If the 1,006 song Unofficial SXSW 2016 Part 1 torrent (which Now I’ve Heard Everything previously presented here) was either too big or you and torrenting don’t get along, here’s an easy, free and legal download for you. NPR has gone through all those songs and put 100 of them that they think warrant your attention into an easy to download zip file. They call it the 2016 Austin 100. Just click here to start your download of it, but this link will expire on March 31, 2016.
If the 844 song Unofficial SXSW 2015 torrent (which Now I’ve Heard Everything previously presented here) was either too big or you and torrenting don’t get along, here’s an easy, free and legal download for you. NPR has gone through all those songs and put 100 of them that they think warrant your attention into an easy to download zip file. They call it the 2015 Austin 100. Just click here to start your download of it, but this link will expire on April 2, 2015.
The reopening of The Living Room appears to be close. The club sent out an email on Friday confirming their reopening and asking for help in getting the new space ready. That email is reproduced below:
After 3+ years of looking for a new home, we are delighted to announce that the Living Room is re-opening!
Your generous donations have been put to good use in building the new space.
Next week we could use some help from our extended family and friends with the finishing touches.
Handy with fabric and a staple gun? Carpenter? Handywoman? A stickler for detail? Good at wielding a spray paint can? Know how to sew curtains? Have access to a van? Then we need could use YOU!
The volunteer dates are October 7th-11 between 10am and 8pm.
Email us and let us know when you can stop by
Jennifer and Steve
A report on the future of South By Southwest, better know as simply SXSW, the yearly music festival in Austin, Texas, generated headlines earlier this week. The report, written by the consulting firm Populous, was commissioned by SXSW in the wake of several incidents at SXSW 2014, including a car accident that killed four people.
The Populous report contained suggestions that SXSW take more control over the unofficial events that exist during the festival as well as this attention grabbing paragraph:
If SXSW cannot sustain success and growth in the future, like any business they will eventually need to make decisions about whether or not they can continue to exist in their current format and location. It is very possible that SXSW will have no choice but to entertain notions of bidding their event to other cities to sustain their business model. This would be a serious matter for all parties considering the significant financial impact and returns SXSW provides to the community as well as the contribution to the brand and PR value of the City.
As a result, reports in Austin area media suggested that SXSW was seeking to control everything that happened in Austin during the festival and if it couldn’t do so, it would move someplace else.
SXSW has responded that it is not thinking of moving. What it does want, it told the website Wondering Sound is that Austin “put a limit on the number of permits issued for events that require temporary permits, based on location, capacity and infrastructure.” SXSW continued: “the most important part of what we’re asking for is a comprehensive safety plan that will include not just SXSW events, but every other significant activity downtown during our event. Marketing companies are fond of the tactic of keeping everything a secret until the last minute to avoid scrutiny. SXSW, the unofficial events, and the city all need transparency in order to plan for safety properly.”
Each day during SXSW 2014, I provided a “box score” listing the bands I saw the preceding day. I’ve collected them all here, so that those who are interested can find all the bands I saw and my capsule opinion of them in one place and not have to scroll from post to post.
|East Cameron Folkcore||This nine piece band includes trombone, cello and male and female backup singers, and really likes electric guitar solos. They started the show with a rant about The Machine. If Pink Floyd were an Americana band The Wall would have sounded like this show.|
|Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison||Perfect country perfectly played, with the bonus of Kelly’s unique voice that seems to be able to tap directly into my nervous system. A homer run, as always!|
|Nakia||Nakia was backed by a six piece band with percussion and keys. His songs are a mix of 60s pop and soul, with electric guitar solos thrown into the mix. Perhaps not the best show to evaluate, as they keyboards were almost totally lost in the mix.|
|Caught A Ghost||Soul tinged pop was the stock in trade for this LA band. They have an interesting instrumental mix with guitar, keys drums percussion and sax. The male and female lead singers kept everything upbeat and fun.|
|Madi Diaz||I’ve wanted to catch Madi ever since I saw her join Harper Blynn for a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain two years ago (you can see that video here). I wish the wait had not been so long. Madi led a three piece band (keys, drums and electric guitar) with a very full sound and played upbeat atmospheric rock. A great close to the night and definitely a home run!|
|Kelly Mickwee||Kelly played with a trio but one which provider her with a very full sound. She played alt country and Americana with strong vocals and very good songwriting. A hit!|
|James McMurtry||Played solo; an excellent guitarist|
|Bobby Rush||An 81 year old Chicago bluesman who sounded just as you would imaging, but with some additional funk in his bag of tricks.|
|The Howlin’ Brothers||Old time country trio (guitar, bass and violin or banjo) who played with verve and passion.|
