Meet Obits, the latest musical incarnation for the creative force known as Rick Froberg (Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes). I Blame You is the band’s first album and I have to say – I like this band, I really, really do. Even more so after seeing them live at SXSW. Their sound is raw and adrenaline inducing. It’s the kind of music you want to put on when you need a kick in the ass, or are getting ready to kick some. As of late it’s been my de facto wake up and go album. Better than two cups of coffee…and much healthier.
Do not miss them live. They are on tour supporting their new release now and will be playing San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill on May 20.
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!