SXSW 2009 Friday Highlights

Friday at SXSW kicked off in style with a great day party hosted by Insound at Club De Ville.  Obits opened the day with an impressively scorching set, followed by one of my favorite bands, The Handsome Furs, who’s energy and chemistry did not disappoint.  I had yet to see them live so was thrilled to get up close and personal with them at such a great venue. (Loved Alexei Perry’s leopard print jumpsuit too.)  American Analog Set followed but they were a bit too quiet to be appreciated with a crowd in the full throws of an all you can drink PBR pint party, so off I headed to the Spin private event at Stubbs.

At the Spin party, which was a blast, I caught The Black Lips – who lived up to their infamous stage performance reputation — Glasvegas and the seminal band of the 80s Echo and The Bunnymen.  Ian McCulloch’s voice was amazing and the band’s performance was one of my highlights of the festival for me. Between sets we were entertained by the likes of The Crystal Method and NASA.  A great show all around! Thanks Spin!

Without missing a beat, we headed to the TopSpin party to see White Denim crush it. If you don’t know this band already, you are missing out.  Exposion is my favorite album of 2008 and they are absolutely incredible live.  Whew, okay.  I’m a good nine bands in and we haven’t even gotten to the official SXSW schedule yet!

The evening kicked off with Alberta Cross.  Man, these guys are good.  Really, really good.  One of the SXSW sleepers, in my opinion.  Loney Dear was up next with a lackluster performance, but all was redeemed when we made it to Emo’s Jr. for King Kahn & The Shrines.  Holy crap!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like them. Absolutely and completely crazy live performers.  People were hanging from the rafters, taking off their pants, moshing and giving puja to the holy Hindu, King Kahn. I didn’t think the night could get any better until we ended up at the mother of all after parties to see Starf**ker.  My new favorite band.  I loooovve them!

Listen to Obits, “Pine On“:

Listen to Handsome Furs “I’m Confused”

Listen to The Black Lips“O Katrina”

Listen to Echo & The Bunnymen, “Killing Moon” 

Listen to Glasvegas, “Geraldine”  

Listen to White Denim, Shake Shake Shake” 

Listen to Alberta Cross, “The Thief and The Heartbreaker”

Listen to King Khan & The Shrines, “No Regrets”

Listen to Starf**ker, “Iaadeedaa

 

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The Handsome Furs at Club De Ville
Glasvegas at Stubbs

Glasvegas at Stubbs

The Black Lips at Stubbs

The Black Lips at Stubbs

At the Spin party.  Music, hipsters and free beer - oh my!

At the Spin party. Music, hipsters and free beer - oh my!

Echo & The Bunnymen at Stubbs

Echo & The Bunnymen at Stubbs

Alberta Cross at Rusty Spurs

Alberta Cross at Rusty Spurs

The Legendary King Kahn enjoying a well deserved drink after his performance at Emos Jr.

The Legendary King Kahn enjoying a well deserved drink after his performance at Emos Jr.

Starf**ker Rules!

Starf**ker Rules!

Me with The Black Lips frontman.

Hanging with The Black Lips frontman.

In Anticipation: Handsome Furs – Face Control

handsome_furs-face_control-album_art

Montreal’s Handsome Furs have a new album on the horizon! Their second effort, Face Control, is due out on Sub Pop Records 3/10.  

The side project of Wolf Parade‘s guitarist and vocalist Dan Boeckner and his wife Alexei Perry, Handsome Fur’s Face Control ‘draws inspiration from Eastern Europe and re-maps Eastern Bloc surveillance state themes to contemporary life and the irony of our acceptance and embrace of self-monitoring, through blogs and facebooks and myspaces and credit/debit accounts and surveillance cameras and GPS devices.’  Confused?  Just listen to this new track, ‘I’m Confused’.  And if you haven’t already heard their debut album, Plague Park, do so now. It was one of my favorites for 2007.

Face Control Track Listing:

  1. Legal Tender
  2. Evangeline
  3. Talking Hotel Arbat Blues
  4. (Passport Kontrol)
  5. All We Want, Baby, Is Everything
  6. I’m Confused
  7. (White City)
  8. Nyet Spasiba
  9. Officer of Hearts
  10. (It’s Not Me, It’s You)
  11. Thy Will Be Done
  12. Radio Kaliningrad

Listen to ‘I’m Confused’:

Listen to ‘Radio Kaliningrad‘:

Handsome Furs – Plague Park

Artist:  Handsome Furs
Album:  Plague Park
File Under:  Indie Rock
Recommended if You Like:  Beck, Wolf Parade
Featured Track:  Sing! Captain

The influence and reach of Montreal-based Wolf Parade and its members is quite astonishing.  I’ve always been intrigued by Spencer Krug and his impressive list of side projects.  (Sunset Rubdown was one of my favorites last year.)   Now Wolf Parade guitarist and vocalist Dan Boeckner has his own, Handsome Furs. 

Formed as a concept project with his drum-machine playing wife, Alexei Perry, in 2006, the duo booked a tour before even they’d even written a song. The two holed up in an apartment belonging to members of the Arcade Fire and wrote their debut album, Plague Park.

Featuring a drum machine, guitar and Beck-like vocals, their sound is dark, bare and stirring.  I love it.

Get this album free via eMusic’s 50 Free MP3 Promo

buy it at insound!

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