SXSW has started, with Film and Interactive. Music starts on Tuesday, and that is also the closing day for the interactive festival. That means the city is filled up with technology oriented people who attend the several hundred seminars and go to the sponsored parties at night. I go to seminars, but I’d rather hear and see some of the great artists and bands here at night before the music festival mayhem starts. Here is what I saw yesterday, March 14. (Picture above: Redd Volkaert)
The first Monday during SXSW this year I was invited by an artist I know, to ride with him and his family to Donn’s Depot. I had never been there before, but what a place! That first night I ended up being there, talking with the musicians after the show until the place closed for the night. Last Monday I just had to go back again.
The ABGB is a new venue in Austin since August last year, and I had a great evening there last night. First I saw Jane Bond, whom I haven’t seen for many years, and after a quick walk up to Maria’s Taco XPress to see Leeann Atherton, it was back to see Rick Broussard and his band Two Hoots and a Holler.
The first time I saw Ian Moore was in 2005, and then some years later at the Continental Club. I remember his playing and his extrovert show as something special. This year he played at the Continental Club again during SXSW, at 1 AM the last day of the festival. And it was the perfect artist to close SXSW for me.
This year I followed up my favorite SXSW Austin tradition of attending Leeann Atherton’s Barn Dance at her house the Sunday after the festival is over. This year the weather wasn’t as cooperative as the last years, but in spite of the cold, everyone had a great time. The BBQ was good, the music was great, the people friendly – in short – just as it always is at Leeann’s. (Picture above: Hedvig Mollestad and Leeann Atherton)
One of the premiers at the Film festival during SXSW was the documentary and concert film Road to Austin. The film was screened Thursday, and after the screening, many of the artists who participated in the film held a concert. The film is a perfect introduction to why the music scene in Austin is like it is. (Picture above: screen shot from the trailer to Road to Austin)
I have liked Hedvig Mollestad Trio since the first time I saw them. This year they play several gigs at SXSW, and I got to see a off-festival gig at Leeann’s Traveling Barn Dance at Maria’s Taco XPress yesterday. Their music is hard and loud guitar-based jazz rock, and they showed us how the experts do it.
I have been fascinated by Patricia Vonne for a long time, since the first time I first saw her during SXSW in Austin in 2002. In 2006 she played at Bergen Fest, and I also saw her again in Austin three years ago. Last night she played at the Continental Club for an enthusiastic audience, and her show was tighter and better than ever.
Guy Forsyth is one of my all time favorite Austin musicians. I have written about him on this blog before, and Friday night I saw him at another pre SXSW late night show at the Saxon Pub. I can’t count all the different settings I have seen and heard him in, everything from solo, with a tuba, with the Asylum Street Spankers to a pop band setting some 10 years go. This time he was reunited with his old compadre George Rarey, and he played one of the best sets I have ever heard from him.
Few of us have got the honor of getting our own day. Rosie Flores is one of those few, and August 31st is official Rosie Flores Day in Austin, Texas. From yesterday and all of next week the town is filled up with SXSW attendees, and it is a great tradition to start it all at the Continental Club the night we get in, and last night Rosie Flores was the main attraction there.