SXSW: Find Your Voice, March 14th – RECAP

What this thing called South By Southwest is all about came to be summed up in the main event of the festival: Dave Grohl’s keynote speech at the Austin Convention Center. The man who answered the “drummer needed” role when Nirvana called gave a human, humble and comically expletive filled address to the room.  The moral of the story where music is concerned: Find your own voice. And even rocker stars sometimes need reading glasses.

      Band Photo of the Day
Justin Tranter of Semi Precious Weapons @ the Main

Favorite Musical Discovery of the Day:
Quiet Corral: Up on Maggie Mae’s Rooftop, this six-piece from Kansas was a little pop, a little folk, a little harmony and a lot of good. There was also some group drum-action going on (Yes, the drum-thing is so 2012 but it still livens things up).

Rough Francis: Walking by the Main an interesting noise was heard and turned out to be Vermont’s Rough Francis and their MC5/the Stooges-infested militant funk punk owning the stage with a vengeance. There’s a back story here and those who are into the genre really should dig in.

Bands You Wanted To See But Couldn’t:
Every single band that played west of Congress. Other than that, the Virginmarys. Trying to figure out whether or not I like this band and seeing them live would help. A lot.

Favorite Moment:
#1: Receiving an authentic, unsolicited and oh-so-friendly “G’day” from a vibrantly dresses Australian woman as we walked past one another no more than five minutes after walking out of the hotel this morning.

#2: Watching the force that is Dead Sara from side stage with four of the Mowgli’s at the Roxy’s AUSTINROX party at Empire Automotive. So much Los Angeles presence.

#3: It’s been a while since I’ve seen Semi Precious Weapons, but their set at the Main (which consisted of entirely new material from their upcoming EP and album) felt like falling for them all over again. And like a family reunion.

Best Swag:
An amazing screen printed poster of the Lustre Pearl party with Big Black Delta!

Party of the Day:
StubHub scored with a day party at the Old School made up of a line up of three bands from Los Angeles, all wildly different in style but immense in talent: Irontom, the Airborne Toxic Event and Fitz & the Tantrums. For me parties aren’t defined by the free stuff: it’s defined by the musical content. Score, StubHub, even if you are little more than a ticket scalping service.

SPOTTED: Random Sightings/Run-ins:
Oh, hi Kaylee DeFer, “Gossip Girl” con artist “Ivy Dickens” over there in the corner at the Old School getting a dose of Fitz & the Tantrums (that’s her with the brown hair at the end of James’ keyboard). She really looked like she wanted to let loose a little and get her groove on but, alas, popularity probably dictates not embarrassing yourself in public with awkward dancing.

– Trina N. Green