SXSW, day four

When I woke up and realized it was Saturday, my last full day in Austin, I couldn’t believe time had passed by so quickly. Though I had managed to assemble rough plans for the previous days, I had run out of time to make an itinerary for Saturday, so I hastily jotted down some addresses and set times and set out. (Man this would all be so much easier with a smart phone.)

After ducking into the BV day party for a little while, I decided to leave for a while to check out the band Mutual Affection, but when I arrived at the park where they were scheduled to play, I quickly realized that it probably wouldn’t be happening. The scene resembled a photo shoot more than anything else. The band members were climbing an old, knobby tree and hoisting up their guitars/bass. Though it looked pretty awesome to see a group of guys playing from a tree, back on the ground, the music back barely even audible, so I left somewhat disappointed.

But on the way back to the Swan Dive, something odd happened. I spotted a band unpacking gear from their van. A small piece of paper in the window notified me that it was the group Typhoon, a group that Bob Boilen at NPR Music had just recommended to me the day before. Convinced that it was meant to be, I followed the large group into a venue and caught their lively 12-person set.

Typhoon - RIYL Lost in the Trees (photo courtesy of artist)

Typhoon clip:

Following this pleasant happenstance, I headed back over to Swan Dive and caught Austra for a second time (yes, totally worth it), Malajube, and Little Scream before darting out once again to see the High Highs. It was a fast-paced 90 minutes, running back and forth between venues, but I’m glad I had the chance to see the High Highs, one of the few bands that I had awarded the highly selective 5-star rating in iTunes. Though their music wasn’t terribly memorable in the grand scheme of the week, I remember being fairly impressed by what I heard – especially for a band that hasn’t even released an EP yet.

High Highs RIYL Smith Westerns, Surfer Blood (photo courtesy of artist)

High Highs clip:

Though I would have liked to stick around Fado’s to see ARMS play, the timing wasn’t right, so I headed back to Swan Dive to see two more acts: Mount Kimbie (how much of that was live and how much, samples?) and the consistently impressive Owen Pallett. After stumbling into Bob Boilen again at Owen Pallett, I decided to pall around with him for a while and saw Fang Island, The Felice Brothers, and Bright Eyes (in addition to briefly meeting Wild Flag’s Carrie Brownstein, which was pretty sweet.)

Though I was tempted to go see the captivating Norwegian singer-songwriter Silje Nes, I decided I should close out the week with a handful of new artists, which led me to The Parish Underground for a pleasant, low-key line-up with The Deer Tracks, Indigo Tree, Foxes in Fiction and His Clancyness. More on the Swedish group Deer Tracks soon. (I actually got to hang out with them for a while after their set, which was pretty fun.)

The Deer Tracks RIYL Cold Cave (photo Petra Salmi)

The Deer Tracks clip:

Though I was intrigued by the rumors circulating about a late-late night show with Bon Iver and Jay-Z, I decided to call it a night.

Daily band count: 14


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"He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him from loneliness, introversion, the dust of the library; it opened the door of his body and allowed his soul to step out into the world to make friends."

- Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being


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