SXSW - Friday

While researching the next day's shows the night before, I happend to come across the fact that The Breeders ( who I was planning on seeing at a festival on Saturday) were playing at KLRU. The studio on UT campus where they film Austin City Limits. The listing just said corner of Dean Keaton and Guadalupe. My friend Oni explained to me it was right at the college itself and explained to me how to get there. We arrived at 12:40pm and found a meter right in front of the building. Realizing we had no change for the meter, I ducked into a pizza place right on the Drag and asked for quarters. While in line I feel a tap on the shoulder and see Anthony fron Drunken Monkey Productions and KSYM fame. One of his friends is doing sound there and they have free bands and beer all day. I guess everyone in Austin is in the SXSW spirit putting on free shows. Free beer doesn't hurt either. I let him know I am on my way to see the Breeders and hurry off across the street. We end up in the wrong building and had to ask some of the faculty for directions before we get anywhere close to the studio. I am expecting a large crowd for this. Who doesn't know the Breeders? and who wouldn't want to see them for free. We arrive in Studio 6a in the B building and come into the legendary studios where they film Austin City Limits.

The walls are adorned with the Austin skyline and there is a stage with 3 sets of bleachers around it. We walk in and there must be about 50 people there. I am a little shocked, but nonetheless happy about being there and being able to get inside. The crew works hard to get all the last minute preparations in order. They are scheduled to go on at 1:30pm and it is being broadcast live on Seattle's KEXP independent radio. The Breeders come out to plenty of cheering and they immediately start sound checking. And they sound check to the song everyone really wants to hear.

The show kicks off The Breeders tear through a 4 song set consisting of 3 new songs from their new album Mountain Battles (due out in April) and Cannonball as the closing song. It's rare to catch a band in this intimate of a performance, and this is probably one of the highlights of the entire trip. Their on stage interview was hilarious as they explained some of the background of their new album. KEXP usually has these live performances available as downloads from iTunes. I'm sure this will soo end up on there as well.

We left Studio 6A and decided to head back to Sixth. The closest we found parking was 2nd and Congress. Only about 6 blocks to our destination, a club called Vice. I had been wanting to catch the band The Raveonettes since we got here. I noticed they were playing about 12 times throughout all of SXSW so I was sure to catch them. I had found that they were playing at 5pm at Vice. We get there and it looks closed. What the Fuck!? I pull out my list and to my horror, I see that it says Vice Outdoor stage located at 1106 E 11th St. That was over 14 blocks away and over I35. We decided to walk it. The sun was out, it was a beautiful day, tons of people, man was it a far walk. We hear the Raveonettes playing at Stubb's as we were walking over to Vice Outdoor Stage, but that was an invite only show for badges. They will soon be where we are. No worries. Walking over I-35 was a little scary for someone afraid of heights (me)

We get to the Vice Outdoor stage at 3:45pm. The event is sponsored by Scion, Guitar Hero III and ATT. Lots of giveaways lots of people. Their motto is no badge, no wristband, no problem. Sounds good to me. We sit in the shade through the band Jay Reatard and chug our water as the temperatures has already reached 95 degrees. Once they are done we make our way over and get up right up front to watch the band setup.

Their music reminds me of a young Jesus and Mary Chain and the singers look is not different. He could be either one of the Reid brothers that make up the JAMC.

As for the rest of the band. The drummer plays only a snare and floor tom and stands up the whole time commanding the stage with the biggest beats she can play.

The other guitarist is taller than everyone else in the band and looks more like she walked out of a foreign art film.

They played through a very loud and awesome 6 song set that kept everyone bobbing and singing along. Closing out the set was their new single "Aly, Walk with me" which reminds me of an old western movie taking place at the beach. When you hear the guitar line, you will see what I mean.

If you have not heard The Raveonettes, hear them here

This band played their asses off during SXSW. I counted at least 12 different shows they were at throughout the 4 day period. The show I saw was their second show of the day and they were due to play later that night at Emo's with the Donnas. As great as they were, you could see they were tired. But, they have a new album to promote 2007 's Lust, Lust, Lust. which you must pick up if you don't have it. I expect to see many more things from this band in the near future.


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