RECAP: South by Southwest, day two

The Avenue on Congress — where the Buffalo Lounge was
held — is several blocks from The Mohawk, where the dozens of people
were injured by a drunk driver, two of them fatally. In retrospect, I
remember hearing the sirens around the time everything went down, and I
didn’t think for a moment that it might have been as bad as it was.
Sometimes you get so wrapped up in a moment that you can’t even fathom
something that terrible happening, but I’ll try to recapture what was
going through my head before everything changed.

Wednesday
ushered in, thankfully, cooler temperatures than the day before. I was a
little better prepared for round two, with sunscreen in tow, even if my
ears were still ringing from Tuesday.

Tallows

Shortly
after I arrived, I saw Bowlsey lugging their organ up a couple flights
of stairs. At the time I felt somewhat sorry for them, offering to help
lift the heavy load. They politely declined. These guys are dedicated to
their craft. 

Their
genre-defying mix of hip-hop, jazz, pop and lounge music was easily the
day’s most unique confluence of sounds. Organ, horns, instruments I had
never seen before — they were all present during the quaint Oklahoma
City four-piece’s set. 
Meanwhile,
Skating Polly put on a lovely acoustic set downstairs, a more intimate —
yet still potent — rendition of their abrasive ugly-pop than they had
treated us to the day before. Shortly thereafter, electro-crooner Colin
Nance gave those who came indoors a moody, tone-setting mixture of
atmosphere and balladry.
Back
upstairs, Rachel Brashear put on perhaps the most intriguing set of the
day. The diminutive ACM@UCO product proved herself as an incredibly
solid songwriter, which, coupled with some splendid guitar work,
conjured alt-rock ghosts of decades past.
The
official evening ACM@UCO showcase, however, belonged to Tallows. After
witnessing the band play at VZD’s a few days prior, I somewhat knew what
I was getting into, but most people in attendance did not. The rising
Oklahoma City band sounded as polished as ever — even their hiccups
worked — and it had the increasingly larger crowd going bonkers on
numerous occasions.

Colourmusic

It must be said: Few bands at all of South by
Southwest are as good at what they do as Tallows. But the scary thing?
Their new material would indicate that these guys aren’t slowing down
any time soon.

The
subsequent sets by Horse Thief and Jabee were nothing if not rousing,
and Colourmusic closed the night with a their defiantly abrasive blend
of noise rock primed for the closing slot. It was fitting that an
Oklahoma luminary would be slotted for the Buffalo Lounge finale. And by
the looks on peoples’ faces, it was a successful two days. It’s hard to
imagine that we were only a few blocks away from tragedy.

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