|Bonnie Whitmore||Bonnie has been around the scene, both in NYC and Austin for a while. Today she played with a trio and her set rocked, especially when she moved over to her brand new electric guitar. A hit!|
|Blackie and The Rodeo Kings||Instead of a band this time around, we got just the three frontmen. But Colin, Stephen and Tom, played guitars (and sometimes mandolin and dobro) like their lives depended on it and rocked the audience. A hit!|
|Alejandro Escovedo||This time out, Alejandro played with a classic four piece band and stuck with his most rocking songs. A hit!|
|Dayna Kurtz||Dayna played solo, sticking to torchy and bluesy songs. Her powerful voice wowed the audience and won her a bunch of new fans. A hit!|
|Benjamin Booker||Benjamin played electric guitar and was accompanied by a drummer. Everything was cranked up so high that the music overwhelmed the sound system. What we got was sonic mush.|
|Lucius||Pop with twin female leads. Musically diverse and interesting. Striking attention has been paid to the visual elements of the band including matching clothes and hair styles.|
|Lucinda Williams||First time I’ve seen Lucinda in a dozen years. She played a mix of older stuff and songs from a forthcoming double album. The performance was classic Lucinda.|
|A Great Big World||Combine Ben Folds, Billy Joel, The Kinks, Simon and Garfunkle, The Bonzo Dog Band, and add freshness and enthusiasm and you can get an idea where this tremendously entertaining band is coming from.|
|Parsons Red Head||A classic four piece band playing psychedelic rock and 60s jangle pop including some guitar licks probably not played in the last 40 years. They’re from Oregon, but if they play NYC in the future I’d see them.|
|The Split Squad||This version of the band had a a couple of substitutions for regualr band members. They played straight ahead rock with a big debt to the 60s and 70s.|
|The Baseball Project||The Baseball Project this time around included Mike Mills and Fenway organist Josh Kantor but not Peter Buck. The set introduced songs from 3rd, the new BBP record due out in two weeks. Subjects of those new songs include the Oakland As, Cuban ball players, Bernie Williams, Dale Murphy (written by Mike Mills) and A-Rod. A hit for extra bases!|
|Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3||This time out, it was more like Steve and The Miracle 4 with Scott McCaughey playing base and Josh Kantor again on organ. If you are a regular reader here, you already know that I think that SW+M3 are the best rock band out there. This short but intense and cathartic set just proves that point. A home run!|
|Louise Goffen||Louise played piano, uke and guitar. Her voice is similar to that of Jill Sobule. However her voice seemed to undercut her first two songs (on piano). Whatever the problem was, it did not reappear for the rest of the set, which was pleasant.|
|The Parlotones||This band is from South Africa, where, we were told, they are huge. But only 2 of the 4 band members showed so I’m not sure what ultimately they were supposed to sound like. This set was played with just an amplified acoustic guitar and percussion. Their songs have Dylan like lyrical complexity and some of them had some Beatle like melodies. But after a while the songs began sounding the same to me.|
|Ruby the Rabbitfoot||This guitar, bass and sometimes keyboard trio sounds like a more languid Victoria Williams. Ultimately they did not command my attention|
|The Mastersons||This set consisted solely of songs off of The Mastersons’ record due out June 17th, Good Luck Charm. Even if this was the fourth show they played on Thursday, they and their new material sounded great and the wonderful harmonies of Chris and Eleanor are there in the songs. A hit!|
|Laura Cantrell||Laura played with a full band and included songs from her new album and older material as well. Consistently enjoyable alt country.|
You’ll find Friday and Saturday after the jump Read the rest of this entry »
The Tribute to Lou Reed was a highlight of my time at SXSW 2014. Videos from that show have started showing up, and this one, Spandau Ballet playing Satellite of Love, is one of the standout performances of that show. There’s a bit of talking at the start of this, so if you want to get right to the music, just skip ahead to 0:40. Many thanks to Joshua Kerievsky who recorded this (and several other) videos that night.
The Baseball Project have a new album due out next week. It’s simply titled 3rd. The band was at SXSW last week, with a lineup that included Steve Wynn, Scott McCaughey, Mike Mills, Linda Pitmon and Josh Kantor (Josh also plays the organ at Fenway Park). Here’s a live version of one of the new BBP songs, Monument Park. As Steve explains at the beginning of the clip, it’s about Bernie Williams. Thanks to Dave Meek, who captured this performance.
One of my SXSW 2014 highlights was seeing The Baseball Project (Steve Wynn, Scott McCaughey, Mike Mills, Linda Pitmon and Josh Kantor) augmented by Lenny Kaye, Ivan Julian and Jason Victor play a 15 minute version of The Velvet Underground’s Sister Ray during Friday night’s SXSW Tribute to Lou Reed. So when I saw Steve early Saturday afternoon at Lucy’s Fried Chicken (the photo above shows him playing there, this time playing with The Miracle 3), I told him that I felt fortunate to see that once in a lifetime performance. Steve said that there was a good chance that it could happen again, as he had decided at 2am following that show that the show that he has coming up at The Bowery Electric in late May will be an all Lou Reed cover show.
Although Steve originally had scheduled a show at The Bowery Electric for May 22, I see that club’s schedule has Steve listed as playing there on May 29th. Whichever date it is (I’m sure that will be cleared up shortly), it will certainly be a show not to miss.