Cloud Nothings, Bleached - SXSW - 3/15/12
Molly Bergen Mikal Cronin
*The Best of SXSW: Wednesday 3/14/2012
*Five Attractive Strange People Working for Tips at SXSW
Yesterday it was sticky, but Consequence of Sound threw a day party with a killer lineup that let us cool our heels and laugh at the East coast kids who were marveling at how awesome the weather was.
Princeton played early under a grey utilitarian tent in the back parking lot. Their polished pop spiked with sharp harmonies from their new album played well with the crowd, but lead singer Jesse Kivel wasn't satisfied. "You guys look tired. The thing is: me too." Not a good thing to announce. It just made us feel guilty and sluggish. You never want to feel guilty at a rock show (after, perhaps).
Inside the beauty parlor themed venue, Henry Clay People put together a set that would make the Hold Steady proud. It was bar rock at its finest. Didn't matter that the walls sparkled with pink glitter and the chairs had hair dryers fixed to them, Henry Clay People came in with their meaty guitar solos made the place feel like it was 5pm at a truck stop. They had dudes head banging and singing along to their riotous incomprehensible chants.
Molly Bergen Princeton's Ben Usen
The biggest surprise of the afternoon was the hordes of people who showed up for Mikal Cronin. Joined by his buddy Ty Segall, the former member of the Moonhearts, they brightly melded 1960s surf rock harmonies with thrashing guitars and towering drums. It was the best kind of sloppy rock, full of energy, unpolished, but all of the notes got hit. There was no sheen of pretention, it was all heart and the crowd knew it.