Wednesday, March 13, 2019

SXSW 2019, Day 2 w Weakened Friends, Dentist, Bad Bad Hats, illuminati hotties, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Stef Chura, The Upside Down, and Tallies

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers

Not Quite a Recovery Day

I think I took it ever so slightly easier yesterday. During the morning, I edited pictures and wrote a typo-filled post. I, in fact, ate three legit meals, did a lot of walking, and still managed to catch 8 bands. Haven't had the reserves to make it to a 12 AM or 1 AM set yet, but I think I'm doing ok.

After eating my Texas-shaped waffle at the hotel's breakfast and finishing my morning work, Rosi and I started walking down the hill towards the Convention Center. About halfway there, I realized I forgot my badge; so we humped it back up the hill to grab that. Once we made it downtown, we checked in with the press office about scheduling interview space; and it felt like, maybe, we're a little bit smaller of an outfit than they typically deal with for those types of things. They suggested we find unofficial locations for that stuff, so Rosi and I vowed DIY4LYF.

We went our separate ways, and I headed over to Barracuda to welcome our besties in Dentist to town. I walked in for the last few songs from Maine's Weakened Friends, and I was happy to catch some of their set. Their album Common Blah is excellent, and you should check it out.

Weakened Friends

Dentist played the outdoor stage. They brought it as always. The early crowd wasn't huge, but a good percentage of those in attendance approached the band to ask when they could see them again this week.


From there, it was across the street to The Side Bar where I ran into NJ's Well Wisher. We took in the set from Minnesota's Bad Bad Hats. Lead singer, Kerry Alexander, charmed the crowd with her Midwestern warmth. She and the rest of the band also charmed with their personal and engaging indie pop.

Bad Bad Hats

L.A.'s illuminati hotties are one of the bands I see all over the schedule here. I really enjoyed last year's Kiss Yr Frenemies, and the feel of that title pretty much sums up the feel of the band on stage. Sarah Tudzin doesn't take herself too seriously even if there are some deeper emotions buried within the humor of her songs.

illuminati hotties

Break time. I walked over to the "Registrants Lounge" tent and grabbed a sofa and a vanilla Coke. I decided I'd walk to find some tacos or a burger from P. Terry's. After going about 15 minutes, I realized that I'd left my glasses on a table back at the tent and had to double back. That was the theme for yesterday, I guess. Ended up eating barbecue, which is never a bad thing.

After getting cleaned up and rested, it was down to Beerland for Sarah Shook & The Disarmers. I love both of Shook's records, and -- through Matt Chrystal -- she's become kind of a friend of the site. Unfortunately, circumstances never line up properly for me to catch her when she comes to our area; so I was super excited to see her here.

Sarah Shook

Really enjoyed that set. Sarah Shook is absolutely the real deal and one of the hardest-working people in the biz. You might be one of those people who says you don't like country music, but don't deny yourself this.

I stuck around Beerland for the set from Detroit's Stef Chura, and she wins the title for my discovery of the day. Chura has a unique voice and uses it to deliver some edgy indie rock. Check out last year's Messes.

Stef Chura

I dug out the SXSW GO app to see what was happening at 11, and I saw that Tallies were set to play The Main right around the corner, so I hoofed it over there. I walked in, and The Upside Down from Chongquing, China were about halfway through their set. Dream pop, lyrics in Chinese, their first trip to the States. What a cool set to just stumble upon.

The Upside Down

Tallies' self-titled album is one of my favorites so far this year. It displays influences from The Smiths, The Sundays, and Tallies' Canadian paisanos, Alvvays. Singer Sarah Cogan's vocals weave in with the jangle of the guitars in that way that I always love so much.


I was pretty much done at this point, so it was back up the hill in the drizzle for some photo editing and then bed. Already fueled up with my Texas-shaped waffle this morning, and it's almost time to get back after it.

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