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SXSW Day Party: Hair of the Three-Legged Dog

‘Chronicle’ books another winner

By Chase Hoffberger, 10:05PM, Thu. Mar. 13

Magna Carda
Magna Carda
photo by Jana Birchum

The pomp and promise of Wednesday’s epic, star-studded Austin Music Awards behind us, a day party at the Liberty allowed this here alt-weekly to untuck its collective shirt and turn focus toward a few lesser known favorites in the Live Music Capital.

Outside after Black Books’ refined intergalactic rock, fivepiece hip-hop upstarts Magna Carda proved the genre’s local depth at present, alternating between jazzy keyboard verses and guitar-laden instrumentals on tracks like “Inviting You” and hot new single “Shoes & Money.”

Behind rapper Megz Kelli, the young group’s “got bars like prison,” even when teasing out A Tribe Called Quest and Dr. Dre. Inside just before, Churchwood’s slinky, Gothic blues made perfect sense in the darkened alcove usually occupied by a pool table. Rogue Golden Boy John Wesley Coleman’s loose crew of rock dudes and dudettes settled in like electric lounge lizards.

Attention turned back onto the Liberty’s dirt-tracked backyard during Coleman’s segment as Bright Light Social Hour, the local fourpiece whose quick ascent following a local 2010 debut was followed by three years of touring, plugged in with 35 minutes of new material and a towering version of “Young Man Blues,” which came complete with an audience back-and-forth and some true grit from guitarist and lead singer Curtis Roush on both instruments.

Keyboardist Shreddward, who’s been touring with the band since the departure of AJ Vincent, doubles as a guitarist now, adding a new layer of psychedelia to BLSH’s already reverb-heavy assault. No telling when a new album will occur, but consider our interests piqued.

Back inside, the Sour Bridges, that suited, browngrass crew, brought serious string band mayhem to the tiny confines, but of course proved no match for the thunderous chug of hot-ticket threepiece American Sharks, who bull-rushed a quick set of tracks off last year’s self-titled debut.

True bias, no doubt, but damn if the Chron don’t know how to book ’em.

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