Posts Tagged ‘The Rural Alberta Advantage’

The RAA is coming to town this fall. They play Schubas on October 29, 2012.

Ben Gibbard is coming out with a solo album in October, read about it over at AV Club.

Guided By Voices is coming to Metro on August 11, 2012.

Here’s a live acoustic version of “Unicorn Odyssey” by the Falcon:

I have pretty much gone to SXSW every year since I started college back in 2000. However, this year was a little different from years past.  It seems I was more familiar with the bands playing this year. Also, I put way too much effort into planning. Planning always seems like a good idea but then once the plans fall apart, you really feel like an idiot for investing that much time into it. I flew into Austin on Wednesday night. I did end up seeing some band at Cheer Up Charlie’s that night but I have no idea who they were. I feel like things really got started on Thursday.

The Rural Alberta Advantage

Thursday started with the Schubas party at Yard Dog. I only stayed for two bands but I was pleased with both performances. First up was The Rural Alberta Advantage. I saw these guys last September at Schubas so I was already a fan.  I can’t think anything particularly salient about the performance this year. It was just an all around solid performance by a good band.


Next up was Japandroids. I had never seen this band before but I had heard tons about them because they get a lot of hype. They were also playing something like eight shows at SXSW. The show at Yard Dog was one of their earlier ones.  I had given their CD a few listens prior but I have to say that their live performance is what sold me on them. They just have so much raw energy live, it is quite infectious. They kind of reminded me of the The Thermals. Also, one thing that I noticed about their live performance, is that it seems like the drummer really leads the band with all his energy. You can tell that he is very passionate about his music. By the end of the set, his hands were covered in blood. Months ago, I purchased tickets to their April show at Lincoln Hall. After this performance, I was glad I did.

After the Yard Dog shows, it was off to Eastbound & Found. Nothing too memorable about the shows there. I saw Danielson. But yeah, I think that’s a band whose records I prefer to their live performances and I’ll just leave it at that.

The Middle East

I made sure to see the Middle East at the Paste party. I knew nothing about them until a few weeks prior. I think they might be from Australia. There is something like seven people in the band. They were on this sampler for the Paste party. I love their song “Blood.” It seems like this band gets a lot of comparisons to Arcade Fire.  I guess I can see the similarities since they have so many people and instruments going on. The vocals are gentle and somewhat reminiscent of Iron & Wine. There were some technical difficulties early so they didn’t get as much time as they were supposed to. Their performance was great. Of course, they played “Blood”, which I loved. I’ll be sure to see them if they ever come to Chicago.

The xx

Next was the xx at French Legation. I don’t know what happened exactly but I somehow ended up right next to the stage. I was at a weird angle though. I was basically watching the band from behind. I’ve really liked the recordings I’ve heard of these guys. However, live they were somewhat disappointing. They didn’t do anything wrong per se. I would just say that they get so much hype, it’s hard to live up to those expectations. They are a good band but nothing spectacular in person. I am willing to cut them some slack though. Some bands just aren’t good outside/during the day. I remember hating the Kills when I saw them at ACL 2008. Also, for some reason I can’t explain, they remind of the Raveonettes.

(photos by me)