Without further ado…
- Check back soon for more pics from the road!. We’ve got a few more “exciting” trips coming up.
Without further ado…
Friday night, we headed back to the hotel after the festivities at Doc’s and then headed out to more shows. Highlight #1: Terry Poison. They kicked even more ass than at CMJ. Spill was packed and a whole new generation of American hip-hop fans had their electrodance cherries popped by this international ensemble of Madonnas-in-training. Highlight #2: Little Brazil. Unfortunately, I was late to that show because I wasn’t about to miss a minute of Terry Poison, but they brought down the house with selections from their new album “Son”. It was nice to see a large Omaha delegation in attendance as well.
Saturday was our biggest day of the trip, with two shows including our official one at Mi Casa Cantina. For better or worse, an arctic blast gripped Texas that day, creating temperatures in the low 40s with high winds. All of this served to take much of the glamour out of the supposedly warm-weather SXSW experience and may have kept a lot of people at home, but we took it all in stride and had a couple more fantastic shows.
The afternoon show was at Lovey’s Loot, a vintage boutique in northwest Austin. It was originally planned to be an all-day entertainment extragavanza in the parking lot, but the weather caused things to be relocated into Lovey’s new art space directly adjacent to the main store. Overall, though, the show was a great success. The sizable crowd on hand was pretty into our set and they absolutely loved It’s True, who shared the bill with us. In between TP and IT was an interlude of bellydancers from the Desert Passion belly dance troupe. I must admit that this was my first time experiencing the art of live bellydance, and I have to say that it was most impressive. Those ladies are no joke!
After Lovey’s Loot, we headed straight down to Mi Casa Cantina for our official show. Being the geniuses we are, we left our load-in pass at the hotel and had no time to retrieve it, so after being booted from our designated loading zone by the Austin Parking & Loading Police, we found a nice spot about a half-block away from the venue and schlepped our gear into the back of the venue. We were on first, which meant we were last to sound check. It worked out well, though, because we were able to go right into our set without having to do any teardown in between. We played a pretty decent rendition of the set, and all was well.
After the show, Will, Jeremy, and I headed down to the Victorian Room at the Driskill Hotel and caught the set of Wave Machines, another of our favorite bands. There’s not much to say about them other than they are absolutely incredible. Their live show is amazing and inspired us to step things up a notch with our own live show. Will posted their video in an entry in this very blog last week, so please do check that out. Otherwise, you’ll never know just how much you’re missing.
True to form, the next day we endured a 16-hour drive-a-thon that included lots of traffic congestion due to construction on I-35 in Oklahoma, a wrong turn/detour, and lots of gas station food. We didn’t even have time to sit down at a truck stop restaurant for a decent chicken fried steak. We have now managed to get back on our normal sleeping scheduled and can be considered to be fully recovered (except for the fact that I’m writing this at 1:30 on a Wednesday morning.) Well, anyway, we hope to see you tomorrow (tonight), Wednesday, March 31st at the PS Collective. We’re doing another show with Cleemann, who we met at last year’s Nebraska Pop Festival. The dude is incredible and is on tour from his native Denmark, so come on down and check it out.
Thursday afternoon, we did an interview with Scottish journalist and blogger extraordinare Ewan Spence before heading to Cherrywood Coffee where we played the Real Fruit Smoothie Party and saw a most interesting duo called Gay Science, which featured a chick who can play a wicked trombone, as well as monster rock trio The Gary and gossip-rockers Hollywood Gossip, which now features one of the dudes from early ’00s traveling punk troubadors Silver Scooter (as seen at the Cog Factory back in the day). This last development was much to the delight of several Thunder Power members.
The next afternoon, we played the RVCA/Goorin Bros./PF Flyers/Stag day party at Doc’s Motorworks on South Congress Street. Here we met several more awesome bands, including The Burning Hotels from Ft. Worth and The Pretty Black Chains from Oklahoma City. We were also able to do a serious wardrobe upgrade courtesy of the sponsors. The venue also had the stupidest bar game ever, which could be popular in Texas for all we know but certainly isn’t in Omaha. It’s this weird thing where you pull back this ring on a string and let it go in an effort to try to get it stuck on a hook on the wooden frame that supports the whole apparatus. We just wanted to check it out, but somehow Alex and I ended up not only playing it for way too long but also sucking at it horribly. We were beaten by numerous challengers, but since the game isn’t really any fun, they just hooked the ring after a few tries and left, leaving us to haplessly swing our rings like some type of homo erectus awkwardly attempting to familiarize with the basic usage of crude tools. It’s not like pool, etc., where the winner holds the table.
bar sport fail
After that, we headed back down to Sixth Street for another round of shows, the highlights of which included The Mynabirds and UUVVWWZ at the Saddle Creek showcase at Maggie Mae’s as well as Nive Nielsen at the Hilton Garden Inn 18th Floor. She had originally been scheduled to do the same CMJ showcase as us last year but had to cancel, so it was nice to finally get to see her in person.
Check back soon for SXSW, Part Deux.
Before heading to Austin for SXSW, we stopped at Sundayhouse where we laid down three tracks in anticipation of our forthcoming full-length (more on that later.) We received the royal treatment from our new friends Stephen and Phoebe Ceresia, and the session went exceptionally well considering the relatively limited time we had to work with. We recorded Spiraling Sky and Two Fins, both of which are brand new, as well as Bite Marks, which has been around for a while but has previously only gotten studio attention at Daytrotter. The tracks are currently in post-production and are not yet ready for public dissemination, but all three are in our current set and will be performed at our next show at the PS Collective in Omaha on March 31st.
Sundayhouse is a fantastic studio in a 150-year-old house in historic Bastrop, Texas. The house was originally built in the 1850s and was first owned by the Mathis family, and in the last few years the Ceresias have more than doubled the size of the house with an addition that contains a state-of-the-art control room, a vocal iso-chamber, and a living room/recording space with a cathedral ceiling to promote ideal acoustics for recording. The original part of the house features the original wood floors, ceilings, and walls, and two bedrooms with accomodations for up to five musicians. And, not to be overlooked is the amazing cooking of Phoebe and Stephen, which was not only incredibly delicious but contained enough nutrients to keep us sustained through Austin and back home to Omaha. We have recorded in some first-rate studios before but never experienced anything quite like this.
Here are some selections from our Bastrop photo gallery:
Check back soon for the full report from SXSW and NX35!