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Morgan’s SXSW09 Mix


So here it is. My SXSW09 Mix. Bands are in the order in which I saw them. I did see some bands more than once, so in that case I stuck them when I saw them first. Some bands I saw and absolutely did not like. So I won’t pain you with listening to them just to keep in theme. In all, I figure I hit about 45 shows in 4 days, and came away (mostly) still standing. That’s up 11 from last year. If I wasn’t so lazy on some days, I probably would’ve hit 50. Here’s to next year.

Cover for this mix (above) comes as a group effort. The photo is from Steve Marshall. It’s from the Blind Pilot show and is a shot of the lead singer’s feet. I don’t think they fully touched the ground the entire set. You can find the rest of Steve’s SXSW photos here, they are pretty awesome. And thanks to Croft for being better at photoshop than me and adding a title and such.

Also, I took a boatload of video, all of which can be found here. Where I feel video is particularly relevant to the understanding of my concert-going experience, I will embed. But trust me, there is way more if you click on that link.

For the complete mix list with full commentary, as well as some video and a link to stream the 10 best tracks, read on…

Stream ten random tracks here.

Winter Gloves – Let Me Drive
Technically I saw them during interactive, since they played the (mt)/virb party, but I’m counting it. So there.

These United States – When You’re Traveling at the Speed of Light
Super excited to catch this band, even if it was the very end of their set. Their two albums last year were among my favorites.

The Phenomenal Handclap Band – You’ll Disappear
Kinda felt I had to see these guys, since I skipped out on their set when they had their showcase in Brooklyn. Surprisingly, Jens Lekman was on before them and was pretty unbearable. (In Brooklyn, that is.)

The Thermals – When I Was Afraid
Many of my friends managed to catch this band twice, I kinda wish I had too. I am in love with their new album. Plus they have a kick ass girl bassist who Keith and I ran into at the Harlem Shakes show.

J. Tillman – Steel on Steel
In theory, this could’ve been the coolest set of the week. In practice, it was not. He sang one song from the stage, and then hopped down and did the whole thing acoustic. Problem was that most of the crowd didn’t realize what he was doing since he had no microphones and just talked over him.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – This Love is Fucking Right
Ended up with a great vantage point for this show. They surprised me, I was really impressed with them live.

The Tallest Man On Earth – Where Do My Bluebird Fly
I meant to see The Von Bondies, but they swapped set times with The Drones (who I did not put on this mix, you can thank me later) but also playing at the venue was this dude. Coincidentally, he is a small Swedish man, quite the opposite of The Tallest Man On Earth. But really pretty songs. Did a beautiful rendition of Stepstone.

Pete And The Pirates – Jennifer
Saw them primarily in honor of Jonny. But well worth it. Played in a bar that was also playing the Celtics game. (Unrelated to the high value of the show.)

Ladyhawke – Magic
I liked her more than I thought I would. Still not totally into it, but getting there.

Heartless Bastards – Out At Sea
Just great.

The Band of Heathens – Quarters and Dimes
This band was playing indoors at Stubbs while we were playing pool before The Avett Brothers.

The Avett Brothers – The Ballad of Love and Hate
This is probably my most favorite song on this entire mix. The story in the lyrics is so interesting. The whole song is a really pretty poem. Seriously. Go look up the lyrics right now.

The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle the Thistles Undone)
It was really hard picking one song off this album. You really need to listen to it from start to finish. Which is probably why the band played the album in its entirety at this show. Too bad I was too overtired and borderline cranky to enjoy it as much as I could (should) have.

Port O’Brien – Is This Really What It’s Come To
One of my favorite shows of the week. They got to their last song and the techs cut the microphones, since the next band was playing in the next room. Port O’Brien didn’t really give a shit, and played their last song anyway. The crowd sang all the lyrics and it was just so cool to witness. (See video.)

Annuals – Bleary Eyed
Glad I caught this show, it was only because Great Northern was running late. I wish they’d been running so late that I had caught them too. Oh well.

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears – I’m Broke
Loved this guy since he opened for Okkervil River a few months back. Just some kickass live music.

