In tracking down the band The Adventures of the Silver Spaceman (TAOTSS), whom I’d seen play at a Papercut Press event and who were playing at SXSW, I was confused by the ephemera on the internet which alternately claimed that the bandleader Zach Ellis also played in Brooklyn band Haybaby, also playing three different showcases at SXSW on their tour with Whiskey Bitches.
Never has the tension between boot camps and bohemia been so evident as in Andrew Bujalski’s new film, Results, which screened at SXSW this week.
Tunde Adebimpe is having a very busy SXSW. Not only did his band, TV on the Radio, do an Austin City Limits taping and a couple of live shows in Austin (we caught their all-too-short set at NPR Music’s party at Stubb’s last night), but he also stars as Jason Schwatzman’s wingman in 7 Chinese Brothers, which had its SXSW premiere Sunday. As you might expect from a film that takes its title from an REM song, the soundtrack includes a host of indie bands like Guided By Voices and Vampire Weekend (the latter band’s bassist, Chris Baio, did the score).
The Damned are widely credited—and widely take the credit—for being the first punk rock band from the U.K. to cross the pond: first punk rock band to release a U.S. single (“New Rose” in 1976), first to release an album (Damned Damned Damned in ’76), and first to tour the U.S.
What do you do when the drummer of your band suffers an injury and has to drop out? If you’re lucky enough to be Sharkmuffin, you just wait for the ex-drummer from Hole to call you out of the blue and offer to step in.
The She Shreds showcases at SXSW (March 17-20) have a reputation of being (as we used to say in Texas) knock-down drag-outs—shows you get to for the first band and stay until the last. That’s a sterling rep at South-by, with its zillion bands, impromptu venues, and frenetic/eclectic lineups. We’re excited to see how it goes down this year, culminating on March 20 with She Shreds in partnership with Tom Tom.
Blood Orange isn’t the only innovative electronic artist and producer holed up in the East Village: a new documentary that premiered at SXSW last night, Hot Sugar’s Cold World, takes us inside Nick Koenig’s 14th Street loft as he repurposes the street sounds he obsessively records all over the neighborhood and the world. Produced by Danny McBride and Jody Hill and directed by Adam Bhala Lough (who has previously made documentaries about Lil’ Wayne and Lee Scratch Perry), the film starts with Koenig (aka Hot Sugar) recording a woman eating Pop Rocks. The end credits list every other sound that he documented for the film: everything from a cop sipping an energy drink, to Jim Jarmusch playing some electronic drums, to a couch being pushed out of a seventh story window on the Lower East Side.
It looks like Bushwick-based supernatural comedies are officially a thing: first there was last year’s vampire flick Summer of Blood and now, showing at SXSW this week, there’s newcomer Ava’s Possessions, about a young woman picking up the pieces of a demonic possession that drove her to attack a bunch of people.
On paper, Hello, My Name Is Doris reads like a screwball comedy: directed and co-written by Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer, The State), it’s about a hoarding spinster who works at a hip clothing company called Northeastern Apparel (get it?) and gets embraced by Williamsburg hipsters in much the same way the hero of David Cross’s new movie, Hits, does.
If last year’s SXSW darling Fort Tilden was an Instagram snapshot of Williamsburg as it was present-day, this year’s oft-listed Creative Control shows us Williamsburg five minutes in the future, in crystalline black and white.
There’s a scene in Breaking a Monster, the new documentary about Brooklyn tween metal sensation Unlocking the Truth, where the band is recording its first single following a $1.8 million record deal. Manager Alan Sacks refuses to give frontman (er, frontkid) Malcolm Brickhouse more Coca-Cola and is eventually forced to pour a two-liter bottle out on the street as if flushing heroin down the toilet.
SXSW certainly isn’t for everyone– the crowds, the queues, the lack of available cabs, sure to leave any New Yorker squirming– but really, there’s no better place for discovering a whole lot of great music in not a whole lot of time. While the warm(ish) Texas weather was definitely a major selling point, the ultimate goal for yours truly (plus one talented photographer pal), was to catch as many bands as humanly possible. Despite the dark cloud of an early, unexpected tragedy (luckily, we were both fast asleep at the time of the accident), the festival re-gained its momentum. Over the course of four booze-and-BBQ fueled days, we criss-crossed Austin in search of some familiar faces. Here’s what we found.
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