SXSW Review: Mac McCaughan, Deerhoof, March 19, Cheer Up Charlie’s

mac mccaughan

I hate music. What is it worth? 

Those lyrics start off Superchunk’s “Me & You and Jackie Mittoo” and I’ve got to admit that at one point later that night on my third day of SXSW I was feeling exactly that way as I wandered the streets in search of something worth checking out, something that would bolster my spirits. I was briefly encouraged as I walked past Fader Fort, the sounds of  Miley Cyrus singing “We Can’t Stop” echoing though the Austin night. Thanks for the encouragement Miley, but as it turns out I did end up calling it an early night after checking out a couple more bands.  Maybe I just peaked too early with a solid couple of mid-afternoon performances from Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan and Deerhoof.

McCaughan played a solo set that really highlighted his strength as a songwriter and storyteller. Hearing him play selections from his upcoming solo album  Non Believers  alongside classic Superchunk and Portastatic songs. While the classics sounded great, the new stuff definitely did not pale in comparison with “Boombox Batteries” in particular standing out with it’s nostalgic lyrics. Another New one, “Only Do,” not only featured an apparent Yoda reference in the title but also featured some nice accompaniment from Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield on vocals.

Deerhoof played with their usual intensity and eccentricity. Having seen them before, I knew what to expect, but they’re endlessly entertaining (I could have easily gone back to see them play the same venue later that night … and maybe should have) and it was fun to see others in the crowd experience it for the first time. I overheard a guy in front of me stating that he loved everything about the band and of course Satomi Matsuzaki’s dance routines were a real crowd pleaser.  It’s safe to say Deerhoof made a few new fans that afternoon.

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest

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