Gearing up for SXSW

In the course of  6 days I drove across the mountain to Asheville 3 different times to see some shows.  The following is my recount of who I saw, where I ate, and of the shows themselves.

Sat. Mar. 5 – Bright Eyes and Cursive at Thomas Wolfe

My wife and I randomly ate at this restaurant called Tingles Cafe sorta across from Mellow Mushroom.  It was our first time there and it was really good.  We drank a Brown Cow (Coke, Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce)!!  Then it was off to the show where we’d later run into a couple old/new friends like @johnfrancisf@scenesc, and  @meredithstring.

I loved the Cursive set (they played an incredible version of “The Recluse” that was probably at least 20 bpm’s slower than the original off The Ugly Organ).  Their sound was incredible, but I hated the lack of energy from the audience as we all just sat there in our chairs and watched the set play out.

Bright Eyes played a set over 2 hours long and really did a great job going through the whole catalog.  I had seen him 3 times before, but this was the first time I had ever heard “Something Vague” (the first Bright Eyes song I ever heard), “An Attempt to Tip the Scales” both off Fevers and Mirrors, and “Lover I Don’t Have to Love”.  All in all, I loved the set, but didn’t like standing up for 2 hours straight!!  So I don’t like sitting, but I also don’t like standing….. go figure.

Tues. Mar. 8 – Tennis, La Sera, and Holiday Shores at The Grey Eagle

I made this trip by myself, but wasn’t going to let that spoil my night.  Once I got to Asheville, I spent a little bit of time talking to my band’s (Commerce) producer, @dylanseals, on the phone as I walked the streets of downtown wondering where to eat.  I decided on Tupelo Honey and had a burger alone at the bar with 2 other lonely souls!  It was pretty funny, then got crazy once they left and I had a homeless man come pick at the leftovers on my plate.

Concerning the music, that night I was mainly going to see La Sera (who will be on next month’s comp).  They were really enjoyable to watch.  Katy Goodman (@iamkatygoodman) and one of their guitar players had so much personality in-between songs that it really made the set seem too short if anything.  I’m really looking forward to seeing them again at SXSW in a couple days.

I was also pleasantly surprised by Tennis.  I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t as into them as the rest of the planet, but they sounded really together live and were just so dang sweet.  How in the world could you not like them?  They made me wanna go buy a sailboat or something.

Thur. Mar. 10 – Say Hi, Yellow Ostrich, and Blair at The Grey Eagle

P.F. Changs before the show.  Oh my God, it’s so good every single time.  My wife and I then went downtown to The Chocolate Lounge for some drinks and dessert.  It was quite delicious, but once we brought out our playing cards for a little Nerts action, a homeless man suddenly appeared at our table wanting to do card tricks.  After about 5 minutes of him just going through the deck and pulling out the Aces I stopped him and told him we’d have to catch him next time.

We were mainly going to this show to see Yellow Ostrich, @yellowostrich, (also going to be on next month’s comp), but got really excited about Blair after listening to a few songs on her myspace earlier that day.  This show was a blast.  Yellow Ostrich and Blair were both, by far, the friendliest of the bands I encountered over the past week, while also sounding incredible to the overall pretty small crowd that was in attendance.

Yellow Ostrich ran loops through a computer that were all but too much for my mind to handle.  I loved the songs I had already heard, and instantly became attached to the new songs they also played.  I didn’t quite like Blair as much as I did on the recordings I had heard, but still they were pretty tight and I’d still recommend her music.

By the time Say Hi got going, we were getting pretty tired, so we decided to make an early exit.  Got to hear 4 or 5 songs that were okay, but we thought our time would be better spent heading back over the-then-snowy mountain.

8 bands in 6 days.  Quite a lot compared to what I’m used to, but nothing compared to what’s getting ready to happen to us in Austin at SXSW.  Be sure and subscribe to the Littlest Sounds mailing list and I swear you’ll feel like you were there!  I’ll make sure you don’t miss anything.

Talk real soon.

Matt

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