Entering The Habana Annex on 6th, I could have as well been traveling back to a cruise ship in the 70s thanks to White Shoes and The Couples Company. Clad in matching attire, the Indonesian outfit looked like it stepped straight out of a scene from The Love Boat and the music followed suit. White Shoes’ blend of retro pop and jazz makes for one of coolest takes on lounge since Esquivel.
The tunes are as polished as the band members’ style and it’s not surprising, seeing as the sextet (who were only five strong last night because of work visa woes – damn you, government!) met and formed at an Indonesian art school. A majority of the audience couldn’t sing along (the band sings in its native tongue), but lucky for us you don’t need to know the words to dance along.
I was honestly expecting a bigger crowd, but thanks to the gazillion plus band playing a gazillion plus times this year at South By it was only mildly attended. I guess that’s the trade off for the growing popularity of this festival: With so many opportunities to see every band, waits were rarely longer than 15 or so minutes – with the obvious few exceptions.
As the night came to a close and I headed over to the Vice after party, I had to admit that this was one of the better South Bys I’d been to in the past few years. Then I got rejected at the Vice party. But lucky for me, a disgruntled security guard at the other door was letting people walk right through his entrance. (Take that, rude RSVP girl!) So yeah, once again, pretty good year. – Dusti Rhodes
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