Posts Tagged ‘austin’

2015 is coming to a close, and I can’t believe it! This year sped by and was the most adventurous year for Rocker Stalker yet. Between presenting showcases at SXSW (3!) and CMJ (6!)  and attending Aftershock and VooDoo Fests, and hosting over a dozen shows throughout the year in NYC, I’ve had a pretty great time.  More importantly, though, there have been some incredible releases this year! Here are my top 5:

  1. Mister Asylum by Highly Suspect: I’ve had my ears on these guys for about four years and was privileged to have them on a few shows  in New York and SXSW before they burst from the Brooklyn “local” scene into the international spotlight. Their debut album that dropped in July is both a sultry, heavy alternative/bluesy rock delight and vulnerable record that  you can rock out and cozy up to. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a ROCK band making headway so quickly. And now, up for two Grammy nominations, Highly Suspect might just be the next, most highly prized music act of the 2000’s.  *Highlight tracks: “Lydia,” “Mom,” “23” 

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2. Blood Moon by Luna Sol: Back in the spring, I was lucky enough to interview Dave Angstrom, a name you may recognize from “stoner rock” staples, Hermano and Supafuzz, and main man behind Luna Sol.  The Denver-based group’s debut, released via Slush Fund Recordings,  is heavy, dark and gritty; three words that describe almost all of my favorite music.  And, to make things even MORE awesome, there are guest spots from Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age), Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses)  and John Garcia (Kyuss, Vista Chino), to name a few, lending to the already expertly-crafted, fiery and sludgy goodness. *Highlight tracks: ‘Your War,” “Operator,” “December” 

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3. High Country by The SwordAfter catching these gentleman a few years back at SXSW, I fell in love with Austin’s hometown rock heroes. Their 5th studio album is fraught with masterful, headbanging riffs mixed with some space-rock/psychedelic influences and some more up-to-date electro-effects.  Those who weren’t able to live through the glory of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and the 70’s in general (yours truly included), can bask in the The Sword’s modern take on vintage vibes.  I caught them recently at Webster Hall in New York City and once again, they blew my mind! *Highlight tracks: “Mist & Shadow,” “The Dreamthieves,” “Buzzards”

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4. We’ll Show You Where the Monsters Are by Fable Cry: These Nashville-based characters call themselves “theatrical scamp rock.” But, “what does that MEAN?” you may ask. A short and sweet answer is: vaudevillian, unique gypsy punk-infused rock. If you’re in search of the most out-of-the-box album of 2015, look no further. A combination of creepy, spooky, playful and creative, Fable Cry’s sophomore release is like having Halloween year-round.  It’s only a matter of time before Tim Burton finds these guys and has them score his next film. *Highlight tracks: “The Good Doctor,” “Fancy Dancing,” “You Ain’t My Baby No More”

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5.  Temporary Love by The Brinks: OK, so this might be the black sheep of the list upon first listen, but you may recognize Australian-born, LA-based vocalist/guitarist Scott Mellis from Rocker Stalker’s “highly stalked.” His new band, The Brinks, a duo comprised of Mellis and producer Matt Friedman, dropped their 6-song EP earlier this month. Executive produced by Pusha T and Salaam Remi and avidly supported by Pharrell Williams, Temporary Love showcases Mellis’ ethereal, spine-tingling vocals over bubbly dance-infused tracks.  *Highlight tracks: “Temporary Love,” “Hide Your Love,” “Stoned”

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Wishing everyone a happy 2016!

ROCKER STALKER

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Reporting to you live from the sky in transit from NYC to Austin….some very exciting news for this week’s SXSW Music Festival! Rocker Stalker is bringing you TWO showcases with the help from some awesome friends!

