In 7 years of touring to Austin, TX for the mess of a festival (a “messtival,” perhaps?) that is South By Southwest we’ve learned a few things:
1) We’re probably not ever going to walk away from SXSW with a multi-million dollar record deal. We’re not sure if this happens anymore, or if it ever even did, but it’s an unlikely scenario that surprisingly still seems to delude first-time SXSW participants.
(We did see Brit Daniels from Spoon walking down 6th street — it’s a band goal of ours to have at least one Brit spotting every year — and they’re on a major label, so that’s good enough for us.)
2) Whatever SXSW used to stand for in regards to supporting independent musicians and promoting the best unheard talent from around the world, it only vaguely represents that anymore. SXSW is a mega corporate advertising event with the biggest buzz, most publicity and longest lines reserved for already-established stars like Kanye, Miley Cyrus, and Lady Gaga. Doritos, McDonald’s, Spotify, and this year even Disney and Pizza Hut/Wing Street (thanks for the free wings at the Pandora tent!), dominate 6th street venues with advertisements, hand-outs and free sunglasses that tend to over-shadow the independent retailers, labels and shops.
That said, you can still stumble across lots of rad bands you may have never heard before, especially if you adventure out of the mayhem and into surrounding neighborhoods. Wolf Alice, Viet Cong, Ringo Deathstarr, and Twinsmith were just a few of our favorite finds, in addition to great sets from our friends in AP&E, The Kickback, Molehill, In The Whale, Me Like Bees, and Mutts.
3) SXSW is the wildest, most fun party of the year, and we love it.
SXSW is a time to watch some of our favorite bands who don’t tour regularly, catch up with old friends from all over the country, and most important, meet fellow music lovers who are eager to hear something, anything, they haven’t heard before. It’s an indescribable experience and one we hope to keep enjoying in the future.
The picture below sums up SXSW for us:
A couple of old friends, a few new friends (who we even invited to stay with us in Chicago on their roadtrip home to Canada from Texas!), and two people we still don’t remember being in the picture.
SXSW is a sea of margaritas and free Lone Star beer.
SXSW is an endless buffet of free mediocre breakfast tacos.
SXSW is having to set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to drink some water for god’s sake.
SXSW is cashing in your free drink ticket at the bar for a vodka-orange juice and then saying, “wait, just an orange juice” because it’s about time you put some fruit in your body.
SXSW is spotting Bill Murray on the streets more frequently than you would expect (5 years ago Bill gave me a ride on his private bus; this year he was in the crowd for our Kansas City friends The Philistines and gave them a standing ovation).
SXSW is recognizing that the thousands of port-a-johns dotting the streets are often cleaner than the toilets in the venues. (Plus, if you stay in a porta-potty long enough it can double as a sauna!)
SXSW is plowing through hundreds of people on 6th street in a line of friends you suckered into helping carry all your equipment because you had to park 9 blocks away from the venue.
SXSW is hoping that any of the required backline gear at your showcase is functional and that the bass amp doesn’t blow out halfway through your set (our buds in The Kickback handled this scenario like self-deprecating pros).
SXSW is the best excuse to let loose with some of your old and new friends, play and enjoy some rock music, and hope that someday you’ll get to have this much fun again.
On March 14, we dropped onto Kansas City’s Record Bar stage like a sack of sexy potatoes. Archie Powell & The Exports and Me Like Bees were also on the bill, and both gave A+ performances.
The good folks over at KC Live Music Blog captured a riveting performance of “Ghost In The Microphone” from stage center, as well as a live performance of “Attraction” which comes from our album coincidentally also titled “Attraction.”
What sights! What sounds!
Thanks to Lillian Wright Smith at I Heart Local Music for documenting our night at Record Bar. It was a special one. Our dad, previously known as Judge Dredd, hauled his low-slung Les Paul onstage like a badass and joined us for a rousing rendition of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.” Hence forth, dad shall be known as Judge SHREDD!
View all the pics HERE
Thanks to our friends Leroy Pristach and Fally Afani over at I Heart Local Music for capturing our Midcoast Takeover performance at Shangri-La on March 21 in Austin, TX. This is one of the shows we most look forward to every year, and this year was a big sweaty dance party. Thanks to all of the hard-working crew at Midwest Music Foundation for making this event happen. The MMF crew worked tirelessly all weekend to work around the weather and move the show between the indoor and outdoors stages. Despite the rainy conditions outside it was a hell of a night.
From Leroy Pristach at I Heart Local Music:
“…While the rain brought all of the day’s festivities indoors, the Noise Boys didn’t let that stop them from tearing the walls down with their raucous live show. The set included an incredible rendition of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” that drove the crowd into a frenzy, with drummer Austin taking the Mic while RJ Schillaci from Archie Powell and The Exports took over drumming duties…”
Thanks to everyone who came out to a show on our Magnificent 7 Tour with Archie Powell & The Exports. We had a hell of a time in Chicago (Emporium was packed!), Lawrence (Replay was a party, and Austin stole the show with his encore Billy Idol performance), Kansas City (Record Bar with dad on guitar, a line stretching down the block before doors opened, and the best margarita of the tour at Port Fonda), Joplin (Me Like Bees homecoming show after 4 days on the road with us), Denton (eh), Fort Worth (Magnolia Motor Lounge knows how to treat bands, we rode a mechanical bull next door to the venue, AND had an after-hours hotel pool party with our Chicago buds Mutts) and Austin, Texas (everything).
Here’s a show preview from Lawrence.com that advertised our Lawrence homecoming show while also describing our ridiculous Blink 182 fundraiser (speaking of which – thanks to everyone who donated. Stay tuned for documentation of the torture):