Vic Galloway - SXSW (Day Two)

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SXSW 2013

Well, day 2 of SXSW was completely hectic and surreal in the perpetually sun-kissed Austin. Afer writing yesterday's round-up, my plan was to hit the Thrasher skateboard magazine party and see PAWS, Thurston Moore, Bleached and other exponents of the feedbackin', fuzz-rockin' guitar but alas got waylaid and directed elsewhere... Such is life at this gargantuan feast of music! You plan one thing and end up doing something completely different. That's no bad thing of course...

Instead, I went to a film premiere! Yes, as well as the notorious music festival which has been an annual appointment in the US underground calender for 27 year, SXSW now has film and interactive events that overlap with each other. This however was a documentary like no other and something that will hit UK cinema screens later this year - 'The Great Hip Hop Hoax'! Taking its lead from the original book 'California Schemin', it tells the story of 'Silibil n' Brains' - 2 Dundee rappers who were laughed out of London's A&R circles in the year 2000 because of their hometown accents. Although intelligent, scientific and hugely dextrous in their wordplay, they were branded 'The Proclaimers of Rap' and left with their tails between their legs, devastated... Changing their identities and adopting fake American accents, they reinvented themselves as Californian bad-boys in London, getting signed and taking the music business by storm... Until things came to a rather complicated and sticky end! It's an unbelievable story and completely warrants your attention. Obviously relishing in its premiere at SXSW, the director Jeanie Finlay and the 2 rappers Gavin Bain and Billy Boyd talked to me for my BBC show and enthused about the event and the film itself. The 2 rappers have started making music again, and took to the streets of Austin hooking up with local MC's and spitting rhymes... in their own voices this time of course! What a way to start the day...

From there, I rushed across town to South Congress to watch friend and fellow new music fanatic Mathew Young aka label boss, blogger and podcaster 'Song By Toad' getting his first Tattoo... a total must in Austin! Having recommended 'Royce' at Southside Tattoos who had previously inked a 'Dia de los Muertos' sugar skull on my right bicep a few years ago at SXSW, Mathew decided on a romantic beast of a design with flower, dagger, snake and parchment scroll that included his wife's name 'Kate' engraved on his left upper arm... Forever! What an amazing, ridiculous, awe-inspiring thing to do... What a daftie! Check my twitter for a photo

After some medicinal margaritas in Doc's nearby, we ventured into town to do what we're supposed to do here at SXSW... See bands, and millions of them! Sadly, one drawback of the phenomenal success of SXSW is the over-subscription to some shows and the huge queues. We tried to see Surfer Blood and Atlas Genius, and couldn't even get in to see my good friends Frightened Rabbit at The Belmont. So across 6th street we ran onto Rainey street and into the Clive Bar for one of my tips from the festival - Sinkane. A Sudanese songwriter and musician now based in Brooklyn, NYC he and his band have taken the afrobeat, freeform, groove-laden template and injected a new slinkiness into it. The album 'Mars' is superb and definitely deserves your attention. The set was largely culled from that record and had the capacity crowd shakin' a tail feather. After so much walking, Mathew and I decided to stay put for the next band, the equally groove-orientated Delorean from Barcelona. Using the balearic beats of the late 1980's and early 1990's and superimposing modern production techniques and a knack for ear-worm melodies, they worked the outside audience into a frenzy before making way for those vibesters '!!!' (chk chk chk). I'd seen those guys many times before however, so bolted off to see another buzz band and recommendation of mine - Wampire. Performing at the Polyvinyl Records showcase in the Red Eyed Fly, one of Austin's most reputable venues all year round, they created a humourous, psyched-out storm of hooks, melodies and off-kilter pop reminding me of Ween, Flaming Lips, Menomena and elements of 1960's garage and 1970's new-wave. I loved them, and especially enjoyed their German language cover of Kraftwerk's 'The Model'... which totally worked!

Bumping into a fellow BBC broadcaster, old friend and partner in new-music nerd-ism Huw Stephens, we caught up over more margaritas and decided we need a dose of real METAL into our systems... Off we trotted to see none other than Goatwhore! Knowing little about them, I can safely say they are the real deal. Loud, brutal, technical and progressive with utter commandent of the stage and a fist-pumping mosh-pit at their feet, it was the antidote to all hipster indie and hip-hop bling that dominates SXSW sometimes. We banged our heads accordingly!

Finishing my night off at the 'Planet Quebec' showcase on Red River Street, I caught Montreal oddballs Suuns with Huw, Mathew and Andy from Edinburgh label Gerry Loves Records who you should also check out. Their mixture of rhythmic counterpoint, free-form noise, feedback, wonky keyboard squiggles and massively catchy melodies reminded me in places of disparate influences such as Clinic and Fugazi... but with some 1960's psyche thrown into the mix. It was the perfect way to end the night and I stumbled home to my bed... I really do LOVE you SXSW!

Today, I'm off to interview Glasgow trio and buzz-band extraordinaire CHVRCHES for my BBC show to get their perspective, and then host the second 'Showcasing Scotland' event at the UK Music Embassy in Latitude 30 once again. Today we have an unrivalled electronic bill with Young Fathers, Optimo's JD Twitch, Jackmaster from NMBRS and the inimitable whizz-kid Rustie. Proving that SXSW is diversifying way beyond it's punk, metal and indie-rock roots it will be an afternoon to remember. After 6pm and the show ends... who knows?! One thing is certain though, it will involve tex-mex, tequila, barbecue, beer and many, many bands!!

Speak to you tomorrow...

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