**Thursday, March 19: 1-8pm**

 Rocker Stalker, Behind The Curtains Media, & 1.21 Gigawatts Present the #SonicTonic SXSW Day Party!

at AMLI Downtown (Entrance will be next to Daily Juice on the corner of 3rd and Colorado Street.)
**FREE SHOW**FREE DRINKS**

Line up:

Manic Pixi
Chrome Pony
The Courtesy Tier
Concord America
Gloomfeather
Honduras
Highly Suspect
Flannel Mouth
Dances
The Wans
Victorian Halls

RSVP HERE: https://www.facebook.com/events/892621964121816/
Brought to you by Montauk Brewing Company, Clique Vodka, SwitchBitch Records , Cloudman Labs and Drizly

**Saturday, March 21: 1-6pm**

Rocker Stalker & Little Dickman Records Present the Destroy All Bands Day Party

at Trailer Space Records(1401 Rosewood Avenue)
**FREE SHOW* *FREE DRINKS*

Line Up:

The Mad Doctors
Highly Suspect
Psychiatric Metaphors
Death Lens
Sharkmuffin
The Off White
TV Tramps
The Wans
The Grayces

RSVP HERE: https://www.facebook.com/events/660964957342049/

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Not my first trip to Austin, but my inaugural attendance at Austin City Limits, I was treated to three days of bliss featuring some of the top acts of my generation, notable emerging bands, amazing food and perfect weather.  Between 8 stages, thousands of people, and miles of walking, I was able to take advantage of some VIP luxuries and city’s downtown shenanigans.

On Friday, October 3, I kicked off my day with England’s newest hit-makers, psych/indie pop-rock group Temples who have been gaining notoriety with their throwback vibes and newest LP Sun Structures. Next up, some of Nashville’s tops, rootys rockers  Blank Range and soulful Lake Street Dive, which features vocal powerhouse Rachael Price, kept the afternoon energy surging.  I took a break from the rock ‘n roll to sample what the kids like these days, the eletro-poppy dance creations CHVRCHES, before the one and only song-writing master Beck graced the stage. With an ever-growing repertoire, Beck selected tunes from basically every album released to date, ranging from  Mutations, Odelay, Midnight Vultures, Sea Change,  Guero, The Information, Modern Guilt to the latest release, Morning Phase. Pretty killer way to start the weekend.

The next day, I was already hurting but amped for what the day would bring. Soaking up the 90-degree weather, I started day 2 with Canadian songwriter Mac DeMarco, who had all the teenage girls screaming for his nerdy yet charming demeanor and playful indie rock tunes off his recent release Salad Days. Across Zilker Park, one of New York’s pride and joys, Interpol, ran the gamut of their (almost) 20 year career, including the 2014 album El Pintor, showcasing their signature dancy alt-rock cadence that never fails to crowd-please. Zig-zagging back across Zilker, Nashville’s grungy garage rockers The Wans took the stage and launched a counterattack on “laptop music.” The power trio performed their ultra-rockin’ album He said She Said  in full along with selections from their 2012 EP, proving that real instruments are still the way to go. The band recently debuted a hilarious video for the track “Never Winthat makes those who are all-too-familiar with epic fails feel a little less terrible, and will be heading out on tour starting October 16 and playing TWO Rocker Stalker showcases on October 21 (Bar Matchless) and October 24 (Spike Hill)By the time Eminem and Skrillex hit the stage,I could only muster up the energy to listen from afar before heading out.

Closing day of Austin City Limits was bittersweet with an emphasis on sweet.  Yet another Nashville act, modoc, opened the day, showing off the city’s knack for pure rock ‘n roll with just the right amount of southern tinges.  Switching gears and genres, the legendary AFI shook the stage with tastes of their ever-evolving punky/hardcore/melodic sound. Lead vocalist Davey Havoc, even after almost 20 years of stomping around, gave audiences an energetic performance, climbing over crowds and leaping into the air throughout the set. A Thousand Horses brought the country to the festival before the beloved Austin-based, indie rock pioneers Spoon  put some pep in onlookers’ steps.  Last but certainly not least, the quintessential rock band, Pearl Jam, closed out the three days with a phenomenal set, blowing the minds of the seas of people throughout the park. Playing almost an hour and a half of favorites from the 90’s to Lightening Bolt, and even a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” to match the band’s revolutionary spirit, the group didn’t tire easily, as they pushed through a half hour encore much to the park rules’ dismay. Eddie Veddar  was willing to take the party elsewhere, as he teased their sound guy about hosting an afterparty at his house nearby. Solid as ever, Pearl Jam wrapped up the weekend on a perfect (and epic) note.

