The Houston Music Blog section of the Free Press Houston.

Tuesday, March 24, 2024

Wednesday in Austin: SXSW Day 1

posted by Levi @ 12:44 PM

I've been attending SXSW for about the last 8 years and have purchased a wristband for about the last 5. With the abundance of free un-official night shows this year, I chose not to get a wristband and I'm happy to report that I still managed to see the majority of the bands on my list. While I may purchase one again in the future, at least I now know that it isn't a necessity.

Wednesday began at the Austinist party with Telekinesis at the Mohawk at 11:45am. As their new record was produced by Chris Walla, it's not surprising that they channel a lot of Death Cab for Cutie, and that was fine by me.


With some free BBQ and free absinthe, things were off to a great start. Next up was Here We Go Magic, which is Luke Temple's new project. He recorded the recently release debut album alone in his bedroom, but is touring with a full band and while I dig the record, I loved the live versions of the songs.

Here We Go Magic

After that it was off to the Radio Room for the Paste party and Port O'Brien, one of the bands I was most looking forward to and they did not disappoint.

Port O'Brien

I stuck around for a few songs from Heartless Bastards, decent for straight-ahead rock, but wasn't really feeling it. Next it was over to Maggie Mae's where I stumbled into Yelle and walked out after a song, watched a bit of Cut Off Your Hands and then headed to Emo's annex for Deer Tick. Jana Hunter had raved to me about him a couple years ago, but I had only recently given him a listen. What a fool I was for not doing so earlier, this was another of my favorite performances of the week.

Deer Tick

Then we went to Peckerheads (what an awful name) and saw a bit of the Phenomenal Handclap Band, they weren't, so it was off to the Levi's/FADER Fort for Micachu and the Shapes who were indeed phenomenal. With grimy beats constructed from drums, synthesizer, and the often percussive use of guitar, this performance was one of my highlights.

Micachu and the Shapes
(a picture of Mica Levi at Levi's by Levi)

For the evening it was back to Ms. Bea's for another Todd P event with Pete and the Pirates, Here We Go Magic, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Telepathe before heading back downtown to the 508 House for a drink and a few moments of A-Trak.



At Paradise I spotted MTV News' John Norris checking out the Harlem Shakes and then went to the Red Bull Moon Tower party for I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, Shepard Fairy, and Monotonix. If you've seen Monotonix you know how they do it, if not, the pictures speak for themselves. Not a bad first day.

Harlem Shakes

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness

Shepard Fairy



At March 24, 2024 5:14 PM , Blogger Jason said...

It's fun to see where our paths crossed (at Deer Tick). I'm looking forward to seeing the rest and hopefully it will encourage me to post my pics and impressions somewhere. - Jason

At March 25, 2024 10:30 PM , Blogger Alejandra said...

That's funny, I saw John Norris as well, but at Ms.Bea's. I told everyone and no one believed me.


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