Saturday 20th March : I Am The Pope

Wow.  What a day.  It wasn’t supposed to be a busy one.

At 11am we headed for breakfast with the wonderful Vicki and Stan who’s apartment we’re staying in.  We were taking them to see Jimi Alexander play at Jon Langford’s shindig at the Yard Dog.  Cool place.  We watched Jim and then Viv Albertine and shot off to downtown for a new release related meeting.  More details will emerge when ink is dry on contract.

After the meeting we went to the 40 Watt party that the guys invited us to a few nights earlier.  3 stages and bands of varying genre and quality!  Here’s a quick rundown.

Camper Van Beethoven – Totally different set to the other night, still brilliant.

The Tenant – OK, middle of road, fairly forgettable.

Twin Tigers – Had something about them.  Clattery indie rock, really liked 2 songs but the rest wandered off too easily.  Fancied bassist despite her looking a bit like a boy.  Worrying times.

Dead Confederate – Was looking forwarded to these as I liked the album when we had it in work.  Paul ruined it 90 seconds in by saying they sounded like Placebo.  He was right.

American Cheeseburger – Thrash punk.  Good facial expressions.  Shit band.

Ponderosa – Brilliant.  One of my top bands of the week.  Proper Southern rock played by hairy guys clearly having the time of their lives.  Apparently they’re on New West and have an album out in August.  Check out their Myspace.

After that quick fire band fest we met Erika and went to see Lancaster’s The Lovely Eggs.  These people are bonkers.  They have a song that namechecks author Richard Brautigan.  As it happens, I’d brought one of his books with me, Erika got the band to sign it, they then dedicated the song to her.  She was a happy camper.

We had a bit of a free hour then.  I won the ‘who shall we go and see next’ competition and dragged the others to Stubb’s to see Minus The Bear.  I wish I hadn’t.  I used to love this band and saw them once in Clwb.  I thought they were boring but put it down to my bad mood on the night.  It would appear my first judgement was correct.  Pity.  To escape both them and the freezing temperature (less that 40 degrees with wind chill fact fans – four layers of clothing.  In Texas. Four.) we went inside and caught The Candle Thieves.  They were worse than Minus The Bear.  ”Wet” – Paul Hawkins.

We had higher hopes for the Bloodshot Records night in Red Eyed Fly.  The first band we saw were called Whitey Morgan and the 78s.  The were entertaining in a country rock kind of way and the singer was a giant.  If he ever reads this tepid review of his band he will crush me.  “I am the Pope.  This is why I do not have a credit card.  I wear a dress.  You love me.” So went Newport boy Jon Langford’s soundcheck for The Waco Brothers.  They were brilliant.  Jon was clearly hammered.  Despite their advancing years they rocked harder than anyone else at SXSW.  The was also a man in the front row hitting the monitor with his own shoe.

Mad dash to the Amsterdam Cafe to see Carrie Rodriguez.  I love Carrie Rodriguez.  She doesn’t mess around live either, great voice, great fiddle player.  Played her own songs and a few from her forthcoming album of covers which I’ll be shortly recommending to all of you.  After Carrie was Band Of Heathens.  My heart wasn’t in it by then but it did mean we’d completed a hat-trick after seeing Band Of Skulls and Band Of Horses this week (and Jakob Dylan who’s dad played with The Band.  That’s reaching at best though.).

MJ

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