Sharon Van Etten at SXSW

Excited to see Sharon Van Etten in der Rathskeller on April 8?

Get a taste of the show by checking out a few songs from her final SXSW set at the Red Ryder showcase at Central Presbyterian Church.


Maladies of SXSW, pt 1

If there is one common thread everyone can agree on about SXSW, it’s that your body takes a BEATING. So rather than tell you about the trip by band, I’m doing it by malady. If anyone can point me to a first aid station in Austin… let me know.

1. Scab on finger

I have no idea when I got this scab, but on Tuesday night, I picked at it on my way to Emo’s. I had just arrived in Austin and was so excited to get downtown that I didn’t realize I was bleeding for a really long time. I was that bus person. By the time I arrived downtown it was staunched – luckily did not put a kink in my plan to see P.S. I Love You and Beach Fossils. Both were very fun, though very different: P.S. I Love you playing two-piece rock, and Beach Fossils keeping it jangly and upbeat.

2. Exhaustion

Most common SX malady. It hit me hard on Wednesday afternoon (post-Generationals, Braids, and Rainbow Arabia), and I found myself looking for a quiet lounge to recharge in at the Convention Center. I happened upon a haven of dim light, paper lanterns, and giant beanbags to chill out in, and it happened to be the Radio Day Stage. After a twenty minute power nap in a huge beanbag, I woke up to Jessica Lea Mayfield playing live. So that was pretty awesome, too.

3. Dead phone

This one will get you every time. I was desperate to charge my phone, so I went somewhere I knew I could finagle my way to an outlet. Former music committee director Patrick Tilley has been on the road with Seattle band Ivan and Alyosha, so I stopped in before their show to say hi and plug in my phone (twitter is a drain on the battery but I’ve been oversharing nonetheless: #wudsxsw). While my phone was charging, I got to see Ivan and Alyosha. I knew they’d be all right but they were great. I was seriously surprised and blown away. A treat to see and also really nice to have a full phone battery.

4. Gashed arm

This was a bad one. I was hanging out with our promotions associate director, Emily Roehl, after catching Sun Airway and Cave Singers. We sat down to await Okkervil River and get off our feet, but I had leaned on a cupboard that apparently was not secure. Because I am awesome, I stood up and it fell open on me, slicing my arm. It still looks nasssstyyy. Luckily, I survived to see Okkervil River and tell people how great Sun Airway and Cave Singers were. I saw Cave Singers at SXSW last year with a very small group and seeing them outside in a large, full venue was crazy.

5. Mild sunburn

It’s not bad at all (I SWEAR, MOM) because I was responsible and put on sunscreen, but I picked up a little color at the SXWI showcase this morning while seeing Cedarwell and Pioneer with a ton of friends from around the country. I got some more welcome sun while enjoying another Midwestern band at the French Legation Museum – sadcore staples Low of Duluth, MN.

6. Sore tailbone

In a strange, strange turn from the usual South By habit, I went to a seated showcase tonight at Central Presbyterian Church. Hosted by Pitchfork and featuring Cults, Glasser, tUnE-YarDs, Twin Shadow, and James Blake, I was getting my dance on from my seat. All the bands were absolutely amazing, though, and I do not regret my sore butt – it goes along with my sore feet anyway. It was great to see Twin Shadow again along with bands I hadn’t seen previously, including the super-hyped James Blake, who lived up to the potential his great album set for him.

This post will be copy-edited and prettied up at some point, I promise. But for now – this will do.

Party on, spring breakers –


Horse Feathers recap

Our friend and official videographer Spencer Wells got some great footage of Horse Feathers on Saturday night.

It was a full house and a great show. Check it:

The song “Helen” is from their second album, House with No Home. If you were there, you’ll appreciate reliving the moment – if you weren’t there, you’ll feel like you were.

announcing: GRANDCHILDREN with Dinosaur Feathers + Temple





This is one of those shows to look back on saying, “Yeah, I saw them when…”

If you like the percussive vibe of Yeasayer and the experimental-sensibility of Animal Collective, then you’ll love GRANDCHILDREN. Their optimistic and layered sound appeals to the casual listener and the fan alike and does not discourage dancing. With accolades from the blog world and indie stalwarts like Fader, Granchildren is quickly becoming a sought-after act for cutting edge venues nation-wide.

DINOSAUR FEATHERS are also all about quirky charm, this time a little darker and a little more pop. With coverage in the NYT, you know they’ve put some

intellect into their music. Openers TEMPLE have played the Union before as Arto, and we’re sure to see them again in the future.

Truth & Salvage Co. Return!!

Were you too busy with finals to come out for Truth & Salvage Co.’s May show in der Rath? Too bad! But don’t worry too much because they will be making a triumphant return in less than a month!

Truth & Salvage Co.

Thursday, October 7

9:30 pm

with Pioneer

Download their Daytrotter Session to listen to while you read — it is one of my very favorite Daytrotter sessions ever.

Since their last appearance at the Union, Truth & Salvage Co. have released an album, played Bonnaroo and the rest of the festival circuit, and generally been awesome. Their fresh take on Americana rock, with four (FOUR!) vocalists and songwriters within the sextet, has rejuvenated a road-weary genre.

I don’t know how much more I can say about how imperative it is for you to stop out at their show without starting to wax poetic, but be sure to check out that Daytrotter session as well as listen to their live NPR set!

Openers Pioneer are quickly becoming a staple in the Madison indie circuit. Fronted by Kenny Monroe, Pioneer is unique with their innovative use of folk-cello. Is that a thing? If it isn’t, that’s okay because whatever Pioneer is doing with that cello is working for me. It will probably work for you, too.