Aurgasm@SXSW – Day Four


She & Him
After trying to catch She & Him twice before during SXSW, we were finally successful Saturday afternoon! Zooey and M. Ward were the headliners at the Rachael Ray day party at Stubb’s BBQ (a party Local Natives played a few hours earlier). Despite the freezing, gloomy mess that was Saturday’s weather, Stubb’s was at capacity with a line down the street. Strangely enough, when She & Him hit the stage decked out in their finest outerwear, the sun just began to peek through the clouds. Zooey and M. Ward (and the band) played a short collection of songs from both their debut (Volume One) and new release, Volume Two, including “This Is Not a Test” and their cover of the NRBQ song, “Ridin’ In My Car”. After playing “Change Is Hard,” Zooey brought out two familiar faces, Lily and Abby of Los Angeles’ The Chapin Sisters, to accompany her on background vocals. Their winsome, upbeat folk-pop was an ideal counter to the uncharacteristic cold weather, and a great start to the last day of SXSW! Take a listen to “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” from the debut, and “Thieves” from Volume Two, which is out today:

She & Him – “Thieves” (from Volume Two)
She & Him – “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” (from Volume One)

Hey Marseilles
I first stumbled upon Hey Marseilles at SXSW last year, and last fall Julija covered them at Bumbershoot in Seattle. This year we caught the Seattle natives play St. David’s Historic Sanctuary (the church we saw Sofia Talvik play a few days earlier), where they filled the gorgeous space with their unique brand of orchestral pop. Their set included “From a Terrace,” as well as a Daniel Johnston cover (“True Love Will Find You in The End”), before ending with an audience-assisted rendition of “Rio” (mostly involving a little call-and-response clapping on our parts). The band played a multitude of instruments including violin, cello, accordion, trumpet, drums, a concert bass drum, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards and the requisite tambourine & shakers (yes, the number of instruments on stage outnumbered band members). Halfway through the set, singer Matt Bishop said, “I haven’t been in a church in forever, but I’m sure glad to be here now.” From the standing ovation the crowd gave the guys of Hey Marseilles, they were glad to be there too. Hey Marseilles skillfully weave together complex orchestration and effortless melody; the result is music that is worldly, lighthearted, and reflective. If you haven’t been listening to the boys of Hey Marseilles since we first mentioned them, it’s best you start. Take a listen to two of my favorite tracks from their 2008 debut, Travels & Trunks:

Hey Marseilles – “To Travels & Trunks”
Hey Marseilles – “Rio”

A note from Serena (our photographer): “I saw a ton of awesome musicians play at SXSW and these guys were my fave!”

The Wave Pictures
We headed back to Latitude 30 on Saturday night to catch the tail end of the Moshi Moshi showcase; everyone else might’ve been freezing outside but we were doing just fine down on San Jacinto and 5th. The Wave Pictures were one of the last bands to play the showcase, and they made it worth the wait. The London based trio have been playing together in some form for over 10 years, resulting in an ease on stage that is palpable. David Tattersall (vocals, guitar), Franic Rozycki (bass) and Jonny Helm (drums)’s set included a new track, “Epping Forest” and “Strange Fruit For David”. For the song “God Bless The Reverend Gary Davis,” we were pleasantly surprised to see drummer Jonny Helm step out from behind the kit to take the vocal lead. The Wave Pictures’ songs are charming, funny and deeply emotive all at once. Their lo-fi, indie rock leans toward the sparse and simple, with a heavy emphasis on lyrics, served pretense-free by David Tattersall. Take a listen to “Just Like a Drummer” below:

The Wave Pictures – “Just Like a Drummer”

Slow Club
Sheffield duo, Slow Club, closed out the Moshi Moshi showcase on Saturday night. Rebecca Taylor (percussion) and Charles Watson (guitar) started off the set with “I Wanna Live,” which they sung together with a sparse synth accompaniment. For the rest of the night, the duo played a set that would sway between the sweet and tenuously sung “I Was Unconscious, It Was a Dream” to the raucous upbeat energy of “Because We’re Dead,” and the audience loved every second. To qualify Slow Club as simply “folk” would be doing Rebecca and Charles a disservice — it’s a too-simple way to categorize their music which requires more nuance. Alternating between energetic rockabilly to soothing ballads, Slow Club manage to strike a balance. The set included a number of songs from their album, Yeah So, as well as a few new tracks. After Rebecca introduced the new song, “Gold Mountain,” she amended, “Well, not that new, since we’ve played it a million times this festival.” A million or not, it was still a treat. After inviting “all their mates” up on stage, they closed out the night with a cover of Tracy Byrd’s jubilant drinking ode, “Drinking Bone”. Though I’ve been a fan of Slow Club for a while, I’d never gotten a chance to see them live, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Seeing the duo live for the first time was the perfect way to round out SXSW. Take a listen to “I Was Unconscious, It Was A Dream” and “It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful” from Yeah So:

Slow Club – “I Was Unconscious, It Was A Dream”
Slow Club – “It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful”

+ Purchase/Visit

3 Responses to “Aurgasm@SXSW – Day Four”

  1. heylucas :

    Zoooooey <3

  2. Kyle :

    slow club :)

  3. sephra :

    good choices. slow club is incredible.