Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

March 18, 2011 at 1:38pm

SXSW with Rev. Adam McKinney Day Three: The Back Pockets, Strange Vine, the Nightgowns at a bar called Cheers, and one epic sunburn

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DAY THREE >>>

The Back Pockets are fucking awesome. With roughly seven members (nine if you count the interpretive dancers in animal masks), the Back Pockets aim for and achieve a certain kind of grandiose chaos. All of the men are dressed in filthy wedding gowns. It seems like one of them only has one job - to run around with a drum strapped to his chest and make random "whoop!" sounds.

But it all fell together beautifully. The freakish punk aesthetic meeting the wall of sound was something to be seen. For a closing number, the band passed around drumsticks to everyone in the crowd, and we clacked and banged along with them. It was exhilarating.

I spent most of today wandering around, picking up strange shows likethe Back Pockets here and there. Another good discovery was Strange Vine, a two-piece blues-rock group. Beyond having solid, dancy music, what separates Strange Vine from the rabble is the drummer: he drums with one hand, and with the other he plays keyboard. It's crazy impressive, and he makes it sound so good you forget the kind of inherent gimmicky aspect of it.

I ended the day with the Nightgowns at a bar called Cheers. They went on at around 1:20 in the a.m., and so had a shorter set than they were anticipating, closing with a new song called "Away Away." With its strumming bass line and shimmering keys, it's reminiscent of New Order or Echo and the Bunnymen. It was the right note to leave it on.

More today. Lord, grant me the courage to withstand this sunburn.

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