Category: Events

Indiehouston at SXSW 2009


sxsw ih day party1 590x385 Houston Music Travels to Austin SXSW 2009

by Charlie Brite

It hurt my soul to go back to a 9 to 5 today after spending a week at Austin’s SXSW festival. For five days, I did nothing but dash from one end of the city to the other, listening to some of the best, most innovative musicians in the country. There were even moments around 3:30 AM when, for the first time in my life, I felt like I’d had my fill of rock; but then some band like The Wavves or Soft Pack would start to play, and I’d feel like a teenager at her first punk show all over again. This was Indiehouston’s first time showcasing atSXSW, and we rolled back into town Sunday night a little wiser, a lot deafer, and pumped to ensure that next year, Houston bands will make an even bigger impression at SXSW.

The Showcase:

Eighteen bands played on two stages at the Indiehouston.org SXSW showcase. B L A C K I E kicked off the show with a characteristically ear-splitting, gut-wrenching set, followed by Muhammad Ali on the Sugar Hill stage. After telling Joe Mathlete that he had, “the friendliest face. That I’ve ever seen . . . Maybe,” Jana Hunter serenaded us with some new hits-in-the-making, like “A Dog’s Dick,” ” Two Cocks” and “Batman,” which, in the words of Jana, “is about that  time, from the official franchise, when Batman gives up and his friends have to convince him to come back.” Her band operates like a jazz trio, watching each other intently, changing tempo and time signatures without a hiccup.

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dsc 0105 590x392 Houston Music Travels to Austin SXSW 2009

Muhammad Ali Indiehouston SXSW Day Party 09

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The Wild Mocassins Indiehouston SXSW Day Party 2009

dsc 0836 590x392 Houston Music Travels to Austin SXSW 2009

The TonTons Indiehouston SXSW Day Party

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News on The March Indiehouston SXSW Day Party 2009

News on the March was up next and had us dancing to those feel-good, upbeat, folksy tunes, “Clapping Good Time” (which is about wife-beating) and “The Whole Universe is Gonna Die.” The Riff Tiffs mellowed things out again with their mesmerizing, psychedelic rock. Halfway through the four-song set, Chris Rehm drew a laugh from the audience when he announced, “We’re gonna play two more songs-it might sound like one. We just played two-they might’ve sounded like twenty.” Indeed, each of their slowly swelling, cavernous songs bleed seamlessly into the next. As always, Buxton, The Young Mammals, The Wild Moccasins, and The Ton Tons played tight sets which had the crowd dancing and singing along. After it got dark, DD/MM/YYYY bounced on our brand-new stage like it was a trampoline, threatening to cause an avalanche of sound equipment with their high-energy rock. The lead singer doubles on drums for a massive sound, and I was especially impressed with their keyboard player who plays two synths at once, back to back, meaning one of his hands is playing upside-down and backwards. Tambersauro closed out the night, despite the vulture-like cops slowly circling our tents. They asked us to “turn it down,” but in the words of Rob (director of Indiehouston), “How do you turn down that insane drummer?” All day long, the free Tito’s vodka and sweet tea was pouring, thanks to our sponsors and all the other bands who played: Sings, Paris Falls, Watermarks, Kristine Mills, Gormeh Sabzi, Fat Tony, and Giant Princess.

Top 5 Moments of SXSW (OTHER than our showcase):

-The Dirty Projectors final show at French Legation: In an idyllic park, Dave Longstreth and his beautiful, insanely talented sidewomen blew our minds with a long set of almost entirely new music. Half the band was sick, but it was their best show of SXSW.

-The Wavves at the Peacock Room: Inside a shoebox of a venue that would make a sauna feel like a fridge and your Zangief’s armpits smell zestfully clean, The Wavves played a raucous set despite the overwhelming heat and humidity.

-The Indiehouston staff eavesdropped on Daniel Johnston at East Side Pizza an hour before his show. He was intently pressing a marijuana leaf to his nose while discussing album artwork with his posse.

-The Wild Moccasins’s showcase was on the news!

-Devo: I wasn’t there (no wristband, sniff), but apparently it was totally amazing and rocked everybody’s socks off, blah, blah, etc. Yea, I’m jealous.

Most Heartbreaking Moment of SXSW

B L A C K I E, one of the most original and hard-working artists I’ve heard anywhere, ALMOST played a guerilla show on Austin’s Lamar bridge at 3 AM Saturday night, almost played the last great show of SXSW. Members of Buxton, The Young Mammals, and Giant Princess helped him haul his giant speakers onto the middle of the bridge-they were set up in ten minutes. A number of other bands were taking turns playing, and despite our urging him to blast them the fuck into the Colorado River, B L A C K I E decided to be a gentleman and wait until they were finished. So there he sat, on a chilly, windy night, on top of his truck-sized sound setup, the river reflecting Austin’s skyline behind him. It was an impressive image, and many Austinites stopped and asked me who he was and what was going to go down. A crowd gathered around and started chanting “B L A C K I E, B L A C K I E.” As the last band finished, the five-hundred or so people on the bridge started to conglomerate around the setup. My heart wanted so badly for him to play, just because he deserves the exposure, just because anyone who sees Mike LaCour perform can never forget it and can only crave to hear him again. But right as my ears were itching for that painfully loud, “Oooooohhh FUCK! A KID JUST GOT SHOT, ” I saw one of the most heartbreaking images of my life–ten cops, strutting up the bridge, waggling their flashlights in people’s faces. We were told to disperse or be arrested. But it WILL happen next year, and you need to be there.

