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.
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:
The Church • rock, indie
Check this out. Every band you have ever loved—well except for The Beatles, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Hole and the Wu-Tang Clan—is inevitably going to get back together, go on tour and appear in your hometown like the rightful, powerful magicians of the age that they proclaimed when you were collecting their albums and dancing like mad to everything they recorded. That goes for minor league rock gods from the '80s onward, so in the future, be prepared for amazing visits to the graves of outfits like Echo & the Bunnymen, Candlebox and Thompson Twins in search of relevance and cool merch. The Church, a gothy, psych-rock band from Down Under, notable for a couple of respectable hits, performs from their extensive oeuvre—they have 17 albums!—at Meow Wolf on Wednesday, May 1 at 8pm. Tickets for this 21 plus rockfest are $27 in advance and $30 the day of the show.VIP and Meetand Greet tickets cost $109.