Laura Jane Grace, Waco Brothers, Tiarra Girls, Strand of Oaks and More Stand Out on Day 4 of SXSW Music (FESTIVAL RECAP/PHOTOS)

On the fourth day of the music portion of SXSW the party train rolled on with a seemingly endless array of acts to see across town. The sudden change from perfect spring weather to chilly and grey did little to deter the crowds from hitting the streets to catch longtime favorites and newly discovered bands. Luckily, Glide’s Neil Ferguson, Greg Ackerman, and Tim O’Neill were out and about to savor the fun and goodness. 

Laura Jane Grace at Yard Dog

Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace recently took her punk sound in a slightly different direction with a new project that finds her stripping down her music while also upping the intensity in some ways. Her set at the Bloodshot Records day party at Yard Dog found the beloved front woman laying her soul bare and diving deep into songs off her new album ­Bought To Rot, her debut with her band the Devouring Mothers. The draw of such a big name filled the Yard Dog alley with excited fans, all of whom rocked out to the charged up yet appropriately poppy punk stylings of Laura Jane Grace. Those looking for the big rock sound of Against Me! were instead treated to songs that felt more raw and intimate when played by this trio, and by the end of the set seemingly everyone in the crowd was won over on this exciting new direction for Laura Jane Grace. –Neil Ferguson

Blushing at Hard Luck Lounge

Dream-pop act Blushing headlined The Cosmic Clash’s Women of Clash event at Hard Luck Lounge in East Austin yesterday. The upstart foursome was profiled in the Austin Chronicle prior to SXSW as a must-see local act. They’re not wrong, as the female-fronted band delivered a scintillating set of shoe-gaze goodness to music fans. Signed to new independent label The Nothing Song Records, Blushing have a bright future ahead as an Austin act to watch. The dueling guitars bit between Christina Carmona (bass) and Michelle Soto (guitar) was especially impressive, with their spouses Jake Soto (drums) and Noe Carmona (guitar) backing them. –Greg Ackerman


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Obligatory Waco-Brothers-playing-the-Clash-moment at @yarddogart ??

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Waco Brothers at Yard Dog

The annual Bloodshot Records showcase behind Yard Dog Art Gallery is always a great party with good vibes and even better music. This year was no exception as the Waco Brothers shut down the shindig with an hour-long clinic on how to put on a proper rock show and “the benefits of not rehearsing”. The mischievous black-clad cow punks were absolutely electrifying and the set brimmed with unpredictability, hilarious jokes and crowd banter, and all out reckless abandon. Like true professionals, the Wacos kept the tunes tight even as the onstage chaos and hi-jinx got more and more out of hand, eventually culminated with “bad luck” Jonathan Langford climbing atop somebody’s shoulders and being paraded about the tent while ripping a solo and dancing. Waco Brothers are the true kings of SXSW, change my mind. –Tim O’Neill

Tiarra Girls at Hard Luck Lounge

Perhaps the most eye-opening act we saw all week was East Austin’s teenaged Tiarra Girls, who play a combination of Conjunto, rock, blues and Tejano music. They’re also adorable as the band is comprised of three young Latinas, the Baltierra sisters. Diminutive Tori handles vocal and guitar duties, slim and lanky Tiffiany plays bass and Sophia plays bass. Don’t mistake their cute appearance for a lack of musical chops though. That would be an easily made mistake to underestimate their ability. They’re good. Really good. They’re often mistaken for frontwomen who travel with a backing band. Nothing could be further from the truth. “Sometimes we’ll show up to a gig and the sound man is like “Hey girls! Let me know when your backing band is here and we’ll start soundcheck.” We have to explain we ARE the band.” And they’re badass, tiny Selena’s in waiting. –Greg Ackerman

Amyl and the Sniffers at South By San Jose

Aussie quartet have been blazing their way across Austin this week and leaving a wreckage of punk desolation wherever they go, and their set on Friday at South By San Jose found them playing to one of their largest SXSW crowds yet. Platinum blond singer Amy Taylor clearly gave zero fucks about the chilly weather as she donned a bikini top, and it helped that she never stopped moving around the stage as she barked out fiery rock and roll vocals on songs like “I’m Not a Loser”, “Monsoon Rock,” “Cup of Destiny” and “Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)”. It’s hard to see what the band members are so angry about, but they seemed well schooled in hard-charging 70s rock and roll and punk, and came across as well suited to play the parts of depraved youth who have given themselves to music. –Neil Ferguson


Annual Lafayette Live SXSW Sheauxkaze at Antone’s

Antone’s turned itself into a sanctuary of pure positivity with a showcase of Louisiana music that brought a different but well-curated collection of artists together under one roof. Piano legend Tommy McLain stunned the enraptured crowd with his gold sequins jacket and truly heartfelt swamp ballads. Backed by guitar badass C.C. Adcock, who demonstrated his versatility with gentle and restrained acoustic work, the duo struck a chord in the heart of all in attendance as many choked back the tears listening to the 79 year old sing his songs of love and loss. Sean Ardoin and his talented band would pick things up with their “kreole rock and soul”, blending traditional zydeco with funk, rock, and hip-hop and causing an all out dance party. Once again, the show would shift gears with the Roddy Romero Trio and their Louisiana style blues that slinked along and kept the crowd swaying to the deep, laid back grooves. The magical evening would come to a close with country singer Yvette Landry and her down home twang and swamp pop. Joined by a full band that included fiddle, sax and the virtuosic Louisiana and Texas legend Marcia Ball on keys, the set was the perfect punctuation for the night. –Tim O’Neill


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Great time playing @relixmag / @brooklynbowl showcase last night. ?: @keithkreeger

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Stand of Oaks at Scoot Inn

Strand of Oaks performed at the Historic Scoot Inn Friday evening as part of the Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion party. The project of Indiana artist Timothy Showalter, Strand of Oaks makes folk rock music that leaves you wondering why previous folk musicians didn’t delve into experimental territory like Showalter does. The band just released their sixth studio effort, Eraserland to wide critical acclaim. The group has been making the late-night television circuit, appearing on Steven Colbert’s show with Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires and members of My Morning Jacket if that gives you an idea of how good this band is. There is no better endorsement for an upcoming musical act than praise and support from talented peers. –Greg Ackerman

All gallery photos by Maggie Boyd and Arthur VanRooy.

See coverage of SXSW Music Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3!

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