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SXNE 2014

SXNE 2014 Feature: TODAY!

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The festivities for this year’s South by Northeast showcase kicks off TODAY at 12:15pm and the fun at The Big Bang Bar will continue until 1am. To get you prepared for today’s debauchery we asked some of the bands to give us two words that would describe their SXNE set. Here’s what we got–

Girls Guns and Glory (Ward Hayden)– Wild & Danceable.

OldJack (Dan Nicklin)– New and Old.

The Silks (Matt Donnelly)– Brazenly Uncouth.

The Ballroom Thieves (Martin Earley)– Contumacious and Amatory.

Cask Mouse– Stomping Party.

Ruby Rose Fox– Soulful and Present.

Spirit Kid (Emeen Zarookian)– PURE ENTHUSIASM!

Mean Creek (Chris Keene)– Loud and energetic.

Matt Sucich– Solo & New.

SXNE 2014 Feature: What 2014 Brings For the Boston Music Scene

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years? It’s lamest question anyone can ask in an interview and who really knows anyway? That’s why the shortsighted crew here at M&T likes to know the 1-year plan. Every band likes to think they’ll be headlining Coachella in 5 years time, but regardless of who makes it to the big time in 2019, we know that Boston is going to have a great year in 2014. We asked our South by Northeast artists to finish the sentence In 2014 our band will…, and here’s what we got-

Girls Guns and Glory (Ward Hayden)– …Bring our brand of rockabilly to a city near you!!

OldJack (Dan Nicklin)– …Throw more shows and help build our community, with a little help from our friends.

The Silks (Matt Donnelly)– …Realize that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.

The Ballroom Thieves (Martin Earley)– …Play shows in a majority of the 48 continental states and track a full length record, while hoping to finish the current amount of trail mix stashed away in the hibernation chariot.

Cask Mouse– …Be stomping our way into your heart.

Ruby Rose Fox– …Put out an album of music that she will be proud of (and that hopefully will kick some ass).

Spirit Kid (Emeen Zarookian)– …HAPPEN!!!!!

Mean Creek (Chris Keene)– …Play a lot of shows, write a lot of songs, and have a lot of fun.

Matt Sucich– …Meet George Clooney.

SXNE 2014 Feature: Road Trip Fuel

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Photo by Alice Seuffert

Boston to Austin can be quite the long trip depending on your mode of transportation and no matter how you get to Texas, you’re bound to get hungry along the way. We asked this year’s South by Northeast artists what snacks fuel their road trips and here is what we got–

Girls Guns and Glory (Ward Hayden)– As a band we tend to stick with the tired and true Cliff bars. They pack a punch in terms of energy and are available at most gas stations these days. Plus, they seem to be a good alternative to chips or candy, which can be a little too easy to go for on the road.

OldJack (Dan Nicklin)– We are flying,which I hate,  so Xanax.

The Silks (Matt Donnelly)– (This is terrible)  Mostly beef jerky & Haribo gummy bears.  Honest.

The Ballroom Thieves (Martin Earley)– We used to think that trail mix was our go-to road snack, so we included it on our college rider. Lately, however, all the colleges we’ve been playing have been so great about actually fulfilling said rider that we’re left with what I can only describe as a metric shit-ton of different trail mixes. Our van is a squirrel’s fantasy – you’ll find bags of trail mix tucked away in all kinds of corners.

Cask Mouse– Meat. Our second stop on tour is in NY, and we will be stopping at Katz’s Deli to pick up lots of delicious meat.

Ruby Rose Fox– I’m lucky, as I am playing solo and can jump on a direct flight from Austin to Boston.  But make no mistake, there will be gummy worms and sour patch kids consumed at 30,000 ft.

Spirit Kid (Emeen Zarookian)– Ha, well, luckily we planned ahead this time and got plane tickets way in advance (remember, say NO to stand-by), so we won’t actually be driving down. BUT, either on a plane or in a car, I love to have a bag of assorted nuts around always. It’s a great and healthy snack!

Mean Creek (Chris Keene)– I love sweet things like M&M’s and diet coke. Aurore has been known to enjoy Hot Fries. Kevin likes Bugels. Mikey once spent his last dollar on tour on a Mcdonald’s ice cream. We all like Mcdonald’s ice cream even though we are 75% vegetarian and that place’s food is essentially a steaming pile of shit.

Matt Sucich– Stacy’s Pita Chips go with me everywhere. I don’t even need something to dip it in. Straight up, dry pita chips.

