Musicians from Denmark, Singapore (by way of London), Sweden, Brooklyn, Oakland, Atlanta, etc etc were in San Antonio over the last 10 days performing everything from punk to hip-hop to dance music. We had the chance to see over 100 bands, rappers & electronic artists including some of San Antonio’s most popular names like Fea, Chisme and The Lost Project.
In 10 days I personally saw about 20 performances at 5 different venues. Sobre Sound writer, Alyssa Bunting saw a completely different set of bands on different days. Our Austin contributor, Jason Terracina, was on the ground at SXSW and you can see pictures & video and read his thoughts on SX2015 soon.
I kicked off my Spillover week with DJs at Southtown 101 on Saturday the 14th. On Monday the 16th, I caught Monogold, Dead Leaf Echo at K23 Gallery. Wednesday, it was Black Market Club and Mobely at Sam’s Burger Joint at the Nekkid Armadilla showcase and followed by Friday’s Paper Tiger Grand Opening. Burger Records Hangover Fest 3 on Sunday and Monday was the week’s mic-drop moment.
Jeff The Brotherhood, Big Tits and The Coathangers were AMAZING. Sorry to Jeff The Brotherhood, but The Coathangers blew me away the most. Raw and intense, The Coathangers redefined punk-thrashcore, post-ear stabbing crunched and mangled performance art for me. I can’t describe to you the refreshing nature of their performance. They would bang out songs under a short 3 minutes in American hardcore tradition with frantic lyrics that were still somewhat catchy. The lack of gimmicks or tricks or any of the extras most bands engage in, made the Coathanger's performance extremely gratifying. If you missed them, you have GOT to make it out to a show.
You know those ironic portraits where a person is holding a cat in an ugly sweater with their face superimposed on the top right? Big Tits are the band form of that type of irony. There may be nothing more punk than invading someone’s personal space and Big Tits’ lead singer did just that. He spent the entire set off stage, walking through the crowd with his 50 foot XLR cable. But he wasn’t violent. No. He would park it right next to you, look you in the eyes, smile and say “Hello”. Which is equally as disturbing as getting physical in the pit. I thoroughly enjoyed this unGoogleable band, check these guys out.
Jeff The Brotherhood’s live performance was my week riding off in to the sunset. They were on stage at Korova when their new album “Wasted On The Dream” went live. What was left of the bruised and boozed crowd by then, maintained the energy of a sold out venue. It sounded like the there were hundreds of people because everyone LOVED their performance. There is a classic-ness to Jeff The Brotherhood that’s uniquely American and expressed in their psychedelic guitar solos. Great night. [clapping emojis]
Wasted On The Dream out now - PURCHASE ON iTUNES
Spillover in San Antonio is a much different experience compared to SXSW. Nothing will be like Southby and no one should try to recreate it. San Antonio interests took advantage of the proximity to SX at a moderate, digestible level. Unless you took time off from work, attending live music on a nightly (and in some cases daily) basis can be exhausting. The level of advertising and free swag at spillover events were limited and most had cover charges, except for The Paper Tiger Kickoff Shows.
During Spillover week, I noticed what I described in “San Antonio’s Many Music Scenes” as different concentric circles of participation and promotion. The PR campaigns by Burger Records and for SouthXSouthtown, were effective at promoting the message of “spillover” and effective at getting the word out. Yet, there were competing, unrelated events like the Alamo Music’s Basement Sessions and the unrelated Slinging-Ink Expo at the Freeman, both drew a lot of tattooed music lovers away from the Spillover events.
San Antonio doesn’t need another Fiesta Commission dictating to us how to party or organize shows. Yet, if a further focus by groups like K23, Paper Tiger, Korova & Burger Records and others build upon what they achieved this year, next year could be explosive.