Beyond Cactus

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dewey Does Austin: Vegans, Barbecue and Bird Placement

Posted By on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 11:53 AM

I will never say no to free BBQ. A free, hot lunch is always a special treat and will insure I'm out of bed and in the serving line at the proper time. This was at a Tumblr/Red Bull sponsored meet 'n' greet with some industry types and a DJ going nuts with the reggaeton. I'm not one to hobnob, schmooze, or otherwise consort so I was out of there as soon I ate.

I checked out the Brooklyn Vegan showcase down the street at The Main. I'm glad I did. Not knowing who was playing I stumbled on:

Anamanaguchi (NY) - The band I couldn't pronounce correctly all day long while trying to explain them. Apparently, this quartet is in the "chip-tune" or (ugh) "chip-punk" genre. I don't know a chip from from a mudflap, but I think it has something to do with making music from Nintendos. I didn't see any old NES' on the stage nor did I hear any Shinobi-type tunes, but what I did hear was hilariously awesome. These guys should be laying down new soundtracks to 80s sci-fi/action flicks like Megaforce or Warriors of the Lost World. In fact, they should just name all their tracks "Battle Sequence 1" or "Fight Scene (On the Beach)."

Maserati (GA) - It was a cinematic double feature this afternoon as Maserati followed Anamanaguchi. Maserati is also an instrumental quartet, but way over on the prog-rock side. These guys know their Genesis and King Crimson, with a little bit of Iron Maiden for good taste and measure. They mostly stuck to material off their latest release, Maserati VII. An album so good it made my top 10 of 2012. It was a blistering half-hour set of soaring guitar leads, climatic crescendoes and bombastic prowess.

As I did last year, I made the scene over at the Thrasher magazine Death Match party at the Scoot Inn. Two stages of punk and metal, and a killer half-pipe to boot. Over here I saw:

The Shrine (CA) - This was the first band I saw at SXSW last year. The Shrine play fun, blistering metal and they also make the best metal faces I've seen in a long time. This is eating pizza in a Camaro type stuff. The crowd packed in like sardines inside the small indoor bar, and The Shrine delivered the goods while numerous cans of Lone Star hurled through the air.

The Adolescents (CA) - I only caught a few songs from this veteran punk rock band from Orange County, but what I saw and heard was fun as hell. Lead singer Tony Cadena might not have the same teenage squeal that was the band's trademark, but "American Lockdown" sounded great. It was cool to see a gang of 12-year-olds charging into each other. The kids are still alright.

I think the only thing I've ever won before was a cake in a cake walk. Maybe I got five bucks on a scratcher once. This changed yesterday when I found out I won a a much coveted ticket for the NPR showcase at Stubb's. This is where I saw:

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (AUS, UK, USA) - Nick Cave has finally become what he's always wanted to be: a character straight out of a Flannery O'Connor novel, mixed with Las Vegas showman-zest. Taking the stage promptly at 8 p.m., Cave said "we're gonna play a long one, and hopefully when it's over it'll be dark." The band kicked into "Higgs Bosson Blues", the 10 minute talking blues track off their latest album. Granted, I haven't been much of a fan ever since guitar player/weirdo/genius Blia Bargeld left the fold, and after hearing longtime Cave collaborator Mick Harvey bailed recently as well, I didn't have the highest of hopes. I was wrong. Cave commanded the stage like a fire-and-brimstone preacher, conducting a nighttime sermon while his minstrels played on behind him. Violin player Warren Ellis handled his instrument like it was a hungry snake, tossing his bow, playing it like a guitar, swinging it wildly. Cave and the Bad Seeds played a few off their new album, plus a good chunk of their back catalogue. "Red Right Hand", "Jack the Ripper", "Stagger Lee", "Deanna" sounded great, but it was "The Mercy Seat" that just about shook me to tears. Bonus: Ex-Magazine and Ex-Bad Seed Barry Adamson is back in the band, this time playing keyboards.

