Where to See Punk at SXSW 2018

You might not associate South by Southwest with punk music since indie rock demonates the festival. Without the Fat Wreck showcase this year, there is a major void to fill. Fear not, we have you covered! I have spent weeks researching a lot of bands heading to Austin for the music conference. Some parties are free and some require wristbands/badges. Here are my top picks for this year:

Local Punk Favorites:

BLXPLTN

Wednesday March 14 at 8:00pm at Cherrywood Coffee House for The 6th Annual UGLYFEST: More Info

Capitalist Kids

Wednesday March 14 at 9:25 pm at Cherrywood Coffee House for The 6th Annual UGLYFEST: More Info

Fight Plan

Thursday March 15 at 10:35 pm at The Liberty for AFHC & FXFY Presents: More Info

Worm Suicide

Thursday March 15 at 10:00pm at Kick Butt Coffee Airport: More Info

Saturday March 16 at 7:25 pm at The Heart of Texas Rockfest: More Info

All-Star Punk Acts

The Dwarves

Saturday March 16 at 11:45 pm at Hotel Vegas for Burgermania VII (Offical SXSW): More Info

Sunday March 17 at 3:30 pm at Hotel Vegas for Burgermania VII (Acoustic Set): More Info

Altercation BBQ

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Saturday March 16 music and comedy starts at 11am: More Info

Life  (If you enjoy British punk)

Friday March 15 at The British Music Embassy at 9:00pm at Latitude 30: More Info

Saturday March 16 at Barracuda Backyard at 11:10pm: More Info

No Parents

Thursday March 15 at 4:25pm at Spiderhouse for Wienermania IV: More Info

Friday March 16 at 1:15 at Pearl St. Co-op for Burger Records: More Info

Saturday March 17 at Hotel Vegas at 10:15pm: More Info

Tissues:  (Female Influenced Post Punk)

Tuesday March 13 at 8:45pm at Barracuda Backyard: More Info

Saturday March 17 at 4pm at The Sidewinder: More Info

Grim Streaker

Friday March 16 at 9:45pm at Barracuda Bar: More Info

Friday March 16 at 12:30am at Container Bar: More Info

Saturday March 17 at 4pm at The Sidewinder: More Info

The Ghost Wolves: (Austin’s Version of The Cramps)

Tuesday March 14 at 11:00pm at 720 Club: More Info

Friday March 16 at 3:00pm(best guess) at Spiderhouse for Peelander-Fest: More Info

Saturday March 17 at 6:30 at Okar Blues Brewery: More Info

Surfbort

Thursday March 15 (Friday) at 1:15am at Spiderhouse for Wienermania: More Info

Friday March 16 at 8:30pm at Hotel Vegas Patio: More Info

Friday March 16 at 1:00am at Waller Ballroom: More Info

Saturday March 17 at 11:05 at Spiderhouse: More Info

Riverboat Gamblers

Saturday March 17 at 4:00pm at Jackalope: More Info

Punk Adjacent Bands

Andrew WK

Thursday March 15 at 4pm (best guess) at Mohawk: More Info

Friday March 16 at 2:00pm at Barracuda for Pitchfork: More Info

Friday March 16 at 6:00pm at Container Bar: More Info

Saturday March 17 at 2:15pm at Cheer Up Charlies: More Info

Frank Turner

Thursday March 15 at 1:05am at Palm Door at Sixth: More Info

Friday March 16 at 12:30am at Barracuda Backyard: More Info

Friday March 16 at 3:30pm at The Blackheart: More Info

Peelander-Z

Thursday March 15 at 4:00pm(best guess): More Info

Friday March 16 at 6:00pm (best guess): More Info

Saturday March 17 at 3:00pm (best guess): More Info

Jeff Rosenstock

Thursday March 15 at 1:00am at Cheer Up Charlies: More Info

**Set times may or not be available as you can see but I have linked all party info to keep updated. Also some of these are official SXSW showcases especially if they are after 5pm.  BUT you can pay cover if the venue is not at capacity so it is worth the wait in line  sometimes.**

DISCOVER NEW MUSIC AND LOVE OLD FAVORITES!

Show Review: Refused/The Coathangers/Plague Vendor

I have been forunate enough to catch Refused three times in my life and this is a short list of the following experiences:

1.) The first time I saw Refused live, the first statement out of my mouth was ” I want to feel this good all the time!!” And yes I was sober.

2.) The second time I stated that, “When I die and my life flashes before my eyes, the two times I saw Refused will be included.”

