South By Part II

I almost didn’t make it out for the second evening of music. I think I fell asleep for what I thought would be a short 20 minute disco nap, and I ended up sleeping for about an hour instead. And when I woke up, I almost bagged the whole evening together, until I imagined how much I would be hating myself later for missing what was going to be my last night for music (I was leaving the next day).

So at rallied and off I was at 10:40 to see Liam Finn. Of course I had to check him out, being that his is the son of Neil, whom I have followed the career path of, since practically forever (ok, maybe high school, starting with the Split Enz). Now, after having grown up in an extremely musical family, played in his own band Betchadupa, and touring with his father as drummer and guitarist, Liam has gone solo and has a new album out with Yep Roc. He’s got 3 shows at South By alone, and I’m seeing a lot of promotion for the album in the press. I even saw him on Letterman the week before I came to Austin.

His show was at Shakespeare’s Pub which took me forever to find the entrance to (in the stinky alley). I had to wait a bit to get in, and the small club was packed. I had a great vantage point from above in a little alcove that felt it might fall from the weight of the people. Liam was wild! His music went from silky sweet harmonies to dissonant looped sounds to him wailing on the drums. Really interesting, driving, passionate, and kind of mad? Probably not for everyone, but I think he’s doing some amazing work for someone his age. The music sounds very DIY, but very deliberate and thoughtful. And of course I love how his voice sounds very similar to his father’s. Ah, what a talented family.

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