KCRW officially started our SXSW activities yesterday, broadcasting live from Sonos Studio, but today was the first chance I got to go out and see some bands, which is REALLY what this giant event in Austin is all about.
We decided to explore a little neighborhood called Rainey St, where all these cute little houses are actually bars/restaurants. We walked until we heard a sound we liked and that sound was from Oklahoma City-based band Mont Lyons. The keyboardist looked unassuming in glasses and a denim shirt, but he could really wail! He harmonizes with the guitarist and the band was super solid. They’re working on a 6-song EP right now, recording in Wayne Coyne’s studio.
They used to live in Austin – and, coincidentally, were friends with the very first band I saw at SX this year, local trio Marmalakes, who opened for Portugal. The Man.
Portugal. The Man. have a new record, produced by Danger Mouse, that we hope to have our hands on soon. Singer John Gourley hinted that some of the new songs might be more poppy than we’d expect but the first single is pure rock.
Next on my list of impressive acts was a band from Provo, UT, called Moth and The Flame. They drove 30 hours to play the conference and played some new tracks that they are working on in the studio with production from Joey Waronker who, interestingly enough, plays for Beck and Atoms for Peace (Thom Yorke’s new project) – both bands that have clearly influenced their sound.
Next I got the endorphin rush that only dance music can provide with Delorean. The Barcelona band’s last album came out in 2010 so I’ve been anxiously awaiting new material. They told the Guardian they’ve been influenced by late 80’s pop rock so I’m looking forward to hearing it. They sounded fantastic live in the Fader Fort tent, even though most of the people in attendance seemed more interested in the free booze.
I ended the evening by stumbling into a back alley venue far from most of the action that happened to have a Mario Cotto favorite on the bill – Orthy. They’re from Austin and definitely have elements of Depeche Mode/Joy Division in their new wave-y sound. Find out more here.
A solid start to a very long week. More to come!