Third Eye Blind's SXSW Show Drew Huge Crowd, Was Shut Down By Cops

Categories: Oh, Really?, SXSW

Christopher Victorio
The crowd at Third Eye Blind's Friday-night SXSW showcase.
In case you think you're the only one who furtively savors "Semi-Charmed Life" or "Jumper" or any other tunes from S.F. pop-rock '90s breakout Third Eye Blind, let us assure you: You aren't.

See, for example, the band's Friday night showcase at this year's South by Southwest conference, which took place at an outdoor venue on Fifth street in downtown Austin -- and conveniently, across the street from a multistory parking garage. Third Eye Blind began playing to a not-full crowd, but the audience quickly grew. Security stopped letting people into the venue, so onlookers piled up along the major thoroughfare. Meanwhile, smarter viewers climbed up into the parking garage for an arena perspective.

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SXSW: Green Day Pummels Austin, 3/15/13

Christopher Victorio
Green Day at SXSW last night.
Green Day
ACL Live @ Moody Theater // SXSW
Friday, March 15, 2013

Better than: Watching Wayne's World for the 57th time.

Billie Joe leapt off the monitors. Mike Dirnt abused his bass. Tre Cool cross-dressed and played the jester and drummed like a tornado. Kids were brought up from the crowd to fuck up the lyrics and stage-dive. The setlist spanned from "Christie Road" to "Oh Love," and the songs came out tight, fast, and very loud. Billie Joe let the crowd sing much of them. Even the band's toilet-paper gun and T-shirt launcher made appearances.

So, yes: Green Day pummeled an Austin crowd with stadium-punk for two hours last night, and it was good.

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S.F.'s Mikal Cronin at SXSW: Fuzzy, Hooky Garage Rock

Categories: SXSW

Mikal Cronin at SXSW
Mikal Cronin
The Parish // SXSW
Thursday, March 14, 2013

Onstage at SXSW last night, San Francisco garage rocker Mikal Cronin demonstrated why -- after releasing a sole, lauded debut album -- he landed on the roster at iconic indie record label Merge, home to Arcade Fire and Dinosaur Jr., among others.

Debuting several songs from his forthcoming Merge debut, MCII, Cronin proved himself the natural pop tunesmith of the San Francisco garage-punk scene. Cronin pal Ty Segall took several albums over several years to approach the kind of ebullient hooks heard on Cronin songs like "Apathy" and the new "Shout It Out." And you could argue that he's still not quite as natural a writer of hooks as Cronin.

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San Jose Rapper Antwon Breaks Through a Hellish Set at SXSW

Categories: SXSW

Antwon at SXSW last night.
Holy Mountain // SXSW
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

At midnight in Austin, Antwon is onstage performing his third show of the day -- and it is not going well.

The microphone in the hands of one of the Bay Area's most promising new rappers is crackling and cutting out intermittently. The sound guy in this smallish club won't turn up his DJ loud enough, so it sounds for a while like Antwon is bellowing over a boombox. Someone in the smallish crowd throws a can of beer at the stage: it grazes the rapper and hits DJ Sex Play, falling on a turntable. Sex Play promptly chucks it right back into the crowd where it came from. Both the rapper and the DJ implore the sound guy to turn up the mix.

On top of this, Antwon is clearly exhausted. "I'm dying. I'm dead -- I'm sorry," he says at one point, quickly adding an unconvincing, "I'm just kidding."

See also:
* Antwon's Twisted Vision: Sex Rap, Punk Vibes, and Kid Rock
* Watch: Antwon's "3rd World Grrl" Is the Bay Area Party-Rap Song of the Year So Far

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Dave Grohl's SXSW Keynote: "The Musician Comes First"

Categories: SXSW

Christopher Victorio
Dave Grohl at SXSW
In a funny, personal, F-bomb-laden keynote address at Austin's South By Southwest music conference this morning, Dave Grohl proselytized for the power of the musician's voice -- and the importance of letting artists develop on their own.

Dressed in a plaid shirt, jeans, and wearing drug store reading glasses, Grohl outlined his own history with music, from the recording of the Edgar Winter Group's "Frankenstein" that inspired him to pick up the guitar to the solitary, caffeinated recording of the Foo Fighters' first album in the wake of Kurt Cobain's suicide.

Grohl called it "my musical life's greatest honor to be asked to share with you what I know about music. So what do I know? The musician comes first."

"What matters most is that it's your voice," he said, listing guitarists, street performers, and -- conspicuously -- laptops as vehicles for this voice, and saying that the "independence of the musician has been blessed by technology."

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SXSW Day 1: Marnie Stern Will Not Stop Talking About Her Vagina

Categories: SXSW

Christopher Victorio
Marnie Stern at SXSW last night.
[This week, All Shook Down will be bringing you coverage of the overheated Austin confab known as South By Southwest, where hype, beer, and fame are the only currencies. (Just kidding -- sorta.) We'll covering both Bay Area artists and other interesting acts. If you're a local musician in Austin this week and want to tell us your SXSW story or invite us to your show, email us or Tweet at us -- we'd love to hear from you.]

SXSW Day 1: Marnie Stern, Social Studies, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers
Various venues
Austin, Tex.

Marnie Stern is onstage at the utterly packed Tuesday night Pitchfork showcase talking about her vagina. At first it seems like a brief aside: While checking her microphone, Stern, the fiery New York City guitar player, goes, "barbecue, one, two, check," then, "vaginas, one, two, check." Then, "Which is better?" (She doesn't answer the question.)