For anyone contemplating a trip to Austin for ACL, it’s a must! I can’t wait to go back again, but in the meantime…

Check out some photos from the weekend on Rocker Stalker’s Facebook and give it a ‘like’ while you’re at it :)!

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Late but worth the wait, here is the Rocker Stalker recap of SXSW 2014!

My sixth SXSW was just as exciting and insane as my first.  A  jam-packed week of music, walking, eating, and very little sleeping.

My first day out (3/11/14), I took a walk to enjoy the sunshine I had been missing in NYC for the past 6 months and wound up at the Oklahoma City Showcase.  I walked in unaware it was an official show, but I’m super glad I did.  OKC’s indie, electro-rockers IndianGiver were onstage posessing onlookers to wiggle and groove in the middle of the day with their infectious riffs and pop catchiness, quite a challenging feat! Down the street at Oil Can Harry’s, a “locals” showcase was underway, highlighting Austin’s own, one-man band Walker Lukens and Latin-infused indie, percussive rock from the Migrant Kids.  Power walking down 6th street, I made my way to one of my favorite Austin venues, Hotel Vegas (home of one of Rocker Stalker’s showcases a few years back!) and enjoyed the sounds of  folky rock artist,  Stewart Gersmann and Brooklyn’s rocker/ serenader,  Joseph King.  My SXSW veteran status came in handy when I took the “Catch a Chevy” free car service down to the middle of nowhere on South Congress to check out jazz-infused indie rock band The Bushwick Hotel at Lunar Mattress (It was actually a furniture store!). The giant inflatable slide/obstacle course outside the store was definitely a perk! Closing out night one, I witnessed one of my favorites of the week, ultra-soulful, LA-based rhythm and blues act Vintage Trouble at Empire Garage.  It’s been a while since I got to experienced such showmanship.  Lead vocalist Ty Taylor ran amongst the crowd, encouraging every aspect of crowd participation possible, wowing listeners with his range and voice that called on some of Motown’s greatest.

Scope out the photos from SXSW Day 1 here!

Day 2 of SXSW was in my tops! Not only did I acquire an incredible farmers’ tan, but I saw an amazing bevy of bands!  I kicked of the day at FILTER Magazine’s Party  slightly off the beaten path, featuring blues-rock trio out of New Orleans (I had heard them on the Walking Dead soundtrack and HAD to see them live!),  Baby Bee, Boston’s folky-pop quintet AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER, and rambunctious, dancy, soul-rock boys out of Venice Beach, Terraplane Sun.  Continuing my LA nostalgia, I trekked to Red 7 to check out the punky together PANGEA  who blew my mind and were definitely a highlight band of the week.  Around the corner, Long Island, grunge rockers The Montauk Project, Americana/rockers from San Diego, The Silent Comedy, Austin’s quirky singer/songwriter Danny Malone, artsy Brooklyn-based, rock trio  Bugs in the Dark, dancy electro-pop craftsmen, Miniature Tigers, my favorite NYC-turned-LA pop/rock act Semi Precious Weapons (Lady Gaga was even in attendence to support her friends and long-time tourmates!), and lady-fronted synth band Super Water Sympathy at Rusty’s for the CraveOnline/Effective Immediately PR Showase.

 Check out day 2’s photo gallery.

