Tag Archives: SXSW

Gretsch Parties at SXSW with Brooklyn Vegan

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Brooklyn Vegan hosted an excellent three-day SXSW showcase at Cheer Up Charlies in Austin, Texas, and Gretsch was grateful to partner with the indie music blog to host the artist lounge area.

The venue provided an indoor and outdoor stage of non-stop music from noon until six to keep concert goers energized with plenty of options to suit all tastes.

Festivities kicked off into high gear on the outdoor stage on Thursday with White Reaper, a garage punk band from Louisville, Ky. Their set was followed up by another punk act, Plague Vendor, who gripped their audience with a very theatrical performance from singer Brandon Blaine. The punk momentum continued with Mean Jeans followed by Radioactivity, who both offered up a lighter pop-punk, Ramones-like vibe. Pop band Turnover and rock band Citizen, who share the same label, brought an interesting twist before handing it over to hardcore act Power Trip, who ended the day with an explosive show that engaged a riotous audience in moshing and crowd surfing.

Meanwhile, the indoor stage showcased an eclectic set of musicians that ranged from pop to folk to country to well, hard to classify. Kansas-based pop band Your Friend began the event, playing tracks from debut album Domino followed by Julia Jacklin, a folk rock newcomer from Australia, who was joined by a three-piece ensemble. After Jacklin, came Canadian country singer Danial Romano, who has been challenging genre boundaries lately. As the day progressed, the bands became more varied and included, Little Scream, Ezra Furman, PWR BTTM, Spookyland, and finally, Sorority Noise.

Friday’s party started off strong with two groups from Israel, Vaadat Charigim and Ninet Tayeb. We couldn’t help but notice Tayeb’s very talented and spirited guitarist, who stole the show with his excellent skills on a bright orange Gretsch Chet Atkins model. Other notable performances include feminist punk quartet Tacocat, Pennsylvania duo Slingshot Dakota, American rock band Pinegrove, and singer/songwriters Margaret Glaspy and Kevin Morby.

Already getting buzz, Seattle’s Car Seat Headrest gained even more traction with eight concerts during the SXSW festival. They began their sixth performance by opening Saturday’s party, and we were happy to loan lead singer Will Toledo a Gretsch G65439 Pro Silver Jet we had onsite. The excellent set included songs, “Ending of Dramamine,” “Vincent,” “Drunk Drivers,” “Unforgiving Girl”and “Stop Smoking.”

Saturday’s outdoor stage included sets by Diet Cig of New York, Alex Luciano, Pure Bathing Culture, Fear of Men, Le1f, Julien Baker, Into It. Over It. and Protomartyr.

Inside acts included Lucy Dacus, Girls Names, Guerilla Toss, Big Thief, Gwenno, Japanese Breakfast, Margo Price, and Mothers. Price, a country artist from Nashville signed to Jack White’s Third Man Records label drew a heck of a crowd, including comedian Bill Murray who came to the venue just to check out her set.

During the event, Gretsch set up a special selection of guitars in the artist tent. It was the perfect retreat for the talent to sit back, relax, plug-in, and talk tech. Not only did we host the Brooklyn Vegan lineup, but we were also treated to surprise pop-ins from many artists including The Big Pink, Everything, Everything and Bob Moses.

Canadian country artist Corb Lund also dropped in with his Gretsch Setzer Hot Rod, which he’s made some interesting mods to. We’ll bring you that interview in the coming weeks.

Gretsch was honored to participate in a monumental affair with Brooklyn Vegan to support live music. Be on the lookout for the lucky grand prize winner of the Gretsch Streamliner guitar we offered up to those who RSVP’d to the Brooklyn Vegan parties.

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The Cult Headline Austin City Limits Live During SXSW

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The Cult headlined the Austin City Limits Live set at the Moody Theater late Friday night playing for a packed SXSW crowd looking to end their music-filled day with a bang, and Billy Duffy and crew did not disappoint.

While lightning raged outdoors, cancelling many SXSW showcases, the groundbreaking band entertained the indoor masses at the premier venue with songs from their recent release Hidden City, including “Dark Energy,” “Hinterland” and “Birds of Paradise.” They also mixed it up with classics “She Sells Sanctuary,” “Sweet Soul Sister,” “Lil’ Devil” and “Wildflower.”

In addition to The Cult’s epic performance, the crowd was treated to several supporting acts, including the Joe Scarborough Band, the New Regime featuring Ilan Rubin (drummer NIN, Paramore), Fantastic Negrito, and Blue October.

The Cult’s U.S. tour continues through April. Check out their tour dates here.

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Our SXSW Hang with Under the Radar

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We were thrilled to partner with Under the Radar for their SXSW day parties in Austin, Texas, which kicked off on Wednesday at Flamingo Cantina with a noontime set by HAELOS.

