Mo' Music: Busby Berkeley SXSW

Happy New Year and Magnetic Fields

Mo' Music: Busby Berkeley SXSW
by Laura Walters

I just slept about 17 hours. I have no idea what I'm doing next. I do know it's time for some SXSW spiel.

Wednesday, at my usual haunt the Chain Drive, with good friends and minor expectations, lo and behold Happy New Year are a groovy, droney blend of Mazzy Star and witch house, complete with triangles on their album artwork. I'll be watching what they do next. Click play to listen to a cool Iggy Pop cover of "The Endless Sea."

It's no surprise we love the Magnetic Fields. I sang at a party for his movie and Andy was lucky enough to interview Stephin Merritt. It was surprisingly easy to get in to see him at the fabulous Moody Theater. We were treated to a couple of tracks from dreamy Americana band The War on Drugs. They were like a more shoegaze-y My Morning Jacket, and they had a charming grace and power.

Merritt and his loyal band took the stage with little fanfare and got right down to business. Their set up was the usual, everyone sitting in a row with their instruments and minimal light show. It was like they were this dainty, living music box you couldn't touch or it would break. Then of course, Merritt will say something snarky to remind you this old dog still bites. Toward the end and after being scolded for being loud, the audience and the band settled into a quiet, intimate mood for some of their most delicate songs, like "The Book of Love", and my highlight of the night, "Busby Berkeley Dreams", which I never fully appreciated until now.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Gaming: Noclip Says Love Your Developers
SXSW Gaming: Noclip Says Love Your Developers
Danny O’Dwyer wants you to understand who is making your games

Tucker Whatley, March 16, 2019

SXSW Film Review: <i>The Day Shall Come</i>
Film Review: The Day Shall Come
British satirist Chris Morris takes aim at security theater

Richard Whittaker, March 16, 2019

More by Rob Cohen
Quickie With Cazwell
Quickie With Cazwell
Queer rapper brings his sexy, subversive act to Austin

Oct. 13, 2017

A to Um... With Stephin Merritt
A to Um... With Stephin Merritt
A,E,I,O,U, and sometimes Y am I doing this?

May 6, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Music, SXSW, Austin, Gay, LGBT, Magnetic Fields, Happy New Year, SXSW

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle