hungry hearted

serving up a healthy portion of pop culture commentary, random infatuations, and introspective ramblings

spring, sprang, sprung.

In honor of the first day of springtime, I present to you a happy little playlist.

Patrick Winfield: Composites

I'm in awe of all this beauty. These polaroid mosaics are just a glimpse into the art of Patrick Winfield whose collection of composites is currently on display at Open Spaces in Beacon, NY. The portrayals of the Hudson River and Mohonk Mountain are especially breathtaking to me as I spent countless childhood days getting lost stumbling through those grounds. But I think it's safe to say these photographs are equally accessible to anyone whose ever stepped outside to find something intangible and beautiful. Somehow this collection captures that feeling which cannot be known or named, to me at least, thus making it so special.

Purchasing and further info HERE.

Save Polaroid

the beat goes on


With Wednesday morning, came the beauty of free SXSW day shows. GOOD Magazine hosted an event in the side lot between Hotel San Jose and Jo's. The location and sponsors made this event a must-do, even though the make-shift venue lacked any must-see acts.

As a GOOD subscriber, I was given the opportunity to make a t-shirt! I got to choose from three different silk screen designs to have an individual t-shirt printed for me! So sweet. They also had an awesome modernized photo-booth, free for use. The setting made for a super relaxing way to ease into the day. It was nice to mingle around in such a laid back family atmosphere while Mason Jennings performed talky, Randy Newman-esque songs on a sunny afternoon.

After fueling up on coffee and a hefty batch of the sun's complimentary vitamin D, we ventured toward the hysteria of Red River. We managed to get in without much of a wait at Red Eyed Fly for the Two Gallants set and a couple free Dewars and ginger. Having grown somewhat obsessed with the band during my winter cross-country trip, I was ecstatic to witness the minimal duet perform. I'm always thoroughly impressed with their lyrical focus. Adam Stephens' scratchy voice provides an undeniable sense of sincerity that cuts right through me no matter how well I know and anticipate the verses as they unfold. Hence, my growing crush. To top things off, after their set Stephens was in a conversation directly behind me! Naturally, I slurped down the rest of my Dewards and nervously took advantage of the opportunity to bashfully compliment their performance. My heart was a flutter. (Sigh.)

I ran into my friends from The Western Civilization as we waited for White Denim to set up. From what I caught from their short set, they were spunky and enjoyable, but nothing that struck my attention in particular. I more or less just stuck around for The Octopus Project, whom I've seen twice previously and are one of my favorite local bands. I can't help but find their spacey jam sessions consistently adorable and delightful.

Wednesday night was pretty mellow. We opted to hang with friends in The War Against Sleep and see them perform at Fado rather than deal with the insanity of hits and misses getting into venues on 6th or Red River. As a friend, I couldn't help but feel simultaneous nervousness and excitement for their set. Thankfully, the performance was smooth and I didn't have to test my acting skills. I was genuinely impressed by their unique cross-genre showcase.


We kicked things off at a free showcase at Levi's Fader Fort. I was amazed by the extensive set up as they made it very clear they'd dropped some major bank into the make-shift venue. For instance, instead of drinking free draft Lonestars, we got free bottles of Bass. Classy! We stuck around to catch a quick buzz and sets from Ben's Brother and The Ting Tings. Ben's Brother was nice easy listening, background music, but nothing that grabbed my interest. The Ting Tings however distracted me from my afternoon buzz with their energetic sound and gang-vocals.

After a few free drinks, we made our way down to Emo's where The Stills were finishing their set and we were able to score seats on the bleachers until Tokyo Police Club set up. I've been a big fan of TPC since I first heard them last year. They toured Austin over the summer and put on a great show. This showcase at Emo's was a solid set, but not quite as impressive as their summer tour. I'm sure this is the general casualty of SXSW's quick set changes. Nonetheless, I definitely love how these kids construct such a fun sound accented by simple yet powerful sentiment. I find it absolutely contagious.

Next up was Tapes 'n Tapes. The mere mention of their name evokes hilariously awkward, cringe-inducing memories of Aziz Ansari / Human Giant's Clell Tickle: Indie Marketing Guru video. Coincidentally, my friend Matt spotted one of the Human Giant comedians in the crowd! Tapes 'n Tapes definitely put on a great set, perhaps one of my friend Sarah's favorites of the week. I must admit I broke out in my little shuffle dance for their final song, "Hang Them All," which Sarah then informed me is their new single.

Thursday night we caught an enthusiastic performance by Think About Life at Beerland before heading down to The Austin Children's Museum for the KVRX-plosion!! The first and only noteworthy performance I stayed for was The Mae Shi. The setting alone, of a late night party in the Children's Museum, raised the bar for creative expectations, and The Mae Shi flawlessly delivered. They're energy and eccentricity was a reviving necessity and an awesome way to end the day.


I decided early on that The Felice Brothers were not to be missed, and that stance was solidified when I ran into James Felice on 6th Street Wednesday afternoon. To me, the orchestration of their music provides a necessary sentimental element that blankets and softens every rough edge of the often melancholy lyrical focus. But like I've said, I'm smitten. It seemed only natural to catch the boys at a laid back morning party with a folk/bluegrass showcase, and the free breakfast tacos and bloody Mary's certainly provided a welcomed accessory, which made luring my friends out pre-noon a lot easier.

Consistent with the outlaw characters their songs are laden with, the boys rolled up a few minutes late in the back bed of a pickup truck. I was DELIGHTED. Seriously, I couldn't hold back my wide smile if I tried, and the morning cocktails left me no choice but to embrace the moment as they started their set with the drunken carousel waltz of "Ruby Mae." AMAZING. My only complaint was that the set was so damn short! So it goes. I cannot wait to see these guys come around again, or perhaps catch them back home where they frequent local coffee shops and venues of that sort.

