The FADER/Levi's Lounge Begins With A Bang In Austin

Yesterday was quite a challenge for most headed down to Austin. Snow in NYC and Chicago forced some flight delays, which are always fun, but the whole travel experience these days is a bit hectic. The sign-in process at SXSW is also a time-consuming one, so by the time the music began to get underway at the Fader/Levi's lounge around 4ish, it was a welcome hang out spot for those who spent the entire day waiting in a multitude of lines. Offering a place to chill out, drink Red Stripe, play XBOX, listen to great music, and hang with like-minded industry peeps and artists, the lounge quickly became comfortably crowded.

Pearlene, who released their sophomore album Murder Blues & Prayer on Dim Mak last year, were the second band to play and generated quite a buzz around the space. A number of people I talked to couldn't say enough good things about them. Chicago's The Reputation were next, and showcased a bunch of tunes from their forthcoming Lookout! debut, Force A Fate. Frontwoman and avid Tripwire user Elizabeth Elmore looked and sounded better than ever and it's clear that after spending a bunch of time in the studio, the band is excited to get back out on the road. They'll be on tour through the beginning of May.

Another Tripwire user, Jim McGuinn, and his band Cordalene followed, treating the FADER/Levi's crowd to some fresh, high energy indie rock. Sets were kept fairly short, but the band did have enough time to pay homage to fellow rockers The Washington Social Club, as they played a cover of the band's "Breaking The Dawn."

Elkland, who will be releasing their debut EP on Kinetic records later this year then took the stage. The very young quartet with pin-up boy good looks played a batch of silky smooth pop gems. Excitement surrounding this band is pretty extreme and our friends at Kinetic have high expectations for the band's EP. Look to hear much more from these guys in the coming months.

Sets from UK rock act Seachange and NYC-based hipster rockers The Natural History rounded out the "happy hour." Both bands have had success this year on commercial specialty radio and both used their time wisely on the FADER/Levi's stage, playing upbeat, high-energy rock songs that hyped everyone up for their moves to any number of Austin's rock clubs.

Johnny Knoxville will be hanging out today and another round of late afternoon, early evening music is in store.

The FADER/Levi's Lounge Begins With A Bang In Austin