WEEKLY UPDATES (with some special editions in between)



March 31, 2011

Telekinesis - Please Ask for Help

Loving this 'Please Ask for Help' video from Telekinesis. Simple, but effective. Great little song as well.

March 30, 2011

LCD Soundsystem - The End?

LCD Soundsystem have stated their intentions to hang up their mics and instruments following their farewell shows in what they declared would be the “best funeral ever” in hometown, New York this week (four ‘warm up’ shows at Terminal 5 and the penultimate show at The Garden on April 2nd). The announcement transmitted via the bands website that they were “retiring from the game. Gettin’ out. Movin’ on” in early February of this year stunned avid followers. 

Front man and co-founder of DFA records, James Murphy is hugely talented playing the bulk of the instrumental pieces on LCD’s albums himself is clearly a hugely gifted musician, so why the sudden impasse following just three album releases? Perhaps it’s similar dislike for the lifestyle, recognition and fame that Kurt Cobain (among others) have suffered. His general frustrations and perhaps dismay at the industry were enhanced with a public rant at ticket exchange website, StubHub who were selling tickets for the MSG finale at inflated prices before they went on general sale (like that has never happened before). Murphy vented, "no matter what we do, it is not worth that kind of money to see us. I pretty much guarantee 'fans' aren't pricing these tickets." Referring to the website as "barely legal", he added that the website chiefs could "eat $h!t". 

I would not proclaim to being a huge fan of LCD Soundsystem, but friends and fellow music lovers at large hold them in high regard so I felt I had to put some words to their final act. They are difficult to pin down in terms of a genre. Dance/punk/funk/rock/trance/house/techno would probably cover it. In my more formative years, I enjoy techno and house music before maturing somewhat in the direction of more soulful/indie rock ‘n roll overtures. That said, I am still partial to bands that mix it up a little such as - Daft Punk, Muse, Phoenix, TV on the Radio, Passion Pit and the likes. LCD Soundsystem just never really grabbed my attention.  I really, really like the sound of ‘Someone Great’ from second album ‘Sound of Silver’. Bone chilling beats and rhythms that I truly appreciate. Along the same vein, but not nearly as good in my humble opinion, ‘Daft Punk is playing at my House’ and ‘Great Release’ from their first, self titled album and ‘Get Innocuous’ also from ‘Sound of Silver’ are a very likable tunes.  From their most recent and potentially last album, ‘This is Happening’, ‘Oh You (Christmas Blues)’ with its Pink Floyd kind of bass jam and the darker, but chilled out, ‘Throw’ are also fantastic songs. All told, six decent songs from three albums are not good enough in my book.

By all accounts, the ‘warm up’ shows at Terminal 5 are amazing. Songs that you will want to “dance your ar$e off too”, packed with all the hits. The Madison Square Garden farewell will be one of those happy yet emotional spectacles…the ‘This is it’ in MJ talk. There is however a glimmer of hope for LCD fans. Maybe we have not heard the last words from the band following suggestions that they may continue to record music in some capacity. "We'll still be making LCD Soundsystem music and stuff; we just need to go back and have it be a part of our lives rather than our whole lives”.

Goodbye and good luck LCD Soundsystem. I won’t miss you too much, but many will.

March 28, 2011


It is somewhat fitting that the first album review of my blog is that of, Beady Eye (effectively Oasis without Noel Gallagher). Yes, I am a huge Oasis fan and have been since my good friend, Kevin Bruce shared his most recent addition to his music collection back in 1994, 'Definitely Maybe'. To this day, it remains the favourite album in my collection and marks a time in which music became a huge passion of mine.

Now I know Oasis are not everyone's cup of tea. In fact, they appear to possess the uncanny knack of being able to generate a love or hate relationship with listeners. As for the question of preference, "Noel' or 'Liam?" among the Oasis following, I am fairly impartial. Noel clearly holds the song writing talents and the stage poise of a Pete Townsend/Paul McCartney type, while Liam holds the gritty vocals that I love and is more in the cast of the Robert Plant/Roger Daltrey brand of rock 'n roll star. Noel is clearly the more relaxed and mature of the two, with Liam having the tendency to be a little more contrived. He once referred to himself as being the reincarnation of his idol, John Lennon and more recently explained that the bands name, 'Beady Eye' stemmed from the fact that it will come immediately before his idols, 'The Beatles' in play lists. 

Sibling rivalry ultimately culminated in the end of Oasis in August 2009 when Noel Gallagher had enough of his little brothers attitude and antics announcing his departure from the band following a backstage altercation with Liam prior to a festival gig. This bickering shows no signs of dissipating with Liam publicly mocking his elder brother while performing the past weekends (25th March 2011) 'Teenage Cancer Trust' show at London's, Royal Albert Hall (where Noel incidentally headlined last year). Taunts such as "We were going to sit down to sing the next song, but apparently someone who played here last year stole all the stools" and "Where's Noel when you need him, eh?" clear jibes at his big brother.

Anyway, enough of the handbag fight between two Manchester brothers and on to the album review. 

Having heard some of Liam's previous songwriting efforts (Little James on 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants'), I was a little concerned about this album effort. However with Andy Bell (Ride, Hurricane #1, Oasis) and Gem Archer (Heavy Stereo, Oasis) sharing the burden, Gallagher had accomplished and proven specialists in the field to lean on. 

The 13 track album flits between the rock 'n roll Oasis sound that one would come to expect and Lennonesque efforts (some of which actually work) by Liam. 'Four Letter Word' kicks of the album nicely with 'Who' like riffs and psychedelic sounds accompanying strong vocals from the lead man. That said, I feel 'Bring the Light' (the first single released from the album) would have been better placed as album opener. A breathless, jazzy, soulful, rock 'n roll tune with piano at the fore and catchy lyrics expertly delivered by Liam. Lots of energy and get up and go. The video fits the vibe perfectly. For me, the strongest song on the album.

'Beatles and Stones' is a likeable little tune following 'My Generation' chords, but pretty basic in terms of lyrics and music. The same could be said for 'Standing on the Edge of the Noise' and 'Three Ring Circles' which are decent, but again, don't have a great deal of substance or creativity. There are a couple of tracks in the 'not so good' category such as, 'Millionaire' and 'Wind up Dream' which are pleasant enough, but don't really capture the imagination...something that my Mum might quite enjoy while doing the housework, nothing more. For the more chilled out songs and probably (dare I say it) more in the Noel genre of Oasis tunes, 'The Roller' is vocally brilliant from Liam. Simple, but effective lyrics that will have you tapping your feet and humming all day unable to get the song out of your head. These wistful melodies continue in 'Kill for a Dream' and 'The Beat Goes On' which are synonymous with 'Cast No Shadow' and 'Champagne Supernova' from the 'What's the Story, Morning Glory?' era and perhaps even 'All You Need is Love' from The Beatles. Liam's voice quality is certainly evident in the recording studio and hopefully he maintains that during the variety of festivals and gigs that Beady Eye have lined up this year.

Unfortunately, modern day albums rarely have more than five solid songs. To my pleasant surprise, this one just about makes the mark as a decent album. The following links are certainly worth a listen and although the album is no 'Definitely Maybe', it is definitely probably. Rating 7/10


March 24, 2011

Jack White and his Yellow Truck

A publicity stunt? A one man pledge to "bring vinyl back"? Just a hardcore rock 'n' roll star having a bit of fun? I don't exactly know what the point of Jack White and his Yellow Truck is (the idea fronted by the record company he created a couple of years ago, 'Third Man Records'). Feel free to express your own views in the comments box below. 

Don't get me wrong, I herald Jack White as one of the most important rock stars of the modern era. I have been blown away several times by his live performances with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather (not to mention recent film offerings, 'It Might Get Loud' and 'Under Great White Northern Lights'), but this rolling record store concept has me a little miffed. A great idea for those urban dwellers who perhaps never get the chance to go and spend hours sifting through vinyl at record stores, but how long did the mobile library last? Whether we like it or not, music has moved on to digital. I myself grappled with this fact until a year ago. Now, against my will and moral fibre, it's iTunes all the way. Despite the lesser sound quality and having no artwork or cover, the download method is more convenient, cheaper and doesn't take up any space in the household. 

It irked me somewhat that Jack White didn't give the public what the public so desperately wanted in Austin at SXSW, a real on stage performance by either himself as a solo artist or joining one of his music fraternity e.g. Josh Homme (QOTSA), Alison Mosshart (The Kills) etc. For even more drama, why not follow the lead of Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters and turn up unannounced at one of the city's finest venues?

In something of a contradiction, White instead turned to the digital age, Tweeting followers the destination of his 'Yellow Truck' 20 minutes prior to performances by himself and some of his labels artists. All a little bizarre for me, but rock stars will be rock stars.

March 23, 2011

SXSW 2011 Quick List

For those of you who perhaps do not have the time or possibly the desire to read my extensive SXSW summary (below), here is the quick hit list:

The Black Angels - Think The Doors, Neil Young, Jefferson Airplane, and Credence Clearwater Revival and you're not too far away…just do yourself a favour and check this lot out. Rating 9/10

Queens of Stone Age - Homme simply owns the stage. He, like old adversary, Dave Grohl and friend, Jack White are the best front men of the modern era in a time when there is a severe lack of such talents. Rating 8.5/10

Telekinesis - Hailing from Seattle, Washington and fronted by the extremely talented, Michael Lerner, Telekinesis has grabbed my attention. This lad has lyrics, raw talent, stage presence and clearly loves what he's doing. Rating 8/10

Portugal. the Man - This was soulful with profound beats and a great indie vibe. I’m intrigued to hear more (they’ve already release half a dozen albums!). Rating 8/10

Surfer Blood - An easy on the ear Morrissey/The Smiths sound. With happy go lucky tunes and cool riffs, I definitely plan to pick up their highly acclaimed debut album, ‘Astro Coast’ and attend one of their forthcoming NY shows. Rating 8/10

The Dodos - A kind of quirky, funky, indie sound with strong beats and nice lyrics. First album was released in 2008 and followed by two others in 2009 and 2011. I definitely need to hear more. Rating 7.5/10

Charles Bradley - Superb. Jammin’ soul music. James Brown was back with us briefly and the women in the audience were melting at this gritty, Al Green type sound. This is an act I am definitely getting in on. This indie kid is down with this modern day soul brother. Rating 7.5/10

Twin Shadow - Sounds a little Peter Gabriel which might not be a bad thing, but probably more Bloc Party comparable…and I love me some Bloc Party. Rating 7.5/10

TV on the Radio - More than an adequate closer on Day 2 of the festival. Both energetic and enjoyable. Note to self - pick up their latest album, Nine Types of Light. Rating 7.5/10

Ice Black Birds - 22:22 is very Kings of Leon, whilst other songs (As Birds we’d be fine) certainly had me reminiscing back to Mick Jagger and the Stones. Rating 7/10

March 20, 2011

SXSW 2011 - Austin, TX - March 16th - 20th

Just boarded the 6.30am flight from Austin, TX to New York, NY following my first and hopefully not last SXSW festival (or visit to awesome Austin for that matter). The past four days will live with me forever.


Mrs ScoAustin and I arrived in the fair city of Austin in the early hours of Wednesday 16th March excited but in truth, completely unprepared for what unfolded (in a good way). We headed from our serene lodgings on MLK and Pearl via the beautiful Capital building and onwards downtown to 6th street. Like rabbits in headlights or perhaps more accurately like a polar bear cub entering the world for the very first time, we were awestruck by the hive of activity and buzz in trepidation for the four day music festival. We took a window seat at Iron Cactus on 6th and enjoyed some satisfactory if a little bland Mexican food whilst watching the world go by and soaking up the atmosphere. Then it began…the immersing of music Austin style.

First stop, the British Music HQ at Latitude on San Jancinto. The Welsh showcase and free booze was a pleasant start:
- From Neath, Wales, Bright Light Bright Light were a wee bit poppy and electronic for my liking, but a decent start to the day all the same. Certainly listenable and probably worthy of a second listen. Ranking 5.5/10. Quick listen – A New Word to Say
- The Last Republic from South Wales fell in the ballad genre for me. I mean, not quite Journey, but definitely power ballad and quirky. Maybe even a little Manic Street Preachers. Ranking 6.5/10. Quick listen – C’mon (Flood the Gates)
- Ending our Wales showcase were Gallops. Kind of a tech/rock opera style, with heavy house beats that were quite enjoyable. Probably better after dark and after a few beers or whatever tickles your fancy. Quite funky and worth more of a listen.  Ranking 7/10. Quick listen – Miami Spider

Following a solid start it was onward to the Waterloo Records stage on Lamar Blvd @ 6th. Nice set up and my first experience drinking Ziegenbock. Sun shining and really keen to see Michael Lerner in action again having seen the Telekinesis gig just last week at the magnificent Mercury Lounge in NY.

- I foresee good things in the future for Telekinesis. Hailing from Seattle, Washington and fronted by the extremely talented, Michael Lerner, Telekinesis has grabbed my attention. ML played everything and vocals on both albums, but there is good karma and a lot of fun being had by his compatriots, Jason Narducy and Cody Votolato. First release, the self titled, Telekinesis! is an enjoyable listen (Coast of Carolina, Tokyo, Imaginary Friends) but the follow up, 12 Desperate Straight Lines is even stronger. A kind of New Order/Joy Division sound in Please ask for help, but more grungy in the brilliant 50 Ways and clever Country Lane. This lad has lyrics, raw talent, stage presence and clearly loves what he's doing. Ranking 8/10. Quick listen - 50 Ways
Not really knowing the lay of the land being day one at this music extravaganza, we struck gold at La Zona Rosa on West 4th Street. Three of four bands I listed as 'go sees' were playing at this Rolling Stone event:
- First up, former Dinosaur Jr front man, J Mascis. This chap now resembles a senior dinosaur...a Merlin lookalike if you will. That said, this elder citizen of the festival can play. He sat on his stool, didn't get involved in idle chit chat and just played his repertoire. Fantastic bluesy, Dylanesque sound. Rating: 7/10 Quick listen – Several Shades of Why
- Mini Mansions next. Maybe tiredness was creeping in, but all I can say is I had absolutely no interest in these Beatle wannabes (and nowhere nears).  Rating 4/10. Quick listen - Don't bother (and that's not a song name).
- Not sure how I ended up with The Black Angels on my iPod a few months ago, but someone put me on to them and I do like their latest effort, Phosphene Dream. Austinites themselves and getting noticed having recently played Letterman, these guys and gal (drummer) really hit the spot and strongly resonate with me. Dirty, bluesy, psychedelic sound. Think The Doors, Neil Young, Jefferson Airplane, AC/DC (vocals) and Creedence Clearwater Revival and you're not too far away. Suffice to say, I'm stocking up on their back catalogue and booked up to see them in NY in April. Probably my new favourite and posing a serious threat to The Black Keys in terms of iPod listens in 2011. Rating 9/10. Quick listen - The Sniper
- In what I understand was their first performance in three years, Queens of Stone Age were to close out Day 1. Now the tiredness was really kicking in (along with the beer and couple of cheeky whisky shots) but Homme joined by Raconteurs guitarist, Dean Fertita provided the proverbial kick up the @r$e. Homme simply owns the stage. He, like old adversary, Dave Grohl and friend, Jack White who was present are the best front men of the modern era in time when there is a severe lack if such talents. When heading bands such as these guys, it’s a key requirement as far as I'm concerned. His interaction with the crowd via various medians e.g. music, chat, slugging vodka, gin or perhaps only water worked and had La Zona in raptures and rightly so. Excited to hear the forthcoming edition of QOTSA. Rating 8.5/10. Quick listen - Mexicola

It's Austin, it's SXSW, and it’s nearly 2am after a stop at the taco truck. Cab? Somehow we got one! Heavy legged and weary from walking, sun, booze and adrenalin rushes, there was a huge smile on my face when the head hit the pillow at the end of day 1.
A touch on the tired side on Thursday morning, but we soldiered on. Before heading to the Convention center (where we ultimately refused access) we stopped by the Six Sounds Music, Shop, Arthouse at the Jones Center on South Congress. A pretty cool exhibit and would have liked to have seen a band perform there, but not to be. Strolled on down to the Convention Center, but limited access and to be honest, it didn't really fit with the whole SXSW flavour. Talking of flavour, hunger pains struck, and it would have been rude not to visit the highly recommended, Iron Works BBQ. This is not the food blog, so I'll leave it at "it set us up for the day". Tried to get in to Lustre Pearl to see the Naked and Famous, but the line was ridiculous and I’m not one to wait more that 30 minutes for anyone. Onward for a wander on 6th Street and to the Auditorium Shores Stage.

- Fellow NY citizen, Luke Rathborne was first up at the Auditorium Shores Stage on a sunny afternoon. Had heard of him, but not much of his music. Suitably impressed by the sultry sounds and certainly looking to find out more following a solid performance. Rating 6.5/10. Quick listen – Dog Years
- Next up, Brooklynites, Twin Shadow. Travel all the way to Austin to see bands that reside in NY…brilliant. This was a really interesting show. Again, had heard limited Twin Shadow tunes, but this was of the chillaxing variety which was welcome. Sounds a little Peter Gabriel which might not be a bad thing, but probably more Bloc Party comparable…and I love me some Bloc Party. Rating 7.5/10. Quick listen – Castles in the Snow
- The Strokes have me asking exactly where on earth they have been for the past few years. Have the bank balances dried up for this band with something of a cult following? The anticipation was huge and the crowd were on the edge of their seats (or wedges of grass/sand). The Strokes early tunes are fantastic (Last Night, Someday, and Reptilia), but they didn’t really blow me away as a live act. Much what I expected. No more, no less. Rating 7.5/10. Quick listen – Under Cover of Darkness
- A bit of a trek back across the water to the main drag and Stubbs on Red River St. Got there in time for Noah and the Whale and thoroughly enjoyed their toe tapping sounds at another fantastic Austin venue. I have only just discovered these guys and the fact that the hail from London, England, but won’t hold that against them. I will be on the lookout for upcoming shows in NY. Tomorrow and Tuesday may be a stretch too far given I am completely shattered following the past weeks escapades. The aforementioned, Luke Rathborne supporting, so you never know. Rating 7/10. Quick listen – L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.
- Portugal. the Man was the one band on this performance list that I hadn’t heard anything of. Vibrant, refreshing and energetic. Loved what I saw of this act and again…need to find out more. This was soulful with heavy beats and a great indie vibe. Looks like he’s partaking in a European tour at the moment, but will be sure to check him out on June 3rd at Webster Hall. Rating 8/10. Quick listen – Guns and Dogs

- TV on the Radio closed out day 2 and it can’t be easy touring without bassist, Gerard Smith who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer (wishing Gerard a speedy recovery). Another BK band that I liken to Bloc Party, but it’s not a bad sound to follow. The new stuff sounds as good as their debut album, Dear Science. Ultimately, they were more than an adequate closer. Rating 7.5/10 Quick listen - DLZ


Again awoke a little jaded following a hectic first couple of days...not to worry, the adrenalin soon kicks in when at SXSW. Thursday had been a particularly long day on our feet walking from venue to venue. We must have covered close 12 miles or more. I had promised that Friday would be more relaxed, but that soon went out of the window when I realised that one of the bands that I wanted to see, Ice Black Birds were on at 1pm as opposed to 4pm as I had previously thought. 30 minute turnaround to get ourselves ready and then scrambled for a cab to ‘Fados’ on East 4th.

