Not to name names or anything, but there are some rowdy Boston musicians in this town right now and they’re roving around the streets of Austin like a hungry pack of wolves with a taste for rock and roll. And I got to tag along with them. SXSW DAY 3! Get in on it!
STEREO TELESCOPE: Is there a better way to jumpstart an afternoon of show-hopping than with a hefty dose of Nikki Dessingue’s dancing and seraphim-worthy voice? Nope, not at all. Jess and I booked it to Friends to check out Stereo Telescope’s set at the Berklee day party and as usual, they didn’t disappoint. I think “Holes” may be one of my favorite songs out of a Boston band in recent memory, and Nikki and Kurt sounded lovely playing it yesterday.
JULIA EASTERLIN: Abe, Dig intern extraordinaire and Berklee student, was at the Berklee shindig as well and was all but short of gushing about latest Berklee “it” girl Julia Easterlin, who loops her own voice a gajillion time and sings over it.
What’s with all these Berklee chicks and them having some of the best vocals I’ve ever heard? I could get used to it.
WEST END MOTEL: When Nick and Jenée of Kingsley Flood showed up at Friends jumping up and down over “that dude from Mastadon’s side project” I knew I had to get in on it. We booked it to the Jackalope, a bar covered in nudie pictures and antler-sporting bunnies. They describe themselves as “country/crunk/punk,” but West End Motel for me felt like a dirty little secret that I was in some kind of secret club for catching wind of. If I didn’t have 912 sets to catch this afternoon, I would absolutely try seeing them again.
MIDDLE BROTHER/THE DODOS: It needs to be noted here that I missed Aloud’s last SXSW set because I had to choose between them and Middle Brother—my current favorite band—and it wasn’t a decision I wanted to make. So, Henry and Jen, I love you both, I can’t wait to catch your Boston homecoming show and safe travels home, amigos. Anyways, Partisan and Brooklyn Vegan brought an incomparable lineup to Barbarella in the afternoon that included a set with The Dodos (!!!!) inside and Middle Brother on the outdoor patio.
Did they sound as good as they did at the Paradise a couple of weeks ago?
They sounded better, if only because they were drowning in Shiner Bock and they were leaping in and out of the boisterous crowd like jackrabbits. Favorite moment: Matt Vasquez doing a belly flop onto the crowd and crowdsurfing. Rock and fucking roll. Matt, on the record, I would like to be your Mrs. Yesterday solidified that, and you bet your bottom dollar I will do everything in my power to catch their set tonight. (Oh—and The Dodos were phenomenal, too, though I shamefully haven’t listened to their new record yet. I know.)
DAVID WAX MUSEUM: I bumped into Ward and Mike of Girls Guns and Glory AGAIN at the Middle Brother show, so the lot of us collected Nick, Jenée, Bishop, Mikey and George en route to the Dogwood to meet up with the rest of Kingsley Flood at the David Wax Museum show. I first met David for coffee at Diesel around two years ago, when he was just starting to really play out in Boston and when I was trying to get my then blog off the ground. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for David and Suz, so to see them beaming and doing what they do best for a slew of new, eager fans filled me with a tender kind of pride I can’t even begin to explain.
(Probably should’ve warned you about getting all sentimental-like. Ah well, it is what is is.)
THAO WITH THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN, THE SUBMARINES, OKKERVIL RIVER: At this point, our Boston rock caravan decides that we’re all heading over to Antone’s to tempt the fates and try to get in to what’s sure to be an at-capacity show for Okkervil River. WE GOT IN. And it was awesome. Thao with the Get Down Stay Down are always a crowd pleaser and their set chock full o’ new stuff last night was no exception. The Submarines have been on my SXSW hit list all week, and I was totally blown away by how fun they are. (Note: They’re playing the Brighton Music Hall on April 25. Let’s be dates.) I’ve never seen Okkervil River and “Lost Coastlines” is one of my favorite songs of all time, so—no surprises here—I loved each and every minute of their set. Or, well, at least every minute I could remember.
Can we do it all again today? We shall see. In the meantime, click through Jess and Mikey’s incredible photos. We wish you were here.