Tape Wyrm XXXIX: SXSW Bonanza Tape Wyrm XXXIX: SXSW Bonanza

vikelly19Alright. All of the good names have been taken for this article. All of them by either past showcase names or event titles. South by South Death. Chaos in Texas. Rootin’ Tootin’ Cowboy Shootin’. Damn it all. The metal presence at SXSW is small but substantial. Prominent metal labels like Relapse have been holding showcases since the early 2000’s and this year will see big name acts like Norma Jean and Goatwhore play in the oppressive March heat of Texas, probably around 6pm. I am not going to SXSW. I didn’t go last year nor the year before hand despite being invited and egged on by both of my editors. Who is going to feed the fish here at Pinpoint? Yin and Yang need food. Who is going to pick up the mail? While Charles and Ben are off to gallivant down the scolding boulevards of downtown Austin, I am silently making them a to do list. I do not know how much metal Charles and Ben plan to take in along with the 6 trillion other bands playing. Between chili dogs, craft beer, and a shit ton of walking I wonder if metal will be a big priority. Maybe I should make them something. A little guide that can be laminated and stuck inside a fanny pack that would rest next to earplugs, talcum powder, and Ibuprofen. Tape Wyrm’s shows to remember. The Rootin’ Tootin’ Cowboy Shootin’ edition.

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7469_photoFriday March 15th
The Jr

Agonizer (11pm)
Ancestor (12am)
Attomica (1am)

Well holy shit, what do we have here? A showcase devoted to Latin American heavy metal. This sounds like the most kick ass way to spend any Friday night. In fact, this is how I spent every Friday night last autumn. It was a dark time. Technically, this showcase begins at 8pm with the under produced melodic death act Escape from Cuba and the groove heavy Eminence from Brazil. As the night wears on however, the music gets exponentially more gritty, evil, and raw. The 11pm – 2am block features a healthy triple feature of death, black, and unmerciful thrash. First is Agonizer from Cuba who is listed as thrash but this thrash runs around with the death crowd and makes poor life decisions. Ancestor is also from Cuba and play a decent variety of black metal and no, stop it, don’t look at their pictures. The absolute strongest band out of this lot is a straight out of the 80’s Brazilian thrash band which sort of makes me want to go all the way to Texas to see them. When I say straight out of the 80’s I mean they released a strong debut in 1987, slept through the 90’s and 00’s, only to come out with a fourth release last year. This is all worth your time, you know, if you are going to be in Texas and are not a wimp.

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Call+of+the+Void+cotvSaturday March 16th — Relapse Showcase
Red 7 Patio

Call of The Void (8pm)
Inter Arma (9pm)
Howl (10pm)
ASG (11pm)
Royal Thunder (12am)
Black Tusk (1am)

Sometimes you just want to sit, relax, and listen to blistering sludge, experimental doom, and unyielding hardcore. All fucking night. Relapse showcase has been around a while and each year seems to be more and more of an institution. One of the more exciting aspects of this showcase is the potential to be acquainted with their lesser known roster. With Black Tusk being the biggest name, the rest of the Relapse showcase is filled with up-and-coming and underrated doom/sludge/drone acts. Call of the Void is a bracing hardcore opener with the near genreless Inter Arma bringing up the experimental support. Howl occupies a middle slot but is one of the more interesting progressive sludge bands that do not sound like all of the other progressive sludge bands. I am not going to mention names but if you enjoyed other progressive sludge bands that wrote albums about whales but do not sound like they used to, it might be in your best interest to come. Howl and Black Tusk are the heaviest acts on this showcase and they are separated by the Relapse stoner rock department ASG and Royal Thunder. I enjoy Royal Thunder for its slow burning female fronted stoner rock which sounds like a leaf fire that kicks up smoke into the trees. ASG I am less familiar with but I can get down with some southern fried alternative stoner punk. I mean I haven’t yet, but I am open. At this point, I bet the atmosphere is filled with a thick cloud of pot smoke which will only be the rolled carpet for Georgian natives Black Tusk. I can’t see anything. Sludge over this world.

