Wednesday, March 14, 2007

SXSW - Day 3 - Everything's Just Wonderful

Today was a good "first day" of the whole music festival extravaganza. We were still feeling our way through the festival, not really sure how everything worked, and we didn't know how early we had to be at any of the venues. Thus, this lead to us being outside the day party at the Mohawk about an hour before they were even letting people in, and two hours before they even started playing music.

The weather was overcast the whole day, and it was raining for most of it. We spent the day at the Mohawk (as mentioned), and they had an indoor and an outdoor stage. Luckily, there was a tent protecting us from rain and $2 imitation Corona beer to keep me sane.

After the day party at the Mohawk, we got some dinner (street pizza) and then headed over to the Elysium to catch The Hourly Radio. After that, we headed to the amphitheater that is Stubb's to catch British pop star Lily Allen.

Here's a breakdown of who I saw today (that I actually liked) listed in increasing order of sweet, amazing awesomeness:

Peter and the Wolf
Interesting guy, very friendly. I enjoyed his set, and his usage of crazy instruments. He only played for about 20 minutes, but it was worth it. I got to talk to him afterwards and sent him regards from his cronies back in Iowa. He seemed pleased and was in a good mood. Nice guy.

Stars of Track and Field
Even though they had trouble getting their keyboards to work (and I still don't know why), this scarf-wearing three-piece definitely rocked. I hadn't even heard of them before seeing them, and the booze probably helped me enjoy them. Definitely check them out if you get a chance.

Architecture in Helsinki
I got to see this all-around fun-lovin' band at the outdoor stage at the Mohawk, just after it had stopped raining. I love their approach to their live show, as it completely outdoes anything they've ever recorded. I'll be seeing them again later in the week, and I'm really looking forward to it.

The Hourly Radio
Saw them twice today, first at the Mohawk with a shortened set (due to time constraints, and because Stars of Track and Field took a year and a half setting up their keyboards), and in the evening at the Elysium for a full set. The Elysium was some kind of goth bar (i.e., lame), and the clientele totally made me think that THR did not belong. They didn't let it faze them at all, and blasted through an amazing set, including one new (unrecorded) song. I got to talk to them for a little bit after the show, and tried again to convince them to make their way up into the midwest. They claim to be on their way there eventually, and I would love to see them near my home base.

Lily Allen
This was the highlight of the night for me, since I had just gotten a hold of her debut record about 2 weeks ago and haven't been able to stop listening to it yet. I really enjoy her style of pop songs. She's basically Imogen Heap, but with testicles. She was smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer on stage, so basically she was Beth Gibbons, but with no manners. Essentially, she's basically everyone except Lily Allen, isn't she?

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I've had a hard time getting into Lily Allen so far, but I'll give her another listen because you say so.

Stars of Track and Field are amazing! I recommend you check out the EP You Came Here for Sunset Last Year if you haven't heard it yet. I'm curious as to how they would achieve their layered sound live as only a three-piece, though with a keyboard and a laptop anything is possible.
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