Monday, March 30, 2009

SXSW - last take.

to round out about a week of music, walking and constant people-watching, Zoneil and myself dove head-first into one last day of action-packed SXSWing. after meeting up with some kids we knew, we followed them to catch a set by Ebony Bones, a British actress-turned-musician. the music was dance-y, and the outfits on her and her band were epic. this was definitely on my top 5 SXSW performances, both to watch and photograph.
this was drawn on the guitarist's hand:
eventually worked our way over to the South by Seattle showcase to catch some Northwest hip-hop care of Common Market and Blue Scholars:
closed out the evening with the lovely Erykah Badu way out on the outskirts of downtown. on the plus-side, the show was on an outdoor stage in the park and it was nice to get the fresh air. on the down-side, Badu was running late and only had time to perform two songs before rushing out to a performance at the Fader Fort on the other side of downtown. even so, those two songs were worth it. plus, it was fun to shoot with some real stage lights again.
following ms. Badu was a band i'd only barely heard of by name. Austin-based instrumental post-rock band Explosions in the Sky proved to be an incredible show. if you haven't heard of them, i would definitely check them out.
SXSW was a whirlwind experience. as much as i thought i knew what to expect, i realized very quickly that it was more overwhelming than i could have known. it was amazing to see so much music and to roam the streets with thousands of music fanatics. i'm looking forward to trying it all again next year. we'll see if this couple makes it back next year too:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SXSW - take 3

day three of the seemingly-endless madhouse that is austin.

started out the day by catching a set by a new band from L.A. featuring friends Bryan Harris and Robin Fehr called The Nights. the band includes former members of the Hanks and Selegna Sol. they played at the Troubadour, and even though it was a mid-day show, there was a decent turnout. then it was on to the show i'd been counting down to the entire week: THE BOUNCING SOULS! they played at the Red 7, following Dillinger Four and a reunion show by Recover (Todd can tell you all about that show). the Souls is one of those bands i grew up listening to, and i've tried to see them every time they come to town. this year is their 20th anniversary, and funny enough, their first appearance on the SXSW lineup. P.O.S. made a special appearance to perform "Argyle" after watching the set from backstage. pretty funny that none of the punk kids in the audience had any idea who he was, but everyone was still into it, crowdsurfing and rocking out to every lyric.
Bryan 'Papillon' Kienlen's "born to lose" tattoo (and my favorite Souls song):
after Red 7, Todd, Chris and i wandered around, got some food and got off our feet for the first time in hours. we met up with Zoneil and ended up... yup, on 6th street again. this time we were delighted to find a faux-scuffle between two very drunk guys that consistently ended in one guy's face in the other's crotch. their friends hardly took notice of the ongoing fight.
we soon realized that the fighting was happening in front of the live soundstage where they film the drawings for the Texas Lottery. these folks were standing at the viewing window, hoping to be holding the winning numbers:
more waiting around, more watching people:
we saw this girl two nights in a row, and i was a big fan of her fashion choices. the first night, the jumpsuit was white and black, the second was gold and black. we were hoping to see her the last night, and were holding out for a glitter ensemble:ended up at the radio room to close out the night with a set by Canadian band Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains, followed by an overly-crowded set by Cursive. i never did manage to fight my way to the front for Cursive, but the performance was incredible either way.that closes out the third day. stay posted for one last update from SXSW.

Monday, March 23, 2009

SXSW - take 2

sxsw... the adventure continues.

day 2 was spent doing even more people watching. i think that was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip, just sitting on the curb anywhere on 6th street and checking out all the characters who walked by. which is always a plus when you're waiting in a huge line to see a show that you never manage to actually get into... which is what happened when we tried to see Cursive the first time.

Todd and I caught up with Drew Anthony Smith of baltimore/Patuxent fame. Cursive was playing a free show at the radio room, but the line was so long that we just decided to stand at the window and listen from the street. we could see the back of the drummer, at least. haha.

