Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SXSW 2011 Preview LOCALS ONLY: Ume

I love Ume so much I don't even care that I featured them last year as well. I'm not the only one who feels they are a band to watch, in fact they are in a contest RIGHT now sponsored by Rolling Stone that COULD land them on the cover. As far as I'm concerned they should have been on the cover after they melted everyone's faces at previous SXSWfestivals but I'm just a lowly blogger, what know I? Since I did feature Ume last year and to be honest I'm pretty much over these preview posts, I'm just going to get to the meat and potatoes of the matter. But don't misconstrue my haste and laziness for a lack of love for Ume THAT remains in tact!

Ume - Octopus Hands video via YouTube

The sound on my Ume videos kind of sucks so I'm also going to include this OFFICIAL video so you can hear their music better:

Ume - The Conductor video via YouTube

Your first chance to see Ume is actually TONIGHT!! So, as soon as you finish reading this you should head downtown. Well, maybe not that soon but the show starts at 7pm tonight, so plan well. It's the End Sounds Fourth Annual Pre-SXSW Party/Show happening at Red 7 and the whole thing kicks off at 7.

On Wednesday Ume is scheduled to play Lustre Pearl for the The San Diego Hoe-Down 2011. I'm not sure, precisely, when they go on but the party is from noon to six.

Thursday night Ume plays a very high profile gig at Austin Music Hall. If you get there before 8pm it's free, after that it requires a badge or wristband, which I find kind of odd. It's the Village Voice Media presents Showdown at SXSW 2011 event and Ume share the bill with the likes of, Wu-Tang Clan, Fishbone, and Yelawolf.

Friday night Ume plays my favorite, off-the-grid dive/bear/gay bar. It's called the Chain Drive and my boyfriend is afraid to go there but they have cheap drinks and great bands during SXSW (especially). This particular party features two other bloggy-fav local bands, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth and Transmography. So, if you want to see some great Austin music away from the hub-bub of downtown this would be a great way to spend your Friday night.

Saturday night is Ume's official SXSW showcase at Skinny's Ballroom, they take the stage at midnight Saturday (AKA early Sunday morning).

If you're not sick of live music by Sunday, the 20th you have one final chance to see Ume. This show is going on in my beloved 78704 zip code at Jo's Coffee. Just typing that made me want to go get some. Anyway, Ume is the final band and they go on at 7pm.

This last video I'm posting is from SXSW 2010 and at that time this song didn't have a name so I named it Austin Bloggy Limits. Obviously, I hope the band adopts this moniker but somehow I'm guessing it has an official title by now.

Ume - Austin Bloggy Limits video via YouTube

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SXSW 2011 Preview LOCALS ONLY: Fresh Millions

In case you didn't know, Austin has roughly a billion bands. Almost everyone you come in contact with in Austin is either in a band, manages a band, blogs about bands or all of the above. So, when our local "arts paper" the Austin Chronicle calls you a band to watch, or best new band or anything like that, it actually means something. Fresh Millions is Austin Chronicle endorsed and bloggy-approved. Unfortunately for those of you here from out-of-town you really only have ONE chance to see them during SXSW and it's an official showcase at that. In other words if you are only going to free stuff and you didn't see them at Beauty Bar this passed Saturday then you're going to have to buy your way into their showcase at Red 7 Saturday night. They are playing a headlining set on the last official night of SXSW so that should tell you something about the caliber of musicianship here.

This video is courtesy of a great, local music site appropriately called: Austin Music Weekly. You should check out their YouTube channel.

Fresh Millions - Hot New Jam from '73 video via YouTube

Oh snap! Y'all are in luck. In addition to Fresh Millions official showcase mentioned above the break it looks like they are ALSO playing a free day party on Friday. It wasn't listed on Show List Austin (yet) but I found the Vagabond day party happening at Trailer Park Eatery on the band's MySpace page. It may not be the most prestigious venue in town but it will get you away from downtown for a few minutes and they have some REALLY good food.

As of right now those are the only two shows I could find for Fresh Millions during SXSW but who knows more may pop up. In case you didn't know, it's really tough for local bands to get gigs during SXSW because obviously there are a ton of out-of-town/out-of-country artists booking gigs as well. Also, there is a sentiment that I am guilty of where those of us who live here feel like we can see local bands anytime so we're going to focus on the touring acts. That's why in the final push to SXSW I like to highlight a couple of local artists for the out-of-towners to check out.

