I first fell in love with Deer Tick after hearing their kinder, folkier tunes, like “Ashamed,” “Diamond Rings 2007,” and even harder ones like “These Old Shoes” and “Christ Jesus.” They’ve, for the most part, abandoned these ballads in favor of something grittier, spit-ier and altogether rougher around the edges on their latest release, Divine Providence. So it makes sense they’d be touring with a rough-and-tumble gang like Turbo Fruits, who sound like they stepped directly out of someone’s garage and onto the stage (a good thing).
Each time I’ve seen John McCauley III and co. live, there have been antics. I’ve seen him play with Middle Brother and stage dive near his grandmother, I’ve seen him shoot a snot rocket into the unfortunate front row, and I’ve seen (photos of) him donning a dress and rocking a mustache. He’s also proposed to a Darlin’ (Nikki, of Those Darlin’s) which has, through thick, thin, grime and gunk, endeared me to him and Deer Tick for life.
If you want to see what might go down in Antone’s this sacred Sunday, leave a comment on this thread with your name and e-mail address. One lucky reader will win a pair of tickets to the show. I’ll announce the winner on Friday – best of luck!
A Deer Tick live show is not for the squeamish. Even though the band hit the stage dressed to the nines in gray suits and coifed locks Tuesday night in Austin, by the end of their set, we’d seen all manner of sweat, snot and saliva exchanged. This didn’t deter the raucous Emo’s East crowd at all — if anything, it only seemed to spur them on into a wilder frenzy, hooting, hollering and crying every word at the top of their lungs. It felt like an authentic, gritty rock ‘n’ roll show, which is what I’ve come to expect from Deer Tick.Read More...
As a self-diagnosed music nerd, I tend to make mix tapes for people a lot of the time. If it’s a birthday, holiday, anniversary or initial meeting, I will probably slap a mix onto the occasion. From the fall of 2009 onward, I discovered this funny habit of mine where I’d sneak Deer Tick’s “Ashamed” into mixes for everyone. In fact, I think I ended up accidentally putting it on my boyfriend Zack’s first three mixes that I created for him. There was something about its sweet simplicity and raw emotion that got me every time, and it was just this little sigh of a song — over as quickly as it began. It always put me in the mood for crunchy leaves and fuzzy sweaters.
Especially after seeing the wild and raucous boys of Deer Tick tear it up in Brooklyn, I couldn’t get enough. While I was living in New York in summer ’09, I would listen to tunes that had enough country twang in ‘em to take me back home to Texas. Deer Tick had all the piss and vinegar I was looking for, and since my first experience seeing them live also included lead singer John McCauley proposing to his girlfriend, Nikki Darlin, with a toe ring, they endeared themselves to me eternally.
The band’s first album, War Elephant, had subtle folk elements to it, where Born On Flag Day was far more rock ‘n’ roll, and The Black Dirt Sessions returned to classic pop-rock melodies. The band’s latest release, Divine Providence, is being touted as a rock record that encapsulates the meaty, real feeling of a Deer Tick live show — sounds like a perfect set of songs for an Emo’s gig to me.
Whenever you catch the band live, there’s a great balance between heavy rockers and upbeat, fun-loving jams, and McCauley’s personality is made for the stage.I have yet to attend a show at the newly opened Emo’s East, but I can’t think of a better christening than a performance by the grungy Deer Tick boys. If you’re in the mood for fall, Deer Tick will take you into the season, hollering and crooning all the way.
Doors for this show are 9:00PM, with Dead People and Virgin Forest opening.
Here it is – the last preview before the South by Southwest Music Conference descends and we all lose our minds. I scoured the band list to try and find the best groups I could to recommend. Below, you’ll get a quick-hit description of the band from me, a link to a song that exemplifies their sound, and the time and venue the band is performing at. I break it all down day-by-day; if you really love a band, check the sxsw.com schedule to get all of their performance dates (a lot of ‘em are playing 3+ shows). Read on, and then get out there and rock!
Tuesday, March 15
Admiral Fallow – upbeat orchestral pop from Glasgow; like if Freelance Whales had Frightened Rabbit’s accents. The Bat Bar, 9pm
Dry the River – Bon Iver-ish vox over sweet, smooth tunes. Like a brighter Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s. The Bat Bar, 10pm
Fences – Beckish vox, gentle singer-songwriter stuff with a little folksy overtone. (His appearance = TOTALLY deceiving). The Bat Bar, 11pm
Mr. Heavenly – Man Man meets the Ronettes. The Bat Bar, midnight
Surfer Blood – Move the Drums south to Florida to beach up their sound; there you go. Emo’s Main Room at 1am
Wednesday, March 16
Brett Dennen – Paul Simon-y. Pretty voice, pretty songs. Moody Theater @ 7:30pm
Erland & the Carnival – something familiar about this; like Travis-esque vox with throwback pop rock music. 8pm at Club de Ville.
