SXSW Update

First off, we are alive. If you’re solely a reader of the blog, then you may be wondering about the reason for the longest gap in posts we’ve experienced since first launching this site. Clearly, SXSW is a fairly demanding experience, and there’s been little time amongst it all to stop and reflect. Since that’s what we’re all about, it doesn’t lend itself to our kind of coverage. Still, I’m managing to take a breather this morning in order to get you something to read.

For our full coverage of SXSW, please follow us on Twitter @ovrld. If you are in Austin, and are reading this, please turn off your computer and get to your nearest musical venue immediately. If you aren’t in Austin, I hear that hotels are taking reservations for next year. Here are some notes from the first half of music at SXSW:

      Whiskey Shivers, pictured above, was the first band I encountered this year. I walked into Covert Curiosity’s party at Hotel Vegas just as they were going on, and it was thrilling. The crowd was super engaged, and the band fed off the energy. The version of “Drunk Dial” they performed was fantastic.
      Later that night, Beach Fossils rocked the crap out of the Mohawk. Prior to then, they had been a fairly unassuming band in my eyes, but that performance proved the hype wasn’t all misdirected.
      Tuesday was the OVRLD unofficial SXSW party at Guero’s. Thanks to all who showed up! We were there all day, and saw some amazing artists. Follow Austin Fresh Photography on Facebook to see some photos now, and we’ll be getting some photos up on our site soon.
      Yesterday, we experienced an intimate living room set put on by SoFar Sounds with Austin bands Cowboy & Indian and Haun’s Mill. Clearly we’ve been fans of Cowboy & Indian for a long time, and it was great to learn about Haun’s Mill. I also want to shout-out Tournament of Hearts from LA via Canada (except for the drummer…USA! USA!), who played radio-friendly anthemic rock. Also at that show, we met Accidental Music blogger Amanda, who is totally awesome, and knows her shit. Read that blog, too.
      Maneja Beto‘s set at Speakeasy was packed last night, and they, too, sounded great. I can’t wait to hear their new record, due out in a few months.
      I hit up the Warner Brothers showcase at La Zona Rosa last night, and despite some great artists, including the legendary Dr. John, the set was completely stolen by hometown hero Gary Clark Jr. There was a palpable energy in the building as he showed why he’s not just the Best Electric Guitarist in Austin (according to this year’s Austin Music Awards), but one of the best making music today. The set gave me chills multiple times as he wove his guitar solos around the blues-rock groove of his killer backing band. This man will be a star.

And now, we’ve gotta get back to it. Happy SXSW everybody! Enjoy!

– Carter