Rolling up to the clamoring cacophony of 6th St. on a South-by Saturday — where hundreds of bands are playing at once — feels like heading into a free-jazz locust swarm. My first stop was Maggie Mae's, where Gang of Youths took the stage at 1:35 p.m. By the end of the band's opening song, frontman Dave Leaupepe had uncontrollably rocked out so hard he'd accidentally yanked the cable out of his own guitar at least once.
Taking us through the highs and lows of Friday at SXSW is Minneapolis writer Jonathan Garrett, who finds joy from San Francisco, and Breeders-like pop smarts from one of Nashville's hottest new acts. "Friday came just in time. After the horribly tragic events of Wednesday night and a truly lackluster Thursday spent on interminable lines and watching a series of underwhelming performances, I was ready to throw in the towel and swear off SXSW for the foreseeable future.
Thursday at SXSW saw everything from Danish revelations to Orange County punks and Perfect Pussy, who played a bridge at 2am and ended it by chucking their bass in the river. Here's NME's Barry Nicolson and Jenn Five to tell you more... BN: "My Thursday begins with a flurry of emails and text messages from friends, relatives and colleagues asking if I’m OK. For a moment, I’m indignant - just how drunk do they think I was last night? - but I soon discover the extent of the tragedy at Red River street, which I hadn’t known the night before.
While much of Austin is waking up and taking stock of last nights terrible car accident, the festival itself is very much still moving forward. There's undoubtedly a sombre mood downtown, but at the press conference with mayor Lee Leffingwell this morning, the message was clear: this city prides itself on community, and the fact so many people pulled together last night is a testament to that.
Leamington Spa isn't renowned for having a vibrant music scene yet the town has somehow birthed one of the most promising new bands. I popped down the pub with Beck Wood and John Ridgard of Coves recently to talk good-hearted inter-band bust ups, getting your heart broken and their debut album 'Soft Friday'.