Despite three daily editions of Off the Record – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – and this week’s wrap-up, there was plenty of thoughts and coverage left on the cutting room. In lieu of OTR’s usual Wednesday Rewind, here’s the best of the rest from SXSW.
Josh T. Pearson: The former Texas sage delivered one of the most rapturously received sets of SXSW at the Central Presbyterian Church, but on 18th Floor at the Hilton Garden Inn on Friday, he traded the sacred for the profane. Pearson still unfurled the winded narratives from his Mute Records debut, Last of the Country Gentleman, with hypnotic aplomb, but he catered to the hotel bar crowd with an extended comedy routine that played up the crude elements of “Country Dumb.” OTR’s favorite zinger: “What’s the difference between a large pizza and a musician? A large pizza can feed a family of four.”
Pulled Apart By Horses: At British Embassy on Tuesday, OTR pegged this Leeds-based fourpiece as the most likely to leave SXSW with a bodily injury, launching post-hardcore tantrums with prog-rock proficiency. Sure enough, by Saturday, members had reportedly smashed a table and puked not just in the middle of the set but in the middle of the crowd – and they still had two more shows to go. These guys are ready for a major label close-up in the States.
Jamie Moon: Ambien R&B at Mohawk early Wednesday afternoon. He’s a British crooner issuing slow-motion heartbreak with ghostly beats and full-band orchestration, not too far removed from another festival highlight, James Blake.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Imagine MGMT as a 1960s power trio, as cosmic as the name implies. The band's forthcoming debut for Fat Possum will certainly be one to watch.
Sleigh Bells: First impression? World’s loudest karaoke band. The Brooklyn duo’s shrill combo of noise-rock and twee-pop quickly tired at their warehouse gig on Monday. Confined to a single number, the aggressive stunner “Riot Rhythm,” the two went huge at the MTVu Woodie Awards at the Austin Music Hall, thanks in no small part to the Prairie View A&M drum line.
Also worth noting was the Black Lips-curated Speed Sets in the Austin Convention Center’s Gear Alley Expo, which was like Beerland with air-conditioning and throw pillows, making it possible to catch garage-rock bashers Bare Wires, the Yellow Dogs, and King Tuff in under an hour.
Wu-Tang Clan:How many members constitute a Clan? Apparantly only four, or at least that’s all OTR could confirm. Lazy and late, this was easily the worst set of the week. In 20 years if not five, people will be making the same gripe about Odd Future Wolfgang Kill Them All, seen here slaying “Yonkers”/"Sandwitches"”
Some Memorable Quotes
“When I was 19, I was scalping Boyz II Men tickets… and getting terrible prices.” – Aziz Ansari introducing Odd Future at the MTVu Woodie Awards on Wednesday
“I’d like to propose a toast, because I like to have an excuse to drink.” – Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age at La Zona Rosa on Wednesday
“Come on ladies, don’t be afraid to dance.” – DJ Jack White outside Waterloo Records on Friday
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