SXSW 2010 – Day 3 – MNDR, Active Child, Neon Gold

Solo ‘knobs and vox’ power-pop sets aren’t always so generous on the ‘power’ side of things. But Brooklyn-dwelling Cali ex-pat MNDR, aka Amanda (geddit?) proved it needn’t always be so, amidst a stuffy Club Deville this afternoon. She’s like Cyndi Lauper imprisoned in the Hype Machine.

I found out later on that she’s a professional ‘top-line’ writer for numerous mahoosive major label popstars. Combine that fact with a nifty sideline in serious minimal techno disc-spinning and all the pieces of her puzzle begin to fall ever-so-neatly into place

We got chatting afterwards. We covered the same conversational ground you’d expect with any lektro-pop hopeful. Y’know; Black Flag, world economics etc.

Later on at the Fader Fort I spied what I thought was the two chaps from Tanlines. Turned-out, erm, not quite. Look, I’d only seen them for the first time the night before, and it was dark…

There’s this really gross term I’ve noticed proudly leaving the lips of many-a shmoozing music industry bod at conference events such as SXSW; ‘stop’n’chat’: meaning the encounter you under-go on spying a pally acquaintance and engaging in a brief-but-friendly ‘catch-up’ conversation. For some reason I can’t get over it being the most subtly sinister term I’ve ever heard… brrrr…

Here’s me bumping into Derek from Neon Gold Records, probably the most on-it pure-pop fan in the world right now. If I’m honest he pushes stuff he thinks I’ll like my way more than I do him. But I’ve heard he’s a total shit-show with a Flip video camera, so he definitely can’t have my job. This absolutely under no circumstance is evidence of a ‘stop’n’chat’:

NME hosted a party at Latitude in the evening, which I’m not going to shy away from saying was one of my favourite showcases of the entire event. We had: The Drums, Everything Everything, Smith Westerns, Grave Babies, and Active Child.

Active Child were the only act on the bill I’d not seen live, and I was blown away. I love the way they both look like total clean-cut frat boys. It felt like that they’d be better suited mowing lawns to raise funds for their annual kegger than conjuring swoonsome harp-flecked atmospherics. How often do you get to see a harp played at a hip indie show? Not often. How gutted am I that I didn’t record one of the harpy tracks? Very.

As a small aside; can any body explain why no matter what the environment or circumstance people can never seem to resist congregating around an unwashed person banging a drums?