Back to SXSW (and its subsequent Flaming Dr. Peppers)
It’s almost rooftop time! The 15 acts playing Boston to Austin—the official Boston Music day party that we throw with Converse at SXSW on St. Patrick’s Day—run the gamut when it comes to genre, how we know them, how well we know them and where they’ve scattered to the winds since forming and playing out in Boston. Below, a brief introduction to the #BOS2AUS acts of 2012.
YOU CAN BE A WESLEY
Genre: Allstonian Legacy
Bostonian attributes: You Can Be A Wesley currently holds the title for Most Shows Ever at Great Scott. Saara and Nick also appeared butt naked in our New Year’s Eve FOTOBOM spread, with party hats covering their naughty bits. That’s about as Boston rock as you get.
MOE POPE & THE QUILLS
Bostonian attributes: Have you been to Church lately? (Not the sit-and-pray kind, the rock club.) Moe Pope & The Quills recently destroyed the place with a slew of amazing shows before they took on the #BOS2AUS Preview Party at Great Scott last month, where tracks off Let The Right Ones In kept us moving.
LAKE STREET DIVE
Bostonian attributes: All New England Conservatory grads, Rachael Price, Bridget Kearney, Mike Olson and Mike Calabrese met, cut their teeth and built a following here before leaving Boston for D.C. and Brooklyn. They still play out in Boston regularly (with Club Passim and Lizard Lounge serving as homes-away-from-home), so dammit, they’re still ours!
Bostonian attributes: Fun fact: DJ Fens is Matt Rohr, who plays in local dance pop aficionados Leisure and serves as one of the founders of Banana Peel Records. Also fun fact: We like to dance to what he likes to spin, so everybody wins.
Bostonian attributes: The band’s got Berklee chops (Keith and Brent met there as students), half of them grew up around Worcester (and Keith and Ross are cousins, hey!) and they survive primarily on Narragansett while out on the road, which is substantial as they spend at least half their year touring. I once found a ‘Gansett can in the cushions of one of the couches in their RV (when it was parked, of course). I think I high-fived them on the spot.
Bostonian attributes: Wheez-ie’s our current Berklee mastermind on the lineup, as he’s enrolled and going to class when he’s not obliterating ear drums (in the best possible way) as a nightlife deck ninja.
Woo Hah! (Wheez-ie rmx) by Wheez-ie
Genre: Bunny pop. (Get it?) But really, if hard pop were a thing, this would be the Bad Rabbits M.O.
Bostonian attributes: Formed here and still rocking the Rabbit Hole (their practice space and designated locale for the sick live covers that have been shared everywhere via their YouTube channel), Bad Rabbits are hometown heroes who did us proud on the Warped Tour this summer, as well as on their supporting stints on tour with Taking Back Sunday and Travie McCoy. Also, I made them do a DigBoston photo shoot once and a cougar (the soccer mom type, not the wild animal) attacked Dua and I will feel bad about that pretty much forever.
PRETTY & NICE
Genre: Garage Pop Mayhem
Bostonian attributes: Fast-talkin’ (or playin’, I guess) prowess, unflappable enthusiasm and an uncanny ability to show up, plug in and get out before the cops break up the show and send the dancing fiends on the floor home. The first time I caught them was at a CMJ Showcase in the basement of The Delancey in New York, and my first impression was along the lines of “Jesus CHRIST I’m glad these guys are representing our city real well.” That sentiment remains.
Bostonian attributes: Oldjack made it to the final round of the 2011 Rock N’ Roll Rumble as an Underdog pick, and I honestly thought they’d bring home the whole thing. Between the six of them (or eight, or dozen, depending on who’s sitting in with them on a given night), Oldjack’s racked up enough years onstage in previous Boston band experience to get “BOSTON MUSIC SCENE 4LYF” tattooed on their collective forehead.
GREY SKY APPEAL
Bostonian attributes: Taj of Grey Sky Appeal took home the Boston Music Award for Best Producer in 2011, and Grey Sky Appeal is one of the more recent acts to lay tape at Rubber Tracks, Converse’s tricked-out studio in Brooklyn.
Bostonian attributes: Everything you’d expect from a bunch of beautifully-voiced New England boys making music in the woods. Though hailing from a bit more northward than Boston city limits, Aunt Martha represents a stripped-down, songwriter vibe on the Boston to Austin lineup.
Bostonian attributes: DJ Knife is one of the masterminds behind Fresh Produce, longstanding hip-hop night at The Good Life and Boston Music Award Winner in 2011 for Best DJ/Dance Night.
The Best of Chainsaw Dubstep by d.j.knife
Bostonian attributes: He may be from Louisville, but Prism, a Boston transplant, has rubbed elbow with Joe Bermudez, Wheez-ie (see below) and spun countless nights as a fixture of the Boston DJ/Club scene.
Bostonian attributes: Henry Beguiristain and Jen De La Osa were born in Miami and came north in the name of rock and roll. They went to Berklee for a hot minute and have stayed ever since, though extensive touring behind their most recent release Exile brought the duo (now a fully fleshed out four-piece) all over the country.
Genre: Pretty choruses; pretty smiles. Also: drunk sometimes.
Bostonian attributes: See: drunk sometimes.
No, seriously though, these guys embody all of the good things we expect from basement show gods—they consistently deliver enjoyable sets and push themselves on the artistic front, running their own label (Cash to Mouth Records) and incorporating electronic sounds into their rock vibe on occasion.