Slow day for locals at SXSW on Thursday. After performing in front of Jeremy Lascelles on Wednesday (along with other unidentified white-haired men of varying importance), the Strange Boys didn't seem as perky this afternoon, as bassist Philip Sambol was seen hanging around outside Emo's asking passersby for change. Myself included. Not sure if this was meant for humor or for gas money, but it's probably a sign that the UK CEO didn't offer the Boys a record deal on the spot.
The Drams played two high-profile gigs Thursday, opening for the Drive-By Truckers and Kris Kristofferson at each, and crowd reactions varied from "meh" to throat-reductive squeals. One long-time Slobberbone fan from Chicago summed up the average post-'Bone reaction best: "I wish the songs weren't new so I could sing along." She'll get her wish this summer when the Drams' debut album hits stores on New West Records.
Chatterton and the Happy Bullets represented the Metroplex at a venue beyond the 6th Street-Red River artery, which was a damn shame. Chatterton didn't do much more than hit bullet points on the alt-country-pop checklist, but the Bullets played the tightest set I've ever seen 'em whip up, and truthfully, their 36 minutes rank among the best I've experienced at SXSW so far. The quintet has a reputation for sloppy gigs, so it was nice to see the group nail its SXSW showcase--even if few non-Dallasites saw that very set.
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And, of course, I saw KDGE-FM (102.1)'s Josh Venable praying to his lord and master at the Austin Music Hall. Expect Josh to wax nostalgic about Moz's shirtless moment on this weekend's installment of The Adventure Club. --Sam Machkovech