South By Southwest

SXSW Review: Laura Lee & The Jettes, March 16, Hotel Indigo

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


One of the fun things about SXSW is seeing bands in somewhat unusual settings, oftentimes also performing rather unique sets. Such was the case on the Wednesday of SXSW as German band Laura Lee & The Jettes played a stripped down 5:00pm set in a hotel lounge, which they then repeated later that evening, playing a presumably identical set in the same hotel lounge at 6:00.

With Lee and her band set up in the comfy confines of the Hotel Indigo lobby, I settled in for a set of what Lee described as “slightly less loud” versions of her songs. It was an enjoyable set, both for the audience and the band. As Lee described it, she had a lot of fun figuring out how to reconfigure their songs for these shows and even likened it to being sort of her version of Nirvana Unplugged. Bowie and Meat Puppets songs not included, however.

A highlight of their set was “Cheap Wine”, described by Lee as a song about being over 30 and still chasing the rock and roll dream. Seeing as how Lee has already been on the scene for awhile with her other band Gurr (who are also quite good, by the way – check them out), it’s not surprising that she’d write a song on the subject. But also she’s not old at all and I saw many acts of all ages around Austin this week who were also still chasing that rock and roll dream. She did mention that one song she played later in her set was already something of a hit back in Germany. Here’s hoping she can repeat that feat on North American shores.

SXSW Reviews: Los Bitchos, Park Jiha

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

20220315 Los Bitchos

Let’s recap some bands

Los Bitchos, March 15, Cedar Street Courtyard

This four or Five member English band (reads different depending on the PR) was an insanely good time. The London group consists of members whose backgrounds and influences span the globe and they did a great job blending differently worldly sounds into music. Often featuring polyrhythmic sequences mixed with guitars, keyboards and random vocals, the group got an exhausted crowd dancing and enforced their energy into the venue. A super fun time.


Park Jiha , March 16, St. David’s Bethel Hall

One of my favorite things I love about SXSW is that it will, much like Aladdin, show you the world. When I saw the description of Park Jiha – an artist whose music is a composition that incorporates traditional Korean instruments – I was sold. Partially because I watch a lot of Korean movies, but also, what are traditional Korean instruments?

On Wednesday night I found out – incorporating a Yanggeum, a saenghwang (pictured above) and a Piri (which honestly, sounds like a sax), Park Jiha played a mesmerizing set of beautifully composed music which spanned multiple genres. Some songs, especially the ones using the Yanggeum, felt like it could fit into your next classic Korean film while others featuring the piri would fit best at an after hour cocktail bar. A great introduction to a different type of music.

SXSW Review: Ryder The Eagle, March 15, Chess Club

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


“Keep Austin Weird” has been an unofficial motto for the city for some time now. and at its best (and sometimes its worst), the music programming at SXSW can help to shine a spotlight on the weird and wonderful performers out there, not just from Austin but from around the globe. A perfect example of this is Ryder The Eagle.

Originally from Toulouse and currently based in Mexico City, Ryder The Eagle took the audience at Chess Club on a journey through the weird during his set at Chess Club, a journey that included tales of divorce, motorcycles, rebound romances, and much more.

Performing solo, Ryder took to the stage and began his set with a monologue explaining everything he’s gone through with the divorce and setting the thematic groundwork for the evening. Though it isn’t exactly accurate to say he took to the stage – he made the entire venue his stage and more or less made everyone in the small confines of Chess Club a part of his show.

And what a show it was. Roaming about the entire space, singing directly to and occasionally dancing with various women in attendance (presumably using them as a surrogate for his ex), writhing about on the floor, and culminating in him singing while standing on the bar, Ryder the Eagle gave us a show that was weird, yes, but wildly entertaining. And the finale, with him singing atop the bar, was made even more surreal by the Led Zeppelin concert footage airing on the screen behind him.

Falling somewhere between karaoke and performance art, it wasn’t fully clear how much of Ryder’s story was just a persona created for his show and how much was true to life, but that hardly matters when it’s this much fun. I know that watching some dude in an all white cowboy suit singing songs about his divorce behind a prerecorded backing track doesn’t necessarily sound all that fun, but trust me, it was.

SXSW Review: Red Rum Club, March 13, Cedar St. Courtyard

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


One of the fun things about SXSW is thinking about what a band’s projection would be based on their music and presentation. It’s kinda like a young prospect in sports … will they be a franchise player or a bench warmer?

Hailing from Liverpool (as they mentioned time and time again during their set), Red Rum Club comes to SXSW as a seemingly well polished product ready for the big show. The interesting thought for me is that for this group, the big show isn’t necessarily some pedestal on the Mount Rushmore of rock but rather, their music seems tailored for the top 40 charts

The band’s 40 minute set was filled with big hooks, singalongs and even a very catchy song inspired by fellow Liverpudlians The Beatles. The band’s easy to digest songs are primed for a wide audience. Combine that with a charismatic front man and a cool band aesthetic and you have the makings of a band that can rocket to the top of the charts.