SXSW 2011: J. Roddy Walston, Jukebox the Ghost, Chico Mann
Hello again, it's your old friend Sam Sessa with another dispatch from Austin, Texas.
Man, my legs are aching. I can't remember the last time I walked and stood and walked and stood so much.
Day two of my trip to the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin flew by. I checked in with Baltimore rockers J. Roddy Walston and the Business, who are playing a few showcases down here (check out the whole list of Baltimore bands at SXSW Erik put together).
Rod and the boys had head colds, and said some kind of bug has been going around -- a bunch of the bands are sick. But they still seemed pumped to be in Austin. Here's the interview; listen for "white people" references.
I also checked in with singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten, who is buddies with Baltimore's Wye Oak and Lower Dens. Here's that interview, too.
In late afternoon, I caught the Philly-by-way-of-Washington indie band Jukebox the Ghost (pictured at top), who played a mellower-than-normal set at Empire, an old auto shop. Austin is brimming with bands -- hundreds, if not thousands of them -- and much of downtown is turned over to pedestrians.
The lines are incredible. People stand and wait for everything from food trucks to club shows. If you have a badge, that makes it easier to get in, but still, lines can stretch down and around the block.
Later on, I saw this DJ named Chico Mann, who was bizarre in all the right ways. He had a beard and wore a black-and-white scarf, and had an avatar of his face on his laptop. Chico played keyboards and sang live (mostly in Spanish) over these killer beats.
But then he would yell things like "YEAH THAT'S THE JERSEY SOUND" and "THIS IS JERSEY!"
Come to find out, he's from Jersey City. Here's his MySpace site, check out the tune "Dilo Como Yo."
I wrapped up around 2 a.m., got up at 9 a.m. today and headed to a Warner records showcase for some interviews. The 21-year-old singer/songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield is playing on the front lawn, and the brother/sister duo the Belle Brigade are on their way.
I'll try and check back in later today with another update.
Photo: Jukebox the Ghost performing in Austin at SXSW (Sam Sessa)