Since 2015, we have asked independent artists to share their favorite memories from their time at SXSW. In just three years, this project has become one of our most popular features thanks to the growing interests of bands and singers from around the world. These memories are from JAGUWAR.
The Berlin-Dresden trio are throwback inventors. When you hear their combination of ’80s synth-pop and shoegaze with contemporary noise-pop, you’ll understand what we mean by this description. While they’ve been performing for a few years – first catching our attention in 2015 and making us fans – Lemmy Fischer, Oyèmi Noize, and Chris Krenkel are still carving out their place within the indie scene. But with SXSW behind them, they have a handful of festival gigs coming out that should help breakthrough. By then, they should have mastered the maze that is Walmart.
Part 1. FRIDAY – SUNDAY: Arrival & Adjusting
SXSW began early for us.
We flew out to Austin on Friday (March 9th) because flights were cheaper that day. We were not the only ones with that idea and already met a bunch of South By attendees on the plane. For example, Dillon from South Africa sat right next to us on the plane from London to Dallas and attended SXSW for technological stuff. He also came to our first show at South By.
We arrived late in Austin that night and after being awake for almost two days, we were just dying for a bed. Our sound guy from Germany has a friend in Austin, Jesse, who was so kind to lend us his space for the first few days so we would be paying less for a hotel. So we decided to stay the weekend. He sent us the address and we went there after we got our rental car at the airport.
Unfortunately, we did not really get that his cute tiny house is in the backyard and not the house in the front! We arrived and started looking for the keys that he said would be waiting under a plant pot for us. We tried to reach him on the phone cause we started to get some weird feeling about us strolling through a possible wrong garden at almost midnight. He was not responding so we decided to grab a burger at a place right around the corner. We were tired as hell! Jesse finally reached out to us to explain that this was in fact not his house. He said, “Follow the Christmas lights that lead you behind the front house and you’ll get to my tiny place.” So that’s what we did. He already told us that he has only one bed for two people, but we are three so we decided to make a little adventure to Walmart. Imagining us being hell tired and our first ever Walmart experience was just too much! We looked like Zombies! But we got an air mattress from www.cosysleep.co.uk and were ready to go to sleep. Thankfully we got the rest we needed.
The next day (Saturday) was very hot. In Berlin, it was winter at the time (and has been since!), so we chilled in the sun for most of the day and prepared our guitar pedal boards for SXSW. At night, Chris and Oyèmi went for some downtown fun and landed at 6th Street.
Sunday, we played our first ever US Show in Dallas. Moon Sound Records was so kind to invite us over to Rosegarden Funeral Party’s Record Release Party. It was wonderful, and we met awesome online shoegaze friends, bloody knives. It was the perfect night with the most wonderful people.
Part 2 MONDAY: Hotel Life & Interstates
Monday, we packed up our stuff and moved into the hotel. It’s some lovely place In South Austin right beside the Interstate. We also played our first SXSW show that day at German Haus (Barracuda). We were excited and it happened to be one of the best shows we would play that week. In addition, we got to see some amazing artists at the German Haus Berlin x Hamburg Night, such as Andrew Applepie and O/Y, who are both from Berlin. Crazy how far you need to be away from home to meet awesome people from your city.
Part 3 TUESDAY: Hanging at the water for a while
Tuesday we had nothing planned. Some friends we made the night before told us to go and see Barton Springs . We enjoyed some time at the water until we discovered that She Shreds was doing a cool Showcase in town. We left earlier than expected to go downtown but found out that the She Shreds Showcase is a bit more outside of downtown. So we just went up and down the streets to check out some other music. We saw Pussy Riot, Superchunk, and The Wedding Present.
Part 4 WEDNESDAY: Bicycle Swag & Memory Lane
Wednesday, we had a small street show at Waterloo Cycles. The owner saw our gig at Barracuda the other night and was happy to have us. The set up was cute, and as we normally play pretty huge amps we were a bit concerned seeing the gear provided. However, people were nice, and we just went for it. We played the show and everything sounded pretty punk rock, just like we did back in the days when we started doing music. It was nostalgic and we kind of loved it. Still, it was hot as hell, and Oyèmi needed some rest after the show because she was dehydrated.
