Tag Archives: Austin

Sigur Ros Eloquently Kicked Ass


It was only right that a weekday after my best man showed up for the weekend that I had the opportunity to relax and recover with the soothing sounds of Sigur Ros.  Welp, it mostly happened.  I’ve seen them before at the Uptown Tehater in Kansas City way back when and remember such a jovial, quiet style.  I guess I didn’t remember everything correctly.  They somehow managed to kick my ass in a completely eloquent style.

First off, let’s talk about the Cedar Park Civic Center.  It’s WAY up north of Austin and especially from where I live.  Apparently the arena hosts a multitude of minor sport teams from hockey and basketball.  Good for them.  More importantly, they have buffalo style chicken strips with a massive amount of fries.  While the strips were tasty, it was few.  I think they made up for it with the ginormous amount of fries that came with it.  Well that and the condiment cart that left lots of dippins free for the take.

First up for the night was the crowd warming Oneohtrix Point Never.  Okay, more like chilling.  His style, a laptop musician with experimental ambient beats, fits well at a local bar but just doesn’t translate well to an arena.  Oh, I enjoyed the beats and how they trickled out, but I left wanting more of an intimate situation with them instead of sitting way back in the arena hearing echoes bounce off minor sport achievement banners.  I will make a note to check a club headlining tour with this guy.

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Sigur Ros came up and kicked things off in their familiar, giant sheet with bright light set style.  I guessed that it was going to be that way for the whole show like in KC but was proved wrong (again) when the sheets came down and they opened up the show.  Boy did they open it up.  I was used to some of the classics, but I did not expect the full on harsh assault that existed in their new material.  Is it a reinvention?  Or mere evolution?  Doesn’t matter to me, they do it with such a  genuine emotion that I believe in whatetever feeling that they are trying to get across.  That’s a rare breed of band and you will not see it in even the biggest stadium sellers around.

It was a real treat being able to see Sigur Ros again.  Now, the next time they come, I’m not sure.  I know now what to get, in all of its sweet, genuine discourse but I’m not sure I want to ride it again.  The curtain thing is great but it’s been overplayed.  It’s all fantastic and I think everyone should go out and see it at least once.  But be sure to bring some tissue and perhaps extra napkins.

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012

Okay it’s been over a month since Fun Fun Fun Fest and now I’m finally getting down to writing about it.  For the uninitiated, Fun Fun Fun Fest is a music festival in Austin, Texas that takes place in the fall.  Amongst the bajillion music festivals in the Austin area, this one seems to be the most alternative and wacky.  That’s two things that are near and ear to my heart.  Last year I went with a day pass, but this year I plunked down some change for the 3 day pass.  I’m glad I did.

Since it’s been awhile I’m going to pick out some highlights from the days.  Yeah, there’s tons of video online but I think the highlights are enough.  The 3 day event featured music from the alternative, hip hop, techno, and metal areas of music. Plus, I got to sample some other mainstream type things like half pipes and professional wrestling.  Let me hit that up first.

I’m not a big skater or biker so the half pipe didn’t appeal to me too much.  I did enjoy the other peeps bouncing up and down the ramp during the shows, however.  The wrestling was more my kind of style.  Anarchy Championship Wrestling is a local independent type promotion and they had a ring setup right next to the ramp.  It’s all in good fun and was way more than I expected with a wrestling drinking game match.

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Now on to the music.  First day’s highlights include The Dum Dum Girls, Tia Carrera, and speical performance by The Black Lips with Val Kilmer.  Yeah, that Val Kilmer.  I’m conflicted about who was the biggest highlight of the day:  Santigold or Run DMC.  When I think about it, I think Santigold will get the nod.  Run DMC almost did a medley of songs and finished fairly early.  Plus they were really pimping Jam Master Jay’s kids and their DJ careers.

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Yeah it goes to Santigold.  The songs were deeper and they stage show actually impressed me.  It takes alot for me to praise a stage performance but Santigold had a good showing without over powering the music.  Speaking of the music, the live band made swallowing some of the beats more palatable.

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Day two saw some other great tunes.  The highlights for me include Real Estate, Love Inks, Daughn Gibson, and Power Trip.  Refused’s reunion closed out the night and blew me away.  I didn’t know that Swedish people could do heavy metal so well.  The unfortunate part about was the Black Stage was way at the end and we had to walk that way to get to the bus.  So we lapped the venue just to get home after that.