After The Felice Brothers, Sarah and I made the executive decision to try and catch She & Him. We had previously thought catching any of their sets would be impossible due to the sheer awesomeness of this collaboration's existence, but we hopefully beelined down to Minnesota Public Radio's tent and to our astonishment, got in with great ease. She & Him is based around the duet of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel. They are WONDERFUL. The simplicity of their production and the delicate, twangy deliverance is reminiscent of a modern day Patsy Cline. Although the set was only two songs, I was glad to be in attendance, especially since it was Sarah's last show of the week and an instant favorite, hands down.

After sending Sarah back to Brooklyn, my SXSW experience certainly dwindled down. Friday night I made it out to the TX Garage Party which was set up on the sixth floor of a parking garage on Guadalupe Street. I think the highlight of the venue was the free water guns which served as the main source of entertainment for a few hours, since we arrived early to avoid lines. The only notable set I caught that evening was Cut Copy. To me, they're a little heavy with the electronics for everyday listening, but despite my weary legs and sore feet, I couldn't help but shake it down.


I actually only made it to one show on Saturday night due to the necessity of work. I met up with friends late in the evening for Delta Spirit at Buffalo Billiards. I'd never heard them before, but reliable sources gave solid recommendations and I took the bait. I really wish I wasn't as strung out from the week as I was for this show, but I did enjoy their percussion heavy set.

I can't believe how quickly SXSW came and went!

SXSW: Kodak Moments

She and Him (M. Ward & Zooey Deschanel) @ MPR Tent

Tokyo Police Club @ Mohawk, as seen through the fence

Levi's Fader Fort's boom box tower

crushing on Adam Stephens, from Two Gallants @ Red Eyed Fly


Poll: Is it just me . . .

Or is James Franco looking strikingly like Bruce Springsteen circa Born To Run (1975) lately?

Acting with James Franco (Funny or Die)

free is my favorite four letter word.

SXSW can be approached many ways. To me, purchasing a badge or wristband is a costly expense which serves more as a status symbol than provide any guarantee of access. So this year I took the scavenger path and based my plans on free provisions (food, drinks, swag) and short lines. By my count I saw approximately 29 bands throughout the week. I'm sure there are bands I overheard and DJ sets I was present for, but I'm going to cap the count right there. While I did miss some attractive sets, I'm comforted by the advantage of living here in Austin, where many of these up and coming acts will likely tour in the not so distant future. Also, some bands I've already seen and adore were defaulted to low priority in favor of seeing something new.

Breakin' it on down: The Pre-Official SXSW Music Events

{{{Sunset}}} was the first show I saw this year. I caught them last Saturday at Mohawk before the venue was taken over by the insanity of the official SXSW Music Festival days. They really got me moving. It seems only natural, as the group is a formation created by Bill Baird of Sound Team, which performed their last show in September. They possess similar dance-inducing rhythms. I challenge anyone to stand still.

Monday I returned to Red River to catch some free Lonestars and music at Club de Ville. I was surprisingly delighted by a Canadian band, The Golden Dogs. Upon entrance, I was way more excited about the free beer than any performers, but I fell into some unexpected jaw-dropping, goofy grinning moments during some of their wailing breakdowns. I also found their keyboardists dance shuffles absolutely adorable, in addition to the wonderfully dismissive way she tossed down her tambourine between uses. After their set, we took advantage of one of the most enjoyable aspects of the festival by hanging out with the band after their tour manager struck up a conversation with us. As Morty would say, it was pretty righteous.

We hung out with some of the Golden Dogs through Scissors for Lefty, which is actually NOT a Willie Nelson cover band (best rumor of the week though, by far), and ran over to Mohawk to catch the last song of Tokyo Police Club's set through the fence, until we realized everyone was leaving and we could go in. Oh Lonestar, you had me at free.

Tuesday night we headed down to Beauty Bar for another free showcase and experienced one of the most surprising highlights of my week. Although my sister-blogger, music loving, house guest and I agreed we'd probably never listen to them on our own time, Scorpion Child puts on one of the raddest baddest live shows I've seen in a while. I think this is namely due to contrast. While a lot of the acts being showcased take on the indie vibe, Scorpion Child puts on a convincing balls to the wall rock show. It's the best Zeppelin impression I've ever witnessed. While the lyrics lacked substance by my account, the theatrical stage presence, outfits (cowboy boots, tight flared jeans and unbuttoned southern-esque collared shirts), and wailing guitar solos sealed the deal. I mean, look at these guys. SERIOUSLY. What makes it even better, to me, is that I've actually met one of their guitarists previously, before hearing them or knowing anything about them. When he spoke of his band and I inquired about their sound, he simply described it as, "rock 'n roll, I guess." Indeed.

The other main highlight of the night was finally seeing Austin locals, The Black and White Years. I've been wanting to check them out for MONTHS and every time something diverts my attention. But this time I was basically on stage. Not only do they have a super fun, energetic, electronic sound, but three of the four band members have SICK moustaches! The quick sample their showcase provided definitely surged my appetite for more. This is a band I will certainly continue to listen to on my own time as well as seek out for future shows.

Other notable events of the night included Belaire, who unfortunately spent more time on their sound check than on their actual set, and a guest MC set by Yo Majesty. All in all, not a bad introduction to this years SXSW experience.

SXSW: stating the obvious.

I spy with my little eye . . .

(Recap soon to follow.)