Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Tune of the Week – “Kid On My Shoulders”

It’s the last night at South By Southwest and there are a couple of hundred bands to see. The usual story in Austin in March. South By Southwest usually involves spending the week walking up and down Austin’s Sixth Street …

Thu, Apr 5, 2007, 08:14

   

It’s the last night at South By Southwest and there are a couple of hundred bands to see. The usual story in Austin in March.

whiterabbits.jpg

South By Southwest usually involves spending the week walking up and down Austin’s Sixth Street by day and night, armed with a list of bands and a couple of names highlighted as must-sees. You approach a venue, look at the queue, work out how long it will take you to get in and either stick around or move on. There’s always another club, always another band. Hey, that’s close enough to being a steal from a Hold Steady song as makes no difference.

While there are about 40 official festival venues plonked on Sixth Street, there are just as many other clubs again strung out along the couple of city blocks that make up the town centre. These ones don’t let the lack of officlal status deter them from belting out live music and having barkers at the door to pull in a crowd. Every single club features bands selling their wares to music business pros, out-of-town music fans and locals. It’s quite a racket (especially the glam-metal bands from Los Angeles).

Sometimes, you’ll actually finding bands playing non-festival shows who are far superior to the showcasing acts. Which is why I’m trying to jump the queue outside The Big Pig to see the White Rabbits (pigs, rabbits, insert your own animal joke here).

They’re one of the many bands I knew nothing about when I landed in Austin a few days ago, but they have now become The Band You Have To See. They’ve been playing shows at daytime parties all week which have had people getting very excited indeed. Three different people have mentioned them to me today and that is why you’ll find a couple of us spinning some blarney with the doorman to get into the building.

It’s worth the hassle. White Rabbits are six Missouri kids now residing in Brooklyn, New York. They don’t look quite right, but they sound amazing. Every song is soulful, ramshackle, jangly and thrilling. Elvis Costello fronting the Cold War Kids doing Dexy’s Midnight Runners? That sums up their cover version of “Maggie’s Farm” which takes on a life on its own within minutes.

But the song which is as addictive as a big plate of huevos rancheros from Las Manitas is “Kid On My Shoulders”. It pounces and purrs its way into your ears from the get-go and leaves you grinning from ear to ear. If the rest of their soon-come debut album “Fort Nightly” (due in late May on Say Hey Records) is like this, I’ll be happy.

Hear “Kid On My Shoulders” on the band’s MySpace site.

White Rabbits site

Say Hey label site