Since this is my first content contribution to OVRLD, a brief introduction is in order before jumping into the SXSW Music madness. My name is Brittany and I am the social media manager for the site. If you interact with us on Twitter or Facebook then you are, essentially, interacting with me, so feel free to say a more personal “hello” and be sure to comment! More generally, I’m an Oregon native now living in Austin with an ever-present love for all things Pacific Northwest (especially music).
That being said, I made it a priority to see as many PNW-originating bands at South by as possible, and today I hit the mother lode. While Carter was off on the Eastside at the IAMSOUND showcase, I threw on some flannel and headed to Waterloo Records to check out one of the most buzzed about bands at the fest: WILD FLAG (otherwise known as the band with 2/3 of Sleater-Kinney). No self-respecting Oregon or Washington native would miss the chance to see Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss rock out in the mid-afternoon sun, especially in an outfit as promising as WILD FLAG.
Coincidentally, opening for the female four-piece was another Portland-based band called Morning Teleportation, who won the crowd and yours truly over early with their grungy indie pop despite some technical difficulties. Morning Teleportation’s guitar-heavy tracks made for an easy transition into the many as-of-yet unrecorded songs of WILD FLAG, which feature alternating lead vocals by current Portlandia star Brownstein and former Helium member Mary Timony.
Though WILD FLAG’s set was unbearably short, the energy and enthusiasm with which the band breezed through their tracks made the morning trek to 6th and North Lamar more than worthwhile, and I can’t wait to catch the band again in the coming days. While many will seek out WILD FLAG hoping to hear some of the old Sleater-Kinney magic, the band is definitely on its way to establishing itself as a separate entity (keyboardist Rebecca Cole especially helps differentiate WILD FLAG’s sound), but one that is equally as engaging.
In addition, I also made a spontaneous stop at the opening of the Third Man Records Rolling Record Store to watch Jack White perform an acoustic version of “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.” Jack sounded great, the crowd was pumped, and it will forever be a highlight of my SXSW 2011 experience. Gotta love Twitter and its ability to make you rapidly walk 12 blocks based on a rumor.