SXSW forecast: 80 degrees and a chance of rocking

SXSW started early this year, but despite the extra day and even more venues, the growing number of bands and fans are already overwhelming Austin, providing an increasingly difficult itinerary. Press passes aren’t what they used to be and it is quite easy to get stuck in line long enough to miss a few hours and a few acts. It’s important to have a few backup plans, and not to be discouraged when your first choices fall through. After all, the festival is supposed to be about discovering new talent.

No, this is not a crowd shot of the Vatican, but for many, Sixth Street in Austin, Texas is a religious landmark. (CREDIT: Andy Sheppard/Redferns/Getty Images)
No, this is not a crowd shot of the Vatican, but for many, Sixth Street in Austin, Texas is a religious landmark.
(CREDIT: Andy Sheppard/Redferns/Getty Images)

The freaks and the fashionable parade the streets from noon until morning, making people-watching alone worth the price of the plane ticket. I joined the masses on Tuesday looking for something new, and I quickly found it. Making my way to the Paste Magazine/Newport Folk Festival’s showcase, I arrived just in time to see the start of Hurray for the Riff Raff’s set. The female duo from New Orleans played a riveting stripped down set of country-tinged blues combining cover songs by Billie Holiday and Fred Neil as well as a slew of originals. Alternating between acoustic guitar and banjo, backed by a fiddle and the occasional toy piano, their set seemed perfectly at home on the front patio of the rickety old house now known as the Blackheart Bar. Not only will Hooray for Riff Raff make their debut at the Newport Folk Festival this year, but they found out just hours before their set they will be the opening act for the Alabama Shakes upcoming tour.

From there it was on to Viceland to catch the Skaters’ Austin debut. The buzz around them, combined sharing a bill with Waaves and Japandroids created a line of about 2,000 people snaked around the block — a line that would only be trumped later by Deadmau5. This was the first show I missed out on, and I hope it’s my last.

After watching a few songs from the street, I decided to make better use of my time and headed over to the Mohawk to hear the Danish band, Indians. A three-piece consisting of more keyboards than people, the band layers loops, Moog synthesizers and a brain-rattling drum pad to create dreamy, slightly dancey music. The Copenhagen croon of lead singer Soren Juul works well with Enya-like atmospherics.

Looking to for some more traditional rock ‘n’ roll, I drifted off to The North Door to catch Vietnam. After taking the past five years off, Michael Gerner is back with a new six-piece lineup and a recent record, but their sound remains the same. It is dark, lengthy and often druggy narratives, which are delivered without traditional verse/chorus structure and set against a heavy shimmer of blues guitar riffs.

After seeing the line for Jim James a couple blocks from the entrance. I decided to go home and rest up for Wednesday. It’s going to be a long week.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.