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SXSW Day 3 – Weedeater Loves Me

March 24, 2008

Day 3 started out over at the Hundro’s house (turns out our C.O.O. lives just a few blocks from our B&B) for a viewing of the season four premier of Top Chef. It has aired on Wednesday but of course we were too consumed with SXSW to try and watch it that night. The reason we were so interested in catching it was that Chef Richard Blais, the chef that Mark worked under at One Midtown Kitchen and then again at Element, is one of the chefs competing on the show this season. So we were all giddy with excitement as we watched him kick some butt in the first episode. Go Blais!

Georgie James

After the Top Chef viewing we headed down to the convention center. Jenn and I caught a low-key, acoustic set from Georgie James, which was really great. Their songs are so good and catchy that I think they’d translate just fine regardless of how much you strip them down. From there we sort of roamed around for most of the afternoon; caught a few songs from Billy Bragg outside at a party, then made it over to catch a set from Jens Lekman at Club DeVille (see video here). I was supposed to meet Leila from SE Performer at the Paste Party, so after Jens I hurried over there just in time to catch the end of The Whigs’s set.

After grabbing some dinner I met up with Jenn, Justin and John over at The Parish for the Merge showcase. I’m a big fan of most everything that Merge releases so I was really excited about this show. But once it started it was just really hard for me to keep my attention on the music. I think I was just in need of some sleep by this point. I had been going on about 4 hours of sleep each night for the past few nights, and it was definitely starting to catch up with me.

Wye Oak

All of the bands at the Merge show were ok, but I think I was most impressed with Wye Oak. What struck me most about the band was the large sound they got out of just two people. This was mainly due to the drummer’s ability to play both the drumset and the keyboard at the same time. He often drummed one-handed while playing bass parts on the keyboard with the other. But if you had just been listening to him without seeing what he was doing, you would have had no idea that he was drumming one-handed. It was pretty amazing to watch.

She & Him

After Wye Oak cleared the stage the music continued with The Radar Bros, Shout Out Louds, and finally She & Him. It was great to hear a full set from Shout Out Louds after I had enjoyed the few songs I was able to catch at the NPR show, also at The Parish, the day before. Most of the crowd was there to see She & Him, and they didn’t disappoint. At first they sounded a little too 50s sock-hop for my taste, but their set showed a lot of diversity and by the end of it I was sold on their stripped-down, country-ish Rilo Kiley feel. Plus I’m just a huge M. Ward fan so if you put him on stage with a guitar it’s going to be hard to go wrong by me.

Weedeater

By the time She & Him finished it was approaching 1AM. I was completely beat, but was determined to at least see one song from Weedeater, who were playing down the street. If you’re unfamiliar with Weedeater, they play very loud, heavy, slow music that I guess most people call sludge rock or stoner rock. Which seems like something I would probably hate or at least be very frightened of. But Weedeater is from my old stomping grounds of Wilmington, NC, and is actually made up of some old friends of ours. In fact, while it’s a little hard for me to even believe it, they played at a birthday party I had over 10 years ago.

I hadn’t seen Weedeater since we moved away from Wilmington four years ago so I was really excited to see them but I really doubted that I’d be able to stay for longer than a song or two. Once I got there though, I think I got a second wind. It was so great to see them, and even though they were insanely heavy and loud, they sounded awesome. They are so good at what they do and I’m so proud of them for sticking with this band and really going for it.

I got some great photos of the boys and some crazy video footage (the sound sucks, I was right beside the speaker but it’s pretty fun to watch!), and afterwards Mark and I stuck around to catch up with them. I must say, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so loved! I must have gotten a dozen hugs and I love you’s from Dave and Keith. They seem pretty crazy on stage, but they are good guys and it was so great to see them. Finally we said our goodbyes and then headed home. I couldn’t wait to get some sleep, but first a stop by Taco Bell was in order. I think I fell asleep in my cheese dip!

View all my SXSW photos here

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Tiff permalink
    March 25, 2008 7:52 am

    So were She & Him really any good? I haven’t heard any of their stuff- I think I’m suffereing from a bit of Zooey D. overload (she’s EVERYWHERE it seems like). Plus most actresses can’t sing and most singers can’t act.

  2. March 25, 2008 7:54 am

    they started off very meh, but by the end yeah I really liked them. I mean it’s not something that I’d listen to everyday, but pretty good for relaxing, pretty music. if you like the stripped down, country-ish rilo kiley stuff then you’d probably like it ok.

  3. March 25, 2008 3:11 pm

    nice to read your review of the Fest. have you seen ours, up on the site? 4 days in 20 pages. i think we saw 53 bands, but mananged to avoid you entirely somehow….

    anyway, i was curious: what type of camera did you use for the photos?

  4. March 25, 2008 3:16 pm

    Yes I really can’t believe I never ran into you guys! I will check out your recaps!

    I used my kodak easyshare Z712 for the photos; it’s pretty awesome, i love it!

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