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SXSW 2009

diary (day # 2)

By • Mar 22nd, 2009 • Category: draft

Day 2… well, this may technically still be Day 1, but as days and nights merge into one it’s getting hard to tell – no sleep ’til Scotland!

on to Diary 3

Ulrich Schnauss @ Elysium
Ulrich Schnauss

An epic Ulrich Schnauss set plays out at Elysium. In the dank and steamy Austin goth/electro bar, he noodles in characteristic fashion over his laptop, layering beats over chords hammered out on the keyboard. After a few numbers of achingly beautiful shoegaze being poured over the crowd, he is joined on stage for Shine by Rob McVey from Longview and Ryan Policky from Denver’s A Shoreline Dream. The guitars kick in and waves of astonishing fuzzy feedback build. McVey and Policky are on stage for much of the remainder of the set, adding a whole different dimension to the show.

Larkin Grimm
Larkin Grimm @ Emo’s Jr
Not for the faint of heart, the surreal and ethereal blues of Larkin Grimm captivate a small but entranced crowd at Emo’s Jr. Playing a set comprising of much of the material from the late 2008 release Parplar, the stark beauty of her finger picking is augmented by violin and dulcimer. An acolyte of the Swan’s Michael Gira, and sometime member of Dirty Projectors, Grimm weaves often grisly tales populated by spirit animals, Egyptian godess statues sprinkled with anthrax, all whilst she maintains a lengthy between song monologue comparing the relative charms of Britney and Paris Hilton, and enquiring how many women in the audience are menstruating. Often lazily tagged as psych-folk, this is a truly unique take on mountain music, channeled by shamanic spirits. As the dulcimer player’s bare feet stomp out a driving rhythm on the hard wood floor, Mistress Larkin’s voice croons and wails.

Photos by Elize Rowan – see the set on Flickr

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