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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SXSW 2013 The Kick Off pt.2

So I leave Macy's (from their American Rag Showcase sponsored by the Vans Warped tour) and head to the East side of Austin for a Portland Music Showcase. Now this is on E A S T 6th St, like way, way, way EAST 6th St. A small bar called The Grackle ( I didn't know it was there and would have never known or passed by, had it not been for SXSW. This is part of the energy and dynamic that is SXSW. I live here and this is such an amazing opportunity to go to new places and experience a whole new piece of life that would have been otherwise overlooked.

The bar is on a corner with a decent little outside lot. There is a food trailer for some good eats outside, a screened in patio for enjoying the outdoors. The inside space has a stage in the left back corner as you enter and the bar wraps around on the right. It definitely has that lounge type of feel with the decor inside.

On to the music.

I had no idea what I was going to hear, nor whom. To my wonderment and surprise, I  saw (and heard) Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside (! What a fun band and a great time. Sallie and the band are totally entertaining on stage and lively.  Sallie Ford's vocals are heavy and full. In no way does the sweet, innocent looking, and unassuming Sallie Ford that you see, match the voice that kicks you in the ears and pulls you by the guts. That sweet, innocent look gives way to some strikingly naughty lyrics. My girlfriend was cracking up a couple of songs into the set as she pointed this out to me. Oh My! How great it is to be in the midst and company of some pretty ingenious writing and performance at this level. To think, here we are checking this band out for free in a dirt lot! Seeing The Sound Outside is nothing but a great time.

In the  late afternoon Texas sun, everyone in the crowd had their eyes on Sallie and many in the crowd were dancing...dancing by themselves, dancing with others, or just grooving along. The guitar sound is twangy and unique for today, it is not that radio pop bullshit we hear. It is original and it is interesting, if you pay attention. The stand up bass only adds to the whole performance aspect when they bust it out. The music is somewhere between rock-a-billy and a fifties-ish rock and roll sound. EEhhhhh, fuck the pigeon hole, this is absolute fun, a good time, and great music.

Make sure you jump to the band's web page from the link I provided. Go to YouTube, do whatever to check out Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside. We did and we were so very pleased with it all.

Inside The Grackle we caught the sounds of Quiet Life ( The set started a little down tempo with the two guitars and vocal harmonies, but as the room filled with people, it quickly changed. With an acknowledgment from the lead singer, the 3 piece kicked it up a notch and really found their groove within the crowd. It only took two minutes and the room was packed.  There was nothing quiet about this performance. With really great skills by both of the front men, Quiet Life, so brightly and brilliantly breathed some life into the crowd. Sorry, but I couldn't help the puns. Look them up on Facebook and find them on the road...Hell if you are lucky you will catch them with Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside.

p.s. - two days later we are walking down a side street looking for some more SXSW shows and who do we see sitting on a bench...SALLIE FORD! It was the coolest shit, she was totally nice and even seemed a bit shocked that she was recognized. So we got a picture with her...thanks Sallie!