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SXSW Overflow: Day One (+ Sandy Ewen & ms. Y.E.T. Tonight @ SoundEx) [3/11/2010 05:14:00 PM]:
As promised, I figured I'd give a quick overview of some of the bands playing tonight, the first night of Super Happy Fun Land's SXSW Overflow Fest; I'll try to do subsequent nights together, but I ran out of time (naturally) for this one...

JODY SEABODY & THE WHIRLS: Really liking what I've heard of these guys (and no, there is no actual "Jody," as far as I can tell. Raw, somewhat messy, metal-tinged rawk with lots of yelling and almost bluesy-sounding riffs -- they come off like the Foo Fighters at points, but there's really more of an retro-rock thing going on. (Oh, and these guys are one of only a handful of local Houston bands playing the Fest, just fyi...)

A BETTER HOPE FOUNDATION: Screamo from SoCal, and not bad for that; I'm not real up on my screamo bands, honestly, but the breakneck beats and thrash guitars work nicely while not breaking any particularly new ground. Singer Shaun thankfully doesn't do much Cookie-Monstering, instead aiming for more traditional-sounding screamy hardcore vocals. Has there ever been a circle pit at hippie-haven SHFL? Could be a first...

XPPR5-9: Okay, so this is likely to be one of the weirder things I've heard lately... Heavy politicized, anarchist-leaning, one-man-band electro-pop with sing-song-y melodies and lots of philosophical musings over '80s-ish keys that sound like they could be coming from a piano bar at a Ramada Inn somewhere off I-45.

THE MINT: Okay, so lied -- these guys are local, too. A previously-booked show, maybe, that got sucked into the Overflow Fest? Dunno, but eh, who cares? These guys are young, definitely, but they've got potential, even if they're not quite there yet... I like the bluesier moments; singer James McCowan has a decent soul-belter voice.

JUNGLENOIZE: From San Antonio, these guys supposedly do have vocals, but I'm not hearing 'em; they seem to mostly be a moody, murky, somewhat psych-like rock band. There're some decidedly jazzy/funky moments, and even a few heavier, more "metal" parts, but it all tends to move somewhat slowly. Not my favorite of the bunch, I'm afraid.

Again, like I said before, part of the fun is just in showing up & seeing what you pull out of the hat...

Alternative Time:
If none of the above sounds intriguing, there's also a cool-sounding free show tonight up at Sound Exchange -- recent Austin transplant Sandy Ewen will be playing, alongside contemporary belly-dancer cohort ms. Y.E.T. (aka Y.E. Torres, I think...), and something/somebody I've never heard of before called Strawberry Watermelon. I haven't seen Ewen solo yet, but I caught her performance with "main" band The Weird Weeds a while back, and the things she was doing to her guitar were pretty mind-blowing and don't really have anything to do with actually "playing" guitar in a traditional sense.

The idea of Ewen & Torres working together seems to be that Torres dances, while Ewen manipulates the guitar to fit whatever's going on. Er, something like that, anyway -- see here for some video of past performances. It's bound to be interesting, believe me... The show starts at 8PM, so get up there early for the weirdness.

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