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Austin, TX

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Quote of the day: "He fondled my leg."


Charlotte Martin

Tres Chicas

Garrison Starr

Mat Kearney

Glen Phillips

Joe Purdy

Jim Bianco

Cary Brothers

KT Tunstall


So begins the South By Southwest experience… After non-eventful travels from Chicago to Austin, Way Cool Music found itself in the heart of the SXSW chaos.  With a map, wristbands, a list of must-see bands and a list of could-see bands, we hit the streets knowing that the “next big thing” could be walking right past us.


Early in the evening, we found ourselves at Red Fez for the Industry of Music party to see one of our new finds, Garrison Starr.  After a late start and some sound-check mishaps, Starr and her band took the stage.  It was immediately apparent that the sound issues hadn’t been resolved as the house speakers weren’t working.  Despite these problems, Starr continued play, with the audience hearing everything through the bands’ monitors.  About halfway through the set, the technical difficulties were fixed and Starr proved how much she can rock.  Playing songs from her latest CD, The Sound of You and Me, Starr bounced from one catchy song to the next, pulling the crowd in with her unique alto voice and stellar whistle solos.  Even with the sound issues, Starr entertained and adeptly kicked off our SXSW fun.


garrison starr


glen phillips


From there, we headed to the outskirts of downtown Austin to Tambaleo to see Glen Phillips.  When we saw Phillips walk in with Sean and Sarah Watkins of Nickel Creek, we knew we were in for a treat.  After a brief conversation with us, and some unexpected leg touching, Phillips and company stepped on stage to remind the audience what great acoustic music is supposed to be.  Even though the trio hadn’t rehearsed ahead of time, both Watkins’ were able to pick up their instruments and join right in on songs, even ones they had never played before.  This added to the spontaneous feel of the set, which included songs from Phillips’ latest CD, Mr. Lemons, as well as some old favorites like ‘Comes a Time’ and ‘Darkest Hour.’  Toward the end of the show, Phillips invited Scott Leger, of the Austin band Wideawake, to come up and sing ‘Walk on the Ocean.’  While Leger is a Phillips/Toad the Wet Sprocket fan, he was unable to recall all the lyrics to this classic Toad tune, making for an awkward four minutes as Phillips fed him the words. It was entertaining to watch Leger sing himself right offstage in the process. Despite this misstep, the set was a highlight of our SXSW weekend. 


sara watkins   sean watkins

We ended the night at Copa for the Hotel Café showcase.  Both Joe Purdy and Jim Bianco were entertaining as always, but the main attraction for us was Cary Brothers.   Somehow, Brothers consistently puts on a great show and manages to make it seem new, even if you’ve seen him play as many times as we have.  In the set that included ‘Ride’ and ‘Supposed to Be,’ Brothers showed the audience that even boys with acoustic guitars can rock.  And it always helps to be backed by a killer band like he was.



cary brothers


After checking out 10 bands in less than eight hours, we headed “home” to catch a few hours of sleep and develop our plan of attack for Friday.  With so many bands on our list, how would we fit them all in?  Some challenges are fun to face…