3.) Third time, I got to do a meet and greet.

Besides the details of my obsession, this tour’s lineup is pretty great. The local band they chose for this date was Residual Kid, which is an Austin favorite. I saw that their singer graduated from high school the previous week and then got to play a show at the Mohawk. Yeah, we are all a bit jealous. I like their style a lot but since they are so young I feel their style will keeping developing into something more complex. They are a great opener though for a tour like this though.

I also dug Plague Vendor. I liked their odd style the most; fashion and musically. Their members had styles varying from dad wear to goth but I like to keep guessing where this is going. Plus their music and style doesn’t feel forced, it’s who they are. They are here for the music. I think they are excellent musicians and I really enjoyed their live show. I can say it is not for everyone. I like that kind of dark and trashy (I use trashy as a positive here) style of music. Who am I to judge when I love Sisters of Mercy? They are also on Epitaph Records, and someone important definitely sees the appeal and I think you might too.

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Refused at Mohawk 2016

I was pretty excited to see The Coathangers since I had seen their name around the blogosphere. I really also love female supported bands since their are so few. But I didn’t really get that into them as much as I wanted. I love their vocals and they are talented musicans. I just think it is just difficult to judge when there are a lot of bands in their particular genre that do a similar style. It makes it difficult not to compare them with other bands too harshly. But I lot of people came to see them play and enjoyed their set. Also they are opening for Refused, so that does say something about their band. The verdict is still out, so check them out for yourself and be the final vote.

Refused was and still is amazing. I was excited for the show since I was starting to see pictures from their Houston date at Free Press. They opened with “Elektra” and everyone lost it. Finally being able to see a festival headliner at a club show ultimately created a unique experience. They played all their newer songs sprinkled within their hits, which I enjoyed since I wanted to hear as much from their catalog as possible. I also really liked that Dennis Lyxzen has some poignant things to say about the ideas of freedom. They offered up Sweden to their fans and whatever they can do to keep that ideal.

What truly struck my as beautiful was during the week the verdict of the Brock Turner case come out, Lyxzen stated that guys need to get their act together to keep female population safe against sexual assault. It was a tough week all around and it was refreshing to here that kind of advocacy. I also told him this at the meet and great. And their band is amazing too.

I usually hate meeting people I really admire. That is because I want to continue to like them. I truly can say that Refused were SUPER nice guys. I was surprised due to my pessism of people being awful. But they made that experience wonderful and I can’t wait to see what they have in store next.

And “New Noise” will also be my JAM!

Punk Rock Festivals 2016: Lineups, Reunions, and Hang Overs

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Photo by Tyson Heder

This time of year, in my opinion, is the beginning of punk festival season. I think between Punk Rock Bowling and Fest is the prime picking for festivals in the United States. With these amazing lineups and the Misfits reunion, we can all see the money flying out of our bank accounts. Just remember there is no price on memories even if we might black out and forget….

Here is the break down for every major punk lineup in the U.S. and a few international mentions:

Punk Rock Bowling: Las Vegas, NV( May 26-30), Denver, CO (June 2-4), and Ashbury, NJ (June 10-12)

I am VERY bias when I say this is my favorite festival. I have been several times now and it is the quintessential punk rock festival. All the punk kids having fun against the glitzy Las Vegas lights is a sight to be seen. This festival also brings cool and unique club after shows. Did I mention there is a bowling tournament too? With the gambling, pool parties, and karaoke, the fun never stops in this 24 hour festival. This year they are attempting to branch out by having dates in Ashbury and Denver. Here is the lineups for each date:

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Riot Fest: Chicago, IL (Sept. 16-18) and Denver, CO (Sept. 2-4)

Riot Fest REALLY brought the surprise of the year by only announcing the Misfits reunion in their initial band. They didn’t mention any of their other stellar artists and let us just freak out for a moment because hell froze over for a second. Of course, in our heart of hearts, we could see this happening but no one was holding their breath. But it’s happening! I will be there this September to give all the details of this reunion for you guys. This might be my favorite lineup of all the festivals this year. It has such punk gems as Bad Religion, Lagwagon, NOFX, The Aquabats, Against Me!, and Leftover Crack to name just a few. Both lineups are very similar but it depends on how much you want to see certain headliners and old school favorites. They are still announcing more to each lineup so stay tuned:

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Fest 15: Gainesville, FL (Oct. 28-30)