Halfway throught the festival, I wasn’t slowing down and started my day at Paste Magazine’s party at the Swan Dive.  Walking in,  Santa Barbara’s spacey indie rock 5-piece, gardens & villa and Yellow Ostrich.  A day of dancy bands, I arrived at No Shame’s showcase at The Blind Pig to catch ethereal and hypnotic Incan Abraham out of LA, and Brooklyn’s BLACK TAXI, who, after 6 years of seeing them play, never fail to deliver a fun, energetic show and stellar tunes. My evening took punkier rock turn at Carousel Lounge, the place that is keeping Austin weird,  with buddies and Rocker Stalker favorites out of New Jersey,  Hot Blood and The Battery Electric,  along with lady-led punk rockers TV Tramps. Joining the line-up were Rocker Stalker’s pride and joy, hard hitting  Dallas/Fort Worth  The Phuss at the Little Dickman Records Showcase.

Take a look at the photos from 3/13/14!

Day 4 started with Vancouver’s lady-led, soul/blues rock quartet  No Sinner, UK-based Magic Numbers, featuring two sets of siblings creating sythy pop hooks, Nashville’s straight-ahead rock ‘n rollers, The Heavy Heavy Hearts, Portland, OR’s progressive heavy-hitters, Ape Machine, and Nashville’s punky, party rockers Diarrhea Planet at Rusty’s/Swinghouse Showcase.  I took a walk and caughtAustin’s  pulsating electro-noise rockers Beth Israel (ha!) and indie rock band out of Brooklyn  Parquet Courts at Brooklyn Vegan’s Showcase at Red 7. Heading back to Rusty’s, LA, lady rock quartet The Cold and Lovely and one of my favorite blues guitar masters, Jared James Nichols, at the Swinghouse Showcase.

 Check out my fourth day at SX here.

My penultimate day of music in Austin covered a lot fo ground.  Arriving early at the Palm Door, I caught Tacoma, WA’s charmingly nerdy pop band Oberhofer, Leeds, England’s noise-rock group Eagulls. On the outside stage, one of the highlight bands of the week had taken the stage, Toronto’s gritty yet simultaneously smooth bluesy, alt-folk  group July Talk, whose chemistry between vocalist/guitarist Peter Dreimanis and vocalist Leah Fay was almost palpable. Inside, Atlanta’s loose, rootsy and punky rockers The Black Lips were packing the venue to the gills. Heading over to my home away from home, Rusty’s, it was go time for Effective Immediately PR’s day show with back-to-back variety:  The Bushwick Hotel (see above), alt-folk/pop out of Fort Collins, Fierce Bad Rabbit, indie pop-rockerst from Connecticut, Ula Ruth, Brooklyn’s noise-pop lady trio, Sharkmuffin, Irish-turned-Brooklynites, punk-tinged pop/rock quartet, Von Shakes, and Brooklyn-born grungy blues rock group, Graveyard Lovers.  I took yet another trip far south on South Congress to join friends  Hot Blood,  The Battery Electric, TV Tramps, and The Phuss along with Dennis Lyxzén’s (of The Refused) new band INVSN for an off-the-wall gig at Red Shed Tavern (A barn transformed into a venue!).

Day 5 in photos here!

The final day of SXSW was short but sweet. After a tattoo appointment for my long-awaited Zeppelin tribute, I made my way to Metal and Lace for an afternoon punk rock show,featuring Austin’s  Shitty Advice and a someone unplanned appearance bylegendary NYC hardcore punk band Urban Waste at Metal and Lace.

Last day of SXSW captured here.

Overall an amazing week that makes me miss ATX every day I’m away from it.  Can’t wait to see what next year has in store!

Looking back on 2013, there have been innumerable musical memories I could retell. Traveling to 4 different cities for  SXSW, Coachella, Music Midtown, and CMJ festivals, meeting some of my favorite musicians, attending Live on Letterman, and hosting over 25 “Rocker Stalker presents” shows, to name a few,  all in all, these 5 releases (singles, EP’s, records) made the most impact on my 2013 music experience.