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The big highlight of day two was Public Image Limited.  John Lydon’s post Sex Pistols band was a little more 80′s and a little more mainstream.  He kept the crazy eyed look though.   That said, he didn’t keep up his waistline.  Man that guy was huge.  But the songs were very melodic and had me humming them well after the festival.  Also, the guitar player was amazing.

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The last day marked a fat middle with some less then enthusiatic book ends.  The highlights for me include Black Moth Super Rainbow and Balmorhea.  A Place to Bury Strangers blew me away with their explosive set.  De La Soul talked WAY too much during their set and I’m sad I sat through it.  But it allowed me to see AraabMUZIK up close and for the third time.  This time I saw a whole set.  Bosnian Rainbows suprised me as it really was a reschedule of Omar Rodriguez Lopez’s new group.  Yeah he has a new one and it was great, even though lead singer lady Teri Gender Bender bent weird on stage.

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The last day’s highlight for me is a little known band by the name of Valient Thorr.  Basically it’s a bunch of bearded dudes doing to some good ole fashioned rock and roll.  Their syncopation reminds of some 70′s jams from bands like Ram Jam.  The lead singer, Valient Thorr himself, is what really had me rocking.  They guy had the crowd in the palm of his hands.  He was bouncing all over and even climbing the rafters way up high to rock out.  It was nearly impossible for anyone in the dirt not to follow.

And that’s Fun Fun Fun Fest.  It was less grimy than last year, but we had enough most pits to kick up some dust.  The food and beer situation was weak and they need to get better at it.  The eclectic selection, however, needs to stay put as it was the perfect of unknown and classic music makers from a wide swatch of the musical spectrum.  Seriously, if you get a chance, get the tickets and head on out.  You may even get hit by the taco cannon.

SXSW 2012 Day 01: Let The Gauntlet Begin!

Okay so I mentioned earlier that this year will be a little different.  I was expecting it to be different on the fact that I was living in town, but I did not expect it to be different because of the weather.  Jinkies, that kicked my ass.  It also made me double think about the local transit system here in the city.  Nevertheless, I defeated that adversity and recovered rather nicely for the first day of SXSW 2012. Continue reading SXSW 2012 Day 01: Let The Gauntlet Begin!

SXSW 2012 Starts Tomorrow For Me And I Start Working For You

Yeah, that’s about all I have to say.  It seems like all I do is cover SXSW.  Well, I promise you that I will point y’all to my other interests on the other two blogs I have here real soon.  Yes, that’s right I’m running too other blogs.  At some point I will bring it all together.  Until then I will showcase them here as well talk about what I’m bringing to SXSW this year and to the blog afterward. Continue reading SXSW 2012 Starts Tomorrow For Me And I Start Working For You

SXSW And My Magic Carpet Ride: Vote for My Panel For SXSW Interactive 2012

I’m not going to go out on a limb and say that SXSW was the main reason I dug my roots out of Kansas City and planted myself in Austin, but it did help a little.  Well, okay, I interviewed in person while I was on vacation during SXSW.  I somehow managed to wedge it in between the Interactive portion and the Music portion.  The rest of the story happened ultra fast.  It went from feeling like I bombed the interview to accepting an offer in about 2 weeks.  My start date was a month after and I had to scramble to plan something I’ve never done: relocation.

I did my research and picked up a couple of handy tools along the way.  The whole trip went mostly perfect and I stayed well within a meager budget.  SXSW season just kicked off and I figured, what better way to enjoy another go at it than by sharing my experiences.  So I signed up for the SXSW Panel Picker and created an entry, “The Magic Carpet Ride: Relocation Made Easy.”  Voting began today and I’m asking everyone out there to register and vote for my panel.  There’s a ton of information to share for people who are thinking about relocating or booking their ticket tomorrow. Vote for it at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/12321

Here’s the Description and Questions Answered:

After toiling long and hard to get your dream job, you finally landed it. The only problem is that it’s in another part of the world! Fortunately, there are tools both online and in the mobile world that can help. Mike Hochanadel will discuss the tools used for his relocation experience and share tips to help the tech centric crowd in their own magic carpet ride.

  1. What can my future employer do to help relocate?
  2. What is the most cost effective way to relocate?
  3. What are the stages of relocation?
  4. How I can seamlessly surf between the stages of relocation?
  5. What loose ends are tied up at the end of relocation?