On Saturday night, a small cadre of dedicated fans waited patiently for Ben Chasny’s psychedelic folk project, Six Organs of Admittance, to take the stage at Bottom of the Hill just before midnight. Six Organs is currently touring the West Coast in support of their LP Ascent, which was released last month on Drag City. Members of his other project, the noise rock group Comets on Fire, accompanied Chasny on the album and onstage at BOH.
Lead guitarist Chasny and supporting guitarist Noel Harmonson, bassist Ben Flashman, and drummer Utrillo Kushner effectively drenched the punkish, gently swaying crowd in raw, unplugged, cacophonic tribal noise as they orchestrated spooky guitar symphonies, hard rock riffs, and fuzzed-out surf numbers. About half of Six Organs’ jams possessed an epic “I’m marching into battle with a large horned animal” vibe, and Chasny’s intermittent vocals felt dark, scratchy, wispy, and perhaps slightly demonic. Read more »
In this week's issue Landon Moblad profiles retro rock purveyor Nick Waterhouse. Here are a few audio clips from Nick's shoot at the Swedish American Hall with photographer Matthew Reamer. Nick talks about why he's excited to play San Francisco's Verdi Club (tonight), and sums up how he's usually summed up by the press.
Is it mundane to still be talking about the weather? What if we’re reminiscing about fickle San Francisco, and a rejuvenating weekend full of beaming hot sun, melted sundaes, and stretches of eternity park lounging with thousands of your closest compatriots?
What if that much-needed industrial shot of Vitamin D super charged our brains for the week ahead? Why can’t we believe in the goodness of the occasional bright weekend to dismiss week in, week out monotony? Read more »
Though the lightning storm delayed my +1 who was coming in from California's stoney north coast, we arrived at the Great American Music Hall just in time to see the sludgy gods take the stage. Read more »
While the Magnetic Fields' newest album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, recaptured the group’s love for synthesizers and electronics, Saturday night’s Fox Theater performance was a testament to the timeless quality of its stripped-down acoustic format. Read more »
Lots of leading ladies in the music mix this week. These shows boast a punk legend/folk songstress, a female vocalist who inhabits the soul of animals, a girl-fronted '60s Wall-of-Sound meets modern indie pop act (with a punch) – and yes, maybe even an underground famous dude or two. Read more »
In addition to our other coverage of the SXSW music festival, the Guardian also had photographer Brittany Powell pounding Austin's pavement in search of great music. Here are some of her photos and impressions from the week.
During my last day in Austin SXSW reached critical mass. This year St. Patrick's Day happened to coincide with the big Saturday blowout, and as I made my way downtown the revelry was in full effect. Partiers who looked to be in high school swirled about dressed in t-shirts with slogans like "Hello, My Name is Beer" and "Let's Get Wasted!!!" In the midst of this I came across a couple contentedly sitting in the middle of the street in complete stillness while staring into one another's eyes. Read more »
My third day at South by Southwest kicked off with the big SPIN Magazine party at Stubb's. Best Coast was wrapping up their set and everyone was eagerly anticipating headliner Santigold.
Santigold's rhythm section entered the stage wearing Max Headroom-esque caps, then her backup singers came on in outfits that were a spin on matador chic, and finally she came on donning a crown. She's been busy working on a new album for the past few years, so her high profile gigs at SXSW seem to be serving as a homecoming of sorts.
After an early afternoon chat with Portuguese electro-kuduro group Buraka Som Sistema, I wandered downtown only to run into Andy and Christian of San Franpsycho. They've got a rack of clothes, a mobile screenprinting setup, and are representing SF style deep in the heart of Texas. As we commiserated about the craziness that is SXSW, SF local Danny Lannon of The Frail happened by.