This year I am thankful for many things. Free Lonestar, Guitar Hero at the Driskill, 3am Best Wurst, BBQ sauce stains, secret shows and secret after parties. Eh? No…I haven’t lost it. Yes, I realize that all of these things have little if nothing to do with Thanksgiving and instead refer to SXSW in Austin, Texas. Yes, I realize that I live in New York, that it’s November and that SXSW isn’t until March. But this year I somehow find my thoughts reeling back to South By Southwests of days past and all of the music that I am thankful for.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Crayola hand tracing get-together to make turkey placemats, and the always classic popsicle-stick Mayflower centerpiece. I dig on turkey and all the fixin’s. But due to some familial logistics, my family’s Thanksgiving dinner will take place on Friday this year, leaving me fortunate enough to be able to spend Thanksgiving day with some of my fellow Rinder’s. And when we get together, talk turns to memories of shows we’ve seen together (and the madness that inevitably ensued before, during and/or after the show).
So, first off, I am thankful for a couple of guys from the Midwest mercilessly grabbing my attention and supplying me with a seriously rockin’ show. The Plastic Constellations seemed unassuming and white bread-like (white bread is Thanksgiving related…kinda) as they took the stage, but when they ripped through a set of perfectly distorted, melodic riffs with raw vocals and just solid songs, I became an instant fan. They continue to put out great tunes and are now a staple in many of my playlists – for sure my Thanksgiving one.
Next I would like to give thanks to Marty McFly and Doc Brown for bringing back the popularity of the Delorean and giving the band Delorean a reason to give me this much-needed dose of retro pop culture and pop rock. Trust me, you need it too. Synths, solid songs and a great live show undoubtedly inspire feelings of thanks, and also a reason to do shots of (insert your favorite retro holiday liquor here – rumplemintz, perhaps?) with your friends. Will there be some robotic rockin’ at my Thanksgiving this year? You can bet on it, and it will be r ad.
This next show made me thankful for many reasons. First and foremost because it was amazing, but also because it had an inspiring and chill vibe. The Dodos are awesome . You know they are. I had never seen them live prior to SXSW, and I walked out of there wanting to play percussion on every street sign and garbage can I could find. The organized chaos that ensued onstage was enough to put an awesmirked look on anyone’s face. (An ‘awesmirk’ is the look where you are smirking with your mouth open in blissful, speechless, mesmerized amazement of what’s going on in front of you. Feel free to adopt that into your vocab if you wish.) If they weren’t extinct, I would suggest a dodo as the bird of choice this Thanksgiving, just to pay homage.