Sorry about this fake-ass video but hey it's a song sample, so get off my back! :-)

Fresh Millions - Forever video via YouTube

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Monday, March 14, 2011

SXSW 2011 Preview LOCALS ONLY: Oh No Oh My

I have loved Oh No Oh My ever since they were called Oh No! Oh My!. I feel like they don't play here in Austin enough and that they should be way more famous by now. Their music is so pleasant, so full of indie-pop goodness that I'm just surprised they don't have a lot more buzz. They have a new album, which they just toured Europe to support and they are back on Texas soil in time for SXSW. They are only playing a few times but you should make an effort to see them, even if you're a local. Pretty much, I'm a sucker for some good keyboard sounds, and harmonies, mix all of that with jangly rhythm and vests and I'm sold!

Oh No Oh My - Live at the Ghost Room video via YouTube

It looks like the first place you can see Oh No Oh My is Opal Divine's Freehouse for the Pigeon Publicity presents Pigeon's Posse party. They're scheduled to hit the stage at 3:15pm on Wednesday for that set.

Their show listing on the official site gets a bit jumbled, so it's kind of hard to tell but it from other sources it looks like Oh No Oh My's next gig is their official showcase at Maggie Mae's Gibson Room Friday night.

After that you can catch them at another free day party on Saturday. This one is happening at Ghost Room for the New Granada day party. They're scheduled for a 4:30pm set time at this event.

According to Oh No Oh My's F*c*book page, these are all of their SXSW shows but who knows maybe they'll add more?

Oh No Oh My - Another Tune From the Ghost Room video via YouTube

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SXSW 2011 Preview LOCALS ONLY: Zlam Dunk

I'll admit when I first started hearing about this band,Zlam Dunk. First there's the issue of their name, as a gay, indie-rock lovin' music blogger I do not find the sports reference appealing. Then, I looked up their bio info and it said they were from San Marcos. While I have no specific issues with San Marcos it just made me wish they had just said they were from Austin. In fact when I finally met members of Zlam Dunk in real life I specifically mentioned that fact and I believe they have amended their bio information to say they are from San Marcos/Austin, which is a step in the right direction. It wasn't until I saw the band's high-energy performance opening up for Fang Island at Emo's in the spring that I finally drank the Zlam Dunk Kool-Aid. They meld genres, they jump around, they engage the audience and basically create an atmosphere where a fun-time is had by all. No matter what setting you see them perform in, you will feel like you are at a really fun, rowdy house-party. I find this a totally appealing atmosphere for a band to create and I simply enjoy any band who can create atmosphere through their performance. It is for all of these, relatively vague, reasons that I implore you out-of-towners to see AUSTIN's Zlam Dunk during SXSW. Also, check out my personal blogging authority for LOCAL Austin music 'Nites Blog. They're the ones who shot the video below.

Zlam Dunk - Vice video via YouTube

Sp, party people you'll have a few unofficial and one official chance to see Zlam Dunk at SXSW and here they are:

Here's another great video, courtesy of 'Nites Blog. You should check out his YouTube channel if you want a schooling on Austin bands.

Zlam Dunk - Scum video via YouTube

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

SXSW 2011 Preview: Chapter 24

It's pretty rare when a band emails me directly soliciting coverage and I actually like them. This was the case when "Gemma Partridge", from Chapter 24 sent me an email with a four song EP attached. The band is from London and this SXSW trip will be the band's first visit to the United States. Their sound is raw, bratty, rock 'n roll and let me tell you no one does bratty like the English. I mean, American valley girls may have invented bratty but the English really own it. NME compared Chapter 24 to The Slits but I, personally, have no frame of reference for that comparison. They reminded me of Johnny Foreigner, who I saw at La Zona Rosa and I wholly approve. You won't have a ton of chances to catch Chapter 24 here in Austin but they are playing showcases both official and unofficial.

Chapter 24 - Blisland to Cry video via YouTube

Your first chance to see Chapter 24 is a free, unofficial showcase way up at the Spiderhouse Cafe. This venue is north of downtown near UT, which has its pluses and minuses. The event they're playing is, AnSo SXSW Day Party and they play stage #1. The party starts at noon and ends at 10pm and to be honest, I have no idea when exactly Chapter 24 is scheduled to take the stage.

The next time the band plays is their official SXSW showcase at Habana Bar, east of Emo's on 6th street. They take the stage for their official showcase at 10pm and even if you don't have a badge or wristband, you should be able to buy a ticket to this showcase if you wish.

As of this moment, it looks like your third and final chance to see Chapter 24 play will be Friday, the 18th at Waterloo Cycles for a free day party. They take the stage at 2:30 for this show. However, I have on pretty good authority that if you need a band for your gig, they will totally play at the last minute. If I had better connections, I would love to book them to play some event but alas I do not. Le sigh.

In any case, even if you can't catch Chapter 24 in Austin you should at least check out their music on their website and see if they are coming to your town. I normally post 2 videos in these previews but I'm quite certain the one above the break is the only one there. That's ok with me though, because it's my favorite song on the EP!

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