SXSW Overflow 2013: Day Eleven (The Dirty Seeds, Sugar Bayou, HolySexyBastards, & Pocket Vinyl)

sugarbaron1Alright, so things appear to be slowing down for this year’s SXSW Overflow Fest, sadly; it’s now Day Eleven of the insanity, and there’re only four bands on the bill up at Super Happy Fun Land, one of which is from right here in Houston.

But hey, we’ll continue talking about ’em until this thing’s done — only four nights left, including tonight (Tuesday, March 19th, to be specific). Here we go:

THE DIRTY SEEDS: The first band up tonight are local boys The Dirty Seeds, who I’ve seen listed on plenty of shows but haven’t actually heard before now. The band’s kinda-sorta on the stoner-rock end of things, but they sound a lot closer to ’90s bands Monster Magnet or Kyuss than they do most of their contemporaries in the stoner-rock realm, with plenty of bombast to go with the overfuzzed guitars, ultra-low bass, and mid-tempo, thundering grooves.

This isn’t really my thing, sadly, and I’m not all that keen on the lyrics, but hell, it’s fun anyway. Listen to a couple of songs below:


SUGAR BARON: Shifting gears pretty severely, we then hop on over to Michigan band Sugar Bayou, who are soulful and electronic and slinky, combining over-the-top chillwave synths and sometimes-hyperkinetic beats with rough-edged, streetwise vocals. The effect is kind of like what might happen if those sweet electro-pop kids in Freelance Whales got real drunk and started slurring through an angry, gritty fuck-you letter on a late-night phone call. (Oh, and grew some pretty badass dreads.)

I mean all that in a good way, by the by; while at first I was a little leery, these guys are slowly, steadily winning me over. The closest comparison I can come up with is to Lisa’s Sons, albeit with more of an Ambassadors-like soul-rock delivery, and yeah, I’m liking it. Check out “Quartz Parchment Shears” (and a quasi-tour video, to boot), from the band’s brand-new album Sharon Is Karen:

HOLYSEXYBASTARDS: This one makes me happy not just because of the music, but because this is one of the first-ever U.S. shows for Venezuelan trio HolySexyBastards; their SXSW appearance was the inaugural date Stateside, and tonight starts a tour that’ll hit Dallas, New Orleans, Jackson, and a couple of stops in Florida before they wing their way home.

It’s also kind of fascinating to me to hear a band from a country that’s been the object of so much vitriol and craziness over the past few years; don’t worry, though, because these guys’ music is hardly political. Instead, they’re boozy, bluesy, rough-yet-enthusiastic garage-rockers, howling their way through a slew of English-language tunes that thump like The White Stripes in their prime and blaze like The Strokes used to (see “Sweet Home,” in particular, for that). Check out their self-titled full-length below:

POCKET VINYL: Right, so Pocket Vinyl are a duo. Kind of. I mean, there’re two of ’em, Eric Stevenson and Elizabeth Jancewicz, and they’re married, but only Eric actually plays any music, covering the piano, harmonica, keys, and guitar and singing on top of all that.

So, what does Elizabeth do while all this is happening? Well, she’s painting. No, seriously; while her husband stomps and careens through a deft set of sharp-edged, Ben Folds-on-drugs piano-noir rock, Jancewicz paints, and the band sells (or tries to sell, at least) the finished painting at the end of the show. Which is cute and quirky and not a bad shtick, but it helps that the actual music being played is awesomely desperate and murky and still somehow beautiful. Listen & see what I mean:

That’s it for tonight; if you haven’t yet made it up to SHFL, do it. Seriously.

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One Response to “SXSW Overflow 2013: Day Eleven (The Dirty Seeds, Sugar Bayou, HolySexyBastards, & Pocket Vinyl)”

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » SXSW Overflow 2013: Day Twelve (Vox Vocis, Kids From Nowhere, Pocket Vinyl, & Si Mori) on March 20th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    […] Overflow Fest schedule on the Super Happy Fun Land site, and lo and behold, it looks like after I posted yesterday’s writeup, two of the four bands scheduled (Sugar Baron & Pocket Vinyl, aka “The Two Bands I Was […]

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