Posts Tagged ‘Pill Wonder’

Unofficial Backyard Memories, Installments #7 & #8: Pill Wonder and Campfires

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

To conclude this year’s coverage of the Micro-Pixel-Rites showcase at SXSW, which only lasted one day but has somehow filled up over a month of retrospective blog time, I thought I would point out that Rangers was not the only one-man recording project that had mysteriously blossomed into a full rock band by the time they touched down in Austin. After reading Sawyer Carter Jacobs’ most lavish and writerly description of the new Pill Wonder record on the Underwater Peoples blog, I half expected main-man William Murder/Murdoch to climb up on stage and pound away on a toy drum kit, mac n’ cheese boxes, and a triangle for half an hour. Instead, he rolled up with an live instrumental powerhouse consisting of two drummers, a bassist, a lead guitar player, and a multi-tasking, bespectacled fellow “on” two laptops and a synth.

The signature vocal merry-go-round that we hear on the album version of “Wishing Wonder” was lost slightly beyond earshot, but this rendition made pretty much everybody in attendance as giddy as six-year-old on Christmas morning. When you catch a band for the first time and every third person in the audience seems turning to his neighbor and breathing an awestruck, “Who are they?,” it’s hard not to feel a little shiver here and there. With Pill Wonder, that shiver felt collective.

Pill Wonder from Samantha Cornwell on Vimeo.

Capping off the evening as the sun set over the city, Jeff Walls Campfires project — here, reincarnated as a traditional four-piece — rocked us out of our cumulative ultra violet stupor with a few high-energy song bytes — not dissimilar to the compact musical “short stories” he channels on recent cassette Burning Rivers, TV Flickers, Drifting Off to Bed (Leftist Nautical Antiques), but suddenly more vivid and three-dimensional, as though those stories had died and come back to life.

Campfires from Samantha Cornwell on Vimeo.

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A Family Affair: Micro-Pixel-Rites Unofficial Backyard Showcase, SXSW 2010

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Like the supremely chill afternoon of live music and bbq that the Underwater Peoples hosted at a cattle ranch outside of Austin the day before, MicroPixelRites’ SXSW debut on Thursday, March 18 was a family affair — and not only because it united a host of musicians, label people, and “blogger types” who were already acquainted either online and off. Even if you rolled up to a sea of strange faces, the afternoon was so long and the summer camp vibe was so strong that you were pretty much bound to leave feeling like you had known everyone there since you braved your first canonball off the dock. I know we are adults now, but it was just that kind of day.
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VR SXSW 2010 VOYAGE, TOLD FROM START TO FINISH IN 66 TWEETS

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

SXSW 2010 was as blissed-out an exercise in excess as an exercise in excess can be. All in all, the Visitation Rites mobile reporting team (videographer Samantha Cornwell and I) probably caught more sun, saw more live bands, walked more miles, ate more tacos, drank more beer, laughed more, bickered more, took more photos, tweeted more tweets, shot more video, and reunited with more old friends than in all of 2009 combined. After five consecutive days of non-stop partying and documenting, however, we couldn’t help feeling a bit crestfallen when we realized that SXSW wouldn’t last forever.
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MICRO-PIXEL-RITES PRESENTS: OFFICIAL TRAILER #2 FOR AN UNOFFICIAL SXSW HOUSE PARTY

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

MICRO-PIXEL-RITES: SISTERS DOIN’ IT FOR THEMSELVES from Elise Oh on Vimeo.

Remember when I told you that Thursday’s Micro-Pixel-Rites SXSW showcase was inspired by an obscuro musical collab between none other than Annie Lennox and Aretha? Well here, coming at you just two short days before our very own Austin frolic of beer, bands, and babes, is Micro-Pixel-Rites’ official video homage to sisters everywhere, past and present, doin’ it for themselves. And also our brothers, of course.
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MICRO-PIXEL-RITES PRESENTS: OFFICIAL POSTER FOR AN UNOFFICIAL SXSW HOUSE PARTY

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Sightings: “Portraits of the Inspired – Pill Wonder Lights the World”

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

A two-foot blanket of bright white snow is probably one of the best things that can happen to this here Big Apple, especially when it takes us New Yorkers by surprise. Whether we are gainfully employed or freelancing on food stamps, we all get a good excuse to step away from the computer for a minute, frolic in the snow, and relive the wide-eyed rapture of our first remembered “snow day.” (Editors note: If you weren’t here to experience the big whopper that hit the Tri-State this week, listening to Real Estate‘s “Snow Days” will probably do the trick). Something I’ve noticed about Brooklynites in particular is that rather than retreat into their private bunkers during inclement weather, they tend to descend upon the cafés, eager to wile away the entire afternoon gripping aromatic brews and catching up with the folks in the neighborhood. Maybe it’s just the herd instinct kicking in, but I really think that unusual natural phenomena have a way of making us crave real-time interaction with real human beings. Avatars just aren’t enough.
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Micro-Pixel-Rites Presents: Unofficial SXSW SHOWCASE and BBQ

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

MICRO-PIXEL-RITES’ SXSW PARTY from Elise Oh on Vimeo.

Elise Oh, Georgia Kral, and I had been contemplating throwing a joint SXSW showcase for some time when we stumbled upon this insano musical collab between Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin over at the Pixelhorse headquarters the other day. Needless to say, we realized that we, too, were capable of making our dreams come true. Visitation Rites, in collaboration with fellow lady-run blogs Pixelhorse and Microphone Memory Emotion, is proud to announce a sunny Austin afternoon of beer, barbecue, and babes — not to mention 10 of our favorite acts in independent music right now. The party will drop on the 18th of March into the same grassy backyard where After the Jump Fest hosted its own unofficial party in 2008 and 2009, and will feature the following friends, in no particular order:
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