Carter and Robin Talk About SXSW: Day 3


Robin: A must see for today is Video of Denton, playing at Beerland at 6. Let’s listen to “Leather Leather”.

Carter: I feel like Leather Leather is a great name for a song that’s going to be played at Beerland.

Carter: This is a good chorus.

Robin: It’s not typical of this band, but this song has that krauty drum track, which I like in this context.

Carter: Krauty?

Robin: The recording of the drums, and the drumbeat, it sounds like Neu! a little bit.

Carter: It sounds like what?

Robin: It sounds like Neu!

Carter: Oh, Neu! I always picture them as being pronounced “New.” This sounds like a good time. I could do this. You might have just caught me in a good mood, though.

Robin: I’m sure I’ll be able to get rid of that. Let’s try “Scavenger” by The Zig Zags. They’re playing at Hotel Vegas at 7:30.

Carter: I don’t think I am even going to come close to going to Hotel Vegas. It’s sort of removed from the locus of this place.

Robin: Yeah. If you don’t have specific musical interests at the east side venues, which I tend to and you don’t as much, I’m guessing, and you have a badge, there’s not as much reason to do so.

Carter: This one just feels a little sloppier than Video.

Robin: I think the recording is a little lower-fi, but if I really listen to the playing, I don’t think it’s sloppier. I think they’re pretty tight. The guy’s just got a pretty distorted tone compared to what we were just listening to.

Carter: Something about the feel – it just doesn’t feel like what I’d be into. I’m having a hard time with this.

Robin: Really? A hard time?

Carter: Well, not like some of those metal bands you were playing me for Wednesday night. Can we listen to something else now?

Robin: Okay. Next I’d be going back west for an 8pm show. Do you know The Autumn Defense?

Carter: No.

Robin: This is Pat Sansone and John Stirratt from Wilco. I’ve seen Wilco before, and I enjoyed about 40% of it. Most of the time they were boring. But I’ve always liked John Stirratt’s bass playing. I should know better – just because you like the way someone plays bass in one band, doesn’t mean you’re going to like their songwriting in another band – but all the same, I’d go check it out. However, when I’ve been to shows at Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room in the past, there’s a huge, chatty bar crowd there that doesn’t care about who’s on stage, so it might be really bad.

Carter: Even during SX?

Robin: Oh, yeah.

Robin: So let’s go to the next band, Connections. All the way over at Lamberts.

Carter: I’m curious to know how their sound echoes their home state.

Robin: Well, Ohio – Columbus has a good noise scene. But you can make rudimentary garage rock anywhere.

Carter: I like this. As noted in the Pitchfork review, where they call it “stupendously catchy” – it definitely is. But there’s a noisy element to it.

Robin: The noisy element being that the guitar is distorted.

Carter: Well, it’s not clean.

Robin: It’s distorted.

Carter: Well, not just the guitar, the whole overall vibe. This feels of a piece with Zig Zags a little bit – loose and messy – but this one is a lot catchier.

Robin: All right, Zefirina, over at Headhunters at 10.

Carter: Hey, they’re Brazilian. You know I lived in Brazil for a while?

Robin: Yes. Also, this is a pretty badly translated press bio. But this band sounds like it’s going to be pretty good.

Carter: I think the Melvins would be proud.

Robin: And it’s at Headhunters Patio, one of the best venues at SX, year in year out.

Carter: Look, I support anything Brazilian. I’m a fan of Brazil in general.

Robin: What about murderers?

Carter: Within reason. But this is not going to be one of my favorite things, I guess.

Robin: Now let’s go to NYMPH. Midnight at the Palm Door.

Carter: All right, twelve minutes. This would be pretty much their whole set.

Carter: I like all the interconnecting, moving pieces. I like that the vocals are definitely different, and add a unique touch to the sound. This could be a really good live show. I worry that I might space out a lot during it, but I space out even during bands that I like sometimes.

Robin: I like this a lot. I’m on the fence about the treblier aspects of it, but I’ve had good experiences, but I’ve had good experiences with Northern Spy Records; the Zs show at their show case at the Museum of Human Achievement was the best show I saw last year. I’d definitely go to this one.

