SXSW Review: Barsuk/Merge Showcase [The Parish, March 22, 2009]

Posted on by Gary in Concerts, Everything, South By Southwest | 2 Comments

Toronto – Now that I am back, I can take the time to recount the last night of SXSW. Twas a night after 3 gigantic beef ribs measuring 1 ft each, mash potatoes, beans, corn, 2 cups of coffee and too much sugar. After standing in the line up for 30 minute I was surprised that I could not only get into the Parish, but inch slowly towards the front, and by the end of Lou Barlow’s last song I was touching the stage. What luck. Well, it turns out there were drama waiting for me. Oh and yes there are verb tense mistakes below… just a disclaimer.


Say Hi

Say Hi to your mom from Seattle, established in 2002, decided at some point that they did not just want to greet your mother, but Say Hi (to whatever you see fit). Apparently they have a very urgent fan base. Just at this one show there were 2 very vocal fan-girls professing their loves, squishing me and 5 other people out of our spots in the process. One of them literally materialized in front of me the way you’d expect to see Batman if you’ve stolen candy in Gotham City. And when I dodged around, she shadowed as if she had eyes on her scapula. Creepy. Representing Canada, I couldn’t bring myself to squeeze through, but thankfully southern hospitality came to the rescue and another girl sacrificed her spot up front for me. Very Cool. After listening to more than Northwestern Girls, I decided that I am happy were I was. There is nothing wrong with synthesizers – but  it almost makes sure one band cannot be distinguished from another. Maybe I just don’t think their music is much inspired but that would just be little old me. By this time the Parish is beginning to fill up.

The Rosebuds, The Parish, SXSW, March 22, 2009

One of their most played songs says: get up, get out. Right. I wish I could push through the North Carolina crowd that by this time had gathered behind me – not massive, but very passionate. The Raleigh, NC couple had to borrow a drummer and bass for their cause – really wasn’t that hard at Southby, I guess. The huge bearded bass was very fitting, I thought. And it helps that they have brought their own local fans – the crowd reaction was very positive from the get go. I forgot what song they started with, but they played quite a few good tunes: Leaves do fall, Boxcar, Hold hands and fight, Shake our tree (during which we were asked to sing-along ‘WOAH NO!’). Being the acoustic snob, I liked some of their unaccompanied guitar versions on the 2007 EP better; you really get to heard how clean their vocal can be. But they sounded very good live as well, after all their sound is not about earthquake tremors. It’s folksy guitar and lyrics concerning relationships which almost without fail has leaves, birds, or trees in them. After gracefully finishing the set, they high-5 the fans, or was that before? Oh who cares… I liked it.

Ra Ra Riot, The Parish, SXSW, March 22, 2009
Ra ra riot

The Parish was packed by this time. Ra Ra Riot from Syracuse, NY were indeed a riot to watch live. Just the sheer number of instruments – bass, guitar, drums, vocal, violin, and cello all swinging and swaying on the stage – it’s so expansive I almost couldn’t fit everyone into a single shot (guess I should think of Arcade Fire who has 8… or I could have backed off into the crowd, but I wasn’t about to lose the spot). Instead of a strong theme or melody, to me their songs are like unending streams, crest after crest waves of ballerinas coming down the aisle to stare you down. It’s not harsh or unpleasant, but you just don’t know when to mark a stop or end. Especially when Rebecca’s violin and Alexandra’s cello just keep flowing and flowing… actually without the lead vocal Wesley’s pauses to speak to the crowd, I would probably have treated the entire gig as one gigantic good song. Except Suspended in Gaffa (wtf is that anyways?), that’s got some beats that differs from the rest. The vocals were not as clear as I had hoped to be, but then again I was right next to the speakers as always. But I still enjoyed songs like Dying is fine, Oh La, and of course Can you tell, most of which I think were from their latest album The Rhumb Line. Good job to the guys from Barsuk/Merge records. Very nice line up and smooth to the finish, it was definitely a good note on which to end SXSW.

DJ Concert Review: The Twelves, March 27, The Social

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | Leave a comment


Toronto – What the hell was I thinking? just two days removed from one of the most exhausting trips of my life, I decided to venture out to hipster central (The Social) and check out the incredible remixers/dj act from Brazil known as The Twelves. If you have been reading the Panic Manual consistently, you know that we have blogged about these guys before, and even included several of their remixes on our year end compilation so I guess with that much PM love, a trip to see them DJ was in the cards.

Let’s face it, I am closer to 30 then 20 and when you are at that age, selling a Thursday night dj act at a nightclub to your friends is about as easy as selling a solar powered flashlight to a blind man. Luckily, I was able to corral two of my friends for the show, but just as we arrived at the Social, one of my friends saw the night club, realized it was Thursday and decided to bail. We are that old. I won’t say who it is, but I will say he is six foot eight and his name rhymes with Peeven Keith. But I’m not one to point people out so I’ll just leave it at that.

