SXSW 2009: Thursday In Photos

By Amrit Singh & Brandon Stosuy
Yesterday started off bright, early, and ecstatic with NJ’s Roadside Graves at Peckerheads. The band seduced a 2PM crowd into hooting, hollering, do-sa-do-ing, and otherwise pretending it was after midnight to tracks both new (“Far And Wide,” “My Father Sat Me Down,” “Ruby”) and old (“Family And Friends,” “Radio”). If you haven’t seen them yet, you need to soon. From there, walked out to Gorilla Vs. Bear’s Gorilla Vs. Booze (and got nice tans in the process) to watch the Golden Filter and Wavves do their thing at the Peacock, aka a small turquoise room that seemingly doubles as a sauna. Head Wavver Nathan Williams opened his set asking, more or less, “Do you remember that time you were at SXSW and it was hot and smelled like ass?,” etc. Yes. Every year.

The Brooklyn Vegan/PASTE party at Radio Room offered some time with Daniel Johnston and energetic, packed sets from the Wrens (“We’re from New Jersey! If you ever come there you will be disappointed!”) and Cursive, who closed strong on “From The Hips” and “Big Bang.” The Wrens did play some new material. It’s really happening, guys.

After swinging by the meet-up hosted by our good friend Whitney of Pop Candy and a bit of Amrit’s-birthday celebrating, we trekked to Red 7, moving back and forth between the PPM showcase and Heeb Magazine on the Red 7 patio. Making like Some Velvet Sidewalk meets King Kong, Olympia trio Gun Outfit were a great adrenaline shot of straight-up, Northwest rock ‘n’ roll. (If you haven’t heard Dim Light, track it down.) Speaking of conjuring the past, next we caught Slumberland somnambulists Crystal Stilts do their downcast, prismatic noise pop. Upon entering the venue, we were told the band had forgotten they were playing and showed up late, but they set up quickly and slowed back down in time for their performance. Dazed and Ian Curtis frontman Brad Hargett is always fun to watch. We caught Hisham Bharoocha’s layered, one-man Soft Circle drum circle — the hypnotic chanted vocals and looped guitars making for an especially nice effect after a day of Lone Stars — before walking next door for some more Golden Filter. This is the moment we actually danced.

Where last night ended with the depressingly over-stuffed and technology-marred Peter Bjorn & John, Mika Miko put a perfect cap on our Thursday night, with their quick, ragged, and raw punk. Jennifer Clavin, with phone microphone and non-stop hop-step dance, wins the prize as the day’s most compelling front person. Figuring that was as good a place as any to call it a night, we ventured out to find a taco truck … that we never found.

Mika Miko – “I Got A Lot (New New New)” (MP3)

From most of the aforementioned to Akron/Family, Bearsuit, BLK JKS, Dinosaur Jr., and onward, Amrit, Abbey Braden, and Linda Flores provide some hardcore visual documentation.