After a long and intense day, I settled in at Valhalla, where I caught some bands before the night was over. I checked out:

So Many Dynamos (MO) - These guys and gals were adorable. Maybe too adorable. I'm a little suspect, they were smiling way too much and having too much fun. Think Liquid Liquid meets Up With People. Or the Tom Tom Club meets the "I Want to Teach the World to Sing" Coke commercial. There were so many of them they couldn't fit on the stage, but they played a great funk-punk set and had the crowd in the palm of their hands.

Parenthetical Girls (OR) - Put a bird on it.

Maserati (GA) - Yeah, I saw them again. And other than an amp blowing out in the first five minutes, it was even better than the show I saw earlier in the day. They might be one of the best live bands I've ever seen.

My shoulder hurts, my dogs are barking, and my stomach is growling. I gotta run, but I'll be back tomorrow with more action. Cheers!

Over and out.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dewey Does Austin: Day One of SXSW

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 10:03 AM

After a slightly hellish train ride, I arrived in Austin with maybe having two hours of sleep in the past 24 hours. I immediately set upon the convention center to grab my badge, check out the press room, and gulp down a few cups of coffee. I was ready to party.

...No, I wasn't.

I took a nap in the hotel room, dragged my ass out of bed and went downtown. This being the first night of the music portion of SXSW, pickins' were slim and I was thirsty, so I decided to go where the free beer was.

I headed over to the Vice magazine/Jansport party located at a spacious indoor-outdoor warehouse. Why the backpack I wore my entire time in high school was having a party, I don't know. Here's a lowdown on the bands I saw:

Skaters (NY) - If you look like you cribbed your fashion style from old pictures of Adrenalin O.D. in Maximum Rock and Roll, and your opening music is the theme to Beavis and Butthead, I'm going to have high hopes. But if you're going to retread the not-exactly-ancient sounds of The Strokes and ARE Weapons, you're going to crush those hopes.

Team Spirit (NY) - Nothing memorable about this band other than their throwaway cover of a Replacements song two songs in.

Wavves (CA) - You remember Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke? Remember the battle of the bands scenes with the three punk bands? That's what these guys remind me of. Messy, fun and a touch chaotic. The trio have also expanded to a quartet, adding a second guitar player to the mix. Hilarious celebrity cameo in the crowd by MTV's John Norris.

Throughout the night, the sound mix was incredibly awful. The bands sets were muddled and muffled. But.....what else should I expect from a party sponsored by Vice and backpacks, right?

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dewey Does Austin: On the Eve of SXSW

Posted By on Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 2:42 PM

By the time you've read this, I will have already have boarded a train to Austin, Texas for SXSW. I have a laptop full of Walter Hill movies, spaghetti westerns and more than a fistful of tunes for the 24-hour trek.

This will be my second time out there, and like I did last year, I'll be updating the We Got Cactus blog daily with dispatches from my adventures. And, if everything pans out, this year I'll also be including some interviews.

If you want further ramblings, albeit sometimes a bit more profane and off the cuff, you can follow me on Twitter: I'm @Dewtron. You can also follow the #tucsonweekly hashtag.

Some bands I look forward to checking out while I'm there - Action Bronson, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Iggy and the Stooges, Audacity, Fidlar, Nu Sensae, The Shrine, Maserati, Pissed Jeans, Pyyramids, Wo Fat, Thee Oh Sees, Flatbush Zombies, Death, RZA, Bestial Mouths, Hunters, BOAN, Xander Harris and a whole lot more.

Over and out!

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gangnam Style is Back

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons by KOREA.NET - Official page of the Republic of Korea
  • Photo from Flickr Creative Commons by KOREA.NET - Official page of the Republic of Korea

You may have thought PSY's "Gangnam Style" madness had come and gone, being replaced by the "Harlem Shake" insanity that is sweeping the YouTube nation. But don't you worry, it's back.

The ever so popular electronic infused beats have made their way onto another song, with a remix EP that was released on iTunes Monday. The EP includes four different remixes of the track, with a few famous rappers joining in.

