SXSW Review: Ringo Deathstarr, March 18, Easy Tiger

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

ringo deathstarr

Austin – This show was an illustration of what a band will do when many things go wrong at their SXSW showcase set.  Austin shoegazers Ringo Deathstarr had a promising start to their set and then came the sound problems.  First a few crackles, then some of their gear apparently stopped working, then the frustration, anger, then finally an act of deperation as Elliott Frazier resorted to singing Snow’s Informer a capella.  Or was that an act of genius?  I’m not sure.  Probably genius.

You could see the frustration grow as the band struggled to fix things.  It was stop and go throughout, but when it did work, it was gloriously noisy, solid shoegaze.  They’ve got a really good sound and I’d love to see them play a proper set when everything isn’t going wrong.  They soldiered on for awhile, but the breaking point may have been when the can of beer Frazier set on his amp fell off due to the vibrations.  As he stood in spilled beer, he chugged the remaining beer and tossed the can into the audience, pegging one unfortunate guy in the head with it.  I get why he felt like doing that, but it was still a bit of a dick move.  But hey, at least he didn’t punch a woman.

SXSW Review: The Vaccines, March 17,18, Cedar Courtyard/Stubbs

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

The Vaccines

Austin – I have now seen The Vaccines three times now in their extremely short time of existence. Something about their retro sounding garage punk rock keeps me coming back. I don’t even know how to categorize them properly, they have some punk elements, but their melodies also take a lot of influence from 60s era pop bands. Take the guitar lick from Wreckin Bar, for instance, while the rest of the track sounds like some good Ramones cover, that guitar lick almost belongs in a greaser 50s diner jukebox. It’s the nice meld of multiple genres of music that has everyone excited about this band and as a result, the trio played a host of shows at SXSW, including Filter’s party at the Cedar Courtyard and Spin’s party at Stubbs. Coincidentally, I was there for both.

When I first saw the Vaccines in Toronto, the experience left me unimpressed. The band either seemed uninterested or unmotivated. Seeing them twice in two days, I can chalk that Toronto experience to a bad day. The Vaccines I saw in Austin was a tight, confident rock band and with standout tracks like Post Breakup Sex and Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra), they have reason to be confident. With set times of 15 and 18 minutes, I almost think the Vaccines should go home and write more songs so the next time they are in town not because their current selection of tracks isn’t good, but because I don’t want them to finish their set by the time I took three sips of my beer.

The Vaccine’s debut record What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? is out on May 31st

The Vaccines – Post Break-Up Sex by UniversalMusicPublishing

SXSW Review: Matt & Kim, March 18, Fader Fort

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

matt and kim

Austin – Wow.  What can I even say about this show?  It’s a little hard to be objective about it.  In fact, it’s pretty much impossible to say anything negative about this show unless you’re a dick who hates awesome fun.  Matt & Kim are the happiest band on the planet and they want you to be as happy as they are.  And they work hard to make you happy.  This is the service they provide.

This was my first time seeing Matt & Kim live.  from what I hear, they always put on a hugely energetic set, but due to the fact that this was SXSW and Matt & Kim were really amped up after seeing Odd Future play sometime before them, it might have been even more high energy.  Ridiculous stage banter, Kim bootie dancing while being held up by the crowd, tons of balloons with Matt & Kim’s face on them, and the duo playing snippets of big, dumb pop songs such as “Apache” and “Do You Think You’re Better Off Alone.”These are just a few of the crowd pleasing tricks Matt & Kim have in their repertoire.  For added star power, they were even joined by Erykah Badu  for one song, although I totally didn’t recognize her until after the fact, wondering who that woman banging nonchalantly on a cymbal was. 

At one point during their set, Matt dedicated a song to everyone who’s ever seen them before and come back again.  After seeing them for the first time, I’d say that list would pretty much include everyone who’s ever seen them live before.  Unless they hate awesome fun.

Daylight by mattandkim

SXSW Review: Foster The People, March 17, Cedar Courtyard

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


Austin – Already armed with hit single Pumped Up Kicks, Los Angeles band Foster The People was all over Austin this year hoping to further their profile with a host of shows at SXSW. I was at their showcase at Filter’s Culture Collide party, a series of concerts that in recent years have been a launching pad for bands such as the Temper Trap, White Lies and Late of the Piers. Taking the stage at 3:00pm, the three piece band spent the next 40 minutes playing rather radio friendly tracks to the packed crowd at the Cedar Courtyard.

With lead singer Mark Foster manning a series of synthesizers, I initially could not place my finger on who Foster The People sounded like, then after hearing tracks such as Houdini, it hit me – Foster the People reminded me a lot of Passion Pit, if Passion Pit was in love with Billy Joel. Summery melodies laid over electro beats, it became pretty apparent that this band will be headed for popularity shortly. Hit single Pumped Up Kicks had the crowd moving and while the bands music wasn’t as large a revelation as say, Temper Trap were last year in terms of blowing the fans out of the water, the band definitely delivered on their hype and I expect more catchy things when their debut album Torches hits the stands in May.

Here are some other shows
3/25 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
3/26 Seattle WA High Dive *SOLD OUT
3/27 Boise, ID Reef
3/29 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
3/30 Denver, CO Walnut Room
3/31 Kansas City, MO The Record Bar
4/1 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
4/2 Chicago, IL Schuba’s *SOLD OUT
4/3 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
4/5 Montreal, QC Petit Campus
4/7 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall
4/8 New York, NY Mercury Lounge *SOLD OUT
4/9 Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory *SOLD OUT
4/10 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie
4/11 Washington DC Red Palace
4/17 Indio, CA Coachella
5/30 George, WA Sasquatch

Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks by MusicForBears