Carter: Yeah, I’m down for this. Sounds really interesting.

Robin: So at 1am, there’s East Cameron Folkcore at Bungalow, and The Bright Light Social Hour at Soho Lounge, bands we are well familiar with.

Carter: Yeah, I was surprised to see The Bright Light Social Hour on your list.

Robin: I’ve seen them a number of times.

Carter: You’ve enjoyed it?

Robin: Yeah, they’re a real good live band. There’s a lot of things that I like about that band, but they’re kind of like a lot of metal and jazz bands that I like where I’ll have a good time at their shows, but when I listen to the records, they just don’t really grab me. But I haven’t seen them with their new keyboard player, so I’d be interested to see what he’s doing. They were heading in a different direction with the electronic elements of their sound.

Carter: And then East Cameron Folkcore, we talked about on the podcast. I like them too, and I’ve seen The Bright Light Social Hour a bunch, so I’d probably err toward East Cameron Folkcore on this one.

Robin: Tight players, good songs. All right, your Friday.

Carter: My Friday. Are you familiar with EMA?

Robin: No.

Carter: This is the second song called “California” that I’ve brought to our SXSW –

Robin: Oh, the other one was “Caaalifornia.” Man, that song sucks! Did you go see French Horn Rebellion?

Carter: No, I ended up at the Hold Steady. I didn’t realize the Hold Steady were playing last night.

Robin: Wait, this is the song? I thought this was maybe still the Budweiser commercial.

Carter: Oh, her talking? No, that’s the song. The reason – this song didn’t really jump out at me when I heard it at first, but it’s going to be at the Central Presbyterian Church, and it seems like the kind of thing that would fit that atmosphere really well. I’m not sure I would go see her play at other venues, but the combination of the venue and the style – her newer stuff is a bit more uptempo and poppier, which while normally that would be a plus for me, because of the church setting it might detract a bit. I’m intrigued. Does this do anything for you?

Robin: This sucks. This is like a haircut band. I mean, do you like the music?

Carter: I’m not super passionate about it. I think for the timeslot – and really, the mixture of that and the setting, I think the setting is going to make it a lot better.

Robin: Spending a little time at church.

Carter: Right. And then Angel Olsen follows her at the Church, at 8:10. Angel Olsen I like a little better.

Robin: I don’t think there are bathrooms in the Church.

Carter: I think there are, out in the lobby area.

Robin: Also, you can’t bring food into the Church, I remember that. I tried to bring some bratwurst and potato panckes into the Church four years ago, but I had to finish them outside.

Carter: I saw a great set there with Purity Ring and Grimes a few years back, which was awesome. So I like it as a venue. Angel Olsen, I like this song in particular; it’s cool, it’s laid back. She’s one of the new “it” people, in a way, she’s getting a lot of buzz right now. So this may be more for –

Robin: Girls. Teenage girls.

Carter: No. I mean, I’m looking for it out of curiousity, to see what she’s all about.

Robin: Yeah, I think the mediocre garage rock songs that I made you listen to are better than this.

Carter: We have such different tastes. Again, I should specify, I’m not super passionate about this woman.

Robin: All right, I’m going to listen to “1977” by Ana Tijoux.

Carter: I haven’t heard much of her myself, but I’ve seen a lot of buzz about her, and considering that my goal is to see all these international bands –

Robin: Your goal is to see a lot of seated female vocalists with good hair backed by synthesizer tracks.

Carter: Yo, just because I’m interested in what female vocalists have to say, unlike some people sitting at this table –

Robin: New China has a female vocalist.

Carter: That’s true. I’m glad you got one in there.

Robin: Christian Mistress.

Carter: All right, I like this one best of the three so far. The lyrics are just much more profound.

Robin: Is it in Spanish?

Carter: Yes.

Robin: Hahaha. Do you speak Spanish?

Carter: Poorly. Hongos?

Carter: I like the energy from her; I think it’s going to be a really energetic show. All three of these women are really just out of curiousity. You might come to this one with me?

