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SXSW: Health, The Cribs, The Black Keys, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead

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...Trail of Dead

5:04 p.m. Time to kick everyone out. We'll have more photos over here in a bit.

4:45 p.m. Chris Gray sitting in for a bit. Trail of Dead just finished “Caterwaul,” which I always thought sounded like “Immigrant Song” plus When In Rome’s “The Promise” (which is a good thing.) They’re on “Will You Smile Again for Me,” and although the classical-punk crossover of 2005’s Worlds Apart probably didn’t give the Interscope accountants much joy, there’s some great pop moments on there. This is one of them, John Lennon by way of Blue Cheer.

4:04 p.m. And all that remains is And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead...

3:52 p.m. Back to Craig Hlavaty:

A wall of sound. With a wall of man. In a tunic.

When friends ask of the Soundtrack of Our Lives, that’s the Cliff’s Notes version I use. TSOOL hail from Sweden, a sort of the Nordic answer to Black Mountain. All smoky keys and bottom-heavy rollick. Every song is crafted to epic proportions, with manic interwoven guitars.

The Black Keys

3:10 p.m. Overheard by Dusti Rhodes in a stall in the women's bathroom:

"Talk quickly. I'm multitasking."

2:52 p.m. Back to you, Craig:

As dust devils swooped down on all the construction on the far west end of 4th Street, the Black Keys came on with the grind of gravel and ghosts.

The duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are coming into town debuting tracks from their soon to be released Attack & Release, which is gaining buzz from the production work from one Danger Mouse. He of the unauthorized Jay-Z mash-up The Grey Album and, of course, Gnarls Barkley. The pairing may seem odd, but the material they are previewing today, mainly songs like “Strange Times,” suggest something dripping with an almost playful vengeance.

The older material like “Have Love Will Travel” seems to have gained from this new addition to the repertoire. The guttural bellow and caveman stomp is still there, but now joined by reverb-drenched ivories, like on the new “Oceans and Streams”. The new stuff hits the street April 1st.

2:14 p.m. And the duo is on. Dead on.

2:05 p.m. Akron rockers the Black Keys are about to go on, and the joint is filling up...

The Cribs

1:27 p.m. Back to Craig Hlavaty:

If HEALTH woke us out of liquored slumber, then the Cribs have come to rock us back into a happy daze. Hell, I just saw Beatle Bob upfront doing his thing, all fists and shimmy. The Cribs do a stabbing take on the Buzzcocks aesthetic. All angular slinging riffs and rolling toms. These guys come in with so many hipster seals of approval, from the likes of Sonic Youth's Lee Renaldo and even the patron saint of jangle, Johnny Marr. The former Smiths guitarist is even rumored to be collaborating with the trio on an EP.

The cohesion and thrash of these guys on stage is reminiscent of the way the Clash used to be able to whip crowds into a fit of pogo-ing ecstasy. On this early afternoon, the Cribs are like shotgunning a can of Red Bull. Sweet and tart going down, and worth every drop. Good stuff, kids.

12:55 p.m. The Cribs just hit the stage...

12:34 p.m. Craig Hlavaty weighs in:

I'm seeing a lot of the semi-drunk, half-sober stumble from the crowd this early afternoon. You know, that slow amble. Staring off into blank spaces, lamenting your liver. Hoping to the heavens that you don't find yourself at the bottom of a promo glass of Jager ever again. And then you see HEALTH.

HEALTH lashes out with an electric stomp, all frenetic buzz and dissonant spazz. Onstage, they resemble kids set loose in a music store. Running from the drum room, crashing into the pitchshifters, slamming down on a distortion pedal with a bloody fist. Guitars kicked to the side for programmed twitch of a drum pad. It's frightfully interesting stuff, like watching blood drip from a windshield. Imagine if the Locust ripped off the masks and got all Suicide with it.


12:13 p.m. Let the live-blogging begin...

We're here, live at the Village Voice Media Party at Zona Rosa. (Man, I feel like one of those radio DJs broadcasting live from a club on Friday night.) Health just took the stage. Audio to come.

-- Keith Plocek

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