SXNE 2014 Feature: Bands Bring New Music To Austin

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At SXSW everyone has something to promote, and things are no different for the bands playing this year’s South by Northeast showcase sponsored by yours truly. Lucky for you nearly every SXNE band we talked to has either recently released new music or has some new tunes set to be released soon. Read on below to see what bands like The Ballroom Thieves, Girls Guns and Glory, and Mean Creek have coming through the musical pipeline.

Spirit Kid (Emeen Zarookian)– Spirit Kid’s new record Is Happening is coming out March 25! I am beyond excited about it, as it’s been 4 years since our last LP (although there have been numerous singles and EPs since). I finally feel like I have made a record that is a true representation of my songwriting and aesthetic values. We are close to wrapping up what is turning out to be a very successful PledgeMusic campaign to raise funds for the pressing of vinyl LPs, which has been a life-long dream of mine.

Mean Creek (Chris Keene)– We have a new album called “Local Losers” coming out April 8. Our friends at Old Flame Records are putting it out. Really excited to go down and play a bunch of songs off of it.

Matt Sucich– I’ve been streaming my new single “The Lonely Dreamer” which will conveniently be made available on iTunes during SX.

Cask Mouse– We are promoting our single “Bull” from our record Heartbeat Of The Northeast.

Girls Guns and Glory (Ward Hayden)– We have a new album that came out in Feb called Good Luck. We’ll be touring for most of 2014 in the US and Europe behind this new album and SXSW kicks off what will be a pretty long stretch of dates around the US.

The Silks (Matt Donnelly)– We recently released our debut album Last American Band which was produced by Paul Westerberg (The Replacements) @ Flowers Studio in Minneapolis, MN.   We’ll be tryin’ to sling that around town for sure.

The Ballroom Thieves (Martin Earley)– We’ll be promoting our new, eponymous EP, as well as a string of tour dates that extends beyond summer and into the fall. Our touring schedule has definitely expanded since last year, and we’re excited to be hitting the road! We’ll be getting into the studio to work on a new project this summer, but we’ll have to keep you in the relative dark there, for now.

Ruby Rose Fox– I am currently writing and recording songs for an album to be released this Fall.  That is my focus right now.  But more than anything I am going down to promote the Boston scene, support my friends and see what SXSW is all about.

OldJack (Dan Nicklin)– We will have some copies of new record which is done but has no release date.

SXNE 2014 Feature: Why Boston Is The Best

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In just five short days, South by Northeast and the collective Boston music scene will be taking over Austin during SXSW. Many other cities use SXSW as a vehicle to showcase homegrown talent, but we all know that Boston does it best. We took some time to chat with a handful of artists from this year’s SXNE lineup to find out just what it is that makes the Boston, and larger New England music scene, the best around.

The Silks (Matt Donnelly)– The New England music scene does seem to be rising to an apex these days.  There are lots of like minded bands shooting for solid songs and gimmick free bare bones rock, or folk, or “Americana”  It hasn’t always been like this of course, but I feel like the sounds that are coming out of the scene are more likely to obtain some longevity.  It’s just…some classic shit.  Everybody likes some classic shit.

The Ballroom Thieves (Martin Earley)– We’ve found Boston, and New England in general to be an incredibly supportive and loyal music community. We’ve built great friendships with bands like Tall Heights and Darlingside, but have found most New England bands understand the concept of healthy competition that promotes local music while helping to drive it forward. We can’t speak highly enough of places like the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Club Passim, and the folks at the Bowery – all organizations that do an incredible job of furthering local talent, of which there exists a plethora at the moment.

Ruby Rose Fox– In the past two years the Boston music scene has become a tremendous and supportive community for me.  Many of us on the bill got to know each other through the Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble (either this year or in years past) or more recently through the Boston Music Awards.  But what I think is unique about the scene is how insular it is.  This is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because we all have become very close and support one another.  But it is a curse because there aren’t that many options to play in Boston, and as our community gets tighter and tighter, it is tough for all of us to expand our audience.  That is why getting down to SXSW is so important.  We all will benefit from playing in front of new people and the local scene will gain real credibility when SXSW sees what Boston has to offer.

