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Polaroids Of Androids

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SXSW (Day 3)
20/03/2009

Previously on PoA: Day 1 and Day 2.

BEST DAY EVER. Again, get off to a false start - pop into the Aussie BBQ to see if there's any free food yet but they haven't started cooking despite the fact it's clearly lunchtime. BBQ FAIL. Drink a free beer then toddle off to see Spindrift. They are amazing. Featuring ex Brian Jonestown Massacre members, it's as though they're soundtracking a David Lynch Spaghetti Western set in the swinging 60s, and I am in love.

Bang Bang Eche
Bang Bang Eche

Heading back to see if the sausages are ready yet, it's hard not to stop at the window of a tiny venue where there's some serious ruckus being brought. People have gathered outside to see New Zealand's Bang Bang Eche tear shit up as they get their punk on. We go inside to see four kids on a mini stage completely go for it, no fear in their lil eyes as they jump on the bar, climb on speakers and then berate the sound guy for cutting their sound. They incite the crowd to chant, 'one more song, one more song', and they get their wish. The singer dives out the window onto the street to finish the song, and as the American dude behind me excitedly notes, "you don't see showmanship like that anymore". Guess he's never seen The Mint Chicks then.

I finally get my sausage in bread at the Aussie BBQ where Josh Pyke is playing. It's pretty busy there now and even Guy Sebastien and Gabriella Cilmi have turned up. Perhaps they're keen for a sausage too? When the free beer runs out Iater the crowd thins considerably and I feel a bit bad for Birds of Tokyo cos there aren't many people to watch them. Then I remember what they sound like.

It's now time to get out of Little Australia and hit the ghettos of Austin. I head east and don't realise that the venue I wanna get to is a good 30 minute walk to the less welcoming part of town. There's an unofficial DIY gig in the carpark of a thrift store, and around the corner, past some dubious looking dudes hanging around cars and alleys, a house where Nite Jewel are playing. The two lovely ladies from LA play in the front garden, where the path to the house has been strewn with small shiny jewels. The sparkle is apt – the duo play slightly shadowy, minimal pop with singer Ramona Gonzalez's voice the focal point upon which everything else is built. Stunning and worth the walk and the risk of homicide.

Future Of The Left
Future Of The Left

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead are brilliant back downtown and then Future Of The Left blow my tiny little mind. This band is too good. Too good for you, too good for me and too good for that super cute litter of kittens down at the pet store. The intensity with which singer Andrew Falkous performs is unparalleled, and the band as a whole is a precise force. The brutality of their music is underpinned by a bass driven groove that takes the edge off, and bassist Kelson Mathias is the perfect foil for Falkous. Where Falkous is unwavering and concentrated, Mathias is somewhat light-hearted, eventually jumping into the crowd to play. This band is genius and one of the best at SxSW, hands down.

The Soft Pack
The Soft Pack

The Ettes disappoint a little. The three-piece's Toe Rag garage rock lacks the excitement of their recordings and gets a little samey after a while. San Diego's The Soft Pack on the other hand come to the party ready to start the party... or a least to be the cool kids at the party that everyone wants to be at. They play a lo-fi kinda slacker rock and their songs rule. Singer Matt Lamkin is deadpan as he stares through the crowd while bassist Dave Lantzman has some kind of spirit fingers as he finger picks his way through a brilliant set. These guys used to be called The Muslims, but changed their name last year because, well, shit just got tricky. They are good, really good.

The Black Lips with GZA from Wu Tang are up next. By now I am drunk and just want to get messy with the lords of messy, but with GZA up front, this isn't the kind of messy I'm hoping for. The set plods and no-one really knows what's going on which makes for an interesting spectacle, but nothing sonically magic.

King Khan and the Shrines, however, definitely have some kinda magical force. It's a religious experience and people up the front do a sort of hand shimmy in honour of the King. I touch his stick and I feel like all will now be OK in the world.

King Khan
King Khan

Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys is playing at a Love Police house party just out of town, so we go and it's THE best late night party of the whole event. Kanye, Janes Addiction, whatever. The band is set up inside the house, there's a bonfire down near some trees and everyone is drunk. ULTIMATE WIN.

Filed Under
Articles
Spindrift
Bang Bang Eche
Josh Pyke
Nite Jewel
Future Of The Left
The Soft Pack
Black Lips
GZA
King Khan & The Shrines
The Black Keys

 

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