Drew was too cool in his sweet shades:
so after that, we posted up on the curb to watch these girls hula-hooping to get people in the door of this restaurant. i was diggin' this girl's tattoo:then this other lady came in and took both the hula-hoops and busted out some Golden Gate Park-style hooping skills. i was really impressed that she kept it up for so long without hitting any of the passers-by on the crowded street:
wandered over to Maggie May's with Todd and Chris and accidentally caught a set by hardcore punk band Death by Stereo. i haven't heard of these guys in years, and the show was more epic than i could have imagined, never having seen them before.after the set, i met up with Zoneil to interview Blue Scholars at a sports bar downtown. what started out as a simple Q&A lasted about an hour, ending with Geologic turning the mic around on Zoneil and interviewing him back. saw these guys play twice this week, and ended up running into them a dozen times. they're a really tight hip-hop act from Seattle, i highly suggest checking them out.after the interview, i wandered the street and met up with my buddy Brett "Sweet Tooth" Nelson, from SF by way of Brooklyn. he was in austin playing street corners just for the hell of it, and it was fun to watch the passers-by stop and watch for a little while. i think he earned a quarter while i stood there. closed out the night at the Rhymesayers showcase at Habana. saw Idea and Abilities, P.O.S. with special appearances by Sims and Dessa from Doomtree. everyone was going crazy, and it was awesome for a girl like me, who grew up listening to punk and not much hip-hop, to hear P.O.S. singing and Operation Ivy song. afterward, Zoneil and i tried to catch a set by the Bar-Kays, but the line was too long and we couldn't get in, so we people watched some more and called it a night.

still more to come.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

SXSW - take 1

spent the last five days shooting at South by Southwest in Austin, TX. i was expecting it to be a little crazy, just like any other music festival. but i have to say i was wrong; it was definitely more madness than i could have imagined. now that the festival is officially wrapped up and i have more than 10 minutes to go through photos, i figured i'd finally get to blogging about the whole experience. here goes with the first day's events.


i arrived in Austin on tuesday afternoon with Zoneil, editor-in-chief/writer for Oh Dang! Magazine back in SF. we got our wristbands and tags for my cameras, and made a game plan for the following week. started fresh on wednesday, meeting up with Todd Spoth and checking out Wavves at Emo's. i'd been hearing about this kid from fellow photographer Jason Fritz, and the live show was a great way to start out the day.
then wandered 6th street for a while before meeting up with the kids from iLL-Literacy and heading to the fader fort to get wristbands and see what was going on there.Adriel, iLL-Literacy, in line at the Fader Fort:later that evening, caught a hip-hop showcase at the back alley social. really tight show. saw Doomtree, U-N-I, Blue Scholars, Common Market, Blu, and a few others. caught up with U-N-I for an interview for Oh Dang!, stood in the street to people watch, ate tacos from a truck, chilled with some rappers and DJs, then hiked back downtown.Sims, Doomtree:Cecil Otter, Doomtree:Dessa, Doomtree:Sabzi, Common Market/Blue Scholars:Geologic, Blue Scholars:Geologic and Bambu, rockin' the taco truck:after some debate, and my futile attempts to convince everyone i knew out here to come along, Zoneil, Todd, Chris and i went to see Billy Bob Thornton & the Boxmasters at Smokin' Music. i know, i know, Billy Bob Thornton's band? i have a soft spot in my heart for that country-music twang, so the novelty of the performance was too much to pass up. even Matthew McConaughey was there! haha.

at one point, the very small woman standing in front of me slipped Billy Bob a note, at which point he stopped the band mid-verse. on the paper was scrawled "I can't hear your voice!"

"Whoa, stop, hold on a second," he says. "First of all, you never slip a note to a musician as they're starting a song. Second, there's these big, black boxes on each side of the stage called 'speakers'. If you can't hear my voice, it's probably because you're standing at the center of these speakers. Or maybe it's because you're in a CLUB. If you really want to hear the vocals, you might be better off buying a CD."


then he continued to hassle the poor lady by leaning into her face and enunciating every word to every song, and at one point even spoke the words to the entire next song before singing it. and throughout it all, she meekly held up her camera and took photos. what a trooper.wrapped up the night around 2:30 with a little more people-watching, some photo editing, and planning for the next day. stay tuned for more bloggage from SXSW.

ALSO check out Oh Dang! Magazine for more photos and play-by-play breakdowns of the madness.