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  • SXSW 2009 Recap: Day Three

    Mon, 23 Mar 2009 15:09:43

    SXSW 2009 Recap: Day Three - The Hot Freaks! come out at night

    The Hold Steady Photos

    • The Hold Steady - NEW YORK, NY - JULY 07:  Singer/musician Craig Finn of The Hold Steady performs at The 2012 CBGB Music Festival on July 7, 2012 in New York City.
    • The Hold Steady - SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 16:  Craig Finn of The Hold Steady performs as part of the Treasure Island Music Festival on October 16, 2011 in San Francisco, California.
    • The Hold Steady - CULVER CITY, CA - AUGUST 28:  Musician Graig Finn of The Hold Steady performs onstage at the Heineken Inspire event at the BookBindery Building on August 28, 2010 in Culver City, California.

    more the hold steady photos »

    Handsome Furs Videos

    • Handsome Furs - I'M CONFUSED

    more handsome furs videos »

    Hot Freaks! Day party @ Mohawk/Club de Ville

    Rural Alberta Advantage
    Rural Alberta Advantage were both the first band I caught at the Hot Freaks! party and the band at SXSW I went the quickest from unfamiliar with to very interested in. At their Hot Freaks! show I was able to snap one halfway usable photo from a staircase while taking in the performance, and they gifted me with a few copies of their new album when I met them after their show. Now all that’s left is to enjoy the album and remember how great their show was. They make some really strong pop music with great force behind it, so neither will be particularly hard to do.

    Rural Alberta Advantage | by Matt Jordan

    Bishop Allen
    Bishop Allen moved to the outside of the Mohawk to play a set immediately following The Wrens. Even though it was a fairly early slot, having such a giant perform before them guaranteed the band a good crowd. To their credit, Bishop Allen used the opportunity to showcase what’s always made great: their best pop songs and their obvious enthusiasm for what they do. This is a band with one guy who works in film and another who founded and sold Spark Notes. It's doubtful that they’d be able to retire tomorrow, but they don’t exactly have to be loading up the van and touring around the world. They do it because they love what they do.

    Surprisingly, Bishop Allen’s setlist included a lot of old songs that I figured I’d never hear again. As they finished up the Grr… track “Shanghaied,” the last on their setlist, Justin and Christian whispered to the rest of the band some quick instructions. With pretty much no pause to speak of, they immediately lept into a closing performance of “Middle Management,” the band’s most famous song due to its inclusion in the national campaign for Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. It was great to end the set on a rocking note; Justin must have agreed, because he went out with a jump to punctuate the band’s time on stage.

    Bishop Allen | by Matt Jordan

    Bishop Allen | by Matt Jordan

    Bishop Allen | by Matt Jordan

    Bishop Allen | Handsome Furs by Matt Jordan

    Handsome Furs
    I only got to enjoy the Handsome Furs for a short while, but luckily they were so far above my expectations that that’s really all I needed to know they knocked it out of the park. Why the reason for the low to medium expectations? I’m a big fan of Plague Park and like the new record Face Control OK, but how’s that going to come across in the live setting where they don’t have a drummer or anything?

    Turns out this situation is actually quite beneficial to Handsome Furs. They’ve got the drum beats pre-programmed, so that just leaves Dan Boeckner to rock the guitar and girlfriend Alexei Perry to experiment with synth/keyboard. I got there just in time to hear the new single “I’m Confused,” and was wildly impressed. Dan and Alexei have a great thing going on with Handsome Furs.

    Handsome Furs | by Matt Jordan

    Henry Clay People
    I was really glad that we snagged Henry Clay People early into our Hot Freaks! booking. It wasn’t hard, mind you, since Justin runs their record label. Henry Clay People started their set off with “Something in the Water.” As they kicked it off, I was dashing towards the balcony to watch, grabbing friends along the way to tell them that “this band is amazing and this is probably their best song, so you’d better go watch!”

    Some of the These United States guys took my advice and later told me they were glad they did. It was like watching a much younger, but equally as enthusiastic version of The Hold Steady on stage. Joey, their lead singer, has the makings of a really memorable frontman. As these two photos show, he’s very often inclined to kicking, jumping or just smiling big. Here's hoping these guys get rewarded for their talent and hard work.

    Henry Clay People | by Matt Jordan

    These United States
    These United States were the first band I grabbed to play Hot Freaks! I’m a big fan of both the band’s work and the musicians as people. Due to the short nature of SXSW sets, These United States picked the best songs from their two full-lengths and added one new song off their new album, out later this year. Even though I’ve heard all those songs done half a dozen times in concert, it doesn’t hurt to hear them again. And though the room only had about 20 people in it when they started, it slowly filled with others who apparently felt the exact same way.

    These United States | by Matt Jordan

    These United States | by Matt Jordan

    -—Matt Jordan

    Day 1
    Day 2
    Day 4

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    Tags: Bishop Allen, Handsome Furs, These United States, The Hold Steady

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