To get prepped for Treefort Music Fest, Boise Weekly spent the last week in Austin, Texas, at the sprawling SXSW festival. We checked out acts that will be in Boise this week for Treefort and covered a series of emerging trends in the industry.
High among them was Seattle's Deep Sea Diver, which played an entrancing set of soul-influenced indie rock at the Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin.
Another band BW checked out was Foxygen. The goal was to snag an interview, but that wasn't in the stars as the band was in the midst of an unexpectedly epic meltdown at the Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans Showcase at Red 7.
"My voice is fucked," said singer Sam France, after his second song. "I've been singing every night for like two months."
That's when a member of the audience yelled, "Shut up and play."
"Who said that?" asked France. "Get on the stage and say it to my face, you coward. I'm trying to express my feelings to you fucking people."
The band started its third song, but after a single verse, France said, "Thank you, good night," and walked off stage, leaving the rest of the band looking extremely confused. He came back two minutes later to apologize, to thank various characters from Seinfeld, and then to "tell you all a thing or two about Pitchfork." Then he realized he wasn't at the Pitchfork showcase.
BW also caught up with Portland, Ore., rockers The Thermals to ask about their expectations for Treefort.
"The fact that it's in Boise means it won't be pretentious; it's not jaded," said the band's singer and guitarist, Hutch Harris. "It's not a city that has a festival, like, 10 times a year or every week, so I think that will make it special."
One of the best new acts BW ran across at SXSW was New York's leading hip-hop classical quintet, Black Violin, which played before the keynote speech from lead Foo Fighter Dave Grohl. The band blasted beats and Bach from the same bow, and is a must-see for any fan of innovative cross-genre music.
Speaking of Grohl, the central theme of his SXSW keynote speech was that what got him where he is wasn't an excess of talent as much as it was having been left alone creatively to find his own voice.
"The musician comes first," Grohl said several times.
Grohl also said that "Gangnam Style" was his favorite song of the last decade.
Find our complete SXSW coverage at boiseweekly.com.