By Michael Henningsen
Chris Smither always manages to sound real on his records. Like he's living the songs he sings every day. In a sense, that's exactly what the 50-year-old acoustic bluesman is doing—living the very truths he sets to music. Smither's childhood wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't stable either. His parents, both university professors, moved the family from Miami to Ecuador to Texas to New Orleans to Paris back to New Orleans, all by the time Smither was 13 years old and already fascinated by music.
By Michael Henningsen
Another March has passed, and with it another installment of the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, where several of us go every year to scout the newest, coolest bands. OK, we all see a few older cool bands, too, but most of the reason we go every year is to give you a brief preview of bands to watch when we get back. Plus, it keeps us from killing ourselves (and each other) the remaining months of the year. Here we go with SXSW 2004 Top 10:
courtesy of the artist
Vampires Everywhere! • rock • Consider Me Dead • Set to Stun
By August March
Metalcore masters Vampires Everywhere! will be rising from their decrepit coffins…
Tacocat • post post punk pop • Red Light Cameras
By Robin Babb
Everything about Tacocat is candy-coated. Technicolor-dyed hair, surfy guitar vibes and unabashed riot grrl revivalism combine in this energetic quartet from Seattle to make some of the best pop-punk tunes you’ve heard since you became okay with listening to pop-punk again. It’s good music for gleefully burning pictures of your ex. With punchy but sweet vocals and catchy choruses that you’ll be humming for days, their latest album NVM is worthy of heavy rotation. Their second LP (and first on the Hardly Art label), NVM features beefed-up production but the same garage-y, DIY sound from their earlier EPs Woman’s Day and Take Me to Your Dealer. Stand-out tracks are “Crimson Wave” (which is about exactly what you think it’s about) and “Psychedelic Quinceñera,” a ballad about a girl who would rather forego the regular quinceñera formalities on her 15th birthday and get hella blitzed with her amigas instead. After exhausting the basement venues of Washington, Tacocat is heading inland on their winter tour with Sallie Ford. Red Light Cameras open. Pay your 10 bucks and get ready for the most colorful 21+ mosh pit of your life!
SlayBells Fire • Sam Pottorff • Grant Landis • Diegosaurs • Andrew Fontenot • Maddie Welborn • Alex Lee at Sunshine Theater
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