The Fringes of E. 4th St.
We couldn't be in two places at once during SXSW, so we ended up missing quite a few shows we wanted to see. Like what? Well, the Big Orange shindig for one, featuring SOUND team, Voxtrot, Dr. Dog, and Dirty on Purpose (we were at Madvillain). Luckily, my trusty correspondent and purveyor of all things Austin, Mr. Montclair McForsyth, was able to attend, and here is his account of the evening's events:
Update: before you read any further, here's an exclusive mp3 from SOUND team's upcoming LP, Movie Monster (out June 6 on Capitol. thanks Jax):
SOUND team Your Eyes Are Liars mp3
closed circuit SOUND team (photo by Andy Fallon)
E. 4th was the antidote to the crowded, beer-soaked Austin streets this past St. Patrick's Day, and was arguably the most compelling non-SXSW fringe event of the year. Within the iron clapboard walls of SOUND team's beautifully time-worn east side analog studio, Big Orange, an unprecedented bill and a gracious, if not loopy crowd could not have been a more joyous escape from the throngs lurking on the other side of I-35.
Brooklyn's Dirty on Purpose was a fine choice to commence the special evening. Their tunes injected a sort of elegant, distorted dissonance that lacked that Brooklyn affect, and played-out dance sensibility, which fit nicely in little Big Orange.
Philly's Dr. Dog followed with their characteristic A.M. radio indie excursions and left the crowd in unheralded forms of awe. People left and right were overheard singing the band's praises throughout and thereafter. Where to begin with a band exuding such diffuse creativity? Try "Wake Up" (mp3). If Dirty on Purpose was there to start the evening with a fresh slate, then Dr. Dog was there to muddy the waters, as it were, to clean house on the purposefully dirty.
Then it was time for the proprietors to have a go. With Spoon's Britt Daniel, Joggers, and the lot of Clay Your Hands Say Yeah closely observing, SOUND team found new holes within the Movie Monster compositions they continually master. Moving wildly and with ridiculous gusto, the band churned as six interlocked units, and songs like "Handful of Billions," "TV Torso," "Your Eyes are Liars," and "No More Birthdays" transcended their formal structures ever so slightly as uncharted improvisations inflected the compositions with exquisite nuances.
On to the headliners. Come show time, a cheerful dose of Lonestar
clearly had served Voxtrot well on SOUND team's home turf. Sometimes
their sound, so small and infinitely twee, belies the size and nuanced depth of the band, a five-piece. Songs like "Soft and Warm," "Raised by Wolves," and "Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, and Wives" (mp3) were as loose as they were tight, frolicking along jovially as Voxtrot tunes tend to do. Bridge and groove upon bridge and groove filled SOUND team's analog tracking room until their slot concluded in a triumphant blaze.
Multi-instrumentalist Jared van Fleet clearly meant it when he said that this show meant more than any other. "This, this scene, this event, it's what I've been looking most forward to for many months," he uttered earlier in the night.
When the music stopped, hugs were dealt and fives delivered, then Lonestars a plenty made the rounds at Big Orange late into the deep dark night.
Visit TexasGigs.com to download a video podcast of SOUND team performing "TV Torso" at Dallas' Good Records.
Get the mp3 of SOUND team's Bill Baird and bandmates Sam Sanford and Gabe Pearlman performing at the Gorilla vs. Bear showcase (highly recommended!)
KissAtlanta has video of The Flaming Lips performing "Bohemian Rhapsody" at SXSW.