SXSW 2001 Death March

Day Two: Thursday 15 March 2001

Thursday started at Emo's for The Dishes (Chicago, IL). Nothing special. Just garden variety, loud as shit, herky-jerky chick-punk. Eh...

So, over to Emo's Jr. for Red Planet (San Francisco, CA). Fairly fun, dumb-shit, loud as shit, space-pop guitar-punk. Pretty ok, but not too inspiring.

So, over to Atomic Café for Stonekracker (Austin, TX). I'm glad these clubs are pretty close together... Anyway, Stonekracker... What the... Funk party death punk. Zoiks! Bass solo! Where's Nick?

Cross the street to Room 710 to catch the last of Early Day Miners (Bloomington, IN). Pretty cool guitar texture noodling. No real value add connected with seeing them live, though.

Cab time...

Well off the beaten track, I hit the Continental Club for Laika & The Cosmonauts (Helsinki, FINLAND). Insanely great surfabilly guitar from Lapland. They slip a bit when they slow down and diverge into funk and reggae, but when they're on the mark with the classic guitar attack, they're a ten. Wow!

My hopes for another ten were dashed by The Comas (Chapel Hill, NC). I guess the name was inspired by the effect they create? Sleepy slow muddy take on the Pixies vintage Doolittle. Note to the band. Next time you're trying to evoke the spirit of Frank Black, you need your vocal rant amped way, way up. If that's not what you were trying to do, what was it then?

We took the car back to downtown and circled for a bit looking for parking, and luckily made it to Empanada Parlour for the Free Radicals (Houston, TX). Way cool quasi-salsified, quasi-funk, quasi-jazz ska jam. This 5-piece was great.

We had a 23"30 show to catch, so we split early, but stopped at The Limelight for a little bit of Wrench (Tokyo, JAPAN) on the way. The press said "It's the new way of loud rock!" Uh-huh. My ears are bleeding.

We promptly split for Elephant Room for The East Side Band (Austin, TX). Talented and soulful horns-infused jazz and blues. Nice break for the ears, after that last one.

Since I was at that end of the fest, I went by Rainbow Cattle Co. for Kissinger (Austin, TX). When they stick to the almost new-wave stuff, they're cool. I can see the Ric Ocasek comment the Chron guy mentioned. But the sort of Black Crowes-esque numbers sucked!

Pressed for time, I traded a couple bucks for a quick cab to the Copper Tank North for Adolfo's Reversal (Austin, TX). Fairly energetic Crimson-esque jam-noodling, but not hooky enough. Eh...

So, on to the Copper Tank Main Room for The Court and Spark (San Francisco, CA). Ick. Waaay too softy-country. Outta here.

I wandered to Lucy's to check out Crud (Detroit, MI). Imagine by Exene Cervenka and John Doe of X performing some sort of ear and brain damaging cock rock. Not bad at all.

After that I killed some time listening to The Braxton Hicksplsy a street corner near Dan McKlusky's. Cool cool cool slightly country-tinged, indie rock. They did an accoustic set on the street corner, with the drummer playing the light pole! They hadn't gotten a SXSW showcase, but came anyway. Earnest and alive. I really liked these guys.

After that back to Copper Tank North for Rhythm of Black Lines (Austin, TX). Energetic, noodling post-rock-jazz jam with occasional bursts of driving guitars the way only guys with bad fuzzy haircuts can play. Kinda cool, but only kinda.

Over to Copper Tank Main for Swords Project (Portland, OR). Nope. They're _still fucking w/ their equipment at 1:15... Sigh... Over to the other side again.

Still only kinda cool.

OK. Back to Swords Project... Hmmm... Imagine Stereolab with influences. Maybe it's the electric violin. Wait a minute. Now it's sort of jazzy morphine blues. Now some classical has crept in. Interesting. Worth checking out on CD, but live probably adds little.

So, down the street to The Loft for bedbug (Austin, TX). Pretty catchy fuzzy power pop. But not catchy enough to keep me from proceding to Atomic.

And at Atomic Café is was the Voodoo Glow Skulls (Riverside, CA). Seriously deranged hardcore ska-punk assault. Imagine Fishbone skanking up some thrashmetal.

A loud, lively ending to the night. Overall, this was a better Thursday than normal. Something's weird with this festival, this time out.

Thursday's Score:
45 Interesting-sounding bands (not all listed here)
18 Actually seen/heard for more than 60 seconds
2 Outstanding, really want to see 'em again, get the CD, etc.
4 Pretty good
5 Pretty decent
7 Eh... Find something better to do, soon
0 Total wankers

Here are some other related links to check out: