Blog Topic: Live Reviews

  • Homedrone: SXSW in Review: Pujol, No Regrets Coyote, Diarrhea Planet

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    The Parish Underground on Friday night was presenting a showcase from Nashville venueExit/In, made up bands stationed out of that city. Although that city may bring to mind country stars, the bands on the bill proved they could bring the rock just as well. 

    No Regrets Coyote kicked off the showcase. I caught word that Evan Donohue from Diarrhea Planet was filling in for an absent guitarist, but I couldn't tell. The band played loud and fast for a 30-minute set and seemed to impress the rest of the Diarrhea Planet guys that were hanging out in the crowd and swilling beer. There's a little early-Green Day cheekiness to the band, singing songs about the singer's hair while chugging along to straightforward rhythms held down by punchy bass riffs. It isn't as structured as the veteran punks' work, and the leads provided by Donohue gave it a character that you wouldn't find on the radio.

    More after the jump.


  • Homedrone: SXSW in Review: Wye Oak, Bob Mould


    Wye Oak

    After my breakfast comprised of a Philly cheesesteak and chocolate custard (not as bad as it sounds, I promise), I decided to hit the convention center to see if there would be anything there worth checking out. I stumbled into The Hold Steady rocking out for the second time this week, which was a nice surprise. Thankfully for me, the band's set wasn't a repeat performance. The band crushed a few new tracks from the forthcoming Teeth Dreams and offered a very crisp rendition of "Weekenders" from their last album, Heaven is Whenever. Very nice work. Since the show was a live broadcast for KUT, the ballroom that the band played in was a little stiff, with most of the crowd either seated or laying down to nurse their hangovers from the night before. The Hold Steady have a ton of songs about partying, so it was fitting that Craig Finn took a lot of enjoyment out of seeing some folks pounding beers in the front row in the early hours of the afternoon.

    More after the jump.


  • Homedrone: SXSW in Review: Hamell on Trial, Kurt Vile


    Kurt Vile

    After hitting the New West day party, I needed something to see. I made the trek back to the nuttiness on 6th Street and checked my phone. A friend in West Virginia had posted something on Facebook about Hamell on Trial, and since I was near the Velveeta Room, I ducked into into the New West showcase to see what that was all about.

    The room was packed. Hamell busted through a 40-minute set of hilarious and insightful tunes that sounded a lot like a raunchier, more punk version of what Todd Snider does. "Ain't That Love" was a beautiful but heartbreaking song that may have been the outlier in the set, as it contained no politically motivated railings. Seriously impressive stuff, though. The dirty jokes told between songs did a good job to offset the gravity of the lyrical content, which was often as punk as anything I've heard in a decade.

    More after the jump.


  • Homedrone: SXSW in Review: New West Records Day Party

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    The Whigs

    Let me start out by saying that I'm OK, too. You do not understand how important you are to your friends and family until you are in the vicinity of a tragedy and folks begin texting or calling to make sure that you're safe. It truly means a lot. And while everyone in Austin is doing their best to have fun in spite of last night's tragedy, it is obvious that we are in the wake of something awful.

    More after the jump.


  • Homedrone: SXSW Wednesday: Trying to Make Sense of It All


    Bipolar Sunshine

    My phone rang at exactly 1 a.m. I’d just gotten through a big line and ushered into a packed show by Spandau Ballet—the group’s first U.S. appearance in 28 years—so I didn’t take it. I texted back, though, and asked, “What’s up?” The response was chilling: “Horrible accident outside The Mohawk! Gruesome scene. Just making sure you're safe.”

    More after the jump.


  • Homedrone: SXSW in Review: The Hold Steady, ShredFest


    The Hold Steady

    [Editor's note: So far as we know, all Athenians in Austin are accounted for and well after the horrific late-night incident outside the Mohawk that left two dead and more than 20 injured. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected.]

    My sense of time is all messed up. Added to that, I have only visited Austin during SXSW, so most of my mornings are spent wandering around aimlessly so that I can get my bearings when it comes time to catch a band.

    I wanted to see Against Me! at 5 p.m., but that didn't pan out. I was directed to about three different entrances before I found the right one. I could hear Laura Jane Grace and company rocking the Hype Hotel from outside, but I had no patience. I stood near the doorway to confirm my belief that the band was as tight as ever and hit the pavement.


  • Homedrone: SXSW in Review: Def Jammin' with Lady Gaga (Sorta)

    I've never been much of an audio gearhead. Couldn't tell you the first bit of difference between mp3 files, FLAC, OOG, whatever. All of which just shows what a compelling and strong personality Neil Young is. Of course I've been a Young fan for as long as I can remember, and when he hit the stage and started speaking about room echo, warmth and full body reactions to one's favorite records, I knew exactly what he meant.

    Even so, I still don't really understand Pono. That's mainly what he spoke about. And while it was cool to be a mere four feet from the most American Canadian ever, it was much cooler listening to him speak passionately about respecting artists' intentions by faithfully reproducing their recordings. I may not really understand how it does this, but Young certainly does, and the level of respect he gained when he spoke of the non-proprietary concept and said, "Look, we may be successful or we might fail, but either way, music wins," was evident by the ample applause from the crowded room.

    More, including Lady Gaga, after the jump.


  • Homedrone: SXSW in Review: The Autumn Defense

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    I am so full of tacos and Lone Star right now. Let me clarify that that statement is in no way a problem. It's just that everything I have ingested since I arrived to town has either been wrapped in a tortilla or had a single gold star on the can. Just stating the facts.

    In any case, after I spent a solid hour after the Neil Young presentation telling complete strangers how awesome Pono is going to be. Where's my check, Neil? Truth be told, I would strongly consider knuckle tats that read PONO ARMY if I could hang out with Neil for a day.

    More after the jump.


  • Homedrone: SXSW in Review: Diarrhea Planet at Hotel Vegas

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    Photo Credit: Melanie Kolbe

    Diarrhea Planet

    Austin is a 15-hour drive from Athens, and let’s be honest: that's a two-day trip by car. After a stop for the night in the shadiest Red Roof Inn I have ever seen in Monroe, LA, my girlfriend and I hit the last stretch of road before Texas. After having a robot whip us up a milkshake north of Tyler, TX, we were confident that we wouldn’t need to stop any more before hitting the city. 

    But we weren’t so lucky. Somewhere just north of Athens, TX (ha), I was pulled over by a Texas Highway Patrol Officer for speeding. It was a 75 MPH zone. My 1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E can’t even go 80 MPH. When I explained to the officer that my insurance information was on my smartphone, I was asked to step out of the car. This is horseshit, I thought. There’s no way I was speeding—this guy thinks that I’m running drugs.  

    More after the jump.


  • Homedrone: Live Review: Peter Buck and Alejandro Escovedo at Georgia Theatre, Friday, Feb. 28

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    The posters promoting the Alejandro Escovedo and Peter Buck tour read, “One Night. Two Legends.” That might have been the case at other points during the legendary musicians' current tour, but for the Athens stop, there were more than a few legends on stage.

    Perhaps the surprises were spoiled a bit for me. As I wandered through the back of the Georgia Theatre looking for soundman Colm O’Reilly (who will be featured in a future installment of Behind the Scene), I walked by Buck and Escovedo’s dressing room to find them hanging out with Drivin' N' Cryin's Kevn Kinney, Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood and R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry. 

    More after the jump.


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