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Sunday, March 22, 2009

SXSW - Day 3
Asobi Seksu, Cale Parks, City Center, The So So Glos, The Homosexuals, Japanther

-the van at Ms. Bea's

It was just another day at Todd P's stage on Friday, with crowd surfing, Vivian Girl sightings, and wasted kids in skinny jeans. This time I caught ferocious acts by Japanther and The Homosexuals. Japanther caused a near riot. Bearded indie hooligans were hanging from the gazebo (stage) top, boys and girls alike were chilling atop a van behind the stage, and crowd surfers took turns flying upside down over the packed and sweaty crowd. Things hit a climactic high when the band closed their set with a cover of The Ramones' "Do You Wanna Dance".

The Homosexuals worked the crowd into a tizzy with their asymmetrical post-punk. The lead singer spewed water at the frenzied fans and told stories of his drug-addled past. His presence was at once comical and intense - a true performer with gritty vitality.

-The So So Glos

I ran over to a party that included an outdoor roller rink. It was hysterical watching people trying to skate. The beer was free and the bands were awesome. I missed Telepathe and kind of caught Casiokids. But Brooklyn punk outfit The So So Glos demanded your attention with their rowdy punk rock. I was really impressed at how tight and old school these guys are. I'll definitely keep a watchful eye on them.

-City Center

Over at the Habana Calle9 Patio I discovered another really amazing electronic duo. City Center from Brooklyn make music sort of in the vein of Fuck Buttons, but way less dark. Warped vocals are meshed with hypnotic loops, distorted guitars and primal, yet minimalist percussion. I had never heard of these guys but they are definitely on my radar now.

-Cale Parks

Cale Parks is talented. But he has also got this spastic nervous energy that keeps you on edge. He became really distracted by the lack of audio coming from his monitor. I happened to be standing next to one of the speakers and he kept abruptly running at me, trying to hear the output. Maybe it was just this show, but his personal conflict with the sound issues really distracted me from the music. Once he finally let go of the problems, he found his equilibrium and sounded awesome.

-Asobi Seksu

Asobi Seksu played the same venue later in the night (after 1 AM to be specific). The shoegaze revivalists from Brooklyn sounded noisy and awesome as usual, though I found their setlist to be a little off. Nonetheless, they packed the patio and pleased the crowd with their noisy dreampop.

Another running theme for my Austin trip was how I had traveled all the way to Texas to see a bazillion Brooklyn bands. What can I say? Brooklyn is where it's at with music.

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