Sunday, March 17, 2013

SXSW 2013 – Saturday: The Limousines, Paws, The Little Ones

If you wake up on the Saturday morning of South By Southwest and don’t feel like you might die, you might be doing it wrong.  The multi-day music frenzy can certainly take its toll, but the promises of day parties and warm sunny weather are too tough to pass up. 

On the patio of the Mohawk, Scottish rockers Paws slammed on their guitars.  Wearing a long-sleeved flannel shirt, and with the ends of his dark hair bleached, lead vocalist Phillip Taylor looked like ‘90s skater – an image perhaps propped up by Taylor’s admittance that he’d spent the previous evening screaming at the Less Than Jake show like he was 15 again.  Paws was followed by the Canadian punk trio Metz.  How these dudes are able to channel so much energy into every song is completely remarkable.  They’re bombastically noisy – just as punk should be.

The Limousines at Dirty Dog
If there was to be an award for the venue having the stickiest floors in Austin, that award would probably go to the Dirty Dog bar.  On one hand, you have to appreciate a bar that’s not trying to pull one over on anyone – “dirty” is in the venue’s name (for heaven’s sake, their logo is a dog humping a woman’s leg) – but on the other hand, it’s nice to be able to freely move your feet.  Especially if you wanted to dance a little to the sounds of San Francisco’s The Limousines.  Their early electro-driven sound, most notably captured in “Very Busy People,” bore some resemblance to MGMT, but hearing the band now, it’s hard not to want to put them in the more raucous 3OH!3-type camp.  The band played a number of new songs, which will hopefully turn up on their long-anticipated second album, expected this summer. 

Los Angeles band The Little Ones played an enjoyably breezy set, unfurling their Ra Ra Riot-ish brand of indie rock best with songs like “Ordinary Song.”  Watching the band’s upbeat vibe on stage, for a moment it seemed possible to forget there was a festival going on at all.  At least, until you tried to move your feet.

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