Richard Swift – Would You
Had never heard of him, but he was opening the Secretly Canadian showcase at Mohawk. It sounds like the was recorded 40 years ago, but totally works.

Mt St Helens Band – Cheer for fate
These guys came on stage in matching outfits that looked something like a cross between my grandmother’s upholstery and waiter’s uniforms. They warned the crowd before bounding tennis balls off of the drum kit. They pretty much rocked the tiny indoor space at Mohawk.

Bishop Allen – Dimmer
As expected. Pretty solid, but I wish maybe it was a little longer/different/something set. Can’t place why I didn’t totally love it.

Phosphorescent – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (Righteous Brothers Cover)
Last year they were one of my favorites. I think this might be the only band I saw at last year’s SXSW that I also saw this year. Last year’s mix song was My Dove, My Lamb.

Gomez – Rosilita
Heard most of this show from the front of the line waiting to get into Stubbs. But I still managed to hear my favorites.

Andrew Bird – Not a Robot, But a Ghost
Wasn’t planning on seeing him in Austin, but group mentality prevailed. Good set, same as every other time I’ve seen him though.

Dent May – Meet Me In The Garden
Another stand-out. This guy is fucking hilarious. Lyrics are amusing, Ukulele is priceless. And he actually puts out good music.

Harlem Shakes – Strictly Game
Another one of my favorite shows of the week. They just kept playing until the venue kicked us all out.

Horse Feathers – Working Poor
A little too quiet for this type of showcase, but still nice.

Blind Pilot – Oviedo
The guy on the stand-up bass was totally rocking out.

Fanfarlo – I’m A Pilot
The lead singer totally wailed on this drum like it was his job. They also had a rainbow-colored xylophone.

The Hold Steady – Sequestered In Memphis
Great show. Despite the weird guy at the bar who got me cranberry vodka shots when I tried to order straight cranberry juice.

The Airborne Toxic Event – Missy
Saw them after seeing two bands that I found to be yell-y and bad, but sucked down enough grinnin’ stickels (that would be vanilla vodka and coke for the uninitiated) that I was in a better mood by the time they came on. And they were better than I expected, definitely.

Asher Roth – I Love College
Watched this one from (the side of) the stage, thanks to finding my friend Scooter. Might not have normally sought out this show if not for him, but it was pretty fun. The kid’s got talent.

The Hooks – So Many Questions
Just caught the end of the set. Pretty drunk by then, but vowed to look into them at home. Which I did. Here they are.

Viva Voce – Devotion
This was a good show, but nothing compared to what followed.

Peelander-Z – O.B.K. This band was absolutely certifiably insane. They are three Japanese guys in full costumes. At one point, the bassist hung upside down by his feet from the rafters and continued to play his bass. The guitarist climbed the rafters to the balcony level and then ran through the crowd and played human bowling on stage. Just watch the video:

Camera Obscura – Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken
Hard to follow those crazy guys, but it was a really fun set. Perfect end to the last afternoon.

Two Gallants – The Prodigal Son
Technically, it was only Adam Stephens from the Two Gallants, but that’s 50% of the band. Plus his voice is just awesome.

Langhorne Slim – One Sunday Morning
Way better than when I saw him at McCarren Park Pool last summer. For one, it wasn’t pouring rain. This show was so energetic and over-the-top without feeling over-the-top, if that makes sense.

The Secret Life of Sofia – Snow Room
Meant to go see White Lies, but made a last minute executive decision to see The Secret Life of Sophia instead. They played in this big ass church on the hill. It was almost empty, which, while sad, made for amazing acoustics. Didn’t realize they were from Brooklyn.

Razorlight – In The Morning
I didn’t think this band was still around, but they are.

Dirty Sweet – Baby Come Home
This band really has to be seen to be understood. Really. Go run a google image search on them. They were playing indoors at Stubbs. Right before Angela and I got kicked out for using the men’s bathroom. Did you know that was against the law in Texas? It is.

9 thoughts on “Morgan’s SXSW09 Mix”

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