 

Photos by Richard Ramirez II

 

The Venue, The Band, The HEAT!! (Thao and Mirah)

The Orange Show and dusk brought a calming yet excitement-filled energy; Mirah commented that the packed Orange Show made her feel like she was in a stadium-like setting. The set began with Thao’s “The Clap” with both Thao and Mirah’s individual songs equally performed, with Mirah’s voice being featured on Thao’s songs and vice versa. From toddler to gray hair, the crowd made Houston proud by becoming an additional and collective band member, clapping to at least half a dozen songs. The sound quality and talent by each band member were unmatched. Both Thao and Mirah have distinct and beautiful voices with instrumental talents that compliment each other’s styles. Songs played were from Thao’s We Brave Bee Stings and All (2008) and Know Better Learn Faster (2009) and Mirah’s Advisory Committee (2001), C’mon Miracle (2004) and (A)spera (2009) In addition to performing each other’s songs, Thao, Mirah and The Most of All played a few songs they had written together. For the encore? Mirah and Thao became a part of the audience, jumping out of the stage and joining the audience for the last few songs while the audience got on their feet. Indeed, Houston has much love for Thao and Mirah with The Most of All.

Led to Sea started the evening off with Alex Guy and her Viola, a loop pedal and songs about crashing bikes and being a bad girlfriend. Alex is also a part of The Most of All, a group of multi-instrumentalists, from clarinets to xylophones.

Houston definitely brought the Heat, both with our energy and, of course, literally. Yes there were mosquitoes and clothes were sticking to bodies, but it was worth every second.

Thanks St. Arnold’s for the delicious and refreshing Amber!

Here is a personal thanks from Thao

From http://www.facebook.com/thaomusic:

“Orange Show in Houston! thank you for dancing and singing and handling sparklers responsibly.”


 

 

The Wild Moccasins CD Release Runoff

The Wild Moccasins
The Wild Moccasins

The Wild Moccasins :: My Favorite Die
The Wild Moccasins :: Mailman

photos by Richard Ramirez II and Ike Theriot

The Teenage Kicks

teenage kicks

Houston came out in force Friday night to support the Wild Moccasins’ release of their new EP Microscopic Metronomes. Walter’s on Washington reached capacity before the second band, Buxton, even began to play. Many people who were turned away hung out in the packed parking lot anyway, just to soak up the scene and catch the sound bites escaping through the front door.

The Teenage Kicks greeted those early-comers who scored free pizza and a copy of Microscopic Metronomes with their ticket. By the end of their set, only a handful of EPs were left, the pizza was long gone, and the crowd was dancing.

Buxton was up next, and their following was huge. The crowd refused to move during the set change, chatting amongst themselves as they stood and waited. As a result, there was less of the jubilant dancing you usually see at Buxton gigs, and more of a jostle-and-sway as much as possible in the two inches of space around you. Buxton’s bluegrass pop has a more noticeably Southern sound than most other local bands. Zahiri and Cody of The Moccasins joined them for the last few songs of their set, to get the crowd pumped for the headlining shenanigans.

Sergio of Buxton

Sergio of Buxton

Co-frontman Cody Swann sounded genuinely touched and amazed as he thanked the sold-out crowd for their support. Greeted by enthusiastic cheers, The Moccasins launched into a new song, as vibrant and catchy as ever. Going to a Wild Moccasins show makes you feel like a latchkey kid watching The Partridge Family. You just ache to be a part of that happy, sparkly jumble of people, with their shiny clothes and beautiful mustaches. Zahira Gutierrez and Cody Swann sneak meaningful glances at each other while singing the catchiest nonsense refrains you’ve ever heard, with voices like sunny Florida oranges and big eyes like kittens in laundry hampers. They’re so cute you want to hate them, but their songs are so good you can’t. For the last song, the Moccasins invited the crowd to join them onstage to set off dollar-store confetti poppers and dance. Notable Houston musicians like Fat Tony, some Ton Tons and Young Mammals were among those onstage, grinning and singing along. You don’t find that kind of camaraderie and good vibrations among musicians in every city, and it’s a major reason why, lately, our scene is getting better and better with every show.

Review by Simone Kern & Alma Verdejo

 

University Of Houston Indiehouston Series with Judgment Day

Indiehouston.org puts on two shows each month at the University of Houston. By bringing emerging artists to campus, we hope to revitalize student interest in Houston’s independent music scene.

The next show will be November 18, 2008 with The Mckenzies and another band TBA. [11:30am-2pm at UC underground]

Here are pictures of our last showcase, featuring Judgement Day:
see our flickr at
http://flickr.com/photos/indiehouston/sets/72157608110315971/show/with/2949051482/

 

Riff Tiffs at FPH Westheimer Block Party Show

Riff TIffs Show Journal by Charlie Brite

Riff Tiffs

5:19 I head back to Mangoes to catch the Riff Tiffs, and I instantly fall in love with the bassist. She’s playing a B.C. Rich, her hair is platinum blonde with a splash of purple, and it looks like she’s got needles sticking out of her mouth. At first I think it’s an intense piercing, but then I realize she’s just holding something between her lips—bobby pins maybe? They stay there for the whole set. Anyways, the Riff Tiffs rock. Ethereal, clean melodies make you feel chilled-out-on-barbs one second, and then snarling power chords get you all fuck-the-establishment pissed off Radiohead-style in the next. Chris Rehm switches frequently between his “normal” voice, a disaffected suburban growl, and a plaintive falsetto. The brothers Rehm both wear skinny headbands, which I suppose is like the indie version of wearing a band uniform. Later, we catch up with the bassist at Band Camp, hosted at the Caroline Collective, and she voices her enthusiasm for indiehouston’s noble cause. She graciously volunteers to plaster the town with stickers of our logo if we provide them. What an excellent idea!

see more pictures at below link

http://www.flickr.com/photos/indiehouston/sets/72157608220332001/show/with/2948288073/

 

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