South by Southwest Music Conference :: 03.14.07 – 03.17.07 :: Austin, TX
Wednesday, March 14
I started off on the funky side of things with Honeycut at Emo’s Annex (a.k.a. a tent over a parking lot). Singer Bart Davenport strutted his stuff as key man RV Salters went to town on the Clavinet. Apostle of Hustle laid down their Latin tinged post-rock but the sound was a little off. However, it was Austin’s newest psych heroes, The Black Angels, who made the hair on the back of everyone’s neck stand up when they played the eerie Delta blues of “Bloodhounds on My Trail.”
Over at the Beggars shindig, Australia’s blistering, trippy export Wolf & Cub gave us a hot riff-charged pummeling courtesy of two drummers and singer/guitarist Joel Byrne‘s stuffy, raspy, reverb filled wah-wah throw downs. A good old face melting from The Early Years was the perfect way to top off the night that set the sonic aurora borealis flickering with their fuzz lined Krautrock.
Thursday March 15
The true treat of the afternoon was Japan’s Boris, who cranked their amps up to eleven and slithered out their dense, arty doom metal. Even though I can’t speak a word of Japanese, I’ve always seen it as a beautiful language even when lead singer Takeshi is screaming it out like he’s just been force fed wasabi.
After heading back to my hotel for a nap and some grub at the world famous Iron Works, it was off to the Hydra Head Showcase at Emo’s Annex, where Daughters could be heard AND felt a few blocks away. Inside, the duo Big Business went on as a trio with Dale Crover from the Melvins sitting in on guitar. Afro-headed bassist Jared Wilson provided the shrill, abrasive vocals while Coady Willis was a monster on drums. Jesu was absolutely opulent. The ethereal guitar of Justin Broadrick put soothing metal in the air that wafted dreamily with the cigarette smoke and his angelic vocals.
Friday March 16
Danava induced LSD flashbacks with their concoction of ’70s prog rock and proto thrash metal. Then, boy wonder David Vandervelde, backed by his Moonstation House Band, played and sang way beyond his years with a Sgt. Pepper-meets-shoegazer acid pop rock stew.
But even that vulgar display wasn’t enough for the crowd, who banged on every surface like a bunch of primates. Four attendees, including myself, were summoned to go backstage and carry a passed out Gieda on by his arms and legs to rejoin his band. He got his strength back for an encore at which point someone threw ice at the people lined up along the side stage. It wasn’t long until everyone was heaving any kind of garbage they could get their hands on at each other with An Albatross caught in the middle, completely oblivious to the melee as they played. It was all in good fun and made for a joyous night even though most walked out smelling of beer floaters and wet cigarettes.
Saturday March 17
Les Claypool‘s Electric Apricot surprised anyone expecting his trademark skewed bass warbling. Here he plays drums, and my skepticism was squashed as his wacky story telling provided some good laughs with good tunes. Keyboardist Herschel Brillstein plays like he has eight fingers on each hand, while bassist Steve Trouzdale looks like Claypool when he tours with Primus. Leave it to ol’ Les to fuck with fan’s minds.
Rhode Island’s most insane export, Daughters, kicked out the jams with a towering dose of jazz-structured, math-rock hardcore noise rock. Leader Alexis Marshall thanked Texans for their hospitality over the week but also called them “sloth bastards.” Later in their set, he grabbed people’s drinks and poured them all over his body, yelled at the gutter punks down by the creek and eventually whipped out his junk. All just another night for Daughters.
Check out what Kayceman did at SXSW 2007 HERE.
JamBase | Austin
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