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1) Queens of the Stone Age- …Like Clockwork: Queens of the Stone Age don’t need another itty bitty blog telling cyberspace how great they are, but I’m going to do it any way. Their sixth studio album …Like Clockwork is a masterpiece that represents everything that is wonderful about the band and modern rock for that matter: depth, darkness, charm, sass, and ingenious melodies, lyrics, and instrumentation. And, did I mention the incredible album artwork by Boneface? It was also fashioned into animated videos to accompany track teasers and concert backdrops, a badass collaboration to say the least.  According to sources, and to make a long story short, lead vocalist/guitarist Josh Homme was pulled out of a deep depression and encouraged to write the album  by bandmates, after being bed ridden for four months due to a surgery complication. In a way, I think the album pulled me out of a lot of hard times, and returned the pep in my step, not to get TOO personal.  From the ominous “Keep Your Eyes Peeled,” bubbly yet thematically heavy “I Sat By the Ocean,” anthemic and balladic “The Vampyre of Time and Memory,” dancy “If I Had a Tail,” sultry and bluesy “Smooth Sailing,” and hearfelt and poignant title track, QOTSA nailed it with this record. Seeing the band perform the album in its entirety on Live on Letterman in June, meeting Homme and newly adopted drummer Jon Theodore, aka “Mr. Handsome,” at Music Midtown, and catching the band live in Boston and Brooklyn, drove the point home about the greatness behind the tunes.  Get yourself a copy of …Like Clockwork and check out the interactive video for “The Vampyre of Time and Memory.”  The album is up for three Grammy’s (not shocking)…fingers are crossed!

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2) Reignwolf- Two-way tie between “Are You Satisfied?”/ “In the Dark:” OK, so if you’ve met me, you know what a diehard fan I am of Saskatoon-born, Seattle-based blues rock band Reignwolf. I fell in love with this act last year at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC and experienced their jaw-dropping performances and Jordan Cook’s epic guitar shredding (think Stevie Ray Vaughan meets Jimi Hendrix meets Eddie Van Halen) about a dozen times since, rain or shine. Just in this past year or so, the trio’s notoriety has grown exponentially, and deservingly so. Hitting every major festival on the circuit and flooring every person they’ve played to in their path, the only thing that was missing was music people could actually own. When I got the news that “Are You Satisfied?” was available in August (during Lollapalooza), it was like hearing that Guns ‘n Roses’ Chinese Democracy was FINALLY here, but this time, with a better and more, well, satisfying outcome. The anticipation for released music continued, made stronger by their insane September shows in support of the Pixies, and my prayers were answered a few months later when Reignwolf premiered “In The Dark” on Rolling Stone. This is blues and rock ‘n roll at its finest. Reignwolf gives hope that rock still has a heartbeat; they are reinvigorating the appreciation for the genre and I, along with thousands of others, cannot wait for the full-length to arrive!  Check out “Are You Satisfied?” and “In the Dark,” and be on the lookout as Reignwolf takes over the world. Next stop: spring tour with Black Sabbath. 

arctic-monkeys-am-cover3) Arctic Monkeys, AMAlbum number five from these Englishmen is totally unexpected, but in a superb way.  Not abandoning their spunky and punky Brit-pop/rock roots, Arctic Monkeys take a different turn on their 2013 release AM.  I’ve been a fan since their debut record Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and sophomore album Favourite Worst Nightmare. Though I lost touch with the band’s goings-on for a few years (sorry), I’m glad I caught wind of AM.  Showcasing their sultry and sexy side, Arctic Monkeys channel blues, R&B, and hip hop, while weaving their signature bounciness in with aching, seductive lyrics. From pulsating “Do I Wanna Know?” yearning rock track “R U Mine?,” smooth, hip-sway-inducing “One for the Road,” Motown-esque “Fireside,” “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”(my personal favorite), grooving “Knee Socks,” and clever, slinky closer “I Wanna Be Yours,” AM is the burlesque dancer of records fraught with enticing tunes. I missed my opportunity to see the band live in Atlanta, but I hope I get a second chance when they rock Madison Square Garden in February.   Get romantic with AM.  Peep the official video for “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”

