Festivals, Music, SXSW, The Revue — April 7, 2017 at 5:31 am

SXSW 2017 Memories #1 – keeping Austin weird

by

Since 2015, we have asked independent artists to share their favorite memories from their time at SXSW. In just a couple of years, this project has become one of our most popular features thanks to the growing interests of bands and singers from around the world. Forty-five artists participated in this year’s edition, and we’ll be sharing their memories over the next four days.

Today’s edition features The Academic, Bad Pop, Draper, Fifi Rong, Hunter Sharpe, KOLARS, The National Parks, Phoria, The Shanks, TRISHES, and William Matheny. These are just snapshots of what they experienced. Click on their names to view their full memories and all their photos. Of course, we’ve included a mini-playlist that includes the music of today’s featured artists and bands.

For so many artists attending SXSW, this trip represents their first time performing in the United States. Heck, for many this is the first time they have set foot in North America, and it can be a culture shock at first. Everything is bigger – the cars, the food, the personalities, the hospitality, and the music. While some may wallow in fear, others take it all in and go with it, like Irish indie quartet The Academic, who gorged on tacos, stole away to see Hippo Campus and Sigrid, and lived every second of their showcases…

 

…Others, though, got away from the crowds and spent time in Austin’s beautiful greenbelt and parks areas, which is what French-English producer Draper did. His decision biking along the riverside, though, may have had more to do with him gorging on Texas BBQ for the first time…

 

…But as big as SXSW is, it is so confined that people will meet their heroes and old friends. This is a big part of the SXSW experience. This year, though, there weren’t any Bill Murray sightings, but a lot of mentions of Rag’N’Bone Man, The Lemon Twigs, and Spoon. For producer and multi-instrumentalist, Fifi Rong (she’s also one of our long-time favorites), seeing the first two artists were among her highlights. In discussing The Lemon Twigs, she calls them “basically genius x genius = genius²”. Who are we to argue? And…

 

…Who are we to argue that emerging singer-songwriter William Matheny and his band were extremely lucky one night in Austin? As they were just enjoying the evening at The Broken Spoke, the emcee announced an impromptu performance by the one and only Garth Brooks. Yes, the man who brought country music to the mainstream way back in the ’80s and ’90s played an unannounced gig. The band even got a photo with the legend…

 

…While the band Bad Pop were accompanied by Kanye West wherever they went. Their story is amusing, and there’s a bit of truth to the fairy tale. You have to read it to believe it. If you’re going to SXSW next year and Bad Pop are there, you might want to spend an entire night with them because who knows who will show up literally and figuratively…

 

…however, nothing can replace the feeling of watching one of your idols perform in front of you and make you realize what is possible, which is what emerging pop and R&B talent TRISHES showed us. While observing the great BANKS perform and seeing a friend play in her band, she was filled with admiration, pride, and excitement. Not long ago, BANKS was in TRISHES’ position, and we firmly believe the Los Angeles-based artist will one day receive the same adoration (well, she already is from us)…

 

…and adoration is what Ontario punk-rock duo The Shanks did why sampling some “Corn Liquor” and some late-night brisket in a not-so-great-part of Austin. But these aren’t probably the highlights they’ll remember most. We think RINGO DEATHSTARR covering Rush’s “Spirit of Radio” in their honor will go as the one thing they’ll take with them to their graves…

 

…and speaking of graves, eclectic band Kolars, who are usually a two-piece, got to live their fantasy by having their friend and one of our favorites Shakey Graves play bass during their showcases. Talk about an ultra-cool experience to have Alejandro Rose-Garcia playing in your backing band and on an instrument he rarely plays! Now that’s a rare treat…

 

…as it for a local talent to be heard and profiled. Most attend SXSW to hear bands from around the world, but Austin-based artists and bands often get lost in the shuffle unless you play anthemic, Brit-indie-rock like Hunter Sharpe does. Being a local can have its limitations, such as being expected to play twelve shows – 12 shows!!! That could lead to some interesting experiences…

 

…which is to describe The National Parks‘ week in Austin. From performing a dance off on the roof of The Westin to watching Francis from Francis and the Lights destroy a neon Levi’s sign during his set, the Utah Americana/indie-folk band had the full-meal deal in terms of what SXSW has to offer. As the city’s slogan is, “Keep Austin Weird”…

 

…and UK quintet Phoria learned this in spades. One of our collective favorites, the fast-rising ambient-electronic-cinematic indie band went all out. They didn’t just go to Austin to play at SXSW; they went there to learn what Austin was all about. Their extensive diary, which includes a great photo gallery, is well worth reading, as they touch on food, the music, the people, the various characters, and Austin’s surroundings. Their collective experience personifies what SXSW and the great city of  Austin are all about.

 

Share This Article On...

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblr

Follow The Revue On...

FacebooktwitteryoutubetumblrinstagramFacebooktwitteryoutubetumblrinstagram

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *