We continue our Memories of SXSW ’16 – Artist Edition series with more great stories from five bands. If you missed the first two features, here are Part 1 and Part 2. But be sure to read these great stories, which everything from meeting Nardwuar to people-watching to Austin cuisine to a Starship Enterprise home. While perusing the stories, listen to select tracks by these emerging artists.
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1. After playing one of our showcases, an awesome fan gifted us handmade, SXSW survival kits complete with various candies, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer. It got us through the busy week.
2. We had our van outside the Spotify house while Kacey Musgraves was performing. Jacob hopped on top of the van, waving his arm, trying to get her to notice him.
3. While getting tacos, we ran into Nardwuar the Human Serviette. We love his eccentric interviews, so it was dope meeting him.
Good English (USA)
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We started our week at SXSW by participating in an exclusive recording session sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon, during which we got to record a song directly to vinyl and then immediately have the 7″ vinyl pressed! We were one of the first bands to participate, so a lot of time was spent figuring out how to make the sound work both live and for the recording. The monitor wouldn’t work live while running through the board so we mic-ed the monitor. It ended up giving the recording a really cool lo-fi sound, which was very fitting considering we hail from Dayton, OH, where lo-fi is huge (Guided by Voices, The Breeders, Brainiac)!! We had so much fun playing one of our new singles, “The Fire Walk”, for a few media guys and gals, learning about the vinyl pressing process, and hanging out with the awesome PBR reps in a small apartment packed with gear…. and beer!
One thing I love about SXSW is the opportunity to discover so many small bands like ourselves, but also the chance to see bigger acts and musicians who I admire. This year was a great year for that – we got to see a lot of great smaller bands, such as 4-sister rockers Stonefield from Australia at the She Shreds Magazine Showcase. But the most surprising show I found myself at was the Iggy Pop & Josh Homme show at Moody Theatre on Wednesday night. My boyfriend somehow got us guest passes through a guy he knows and just like that, we were in! The show went on for almost two hours with exceptional energy coming from both onstage and in the crowd. It was inspiring and such a blast to attend!
My experience was a little different from Celia’s! Instead of attending shows, I spent most of my time wandering around Austin and people-watching. This may sound weird, but it’s a problem I’ve been dealing with for the 10 years of being in a band: I’m still not 21! Most of the bars downtown are pretty strict with their age regulations. So despite the fact that I played 5 shows while I was there, I wasn’t able to attend any others. As frustrating as that was, I’ve experienced this many times over the years and I really don’t mind people-watching, especially when it’s at a festival like SXSW! I ended up meeting quite a few characters and networking with a lot of the bands we played with. It all worked out in the end, and it made me realize that even just walking around the streets of Austin, I can create amazing memories of my time spent at SXSW!
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1. About an hour outside of Austin – finding out we had to cross a river “slab” with our car and that we could possible get swept into the river! (photo below)
2. After we played an awesome showcase at The Vulcan Gas Company, we went to Curra’s Mexican restaurant in South Austin, close to where we were staying. We had the best avocado margaritas imaginable. Didn’t even know these existed!
3. Closing out our week of shows to a packed room at The Sidewinder and sharing the night with so many bands that we love was the cherry on our SXSW-sundae.
Stööki Sound (UK)
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Tory Lanez Performance at Fader
This had to be one of the best live performances of SXSW, and definitely one of the best I’ve seen overall. His energy was electrifying. By the end of his short time on the stage, he had everyone in the crowd on his side. Definitely gained a new fan that day.
Stormzy performance at AM-only cookout
It was such a great sight to see a fellow UK perform at SXSW, and the moment was even greater that it was one of UK’s leading grime acts. I’ve listened to UK Grime music since i was about 8-years old, so to see the progression over the last 15 years has been amazing. He brought great energy to quite a small and intimate crowd, and he dropped some of his well-known tracks, such as “Know Me From”, which was well-received.
You can’t go to Texas and not have BBQ! In between seeing great live acts and taking in the amazing atmosphere of Austin, a vast amount of beef brisket and BBQ chicken was consumed. Most definitely a highlight!
- Above: Stööki Sound with fellow DJ, Ralph Hardy, who is Jay Princes Touring DJ at the Get Buzzzed Showcase
- Stööki Sound is the middle of 6th St in the middle of the night.
Vivid Dreams (USA)
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1. One highlight would have to be our last show in Austin, which was in the thick of things at Darwin’s Pub on SXSW’s last day. I even got handed a special green lollipop that made me feel all funny inside. Afterward, we finished the day by catching Autolux and Charles Bradley at the Pandora stage, and then burning up the floor dosey doe-ing at The White Horse’s honky-tonk hoedown.
2. The night a Donald Trump supporter bought me three Wild Turkeys downtown, and then pulled out his iPhone to show me pictures of him holding his guns … in front of his bedroom mirror … in his underwear. (He may or may not have been a reptoid.)
3. That time I was taking a piss in the bathroom of a bar and decided to slap a one of our stickers on the wall. Minutes later, there was a text from The Fantastic Plastics (who had shared the stage with us at Northside Festival) with a picture of our sticker. We looked up to see them ten feet away, laughing their asses off. Key takeaway: Bathrooms are great marketing tools, especially for spreading VD.
4. While making our post-SXSW trek back toward NYC in the rental car, we encountered an odd building on the Texas interstate designed to look like the Starship Enterprise. Sadly, it appeared abandoned — but on the bright side it did have a “for sale” sign: If anyone is interested in acquiring some sci-fi real estate with a great view of the highway, let me know!
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