Day one at SXSW was fast and furious. I saw some much good music in one night it’s almost frightening to imagine this trains keeps rolling for another four days. The highlight last evening had to be those Melbourne boys in Cut Copy bringing the thunder from down under at the Modular Records showcase.
Taking the Karma stage at midnight, the trio ripped into a new cut from their upcoming In Ghost Colours album (set to drop this month) called Hearts On Fire. Bringing together elements of new wave, disco and an INXS-like talent for catchy song-structures the crowd was absolutely frothing. If last night was any indication these guys are going to have a very huge year.
Down on the main strip, meanwhile, a sports bar called The Thirsty Nickel was hosting the Smalltown Supersound session with freak folk noise masters Sunburned Hand of the Man as the marquee act.
The Bostonians seemed an ill fit for the Bud Light banner bar, but the place quickly filled with outsider rock fans starting from the first drone emitted.
They have an Animal Collective vibe, with the looping noisescapes and distorted vocal, but take their noise penchant to further extremes. But as the girl from the cool, local indie record store (Waterloo Records) told me, this was the band to see.
Stumbling up Red River Street I heard a familiar sound muffled in the background. Something from the 90s, something I tried to block out of my life and memory.
Oh yes, it was Evan Dando and the Lemonheads.
The sensitive man-child reunited his alt.90s heroes for a show at Elmo’s and once again I found my self being lured by his simple pop punk charms. He breezed through My Drug Buddy, Alison’s Starting to Happen and other shameful faves. Truth told, he was humble, the band sounded tight and the crowd was into it. Still, I won’t be re-stocking my Lemonheads collection anytime soon no matter how seducing these nostalgia trips can be.