Caroline Hernandez

They are not two, but Lucius

They are not two, but Lucius

It was a dark and stormy night. At a Bay Area venue, thousands of brightly colored hair adults descended in the night lighting the way with their dollar store glow sticks. This was not that place. Outside The Independent, rain did nothing to make the mood soggy. Instead, people were willfully lining up along Divisadero Street eagerly waiting to enter the sold out show.

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Some band playing some where in Texas...

Some band playing some where in Texas…

Having been dubbed a “crafty veteran” by one local bystander, there are a few certain truths that I have discovered seven years deep into South By South West culture. 1) Always carry your phone charger because the battery will die; the ABC’s (Always Be Chargin’) as we here at Spinning Platters like to call it. 2) Delicious food is only a food truck away when you need to take a break and refuel in-between day parties and evening showcases. And 3) there will be both bad, and good bands at aforementioned showcases. The payout for waiting through a not-so-awesome band, however, can be an amazing, week-altering experience that leads to months of fan-girl-ing out, post-South By. However, this is all contingent on actually being granted admission to that one thing one wanted to see the most. There are still things to be learned and sometimes learned the hard way.

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the-fresh-onlys-promo

The Fresh & Onlys gaze on...

The Bottom of the Hill is one of those venues where amazing things can happen. Its intimate space creates a setting where bands, their friends, and patrons can all rub elbows without the pretense of Rock Stardom bogging down a conversation. Many a band right on the verge of blowing up have graced the stage fully aware of their sparkling future and have played to it, creating an “I was there” situation where one constantly reminds his or her friends (or just about anyone who happens to be around) of the night they saw so-and-so play Bottom of the Hill. I’ve been known to drop an “I was there” once or twice myself (cough Arcade Fire cough).

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L-Boogie shows us one love.

I was fully aware of what was potentially in store for me when I purchased tickets to see Lauryn Hill play The Mezzanine. Tales told of showing up unremorsefully late, being inebriated during the show, and heckling the crowd just to name a few things. However, when it was announced that Lauryn Hill would be performing a Bob Marley tribute at The Mezzanine in a week, I snatched up a ticket like Cookie Monster devours his favorite treats. I’m a Bob Marley fan as much as the next person, but it was mostly imagining seeing one of the seminal artists of my youth in such an intimate setting. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was on constant rotation on my Panasonic portable CD player, as I would attempt to learn the rap in “Doo Wop (That Thing)”.
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Who's with me on this one?!

With the recent breakout success of Mumford & Sons, I finally feel validated that the sound I’ve enjoyed for years has finally crossed over to the category of  “stuff my friends will actually listen to.”  In past years, I’ve had to venture out amongst the throngs of music go-er’s at SXSW by myself in order to catch the bands that I wanted to see. Not the “on-the-verge-of-breaking-out-so-you-better-see-them-now” bands, but bands like Deer Tick, and A Hawk and A Hacksaw; folky, introspective music that doesn’t necessarily provide an earth shattering good time or  story, but leaves you with a lingering ache in your stomach, like recalling an old memory, long after the show is over. Music that creates that physiological response is what ultimately attracts me as a listener. So hopefully these acts will provide that tingly sensation to my SXSW companions, and entice them to join me the next time their schedule opens up. [read the whole post]

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There are some bands that words cannot adequately describe. If I were to try and sum up the feeling one would get from listening to Southern Culture On The Skids it would include images of driving down a coastal highway in a pick-up truck while wearing a truckers hat. This quartet from Chapel Hill, North Carolina has been at it for well over 20 years, playing a playful blend of rockabilly, surf, punk rock and just a hint of traditional country & western music. I had the opportunity to check them out live for the first time at the Great American Music Hall. Hunkering down in the crowd with a beer in hand, I was about to learn exactly how much fun a woman with a bucket of fried chicken could have.

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Show Review: CocoRosie and Cibelle at The Regency, 6/29/10

July 6, 2010

The Regency is not one of my favorite venues. Tuesday night is not a night I like to stay out late. Therefore, I was not looking forward to seeing this show. I can be an unappreciative asshole at times, but I sucked it up anyways and took one for the team. The only album of […]

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The Avett Brothers at The Fox Oakland, 4/17/10

April 20, 2010

Anyone who hasn’t seen The Avett Brothers perform live is missing out on one of the most dynamic, and talented bands to tour in (my) recent memory. Lucky for those people, they have been consistently putting out material since 2002, and touring the world is not likely to ease up anytime soon. I, myself, am […]

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Caroline’s SXSW 2010 Photo Highlights

March 27, 2010

Rounding out the various articles on SXSW 2010, is me, the reluctant writer. While I should have been recording back at the hotel all the awesome (and not so awesome) things I had witnessed in Austin like Dakin, I was too busy picking out my outfits, and blowing my nose. But then why didn’t I […]

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Show Review: 311 at The Fox Oakland, 2/25/10

February 26, 2010

The first time I saw 311 was at the tender age of 18. I stood staring in awe outside at the Justin Herman Plaza at a band I had only ever seen on a TV screen back when MTV still called themselves “Music” Television. My first live show, for free, and they played for at […]

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