On the way

Some of the musicians at the South by Southwest Music Festival will be playing here soon:


Two Fresh (with Daedelus) Saturday: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, $16-$18

Fierce Bad Rabbit

Saturday: Hodi's Half Note, 167 N College Ave., Fort Collins, $10

May 11: Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St., Denver, TBA

West Water Outlaws April 4: Macky Auditorium, CU campus, Boulder, $15-$20

April 27: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, $12-$14

The Epilogues

April 6: Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake St., Denver, $10-$12

The Yawpers

April 11: Conor O'Neill's, 1922 13th St., Boulder, $1

The Echo Chamber

April 19: Road 39 Bike Bar, 1213 W. Elizabeth St., Fort Collins, $20

Air Dubai (with SOJA)

May 4: Ogden Theatre, 935 E Colfax Ave, Denver, $22.75-$28


Joshua James

April 17: Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer St., Denver, $12

Bleeding Rainbow

May 8: Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver, $10

The South by Southwest Music Festival is over, and while the wristbands are torn off and hand stamps and hangovers fade, the experience and connections remain.

Colorado was well represented in the bars of Austin, Texas, and drew enthusiastic crowds to their showcases.

Representatives from Planet Bluegrass and Crescendo Artists attended impressive numbers of shows and found some worthy talent. For the bands out of Boulder -- The Yawpers, West Water Outlaws and Call of the Void -- it was a multiple-day party with the added perks of earning new fans and the ears and contact info of promoters and record labels.

In The Whale plays the Reverb showcase -- upside down and right-side up.
In The Whale plays the Reverb showcase -- upside down and right-side up. (Quentin Young/SecondStoryGarage.com)

"We had a blast," said Nate Cook, The Yawpers' frontman. "I mean, it was (craziness) from start to finish. We played some good shows, played some bad shows, made some good friends and made some enemies. We got contacted by a couple publicists afterward and we had some bigwigs call us, but I don't know, we'll see what comes out of it."

No matter what comes out of it officially, Cook said, the trip was worth the time -- again. It was a return trip to SXSW for Cook and The Yawpers guitarist Jesse Parmet. The band's drummer, James Hale, was excited about his first run at the festival, as were the West Water Outlaws, who grabbed the attention of some record labels and Austin concert promoters.

"We had a label that was interested and came out to some shows," WWO drummer Andrew Oakley said.

Sitting next to Oakley as the band drank beer on an Austin porch, guitarist Will Buck added, "We want to kind of make this our home away from home."

WWO had a highlight moment in their show with local hotshot Bob Schneider when Schneider's saxophone player sat in with them for some songs.

Another SXSW high point for a Colorado band came when Fort Collins-based SpokesBUZZ performed a rooftop set. When the guys played a Black Sabbath song for an encore, it drew a crowd in the street below. They also saw repeat fans at their shows, and, no, that's not counting friends.

The Yawpers  rock the Bayou at SXSW.
The Yawpers rock the Bayou at SXSW. (Ashley Dean/SecondStoryGarage.com)

"I'd say it's the most exposure we've gotten in a six-day period, that's for sure," bassist Vincent Ellwood said.

Call of the Void guitarist Patrick Alberts felt the same way after the metal/grindcore band played shows alongside a variety of bands and got itself in front of different types of audiences.

"It was really great. Each show was a little bit different," Alberts said. "We played with a bunch of bands, but each show had a different vibe to it.

"The first night, we played a stage sponsored by Sony in which ... people (were) crowd-surfing on a rooftop ... From there, to the inside of a cafe, to the middle of the ghetto, to right in the heart of South by Southwest at (the club) Red 7. We definitely made a lot of new fans."

Call of the Void also enjoyed hanging out with many of the other bands. Inter Arma made the biggest impression on them, and the labelmates want to tour together.

Meanwhile, several Colorado-based music professionals were at SXSW scouting bands and networking with others in the industry.

In case you missed it

Ashley Dean and Quentin Young provided plenty of blog coverage from the South by Southwest Music Festival. To relive their adventures, visit secondstorygarage.com.

Among them was Dustin Boyd, who works in Lyons for concert producer and music venue Planet Bluegrass. After walking scores of miles over three days and visiting an untold number of downtown venues, Boyd headed back to Colorado with notes on 62 acts, maybe a half-dozen of which he considers prospects for Planet Bluegrass.

One of the acts he praised was Johnnyswim, a male-female duo from Nashville, Tenn., that combines silky voices with attention to tenets of songwriting craftsmanship. He also was jazzed about Brooklyn band Lucius, which features two female singers who, between their paired voices and coordinated stage presence, deliver memorable performances. Boyd was moved to check out a second set by Lucius at SXSW, a rare gesture.

"They re-affirmed their awesomeness," he said.

Overall, Boyd considered his time in Austin to be worth the effort.

"I thought it was a good year," said the veteran of SXSW, which began in 1987.

Bryan Lipman, a national booking agent for Boulder-based Crescendo Artists, traveled to SXSW this year hoping to cultivate relationships with talent buyers and other music professionals, particularly those he had spoken with remotely from his Boulder base. By Monday, he felt he had accomplished the goal of putting faces to names and adding a personal dimension to business connections.

"Hopefully they'll be more inclined to work with us," he said.

SXSW also offers visitors an opportunity to experience some of Austin's pleasures other than music. There was much discussion among SXSW attendees about where to find the best barbecue, for example, and Boyd felt as if he experienced something special Sunday, after the festival had come to an end, when he and a friend went to The Salt Lick in Driftwood. A short drive from Austin, the restaurant served an all-you-can-eat platter that included ribs, brisket and sausage. Perhaps Boyd overdid it.

"I was in a food coma after I got done with it," he said.

Of course, barbecue is not the only binge-indulgence at SXSW -- especially for bands. When they're not taking advantage of free drinks while playing a show, they're attending parties with just as much free alcohol.

"South-by is a vacation where you have to work a grand total of two hours and then party," Cook said. "I remember about 40 percent of South-by, so I think it was a success."

At Red 7, Call of the Void caught a show by New Orleans bounce master Big Freedia. This newspaper's correspondents were at that show, too, and when it came up in an interview, it brought back a memory for Alberts:

"Oh, you saw that, too?" Alberts said. "Our drummer was the guy kicked off stage. He was the one flinging the beer."

SXSW is a messy balance between work and play, but it can be done, and Colorado did it well.

Ashley Dean can be reached at ashley@secondstorygarage.com and Quentin Young at quentin@secondstorygarage.com.