SXSW Music Festival 2012 - Day 4 - Evening
The Great Wilderness [Jump], Little Hurricane [Jump], Sahara Smith [Jump], Cuff The Duke [Jump], The Flying Eyes [Jump], Lucero [Jump], Dinosaur Jr [Jump], Jesse Malin [Jump]
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16-March 2012
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The Great Wilderness @ The Studio by HGTV

"The Great Wilderness is a dream rock band from San Josť, Costa Rica influenced by British post punk, alternative rock and inspired by bands such as B.R.M.C., The Big Pink, M83, Joy Division and Sonic Youth." - SXSW Band Info
After a brief stop at the hotel I walked back towards the main 6th Street drag, but stopped at "The Studio" to see The Great Wilderness
for an early 8 pm showcase. The set was not bad and well received by the small but enthusiastic crowd.
Audio:  The Great Wilderness - Nicholas Cage (from SXSW event page)
from this show.

Little Hurricane @ Buffalo Billiards

"Why would two people from sunny San Diego feel compelled to sing the blues? This is a question pondered while listening to the debut LP from Little Hurricane, a Southern California duo specializing in hulky guitar riffs. While there’s no escaping their rock and blues roots, these two employ enough of pop sensibility to keep things interesting." - Katherine Flynn, Consequence Of Sound
I usually get bored quickly by guitar/drum duos, especially when they sound like a carbon copy of The White Stripes, but Little Hurricane did well keep my attention during the last of several SXSW performance in front of decent sized audience.
Audio: Little Hurricane - Haunted Heart (from SXSW event page)
Video: Little Hurricane - Lies (from another show during SXSW 2012)

With a bit of time to kill before the next set on my schedule I stopped at Maggie Mae's Gibson Room to see Sahara Smith play a couple of songs. Hard to get a good read on an artist in under 10 minutes, but what I heard sounded very polished and ready for a mainstream Pop audience.

Cuff The Duke @ Trinity Hall

"Canadian roots-rockers probably hew most accurately to an alternative country identity. Hailing from Toronto, the quartet just issued its fifth album, Morning Comes, which was produced by Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor. Released in Canada late last year, it's the band's first concept LP and has been nominated for a prestigious Juno Award."  – Jay Trachtenberg, Austin Chronicle
Nine hours after starting my day at Trinity Hall I was back to see
Cuff The Duke. The last time I had seen them at SXSW was back in 2006 when they shared a bill with Matt Mays and Leeroy Stagger. I don't remember exactly why, but back then I left the show early and disappointed. But their latest Morning Comes is simply a great album, so gave them another chance and was rewarded with a stellar performance. Especially guitarist Dale Murray was on fire and the crowd loved their set.
Audio: Cuff The Duke - Count On Me (from SXSW event page)
Video: Cuff The Duke - Time Is Right

The Flying Eyes @ BD Riley's

"[...] rapturous Sabbath-stomp riffs sit alongside the Californian narcotic warmth of The Doors, as well as the musical exploration of the 13th Floor Elevators, while patches of British blues and pastoral-pop are also thrown in." - Chybucca Sounds
Year after year I wonder whether SXSW event organizers have ever been inside of BD Riley's. Or in the this case, ever looked at the tiny "stage" through the windows. But maybe it's intentional, because even if the venue is at capacity you can just watch the bands form the street.  I usually end up at BD Riley's for at least one showcase, and this year was no exception. The Flying Eyes did their best to connect across the barrier that separates the stage from the audience. Not bad, but I had to move on halfway through their set to start the trek to my next destination.
Audio: The Flying Eyes - Don't Point Your God At Me
(from SXSW event page)
Video: Watch a full concert from 2011 here.

Lucero @ Bar 96

"Women & Work is the sound of a mature, confident band, fully embracing their hometown's musical legacy, and wrapping it inside their own sound, making each both larger and deeper. All killer, no filler." - Thom Jurek,
The good news was that I got into Bar 96 without any line-up. The bad news was that the number of people let in seemed to match the size of the entire compound, but the relatively small area where the stage could be seen was absolutely packed. Lucero were already on stage when I arrived and it took a lot of time and effort to move into a position where getting some half-decent shots was possible.

Video: Lucero - Nights Like These (from this show)

Dinosaur Jr @ Bar 96

The hardcore Lucero fans in front of the stage retreated to the bar after the band finished their set, allowing me to move into a prime spot right in front of the stage. While I own all studio albums Dinosaur Jr released over the last 25+ years, I had seen the band only once back in 1988, although I did catch a couple of Sebadoh and J Mascis shows since. This showcase ended up being a highlight of the day and of the entire week. About half-way through the show a moshpit started to emerge and I had to move a bit to the side, but the show was a blast beginning to end.
Video: Dinosaur Jr - Thumb (from this show)
Video: Dinosaur Jr - No Bones
(from this show)

Jesse Malin @ Cedar Street Courtyard

"Love It to Life is Malin at his most vital, writing and singing the best material of his career thus far with a scarred heart and bloody but unbowed attitude and genuine laughter on full display. There isn’t anything left to prove: as a fine straight-up rock & roll poet and songwriter, he's as fine as they come; the only places to go now are wider and deeper." - Thom Jurek,
It was almost 2 in the morning when I walked along 4th Street, and for once there was no line in front of Cedar Street Courtyard. Jesse Malin was still playing and didn't seemed inclined to stop, so I got see him do a couple of songs to end another 13-hour day at SXSW.
Audio: Jesse Malin - Burning The Bowery (
from SXSW event page)

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All pictures (c) Steffen Paulus 2012