NOISE: How very SXSW - Federation, Saafir, Jandek, Silver Daggers, "Monotract," and more


Shame you gotta to go-go-go to Austin to see Bay hip-hop talents like the Federation, Saafir, the Pack, Kirby Dominant, and Rico Pabon. They more than made up for it with a Friday, March 16, showcase at Blender Bar Patio.

Federation get up for Saafir, holding it up (and down) stage left in the audience. All photos by Kimberly Chun.

The rarely seen, good-natured Saafir was great, spitting "Crispy" and "Cash Me Out," as the Federation cheered from the sidelines.

Saafir makes The Transition live.

After the Pack - who were said to have performed atop booker Todd P's car at his series of Mrs. B's house parties earlier that week - Federation got it up for the crazed crowd, bringing out the Pack for the last few songs. More dancing was sighted in the Patio tent than, well, maybe ever...

Federation stun 'em.



The next night, March 17, the Load Records showcase at Room 710 brought out all-ages noise-skronk fave Silver Daggers, who invited the entire audience up on stage at the end. Thurston Moore was in the haus, helpfully finding a wallet on the floor.

The crowd blew it up with Silver Daggers.

Next up, the broken-up NY band "Monotract" got up on stage - and lo, it was Moore with his Ecstatic Peace noise lineup including Monotract's Nancy Garcia on guitar, Burning Star Core's C. Spencer Yeh on violin and vocals, and Magik Marker's Pete Nolan on drums. Nice, nice noise.

Thurston Moore works it out with "Monotract" once more.


On a completely different rock tip, I caught ex-Guardian staffer and Budget Rock organizer Chris Owen's Hook or Crook showcase. By all accounts, Hank IV ruled; the Golden Boys followed with tuneful garage.

Golden Boys horn in.

Burning Star Core also showed at Holy Mountain's show at Spiro's, March 16, alongside Blues Control, Lesbian, Wooden Shjips, and Psychic Paramount. Tokyo psych duo Suishou no Fune built slowly, burned softly.

Burning Star Core on a slow burn.

Suishou no Fune fuming.


SF's Wooden Shjips drew the biggest crowd that night - thought they sounded great, like souped-up Velvets. The frontperson for Psychedelic Horseshit cheered up front.

Wooden Shjips bend light eerily.

One of the fest's highlights, however, had to be Jandek's extremely rare performance, backed by what looked like Oaklander and former Houstonite Tom Carter, at the Central Presbyterian Church. Vulnerable lyrics coursed through thoughtful noise improv - ending with the sole standing O that I witnessed this year.

Is that Jandek or is that a preacher man straight outta Flannery O'Connor that I spy?