SXSW: Local Band Makes Good, A Wild Flag, DJ Quik & A Witch
Marc Brubaker: For Rocks Off, sometimes SXSW isn't about seeing new bands or drinking until Sixth Street becomes a blurry swath of humanity. It's nice to check in with our hometown boys and see how they are received by the ears and arms of the masses in Austin. So we headed over to catch Buxton's showcase on the eighteenth floor of the Hilton Garden Inn.
Photos this page by Marc Brubaker Buxton
The band rolled out a charming set to a room full of onlookers, complete with the delightful Haley Barnes rounding out the lineup. The band rolled through eight songs, announcing that their upcoming album Nothing Here Seems Strange, would be out in September.
With the additions of Austin Sepulvado and sometimes member Haley Barnes, Buxton has really come into their own as a band, and it shows. We just missed them at the New West Records showcase, but word is that their set at The Belmont was just as good, too.
One thing is for certain, this band has steadily improved with each new song, and a warm reception awaited them at the top of the Hilton. It was a bit poetic, watching them dole out tunes while floating over Sixth Street, their smart harmonies blending together to construct a much larger sound than before.
New West Records president George Fontaine was all smiles while watching his recent signees and the resulting impact on the captivated crowd, and several Houstonians had popped in to show their support. For any fan of Buxton's brand of Americana/folk music, one thing's for certain: September can't come fast enough.
Whoa. Bands with pedigrees this extensive are usually referred to as supergroups, and Wild Flag's performance at the Village Voice Media Showcase was indeed super. The quartet of ladies includes two-thirds of notable rockers Sleater-Kinney - Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss, Mary Timony of Helium and Rebecca Cole of The Minders. After years of playing with each others bands, fate has brought them together to blow out speakers once more.
To say that Wild Flag's performance was dynamic would be a slight understatement. The band tore through the stage with an energetic pace and a stage show full of kicks and jumps. More than a few audience members were surprised with the voracity of the band, whose songs crashed and banged in a delightfully punk rock manner.
Brownstein, who was also often referred to as "that girl from Portlandia and Timony shared vocal duties and guitar licks while Weiss pounded away at the drum kit with ferocity, and Cole added the finishing touch of the keyboards. It swelled from abrasive to poppy and back, with touches of psych and garage rock, and was a whole lot of fun.