Singer, Songwriter slash Mom
Archive for March, 2007
22nd Mar 2007 Posted in: Blog, Momhood, Road Diaries Comments Off on Here’s the lowdown on SXSW

Here’s the lowdown on sxsw music festival. My lowdown on the conference will come next.

I saw 30 or so bands (which is just over 2% of the total number of bands showcasing!) at SXSW, as well as several unofficial shows. I missed some things everyone was talking about (of course), but all in all I’d say I did okay, both in diversity and quantity of acts seen.

Okay, starting with the LEAST indie, least unknown first: let me just say that with his porn star-looking wife writhing around onstage and his silver lamé pants, Perry Farrell is a showman in the grand tradition of Freddy Mercury and David Bowie. You know you’re not watching yet another earnest hipster indie rock band when he waves his arm across the crowd and says: “You all look so ravishing! I just want to grab you by the hair and…” (okay, you get the idea). And quite a breathtaking striped sweater. Maybe it was my mood, but i loved it.

Rickie Lee performed a few shows, as well as sat for an interview during the conference. The show I caught was on the last day, an afternoon thing at the convention center where they were broadcasting live for Direct TV. It was a set designed to look like a club. They had two: the “Bat Bar” and the “Lone Star Lounge” or something. Anyway, her band was really tight and she was in a good mood. She said, “this has turned out to be a lot of fun for me. There should just be more food for when you’re walking down the street at 2 am after your show and you’re drunk…we need more food for the people.” She was focused and beautiful and when she wailed “Do you know my name? Do you know my name?” it was an anthem for all of the hopeful souls trying to be heard in Austin last week. I was crying, but that’s not rare.

I saw Kaki King, who was amazing. She performs these weird percussive things and then loops them and it’s fiddle and guitar and very interesting. Andrew Bird does something along those lines but with a band and with his surreal, ethereal lyrics. At one point he introduced the song “Plasticities,” and the guy behind me yelled “Plasticities!” like it was “Freebird.” Funny! And then talked throughout the whole song.

Martha Wainwright is some kind of otherworldly creature – so charming and lovely and sexy and talented – something in the Wainwright/McGarrigle DNA is more talented than the rest of us humans. She’s a timeless performer, which was refreshing because quite a few of the bands I saw were completely of the moment – a moment that will pass.

They weren’t on the official SXSW showcase list, but I had a blast watching the Lonesome Spurs at Hole in the Wall. They are the duo of Lynda Kay Parker and Danny B. Harvey – he plays rockabilly lead guitar and she plays rhythm, sings and a Samsonite suitcase kick drum. Very fun. Plus – it turns out that Danny B used to tour with Nancy Sinatra, and they played the song “Kind of a Woman” that my mom wrote.

Okay – gotta get the kids to bed and will post more soon.

19th Mar 2007 Posted in: Blog, Road Diaries Comments Off on Hmm.

An opportunity at SXSW that I chose not to pursue.

18th Mar 2007 Posted in: Blog, Road Diaries Comments Off on Eliza Live

Eliza Gilkyson at the Hilton Garden Inn with Mike Hardwick. Again, fuzzy. But you get the idea.

18th Mar 2007 Posted in: Blog, Road Diaries Comments Off on RLJ Live

Rickie Lee Jones live on the Direct TV stage – the picture’s a little fuzzy–sorry.

17th Mar 2007 Posted in: Blog, Momhood, Road Diaries Comments Off on A Letter to Tom Morello

A Letter to Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, and now The Nightwatchman):

Hi, Tom – I attended your panel discussion yesterday, and I want to thank you for your enthusiasm and positivity. I got so frustrated with the moderator’s cool, detached cynicism, and I’m sorry, but I wanted to strangle her when she said that walking down Sixth Street made her want to grab 90% of the bands playing and tell them to give up. Your response–that it depends how you define success–was exactly right.

Sure, most of us have nurtured visions of the kind of success she values, but — at least in my case — we realize that we are on a different path. For me, it’s important to balance my burning desire to write and perform with my burning desire to sit at home and watch videos with my kids. In her worldview, that makes me a big loser.

If success means only one thing, then you’re doomed to never appreciate the small miracles – the moments of artistic connection with people, the great feeling when someone really gets your song and it moves them, the human experience of being just another parent at your kids’ soccer game.

I guess it all comes down to not feeling good enough – not worthy, which is the root of so much darkness in the world. In that respect, I feel bad for people, like your panel’s moderator, who only value the kind of success that is inherently unfulfilling and temporary. So who’s more successful? Who’s happier? Ironically, it’s the guy you referred to in Pacoima with his band in the garage.

So anyway, thanks again. I really appreciated everything you said.

Take care,
Rain Perry