Sunday March 16th 2008, 11:10 am
Filed under: SXSW 2008
So I was either cursed for bringing a box of mac and cheese to a b-day pot luck, or for an insensitive response given to AFOM during last year’s south-by after he said he may need hospitalization for food poisoning (“good luck w/that”, which I still deny).
Either way I’ve learned a lesson and between nausea, dizziness, cold sweats, shortness of breath and feeling extremely sorry for myself- I missed all of these (which I’m sure were) great acts….*tears*
In order of appearance:
Despite apologies from Craig Minowa for a fading voice (due to a severe head cold), Cloud Cult put on an awesome performance. And what other band includes a live painter at their show? If their songs aren’t enough (and they are), the band is the epitome of indie rock.
A look into Cloud Cult and why they top my list of favorite bands…
Rejecting Major Labels for the Greater Good
The announcer noted that Cloud Cult came to Austin in their biodeisel van, which the band uses during all of their tour travels. In 1997 after rejecting several offers from major labels, the band formed Earthology Records in an effort to remain independent and to help the environment. The self-produced environmentally friendly non-profit label uses only recycled materials and donates all of their profits to charities that support the environment.
Songs about Heartbreak of a Rare and Common Nature (death, and separation)
As noted in Wikipedia, “The most common theme to Cloud Cult’s songs is the 2002 death of Craig and Connie Minowa’s baby son Kaidin. After this tragedy Craig wrote over a hundred songs to deal with the loss.” Minowa and his wife separated shortly after their son’s death.
In regards to writing over 100 songs in a time of loss, First Avenue quotes Minowa as saying “I just needed the medicine that writing music provides me.”
You can take it in stride, or you can take it right between the eyes. Suck up, suck up and take your medicine. It’s a good day, it’s a good day- to face the hard things.
Cloud Cult – Take Your Medicine
from The Meaning of 8, 2007
(no video as of yet)
(The meaning of) The Meaning of 8
First Avenue writes that the CD “liner notes offer insight into what The Meaning of 8 is all about, comparing religions and philosophies from around the world with Carl Jung’s theories of universal symbolism and the collective unconscious.” In a more out right approach to its meaning, the song “Your 8th Birthday” written during the time their son would have turned eight years old may offer an idea into what 8 really means to the band. Lyrics from “Your 8th Birthday” include: “You make traffic jams feel like parades. You bury the dead with the faith that makes lightning bolts warm as if it was graduation.”
Why? Because they’re awesome and their shows give you an all-in-one hip-hop/indie rock experience. The band noted that they are the only band to not repeat a song for south-by. The tracks during their free Soundcheck Magazine party included some old (ex-500 Fingernails, Sanddollars) and mostly new (ex-By Torpedo Or Crohn’s, Alopecia).
Your fisted language still affects my style, although I sometimes catch your visions like a child.
One of my favorites…
Why? – Fall Saddles
from Elephant Eyelash, 2005
(no video as of yet)
The old guy bus driver’s bad joke that only I laughed at. He told an elderly woman in a pink and black polka-doted dress, standing at the very front of the bus- “It’s like the Titanic. You up there…the wind blowin’ thru yer hair. Heh, heh.”
Examining the day’s collection of free cd’s that I’ll never listen to thanks to poor song titles. Case in point: Eyes Run Dry, Run Away Run, Then the Rain Came, Be…(yeah, no thanks).
Furthering my hearing damage by standing next to big speakers (I couldn’t hear this tone already anyway).
Friday March 14th 2008, 10:08 am
Filed under: SXSW 2008
My two favorite acts of March 13th. I saw both of these bands at The Parish awhile back and like those shows, these were awesome as well. For my new friend from Liverpool that had not heard of either one- here you go, check ‘em out (and I still think your accent is cooler than mine.)
“We have a secret laaaanguage”. This was the Shout Out Loud lead singer, Adam Olenius’s, comment after instructing the sound guy in Swedish at the Under the Radar/JanSport show at Flamingo Cantina. All acts put on an awesome show and a front row spot prevented the obstruction from camera lenses/phones (seriously, can’t we start a concert photo base and nominate someone for picture taking so everyone can use the same pictures, since they’ll all look the same anyway?).
“Sorry it was a bit messy” Adam said when we met after the show, regarding the sound checks. To which I replied, “No. It was perfect.” (Yeah, I’m a dork).
Seeing Kimya Dawson‘s LAFF LOUD knuckle tattoos up close while she pushed her baby along in a stroller on Sixth Street.
Getting three compliments on my retro sleeveless He-Man t-shirt. (While out a few months back the girl I was with got at least 8 compliments on her beauty, I got one too “Hey, you, I like that He-Man shirt.”)
Watching Michael Stipe getting interviewed on Sixth (or at least a bald interview-worthy guy that looked exactly like Michael Stipe).
Being handed a free Rachel Ray cd and thinking I’d rather have a cookie.
Seeing that an organic apple bong made its appearance at SXSW.
Getting my cards read at 3am compliments of AFOM, and not remembering a single thing the card reader said (see above).
Frightened Rabbit – The Modern Leper
from The Midnight Organ Fight, 2008
(no video as of yet)
And what a splendid choice that was. Frightened Rabbit put on an awesome show. I got the chance to talk with the band’s lead singer, Scott Hutchison, and was pleased to know that the band had a humble, insightful, down to earth front man that I could make laugh (which is extremely important to me). He seemed to be full of energy despite spending hours upon hours traveling before the show. I complemented him on the passion he put into the performance and he said it best- “If you have energy, it gives the crowd energy.” Period. The head bobbing definitely increased as the set progressed.
He said he liked Texas and after my “Austin is a lot different than Texas” comment, he said he has heard this several times (fyi- don’t tell people this, because someone else is already out there saying it…a lot). He commended the exposure SXSW provides for bands from around the world. The band members are from small towns, yet are regarded as being out of Glasgow, Scotland.
The band he is most looking forward to seeing? “I really like The Black Keys”. He also commented that he doesn’t really listen to other people’s lyrics. I guess when you write your own, listening to other’s is secondary.
Hipsters! After commenting on the influx of hipsters in Austin these past few days, I was pleased to hear that he was not one of them nor had any plans of morphing into one anytime soon. “It’s like seeing a fancy car, you don’t want to look because you know that’s what they want. Their pink pants.” (he laughs).
On that note, checkout Hipster Olympics (I suppose I am a bit guilty of having some of these hipster-esque qualities):
Other highlights of the night’s events:
Feeling like a tourist in my own town for brief periods of time…”Excuse me, pardon me, do you know where Maggie Mae’s is?”…
Trying to move a guy from blocking the free water station and being mistaken for someone wanting an autograph (who was that guy anyway?).
Watching Kaki King and getting motivated to pick up my guitar again and possibly learn how to use it as a drum set.
Kaki King – Playing with Pink Noise
Metting up with AFOM and getting into PureVolume rock-star-style (Is it legal to serve red bull and vodka at 3am? Yes, because it’s a private party.)
Getting handed a Stella on the street from a drunk girl that all but fell out of a white escalade, “Hey, you want a sip?”
Walking home at 4am and waking up at 9 the next morning, ready to do it all over again.