Day two of South by Southwest highlighted an outstanding array of performers. The weather improved a bit from the previous day, and there were no further signs of rain (it sprinkled the night before).Room 710 â€šÃ„Ã¬ Why?
Why? began day two over at Room 710 with a bizarre mix of keyboards, xylophone and drums. 3 members intertwined obtuse melodies through their instruments. The xylophone kit (which also had a couple drums built into it) showcased a pummeling from the band’s premiere percussionist.
Room 710 â€šÃ„Ã¬ Gogogo Airheart
Featuring their bass player instantly jumping off the stage to play bass on the floor level with the crowd, Gogogo Airheat rocked a small crowd over at Room 710 in the mid afternoon. Playing a noisy brand of punk with stabs of funk bass Gogogo Airheart vibrantly displayed what a refresh approach to modern rock could be. Some songs featured ska-style guitar rhythms while the set closer contained frantic power chords that switched into a patient breakdown-slow rebuild of melody.
Beauty Bar â€šÃ„Ã¬ Lady Sovereign
At the private I Heart Comix party at Beauty Bar Lady Sovereign took a little time to do a guest DJ set. Probably suffering from the contrast of Cut Chemist spinning on the stage outside at the venue, this set was about what you would expect. Some good hip-hop cuts were played but nothing mind-blowing or groundbreaking as far as technique is concerned. Sovereign mugged for a myriad of photographers that surrounded the decks and laughed and smiled while spinning some of her favorite tracks.
Town Lake Stage â€šÃ„Ã¬ Spoon
Way over at the Town Lake Stage Spoon played an average set of indie rock songs to a substantial crowd. The band’s sound was rock solid, but compared to a veritable army of amazing music before and after nothing really seemed to pop here. Singer Britt Daniel sneered “don’t make me a target” repeatedly over a lightly distorted guitar.
Maggie Mae’s – MC Lars
Laptop rapper MC Lars entertained a crowd of eager fans with humorous songs about terrible emo bands (“Signing Emo”) aborted song ideas (“21 Concepts”) and constructive promotion through priacy (“Download This Song”). Lars tracked up blippy background music akin to Atom & His Package solely from his Apple Powerbook laptop. The laid back delivery had those familiar happily singing along. During the closer “Signing Emo” Lars incited the crowd to mock cheesy emo bands by singing “1, 2, 3, 4, Die!” before and during the song’s ending.
18th Floor at Capitol Place â€šÃ„Ã¬ Magnet
One-man Magnet made expert use of infinite repeat/chorus effect, note by note constructing a orchestra effect using only his instrument and voice. Magnet played either banjo, lap steel or electric guitar tapping the instrument to create percussive sounds, strongly plucking low strings for bass notes and using every other sound to create an undulating resonance. The crowd sat captivated as his Thom York-esque voice echoed through the intimate setting. One song in particular “I’ll Come Along” featured a chilling hold of a note for what seemed impossibly long.
18th Floor at Capitol Place – Tina Dico
Directly following Magnet’s set, the gorgeous Tina Dico took the stage for a subdued selection of songs from her recent debut album. The former Zero 7 When It Falls singer angelically sang “fortune / smiling back at me” from “Wall of Sand.” Playing a bright sounding acoustic guitar Dico employed a finger-picking style utilizing hamer-ons and a capo. Dico kept a moderate pace for all her songs, never slowing to a crawl or ever quite speeding to energetic. Her sweet voice carried easily through “Room With A View,” “In the Web” and new song “Magic” about a hesitant one-night stand.
Zero Degrees â€šÃ„Ã¬ Daedalus
After Dico there was just enough time to fly over to Zero Degrees to catch Daedalus playing a signature style of experimental electronica. Daedalus tweaked a monstrous sequencer while he brought various sample loops in and out of time. The glitch-y beats were offset by modulated vocal sample that most closely resembled a voice on helium.
Fox and Hound – Particle
According to a crowd participant, the band preceding Particle at Fox and Hound performed a stunt where they smashed washer and dryers at the close of their set. In addition to a long clean-up of the debris, Particle’s soundcheck was incredibly long. This writer was only able to stick around for 1 song by the time they finally got playing. Once they did though the larger venue’s crowd was more than pleased. Particle played jam-style rock number with efficient solos and infrequent choruses of “Nah nah nah.”
Red Eyed Fly – Sasquatch
LA’s Sasquatch brought their raw stoner rock power to Red Eyed Fly. A gaggle of metal on-lookers banged their heads frantically to drummer Rick Ferrante’s blasting hits, Clayton Charles’ booming basslines and Keith Gibbs howling vocals. The band ended their set by unleashing an 8-minute monster tune (according to Gibbs as-of-yet unnamed) with multiple melodic sequences and a jaw-dropping crescendo of a finale. Gibb’s solos seared through the crowd until the band recombined for the fantastic climax.
Antone’s – Hank Williams III
Over at Antone’s to end the night Hank Williams III rocked a full house with a slightly shorter set then he usually does. Hank III dived right in and served up a heaping helping of Straight to Hell” tracks including the title track, “Thrown Out of the Bar,” “Crazed Country Rebel,” “Smoke and Wine,” “Pills I Took,” “Country Heroes” and “Dick in Dixie” with the unadulterated outlaw frenzy he’s become known for. The crowd ecstatically sang “cause I’m a drinking / smoking / nighttime ramblin’ kind of man” along with the band as they galloped through “Nighttime Ramblin’ Man” from Lovesick, Broke and Driftin’. Hank even brought out Wayne “The Train” Hancock for a dance-inspiring rendition of “One Horse Town.” Just as the crowd began to get rowdy (and perhaps by coincidence) Hank let his hair down and co-vocalist Gary Lindsey came out immediately beginning a short set of what Hank commonly refers to as “hellbilly” songs. “White Trash” and “Living A Life of Sin” still featured Hank’s fiddle and pedal steel players but brought thrash to the outlaw country stomp. Last but certainly not least the band reduced to bassist Joe Buck, Hank III, Lindsey and drummer Munash Sami for Assjack, a short set of eye-opening metal. III and Lindsey roared through “No Regrets” and “Gravel Pit” as the crowd moshed and banged in a frenzy.