Heavily influenced by late ‘80s and early-90s post –new wave dance music, the London electro-pop trio is one of those “must watch” bands during the annual music festival. Signed to renowned indie label Matador Records, HAELOS dazzled the crowd with their expansive and glorious sound.

Another highlight proved to be Hinds, a quartet of awesome gals from Madrid Spain, who headed into SXSW with a ton of buzz and momentum. The lo-fi garage rock band is definitely out for exposure this week as they kicked off the first of 17, yep, count ‘em, 17 shows at SXSW with an early afternoon set. The band grooved to Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing (I Believe in Miracles)” and gave out a Texas Lone Star salute to the audience before launching in to their set.

To the jerk in the crowd who intentionally popped our orange Gretsch mini beach balls, we just want you to know that several of us nearly passed out trying to blow those things up! #karma #partypooper

Despite the “ball buster,” terrific sets by Hockey Dad, Fear of Men, Sunflower Bean, YUCK and Caveman finished out the day on a huge high.

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We love when we talk to musicians and they get all gooey and geeky over guitars (like we do) or just wax poetic about songwriting and their craft.  There was certainly that sense of shared communal love of music going on at Under the Radar’s official SXSW showcase on Wednesday night at the Central Presbyterian Church.

From TEEN to Car Seat Headrest to Still Corners, the audience sat quietly in the pews, treating the performances with a devout sense of reverence.

But what do you when performing a SXSW show at a church if you are the one up on the altar? Preach from the pulpit of course.  Dressed in jeans and a matching denim jacket with a Neil Young and Crazy Horse “Rust Never Sleeps” T-Shirt peeking out, Eleanor Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces took the altar and showcased several songs from her 2016 highly praised solo album New View.

Backed by touring back Icewater, Friedberger eventually made her way up to the raised pedestal, where she dipped back to her 2011 solo debut Last Summer and closed out her set with its carefree cut “My Mistakes.”

“It’s always sort of shocking – I’m so proud and impressed when people come to see us,” Friedberger had said earlier in the set.

As she strutted off the stage while her band finished out the song’s final notes, it was evident that she had impressed and converted several new fans with her “new view” and ongoing musical maturation.

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We also walked away seriously awed by Julien Baker, a singer-songwriter from Memphis, Tenn., who has the ethereal voice of an angel. Although diminutive in figure and armed only with an electric guitar, Baker took and commanded the stage with her raw and confessional songs off solo debut album Sprained Ankle.

The album includes tracks like “Good News” and “Rejoice,” seemingly fitting titles on the surface for a house of worship. However, Baker explicitly explores depression, substance abuse, and even contemplates her faith with references both to god and the devil.

Caught up initially by Baker’s airy and beautiful delivery, it’s both jarring and even more impressionable when her darker lyrics actually sink in.

“Come visit me, come visit me,” she sang during “Blacktop.” “In the back of an ambulance, a saline communion that I held like a séance on the blacktop. The devil in my arm says feed me to the wolves tonight.”

Taking those words literally, if there were any critics in the audience, we’re betting she effectively silenced them.  Stay tuned for more from Baker as her star seems destined to rise.

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Although our Gretsch team primarily split our time on Thursday between hosting artists at the Brooklyn Vegan SXSW day party and out in the hill country at Israel Nash’s Plum Creek Sound studios, getting back over to Under the Radar to catch Petite Noir was an absolute must!

Petite Noir, aka Yannick Ilunga, is a South African singer-songwriter from Cape Town, South Africa. His debut album, La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful, is difficult to classify with elements of rap, dance music and rock. Some would say alt-R&B, but we’ll just roll with what Ilunga coined “noirwave,” and it definitely had the mid-day crowd on Thursday grooving.

THANKS TO THE SO VERY AWESOME CREW AT UNDER THE RADAR FOR HAVING US!

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Gemma Ray Covers Mudhoney at SXSW

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While in Austin, Texas, for the annual South by Southwest music festival, British musician Gemma Ray stopped by Frank to perform a set for Transistor 6.

Ray’s take of Mudhoney’s “Touch Me I’m Sick” – which appeared on her 2010 album of covers titled It’s a Shame About Gemma Ray – was shot on Kodak Super 8 Film to add a vintage look to the track.

Watch the clip below and visit Ray’s official website for more information.

Click here for a photo gallery of the session.

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The Airborne Toxic Event Take SXSW by Storm

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With an opening gig at Thursday’s Waterloo Records SXSW Day Party, Los Angeles’ the Airborne Toxic Event delivered in spades.

They didn’t have much time in the abbreviated time slot that the South by Southwest music festival typically allows, but the indie rockers fit a lot into their set.

At one point, the energy was so high that singer Mikel Jollett even climbed to the top of the scaffolding to deliver the anthemic “Does This Mean You’re Moving On?” off their self-titled debut. (more…)

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