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The Pretty Black Chains

Meijin's SXSW day 1: White Denim, Bear Hands, The Strange Boys + More

The first day of SXSW 2012 started off drowsy and jet-lagged but was invigorated and perked up by the sights and sounds of downtown Austin. Dismounting the R&R Shuttle Bus, I scouted a few parties and giveaways, including the Vintage Clothing Arcade, where Dubstep shook the walls of the room housing threads from the 60s-80s, before heading to the JanSport Party at Mohawk. Kicking off the day, Nashville’s Fly Golden Eagle got the groove going with a seductive mix of R&B, reggae, and pop-rock. Next, Brooklyn’s pride and joy, Bear Hands synthesizer-driven, punky rock brought the venue to capacity, and Austin-based Strange Boys channeled the country side of the city. Closing the afternoon, Austin’s White Denim (pictured) left the audience in awe with seemingly impossible rhythmic shifts, vibrant stage presence, and radiating energy. A quick Tex-Mex break transitioned me into the evening entertainment. I headed to Friends Bar for the annual Oklahoma City showcase for country/punk rockers, Black Canyon, and folksy pop-rock four-piece, Mont Lyons. My consistently noted act and perfect closer, The Pretty Black Chains, who, although have shrunken from a quartet to a trio, have not lose an ounce of power in their heavy retro rock and tight knit sound. A good day of music set the bar high for the rest of the week. –Meijin Bruttomesso


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