@ZackTeibloom “Ain’t no party like a purple party, ’cause a purple party don’t stop.” Prince first said this early Sunday morning during his 50-minute-long second encore. When he said it again somewhere around his fourth or fifth encore, the artist currently known as Prince had the crowd wondering if the purple party would ever stop, and hoping it wouldn’t. Those of us in the front row may have been standing in line since 7:15 p.m., and continuously stayed on our feet for the next seven and a half hours, but when Prince said “We’ve only got 20 minutes left. Let’s make them the best twenty minutes of our lives,” at 2:40 a.m., we summoned what little energy we had left on the last day of SXSW to see what the man in purple would do next. Well, those of us who were left did. But we’ll get to that. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
@ZackTeibloom I really thought I’d prepared myself for this one. Beyond the standard listening to the Beatles that everyone does growing up, I really went above and beyond to be ready for this moment in my life. I aced an entire three-credit class on The Beatles in college. I collected every Paul solo album I could find on vinyl for a magazine feature I wrote on him. I listened to his most recent live album enough that I knew all of Paul’s little live quirks, and even followed recent set lists to the point that I knew exactly what to expect. I started to fear I knew too much. I shouldn’t know that the first encore would have pyrotechnics for “Live and Let Die” and that we’d get a second encore that would start with “Yesterday” and wrap up with a “Golden Slumbers-Carry That Weight-The End” medley. I did that over-preparing myself once before a Pixies show and felt like I cheated myself of any spontaneity. But that’s the thing about Paul. You simply can’t prepare for what it feels like to see and hear Sir Paul (MACCA) McCartney, the greatest living songwriter, and arguably best front-man in the history of rock n’ roll, live in the flesh. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom When you love an artist from their early days, you have expectations for them. You watch their career and feel emotionally invested in the direction it takes. This can be an incredibly disappointing pursuit. Ultimately you have no control over what they do, and nine times out of 10, they’ll disappoint you. They could have a sophomore slump, change the direction of their sound, sell out, go soft, break up or die young. It’s incredibly rare that they don’t let you down in a major way, but you can’t help rooting for their career to go the way you envision, ideally growing with each album and constantly re-inventing themselves in a way that still suits your interests. In my life, I’ve loved a lot of bands, but Weezer, Beck and Jack White stand out as ones I loved from the very beginning, and following them has been three different rides.
Weezer has had far more misses than hits in the last decade, (Hurley, anyone?) They had to resort to playing their first two albums, Blue Album and Pinkerton, live 15 years after they came out to connect with their original fans. I don’t even bother listening to their new stuff anymore. I don’t know anyone who does. I loved seeing them live last summer, but only because they were almost exclusively playing old stuff. They’re way too young for that to be OK, but that’s their reality. It’s been a joy to watch Beck’s “Mutations” from Odelay to Sea Change to Midnite Vultures to Guero and The Information, but it’s been a hollow few years. He hasn’t put out an album in going on four years, and his “Record Club” was a far better idea than it was executed. I still have hope for a lot more greatness in Beck’s future. With Jack White, the ups and downs have been unlike any artist I’ve ever followed. I’ll detail it in painstaking detail in the next couple paragraphs, but it was absolutely killing me to see him spending so much time producing or playing drums or buying an elephant’s head on American Pickers, when I just wanted to scream “pick up a guitar and sing to me!” but on Friday night, he showed us the next phase of his career and became everything I always dreamed he would be. And then some. Read the rest of this entry »
@AndyShore From the bottom of my heart, I want to sincerely thank Umphrey’s McGee. Not just for one of the single best Umphrey’s shows I’ve ever seen. Not even just for the last ten years of Umphrey’s shows I’ve seen (2/2/02 was my first – I had to use a fake ID to get into an 18+ show). Thank you, because every single time I see an Umphrey’s show, whether it’s in Chicago, Los Angeles or anywhere else, I feel at home. I’m always seeing a band I love, surrounded by people I love. My friend told his girlfriend, who was seeing the band for her first time, that it would be a lot like the Rush scene in I Love You, Man. It so was, and I am not at all ashamed of that fact. I had a great time. Read the rest of this entry »
@AndyShore Soul music comes in all sorts of packages. Ricky Minor (former the American Idol bandleader currently with Leno) put together a show that would showcase soul music from all over the world. The purpose was to educate as well as entertain. The goal was to raise money for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA). Soul music fans come in all shapes and sizes too (look no further than this Jewish soul child), and the Hollywood Bowl was packed with them. There was no doubt in my mind that I would attend this show when I saw the lineup, and it really didn’t even take too much convincing to get my no-income brother to pry open his wallet for a ticket either. Read the rest of this entry »
