Category: Concerts

Japan Nite, SXSW XX, March 18, 2006, Austin, TX

Somehow, I managed to find the one parking lot in downtown Austin where the attendent told me I have until midnight to keep my car there.

What the fuck?

What kind of business would tell customers to go home two hours before last call during fucking SXSW?

And yet, my aging body replied, "Wow … it would be so nice to get home before 1 a.m."

So I capitulated.

Here I am, 12:30 a.m. Tsu*Shi*Ma*Mi*Re is probably finishing its last song, and I’m at home typing this entry. And I don’t fucking mind! Do I qualify for membership in the AARP now?

Continue reading »

Japan Traditional Nite/eX-Girl, SXSW XX, March 17, 2006, Austin, TX

When SXSW announced the line-up for Japan Traditional Nite, I was really concerned about how the festival could pull it off.

I couldn’t picture someone singing shima uta in a loud, crowded club. Maybe if the shamisen players booked for that night all played like Yoshida Kyoodai, it’s remotely possible.

Thankfully, Japan Traditional Nite was held in the Creekside Dining Room of Capitol Place Hotel, complete with seating and a nice view of Waller Creek.

I am a geezer, because nothing could pull me away from a SXSW venue with seating. (Actually, a Tony Conrad showcase would …)

Continue reading »

Tony Conrad/The Flaming Lips, SXSW XX, March 16, 2006, Austin, TX

On Thursday night, I received confirmation just how conservative I would have become had I pursued music composition back in college.

I arrived at Central Presbyteran Church before 9 p.m., hoping to catch Zeena Parkins, a harp player who has worked with the likes of Bill Laswell and Björk. I entered the church, and someone other than Parker was playing — a solo violinist shrouded in shadow, his visage illuminated on a scrim overhead.

After 15 minutes of listening to the player drone on and on with a limited set of notes, I asked myself, "What the fuck is this wanker shit?"

Continue reading »

Luminous Orange/Noahlewis’ Mahlon Taits/… Trail of Dead, SXSW XX, March 15, 2006, Austin, TX

The flag was raised when I was paying more attention to the muscular hottie in the tight t-shirt off the side of the stage than to Luminous Orange.

(Very much straight, but the way he was dressed, he probably shouldn’t step into a gay bar if he doesn’t want to get hit on.)

It’s been a few years since I listened to Luminous Orange’s Drop You Vivid Colors, and it’s the only album of Takeuchi Rie’s band I’ve heard. So most of the set list at Luminous Orange’s Wednesday night showcase at Habana Calle 6 was lost on me.

Takeuchi herself epitomized the shoegazer stereotype, focusing on singing and playing, eyes concentrated on the ground. Given the complexities of her music, it would require a single-minded focus.

It still didn’t really make her a very engaging frontperson.

Continue reading »

Sigur Rós, Bass Concert Hall, Feb. 26, 2006, Austin, TX

Never close your eyes while listening to Sigur Rós.

Even at intense volume, the music of Sigur Rós can lull a person into an R.E.M. state.

Unfortunately, I had to close my eyes many times during the band’s performance at Bass Concert Hall on Feb. 26. The lighting engineer thought it was a good idea to shine bright intense lights into the audience for long periods of time.

An occassion flash to the audience is all right, but blinding them so they can’t even see the concert is a terrible choice.

Continue reading »