black-sabbath-13-13702857354) Black Sabbath, 13:   Appropriately named for its June 2013 release, 13 demonstrates Black Sabbath’s relevance, even after 40+ years of existence, multiple line-up changes, and now, 19 studio albums. Combining the best of both Ozzy Osbourne’s style, ranging from mania to sentimental ballads, Tony Iommi’s heavy, driving, and penetrating guitar riffs, and grave topics, 13 gets down to serious rock business from the first power chord of “End of the Beginning.” Followed by highlight tracks,  doomy “God is Dead?,” super-Sabbathy “Loner,” creeping “Zeitgeist,” epic “Age of Reason,” stealthy “Damaged Soul,” pounding “Dear Father,” and dynamic “Methademic,” 13  is a head banger’s delight.  I’m thrilled these heavy metal pioneers are still going, and I’m looking forward to seeing them for the first time in March at Barclays! 13 is up for three Grammy’s too, so get listening!

blacktaxi_chiaroscurocover5) Black Taxi, ChiaroscuroBrooklyn-based band Black Taxi, who has been in my top favorites for over half a decade, have made leaps and bounds since first I first lay ears on them. This past September, they released their ultra-dancy EP Chiaroscuro, follow up to their 2012 album We Don’t Know Any Better, showing off the band’s knack for “dance music without laptops.”   Though you wouldn’t peg the quartet as a typical “rock” act, they definitely ROCK at what they do and hold true to real guitar solos and contagious drum beats that can whip both rock ‘n rollers and club goers into a frenzy.  Ever-so-energetic and charismatic on stage, Black Taxi continue to impress with their live shows and grooveable tracks.  Chiaroscuro showcases those ‘electro’-buildups, that break into danceable choruses that we all know and love, maintaining the band’s reputation as one of the top NY acts and most fun performances!  Check out Chiaroscuro here, and if you’re in the neighborhood for New Year’s Eve (that’s tonight!), come dance the night away with Black Taxi at Mercury Lounge!

Runners up:  Compass EP by Brandon Boyd, “Satisfied,” single by The Wans, “Tell Me Why” video by Butcher Knives, “Rosemary” video by Deftones, self-titled EP by Isle of Rhodes, and Reflector by Arcade Fire.

Happy new year! See you on January 3 at Bar Matchless and January 17 at Bowery Electric!

Not long ago, I had posted BLACK TAXI‘s single “House on Fire” (which has gotten some high praise from MTV Buzzworthy) from their forthcoming Chiaroscuro EP. A product of the band’s three-month stint in Austin prior to SXSW, the EP is finally ready to drop on September 10!   For all those curious, “chiaroscuro,” as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, is, “a : the arrangement or treatment of light and dark parts in a pictorial work of art; b : the interplay or contrast of dissimilar qualities (as of mood or character).”  

An appropriate title, the Brooklyn-based quartet’s newest EP takes a turn for a much dancier (if you can believe it),  synth-heavy, electro-based, 80s-inspired sound, tinged with dark, quirky edges.  Jumpstarting with “The Runner,” the EP opens with ringing guitars that build with twinkling synths that erupt into dance grooves swirling through ethereal reverb and blips and beeps.  “Gone” slinks and swings with haunting and jazzy trumpet lines  and is driven by choruses of hypnotic chants,  disco-esque beats, and epic guitar solos (think Journey).  “Can’t Stop Shaking” pulsates with robotic vibes and single, “House on Fire,”is the anthemic  dance number that rounds out the release.  BLACK TAXI also includes some special bonus music, remixes of “House on Fire” by SoundSAM No Time  and  “Can’t Stop Shaking” by Soul Puncherz for the true club goer. 