- We met the Ice Black Birds in a somewhat impromptu meeting on Wednesday as we walked from Waterloo Records to the main hub. We got talking to a bunch of lads from Brighton (England) while they were lugging their instruments and equipment to their next show at Chupacabra Cantina. Mainly spoke with Tom, the bands agent, who was a really nice guy and is clearly working hard on the bands behalf partaking in a mini tour of NY, TX and heading back to London to promote the bands new record, 22:22. Having described the bands genre as bluesy rock inspired by Cream, The Stones, Kings of Leon and White Denim, I was keen to go and check them out. This 1pm Fados gig was the last chance to do so and I was glad to have made the effort. Bearing in mind we were having brunch and a little groggy whilst supping my first Guinness of day 3, IBB certainly hit the spot. 22:22 is very Kings of Leon, whilst other songs (As Birds we’d be fine) certainly had me reminiscing back to Mick Jagger and the Stones. If they are anything like Kings of Leon’s early offerings, I am sold. Rating 7/10 Quick listen – 22:22


- Whilst polishing off the remainder of my Turkey Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato sandwich and pint o’ the black stuff, Penrose took to the stage. Had no idea what was coming from this Philadelphian band, but it was a good listen. Great bluesy riffs that put me in mind of late, great and former Thin Lizzy guitarist, Gary Moore. I will be looking out for them in listings for future NY gigs. Rating 6/10 Quick Listen - Look past the sky

It was time to stretch out the old legs and make the short walk to Stubbs on Red River St with the hope of catching more bands on the extensive hit list.

-Unfortunately, this particular party was reserved for SPIN magazine folks and followers only. However, Stubbs is an outdoor venue and its situation allows listening with a fair degree of clarity from the street. London based band, The Vaccines, who I am delighted, will be supporting Arctic Monkeys on their upcoming US tour were on. Extremely catchy tunes, fast drum beats and guitar strumming. I would suggest Ideal for the summer playlist. I hung around for a few songs before moving on. Hard to get a real feel for a band without seeing their performance/stage demeanour, but interested to see more when the Monkeys swing in to town and play Central Park on May 24. Rating 7/10 Quick Listen - If you Wanna

Following a wee break to recharge the batteries (ours and our iPhones’) it was down the street a bit to Barbarella on Red River St.

- Austinites and music fanatic friends we made the previous night at Stubbs raved about Deer Tick, so felt we should make the effort to drop in. The place was absolutely jammed and we are yet to see the stage in the packed patio area where the band played. We weren’t planning hanging on for too long as it was a little uncomfortable and the sun was beating down. The music done nothing much to entice us to stay longer. To say I am not fond of Country music is an understatement…I mean some of the old classic stuff is fine, but not my cup of tea at all. Gave this two and a half songs and then out of there. Rating 5.5/10 Quick listen - When she comes 

Back to the British Embassy base, Latitude for some solace.

- We were in time for the beginning of the Scottish showcase, and though probably not in the mood for techno beats and house beats, The Unicorn Kid (who looked like he was 16 years old) from Leith in Edinburgh was a refreshing listen and really quite enjoyable. My techno glow stick days are a long, long way in the distant past, but some of this stuff wouldn’t be out of place on Daft Punk albums and more specifically TRON: The Legacy. Scottish DJ, Vic Galloway who hosted this section clearly rates him (as did the egg in front of us jumping around punching his fist in the air. Rating 6.5/10 Quick listen – Dreamcatcher

- Popup from what I consider Scotland’s true capital, Glasgow next up. This stuff was poppy and folky. Again, not really my bag, but Mrs ScoAustin was tapping the toes and quite enjoying it. Certainly a change of genre from Unicorn Kid. They played on the Scottish accents Proclaimers in a Proclaimers and more recently, Glasvegas style of pronouncing the lyrics. The female vocalist took the lead at this show (I am not sure whether that is the norm) was no Annie Lennox (of Eurythmics fame), but a fairly strong voice. Rating 6/10 Quick listen - Follow Me

Wanted to head down to Skinny’s Ballroom to catch a Minnesota band I like, so missed out on the headliners of the Scottish showcase. I would have liked to have seen Erland and the Carnival, Admiral Fallow, and King Creosote, but too much good music to miss going on.

