SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
by Shelley Hiam


Swan Dive, Thursday, March 14

In a brief set only 25 minutes and four songs long, Braids kicked off the second night of an embarrassment of Montreal riches with the sweet bleeps of "Peach Wedding," Raphaelle Standell-Preston's vocals a bit buried in the swirling samples, loops, and layers as she fiddled with knobs on one of the trio's two synthesizers. At times evoking an ethereal will-o-the-wisp and at others channeling Harriet Wheeler's razor-toothed sweetness in the Sundays, the singer proved personable and charming, particularly when a jarring malfunction with the group's second keyboard made some decidedly unlovely sounds, grinding the set to an awkward halt. Standell-Preston attempted to regroup, engaging in a bit of abashed improv, riffing on Gandhi and forgiveness, claiming, "We had a great set yesterday, I promise!" Meanwhile, the song proved unrecoverable despite the band's best efforts. Rebooting with grace but clearly rattled, the group concluded with the trance-inducing "Plath Heart," all rhythmic pulses and dreamy, cotton-candy melodies. In an abrupt goodnight that came far too soon. Standell-Preston signed off with, "That's all we have. I'm glad that mistake happened, because I felt a lot closer to you as a result."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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  

Saturday Showcases
Saturday Showcases

March 20, 2015

Friday Showcases
Friday Showcases
Korea, Japan, Spain, Africa – see the world from single showcases

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Entanglement (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, Dec. 13, 2019

Levitation Album Reviews
Dallas Acid
The Spiral Arm (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Nov. 8, 2019

More by Melanie Haupt
Wu Chow Expands to North Lamar
Wu Chow Expands to North Lamar
Popular dim sum spot replaces Rosedale Kitchen and Bar

March 23, 2023

Three New Restaurants/Bars Opening in the Next Seven Days
Three New Restaurants/Bars Opening in the Next Seven Days
Plus an expansion later this year

March 22, 2023

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

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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