SXSW Day Party: Sub Pop Licensing Show

North Door hosts bluegrass, punk, Kelley Deal, and more

Taking the stage before a polite smattering of early birds, the Haden Triplets filled the air with captivating sisterly harmonies. Given their natural stage presence, one could easily imagine Petra, Tanya, and Rachel Haden – daughters of jazz bass great Charlie Haden – regaling family gatherings in similar fashion.

The Haden Triplets (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Together with their four-piece backing band, the Triplets unfurled tasteful renditions of old standards from the Carter Family and Stanley Brothers with a prowess that stopped crowd banter dead in its tracks. You couldn’t have summoned a sharper contrast than the Coathangers.

The Coathangers (Photo by Jana Birchum)

The Atlanta-based punk trio crosses the Spirit of ’77 with modern American disillusionment. Crook Kid Coathanger’s frayed guitar debris and Olympian shrieks alternated nicely with drummer Rusty Coathanger’s menacing, raspy growl.

San Franciscan Kelley Stoltz and his band mined power pop enlivened with hints of psychedelia and proper English woe. With his sunglasses and mussed-up hair, Stoltz himself embodied the exasperated allure of songs like “Are You My Love.”

Protomartyr was the day’s most distinctive act. The centerpiece of the Detroit quartet’s itchy post-punk paranoia is vocalist Joe Casey. With sour grimaces and arched eyebrows, Casey summoned his inner drunk uncle into a perfect lather of pasty, beet-red rage.

London quartet Thumpers pumped out beat-centered, clap-happy indie confessionals that teetered the line between catchy and cloying.

Finally, there was R. Ring, the avant-folk duo helmed by Breeders guitarist Kelley Deal and Ampline’s Mike Montgomery. Though formless to a fault at times, their dueling acoustic guitars through Mascis-ized effects pedals channeled intrigue and emotive weight in more cohesive moments.

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Sub Pop Records, R. Ring, Thumbers, Protomartyr, Kelley Stoltz, Coathangers, Haden Triplets, SXSW Music 2014

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