SA at SXSW
It's SXSW time again, and the final schedule for the annual Austin music confab includes a pretty skimpy - in terms of numbers, not quality - selection of San Antonio-area artists. If you throw out San Marcos, which is represented by Blue October, Livewire Down, The Spiders, and subject:defect, we're left with the turntable tag-team duo of SXSW perennial DJ Jester the Filipino Fist (who recently relocated to Austin) & Klassen, house-music guru Spettro, and alt-country band Two Tons of Steel.
Coincidentally or not, all of the San Antonio acts are set to perform on Thursday, March 18. Jester and Klassen perform together at 8:45 p.m. at Zero Degrees (405 E. 7th Street), Two Tons of Steel appears at 11 p.m. at the Broken Spoke (3201 S. Lamar), and Spettro can be seen at 11:30 p.m. at Copa (217 N. Congress).
Darediablo, a highly acclaimed New York underground quartet, straddles the line between prog and metal, with a smart, largely instrumental attack (guitar, bass, drums, and electric piano) alternately compared to early, experimental Pink Floyd, Medeski Martin & Wood and the MC5. They're currently supporting their third full-length CD, Bedtime Stories, and will bring their thunderous grooves to Taco Land on Wednesday, March 17.
California punk band AFI (A Fire Inside) recently cancelled the final 10 dates of its national tour, including a scheduled March 13 show at Sunset Station, because singer Davey Havok is suffering from larynx problems, and his doctor has advised him to rest his vocal cords. The group had been touring behind Sing the Sorrow, its debut album on DreamWorks Records, after putting out a string of indie releases over the last decade.
What About Bob?
Guided By Voices' March 6 show at Austin's La Zona Rosa found frontman Bob Pollard crossing from pleasantly soused to bitterly trashed in the course of about an hour. Frequently coming off like a cranky, middle-aged playa hata, Pollard fired jabs at the White Stripes ("having a band without a bass player is like having a softball team without a catcher"), Yo La Tengo ("it's just not happening"), and a mystery Austinite, dubbed "Frank Bowie" by Pollard, who sounded suspiciously like Spoon's Britt Daniel: "Frank Bowie has an ego that's even bigger than his ears."
Pollard's babbling - which caused one female fan to intermittently scream: "You're killing me!" - let up often enough to reveal that his band was in fine, rocking form, if not quite up to its usual transcendent standards. •