Sunday, March 18, 2012
Swan Dive and Springsteen, SXSW day 1
Wednesday was a long one. Started out at a place/party where I hadn't been before, it was the Billy Reid American Songwriter held at the Swan Dive. It turned out to be a pretty stylish little hole-in-the-wall, kind of shabby chic decor and (best of all) the walls were lined with padded seating. We were so grateful for those! I had expected we would be standing up in a crowded, sweaty room for 6 hours - something I was better at when I was a lot younger. Instead we managed to get a wall seat with a sidelong view of the stage that wouldn't be obstructed by people. The "sweaty" part still applied though.
The lineup was great!
The Punch Brothers, Delta Spirit, The Apache Relay, Phosphorescent, Brendan Benson, Jonny Corndawg, Wild Cub, & Shelly Colvin.
Jonny Corndawg was new for us. Really good music in what I would call "California Country" style, or perhaps "Western" (and I can't write that without thinking of that scene in the Blues Brothers where Bob's Country Bunker informs the band that their club plays both kinds of music, country AND western). J. Corndawg featured a damned good fiddler, an amazing pedal steel, and the added feature of guest Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes (a band I love).
Matt Vasquez (from Delta Spirit/Middle Brother) was enjoying the show from stage front and even jumped up for a quick chorus. John McCauley (Deer Tick/Diamond Rugs/Middle Brother) was spied up there too... and as much as I was hoping for a Middle Brother surprise quickie (Middle Brother is Vasquez, Goldsmith and McCauley), that's as close as it got to happening. I just got their CD and can't leave it alone.
Brendan Benson was really good. I didn't realize (by name) that he was part of The Raconteurs and is generally related to much of Jack White's music with mutual influence on each other. Recommended!
The Apache Relay also a discovery act for me, really want to see them again. Check them out.
Delta Spirit is a band we already liked, and in fact, saw them the previous day at their CD release at Waterloo Records. Great songs, great energy!
I dearly love The Punch Brothers, and they played a rowdy, energetic set to finish out Billy Ried's party. All kinds of awesome.
We needed to get to the Austin Music Awards as quickly as possible. The doors opened while we were still at Swan Dive, and the seats fill up fast. I was grateful to a friend of mine who managed to save us 2nd row seats! This is a combo awards show/concert, so they have a little music interspersed with a few awards. They tailor the lineup with local new hotness, local legends, and everything in-between or both. They had Quiet Company, Austin's hottest indie band, performances from Ruthie Foster, Patty Griffin, Carolyn Wonderland, Joe "King" Carrasco, and Christopher Cross with his original Austin band..
It was strongly rumored that Bruce Springsteen just might put in a surprise appearance at the Awards, and they kept on building that suspense. Sure enough, out he came to sit in with Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Ely, Garland Jeffreys and a whole lot of folks. I'm in the process of getting some videos up on my channel, so check it out if you want (and excuse the gawd awful shitty acoustics at the Austin Music Hall).
Spectacular first day. Started out at noon (not counting the earlier line-waiting time - I am an obsessive early bird to the annoyance of certain people - but there are often big advantages to being first in line) and went until after midnight. Ticket cost for all = $15.