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Fest is on my bucket list of punk festivals to go to before I die. I think it should be on yours as well. Anyone that I have discussed Fest with says that it is a place where new punk bands are made and found. This year is very special since it is an anniversary for the festival. They have a heavy lineup of alumni playing, which makes it harder to decide who you want to see. This is a great problem to have. So cancel all your Halloween plans now and make it out to Fest 15 this year, check out the official lineup below:Image-14-05-2016-at-01.02.jpg

Remember the Punks Fest: San Antonio, TX (October 1, 2016)

A super surprise for the state of Texas. As a punker growing up in Texas, we tend to miss out on bands from the other coasts that can’t afford to tour here often. So when this festival popped up, the internet lit up! I feel the lineup is equal parts street punk, pop punk, and ska. It will be amazing to see Bigwig, Slapshot, The Exploited again since it has been a hot minute. I think this festival will do well since the venues will cater to every kind of punk. I will also be covering this festival since it is in my backyard, which in Texas means a 2-hour drive.

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Fun Fun Fun Fest: Austin, TX (Nov 6-8)

This has been my favorite local festival for many years now. This 10 year festival is uniquely Austin. These festival people love bands such as the Descendents, GWAR, and Fat Wreck bands, and reunions. And don’t forget tacos. I hope this is not the end of road for this festival since the company has changed owners this past month. It is a great festival that is equal parts electronic, hip hop, comedy, punk, metal, hardcore, and indie rock. Every year they do a recap video and I think it gives a good depiction of what good times to expect. Fingers crossed for another great year and lineup to come!

Other Honorable Mentions:

Since some of these festivals are overseas or have already happened, here is a quick list of festivals to hit up outside the U.S. Get those passports ready!

Get FESTING in 2016 and feel free to share local festivals within the comments. See you out there!

The Dicks from Texas Documentary Release


This documentary was a long time coming. After 16 years, the documentary film project is finally done and is going to be shown this weekend at the Dick’s hometown. The documentary is called “The Dicks From Texas” directed by Cindy Marabito. The reason this film is getting so much regard is because of what the Dicks really meant to the Austin punk scene in the 1980s. The Dicks were a larger than life punk-hardcore band that pushed the envelope of sexuality, politics, and music. They are best known for their songs such as “Hate the Police” and “Kills from the Heart”.

The reason this documentary is important to watch is because it is a piece of Austin’s music history and a pivotal moment in the punk scene. They rocked against Reagan. They played alongside MDC and the Big Boys. Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, and Mike Watt all want to talk about how great this band was. I don’t think I really have to sell much more here.

They are also releasing a tribute album with such bands as The Bulimics, Black Irish Texas, The Fuckemos, and much more. It is currently streaming here: The Dicks From Texas and Friends

Also here is the link to the event April 1st at the North Door: https://www.facebook.com/events/1042028645817597/

Pre-orders and additional information on the documentary can be found here:http://www.thedicksfromtexas.com/dicks.html

Fat Wreck Chords Takes SXSW 2016

Even though most SXSW veterans will say this year’s festival wasn’t above and beyond might not be appreciating the roots of the festival. Growing up punk in Austin, I used to wait on the sidewalks of Emo’s hoping to get into the SXSW Fat Wreck Chords showcase. Those were the golden years of Rock Against Bush for Fat Wreck and we needed NOFX’s anthems then.

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Ray Rocket at Fat Wreck Chords Showcase SXSW2016

Let’s focus on today; we need their help against Trump and to celebrate their classic punk tracks. This year NOFX released their memoir and brought the best of their label roster to SXSW. The showcase at Buffalo Billard’s was intimate enough for the stylings of Ray Rocket’s acoustic set and to rock out in the pit. All the bands I bought albums from this past year were on the lineup: Ray Rocket, The Dirty Nil, Mean Jeans, toyGuitar, Night Birds, and NOFX.

The two bands I haven’t gotten to see within the past years were my most anticipated: Mean Jeans and Night Birds. I was fortunate enough to go to the Fat Wreck Anniversary Tour this past year but did not get to see these gems. Mean Jeans would be my vote for most anticipated band for the fest. NOFX is definitely everyone’s favorite but I am always curious to find out who is going to be the next wave of punk. Mean Jeans has the amazing grit and snarl that true punk rock has, but also contains the roots of the Ramones tangled within every song. Their energy and live show was everything I expected from their music and is a perfect fit for the label.

Night Birds has also been a favorite of mine for the past year. They are the hardcore punk that I need to revival the sweet melodic punk I love. Most of the audience noted that the Night Birds are one the best live band. That is definitely the truth. They come running out the gate and you are coming with them no matter what. Their guitars and angst reels you in and leaves you wanting more.