- Tapes ‘n Tapes debut album, ‘The Loon’ was actually given to me as a gift by a previous colleague of mine when I left Scottish shores four and a half years ago to ‘live the American dream’ here in NYC.  I had no idea where they were from or what they sounded like, but Sandra knew I was an indie kid and she chose well. I really like that debut album. I bought their follow up, ‘Walk it off’ when it was released in 2008, but I am yet to pick up their latest effort ‘Outside’. I find it pretty amazing that I blindly received an album from a friend almost five years ago and ended up seeing the same band at a small bar during a festival I dreamed of one day attending. I was spitting distance from the band which was great, but the sound wasn’t so good. I mean, the music and tunes were good, but I had to agree with the guy who shouted out “up the vocals” after the first tune. Vocalist, Josh Grier responded with a dull “up the vocals?” and grimaced a little. I think he probably hears the same comment at each show. Vocals aside, the show was energetic and I liked the oldies. I would recommend going to see these Minnesota rockers. Got a chance for a quick hello with all band members afterwards…decebt bunch. Rating 6.5/10 Quick Listen - Insistor

Having met a lovely Austin couple and their friends the previous night at Stubbs and the TV on the Radio show, we met them in Skinny’s Ballroom before heading for a wonderful lunch at West 319. Would you believe it…more live music.

- The act reminded me a little of English glam rockers ‘The Darkness’ who I never liked even during their epic rise five or so years ago. Mrs ScoAustin actually mistook this fact and bought me their album one Christmas. It was duly returned before being taken out of the case. Despite the skin tight and painfully uncomfortable looking white denim jeans and over the top grinding moves, the five piece from Toronto, SweetThing were decent. A little poptastic, but a decent listen during a pleasant lunch with new found friends. Rating 6/10 Quick listen – Change of Seasons
Next stop, The Parish on East 6th St.

- Apex Manor from Pasadena had quite a following at this venue which was slightly bigger than others we’d visited. Still pretty intimate though. I bookmarked them as dramatic, pop/rock and was none too impressed. They didn't float my boat. That’s all I have on this one. Rating 6/10 Quick listen – Southern Decline. An appropriate quick listen in name. 

- The now old Mr. reliable (and he's only in his mid 20's) and the 3rd time I had seen them in 9 days, Telekinesis were next up and who we were there to see. I actually got to chat with singer/drummer Michael Lerner whilst Apex Manor were going through their dull repertoire. He remembered me from both Mercury Lounge and Waterloo Records store, so I promised myself I won’t go and see them for over a month in case I receive a restraining order for stalking. Anyway, another very solid performance and one of the things I really like to see is a band enjoy themselves. This band knows they are good and on the cusp of something big. He was relaxed and enigmatic in the 30 minute set, even pausing to calmly as the crowd if they had any questions for Telekinesis. Of those he received, he answered with aplomb.  Rating 8.5/10 Quick listen – Car Crash

Finishing up a fantastic Friday, it was off to Cedar St Courtyard on 4th Street. Had passed this small courtyard earlier in the day and it looked like a great venue for live music if a little small. We got there and it didn’t look good with ‘badges only’ being allowed in. Within ten minutes, ‘wrist bands’ were granted entry to our relief.

