Scott Regan's blog

Kate's Take, day three

The view from a foot below continues with this entry from Austin resident, my niece, Kate Wright:

By day three you're the walking dead, and this morning I forgot to drink any water before I left the house. Of course, it was 90 out.

Lightspeed Champion: (Volume) Funky little folk rock trio from Britain playing an impossible number of concerts this week. Lead singer is going to go get a Star Wars tattoo in a few hours, we're invited to watch. Funny argument amongst themselves about which Weezer song they want to cover.

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Spring Is Just Around the Corner

Actually, spring begins tomorrow. On the calendar at least. Those warm March days in Austin left us northerners feeling like we leapfrogged a season. Only to return to snow on the eve of spring back in Rochester.

Richard JulianRichard JulianSo it seems "Spring Is Just Around the Corner" could have only been written by someone up north. Richard Julian is that guy. His new cd, "Sunday Morning in Saturday's Shoes" is an excellent collection of finely honed, odd, authentic songs.

This was the first show Thursday night. I had been curious since an earlier cd of his, "Slow New York", and then his work, along with Norah Jones, with the Little Willies. Like spring, it was worth the wait.

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Second Opinion, Kate's Take II

This entry was buried in the comments to an earlier article. Let's get it out in the open. Another in the continuing guest commentary from my niece Kate...

The View From A Foot Lower

Hi, I'm Scott's niece Kate, and I think he and I saw entirely different festivals. With a few notable exceptions, I saw almost entirely music that I was unfamiliar with. Anyway, Scott's asked me to share my notes, so here we go.

James McMurtry: (Mother Egan's) Awesome outlaw style blues-rock guitarist. Looks like Stevie Ray Vaughn and kinda sounds like him too. Much of the commentary is political, and he's very well informed.

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Second Opinion, Kate's Take!

My time at SXSW these past two years has been made easier, much more enjoyable, and more of a challenge to keep up, thanks to my wonderful niece Kate Wright, a grad student at the University of Texas. Here is her experiences and review of day two:

Long day yesterday, but mostly a good one. Spent most of the day at a label show, then a little more travel in the evening.

Peter Bradley Adams: (Friends) First act I caught of the Sarathan Records show. Pretty standard acoustic boy rock, but the singer is very cute, so he may go far.

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Jesca Hoop meets Neil Diamond

Day two at South By Southwest 2008 began with the Keynote speech by Lou Reed (covered in an earlier entry). Following Lou Reed I headed six or seven blocks north to catch Jesca Hoop doing a live radio broadcast with Nic Harcourt. One of those free shows that drew only a handful of insiders, fans, and the curious. It was only noon, a bit early for many festival goers.

Jesca HoopJesca Hoop

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What, no camera?

For all the years I've irritated, embarrassed, amused, and embarrassed more, my kids (and those around me) with painful amateur photography, there was no camera for me at South By Southwest this year. At times it was a blessing.Van MorrisonVan Morrison

Other times it was painfully grueling. Cameras everywhere. In phones, on cranes, pockets, purses, prodding every one around them. Flash, no flash. Credentials, no credentials. You know how much artists like having their pictures taken. Most artists and venues were very lenient.

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Lou Reed Speaks

Thursday, day two. Lou ReedLou Reed

Had to see Jesca Hoop, scheduled to appear on a live radio broadcast at noon. First, curiosity brought me to the keynote speech given this year by Lou Reed. He was appearing in conjunction with a screening of Julian Schnabel’s "Lou Reed’s Berlin", which documents a recent performance of the 1973 album. Schnabel considers it “the most romantic record ever made.”

In a Q & A conversational format, Lou spoke with Hal Willner (music producer), bouncing from the root theory behind his early rock, to movies on ipods. A loosely connected, or disconnected, stream of personal insights on culture, music, and technology.

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secret agent man

Sitting next to me at the Daniel Lanois show was a guy who looked surprisingly like Buddy Miller. I had seen Buddy a few times, and spoke with him at last year’s SXSW. The same baseball hat. Unruly white hair bouncing out underneath it.Daniel LanoisDaniel Lanois

Daniel Lanois is in a mold all his own as both a producer and guitarist. A drummer appears behind him, and the new buddy next to me turns and says, “this is going to be one great show. That drummer is Brian Blade. He’s from Shreveport Louisiana. He has a brother who is also a great drummer.”

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little or no compromise

James McMurtry has fierce dedication. SXSW began for me at the Coqueroo showcase at Mother Egan's. Small stage on the patio behind a deck with crowded tables. There is a chatter about the crowd. At a showcase of songwriters it seems a bit odd the songs take a back seat to the scene. James McMurtry stares down the chatter. His writing doesn't give in to commercial radio boundaries. In a moment, a song, he silences the crowd. There can be great power in uncompromised personal vision.

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Welcome to Open Tunings

In this first entry, it is the night before going to Austin for the South by Southwest Festival. At this point we have only a rough idea of which of the 1,700 bands to try to see. It all begins tomorrow, Wednesday, afternoon with the Conqueroo Showcase at Mother Egan's on 6th Street. Afternoon showcases are sponsored by recording companies and promoters to feature the artist they represent. Very relaxed settings...

Tomorrow night the fun begins.

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