The first remix on the EP features 2 Chainz and Tyga, with the help of producer Diplo. Quite honestly, it barely even sounds like Gangnam Style except for the few times PSY's original track is thrown into the song. Other than that, it pretty much just seems to serve as another reason for rappers to get on a popular track in between projects, 2 Chainz to yell his name at some random point in yet another song, and the techno beats to creep their way into the craze with another catchy beat.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Carly Rae Jepsen Joins Train in Leaving National Scout Jamboree

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons by Lunchbox LP
  • Photo from Flickr Creative Commons by Lunchbox LP

Carly Rae Jepsen announced on her Twitter Monday that she would be joining Train in stepping down from her headlining spot at the National Scout Jamboree this year, due to the gay Scout member and Scout leader ban the Boy Scouts of America have in place and are currently debating.

The urge for these two acts to pull out of the Jamboree, which will take place in West Virginia on July 15-24, was a result of a petition started by Eagle Scout Derek Nance on

"After serving 10 years as a Boy Scout camp leader, I decided I couldn't lie about who I was any longer and came out as gay. Now, because of the Boy Scouts of America's hurtful anti-gay policy I'm no longer allowed to be part of an organization that has been an instrumental part of my life," said Nance in the petition.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Little Taste of SXSW: NPR's Austin 100

Posted By on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 2:00 PM

So I've been prepping for SXSW (whose lineup is growing to absurdly epic proportions day by day, BTW) by listening to a playlist of JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, BOY, Divine Fits, Heartless Bastards, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Dawes, OK Sweetheart, Carrie Rodriguez, Leagues, Tegan and Sara, John Hiatt, Brownout and Starship Connection.

But now I have more homework: NPR Music has uploaded the Austin 100, a compilation of songs by SXSW acts that is free for you to download. Even if you're not making the trek to Austin this year, there's no reason not to download an eclectic mix of the best upcoming bands, right?

BTW, if you're going to Austin: TW, KXCI and the Tucson Music Factory are co-sponsoring a Tucson music night at SXSW featuring the some of the best acts ever baked here in the Sonoran Desert: Andrew Collberg, Chica Dust, Tesoro, Gabrielle Sullivan & Taraf de Tucson, Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta and Giant Giant Sand. It starts at 8 p.m. at the Speakeasy on Saturday, March 16.

You can help the bands get there by attending the Marianne Dissard Farewell Show and Fundraiser for the Tucson SXSW Showcase this Saturday, March 9, at Club Congress. You'll see Spain, Marianne Dissard and Ricky Tutaan. Details here!

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Sound City Players Streaming New Album on NPR

Posted By on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 1:06 PM


In case you missed it, former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl made a documentary.

The film, Sound City, showcased a run-down, shabby Van Nuys, Calif. recording studio of the same name that made a bunch of awesome records like Nevermind, Tom Petty's Damn the Torpedos, and Rumors by Fleetwood Mac.

Not missing out on any opportunities to make some great music, Grohl decided he'd get together with all these Sound City artists, and make an assortment of lineups to record an album on the studio's original console (which has since been relocated to Grohl's studio in Virginia). The result: Sound City: Real to Reel by the Sound City Players.

Set for release on March 12, the record and all of its 11 tracks are up now to stream at NPR's website. Each song features Grohl on one of however many instruments he knows how to play, along with contributions from folks such as Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and even Paul McCartney. McCartney never actually played at Sound City, but I'd call him up and ask him to jam too if he was in my cell phone.

When the record finally drops on March 12, it'll be up for grabs on iTunes.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Fall Out Boy Back in Action

Posted By on Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Fall Out Boy has been busy since announcing their reunion last month. Most recently, they performed their new song "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'Em Up)" live with 2 Chainz at the NBA All-Star Game Slam Dunk Contest on Feb. 17.

In the weeks leading up to their reconciliation, fans began expecting something was in the works when different media outlets leaked signs of upcoming performances and new music.

Since coming back together on Feb. 4, the band has announced a tour that begins on May 14 in Milwaukee, highlighting their new album titled "Save Rock and Roll". They completed the album on Feb. 18, according to Alternative Press. It was originally set to be released May 7, but has been moved up to come out on April 15/16.

"So when we got this all rolling we didn’t expect it to be so crazy. But we weren’t kidding when we said we had the album done—so why wait?" the band said on their Tumblr. "It means the world to us the way you have welcomed us back. 'Save Rock and Roll' now out early, April 15/16 worldwide."

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