South By Southwest

SXSW Review: Unicorn Kid, The Parish, March 17

Posted on by Alli in South By Southwest | Leave a comment

unicorn kid

Austin – Yes, this is the best photo of the batch I took of Unicorn Kid.

This guy comes to us as part of the “Showcasing Scotland” lineup, but I felt like he deserved his own post. His music can apparently be described as chip music – basically, music that sounds like it belongs in video games with a super dance-y feel. Read up on that here. Unicorn Kid is otherwise known as Oliver Sabin, a barely 18 year old Scot with floppy ears and a habit of dancing as much or more than the people in the crowd. As he finished up, I kept hearing the word “genius” being spoken in the crowd. Don’t miss him if he ever comes to your town – I think it’s going to be hard to find another show that was as much fun as this.

SXSW Review: Shout Out Out Out Out, Creekside Lounge, March 17

Posted on by Alli in Everything, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

shout out out out out

Austin – Edmonton natives Shout Out Out Out Out have a lot of equipment:

shout out out out out

And this doesn’t even cover half of it, plus two drummers. Throw in the threat of their van outside the venue almost being towed, and you’d think you were in for a complete disaster. Not with these guys – they took it all in stride and despite those issues and technical problems they put on a great show. The electro beats and gymnastic stage antics satiated an eager crowd – my first dance party of the week! Their set contained several songs from 2009’s “Reintegration Time”, with set closer “In the end it’s your friends” being a big crowd favorite.

SXSW Review: The Morning Benders, March 17, Emos

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Austin – This is going to be a short review, since the band played a short show. One of the things about SXSW is that they typically run on tight schedules so when a band, say, The Morning Benders take a bit more time then expected to set up their stage, then they get less time to play. The Morning Benders followed the Rural Alberta Advantage, who played a pretty rockin show (for a noon show), so it was interesting to see how the crowd would react to their blend of slowly building epic music. Despite looking like a bunch of high school teenagers who should rather play in a Halo tournament (I’m being racist against asians..what what) this band killed it. The song Excuses was amazing live, involving a singalong, on the fly looping and ending with a massive wall of sound that would make most shoe gaze bands proud. Highly recommended.

2-cents from Gary: They were so laid back I wanted to just not take pictures. I thought his voice was clearer and obviously some notes were higher in the record, but that could be them preparing for the on-slaught of the rest of the festival/showcase. Or maybe all that smoke and evaporated beer floating around in Emo Jr’s forming ether… I came to the show late and only heard Wet cement, Promise, Excuses… arguably their best songs. Ending on a good note, as Ricky has mentioned, only strengthened the show for the 300-strong crowd. I’ll now look forward (more so than before) to their show in Toronto.

SXSW Review: Billy Bragg, Latitude, March 15

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

panic manual billy bragg

Austin – Billy Bragg is an intense experience. He was the headliner for Monday night’s British showcase. The event was also in support of Strummerville, a charity in support for new artist. I have long heard about Billy Bragg, but really have never heard much of his music. I knew there was a lot of political themes in his music and spirit, but holy cow. Billy Bragg’s set alternated between really catchy songs and massive speeches about the economy, banker accountability, american football, people leaving in time of economic crisis and all sorts of stuff. He also drank tea throughout the set, much to the delight of the mostly ex-pat crowd (who knew and LOVED a lot of the songs). Along with some classics, Billy debut some new material (about the aforementioned bankers) and well, it was all fairly catchy (and scathing) at the same time. I admire how he can take a very simple approach to his music (using just an electric guitar) and craft so many albums and classic songs out of it, that takes a lot of talent. The show ended off with the only song I knew A New England and it of course inspired an entire crowd sing-along and was probably a cathartic experience for some in the crowd. Always a treat to see someone who would be playing much much larger venues on a regular tour in a small pub.