3/15/2012 8:26 AM
We started off the day bright and early waiting in line for a riverboat line. But apparently, we weren't early enough -- the boat was full, so instead we decided to just walked around town and explore. It turned out to be a good thing when we walked by a little Irish pub called The Ginger Man and heard some fantastic girl rock blasting from the back patio. We went in to check it out, and they began to play a song I recognized from the Whip It!
soundtrack (my ultimate girl power driving mix) called Crown of Age. This powerful garage rock trio called The Ettes
had a fantastic girl drummer and lead vocalist. The lone dude carried a Vox bass and used a Pog octive pedal (highly recommend this one of a kind octave generator to add to bass, guitar, or anything that makes sound).
We then went to the IFC Crossroads happy hour for free popcorn and beer, where we saw a band called Le Fleur,
an indie rock electronic band with a female singer. Interestingly enough, the keyboard player used a drum pad to supplement the live drums while manning a Korg synthesizer. The club atmosphere suited the band - composed and yet energizing.
After getting our daily free pick-me-up Monster cocktail, we went to the convention center for a panel called Hometown to National: How to Grow Your Band. The panelists discussed the importance of networking and building a relationship with fans in order to gain popularity in a world overloaded by bands. In short, go to shows outside your group of friends, meets bands, and trade shows.
We witnessed this first hand on 6th street, where we spent awhile wandering around, ducking in and out of Austin shops and bars and eating pizza. There were street musicians and performers everywhere, competing over one another and the acts from inside the bars for attention. A few managed to stand out from the crowd. We saw street jazz-gypsy band that generated a pretty big audience with high-enery trumpet, a drum, guitar, and accordion. They called themselves Deux Sons
, and they were from Los Angeles. We also saw a girl walking on glass, a "lizard man" whose entire face and arms were tattooed with scales, a tap dancing couple, and a man who lifted a skateboard with his eye sockets. Well, I assume he did - I was too squeamish to watch.
When it started to get dark, we wanted to find a dance party. We decided to try the Bandpage HQ party at Empire Automotive for a few minutes to experience Robert DeLong
, an electronic drum and bass artist with fantastic energy. We heard the music from outside and went into groove, but we were a bit disappointed that despite the great music, only a few people were dancing.
Finally, it was time to see Tennis
at the Sony Red 7 Club, a band we had been looking forward to all day. They did not disappoint. If you haven't heard of Tennis yet, definitely take the time to give them a listen, because they're probably the best band we saw so far. They have a lo-fi indie style, but they change it up with a vintage, romantic sound like the end of a long day at the beach. They're also playing again tonight at 11 at Club de Ville, so if you're in Austin and looking for something to do, check it out!
by Melissa McDaniel and Joseph Perry