Some nice dude came over after the show and told us that he discovered our album on iTunes and bought it and was so happy to see us. What was just so heartwarming about this particular experience is that these little unofficial showcases reach people that are not attending SXSW or hanging around 6th Street all day. These are people who are simply grateful to see a band they like from Europe play.
The rest of the day we spent downtown. We went into Beerland and saw a band’s first ever gig. That was exciting. In the women’s restroom is where Oyèmi found the sentence in the picture you see (Slut Shaming is so 1954) – Punk Rock! We also wanted to check out Tennis and Japandroids but missed the first one because there was just too many people with badges and stuff going in there. We spent 1 1/2 hours in line to see Japandroids. That was just crazy and kind of annoying. After two songs and back pain from standing in line, Oyèmi started a cute little mosh pit in front of the stage what brought her some weird faces but also a bunch of happy people who were just waiting for it to happen. It was a good time.
After the show, we talked to drummer David Prowse because we do have an emotional attachment to the band. Jaguwar’s first ever show was with Japandroids back in 2013 in Dresden, Germany. Good old memories!
Part 5 THURSDAY: The Texas Way and destroyed guitars
Today was busy, as we had two shows. One was at Giddy Ups (a bit outside from Austin) and the other at Kick Butt Coffee. The first show we landed at some kind of Country Bar. It belongs to a Swiss guy who moved to Texas a long time ago. The sound guy was just so cute and everyone at the bar oh so lovely. We learned about some game they play here (forgot the name, but it’s kind of like curling but without ice).
We couldn’t stay long and drove to Kick Butt Coffee for our second show of the day. Everyone told us before that we would love it there. And indeed – we fell in love. People were great and the other bands playing kicked ass. We enjoyed everything about the experience and had some time to talk to the booker of the venue. He told us a thing or two about the “Texas Way”, and we really enjoyed hanging out there. However, once again we couldn’t stay long and went back to the hotel to meet our friend from bloody knives cause he was so nice to give us his drum set for our show on Friday. Then we went to downtown again and gave us a dose of A Place to Bury Strangers, who we admire dearly. They destroyed the place as expected. Awesome live band!
After that we split. Lemmy went to see Sunflower Bean, and Chris and Oyèmi escalated at Wavves. We also picked up a ticket that night because we parked in a forbidden area, but come on! Parking during SXSW is a pain in the ass. $25 is still less expensive than some of the parking places you could go to!
Part 6 FRIDAY: Busy with friends
Friday was the first day we had the possibility to chill at the pool area of the hotel. After that, we got ready to play our first show that day with our lovely Danish friends, The Foreign Resort, at Guero’s Taco Bar. We arrived and had some lovely tacos and enchiladas. Unfortunately, we only had 10 minutes to finish our meals cause we had to prepare for a quick changeover after The Foreign Resort. We saw a few of their songs from behind the wall where we had our “backstage” / parking lot.
We played our set in front of a lot of people having the best tacos in town. It was epic. After the show, we packed our stuff and went to our official showcase at the Iron Bear. Overall the evening was nice. We met our friends Soda Lilies who came out to see us on Monday. They played an amazing show. The sound guy, though, was not doing a good job for the whole evening. When we went on stage, Oyèmi asked for her bass on the monitor on stage several times during the shows, and he ignored that completely. After the show, he told Chris that he turned the bass completely down on the PA for the last song cause he felt Oyèmi was messing with him. So that was a downer. Still we made a good show and people loved it.
Part 7 SATURDAY: Walmart 1 – Jaguwar 0
On Saturday, we tried our luck with Walmart again, but this time without the hell of jet lag. We just wanted to grab a few things to eat and again just felt lost. Just too much for some little Europeans. I mean how huge can a crisp package be? We landed downtown again and enjoyed the skyline and some food and of course good music by Tennis System, Ringo Deathstarr, and The Octopus Project.
Part 8 SUNDAY: Lakehaus / Chilling
Sunday, we chilled at a garden party with The Foreign Resort. We had some vodka and beer at Lakehaus, which was away from the downtown shenanigans. We did, though, get to enjoy more music from our shoegaze heroes Ringo Deathstarr.
Part 9 MONDAY: Goodbyes
We left beautiful Austin on Monday, checking out with some Texas merch and good memories.
See you again Austin.
You‘re so lovely!
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