Mean Creek (Chris Keene)– The Boston/New England music scene is important to me because I grew up here and have lived here pretty much my whole life. Ever since I was 13 and started playing guitar in bands, it was important to me to be a musician from here. There’s tons of bands I love from the area. For all the tough guy Boston stereotypes you see, there’s a lot of smart and free minded people here, and a lot of creative and artistic people too. You can’t leave your house most of the year because it’s freezing, so you’ve got plenty of time to stay inside and write songs. Lots of talented people and bands in the Boston/New England area who are flying under the radar right now, but it’s been really cool to see some national attention put on bands like Speedy Ortiz, Potty Mouth, Krill, etc. Hope to see more of that.

OldJack (Dan Nicklin)– I think its the face that we can throw shows like SXNE and when bands lose shows like some did this last week we rally and make it happen.  Basically, we look after our own.

Spirit Kid (Emeen Zarookian)– Boston/New England has a very diverse music scene to say the least. If anything, I would say it is pretty fragmented actually. There’s little scenes within scenes and offshoots of those scenes, all of which seem to evolve every couple years. This is especially true with college kids coming and going so often, but that’s not to say there isn’t a core to it all. Cities like NY have a similar thing going on, but on a much larger level obviously. There are less people and less bands here in Boston, but that’s not to say there’s less talent! I’ve known some amazing songwriters and bands that have made a huge impact on my life that will unfortunately probably never leave the city limits. That said, the line up for SXNE is killer!

Girls Guns and Glory (Ward Hayden)– What I love about the local scene is that it’s very supportive and inclusive.  Rather than create a club that only a few people can belong to, it opens bands and musicians with open arms. It’s incredible how many different musicians I’ve seen sit in with other bands and projects. It makes our scene really special and unique.

SXNE 2014 Feature: Tips for SXSW First-Timers

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With SXSW upon us and only a week until Boston takes over Austin with South by Northeast, it’s crunch time for all of you SXSW rookies out there to finalize your preparations. Fear not though, as your friends at M&T have taken the time to poll the veteran rockers from this year’s South by Northeast lineup for advice on how to tame the beast that is SXSW. Read on below for the full list of tips and tricks from our friends in Mean Creek, Cask Mouse, Spirit, Girls Guns and Glory, and Matt Sucich.

Mean Creek (Chris Keene) – This is not our first time at SXSW. Most important things we’ve learned are that the unofficial shows are always the best/most fun, don’t take anything too seriously because it’s one giant shitshow, and always focus on having a blast playing music because that’s the only thing worth thinking about.

Cask Mouse – This is our second year traveling to Austin for SXSW. I think the most important thing we learned last year is to be prepared for anything. You never know who or what you are going to run into so you have to be on top of your game.

Spirit Kid (Emeen Zarookian) – This will be my 4th SXSW, the 2nd for Spirit Kid. I’m super excited to go back, get some sun, and see friends from all over the country! The most important lesson I learned after my very first SXSW experience was to make sure I had decent footwear, because you end up on your feet pretty much ALL day for several days in a row! And if you’re anything like me, that wreaks havoc on my lower back. Also, the MOST important lesson I learned from our last time going down was to absolutely NOT try to fly stand-by to south-by. It will not work and you will end up missing a show probably! This may or may not have happened to us…

Girls Guns and Glory (Ward Hayden) – This will be our third time down at SXSW, so it feels like we’re more prepared for what lies ahead than previous years going to Austin. The most important thing I learned from the last time we were here was that if you miss your ride back to wherever you’re staying, then don’t count on getting a taxi anywhere in the city past 1am. I got stuck downtown for over 3 hours one night without even seeing a taxi, but the silver lining was I ran into some of the cast of Sons of Anarchy, who were also without a ride!

Matt Sucich – Not my first time. I’ve learned to pack an extra pair of shoes. I got caught in a torrential rain storm last year and had to blow dry my boots the next day.

The Scoop on South by Northeast

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Photo Credit: Johnny Anguish of www.daykampmusic.com

Maimed & Tamed is beyond proud to sponsor this year’s South by Northeast aka SXNE showcase in Austin taking place on March 14 and 15 at Big Bang Bar on 6th St. For those of you who aren’t in the know about this wonderful BOS-AUS event, we’ve got you covered. We went straight to the source, Mr. Dan Nicklin of OldJack, to get you the info you need to prepare for Boston’s 48 hour hostile takeover of Austin. Read on for what Dan had to say about the origins of SXNE, what it means for the Boston scene, and more. And don’t forget to check out the Facebook event page for the full SXNE lineup and RSVP info.

Maimed & Tamed: Tell us about how South by Northeast got started, where did the idea come from and who was involved?

