SXSW Music: Saturday

Saturday consisted of trying to meet some friends at Japanese Night at Elysium. You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson after seeing Dir En Grey the night before, but I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. This time, though, I was pleasantly surprised even though I never did find the people I was trying to meet.

I walked in on PE’Z, a japanese jazz band who call themselves “samurai jazz”. They were really good. Their style was in a hard bop vein and they were very tight. The band is a quintet with trumpet, sax, upright bass, drums and keyboard. The keyboard player was the most interesting member of the bunch. He was dressed in a tracksuit and hat that made him look like a small and thin LL Cool J. On the more frenetic pieces, he’d hunch low over the keyboard and go nuts with his fingers. He stood the entire set and would straighten up on the slower parts. They were great and I’m regretting not picking up one of their CDs while I was there. They were the discovery of the weekend from all that I saw over SXSW. An article I found on the japanese bands at SXSW says many of the bands from Japan Night are touring other parts of the country for the rest of the month. I definitely recommend checking out PE’Z although I’m still not sure how to pronounce their name.

I headed over to Emo’s after that to see Hellacopters. Since I wasn’t sure how difficult it would be to get in, I went pretty early. I had to wait roughly ten minutes before I was admitted, even with a badge. I got in just in time to see the Riverboat Gamblers do their last two songs. Good stuff. Lots of stage-diving and energy. No big deal missing that performance as you can see them pretty easily here in Austin. The place cleared out considerably once they finished, so I could’ve waited ten minutes somewhere else and just waltzed in. Riverboat Gamblers were followed by Nebula, who apparently have one of the ex-members of Fu Manchu in their ranks. They were ok, but I wasn’t all that impressed. Hellacopters were up after them. I noticed David Fricke from Rolling Stone come in with Raoul Hernandez from the Chronicle a little before the Hellacopters. Hellacopters were pretty good. They didn’t blow me away or anything. One song, “Better Than You”, stood out from the set that I heard. It had an amazing dual guitar solo. I left a few songs before they finished.

1 Comment so far

  1. lin (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2006 @ 9:48 am

    My name is “Lin” from JP.
    I’ve been trying to find out any article about PE’Z because I love them and I want to know HOW U.S. people thought about them through this SXSW.
    Now, I’m very glad to find out & read your writing.
    If you have a time, pls. let me know how other audiences felt of them.
    Sorry for my broken english, I hope you’d not feel bad of my sudden & long wrinting.

    Thank you.

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