The four piece will be welcoming Chiaroscuro at their official release show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 10, where they will be opening for another “taxi” band, MOON TAXI. Grab your tickets here! blacktaxi_chiarscuroPHOTOIn case you didn’t get to check out “House on Fire,” listen below!

Day 5 of SXSW kicked my butt, to be frank, but in the best way possible. I set up camp at Rusty’s after a failed attempt to get into Rachel Ray’s Party at Stubb’s BBQ. Not waiting in the three mile long line was definitely a blessing in disguise.  I ventured to the tried and true, Rusty’s, where the line-up stayed amazing all day long.

A bunch of  Boston acts including, folk rock Air Traffic Controller, bluesy, harmony-soaked  Coyote Kolb, and rock ‘n rollers with a humorous edge, Mellow Bravo , got the energy pumping right off the bat.

A little later in the afternoon after yet another Tex-mex descanso, I returned to Rusty’s for some heavy hitters. Previous contestant on The Voice, Nakia, who is based in Austin, showed off his lung capacity and soulful vocal chops with the help of an orchestra of instruments and back-up singers.  San Antonio-based band of (literal) brothers, Hacienda, took the stage next, demonstrating that their tightness as a band was not only by blood, showcasing their rough-around-the-edges pop rock and their personable stage presence .

Outside, another band of siblings, Chicago’s Filligar, led by three brothers, who would be a “classic” rock band if I didn’t know better. They’ll be in NYC on June 1 at Gramercy Theater rocking tunes from one of their 5 records. In the next room over, Phoenix, AZ’s The Technicolors shined with Brit-rock-esque tunes from their record Listener Deluxe, who were followed by Fresno, CA-based Strange Vine, who, though only a twopiece, created a huge sound with some extra keyboard responsibilities played by their drummer.    SXSW got a huge dose of happy when country/blues/folk six-piece,  Sam Marine & County,  high-voltage, Louisiana-born, pop group, Super Water Sympathy,and  Brooklyn’s indie synth-pop/rock quartet, Silas Fermoy, who welcomed their debut EP Chapters yesterday, took the Rusty’s stage.

The best moment of the night happened when Jared James Nichols took the main stage, not to downplay any of the artists. JJN took my breath away, though, and it’s a rare occasion to be so utterly impressed. The trio, born in Troy, Wisconsin and now hailing from Los Angeles, shook the venue with blues rock to the max, with intense drums, surging bass lines,  and Nichols’ guitar-playing that is pretty untouchable.  Last but not least, Nashville’s The Hollywood Kills, closed the night on a perfect note, danceable rock ‘n roll with finesse, featuring sultry sounds from their latest EP  An Idiot’s Guide to Desertion. 

Here’s a quick look at the day, but check out the full album on Facebook!

The fourth day of SX was a day well spent on South Congress.  I kicked off my day at a small outdoor, garden party with punk and pizza at The Pizza Shop, that had pretty amazing thincrust pizza (even after being spoiled by NYC pizza).  There, punk/rockabilly band out of Austin, Something Called  Nothing was busting out some swinging tracks in the sunshine before The Phuss rocked out a  set accmpanied by some backyard moshing before hitting the stage yet again at Doc Motorworks later that afternoon.  Heading back to Doc Motorworks, Deton, TX’s  The Birds of Night accompanied the 80+degree weather with surfy tones and throwback vibes.  Up next, Fort Worth’s Roaming Soldiers became one of my top new bands of this year’s SXSW, winning my heart with rock ‘n roll grit, bluesy sass, and southern twang.  The close to my day of music wasn’t too shabby.  I got a chance to catch Stilwater, Oklahoma’s rootsy rockers,  Taddy Porter, before scampering off to The Auditorium Shores to see the bizarre antics of the one, the only  The Flaming Lips.  At the Shores, the field was packed with hula hoop dancers and people wearing strobing, seizure-inducing lights/jewelry. A theatrical performance by The Flaming Lips included quirky frontman, Wayne Coyne, wearing a robe of umbillical-like cords, while he held a fetus manikin. The kings of the unexpected, this show certainly lived up to the odd but impressive showmanship.

