Aurgasm@SXSW 2011 – Day Two
Alexander Ebert, frontman for Ima Robot and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, debuted his solo effort “Alexander” at SXSW this year. At one point early in his set, Alex said to the crowd, “You have to be a bit forgiving at SXSW” — turns out there was no need for that warning. Despite the heat, Alex and his band had everyone crowded around the small stage, enthusiastically singing and clapping along. Later, he shrugged off all the cheers, jokingly asking “Alright, alright, who paid you guys off?” Though Alex had a band backing him at the Greenhouse, he performed all the songs from his debut album, Alexander, solo. Take a listen to “A Million Years” and “Truth” below.
Sondre Lerche is a long-time favorite of mine, so I was pretty thrilled to hear that Rawkblog & TwentyFourBit had him on the bill for their SXSW party. The scene was a bit calmer over at The Liberty on 6th, which was a bit east of most of the main SXSW madness. Sondre played a bunch of new tunes from his upcoming album, Sondre Lerche, including “Domino” which David Greenwald got video of here: Sondre Lerche – “Domino” (Live @ SXSW 2011). After a couple of the new tunes, someone shouted “Play a classic!” and Sondre asked, “You mean like, The Stones? Or one of mine?” When everyone shouted back, “One of yours!” Sondre quipped, “…of which there are so many!” — but he obliged by playing one of my personal favorites, “Sleep on Needles”. Between the jokes (there was definitely a David Brent reference thrown in there) and the solo performance, Sondre’s set was a great way to spend an afternoon at SXSW. Take a listen to “Sleep On Needles” and his cover of Owen Pallett’s “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt” below (another artist we saw perform).
After his set, Sondre was kind enough to give Aurgasm a little shout out!
James Vincent McMorrow
After Sondre’s set at The Liberty, we headed back down to the Rachael Ray Feedback at The Greenhouse to catch James Vincent McMorrow. I’d been hoping to catch him while at SXSW, his debut album Early In The Morning is a beautiful collection of songs, which I’ve been playing on repeat for the better part of the last month. As the evening approached, James and his band played a short set from Early In The Morning. His haunting vocals were the perfect soundtrack to the evening twilight.
We featured Allie Moss back in 2009, and were lucky enough to catch her one show at SXSW this year! The Creekside at The Hilton Garden Inn is the rare SXSW venue that lets you rest a bit while catching a show. Allie was the first artist for the Bedford showcase, and certainly did not disappoint. Backed by a full band, she played a mix of new songs as well as older ones from her Passerby EP. Allie has a full length releasing later this year, but you can take a listen to “Corner” and “Passerby” from her EP below!
It’s been a couple years since we wrote about Lenka here — Julija first gave us the heads up back in 2008. We caught her set at The Rusty Spurs last night, where she played as part of the AustinROX showcase. She has a new album, Two coming out later this year, and her set was a mix of new songs from that, as well as familiar favorites from The Show. You can take a listen to “The Show” if you didn’t catch it the first time around!
At Malalia, there may have been a trance dance party going on upstairs, but downstairs Jenny O. was wowing the crowd with her catchy alt-country tunes. At one point, the audience started their own dance party, dancing along to her upbeat folk rock. Take a listen to “Well OK Honey” from the Honey EP below, as well as a remix from Spirit Animal.
One of my favorite venues is St. David’s Historic Sanctuary on 7th; and the church’s vast and beautiful atmosphere was the perfect setting for Lia Ices’ dreamy, intricate ballads. At one point she reflected my thoughts exactly when she said, “It’s very nice to be with you in this civilized place among all the chaos out there.” Take a listen to “Daphne” from her recently released album, Grown Unknown:
After an exceptionally long day of music, we ended the evening with Owen Pallett. The multi-instrumentalist took the stage at Emo’s late in the evening, but was worth the wait. His most recent album, Heartland, was one of my favorites of 2010, and it’s incredible to see Owen perform these tracks live. It was an impossible-to-describe mix of electronic beats, classical strings that was mind-blowing to see live. Pallett also played a cover of Simon Bookish’s “Interview”. However, a highlight may have been when Owen performed an acoustic version of “He Poos Clouds” as he waited for his computer’s soundcard to reboot.