garage _ psych _ dance Non-Official SXSW Party: Day Recap

SXSW 2011 was the first time REDEFINE has ever attempted to throw a SXSW event. We went big. We booked thirty amazing bands to play two stages at a 22-bedroom vegan co-op called House Of Commons. All party-attending patrons were treated to 3,000+ 16-ounce cans of beer, courtesy of Dos Equis. In short: a jolly good time!

Special thanks to our partners, Marjorie Owens of Clumsy N Shy and Gina Altamura, as well as our photographer Koury Angelo!

Our event officially began… late… and with a few cancellations. What we’ve learned is: getting bands to a noon o’ clock show during SXSW is quite difficult. And who can blame them, really?

SEE ALSO:
Our NIGHT and EXTRAS recaps, where it gets really crazy.

Batwings Catwings

Luckily, LA-based Batwings Catwings were around to kick off the morning. They played in the indoor stage, which is generally used by the co-op folks as a dining room. The all-around nice guys and gals shed their skins and got deep into their frenetic, angular-riffed set of garage/noise rock.


These Are Words

Meanwhile, Austin-based garage rockers These Are Words were holding it down outside. They are still a very young band, with a lot of growth potential. They were also kind enough to lend us their drum kit for backline, as well as provide us with some sound assistance. Thanks, guys!

Fever Fever

UK-based punk rockers Fever Fever not only came early (!!) but assisted us with equipment, as well. They also powered through some equipment difficulties like champs.

Prison

Prison bring with them some of the best in Seattle punk rock, and these photos capture the essence of their no-bullshit, straight-forward sets.

Tog

We will admit that when booking this show, Tôg seemed like a bit of a grey area. This insane 8-person Norwegian band has recordings online, but they do not do their performances justice. At all. Tôg were easily one of the highlights of the afternoon, to our pleasant surprise. Jeffrey Jerusalem asked, “Aren’t these guys like super famous in Norway?” and apparently, they are. And they probably should be in the States, as well.

As Gina so avidly pointed out, “Watch the keyboard guy freaking out in the corner!” Above is that keyboard guy, from Tôg, who freaks out in the corner, a footnote to the craziness of their lead singer, but an exceptional footnote. An exceptionally exciting footnote. Solid Scandinavian “horror-house.”

Secret Colours

Meanwhile, outside, Chicago’s Secret Colours were making it look exceptionally easy despite the sweltering heat (truly… later bands did not make it look nearly as easy). They gave one of the best sets of the day with their brand of swirly classic psych rock.



(Video courtesy of Secret Note Production)

Nedry

We first caught Nedry in the UK last year, and it was wonderful to be able to share their electronic-influenced rock with people in the States. Soft when needed and chaotic when needed, their latest album, Condors, is definitely worth a listen for anyone interested in experimental electronic, with dubstep influences, even!


Nedry vocalist, Ayu Okakita, losing control, and equipment… a lack of DI’s was an ever-pervasive equipment rental problem. Duly noted for next time. Nobody has DI’s, anywhere, ever, which makes electronics-heavy acts difficult to book for unofficial showcases. All things managed to work out, however!

Valleys

VALLEYS ran into a few equipment problems (not enough DI’s; sorry, guys!) but they managed to work it out through some complicated equipment wrangling and finagling. And, despite the fact that the mic sounded a bit staticy (probably due to the strange set-up), their set was solid, and actually sounded better than when I had seen them at St. David’s Historic Sanctuary the previous evening.

TRMRS

Californian garage rockers TRMRS showed us their kindness by being extremely flexible with their schedule and even being forgiving when one of their backpacks was stolen. Unfortunately, this led to a guitar lacking the proper effects pedals. Still, in-house bartender Dana Vanderpol, who was dancing in the kitchen throughout their set, ecstatically exclaimed that, “They killed it!”

Equipment malfunctions be damned! TRMRS will rub off their feel-good surf vibes to anyone who passes regardless!

It was quite hot during the middle of the afternoon. Quite very hot. Quite cripplingly hot, and one almost felt bad for making the bands play at all during this time.

During the peak of the Texan heat, Brainstorm, Secret Cities, BRAHMS, Class Actress, Jeffrey Jerusalem, and RYAT gave memorable performances, with Secret Cities and RYAT receiving great crowd adoration.

Unfortunately, documentation is lacking during this period; fortunately, Brainstorm and Jeffrey Jerusalem played encore sets that evening, during the height of the party, which blasted their afternoon sets clear out of the water!

We also want to give a special thanks to RYAT for lending us a cable when one got lost in the insane inside-outside shuffle, and for playing two bands after their scheduled slot. Catch them at our Northside Festival showcase on Friday, June 17th, 2011, at Death By Audio in Brooklyn, NY. Details forthcoming.

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Vivian Hua is the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE magazine, as well as a master of globetrotting for free and evading traditional 9-to-5 work schedules. She enjoys observing human idiosyncrasies perhaps more than anything and is a magnet for homeless people (a joy) and bug bites of all types (absolutely terrible). Marshmallows – while not really food – are one of her favorite foods, especially if they are freezered, stale, or fire-toasted. She doesn’t want to space travel, really, which is an unpopular view these days. Her design work, astrological chart, and other crap can be seen at www.inallthings-patterns.net.