|I think we can all agree that SXSW and rain are not a good combination. Anyone still have damp sneakers after Friday and Saturday in Austin? With that complaint out of the way, I had an absolute blast my second time out, seeing over 35 bands across four days (Sunday brought my daily average down, but I must say that it was nice to have a much less busy day). Let's run down some of my highlights.
• Immediately after arriving in Austin, on my way to pick up my credentials at the convention center, who did I see eating a leisurely al fresco lunch? None other than Mike Mills of R.E.M.! Needless to say I immediately called Joey (if you know anything about Joey, you know why).
• My first set of SXSW 2015 was Russian band Mumiy Troll on the International stage in the convention center. After their set, I was waiting for a free Mazda ride back to my hotel to drop off my bags, and it turned out that Mumiy Troll were staying at the same hotel, so we shared a ride back.
• "AAAAAH!!!" Taymir from The Netherlands were really amazing! Can't wait for their album to be released in the states, and neither can they.
• Seeing my pals Jukebox The Ghost on the giant IFC Fairgrounds stage was really cool as I've watched them grow over the years from seeing them play some of Philly's smallest stages when they lived here.
• Coin from Nashville might just get my rookie of the year award! I checked those guys out based on really digging their single "Run," but their set was more impressive than I would have imagined. Lots of energy and great tunes! These guys seem poised for a big year.
• The Vaccines in the Cedar Street Courtyard was kind of magical! Their hits sounded great on that beautiful night (Thursday) and the new tunes made me even more eager for their third record English Graffiti, coming in May.
• Heading back to my hotel, dead tired on my first night after a long day of travel and bands, I was lured in from a couple blocks away by the sounds of those Pied Pipers of Philadelphia, The War On Drugs.
• Seeing Eddie Argos of Art Brut sing unamplified over Art Brut backing tracks to me and like five other people, standing in a trailer of his artwork with a painted cow lady shooting a fake pistol at him. I realize that sentence is going to baffle many of you. I just can't really explain the wonderful absurdity of it.
• Courtney Barnett! I'm sure that many of you will agree with that one.
• After a half hour walk out to Homeslice Pizza, Olivia Jean put on a fantastic set, topped off with an unexpected, but perfectly suited cover of Space's "Female of The Species."
• Trying to keep up with all the "du du du du du du du's" when Broncho performed "Class Historian." Spoiler alert: it was impossible.
• Wrapping up a challenging Friday (rain + schedule adjusting on the fly) with an amazing show from Will Butler of Arcade Fire on the (fortunately covered) rooftop of Maggie Mae's! "Pony Macaroni was served!" Chris Stowers know what I'm talking about...
• Geographer's moving performance on Saturday at The Container Bar, which is a cool place, actually built out of shipping containers.
• Seeing Holychild win over a drenched crowd at the IFC Fairgroundsfor their first ever show in the rain. It's a good thing those Apple Watches are waterproof.
• Getting to see Honeyblood, who I've been supporting for close to a year now,play to a capacity crowd at The British Embassy and seem so genuinely thankful for the experience.
• Being rocked hard by my Philly friends, Creepoid for an unoffical, day after SXSW show.
• And finally, after two SXSW's, getting my first authentic Austin breakfast tacos at Torchy's (thanks to my pal Kristen Kurtis from KGSR)!
Many of these moments and more are documented in our FMQB SXSW 2015 Facebook photo album, with contributions by myself, our own Mase Brazelle, Chris Stowers from Hard Boiled, Rob Wilcox from The Syndicate, Chris Payne from KRZQ, Tim Pyles from 91X, Jeff Morad from WEQX, Bruce Rave from KXRN, and more. In fact, I'd love to add even more to the album, so please send me some of your best pics from SXSW and I'll get 'em in there.
After all that recapping I don't have much room or time left to talk about this week's charts, so I'll let you investigate them on your own with the Top 10's below and the complete charts at FMQB.com/SubModern. I will take a quick moment to congratulate Twin Shadow and Courtney Barnett on having the #1 albums of the week, Eclipse and Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, with an extra hearty pat on the back to Mr. Shadow for having the #1 single as well, "I'm Ready." All things will be back to normal next week and the Buzz Band will return as well. Catch you all then.
~ Josh T Landow