The original plan on Friday was to see Zooey and Matt Ward (the she and him of She & Him) at Merge’s 12AM showcase at the Parish, because she’s got a good voice and he’s cute. And vice versa. But then we happened to walk by the Current outdoor stage on Red River to see the duo setting up for a three-song set and figured we’d spare ourselves the midnight madness. Z & M played “This Is Not A Test,” “Change Is Hard,” and “Black Hole” (video of that last one after the jump) — Deschanel letting her sweet twang roll more confidently with each cut — and did a mini-interview onstage before the set, hinting that there would be more than just a Volume One and maybe even a tour down the road.
We set up camp at Volume for our party with Paste for the rest of the day, taking in tight and breezy pop from Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and blistering sets via Liam Finn and Georgian rockers the Whigs, who really were the best way to end a day of lots of Southern Comfort. Night time saw the Stereogum crew shift over to the Bourbon Rocks Patio for the Sub Pop show, starting with ice cream lovers Pissed Jeans. The Pennsylvania quartet have mastered their muscular Jesus Lizardisms … but live, vocalist Matt Korvette takes his Yow inflections in a different direction, lurching through a loose-limbed dance step that casts an almost sunny feel, against the band’s grooves. He makes it look like it feels good to dislocate his arms, or something.
Handsome Furs had some pent up aggression towards the South By scene to let go of, starting the set with a smarmy impression of a typical industry encounter. (“So do you guys have management? Because we totally love your band. We love what you’re doing, we wanna represent you!”) Dan and Alexei seemed to amuse each other in banter and music, smiling their way through tunes like “Handsome Furs Hate This City,” gathering around synths/drum machine like it was a ouija. It wasn’t Sunset Rubdown, but the Furs qualify as our second favorite Wolf Parade side project (sorry, Johnny and the Moon). We wanted to see Lykke Li and Maggie Mae’s but a sign told us she’d bailed. So instead it was a long walk to the Scoot Inn for a raucous Man Man set (again!). The cam stopped working for that one, sadly, but it did well to capture the rest…
SHE & HIM (THE CURRENT STAGE)
LIAM FINN (VOLUME)
SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU BORIS YELTSIN (VOLUME)
THE WHIGS (VOLUME)
HANDSOME FURS (BOURBON ROCKS PATIO)
PISSED JEANS (BOURBON ROCKS PATIO)
LYKKE LI (MAGGIE MAE’S ROOFTOP)