LITTLE ROCK During each March since the beginning of time every band on earth has descended upon Austin, Texas, so that they may strum their guitars, pummel their drums, sequence their beats and occasionally make skronking noises on horns and harmonicas for crowds of dazed hipsters during the South by Southwest Music Festival.
What? Oh. A quick fact check reveals that South by Southwest - SXSW for short - has actually been around just since 1987, and a commonly cited number of bands in attendance, 1,200, would not seem to indicate the participation of all the bands in the world.
Still. It’s kind of a big deal.
Before these bands converge on the Texas capital in the hopes of garnering fame and glory, or at least a positive nod from some blog, many of them pick up gigs on the way. This is exactly what’s going on for the rest of the month at Bear’s Den Pizza in Conway during the SXSW Rendezvous.
Thirteen SXSW-affiliated bands, either heading to or returning from Austin, are lined up for shows at Bear’s Den. Things get started Friday with The Black Cadillacs from Tennessee and Texas-based Good Field.
Other groups scheduled include The Getaway and The Deadstring Brothers on Sunday; TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb on Tuesday; Hotel War on March 14; SCM Electrix and Gnarly Charlies on March 16; Gashcat on March 17 (Gashcat will alsobe at Hot Springs’ Valley of the Vapors Festival on March 18); The Kingston Springs on March 19; Not in The Face! on March 23; Irene and The Sleepers on March 26; and The New York City Queens on March 30.
Lead Deadstring Brother Kurt Marschke likes playing as much as possible.
“We’ll play anywhere,” Marschke says on a late February afternoon while driving through the snow-covered streets of his hometown of Detroit. “We really prefer to play seven nights a week.”
The Deadstrings, whosound like Let It Bleed-era Stones mixed with Little Feat, Gram Parsons and The Black Crowes - think dirty slide guitars and hip-shakin’ songs - have a new album, Cannery Row, set for release April 9. It’s the follow-up to 2010’s groovy and somewhat dark Sao Paulo.
Cannery Row? Inspired by the John Steinbeck novel? Well, Marschke says the title actually comes from the name of the Tennessee neighborhood he now calls home.
“It’s this cool nook of an area in Nashville,” he says, adding that the band will likely include a few tracks from the new album during its show.
Expect more retro-inspired jams with their own twist from the Deadstrings, Marschke says: “We’re not gonna do it any better than those guys, but I love [this music], and if we can go out and make a living playing it, then I feel honored.”
SXSW Rendezvous 10 p.m.,Saturday through March 30, Bear’s Den Pizza, 235 Farris Road, Conway Admission: Free (501) 328-5556 bearsdenpizza.net
Weekend, Pages 30 on 03/07/2013
Print Headline: Bands diverted from Austin