Minus the Bear (Photo By Gary Miller)
Minus the Bear/the Six Parts SevenBuffalo Billiards, Friday 15
What, an extra hour ain't enough? SXSW has always survived on punctuality and organization, and in addition to the electrical gremlins that seem to be wreaking havoc on all quarters of this year's conference (the Waco Bros. played without amplification at Yard Dog this day, and Haybale lost power at least 15 times at Texas Cafe immediately afterward), delayed start times and mixed-up schedules have been taking an aggravating toll on those of us who pack their schedules. Minus the Bear, a Seattle quintet postponed from 8pm 'til 9pm with the cancellation of the Aislers Set, didn't start until 9:10 -- as if the evening's timetables hadn't been thrown off enough already. Ten minutes may not seem like much in the grand scheme of life
, but in the grand scheme of SXSW
, well ... . Anyway. When they came out, they dove into "Hey, Wanna Throw Up? Get Me Naked" like they owned the joint. Brash, bad-ass guitar-driven indie rock, melodic and with some nice keyboard additions. Some weird amalgam of the Ocean Blue (sorry) and Superchunk. Sort of. Anyway. Razor-sharp, fascinating rock songs dealt at rapid-fire for the whole set. A good use of time after all. Suicide Squeeze label mates the Six Parts Seven followed (also late!!!) and glided into "Where Are the Timpani Heartbeats?" off their brand-new Things Shaped in Passing
. Then it was onto "Cold Things Never Catch Fire," another new one, that brought the room to a lethargic swoon -- in a good way. Calm and placid and melodic until it hurts, this Kent, Ohio, band sounded wonderful. And hats off to Buffalo Billiards, a great place to see a show. Too bad it's usually a pool hall -- Sixth Street needs music venues like this.