Of course, the end of the night is topped with the sweet cherry that is NOFX. They are the crowd favorite and everyone goes crazy. Maybe because it was St. Patrick’s Day or the fact they were finally back in Austin but it felt good to have NOFX just play a solid set and have fun with it. I hope this continues to be a traditon with Fat Wreck Chords and SXSW.  The most important part of this festival is to remember why we listen to music in the first place: the classics and new finds.

 

 

 

Tiger Army is Back! (Finally)

Tiger Army’s mantra is “Never Die” and for a while I thought they might actually die off. In 2013, the band acted like they were disbanding.After the departing of Geoff Kresge in February 2014, there seems to be a radio silience of what was to come next. Also the fact that Tiger Army hadn’t been to Texas since 2008, it seemed pretty damn bleak. As always though, founding and constant member, Nick 13 said the band would continue.

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Tiger Army (Dropkick Murphy Tour 2016)

After all the drama this band has seen over the decades, I was still pretty excited when I heard they would be touring with the great Dropkick Murphys. I was expecting they would play it safe and play old hits. The set was actually a little bit of everything. They stuck to their roots and also debuted some of their new material. They had been gone so long I forgot how much I truly love Nick 13’s voice. I rarely can hear the crispness of a vocalist, especially at a big venue like Stubbs. I am not gonna sugar coat it but I do miss Geoff Kresge as the bassist because I loved his style of playing but Djordje Stijepovic is definitely up to par. They also have another drummer Mike Fasano, who has played on a previous album. Nick 13 has definitely planned this revamp carefully. By getting top musicians such as Dave Roe and Mitch Marine, that have worked with other artists such as Dwight Yokham and  Johnny Cash, the new record will have a rich vintage sound. Also the fact that it was recorded by Grammy winner Ted Hutt, who also records Dropkick Murphys, Old Crow Medicine Show, and The Gaslight Anthem. Check out the new song “Prisoner of the Night” which they are debuting on this current tour:

This new and improved Tiger Army will also be returning to Texas again for Houston’s Free Press Summer Fest on June 4-5 this summer. An the obvious statement here is that: Tiger Army Never Dies.

Editor’s Note: The original post was modified to name the correct musicians in the current touring band and on the album. Apologizes for the mix up and the correction was made. Thanks for reading and the kind words.

Show Review: Murder City Devils

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As a music junkie, I listen to music day in and day out. I have been to countless tours and have probably spent almost million dollars on this music fanaticism. I regret nothing.

Since I have worked in the industry and have listened to so many hours of music, I rarely get overly excited about a band. One weekend of my life, my asshole friends got married on the same weekend as Fun Fun Fun Fest. I was sad that I wasn’t at the fest but then there is real life. I bought a ticket for last day of the fest and I thought at the very least I can see one solid day of music.

I want to thank the sound guy at Neutral Milk Hotel for being awful. If he wasn’t so bad and the band wasn’t so depressing, I would have never discovered one of my all time favorite bands: Murder City Devils. I had never heard a single song by them but I thought anything would be better than the horribly mixed sound (I am an audio engineer). I watched the rest of Murder City Devils set and I couldn’t remove my eyes or ears. It felt like a piece of my life that had not be fullfilled was suddenly over full. I felt the electricity that gives you goosebumps and makes you feel suddenly alive. I didn’t even know what I had been missing all this time.

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I devoured all the albums I could after that weekend. They are so dark, beautiful, and had this raw emotion that is very hard to describe. They have been a band 1996 and are on SubPop. They did break up for a moment back in 2001 but go back together in 2006 to play a few festivals. Their last album was in 2014, which was titled “The White Ghost Has Blood on its Hands Again”.

I have seen them as much as I could in recent years. I saw them play in a lightning storm at Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas. I recently saw them in a club venue, the Mohawk in Austin. Texas was blessed to have their tour dates this year, which included San Antonio and Dallas. I didn’t really know what to expect since every show I have seen them in had been a unique experience. Their set list was mixed with old and new songs, which is to be expected. But what really sold me on this show was watching the audience. Their fans are devoted and they get it. They get the darkness and the tougue & cheek of it all. Part of the set Spencer had the mic literally in his mouth because no one should ever take themselves that seriously. I think the best quote about Murder City Devils would be the one from that FFF fest handout that said “Murder City Devils are like the drunk uncle you invite over for Thanksgiving. He ends getting drunk and crashing into a china cabinet.” Maybe it’s a simplified meaning, but they have the allegory just right.