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Mike B. @ SXSW: Scenes From Day Three, With Amanda X, Chill Moody, Cheers Elephant and More.

April 3, 2014

0000003Our Michael Bucher spent a few days at SXSW and he’s only now recovering. Here are his dispatches from his journey.

Philly’s three-piece punk band Amanda X made the journey to Austin for their first SXSW. And for drummer Tiff Yoon, it was more like an odyssey.

With only two open seats on the first standby flight out of Philly that Thursday morning, bass player Kat Bean and guitarist Cat Park left behind Yoon and a friend of the band to get the next available flight. The flights were all filling up.

Tiff and her friend even tried taking a train to Newark International airport but a fire in New York City that day delayed the train.

“We left at three am and she got there 15 minutes before our set at nine,” said Kat. “She was just a shell of a human being.”

The band didn’t even decide to come until about three weeks before the festival. It started when they were invited to play a show their friends from Parquet Courts were playing and then more and more things started to line up.

“To do one, it’s still not worth,” said Tiff. “Then we got two and then we’re like maybe. And then we got three and were like okay were definitely doing it.”

I spoke to them after their Sailor Jerry House show on a wet, early Saturday afternoon and before their fourth and final show later that night at the Owl. The group was happy they came down and grateful for the support they’ve received from other bands.

“We have a lot of good people that genuinely care about us and help us out,” said Kat.

0000011Chill Moody’s official DJ, Ricochet woke up Thursday morning and looked at his alarm clock. It was 6:45 in the morning.

“No, no, no, no,” he remembers yelling at himself.

His flight with Chill and fellow Talent Island performer Beano left Philadelphia International airport at 6 am.

Despite the late start, they made it down without missing a thing.

The first show they were set to perform at, however, was cancelled.

The Homesick Philly party hosted by Visit Philly was set for Thursday afternoon and included performances by Bleeding Rainbow and Chill. But on Wednesday night, a man attempted to outrun police and drove through a crowd in front of the venue, killing two and injuring 23.

The incident cast a pall over the festival but the parties continued.

“Every time we get off the stage, someone books me for another show,” said Chill. “Shows from Pittsburgh to Vegas to Cali. People want to bring me back to Texas, to Chicago, New York. I met some guy from Oslo, Norway. I don’t have a passport yet but we gotta take care of that.”

Chill received advice on what to expect before coming down to the festival, like balancing alcohol and water, but he found it much harder in reality. He says the trio spent most of the week walking around the city and soaking up all the positive energy.

“It’s about discovering new talent and the fact that there’s love everywhere,” said Chill. “We’ve sat and talked to every artist we met and just chilled.”

Back in Philly, he’s preparing for The Roots Picnic where his name is prominently featured next to Snoop Dog, Action Bronson and The War on Drugs. He was elated when he found out he was invited to perform there again and appreciates the respect shown to him by The Roots. Although nothing is set yet, he hints there will be some special guests with him, maybe his live band, who knows. We’ll have to wait and see.

After Chill’s performance, I ran into the guys from Cheers Elephant (below), the former Philly band that recently relocated to California.

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