Anyone with a penchant for that UK brand of paisley psychedelic rock will dig this unsigned Seattle-based band. It’s the kind of sound I never get tired of. And The Purrs fourth full length album, Amused, Confused & More Bad News, is full of those iconic UK influences – from Jesus & Mary Chain, Echo & The Bunnymen, Oasis, and The Verve. It’s a well-worn and familiar path, but it feels really good. Slip it on and see for yourself.
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!
My rock-n-roll vacation is just days, hours away. I’ve been combing the line up of 1400 bands for weeks now. My list is made, I’m checking it twice and trying to keep the panic at bay as I struggle to find a way to fit it all in.
SXSW is the equivalent of Mecca for the indie music junkie, like me. It’s the place you go to discover the best new artists everyone else will be listening 6 months or a year from now, depending on where you fall on the music curve. And already I’ve found some gems. Here’s a sample of a few bands I’m particularly excited to see. Believe me, there are many, many more. Some of them are classics reunited – like Echo and The Bunneymen and Red Red Meat – others somewhat establish, but most are new to the scene and trying to break out. Enjoy!
I’m having a momentary crush on White Lies. My first thought upon hearing them was Interpol meets Echo and The Bunnymen. And I have a serious soft spot for Brit rock and Ian McCulloch, so when I received an advance copy of UK trio’s To Lose My Life recently I couldn’t help but fall in love a little bit. It’s blatantly 80s influenced, but represents everything I like about Brit rock and the 80s in one album; guitar focused arena rock with a big dose of that new wave sound.
To Lose My Life drops on Fiction Records 3/17. Their US tour kicks off in Austin at SXSW, making their way to San Francisco April 11 to play Slim’s and wrapping up at Coachella. In the meantime, check out the new video to “To Lose My Life”…
There’s been lots of speculation of a Pavement reunion tour of late, but this article from The Guardian UK yesterday seems to imply a reunion is imminent for 2009 and centered around both the band and their label, Matador Records, 20th anniversary this year. Makes a lot of sense. Apparently Coachella’s booking agent is all over it, but as of now, the festival has yet to promise a big enough guarantee.