SXSW Music Festival 2011 - Day 4 - Afternoon
Susan Cowsill [Jump], Clownie [Jump], Mark Eitzel [Jump], Jon Dee Graham [Jump], Eleventh Dream Day [Jump], Hudson Moore [Jump], Kasey Anderson & the Honkies [Jump]
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Austin, Texas
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19-March 2011
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Susan Cowsill @ Extended Stay America - Austin Downtown - Room #302

"Somewhere along the way, New Orleans' Susan Cowsill turned into one of the sweethearts of SXSW, a perennial favorite among the vast sea of singer-songwriters. Blessed with an ability to charm audiences just as she did with 1960s family band the Cowsills, her 2010 CD, Lighthouse, was a beacon of hope." – Margaret Moser, allmusic.com
I started my last day of SXSW 2011 relatively early, but I didn't have to go very far for my first set of the day. Two floors up room 302 had been turned into a make-shift web radio studio. Susan Cowsill stopped by to do an interview, but ended up playing a couple of songs as well.



Clownie @ Continental Club Gallery

"For the past 11 years, Daren Hess has played drums for James McMurtry [...] Though Clownie is on a mission of expression, this is not the usual self-indulgent sideman solo project, but more of a band record, with Jon Dee Graham’s screaming guitar leading the way. A former member of Poi Dog Pondering and the Silos, Hess pulls from past associations to collaborate with Bruce Hughes, Scrappy Jud Newcomb, JD Foster, Carey Bowman and more to make a record that sounds like it cost more than it probably did." - Michael Corcoran, austin360.com
This was a rare opportunity to see Daren Hess aka Clownie in his only performance during SXSW 2011. Unfortunately it meant missing The Slummers who played their only show a couple of blocks over at the Yard Dog, but it was was great to see Daren leaving the drums behind and step up to the microphone.





Moving on to the Yard Dog, I caught the end of Mark Eitzel's set.



Jon Dee Graham @ Continental Club

"After being involved in a brutal car wreck in 2008, local stalwart Jon Dee Graham dusted himself off and continued to work at a furious pace. His latest, It's Not as Bad as It Looks (Freedom), captures a direct response to that experience like a scar, showcasing his crackling guitar work and reflective lyricism." – Jim Caligiuri, Austin Chronicle
If you have read any of my reports from previous years you know that a stop at Continental Club to see Jon Dee Graham play "Mojo's Mayhem" party on Saturday afternoon is compulsory on my SXSW schedule. On a side note, and not sure that you really care, but the toilet (in this case I will refuse to refer to it as bathroom or restroom) must be one of the worst in any rock club in the world, and I've seen a few. It wasn't helped by the fresh (?) puke in the urinal, although I have to admit that it's somewhat entertaining to figure out what that person had to eat before the occasion while taking a piss. Jon Dee never disappoints, and he and The Fighting Cocks were in fine form this afternoon.






Eleventh Dream Day @ Yard Dog

"The career of the noisy guitar unit Eleventh Dream Day -- one of the most resilient and criminally underappreciated bands to rise from the Midwestern underground community -- was a textbook study in alt-rock endurance; despite a nightmarish major-label tenure, ill-timed roster changes, and commercial indifference, the group persevered, ultimately emerging as elder statesmen of the flourishing Chicago independent scene of the mid-'90s." - Jason Ankeny, allmusic.com
"It's no real surprise that after nearly 30 years as a band and five years since their last album, Eleventh Dream Day reconvened to record again. They've practically made a career of being underappreciated but something continues to bring them back to make music together despite a myriad of divergent paths over the years. What is a bit of a surprise is that this is probably their hardest-rocking album since Prairie School Freakout, their debut full-length from 1988. [...] At this point, EDD will probably never get the recognition they deserve, but those in the know are sure glad they're still at it." - Sean Westergaard, allmusic.com
Eleventh Dream Day had been one of my favorite bands since their debut, but I had only seen them in concert once in 1993, so this was one of the shows I looked forward the most this year. It was just amazing how seamless "Among The Pines" from Prairie School Freakout (1988) fit in with the rest of their set which drew exclusively from their new album Riot Now!. Yo La Tengo's James McNew (bass) and Mark Greenberg (keys) joined Janet and Rick for what was by far my favorite set of SXSW 2011. There are some nice videos from this show up on You Tube as well...
Setlist: "Damned Tree" (video here), "Cold Steel Grey", "Satellite" (video here), "Divining For Water", "That's What's Coming", "Among The Pines" (video here)








Now I was ready for a break, but while eating a slice of pizza I heard a band sound-checking next door in the parking lot at St. Vincent de Paul. They sounded not bad and turned out to be the 20-year old Hudson Moore and his band. He recently released his debut, but it might be a while until he finds his own voice and sound, as his Facebook page lists the following somewhat diverse influences: "John Mayer, Dave Matthews, The Allman Brothers, Keith Urban, Ryan Adams, Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20, Pat Green, BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Doors, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, James Brown, Grateful Dead." Hmm...




Kasey Anderson & The Honkies @ Jovita's

“Anderson seems as if he has access to the whispers and the weariness that old bodies might have uttered or gone through, in that order, for the songs that he writes are caked in the astute observations of a person who’s seen or is in the midst of seeing endless days.” - Daytrotter
At Jovita's the outside stage was still not available due to permit issues, so once again the twangfest party was way behind schedule, resulting in a long wait before I finally got to see Kasey Anderson & The Honkies. While I have all his albums this was my first time seeing him live and it was well worth the wait. For the last of their 7 shows during SXSW the small crowd that stuck around got "the worst banter, but the best songs” as Kasey put it. Watch a video of "Exit Ghost" from this show here.







Continue to evening...

All pictures (c) Steffen Paulus 2011