View the day’s events on Rocker Stalker’s FACEBOOK and “like” the page while you’re there :).

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Somthing Called Nothing

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The Phuss

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The Birds of Night

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Roaming Soldiers
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The Phuss

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Taddy Porter

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The Flaming Lips

Day 3, SXSW 2013. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, they did.

I started the day off  with a little dance music that I could see myself working out to,  Brooklyn-based electro/DJ duo No Way Josie  at The Parish, followed by polar opposites, Austin-based folky, pop/rock trio, MARMALAKES.  My Brooklyn favorite, Black Taxi, who have been calling Austin home for the last couple months while they write some new material and share their greatness with TX. These guys will be back in April for a residency at Rockwood Music Hall starting April 26 for three weeks. After a long power walk south of downtown, I finally arrived, sweating, to Doc Motorworks, where Fort Worth’s Ice Eater was breaking it down on stage with a experimental punky rock, featuring music from their aptly titled Don’t Care EP.  In between sets, the audience was, quite frankly, punished with some stand up comedians , but thankfully, my favorite Fort Worthian trio, The Phuss, brought salavation to the afternoon (Vocalist/guitarist Josh Fleming even had some jokes up his sleeve that saved the inter-set banter.).  The  band slammed the stage with their  no-apologies rock, pounding drums, swaggering bass, punky aggression, and undeniable attitude.  Their current self titled record is a must, and  you can grab it here.

Just down the street, at Guero’s Taco Bar (they have the most amazing fajitas, just as a side note), I was lucky to catch a set by Beaumont’s Purple, who was impressing the Tex-mex indulgers with heavy rock fusion led by vocalist/drummer, Hanna Brewer.  The second daily dose of The Phuss followed, quaking the taco bar, bringing about some interpretive dancers and a guy dressed as The Pope, and making it pretty difficult to keep a straight face.

The day’s music came to an earlier close than usual, but I got a chance to explore late-night Austin a bit and get my fill of SXSW chaos for the remainder of the night.

Check out Part III of SXSW here!

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No Way Josie

DSC00701Marmalakes

DSC00758BLACK TAXi
DSC00823The Phuss
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I’m back in Austin! What a relief!  I’m down in Texas for the annual SXSW Festival, a personal 5th! Day 1 was the perfect day of music, weather, and food, and I was lucky to catch some incredible bands.  I kicked the day off at Hotel Vegas with Parisian rockers, Hooka Hey, who were definitely worth the wait of the soundman’s eternal set up. Following them, Austin-based The Preservation provided uplifting spacerock to fight any oncoming afternoon sleepiness.  I bounced over to the Red Bull Space where an all Los Angeles line-up impressed and made me completely homesick! When I arrived, dancy quartet Hands, was riling up the crowd.  Next, surfy and punky Beach Party  and dual-drummer, electro-rock/industrial Big Black Delta kept my day at a high. Plus, I really liked Beach Party’s bassist’s Clash t-shirt!  Closing off my time at the Red Bull Space was Best Coast, who has been making waves with their light indie vibes. Back at Hotel Vegas, I got my face melted upon entering by Austin’s The Venus Illuminato who were breaking down some serious blues rock. The late show started off with mellow indie trio Cheree, then the pace was accelerated by psych-rock, projection-embellished Holy Wave out of El Paso. Concluding my first SXSW day, I caught up with Joshua Tree-founded Gram Rabbit, one of my favorite bands from California (here I go with that nostalgia again…), who packed the room with heavy riffs, experiental tinges, and cowboy attitude.

Check out some photos from Rocker Stalker’s SX start!

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