Friday, March 20, 2009

SXSW Wednesday the 18th, "Music Made By Women" Showcase at Ms. Bea's

My first real day at SXSW I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do. We had all stopped by Ms. Bea's on Tuesday night to hang out, and found out it was a really neat place--a whole bunch of kids hanging out outside and around the empty lot next to it.

First up was Anni Rossi, famous for her violin and singing skills. I had seen her maybe three or four years ago at a tiny show at Solidarity in Lawrence. There weren’t many people around at this pointing the morning, around 12 pm. She was pretty good, but to my surprise I recognized a few songs she had played years ago. A drummer also played along with her and her violin.

Next was Forever from Portland. They were a two girl/two guy band that seemed kind of punk but also utilized a sort of harmonizing blue grass female vocals. Forever wasn’t really my thing, but they did do a great cover of X’s “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene.” Forever reminded me a bit of the sound of bands like Gun Outfit, who are hard to categorize into a specific genre.

After them I was lucky to get to see Micachu and the Shapes. Now this band blew me away. I've decided that this band is one of my few favorites from SXSW this year. To start with they’re from England, and from London more precisely, I believe. I knew they were going to be a little weird when the two girls and a guy were setting up on stage in their cute white t-shirts that each had a pattern of a different shape printed on them. Micachu, a tiny, boyish-girl played a sort of ukulele and also a small, altered, electric guitar while singing the main parts of the songs. I think she’s probably older than she looks. The band also has a drummer and a girl keyboard player, and they often join in on vocals, sometimes yelling, all in their delightful British accents of course. The music was experimental, yet not noise, with some electronics thrown in on the keyboard. They looked like they were having so much fun playing, too. My favorite song was called “Curly Teeth.” Check out this band already!

PhotobucketThen Tacocat played. I know you're thinking, what a great band name! It really is. The cute little vocalist had orange dyed hair and a long braided rat tail. They played a cover of Replacements and later in their set covered Bikini Kill's "Carnival." It was kinda obvious that Bikini Kill was their favorite band, with some definite pop punk influence. Overall, they had a pretty strong set, except for a song about getting a UTI, which was kind of just gross, but besides that they were adorable and awesome!

PhotobucketI also saw the Coathangers--the badass girls on Die Slaughterhaus Records along with the Black Lips and the Hipshakes. Coathangers are girl garage punk with a keyboard at its most intense, no dresses or anything, but lots and lots of high-pitched shrieking. I liked seeing them live, but I was glad more bands weren't as intense as them.

PhotobucketNext was the Carrots. If you're a fan of Finally Punk, you might know that this band has two members of FP and existed before FP. Oh my god, I wish there were more bands like the Carrots. They're pretty much a full force doowap band styled after the oldies bands. They all wore sailor costumes for their set. I really respect these guys--it seems like it would really be a challenge to make doowap music. So they're another band you should check out.

PhotobucketAlso, PRE played. This was the crazy Aids Wolfe-esque band I was too shy to try to get into rotation. PRE is interesting because they're made up of three really clean-cut looking British guys and then a Japanese girl named Akiko who dresses really crazy and goes insane screaming when the music starts. Pre had a new drummer who had only played one show with them before, but their set was great! They mentioned that they will have a new album out in May called "Hot Pricks" (I think that was what they said).

Another highlight of this showcase was Pocahaunted from LA. They were a five piece with two girls who looked like sea sirens who had washed up on a beach, no joke. Both of their hair was really long and tangled. This band is experimental, yet psychedelic and creepy with distorted vocals.

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