After a botched "Official Badge" handoff, my hopes of seeing my hero Dwight Twilley make a rare SXSW appearance alongside power pop legends Big Star were dashed. As the news of Alex Chilton's passing began circulating around Austin, Dwight Twilley & Big Star's scheduled performance was hastily cobbled into a star-studded memorial to the late Box Top's musical legacy. And I missed every second of it. Instead of getting bummed out about it, I kept it street and hung out on the outskirts where the real stuff was going down. Its what Alex woulda wanted. Here's a quick rundown of SXSW highlights (that I remember*):
Happy Birthday After loving King Tuff for so long, I was really excited to finally see Kyle Thomas's latest project. He described HB to Gentleman Jesse and I last year as "Next level shit". I'd have to say he was totally right, even though a day show at a record store may not be the best place to get on that level. Our shy-guy hero's sweet whiny vocals and Nu-grunge chorus guitar tones sold me on this one.
Audacity There's a lot of talk regarding the new crop of young bands coming out of the Oakland/SF/Bay area and these guys are the kingpins of that crew. Audacity pull off the weirdest blend of west coast bubblegum pop with fast hardcore breakdowns leaving audiences, like the one at Trailerspace, dizzy with excitement and soaked in beer.
Davila 666 The latin kings of garage tore through a set of classics at a sweaty afternoon showcase. Its really inspiring to see that even though their lyrics are entirely sung in Spanish, there's never a language barrier at their gigs. Energy and sexuality ooze out of these guys and when it comes to great tunes, they wrote the book on it (in Spanish.)
White Wires Iconic, simple, sweet, perfect, sunshine from Ottawa? Yes indeed! The White Wires are easily the best new punk/garage/pop band out there and if you don't believe me, I dare you to see them at the mess around and not fall in love.
Hex Dispensers Austin's own Hex Dispensers exploded through a set heavy with jams from their latest LP, Winchester Mystery House (Douchemaster). They blend fast Marked Men style Texas punk with the creepy crooning of The Misfits into a totally new and exciting two minute blasts.
Fresh & Onlys Fresh & Onlys twisted cool pop breezes into the Longbranch Inn on the only hot day of the week like a milkshake with 2 straws. Texas is supposed to be hot, right? Tim Cohen's songwriting has everything you need: hooks, sneaky surprises, more hooks, energy, and courage. They deliver live. I was even compelled to buy a T shirt, and I am rarely as moved. GO SEE THEM AS SOON AS YOU CAN!
*Please excuse the bad Dwight Twilley reference.
Alex Chilton (1950-2010) R.I.P.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?