@AndyShore “Uh…do you mind standing? It’s kinda crowded in here?” I said no and paid the cover, before even looking up to see what the doorman meant by kinda crowded. The Baked Potato is a tiny bar, filled with two dozen or so tables. There is no dance floor. We pushed our way to the back by the bar, but soon realized that we would be in the way any place we stood. Almost as soon as we settled, the band weaved their way through the crowd and up onto the miniature stage. So what is OHMphrey? It’s Jake Cinninger, Kris Meyers and Joel Cummins from Umphrey’s McGee and OHM members Robertino Pagliari and Chris Poland (also of a little band you may have heard of called Megadeath). Read the rest of this entry »
@AndyShore I jumped at the opportunity, when I saw Grace Potter post on Facebook saying they needed people for the studio audience for a taping of Cee Lo Green’s new talk show on Fuse. Those are two of my favorite artists in one place, and Cee Lo has proven to be as funny as I expected on the Voice. I could only imagine the hilarious back and forth between Cee Lo and Grace. Unfortunately I still can only imagine, but more on that later. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom I had no intention of crying at the Arcade Fire show. Even as tears were streaming down my face, only a song into their set, I didn’t know why I was doing it. There were enormous expectations for the night. Was it the hours and hours of build up coming out in a moment of pure ecstacy? Was it Win coming into the crowd? I’ve always had a thing for singers coming into the crowd and getting right in my face. Was I just that enchanted by Win and Regine and Will? I know this ranks right up there in the 9.7-9.8 range with LCD at Stubbs and Phoenix at La Zona Rosa, for truly pantheon Austin performances at our biggest venues, but why did it resonate more than any others? I’ll start at the beginning and try to figure it out.
When you take a day off work, pay above cover for a ticket and find your way to Bee Caves two hours before the doors even open, you better pray the show will be worth it. You hear a rough and unpolished, brand new band doing sound check as you sit in the dirt outside, realize there’s another band coming before Explosions in the Sky, and hope for the best. “We Used to Wait for It.” We’re used to waiting for it. You kill another hour in the dirt, rationing out water and sunscreen. You sweat, holding sweatshirts for the thirty degree temperature drop on the way. The doors finally open. You’re told not to run, so you hop, skip and jump your way into the venue and settle in. Three rows back, dead center. The kids that got there at 11 am, 5 hours before you, got themselves an extra 5 feet closer than you. You get a perfectly cold beer and a cold enough water bottle as last supplies and hunker down. You joke that you wish you could take a number and go further out of earshot for Schmillion and be laying down, staring up at the sky for Explosions in the Sky, but you know that if you want Win Butler singing into your face, you’re going to have to stay right where you are. And you most certainly do want Win Butler singing in your face. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom I couldn’t sleep Tuesday night. I spent god knows how long tossing and turning, imagining conversations I’d have with Jack White after narrowly missing having sushi with him*. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from finding him on Wednesday. I put a message out on Facebook and Twitter that if anyone knew where Jack was and didn’t text me immediately with cross streets, we would no longer be friends. Once that was settled, I put on my red and white arm bands, a hat that said “keeping vinyl alive,” and my favorite record store t and headed downtown.
My phone started blowing up with messages, telling me something was happening at noon at 4th and Colorado, so I ran the mile over there and arrived at 11:30 to see the Third Man Records truck and a line. At that point, I figured Jack would introduce the shop and say a few words. I had no idea that I was about to have an unthinkably perfect hour. Last year when Third Man had a pop-up show, I left work on my lunch break, drove 25 minutes each way, and budged the entire line to get into the shop before anyone. This time, I wasn’t in as much of a rush, so I only budged 4/5ths of the line**. I made small talk in the line for a few minutes before, wait a minute, is that who I think it is?! Read the rest of this entry »
By Eric Pulsifer (@supercooleric)
Zynga, the San Francisco company behind FarmVille, Mafia Wars and Words With Friends, knows how to throw one hell of a party. Setting the bar high for freebie-filled events in the days to come, the browser-based game developer’s shindig at SXSW Interactive last night is among the most impressive events I’ve attended in my six years of South by Southwest-ing.
Last year, Zynga’s music event was held at the Fader Fort in East Austin the Tuesday night before SXSW Music and featured Metric and The Constellations. This year, the party was moved to the Zynga Dog House, (a.k.a., Whitley Warehouse, where we saw Chromeo Sunday night). Though I’d just been in the space 24 hours prior, the transformation was remarkable. Zygna painted the blank concrete canvas with splashes of red light, photobooth flashes, and the the joyous glow of vintage arcade cabinets and skeeball scoreboards. There were multiple bars and a lounge area in the center of the main room offering guests a place to nibble on food while watching the main stage. Entry was difficult, to put it mildly, with the wait-list line stretching on for blocks.
The drinks and food
My rant against freebies yesterday? Forget what I said—I’m a changed man. If Zynga’s lineup would have been Courtney Love reading the Bible aloud and a Spin Doctors ska cover band, I would have waited in line an hour just to get in. Read the rest of this entry »