Friday, March 19, 2010

SXSW: Day two wrap up

After a long ordeal trying to catch a cab, I'm finally back to my hotel. My feet hurt enough that I kinda want to cut them off. Oh well... I'll live.

I was at Maggie Mae's for most of the night for the Saddle Creek Records showcase, which was split with the Nicodemus Agency. Nicodemus bands went on first and I didn't much care for them. The last band, Pomegranates, had some decent stuff, but I wouldn't rush out to buy their album.

It was a fun atmosphere when the SC bands started: the room was loaded with SC folks, a few Omaha fans and a bunch of Omaha "scenesters." Everyone was talking and hanging out like an old family reunion.

Mynabirds started everything off and they sounded better even than when I saw them at the Haiti benefit at Slowdown recently. Laura Burhenn's voice has a soulful energy to it that really lends itself to the country-folk kind of stuff that they do. (Side note: She got some laughs from talking about Dan McCarthy's mustache: "It's made from 100 percent pure mustache.") The small crowd enjoyed the Mynabirds, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they would have drawn better if their album came out before SXSW rather than after (April 27).

UUVVWWZ was up next. I don't really know what to say about them. If you've seen their show before, you've seen its avant rock-ness in all its glory. This was pretty much like any set I've seen them do.

Up third was the one I was looking forward to the most. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson produced the album that was at the top of my top 10 of 2009, so I was very excited to see him live. He set up with two guitars and a keyboard for what turned out to be a solo show (no band). Apparently, his band couldn't/wouldn't/didn't come with him on this tour, so his choice was either to cancel all the shows or do it solo. He decided on doing them all solo.

I can see how much better he'd be fleshed out with a few fellas behind him. But he made do, rocking his guitar with both rhythm and melody. He also dropped pre-programmed drum beats that fit surprisingly well into his songs. Still, someday I'd like to see him come through Omaha with a full band,

Then Rural Alberta Advantage came onstage. They are a great live band and I was also looking very forward to seeing them again.  They delivered once again and this time included several new songs that weren't on last year's release through Saddle Creek. Good stuff, all around. Now, I must get to bed if I'm to have any energy tomorrow.

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