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    Photo: opbmusic/Mike Baden

OPB At SXSW 2018, Friday: Jasper Bones, The Wedding Present, Lord Buffalo

Photos and highlights from opbmusic's frenetic Friday at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

The Wedding Present

The Wedding Present at SXSW 2018

The Wedding Present at SXSW 2018

opbmusic/Mike Baden

The long-running band from England took their set off the stage and onto the floor, immersed by adoring fans standing just feet away at Barracuda Backyard. Though the microphone faced one direction, David Gedge made sure to play to the crowd surrounding him from all directions. The fast guitar playing and cutting lyrics cast a jittery dance on the crowd as The Wedding Present kept the momentum and energy alive through the entire set. - Mike Baden, opbmusic

The Shacks

The Shacks perform at the Austin Convention Center, SXSW 2018

The Shacks perform at the Austin Convention Center, SXSW 2018

David Christensen/opbmusic

At the public radio-hosted Radio Day Stage in the Convention Center, I went to see Slingshot band The Shacks, who opened their set with their popular “Follow Me.”  Through the set the band laid down light RnB arrangements for lead singer Shannon Wise to glide across in her whispered voice. Whether you know them by name or not, you’ve probably heard another of their breezy retro voicings — a cover of Ray Davies’ song “Strange Affect” — in an Apple commercial. - David Christensen, opbmusic

Lord Buffalo

Lord Buffalo at SXSW 2018

Lord Buffalo at SXSW 2018

opbmusic/Mike Baden

Is psych-country a genre? That’s how I would describe Lord Buffalo, a four piece band from Austin. I walked into Esther’s Follies on 6th street and was spellbound by their cool, haunting trance. I sat down in the top row of the raised stadium style seating with a cold Lone Star in hand. The AC was on and the room was completely dark, except for the colored lights illuminating the band. I was relaxed, mesmerized and held captive as I watched the musicians on stage deliver each song with heart and a visible passion for each note. - Mike Baden, opbmusic


Goat Girl

Goat Girl performs at Cheer Up Charlie's, SXSW 2018

Goat Girl performs at Cheer Up Charlie’s, SXSW 2018

David Christensen/opbmusic

This year SXSW encompassed far fewer “big name” bands and a higher quotient of music discovery, with many happy surprises and a few that disappointed. Young UK band Goat Girl had our attention with a few new songs buzzing with visceral energy and self-aware humor. At Cheer Up Charlie’s Friday night, the band didn’t muster much of either, starting the set with two songs played in Benadryl slow-motion, and casting most of their set into the same mold. Even the set’s lone banger, “Cracker Drool,” was bent downward with a curiously flattened ending, leading to a country-ish ballad before the set ended. The lead singer said “we’re playing slowly because of  the heat, Texas. We came from the snow.” - David Christensen, opbmusic

Jasper Bones

Jasper Bones at SXSW 2018

Jasper Bones at SXSW 2018

opbmusic/Mike Baden

I walked into the Mohawk Friday evening around 8 pm because I didn’t see a line, and I really needed to use the restroom. The sign taped to the bathroom wall read Jasper Bones was playing their outdoor stage, and I could hear a mellow, yet soulful groove, so I wanted to check it out. Performing backlit from the stage in front of a small audience was a young man wearing a cowboy hat and playing guitar. He describes his music as “Chicano wavy soul”, and I can’t think of a better description, myself. I was instantly hooked, and I kept thinking, ‘why aren’t there more people here right now?’. Once his debut EP is released this year, I’m certain he’ll be drawing much larger crowds. - Mike Baden, opbmusic


Sudan Archives

Sudan Archives at Empire Garage, SXSW 2018

Sudan Archives at Empire Garage, SXSW 2018

David Christensen

At Empire Garage, Sudan Archives channeled both Nina Simone and Sun Ra in a performance that was part music, part performance art, and easily the most polarizing performance I saw. In a sequined purple dress, the experimental artist Sudan Archives (aka Brittney Parks) played the violin in a skittering Sudanese style, while a growing mane of snapped bow hairs caught the light with each stroke across the strings. She sang, posed, beckoned people in the audience and strolled confidently through the crowd without a microphone for such long stretches that I began to wonder if she’d lost track of the music. All the while, a surging bed of looped violin and beats kept moving forward and back, with no breaks between songs and little to mark the end or beginnings of any musical sections. People around me seemed to either love her or leave unfased: “She’s amazing!” and “meh.” I was glad I saw her. - David Christensen, opbmusic

Ronnie Hart

Ronnie Jones at SXSW 2018

Ronnie Jones at SXSW 2018

opbmusic/Mike Baden

Stimulator Jones

Simulator Jones at SXSW 2018

Simulator Jones at SXSW 2018

opbmusic/Mike Baden


Ume at SXSW 2018

Ume at SXSW 2018

opbmusic/Mike Baden



Melat performs at the Austin Convention Center, SXSW 2018

Melat performs at the Austin Convention Center, SXSW 2018

David Christensen/opbmusic



Buck Meek

Buck Meek performs at Radio Coffee and Beer, SXSW 2018

Buck Meek performs at Radio Coffee and Beer, SXSW 2018

David Christensen/opbmusic



Nikki Lane

Nikki Lane performs at the Austin Convention Center, SXSW 2018

Nikki Lane performs at the Austin Convention Center, SXSW 2018

David Christensen/opbmusic


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