Unofficial SXSW ’10: Shamrock

March 18th, 2010: As seen on Archive (PDF)

Ain’t nothing sham about another year in free rock unofficially exploding all over Austin again this year, where there’s a willing badgeless soul there’s a way to pop into everything from the best in budding Belfast rockers (aptly timed with St. Paddy’s day) to 8-bit Nintendo pop in a bowling alley fit for Lebowski royalty.   Sure, 8BK-ok demanded a certain twee pedigree and a likeness for covers of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and ASIWFA provided a few too many Belfast answers to post-rockers Explosions In The Sky, but all they asked for was attention, and teased it with free drinks.

The internet is here to make it all increasingly easy to navigate this stuff, and Todd P, the infamous concert promoter from NYC is back publishing impromptu zines called Showpaper, listing house party galore and all of his own gatherings at Cheer Up Charlie‘s (formerly Ms. Bea‘s).  So with a little word of mouth gusto and a proactive RSVP nature, it was easy poking around for a new favorite band, which honor goes to local upstarts White Dress, earning stars both with their Velvet Underground-tinged garage-scrap aggression and their “South By Sour West” sign they propped in a tree from the backyard in which they protested their exclusion from SXSW proper.

Otherwise, L.A.’s Warpaint broodingly tore up one of many downtown appearances I was grateful to be in attendance for, proving their full-moon glow in the blogosphere the real deal with a lofty run through “Elephant,” and  a quartet of dudes in black called Jesus Makes The Shotgun Sound from somewhere in California (they wouldn’t say where) drew some curiosity with stab-a-hole-in-your-amp crunchy goth rock on a book store patio, the best part happening when a neighbor brought his two little girl twins to eat Twizzlers and watch their first live show.


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