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[Drunk Music Reviews] SXSW Travelogue: Part III

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Drunk Music Reviews is exactly what it sounds like: Caitlin Behle reviews shows while progressively getting drunker, while illustrator John Sebastian turns the drunken reviews, which could be ridiculous, sloppy or just plain insulting, into a comic.

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March 16

As I’m writing this, it’s become apparent that our true Drunk Music Reviews-styleSXSW coverage is pretty weak. We work best as a team, illustrating and reviewing shows together.  But the truth is we went down there without a plan. Neither of us wanted to miss out on the shows we wanted to see, but John and I admittedly have very different tastes and I wasn’t interested in covering metal shows all weekend. Splitting up meant that our coverage was more John-heavy because he tweeted and illustrated his reviews.

I could have taken photos on my phone and had John sketch them, but something about that feels very disingenuous. What I’m saying is that next year we’ll try to do better. It was a great learning experience, but more importantly, for a few precious days I got to escape the bitter cold of Cincinnati, eat tacos in jean shorts, and not. give. a. shit.


Ancient VVisdom 



Super nice dudes based out of Austin, got a chance to chat with them a bit a week or so before going down to SXSW when they came through Cincinnati with Royal Thunder.

Clean guitar tracks with minimal drumwork (the drummer has one or two floor toms and mallets), a backing distorted guitar for accents, and great, clean vocals. They remind me almost of something you’d hear on a Christian rock radio station, except for the fact that their lyrics are entirely dark. They’re super catchy songs too. It’s got to say something when you’ve got a whole crowd of people chanting, “Hail to thee, Lord Lucifer.”

Black Breath
Well-executed sludge death metal in the vein of Entombed. They sounded great, but their stage presence left little to be desired.

What really caught my eye however was the guy running the pit. Typically at metal concerts, you get a mosh pit with the rest of the crowd circling around it – people run in and out of the pit, or batten down the hatches, plant their feet, and hope they don’t get bowled over. This guy was the pit BOSS. He was older, probably mid 40s, looked like a fat Tom Savini, had a huge muttonstache, an open Hawaiian shirt, cut offs, and boat shoes. What’s best is not only was he moshing and headbanging, but he was just dancing around, putting his thumbs up, grabbing other pit participants and waltzing with them, and generally having a great time. I couldn’t not draw him.

Black Breath: awesome old school death metal with a drummer that looks like a constipated Matt Damon from The Informant. –@drunkmusicrevws

Orange Goblin

UK southern rock – bluesy, foot stomping, whiskey fueled, beer-guzzling rock. Their singer is an ogre of a man, with energy for days. If he wasn’t singing, he was chugging beers or engaging the crowd with two hands in the air.


The singer of Orange Goblin is a mountain of a man that is constantly powering up. –@drunkmusicrevws


I’ve seen Clutch a good number of times, and they’re always great. I only caught a few songs before I had to get out of the Texas sun, baking with a handful of Lonestars in me, but their electric heavy blues onslaught is always a welcome sound. These veterans know what they’re doing, and I honestly think they sound better live than they do on record.



Hip Hatchet is really the only band worth mentioning from my third day at SXSW.The folk singer-songwriter from Portland, OR made a huge impact on me. Gorgeous, raw performance from inside the Lomo Gallery. Just do yourself a favor and take a listen on a drizzly, overcast day.

March 17

John and I spent our last night in Austin in the most unlikely spot. We heard Yasin Bey (formerly but still basically known as Mos Def) and Mannie Fresh were playing a secret show at Holy Mountain, so we figured we better go.

Unfortunately, neither of us can remember much about the first group. It’s awesome to see hip hop sets that incorporate a live drummer. Way more entertaining than watching dudes spit over a drum machine.


John called the next band “The Shitty Beatles.” They weren’t terrible, but I’ve already forgotten what they looked or sounded like.


Glass Lux was so unbelievably, horrifically, appallingly bad that we didn’t even bother to illustrate them. We opted to drown them out with booze instead.

Ketchy Shuby

Ketchy Shuby was a 60s psychedelic group that sounded like something ouf a Steve McQueen movie. There was a lot of hair. I’m pretty sure they had no idea what kind of show they were playing because they definitely asked the crowd if we were ready for “Most Death.”




Aaand the opening band just referred to their music as “baby fucking music.” #wrongchoiceofwords – @drunkmusicrevws

Mannie Fresh

Dude can work a crowd. Just glad I got to hear Big Tymers’ “Still Fly.” As far as energy goes, he was better than Mos Def, but the bar was set pretty low. Mos Def clearly gave zero fucks. Still, it was a free show, so I can’t really complain.


Yasin Bey (Mos Def)

I wish I could say that Mos Def blew me away, but like I said, weak sauce. It was awesome that he tried out new songs, but he mostly rapped over his own tracks (not beats – his own vocal tracks), thus making himself his own hype man. The energy was pretty low – like, “free show, so I don’t give a shit” low – and he kept stopping during his set to ask the sound engineer to readjust the mix.’


The captions that end with #drunkmusicreviews were pulled from their Twitter account during the show. 

Posted by Caitlin Behle   @   22 April 2013 0 comments
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