Posts Tagged ‘Angel Olson’

SXSW 2014 Wednesday Day Session: Deap Vally

March 27, 2014

P1100257We took the good vibes from Thumpers set and went out into the afternoon sun to walk over to the Mohawk. The goal was to see Angel Olson and then stick around for Deap Vally, who I hadn’t listened to but had gotten some good words from Operation Every Band.  We spent a lot of time at the Mohawk last year and had always been able to walk right in and enjoy either the relatively spacious outdoor stage or squeeze into the small indoor stage.

This year we were met with a rather long line.  Dang.  Our only hope was that there had been enough delays during the day that we’d make it through the line before Angel went on.  In my haste to get into the line I got too close to a palm tree, which cleanly sliced the sleeve of my shirt and my shoulder.  First blood of SXSW drawn!

As the minutes ticked by and we did not move, we resigned ourselves to not seeing Angel Olson.  But we decided to stay to see if we could get in for Deap Vally.  Finally people started leaving (probably from Angel’s set) and we were in.  We grabbed a beer and slid into the back of the indoor stage.  The two women of Deap Vally were doing their soundcheck.  Lindsey Troy sings and play guitar, Julie Edwards drums and also has some vocal duties.  The soundcheck was relatively tame and didn’t prepare me for the rocking I was about to receive.

Donned in a sequined halter top and matching short shorts, Troy played fast and loud and her singing reminded me of Janis Joplin,P1100267 if she had made it in life to punk rock.  And Edwards, also bedazzled, bashed the drums and kept pushing the songs faster.  They had portions of the crowd headbanging along with them as they moved from song to song with minimal crowd talk and maximum riffing.  My reaction was this was a mix of Rubber Factory-era Black Keys and Black Sabbath because of the heaviness of their sound.  Which means I liked it a lot.

Having found that they are from the San Fernando Valley and met in Silver Lake, I was stoked to know we could be seeing them again in the future in LA.  I had already forgotten about missing Angel Olson.  We were almost done with our Wednesday day sessions, but we had one very short walk to see our last band before dinner.



SXSW 2014 – Quick Thoughts

March 17, 2014

We had such a blast last year, we headed back to Austin in 2014 for the music portion of the SXSW festival.  Like last year, we got badges.  Unlike last year, we went a day earlier and got a full day of music on Wednesday.  Here’s some quick thoughts, and then I’ll get more into the 51 bands we saw last week.

1. Last year was the year of lead singers going out into the audience.  Not one lead singer we saw went into the crowd this year.  Instead, this was the year of choreographed dance moves by lead singers.  I’m sure there’s some great insight to make about that, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

2.  If you have a badge, take advantage of the “fast pass” option.  Each day, you can go up to the 4th floor near the Radio Day stage and get a pass to one venue that will get you to the front of the line.  We used them Thursday-Saturday for the venue we planned to stay for the night. We got to the front of the line right before they opened for the night and were the first in and got our spot or seat of choice.

3.  The other theme that I noticed this year was the long soundchecks and adjustments that needed to be made after sets started to get the sound right, or at least listenable.  They should have handed out foam fingers to bands because they were constantly pointing index fingers up to get more sound in their monitors.  This culminated in a horrible sound job all night at the Bungalow on Saturday.

4. Seeing new venues is a fun part of the experience.  We did revisit a few places like Mohawk and Stubbs, but hit new places like the aforementioned Bungalow (it’s a nice space but couldn’t recommend because of the bad sound), The North Door, Red7, Parish and Empire Garage.

5.  A few of the shows that I really liked: St. Vincent’s set at Stubbs was probably the best thing I saw over the four days; Little Dragon’s sunny afternoon set at Red7; Hold Steady’s rollicking set at the Radio Day Stage; Angel Olson’s hypnotic performance at the Central Presbyterian Church; Cody ChestnuTT battling through the terrible sound at Bungalow with a fierce performance.

6.  The accident that happened early Thursday morning definitely put a damper on moods on Friday and was the subject of conversation with anyone we talked to during the day.  We were down the block at Stubbs that night and the only inclination anything was wrong was a circling helicopter between sets.  3 people have now died from injuries and there are still several seriously injured.  There was a moment of silence during the show at Parish on Friday night that was repeated at venues throughout the city.  It was a nice gesture that paid respect to the victims as well as announcing a fund to raise money to the victims.

Note that Jenn Wasner read during moment of silence Friday night.

Note that Jenn Wasner from Wye Oak read during moment of silence Friday night.