Author Archives: Erica Bruce

TVD’s Best of SXSW 2012 in Photos: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
(Part 2 of 2)

By Friday of South-by-Southwest, the bone-tiredness is starting to set in. You’ve been living on beer and food-truck tacos and BBQ (usually) because there is never time to have a sit-down meal (and the food truck tacos and BBQ are tremendous). The street crowd of on-lookers and weekend attendees has swelled. You’re running on maybe 16 hours of sleep since Tuesday. But there’s so much to see and hear yet! So what was the best of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this year?

FRIDAY    |    Friday was kicked off in one of the best ways possible with an excellent breakfast taco and the lovely songs of Eric Bachmann and the full band version of Crooked Fingers at the Paste day party.

“Sleep All Summer,” from the band’s Reservoir Songs Dignity and Shame may be a sad song lyrically, but live, it is a stunner. Tracks played from the latest record, Breaks in the Armour, are so good.

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TVD’s Best of SXSW 2012 in Photos: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (Part 1 of 2)

Austin, TX was invaded last week for the music portion of SXSW, the annual music conference, affectionately known as “Rock ‘n’ Roll Spring Break.” Running over six days now, South-by is a reason for bands to play in common places like music venues and bars, as well as non-common places like restaurants, outside spaces, even under four sticks and a tarp.

One goes to discover unknown bands, see those that are the current buzz around the blogosphere, and relish in seeing more established acts in places the size of a living room. TVD brought back the best we saw over those six days, in photos.

TUESDAY   |   Bands may play multiple times over the course of the six days, but conflicts with other acts and venues too far to travel are common. So when we saw the a latest buzz band We Are Augustines slated for the Pandora Discovery Den showcase at the famous Antones that night, we knew we had to go.

Given the sardine-feeling from there being so many bodies in there, we obviously weren’t alone. (FYI: We are Augustines is playing DC’s 9:30 Club this Saturday, opening for Band of Skulls!)

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TVD Recommends:
Color Me Obsessed,
a film about The Replacements, at the Black Cat, tonight

Anyone who is a music geek has a band, THAT band, the one that sucked you into the vortex of music nerd-dom, making you never want to return to the other side. For a whole bunch of people (including yours truly), this band was The Replacements.

Some cite the band’s fuck-all attitude as the draw; others say it was due to the often poetic lyrics of lead singer Paul Westerberg. Some found their clownishness most appealing, others loved the fact that that they wore their outcast stature in the music world of the ‘80s and early ‘90s as a badge of honor. Whatever the reason, The Replacements were, and remain, very special to a great number of people.

The Replacements, or the Mats as they were often called, came out of Minneapolis, and were influenced by a wide spectrum of music, from the classic rock of Slade, to the power pop of Big Star, to the punk stylings of Johnny Thunders and The Ramones. It wasn’t the same-old, same-old being dished out musically at the time with the Mats.

How they came across live depended as much on the amount of alcohol they ingested earlier as it was about whether they simply wanted to mess with the audience. As such, shows would vary—either a total train wreck or the very reason rock ‘n’ roll came into being. You never knew what you were going to get with the Mats, which was one of the things folks most loved about them.

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TVD Live: The Kills with JEFF the Brotherhood at the 9:30 Club, 2/2

If one wasn’t wearing earplugs last Thursday at the 9:30 Club, it’s a safe bet they’re on the road to tinnitus sooner than later, as The Kills and JEFF the Brotherhood redefined “loud.”

Playing to a sold-out crowd, Kills lead singer Allison Mosshart stalked about the stage, full of dyed-pink hair and attitude, while guitarist Jamie Hince led the band’s signature sound, one of gritty guitars and dance loops that collectively create a melody of that exquisite pain that hurts so good.

Nashville’s JEFF the Brotherhood opened. Composed of just two brothers, a drum, and a guitar, this Nashville duo’s sound is interesting, like Southern cock rock and post-punk were thrown in a shaker and stirred.

You can hear/download the entire Kills set from Thursday via NPR.

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TVD Live: Tori Amos
at DAR, 12/5

Paired with gorgeous background lighting and a group of string players, Tori Amos brought the dramatic flair she’s known for to DAR on Monday. From her choice of clothing, to her simultaneous playing of piano and keyboard, to the pauses between lines in a song, Amos put even Gloria Swanson to shame.

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TVD Live: The Postelles with The Dig, 6/11 at Red Palace

The Postelles are an NY-based quartet whose songs proudly wear the band’s influences on their collective sleeve. A mixture of early Elvis Costello, doo-wop harmonies, and Motown, the Postelles’ live show is so uptempo that even the coolest cool kid can’t resist the urge to dance. And with the inclusion of choice cover songs like Wreckless Eric’s “Whole Wide World” (which they did on Saturday night during their headlining set at the Red Palace) or The Ramones’ “Beat on the Brat” (which they’ve done in past shows), why wouldn’t you succumb to the urge to dance?

Thankfully, with the Red Palace’s upstairs renovations, the venue now has the room for joyous mayhem like this to ensue, and the crowd on Saturday night definitely took full advantage.

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TVD Live: The Whigs
at the 9:30 Club, 4/9

The raw power that comes from the stage when The Whigs play live is continually astounding. It’s not from the volume, though they do play loud, it’s more from the giddy amazement that such a tidal wave of sound can come from just three people.

Their stop at the 9:30 Club on Friday night on the “Converse Get Out of the Garage Music Tour” was no exception. The band jammed their set full of goodies from all three of their full-length records (“Give Em a All a Big Fat Lip,” “Mission Control,” and “In the Dark”) as well as some new tracks from their upcoming fourth.

The new songs are pretty great, resembling less of that ominous, stripped down sound on “In the Dark,” and more of a visceral explosion of that drum/bass backbeat more consistently displayed on the others. If the whole record is on par with those new songs, it will make record of the year lists far and wide.

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TVD’s "Hey, how was that? | The Posies w/Brendan Benson at the 9:30 (11/17)

Given the number and frequency of our ticket giveaways, I’ve often felt remiss that after a week or so of a build up, there’s been scant follow through here—most likely stemming from not wanting to be just another review and photo site.

But if you’ve ever wondered, “Hey, how was that?” we’ll try from time to time to provide some documentation.

This time, we’ve sent our friend and intrepid photographer, Erica Bruce over to The Posies show last week at the 9:30:

Alex Chilton was said to be rather cantankerous, but it’s fair to say his ghost was smiling brightly on the 930 Club last week. His old Big Star bandmates, The Posies and their catchy power pop stylings were in town Wednesday night with another Big Star-influenced performer, Brendan Benson. The Posies, brought their usual energetic and interactive live set in support of their latest release, BLOOD/CANDYand supported Benson as his backing band.

Power pop bands should never travel far without a little Big Star, so it was nice to hear Benson, and Posies guitarists/vocalists Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer deliver a mighty fine version of “September Gurls” during Benson’s encore. In the wrong hands, power pop can be schmaltzy and ear-cringing. But when it’s done right—as was the case Wednesday night—it showcases how, in the right hands, you can be reminded of all the reasons you love music.


Check out the full set right here.

 

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