- San Francisco’s, The Dodos were first to take the stage. Really like what I heard of this one…the setting was great and after a day on cheap Texan beer, Lone Star, I was far more comfortable with a Glenlivet on the rocks to complement this show. A kind of quirky, funky, indie sound with strong beats and nice lyrics. First album was released in 2008 and followed by two others in 2009 and 2011. I definitely need to hear more. Rating 7.5/10 Quick listen - Red and Purple

- Mrs ScoAustin was struggling after a long day, so we moved inside to the bar and found a great spot on a comfortable leather sofa in perfect ear shot of the next act, Charles Bradley who was superb. The better half had a wee nap on my shoulder while I supped back another Glenlivet and loved some jammin’ soul music. James Brown was back with us briefly and the women in the audience were melting at this gritty, Al Green type sound. This is an act I am definitely getting in on. Indie kid gets all soulful shocker. Rating 7.5/10 Quick listen - The World (is going up in flames)

- The grand finale to this epic show in this wonderful street setting were new found favourites of mine, The Black Angels. It really is right down my courtyard…nice and bluesy and psychedelic. I have already made the Jim Morrison parallels…just do yourself a favour and check this lot out. I am again in Brooklyn next month. Rating 8.5/10 Quick listen - Young Men Dead 


Sadly we had arrived at our final day in the fantastic, Austin, TX. With the events fizzling out and music performances diminishing, we spent the morning heading out of town to a store called, 'Cavenders' in order to pick up a pair of cowboy boots and maybe a cowboy hat for Mrs ScoAustin. Mission accomplished and I got so wrapped up in the whole Austin thing; I treated myself to some cowboy boots as well (no Stetson). With that particular job done, we made our way back to 6th St and Waterloo Records stage.

- Indie rock/new wave punk band, Neon Trees from Utah was the band we hoped to and successfully caught. Some pretty decent tunes and a solid performance. Lead singer, Tyler Glenn was a little chatty, but that chat was intelligent and well received by an enthusiastic crowd, so no problems with that. A little too much rock for me, but solid tunes and enjoyable show nonetheless. Some cheesy rock is called for from time to time. Rating 7/10 (Quick listen – Animal) 

The East Side Inn at the other end of 6th Street was having quite a day of events, so wanted that to be the last hoorrah of this SXSW. Temperatures were sweltering so we had to rehydrate and fill up the tank with water and grilled cheese respectively.

- Only got to see one Ted Leo song, but it was enjoyable (partly because he was inside a tent and shaded from the blistering sun). Residing in and around NY, he plays the city a lot, so I hope to see more of him over the coming months. Quite a varied songbook from what I have heard thus far.  Rating 6.5/10 (Quick listen – The Mighty Sparrow)

- Had been hoping to see West Palm Beach effort, Surfer Blood having heard such buzz about them. Didn’t get to see much of them as I was in line for the grilled cheese and water for most of the show, but I heard everything and loved it. An easy on the ear Morrissey/The Smiths sound. With happy go lucky tunes and cool riffs (just noticed one of the album tracks is titled 'Neighbour Riffs'), I definitely plan to pick up their highly acclaimed debut album, ‘Astro Coast’ and attend one of their forthcoming NY shows. Rating 8/10 (Quick listen – Harmonix) 

The curtain was to come down on this epic experience at the heart of 6th St in 'Maggie Mae’s'. They had an Oz showcase on, so Mrs ScoAustin and I thought we would score some free BBQ.

- Bearing in mind we had an early rise, Wolf & Cub were the only band we stuck around for and they didn’t disappoint. No luck on the BBQ front though. This band had a good sound and a lot of energy on stage which resonated with the heavily Australian crowd. If you are in an Oz bar any time soon, look them up on the jukebox. Rating 6/10 (Quick listen – Blood)

    I feel extremely fortunate to have lived out this dream of mine and attended SXSW. It was a truly remarkable experience and one that I will cherish forever. Unfortunately, it is nigh on impossible to see everything one wished to see. With 2,000+ bands performing around the city in a four day period, I am very satisfied with those performance I did manage to see with only a few falling below pass marks. Ones I didn't catch at SX, but need to look out for include: 
  - Solid Gold
- Grouplove
- Yuck
- Devotchka
- Fitz and the Tantrums

I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing. Any comments (keep them clean) will be gladly received.