SXSW Aftermath: A Girl's Guide To Rocking With Jessica Hopper, Anni Rossi And The Magic Kids

Categories: Live Shots, SXSW
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Photos by Brittanie Shey
Jessica Hopper (left) signs The Girl's Guide to Rocking at Austin's DOMY location.

One of the bands Aftermath most wanted to see, Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Shit!, who'd been talked up relentlessly on one of our favorite literary blogs were no-shows at the Six Stages over Texas Block Party Saturday afternoon. They did have to come all the way from Italy, so maybe they had a good excuse. Aftermath's disappointment was tempered only by the fact that we got a new vintage dress at Cream Vintage, a free tallboy Lone Star and also a free $10 bill. We'd have stayed to see JD Samson and Ceeplus Bad Knives, who were both DJing later in the day, but we were dead-set on meeting Jessica Hopper during her book signing at DOMY.

Hopper's been a long-time fixture on the riot grrrl and indie music scene, working as a music publicist and writing a zine and a regular column for Punk Planet. Her latest project is a book called The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a DIY tome for teen girls on learning instruments and starting a band. She read from the book and signed copies at DOMY's Austin location while musicians played outside.

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Anni Rossi (second from right) had a unique way of playing her viola.

After a short chat with Hopper, we headed to the bookstore's back patio in time to catch the last few songs from Chicagoan Anni Rossi and band. Rossi plays vintage-tinged folk-pop and her band has made some unusual choices when it comes to instrumentation. Rossi plays her viola like a guitar at times, picking and strumming instead of bowing, and her drummer shuns cymbals, saying the range didn't quite match the viola. They've got an album coming out this summer, but in the meantime you can check them out on YouTube and MySpace.

Aftermath took a break for drinks at The Dark Knight, E. 6th St.'s artisanal cocktail bar, and the bartender there told us Paul Wall and Chamillionaire had stopped in a few days before, but only drank coffee. It was the closet we came to a celebrity sighting all weekend.

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The Magic Kids, less energetic than Walter's but with added violinist.
After reinforcements, we headed to Beerland for the Goner Records showcase. Thursday, the label's bands had performed a tribute to Jay Reatard at the same venue, and on Saturday we caught The Magic Kids, who impressed Aftermath with their charisma when they opened for Girls at Walter's. In Austin they seemed to be less energetic, but Aftermath was pleased to see an additional member onstage - a girl playing violin and singing.

During "Time to Say Goodbye," singer Bennett Foster again attempted to romance the crowd with his brooding falsetto á la a 1950s teen idol. Aftermath said the band sounded like The Smiths met the Beach Boys. Our companion said, "more like Morrissey and John Mayer had a love child."

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