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mutilation_rites-2011 (1)Saturday March 16th — Brooklyn Vegan Showcase
The North Door

Homewrecker (8:00pm)
Pinkish Black (9pm)
Full Of Hell (10:00pm)
Mutilation Rites (11pm)
John Baizley (Baroness) – (12:00am)
Pallbearer (1am)

And we have arrived at this showcase. The Brooklyn Vegan / Invisible Oranges showcase is always a sure bet at finding some of the hippest most self aware, sometimes awesome, collection of US metal acts. What is being offered today from the pushcart? Holy shit, stop punching me. Homewrecker is from Ohio and their mixture of hardcore, thrash, and general desires punch me in the head are pretty damn enjoyable. Stop it. Next. With claims of being zeuhl, new wave, and drone, Texas native Pinkish Black successfully fulfills all of those roles in the first Texas based new wave drone act that carries on the tradition of the 70’s progressive whacked out invented language — zeuhl. I am not saying it is good or bad, just intriguing. Ah, fuck, shit. Full of Hell. Stop hitting me. Chew this curb and tell me how great this Pennsylvania based sludge hardcore act is. Fuck. Check yourself against this concrete. Next. Mutilation Rites is a newer black metal band from the grim lands of New York City. If one is a fan of Marduk or any forceful mid range black metal, which never ceases in its hatred, then this band is a pretty solid bet. I imagine they smell like beer and concrete. Occupying the midnight slot is an acoustic solo effort by Baroness front man John Baizley. I love Baizley’s art which adrons all the Baroness releases plus most bands that come from Gerogia. I wonder If I would enjoy his acoustic solo set as well. Since you’re already there you might as well stay for 2012’s golden boy Pallbearer. Stop hitting me, your not even playing. Pallbearer’s Sorrow and Extinction soared to the top of everyone’s 2012 lists, including mine, because of its potential to sooth hangovers and cast the world in grief. It’s good and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Doom over this world.

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1282072451-livewire-young-widowsFriday March 15th – Tone Deaf Touring Showcase
Red 7

Gates of Slumber (7:45pm)
Ken Mode (8:45pm)
Young Widows (9:30pm)
Today is the Day (10:30pm)
Mondo Generator (11:30pm)
Orange Goblin (12:30am)

And then there is this. If one wanted to throw their dice into the winds of fate then this showcase might or might be the ticket. Or not. We are gambling. Reach your hand into the giant sack and see what you pull out. It could be some Midwest fantasy doom from Gates of Slumber. It could be a noisy post metallic hardcore outfit from way up in Canada, which has one of the most un-metal sounding names ever. Ken Mode seems to also be pretty damn rad regardless of their name. At this point, I’m just going to dump out the rest of the sacks contents on the floor because it is getting noisy as hell. Young Widows comes from the same area as angular juggernauts Slint. They also sort of share the same spirit. Young Widows isn’t really metal but they aren´t really questioned as to why they are on a metal showcase either. Though they may not share the same stylistic characteristics as…well…other metal bands not on this showcase, they still pack a wallop. Once you are punch drunk however, slide on in for Today is the Day, a noisy ballistic fuck missile from Tennessee. What in the hell is going on in the south / midwest? The noise mellows out at the later part of the night with two semi-veteran stoner rock acts. Mondo Generator is headed up by Kyuss / Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri who will ring you the sounds of the desert mixed with passable alternative rock. The night ends with pretty damn cool UK stoner doom act Orange Goblin whose sometimes overlooked work stretches back to the late 90’s. This night is like a noise sandwich pressed together by thick slices of doom. I’m hungry.

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This of course does not list every showcase Charles and Ben are required to see. MetalSucks is putting on their aforementioned South By South Death with Goatwhore and Norma Jean. Other bands are playing other places and I think there might be some other music besides metal being played but I cannot be sure. There are scattering of other metal bands that I am probably doing a great disservice not mentioning. This laminated card is only so big. I will mention that Nick Turner, founder of the 70’s space rock band Hawkwind is doing something at Rebels Honky Tonk on the Friday morning of March 15th at 12:30am. Someone go see and tell me just what in the hell a 72 year old space rock musician does in Austin. I want pictures. I bet it is amazing.



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