By Josh Terzino
If you’re familiar with that Peter Finch line from the fantastic movie Network, you may get a kick out of Miles’ interview with Gabe from Dastardly following their set at The Jackelope. To understand the situation, let me explain:
Reggie’s Rock Club was throwing this showcase down here at SxSw that they had put together for Chicago bands. Chaperone led off, and it was all Chicago for seven hours. But, one band went long…WAY long. Long enough that they had to completely cancel one band’s set. Then, by the time Dastardly was to go on, they were told they would only have 15 minutes.
Now, a 15 minute set isn’t unheard of, but when you’re basically the headliner for a particular bill, you should get more than 15 minutes. And it probably wouldn’t have been so bad were the people taking over from Dastardly a band of equal or better quality, but it wasn’t. It was freaking speed metal. So, naturally Gabe was a little upset, and we used it to our benefit for the interview we had lined up for him.
I think the interview came out great. Gabe and Miles riff off each other really nicely. They should take their act on the road during breaks from their bands. I won’t spoil a lot of the jokes for you, but they involve feces and phallic imagery for the most part.
I did manage to get over to where Ezra Furman and the Harpoons were playing. I grabbed one video, which I will try to put up tomorrow. I have so many videos backlogged right now, it may take me until after we get back to Chicago.
Ezra was a fun performer. I missed the first 10 minutes of the set, but was able to catch the last four songs. He’s a really talented songwriter, and I was impressed with his stage presence. After the interview we did, I wasn’t sure how he’d be in front of a large group. Turns out he was just as good at performing. Felt kinda weird to be one of the only people in the room that knew the last song that he played, but it was a good one off his new record, Mysterious Power. If you couldn’t tell from our interview, I think you should pick it up.
After the interview we decided to head over to Central Presbyterian Church where Sharon Van Etten was playing at 8:30 and Rural Alberta Advantage at 10:30.
The church was gorgeous. Equal to St David’s, where we spent Friday night seeing Josh Ritter, maybe even nicer. Sharon Van Etten put on a so-so performance for me. She has a good voice, and a few of her songs are very well-written while others meander and never make it to a point. The two guys that she plays with, a drummer and bass player, both performed admirably. They didn’t have much to do, though.
A bizarre 12-member Christian rock band called Typhoon played between Sharon and Rural Alberta Advantage. Though I didn’t enjoy the music as much as a super religious person might, I did think that for the number of people on stage, the band was amazingly tight. They had three drummers, two violinists, a cellist, two trumpeters, and a keyboardist to go along with the rhythm and lead guitars and bass. They hail from Portland, and something about them gives me the feeling they are all related somehow.
Rural Alberta Advantage killed it at the 10:30 set. Apparently the venue was the same one they had played in 2009 as their first SxSw show, so they already had a fondness for the crowd. There was a good mix of old and new material played throughout the night. Most of the new songs played erased, for the most part, any faults I found with the new record, Departing.
Overall Saturday has been my favorite day. Even though we didn’t get to shake hands with Man-God Josh Ritter today. We got to see some great Chicago bands, as well as watch Chaperone screaming the words along with Dastardly’s “Exercises In Self Loathing.” Made me proud to be a Chicagoan seeing that much love between two bands.
Tomorrow (later today) we are interviewing White Mystery and Netherfriends. Should be a good time. AND we get to sleep in, which is awesome!!
I apologize for not putting links in to these SxSw posts. When I get back into town I’ll update these with those links like I’d normally have. It’s just that I’m trying to get these done as quickly as possible, so linking isn’t a priority. Besides, you guys (and gals) are smart. Google it if you have a question on something.