SXSW 2009 blog: Halfway Round-up

Two days in and this logo ain't for changin'
Two days in and this logo ain't for changin'

"1800 bands.

"Four days to see them in.

"It's simply not feasible without some serious Dr Manhattan-style super powers. However, as the admirable (if slightly insane) efforts of one Paul Ford to write a six-word review of every band playing for The Morning News highlights, it might not even be desirable.

"Just click on that above link and you'll see just how many (whisper it) average bands there have been at this year's SXSW.

"Fear not though. A deeper look beyond a six-word summary and catching an encore or seven reveals that there some rather special bands old and not-so-old here on and off the streets of Austin.

"Here are just a handful that have pricked my ears - hopefully, we'll have another list in two days time.


"They have a song on Guitar Hero and I'm not the only one in the crowd that's playing a tiny air-guitar when these hirsute men take the stage. Old-fashioned heavy rock fun - just like your momma used to make!

Viva Voce

"Someone needs to plug the Sleater-Kinney gap for high-kicking, kick-ass front women. It's early to say but Viva Voce may be that band. They certain know their way around a melody and in Anita and new girl Corrina, they have potential stars.

Abalone Dots

"Four rather attractive Swedes that make a rather attractive noise too. Largely folk/country but on a sunny Friday afternoon it reinvigorates my musical palette that is becoming soured by the skinny-boys-plus-dums-plus-bass-plus-guitar recipe that fills every SXSW venue.


"Longtime spoof-ish hardcore band that no longer includes originators Ween but has been reinvigorated as a Queens of the Stone Age/Dwarves/Butthole Surfers collaboration. In my mind, that reads a Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri reunion! Unfortunately not. What we get instead is Oliveri and a turbo-charged, metal slaying. Just as you'd expect really…"

Come back tomorrow for regular updates from SXSW.