Australia), Soft Moon, Trust (Toronto), Zola Jesus @ Beerland [a] [m] [2pm-2am, free]

South by San Jose: Wanda Jackson (8pm) @ Jo’s Coffee (1300 S. Congress) [free]

Pitchfork presents #OFFLINE: J Mascis (5pm) [stage 1, free] | OFF! (4:30pm) @ East Side Drive-In (1001 E. 6th St.) [stage 2, free]

Thrasher Magazine presents Texas Style Death Match: Trash Talk (5pm), Weedeater (4pm), Zoroaster (3pm), Liturgy (2pm), The Body (1pm) @ Scoot Inn [a] [m] [outside]

CMRTYZ Records, Psychic Lunch Records, and HoZac Records present SiiickXSW: Quintron & Miss Pussycat (11:30pm) @ 1112 E. 6th St.[free]

Full Metal Texas: Yob (5pm), Trap Them (4:05pm), Hull (3:10pm), Kvelertak (2:20pm), Rwake (1:35pm), All Pigs Must Die (12:50pm), Goes Cube (12:05pm) @ Emo’s [a] [m] [inside stage]

Paste Magazine Party in Austin: J Mascis, The Submarines, Exene Cervenka @ The Stage on 6th (508 E. 6th St.) [11:30am-8pm, free, RSVP]

Roky Erickson’s Ice Cream Social: Roky Erickson, Peter Buck, The Riverboat Gamblers, J Mascis, Peelander-Z, more TBA @ Threadgills (301 W. Riverside Dr.) [starts at noon]

Unofficial Cyclopean Records Showcase: Mammoth Grinder, Hatred Surge, The Roller, Green & Wood, Sungod, Strider and Catheter @ The Magic Number (777 Shady Lane) [8pm, free, free beer and food]

 

PANELS

Promoting DisCord in the DesCene @ Austin Convention Center (Room 12AB) [3:30pm]

 

SHOWCASES

Rwake (8pm), Danava (10pm), Zoroaster (1am) @ Valhalla (710 Red River)

The New Mastersounds @ ACL Live at The Mood Theater (W Hotel, 310 W. 2nd)

Amber Asylum (9pm), Agalloch (11:45pm), Dixie Witch (1am), YOB (1am) @ Barbarella Patio (611 Red River)

OFF! (10pm) @ Club De Ville (900 Red River)

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club (12:10am) @ Red 7 (611 E. 7th)

East Bay Ray & The Killer Smiles (1am) @ Skinny’s Ballroom (115 San Jacinto)

SXSW Wednesday

FREE SHOWS AND PARTIES

Thrasher Magazine presents Texas Style Death Match: KEN Mode (5pm), All Pigs Must Die (4pm), Rwake (3pm), Dark Castle (2pm), Dixie Witch (1pm) @ Scoot Inn [a] [m] [outside]

AnSo SXSW Day Party: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club (Denver) + others @ Spiderhouse [stage #1]

Paisley Umbrella’s Third Annual International Psychout: Sons of Hercules (5:30pm) + others @ Spiderhouse Ballroom (510 W. 29th St.) [free]

Pawn Shop Rock: Baby Got Bacteria (3pm) @ Cash America Pawn/ Sno-Beach parking lot (3402 Guadalupe) [free]

Rwake, Dark Castle, Royal Thunder, The Roller, Skycrawler, Asahara, Hull, Batillus @ Broken Neck [a] [m] [6pm]

Kylesa, The Secret, The Roller @ Emo’s Inside [Brooklyn Vegan Day Party]

PANELS

Tropical Hot Dog Panel @ Austin Convention Center (Room 12B) [12:30pm]

Our Band Could Still Be Your Life @ Austin Convention Center (Room 16B) [2:00pm]

SHOWCASES

Shit Horse @ Habana Bar [8pm]

J Mascis @ La Zona Rosa [9pm]

Jimmie Dale Gilmore & The Wronglers @ The Victorian Room in the Driskill [9pm]

OFF!, Bad Brains @ Emo’s Main Room [9:50pm]

Arson Anthem [night]

SXSW Tuesday

The South by Southwest Music Festival is here and the free shows and parties have begun. I’ll be posting daily updates and recommendations throughout, and for the record, if it ain’t listed here, don’t bother. That said, let me know if I missed something. Also, remember that showcases are reserved for badge holders and wristbands, but there’s always a chance you can get into a show if you try hard enough.With the large number of concurrent shows getting into a showcase is always a possibility, and if they won’t let you in, get creative.

 

FREE SHOWS AND PARTIES

Swamp presents Swamp Fest: Kylesa, The Roller, Mammoth Grinder, HOD at Klub Krucial (614 E. 6th St.) [+] [8pm]

Easy Action, the Sons of Hercules, Tempo Tantrums at Ruta Maya [a] [m] [+] [8pm]

Pre-SXSW Panache Party: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club + others at the Scoot Inn [a] [m] [+] [outside, 8pm-2am, $10, 21+]

 

SHOWCASES

Psychic TV/PTV3 at Elysium [12:30am]

Upcoming Shows

Here’s a very short list of upcoming shows – buy your tix accordingly as they all have potential for selling out. There are plenty of others, of course, especially with SXSW coming up, but these are mostly non-SXSW shows and getting tix is a good idea. Speaking of, Showlist Austin has a good list of the free/day shows if you don’t intend on buying a wristband. I’ll list my schedule this weekend.

Rotting Christ @ Emo’s: Monday, April 4th – $15.00 – Tix here
Amon Amarth @ White Rabbit (San Antonio): Wednesday, April 27th – $20.00 Tix here
Crass @ Emo’s: Rescheduled! Tuesday, May 3rd – $20.00 Tix here
Danzig @ Stubbs: Friday, May 6th – $21.50 – Tix here
Orange Goblin @ Scoot Inn: Friday, June 3rd – $10.00 – Tix here

Other shows your friends are getting drunk/high at:
Weedeater @ SXSW. If you missed them last time, don’t make the same mistake twice.
St. Vitus @ SXSW
Bill Maher @ ACL Live: 3/26
Devo @ ACL Live: 3/27 sold out and was $40 (too much) anyway.
Pack of Wolves @ Emo’s: 4/3
Wire @ Mohawk: 4/8
The Dicks @ Emo’s (with the Chumps and Motards): 4/22
Meatmen @ Red 7: 4/23
Roky Erickson (+ a million terrible bands) @ Austin Psych Fest: 4/29
Femi Kuti @ ACL Live: 5/6
Holly Golightly @ Emo’s: 5/20
Zeke @ Red 7: 5/21
Chaos in Tejas: 6/2 (I hear that Tragedy and other bands will be playing at the Broken Neck the same week)

The Lovejoy’s record swap was relatively small and lightly attended, but a fun time was had by those of us hanging out. Fuck you for not supporting it as it could turn into something cool. The next one will be in a few months at which time I’ll post a flyer, etc.

Lastly, a word about festivals: I don’t like ’em. But there are some good ones these days and the lineups are often a great mix of old and new bands, and there’s more variability within the genre than one would initially think. I’ll be attending the Maryland Death Fest this year, and I’d really like to go to Roadburn in the Netherlands next year. Maryland is easy to get to, and you really have no excuse for not making it happen. Roadburn is obviously a longer haul and I’ll go by myself if I have to, but you shouldn’t need convincing after looking at the band list for the last few years. Tix sold out in 15 minutes this year and they’re only about a $100 for 3 days of music and camping so your cost will largely be associated with travel. Let me know if you’re serious about going.

Cheers