SXSW Review:The Evaporators with Andrew WK, Lisa Marr, Dana Falconberry, March 14, Cheer Up Charlie’s

Back in the day when MuchMusic was a viable source for new music and not just a dumping ground for the same handful of pop videos and lots of not necessarily music related content, I was introduced to a lot of cool new stuff, particularly though shows like The Wedge and MuchWest. The latter program was likely where I first got turned on to the Mint Records roster and the likes of Cub and The Evaporators, while also being where I first saw Evaporators frontman Nardwuar the Human Serviette do his whole band/celebrity interview schtick, one he still carries on to this day, seemingly getting the bulk of his interviews right here at SouthBy. And so it was with a slight bit of nostalgia in mind that I went to the Mint Records/Riot Act Media party to see members of both) at Cheer Up Charlies. Oh, and it certainly didn’t hurt that Andrew WK was sharing the stage with The Evaporators.

Not that this show was entirely about nostalgia though; Austin singer Dana Falconberry, also on the bill, was quite new to me, though one who had made the list of “want to sees.” Her sound, while somewhat haunting, also somehow fit in the sunny afternoon environment.  Following Falconberry was former Cub frontwoman Lisa Marr, billed for the show as “Lisa Marr’s Cub Sing-a-Long,” which describes exactly what it was.  Taking to the stage with her son, wearing a bear mask and referred to by Marr as “the cub,” Marr ran through a bunch of classic cub tracks while “the cub” held up cue cards with the lyrics on them and occasionally threw out candy to the crowd.  A handful of folks up front (which may have included me) joined in on the singalong and the whole vibe was not unlike being at a  concert for a children’s performer.  There were even kazoos handed out for the last song.  Good times.

Speaking of good times and childlike fun, Nardwuar  is a high energy manchild dedicated to bringing the good times.  Several times throughout their set, he invaded the crowd, instigating conga lines and dance circles  and crowd surfing on top of his keyboard during “Your Instrument Does Not Affect Me.”  Nardwuar was definitely there to start a party, and if you’re going to have a party, you’d better invite Andrew WK.  The man who likes to party hard joined the band on stage to play keyboard and to sing his biggest hit, but first, they needed to find a cord for the keyboard.  “When you want to party, you need a cable or a cord,” joked WK as they searched for one.  Sure enough, somebody came to the rescue and they launched into “Party Hard,” followed by a few more Evaporators tunes with their set culminating in Nardwuar and WK commanding the entire crowd to get low to the ground then jump up again. Repeatedly.  And of course, the show ended with the customary “Doot Doola Doot Doo.  Doo Doo.”

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Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest

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