High Water Festival 2019 - Day 1, Charleston, SC
High Water Festival 2019 - Day 1, Charleston, SC
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

High Water Festival 2019 - Day 1, Charleston, SC

I don’t know much about organizing festival line-ups and the like, but the juxtaposition of The War and Treaty and Mitski playing back to back on High Water’s main stage was one of the most brilliant things I have seen.  No doubt what these two artists had up their sleeves when this was planned out was not even in their own heads at the time and certainly not coordinated, but it made for great cinema when it happened. 

Mark Moody
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Bob Log III - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Bob Log III - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Bob Log III - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

For us mere mortals it’s a Tuesday night, perhaps the most unremarkable night of the entire week. The weekend just gone is nothing but a fading memory, the next too far away to get excited about. Thankfully Bob Log III isn’t a 9 to 5 kind of guy. For Mr. Log, every night is Saturday night and for the next few hours, we’ll be honoured guests at the best party in town.

Andy Brown
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Jenny Lewis - ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
Jenny Lewis - ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Jenny Lewis - ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin

Playing to a capacity crowd last Saturday night in Austin, Jenny Lewis’ pastel-hued stage set made you long for teenage days spent listening to records in your bedroom.  Days when landline phones weren’t museum pieces and when memorizing a phone number like 867-5309 was a necessary step to staying connected. 

Mark Moody
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Doves - Parr Hall, Warrington
Doves - Parr Hall, Warrington
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Doves - Parr Hall, Warrington

Doves are back. After a lengthy hiatus, the Manchester trio announced late last year that they would be playing live again in 2019. Tonight’s performance is their comeback, a first warm up show before a string of dates in larger venues and festivals in the coming days and months.  

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The Comet Is Coming - Yes, Manchester
The Comet Is Coming - Yes, Manchester
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Comet Is Coming - Yes, Manchester

The Comet Is Coming are a difficult band to sum up, in essence, a three-piece jazz trio playing drums, saxophone and electronics but in a way that no one else does.

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Bilge Pump - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Bilge Pump - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Bilge Pump - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Two men lean over a bass guitar on stage at The Brudenell Social Club, one holding a flashlight as the other tries to work out what exactly has gone wrong. Until moments ago, post-punk trio Bilge Pump were happily playing to a sold-out crowd. The mood one of celebration, a well-deserved victory lap for some longstanding local legends. So, naturally, the band’s bass guitar had to stop working mid-set. The night can’t end like this. Can it?

Andy Brown
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Cass McCombs - Lincoln Hall, Chicago
Cass McCombs - Lincoln Hall, Chicago
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Cass McCombs - Lincoln Hall, Chicago

St Patrick’s Day Eve can be quite the debaucherous occasion, as scores of bush-leaguers take to the streets in celebration of their dubious (or in most cases entirely nonexistent) Irish heritage, and of course, all the goofy stereotypes and indulgences that go along with that. This is particularly true when St. Patty’s Eve falls on a Saturday night in Chicago, especially when you’re in close proximity to DePaul University.

Zach Johnson (Texacaliago)
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SXSW 2019 - Day 6
SXSW 2019 - Day 6
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

SXSW 2019 - Day 6

In the never-ending quest to find all things SXSW 2019 for Soundblab readers, your trusty reporter took to the high seas on Saturday (Well, OK, it was the Colorado River) to spotlight one of the more unusual performances of an unusual week. When you find yourself on the list of correspondents for SXSW, your email inbox goes into hyperdrive with invitations to performances, showcases and just hole-in-the-wall get-togethers from bands, PR firms, and record companies from around the globe. It is easy to get overwhelmed and somewhat frustrated at the sheer size of the assignment.

Howard Scott
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SXSW 2019 - Day 5
SXSW 2019 - Day 5
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

SXSW 2019 - Day 5

The Austin Convention Center is the main hub from which all of SXSW branches out. The massive building contains four levels of ballrooms, exhibition halls and meeting places, and has been completely jammed full of people all week. On Friday, two separate concert halls opened on the fourth floor. In one, it was a gathering of musicians from around the globe for an international get-together. In the other, various radio stations had joined forces to create “RadioDay”, which went out as a live broadcast over NPR and the sponsoring stations. Of course, as seems to be the norm, the two concerts were scheduled to run at the same time, even sharing break down and set up intervals between performances. 

Howard Scott
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SXSW 2019 - Day 4
SXSW 2019 - Day 4
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

SXSW 2019 - Day 4

After some good nourishment and a night of solid sleep after SXSW Day 3, I decided to make Day 4 of the journey as full-immersion as possible. Sometimes plain old logistics can interfere with a master plan of which band you want to see playing where, and I decided to stretch the time-space continuum as much as possible to see just how much I could accomplish before sheer exhaustion once again set in.

Howard Scott
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SXSW 2019 - Day 3
SXSW 2019 - Day 3
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

SXSW 2019 - Day 3

If there is one part of SXSW that is rather maddening, it is that I am but a single human being who can only physically be in one place at a time. With so much good music being played in so many different places, it would be nice to be able to split up and get to more than one at the same time. Alas, that isn’t going to be happening anytime soon, so it is a matter of searching through endless lists of performances and cherry picking what will be the best place to be at a given time. Day three was like that, and I  thought it worked out rather well. 

Howard Scott
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SXSW 2019 - Day 2
SXSW 2019 - Day 2
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

SXSW 2019 - Day 2

It is almost impossible to go anywhere in Austin during the SXSW festival without encountering live music. Hotel lobbies, pop up eateries that were parking lots the day before, urban sidewalks and even rolling flatbed trucks all sound out with artists demonstrating their talent and love of music.

Howard Scott
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