Dan Nicklin: Crystal [band manager Crystal Margolis] and I were trying to get the Chicago house together for SXNE, which we threw as an impromptu party last year, with our friends Pete Boyd and Richard Bouchard.  Turned out they made it a wine bar.  So we went looking for a new space.  The idea is to give our friends and New England area bands that are making the trip a second show to play, or even a first one to get the momentum started.  Once Crystal found the venue we were able to reach out to Defunct Tees for some sponsorship and get the two days for the Festival locked in.  Then I started checking with friends who were going down this year or who needed a show and we booked the first 14 acts.  With the recent news of the Outlaw Roadshow canceling we once again started hitting up folks for sponsors and locked in the Friday night as well.  We were able to land a few, as you know, and we shuffled around the schedules and were able to land another 7 New England area bands.

M&T: How does holding this showcase down in Austin help to foster growth in the local music community here in Boston?

DN: Anytime you get a group of bands together from a region it always benefits the bands.  You see it with the Rock n Roll Rumble, the Outlaw Roadshow, last year’s SXNE, etc.  Since we booked this show OldJack has already booked two gigs with The Silks, and I would think all the bands will do similar things.  There is something about it, you will see.  Moe Pope and I really met through the BOS-AUS Digg show a few years back and he is playing SXNE this year.

M&T: Obviously the lineup is amazing from front to back, but who you are you most excited to share the stage with? Anyone that you’re excited to play with that you wouldn’t normally have the chance to in Boston?

DN: I have played with almost every band on the bill except The Silks, Tan Vampires and Friendly People, so I am excited to fill that void.  But to be honest, seeing J.Clark Webber and Josh Buckley are really the treats for me.  Webber was in the first band I produced and recorded, and both he and Josh are Boston area guys that have moved away.  I actually think they are both from Acton?

M&T: What are some tips you can give to local bands who may have never been to SXSW before?

DN: Take it all in, Pace Yourself, and buy a portable cell phone battery (or two).

SXNE 2014 Feature: Friendly People

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If you’ll be descending upon Austin for SXSW like so many others in the music/tech biz, you’d be remiss to not catch a set from Maimed & Tamed favorites Friendly People. The Boston/Brooklyn based band will be performing 3 sets during music week, including official showcases presented by Sonicbids and Berklee plus the South by Northeast showcase sponsored by yours truly. Ahead of their trip down to Austin we caught up with Friendly People lead singer, Pat McCusker, to chat about their return to Austin, a brand new video, trail mix, and more. Read on for the full interview and the band’s SXSW schedule, but if you won’t be down in Austin for SXSW you can still catch the band this Sunday March 9th at Middle East Upstairs (tix below).

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Maimed & Tamed: Is this your first time at SXSW? If so what are you most excited for? If not what is the most important thing you learned from your last SXSW experience?

Friendly People: This will be our second year in a row at SXSW.  The biggest lesson we took out of last year was to not overbook ourselves.  We did something like eleven shows in four days.  Because of that, we got super exhausted and weren’t able to devote enough attention and promotion to each show.  This year, we’re trimming it down and choosing our shows wisely!

M&T: The South by Northeast lineup is loaded with awesome local talent, for you what makes the Boston and larger New England music scenes so great?

FP: Boston is such an appreciative music community.  Everyone goes out to each other’s shows and supports each other’s music.  The fans are so supportive and it’s always exciting when a local band comes out with a new record.  It’s a great feeling to be surrounded by such a humble music scene.

M&T: What will you be promoting during your trip to SXSW? A new record in the works? Upcoming tour dates?

FP: We just came out with a brand new video for a song called ‘Hello Montana’.  We will be spreading the word about this video and plan to release the song on a record later this year.

M&T: Boston to Austin can be a long trip depending on your mode of transportation, what’s your go-to snack on the road?

FP: Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix!  Nuts and berries fo dayzzzz.

M&T: Give me two adjectives to describe what fans can expect from your set at South by Northeast.

FP: Energetic.  Dynamic.

M&T: Finish this sentence– In 2014 Friendly People will…

FP: In 2014, Friendly People will release new music.

Friendly People @ SXSW 2014 
Thursday 3/13 at 1230pm – Berklee Official Showcase – Brush Square Park West Tent 409 E 5th St
Friday 3/14 at 2pm – Sonicbids Official Showcase – Maggie Mae’s (upstairs) 323 E 6th St
Friday 3/14 at 910pm – South by Northeast Showcase – Big Bang Bar 415 E 6th St