While the sound guys are setting up, she goes on something of a vagina rant, mentioning that her female parts could stretch from her microphone to her bass player's. Most people in the crowd greet this quizzically, giggling a bit, anticipating that she'll get serious when the music starts. But she doesn't.

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Watch: Carson Daily Makes Late-Night TV Safe for S.F. Faves Thee Oh Sees

Categories: SXSW, Video

Thee Oh Sees on Carson Daly

While at South by Southwest, San Francisco garage-rock institution Thee Oh Sees did something a bit more unusual than playing a bunch of shows to sweaty adorers. One night on the back patio at Red 7, the band was filmed performing for Last Call With Carson Daly. The former TRL host even joined the band on drums for the very last song.

Last Thursday, Carson Daly upped his coolness factor by about 1,000 percent by showing two of the songs from that set, "Tidal Wave," and "Meat Step Lively" on his TV show. (Both sound much better than anything heard on Saturday Night Live in a while.) Incredibly, the part where Daly jumped on the drums didn't make it to national TV, but we found it on YouTube for you to enjoy. Check out the videos after the jump.

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The Worst Moments from SXSW 2012

Categories: SXSW

You were a little flat at the end of your performance of "Happy Birthday" there, Wolf Violinist
The last few days, Village Voice Media's indefatigable music staff has been regaling you with stories of the best from SXSW 2012. In the midst of these discoveries, we've been culling another list: the worst shit. The acts that ranged from huge bore-fests to downright lame. Below, you'll find our critics' submissions. Let us know if you have similar experiences.

Yawn at Bar 96
Standing up for indie rock in 2012 is like pledging allegiance to Joseph Kony, and we have bands like infantile Chicago quartet Yawn to thank. The pleasure of Bandcamp is that we get to peruse hashtags like "animal collective, avant-pop, beach boys, brian eno, electronic, of montreal, vampire weekend, yeasayer, avant-pop, dreampop, electronic, indie pop, Chicago" and theoretically end up with something that resembles those terms. (Don't forget "andrew bird" and "beirut," guys.) The downside is that a slickly produced EP like Yawn's self-titled collection and last year's Open Season get out to the masses too fast. Tongue-wagging tastemakery takes over, and suddenly folks trying to fill out lineup cards at festivals end up latching onto goobers like these guys without seeing them perform.

Yawn's live act confirms they are a fraud. Thursday's appearance at Bar 96 was the art of trying as hard as possible to seem like they weren't trying. Imagine four unremarkable white dudes with unkempt hair having a rehearsal consisting of directions like "can you make your voice crack a little more when you add some unnecessary harmony to the second verse," or "make sure to introduce that song that obviously isn't slow as a 'slow jam.'" Further banter clunkers: "This is Terry Gross and you're listening to NPR" and "We're in Austin right now, but let's imagine we're in Africa." Even the guy convulsing and spazzing in place to these dilute ripoffs must have been a paid extra. Such earnest attempts to make flippant music -- well, it's enough to make you... yawn. -- Reed Fischer / City Pages

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The Best of SXSW Music: Saturday 3/17/2012

Categories: SXSW

Nick Rallo
Justin Townes Earle at Stubb's BBQ
So, we come to it: the end of all things. Four days of madness, Doritos, Skrillex and finally, St. Patrick's Day. Before we bid SXSW 2012 farewell, allow us to share our favorite moments from SXSW day four. Later, we'll let you know which shows weren't so hot. Find our favorites below, and if there was a show that blew your hair back--let us know in the comments. To quote Raymond Chandler: "I went to brush something off my cheek, and it was the floor."

Grupo Fantasma - The Stage on Sixth
Anytime Grupo Fantasma plays, one has to fight the feeling that this might be the best band in the world, or at least the most fun. On Saturday the Grammy-winning Austin Latin funk-rock ensemble crammed nine musicians onto a small stage under a backyard tent, and put on the kind of party-rocking perfomance that can only be achieved with Latin rhythms, a three-piece horn section, and some seriously whammy'd-out guitar solos. Yes, the lyrics are in Spanish. But this group's endless energy and sunglassed cool spoke more than words ever could. When Grupo Fantasma plays, casual observers become blissed-out converts, and even the older ladies in the crowd get up to shake it. Having seen them twice now - both times in front of hometown crowds - I've learned to never underestimate this group's powers of seduction. The only thing this writer doesn't understand is why Grupo Fantasma isn't better known. -- Ian S. Port

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The Best of SXSW Music: Friday 3/16/2012

Categories: SXSW

Marco Torres
50 Cent and Eminem at the Austin Music Hall. More photos below.
If you're familiar with chaos theory, which in its basic form is the attempt to find patterns in the random acts of shit on Earth, then you may understand the difficulty that comes with describing a full day at SXSW. To break down the chaos, Village Voice Media's roving music editors have selected their favorite moments from SXSW day three, along with our sponsored Slim Shady SXSW showcase with 50 Cent and Eminem. Find 'em below, and let us know in the comments what show blew your hair back.

50 Cent / Eminem - Austin Music Hall
Never mind that Get Rich or Die Trying actually came out in 2003; the moist and dewy crowd at Austin Music Hall last night was plenty psyched for his performance of his debut album on its "10th anniversary." Backed by a full band, 50 came out in his signature vest, though it proved unnecessary as not a single shot was fired at him. His mentor Eminem came out as surprise guest, rapping passionately from beneath his hoodie. The show was further proof that this "artists doing their seminal albums in full" thing is the best trend in popular music. -- Ben Westhoff

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