The Black Atlantic – saw ‘em at CMJ, absolutely gorgeous music. Teitur with more folk leanings than pop. 10pm at Esther’s Follies
1,2,3 – gritty pop-rock with a snarl. 10pm at the Parish.
Sea of Bees – 11:30pm @ Central Presbyterian Church; somewhere between Stevie Nicks and Martha Wainwright. Gorgeous voice, she’ll shine in this venue.
Flogging Molly – the perfect band to get you ready for St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday. 11:45pm @ Moody
Sharon Van Etten – heartbreaking singer/songwriter with vocal power that overwhelms you. Midnight at Swan Dive.
The Spinto Band – these are my boys. Super fun and smart pop music. Midnight on the Barbarella Patio.
Young the Giant – This band has a song in heavy rotation on 101x right now, and it hooked me. I’m weary that they might be another ‘The Hours’ for me (where “Ali in the Jungle” is amazing but everything else falls flat), but seriously – watch that video and tell me you’re not curious. Midnight at Buffalo Billiards.
The Dodos – I’ve been a fan of these guys for a while. If you’re into heavy rhythms and incredible guitar playing, check ‘em out. The Parish @ 1am.
Thursday, March 17
Sondre Lerche – gorgeous intricate delicate pop music. I’ve loved this Norwegian since I was 16 (I’ll be 24 on March 16). Not to be missed. Maggies Mae’s @ 9pm
Phantogram – electronic rock, super catchy, bop-able. Playing Lustre Pearl at 11pm
The Kills – Allison. Effing. Mosshart. ‘Nuff said. Emo’s at 11pm.
Emmylou Harris – Classic country darling. Plus…will Conor make a guest appearance? She’s play his set at Auditorium Shores for sure. Antone’s at 11:15pm
Miniature Tigers – saw these dudes open for the Freelance Whales, and fell in love. Incredible onstage charisma, great pop tunes – winners. Lamberts at 11:45pm
Maps & Atlases – really great vox, deep and luscious, plus uptempo rock to back ‘em; reminded me a little of TV on the Radio, but I like this better (keep in mind I’m not a fan of TVotR). Midnight at Red Eyed Fly
Dom – saw ‘em at CMJ, they totally won us over. Fun, dancey, energetic, depth – definitely a must-see. 1am at Club de Ville
Friday, March 18
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears – local funky rock; the baby-makin’ kind. Moody Theater @ 8:05pm
JBM – A blog favorite. The kind of gorgeous folk music that will make you ache in your guts. Central Presbyterian Church @ 8:15pm
Alex Highton – sweet singer-songwriter from the UK. 9pm at 18th floor at Hilton Garden Inn
Sarah Jaffe – You know where we’ll be at 9pm on Friday. Jaffe is stunning, stunning, stunning. If you haven’t caught her yet – you must. She’s at Momo’s.
The Bright Light Social Hour – Austin’s men of rawk. Put your fist in the air and let loose. Momo’s at 10pm.
Thao with the Get Down Stay Down – Thao is a beast. She’s emotive and fabulous and crafts kickass pop rock tunes. See for yourself – 11pm at Antone’s.
Wye Oak – gorgeous folksy music with stunning lead vox. Great for woods-walking. 11:45pm at the Parish
Little Dragon – gorgeous R&B vox and moody/peppy electronic music from Sweeeeden!!! SVERIGE!! Lustre Perle at midnight.
Saturday, March 19
Man Man – Wild and crazy collaborative party good times. 4:30pm at Auditorium Shores
Middle Brother – Collab between Dawes, Deer Tick and Delta Spirit members. Old school country-fried rock. 5:25pm at Auditorium Shores
Bright Eyes – I don’t even know what to say about this. This will be my first ever time catching Conor with Bright Eyes. He’s my musical soul mate. Dig it. 7:30pm at Auditorium Shores.
Pujol – Jack White’s babies. Raucous and fun. Mohawk Patio at 9pm
Toy Selectah – mashin’ up the hits for you to get your dance on. 9:30pm at Prague
The Rural Alberta Advantage – kinda whiny vox (think Neutral Milk Hotel) but if you can get into it, the music is great. Great energy. 10:30pm at Central Presbyterian Church
Ezra Furman & the Harpoons – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! vocals set to folksy pop rock. 11pm at Speakeasy
Royal Bangs – forceful and fun electronic rock. 11pm @ the ND
Royal Forest – Austin heroes; will sometimes cover Neil Young and the Talking Heads. (Full disclosure – I help manage these guys and they’re the bomb. See them.) 11pm @ the Marq
Deer Tick – Gritty country folk rock. 1am @ Lustre Perle
Yoko Ono – Yoko! I mean. It’s Yoko. 1am @ Elysium
BONUS: The Black & White Years are quickly becoming my favorite Austin band. They don’t have any official showcases, but they’re playing gigs every day until SXSW ends. Check out their show list here.