We arrived way too early at the Social, which resulted in sitting around for about an hour watching hipsters trying to be american apparel models by taking pictures in non chalant poses. The Twelves were supposed to come on at around midnight, but they must of had a Chinese clock, because they showed up 20 minutes late. By this time, my friend was exhausted as hell and I was like shiet.. Did I mention this club was absolutely packed by then? I was surprised.

The Twelves as DJ’s were very good, through out their set they slipped in a lot of the tracks on their mixtapes – Radiohead’s reckoner, the Zeltgeist song, MIA’s boyz and others. Other tunes they mixed in included Thriller and Standing in the way of Control by the Gossip. It was a good show. Whereas Flosstradamus was very good at splicing songs and finding that perfect combination of what goes next, the Twelves will play a song, but then they will play their own remixed version of it, which was pretty cool. One of the dudes had a keyboard which I assumed was used to generate that ‘Twelves’ remixed sound. The crowd was pretty hyped for it and I can say I was glad I went, although now it’s the next day, I’m tired and listening to Belle and Sebastien.

ps. I ran into Isis of Thunderheist and asked her about the incident at the Perez Hilton party where a band came on during their performance and burnt money:

Living Things, Perez's Party, SXSW, March 21, 2009

She said that Perez was pissed at them because he thought they had brought them along, and then quoted

“I make money, I don’t burn it”


Quick Concert Review: Primal Scream, March 24, Phoenix

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | 1 Comment


Toronto – I wasn’t able to go, but my friend Mark from gave me this review not knowing that I would take our facebook conversation and turn it into a blog article. I call this ‘guerilla style blogging’. Im totally the Che of the interweb.

Mark: primal scream was good

Ricky: did they play kill all hippies

Mark:may have missed it, played swastica eyes.. did you see them in texas

Ricky: yea, they played about 45 minutes only though in texas

Mark: pretty cool green laser, lots of strobe lighting, they played a good mix, some stuff from screamadellica and xterminator, and other stuff I didn’t recognize , he’s a good showman got the crowd going, like that mani’s amp says mani on it instead of Marshall nice touch

Ricky:nice, what screamdelica tunes

Mark: higher than the sun, movin on up

Ricky:oh man i missed moving on up…how long was the set

Mark: got there at 10.15 and they were on till 12 at least definitely played stuff from evil heat too can’t remember exactly had a few beers with the brentster, passed my driving the same day so got a bit wasted

CONCLUSION – probably a good show

BTW, Mark makes furniture out of reclaimed wood. I don’t know what that means, but I guess we are similar since we review music from reclaimed albums. HAHA. jokes.

NOTE: Mark arrived late, here was setlist

“Kill All Hippies”
“Can’t Go Back”
“Miss Lucifer”
“Suicide Sally And Johnny Guitar”
“Burning Wheel”
“Beautiful Future”
“Higher Than The Sun”
“Deep Hit Of Morning Sun”
“Suicide Bomb”
“Shoot Speed/Kill Light”
“Swastika Eyes”
“Country Girl”
“Movin’ On Up”


“Necro Hex Blues”

i got that from

SXSW Review: St. Vincent, Antones, March 20

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything, South By Southwest | 2 Comments

St. Vincent, Antones, March 20, SXSW

Austin – I listened to St. Vincent‘s debut album quite a bit when it first came out. The theatrical sultry vocals of Annie Clark was definitely something to behold. I guess I was not the only one enchanted by this Texan singer on Friday night at Antones, judging by the amount of ‘Marry me Annie!’ chants there were. Luckily for her, she also has a song by that name and can simply reply ‘Oh, that’s the song we are playing next’. I had previously seen her a few years ago at Horseshoe, but much to my surprise, this time around, Annie Clark had a rather large band with her, one of whom looked like a greaser from the 50s. Once again, technical difficulties delayed the start of this concert, but once it got going, all it took was a simple ‘hello, We’re St. Vincent’ to get everyone in the place to shut up.

Dressed in black while other band members dressed in white, Annie Clark debuted mostly new material of her upcoming album for the crowd of 200 enthusiastic fans. Even with the addition of a chamber pop backing members, the new material still sounds pretty similar to the old ones, high on lounge quality. I almost think that if you transported St. Vincent back to the 30s, they would be the biggest thing ever. Just as quickly as the set began, the show ended. I guess this is what happens when you play at 12:30 am. No ‘Stars are Aligned’, no ‘Human Racing’, no ‘Paris is Burning’ yet I was still satisfied. St. Vincent has that star like quality about her, when she sings, everyone pays attention, she looks fragile, but then you see her shred the guitar and it’s like whoa. Quite mesmerizing.