Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SXSW Day 3 - Saturday, March 17th

Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds at Waterloo Records
First up for Saturday were garage rock and punk band Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds. The band is fronted by guitarist Kid Congo Powers aka Brian Tristan, who used to be part of The Cramps, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and The Gun Club. I thoroughly enjoyed their slightly quirky but fun set of songs, including a song called "History of French Cuisine" and a cover of "I'm Cramped" by, you guessed it, The Cramps.

Built to Spill at Cedar Street Courtyard

Oberhofer at Cedar Street Courtyard
From there I headed over to Cedar Street Courtyard again to catch Brooklyn indie rock band Oberhofer's performance. Their music is undeniably catchy, best exemplified by the single, "Away Frm U." While it's great to see bands that can perform live as well as they do on an album, it's also nice to singers with charismatic stage presences, essentially elevating them to performers. Brad Oberhofer was just that guy. His youthful enthusiasm for his guitar playing and willingness to entertain the crowd was a sight to see. At one point he ran up the stairs by the stage to the balcony and swung down it like a monkey. I have to say, after seeing the band live, the studio versions of their songs don't do them as much justice. Idaho rockers Built to Spill put on an amazing set, with the sheer loudness of their three layered guitars. I was impressed with how in time they kept with each other, and no one was overpowered instrument-wise. Unfortunately, the vocals were soft to inaudible the whole time. They have just the right mix of alternative rock and jam band tendencies (yes, this makes their songs quite long). Although their last release was in 2009, their laid back nineties rock was much appreciated by the crowd, and makes me wonder why I haven't checked them out all these years. One of my favorite songs was "Traces, " which you can watch here. They closed out a great set with crowd pleaser "Carry the Zero."

Shiny Toy Guns at Auditorium Shores (courtesy of Baylor Lariat)
226/365:  The Cult featuring Matthew McConaughey
The Cult featuring Matthew McConaughey at Auditorium Shores
Shiny Toy Guns, an electronic rock band from LA, played a set at Auditorium Shores in the late afternoon. They used to be one of my favorite bands when We Are Pilots came out, but after the lineup change I wasn't so keen on them anymore (although there were a few songs I liked off of Season of Poison). Now that they have Carah back, I was excited to see them come back together as a band. It was like she had never left. Her and Chad have great vocal chemistry. The band performed some songs from their upcoming album III, as well as older songs "You Are The One," "Don't Cry Out,"

two highlights, "Starts With One" and "Le Disko" They also did "Ricochet," (one of the songs I liked off of SoP) which sounded great with Carah singing it, and their cover of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)." Austin rock band The Bright Light Social Hour played after that, and like some local bands, are pretty overhyped. They played a diverse set of songs, but nothing really sunk in for me. The vocals didn't do anything for me either. The Cult headlined a much larger audience than the one at Waterloo, which was obviously a more scaled down version of what they're capable of. I was excited to see them again. Ian Astbury is a great frontman, and guitarist Billy Duffy has a great sound. The set was stronger than the day before, and new songs as well as old were played. As an added treat, the band brought Matthew McConaughey to play the bongos on "Spiritwalker" (which you can watch here) and new song "Lucifer." Towards the end of the set Astbury demanded that the crowd let loose, and they did for the last song "Love Removal Machine." It was a great way to bring an end to my SXSW.

Here is my last playlist. I hope you enjoyed my SXSW recap!

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