Well, last week was an incredibly busy and fun week.
I love springtime in Austin. The weather is great, and I actually really had a lot of fun at SXSW.
|(Amy with Ryan Bingham)|
|(Amy with Gaby Moreno)|
On Wednesday afternoon I rode my bike downtown and checked out a little bit of music on South Congress. Things weren't totally in full swing yet, but there were a few bands playing here and there. I saw a local band at Opal Divine's. I didn't catch their name, but they were singing songs about getting arrested and thrown in the Georgetown jail (for carrying pistols without permits), and I thought that was pretty funny.
Around dinner time on Wednesday we went to see The Flyin' A's (our friend Hilary and Stuart) at Baker Street Pub. As usual, they had a nice sound. Later Wednesday night we went back to church and saw Bernhoft (who put on a really great live show), BOY (I thought they were okay, but Amy didn't particularly care for), and Paloma Faith.
Paloma Faith is a singer who's really big in England (she plays to really big sellout crowds there and judges on Pop Idol- the English version of American Idol- and got to carry the Olympic Torch and so on and so forth). She's not as well known in the states. The church was only about half or maybe two thirds full when she played, but I think the people who were there that late were excited to see her. When she first came out to sing she made a couple of kind of snarky comments about how she plays to house parties with larger crowds in England. So at first I was wary. I thought we were about to witness a major diva meltdown.
I think, in the end, though, she might have been a little disappointed with the size of the crowd, but she also just has sort of a wicked sense of humor. Her first three songs were nice, but the performance was pretty scripted. She stood on stage and did sort of a choreographed routine with her background singers. A few songs into the show, though, she figured out what to do with the venue, setting, and circumstances. The show become a lot less formal all of a sudden, and she wandered out into the crowd. For the next half of the set she walked across pews, trusting the audience to hold her up when she would slip, and strode up and down the aisle, all while belting out some pretty amazing songs with a voice that seems utterly mismatched to her small size. She managed to turn the performance into something really special and cool as she interacted with her audience (I saw several fans crying by the end of it. For realz. These were some serious Paloma Faith fans in there). I shot some video from the balcony. The sound isn't perfect (that church has great acoustics in person), but it's better than average for a phone recording...
I'd never really listened to Paloma Faith before, but I think I would count myself as a fan now.
On Thursday I had the whole day off. I hopped on my bike and rode down to South Congress. I spent all day wandering up and down it, listening to music, and enjoying the sunshine. It was a beautiful day.
|(Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis)|
Thursday night we chilled out at home. I think we watched Homeland. That Sergeant Brody is a sneaky cat.
Friday I rode my bike downtown again. Riding the bike is definitely one of the better ways to beat the traffic during SX. I rode to Waterloo and met up with mi amigos Libby and Jordan. We listened to Frightened Rabbit, a Scottish band that I feel like I should have known more about prior to this. They were really good. Amy showed up on her lunch work break with her friend Megan to listen to Alt-J just as the Waterloo audience reached capacity and the gates got closed. Lots of folks in that audience. Alt-J started a little late, but they sounded muy bueno once they got going. It was really nice to hang out with Amy for a while before she had to head back to work!
|(international music behind|
Saturday I went shopping, and we took care of chores and stuff. I took a longish bike ride in the afternoon. I stopped off at Auditorium Shores and saw a bit of Spirit of Freedom Family Reunion. They were playing at the Levon Helm tribute, and and they sounded pretty good.
|(1000 miles and I wound up where I started!)|
Maybe I'll post later about some new bike anecdotes now that I hit 1000. If you're lucky.
Saturday night we volunteered again at the church. For some reason Milk Carton Kids were on the schedule. They were pretty good. People seem to really dig them. Devendra Banhart played. He wasn't very good. Just singing some weak lyrics with gimmicky, weak vocals and mediocre electric guitar. We had a friend there who listens to him a bit, and she said he usually plays much better stuff. I don't know what was up with that.
|(Sam has the better beard)|
|(Party on the balcony!)|
|(Party in the house!)|
So turning 40 actually turned out to be fun. Who knew?
|(thanks for the great week, y'all!!)|