I've settled into Austin's Wyndham Garden Hotel after a Tuesday filled with driving, in a Chevy HHR rented from Tammy Torchia at the downtown Omaha Avis. Despite the road fatigue, I still made it out to Sixth Street to catch some of South By Southwest's first-ever Tuesday night music showcases. I only caught a handful of band's as I gave a friend a quick tour of the craziness of SXSW.
Bitches, an English drum-bass garage punk duo, were the first highlight, with funny stage banter and quick, pummeling bursts of shoutalong punk. Bitches are friends with Omaha band Yuppies, with the band's splitting a UK-released album last year. Yuppies singer "Boogs" Begley was on hand too, bopping along to songs about getting one's first wallet and other weighty matters.
Austin's Follow That Bird also played the same showcase at metalhead tiki bar Headhunters. The noisy indie rock act are signed to Mt. Fuji Records, the label of ex-Omahan Mike Jaworski (Virgin Islands, The Cops). I only caught three songs that combined the indie trend of post-shoegaze pop sounds, coupled with a Texas taste of Americana-dappled psychedelic rock.
Finally I caught Dikes of Holland, an Austin band that I've personally booked a show for in Omaha last October. They continue to evolve into one of the best bands in Texas, with a hardcore punk-rooted take on art-punk, filled with driving, layered guitars, banging drums, vintage synth sounding keyboard lines and gang-sung vocals that create anthems out of distressing, end-of-the-world punk rock.