Robin: Yeah, I don’t really like this very much. The basic track is way better than either of the previous two. If the music was the focus, I’d probably enjoy it more, and if it was a live band playing.

Carter: Probably is a live band. Well, maybe – I’ll let you know. It’d be expensive to bring all those people over from Chile. All right, this is the portion of the night where I go over to Icenhauer’s for the Norway showcase.

Robin: Ugh, Icenhauer’s.

Carter: I give you that. I’m not a fan of Icenhauer’s. But I am a fan of all these Norwegian bands that are playing there. And Death By Unga Bunga, which is a weird name, I don’t know how I feel about it.

Robin: Wait, how is this different from the garage rock we were listening to a moment ago? It’s from Norway?

Carter: I don’t know, for me it’s a bit more polished. Maybe it just comes down to production values, I don’t know. If you listen to the rhythm track, it’s a lot dancier, and that’s the kind of stuff I like. this is just a little easier for me to digest. And I think that’s a good thing. They also sound a lot like the Hives, which is funny, because that’s another Scandinavian band. There seem to be a whole bunch of Scandinavian bands that do this kind of garage rock.

Robin: Yeah, they all play shows together at the venue in Scandinavia, so they tend to influence each other.

Carter: Yeah, just that one venue. See that harmony, that’s like a Beatles harmony right there.

Robin: Awesome.

Carter: I’m just saying – this is not the same as the stuff you were playing.

Robin: All right, I’ll give you that. I give it a 1.

Carter: Maya Vik is sort of the centerpiece for my whole night. I’m into this. I wanted to see her last year, but I didn’t make it to any of her shows.

Robin: You were too busy chasing skirts.

Carter: No, I was working. I was too busy working.

Robin: Oh, this is dancey. I’d be dancing all over to this.

Robin: I worry that there might be a drum machine –

Carter: I worry, too.

Carter: – but that doesn’t deter me.

Robin: This is the centerpiece of your night?

Carter: I love all of her songs. She’s so good.

Robin: This is so bad!

Carter: What are you talking about?

Robin: This is like, Top 40.

Carter: It’s like Robyn, though. Really smart pop music. Look, pop music and Top 40 don’t have to be the same thing. This is not going to make the Top 40. I really like smart pop music. She’s also a badass bass player.

Robin: This sounds like Madonna. I don’t really get this.

Carter: I just – I like smiling. And joy.

(Robin)Smiling and enjoying. Robin: I like frowning and hating. All right, let’s try this last band, Highasakite.

Robin: Dude, I would not be able to take this Norwegian showcase. This stuff is difficult. “I would run like an Indian tomorrow?” This reminds me of – when Scorpions decided they needed to sing in English – the way Klaus Meine sang. And this video isjust bizarre, with all the horses and stuff.

Carter: Well, there aren’t going to be any horses at the showcase, so I’m not worried about that. It’s atmospheric, it’s a Beach House kind of vibe.

Robin: Yeah, except Victoria LeGrand is a way better singer, and the music here is just not interesting it all. This rhythm track is so boring. This song is, like, nothing.

Carter: It’s all about emotion!

Robin: There’s no build, there is no emotion! This sucks. I can’t believe you’re going to spend your time watching this.

Bands Covered:

Video @ Beerland - 6pm
The Zig Zags @ Hotel Vegas - 7:30pm
The Autumn Defense @ Maggie Mae’s - 8pm
Connections @ Lambert’s - 9pm
Zefirina @ Headhunter - 10pm
NYMPH @ Palm Door - Midnight
East Cameron Folkcore @ Bungalow - 1am
The Bright Light Social Hour @ Soho Lounge - 1am
EMA @ Central Presbyterian Church - 7:20pm
Angel Olsen @ Central Presbyterian Church - 8:10pm
Ana Tijoux @ Buffalo Billiards - 9pm
Death by Unga Bunga @ Icenhaur’s - 10pm
Maya Vik @ Icenhaur’s - 11pm
Highasakite @ Icenhaur’s - 1am

-Carter Delloro and Robin Sinhababu