After kicking things off on Thursday, the BrooklynVegan / Sound on Sound-presented Lost Weekend continued on Friday (3/17) at Cheer Up Charlies in Austin, where SXSW is in full swing. Like the previous day, a ton of bands graced the Red River St venue's two stages from noon to 6 PM on Friday. Friday's party was in partnership with Norway's Oya Fest.

The day began on the inside stage with UK artist Marika Hackman, who recently signed to Sub Pop, who will release her new album I'm Not Your Man on June 2. The new record has her backed by UK band The Big Moon, who also backed her at Friday's show. Marika's last album was a slightly spooky, baroque take on English Folk (as Bill put it here), but the new single and Friday's live show were more on the rock side. Marika and The Big Moon really fed off of each other's energies, and their natural chemistry was very fun to watch. It was a great start to the day.

Another set that was fun to watch was Australia's Alex Cameron, who took to the outside stage about 15 minutes after Marika started inside. As I've said before, Alex's funny stage banter is often as entertaining as the songs themselves. He and his sax player had a guitarist with them this time too (the last time I saw them, they were just a duo), and Alex and the guitarist bounced witty jokes off each other without missing a beat. Musically, Alex is somewhere between Springsteen, Suicide and Nick Cave, and his croon and stage presence really sells it.

After Alex, another Australian band played the inside stage, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, who recently signed to Sub Pop. They make traditional-sounding indie rock, and they've got the chops and the spirit to pull it off without sounding too indebted to their influences. On the outdoor stage, a band played that seems to aim to pay homage to their influences: Savoy Motel. Their glam and southern rock influences come straight from the 1970s, and so do their outfits.

After them inside was Norway's Tuvaband, a melancholic folky duo who sounded very pretty. Next up outside was "godfather of home recording" R Stevie Moore with orchestral pop artist (and Beck collaborator) Jason Falkner. The two musicians just released a collaborative album. At Friday's show, they were backed by UK band Happyness, who gave a very solid rhythm section to R Stevie's eccentric sound.

After R Stevie Moore and & co., another very eccentric band played outside, Joan of Arc. The Tim Kinsella-led collective have been at it for about two decades now, but they had no interest in doing a nostalgia thing. They just released their awesomely weird new album He's Got The Whole This Land Is Your Land In His Hands and they used the opportunity to focus a lot on songs from that. Going by the head-bopping crowd, the new stuff went over just fine. While Joan of Arc did their thing outside, the great NYC neo-soul/hip hop duo OSHUN played inside, with a six-piece backing band from Houston, Live Out Loud Band. Live Out Loud Band are highly skilled musicians, and they made for the perfect backdrop for OSHUN's powerful voices. It was truly one of the most memorable sets of the day.

No Sleep-signed indie rockers Looming followed OSHUN inside and sounded great, and then it was PWR BTTM on the outside stage. Main members Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins were joined by two other musicians for this show, and the expanded lineup had them sounding fuller than ever. They've got a highly anticipated sophomore album on the way, Pagaent, their first for Polyvinyl, and they previewed some stuff off that like singles "Big Beautiful Day" and "Answer My Text." They clearly had some huge fans in the audience, who were screaming for them the whole set, and it's no surprise that PWR BTTM elicit reactions like that. They often have a powerful message (Liv took a moment during the set to encourage Austin to protest the SB6 bill), and they're as loud, crunchy, and fun as you want their type of sugary pop punk to be.

After PWR BTTM, Hand Habits played a more mellow set on the inside stage. Hand Habits is the project of Meg Duffy (who’s played in Mega Bog and Kevin Morby’s band), and her recently-released debut album Wildly Idle is an excellent update on '70s folk. She was followed by Austin post-hardcore vets ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, on the outdoor stage. Trail of Dead were down a member but they still sounded as tight and hard-hitting as ever, and they treated the crowd to some songs off their classic Source Tags and Codes (among other stuff).

Inside, Allison Crutchfield (Swearin', PS Eliot, Waxahatchee, etc) played with her backing band The Fizz (which includes Radiator Hospital singer Sam Cook-Parrott) and supported her new solo album on Merge, Tourist In This Town. In her several previous bands, Allison's been a staple of indie-punk for about a decade now, and her solo work -- which is synthier and quieter than those other bands -- is just as impressive.

Minus the Bear headlined the outside stage, and they were a super fun way to end the day. They just released a great new record, VOIDS, and they played some songs off that, but they didn't shy away from delivering the classics. "Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse," "Into the Mirror," "Knights" and more were played, and had a good chunk of the crowd dancing and yelling along.

Norway's punky Sløtface wrapped up the day inside. Pictures of every band from Friday are in the gallery above.


Big thanks: Bell’s Brewery as a premiere sponsor. Brand new to Austin, the award winning craft beer will be on tap all week at Cheer Up Charlies. Those 21 and older can also purchase a variety of Deep Eddy Vodka cocktails and some Thunderbird ‘Hard Citrus Brew’.

Lost Weekend wraps up today, Saturday (3/18), with S U R V I V E, GIrlpool, Cherry Glazerr, Sad13, Robyn Hitchock, Alex Lahey, Big Thief, Merchandise, and more. Set times HERE.


photos by Amanda Hatfield

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