SXSW 2012: 8 Things Seen & Heard Wednesday
Which R&B hitmaker is looking to collaborate with Shakira this month? How did The Staves deal with a chatty crowd at their show? Here's 8 things from Day 1 of South By Southwest 2012 that you may have missed -- even if you were there.
• PHOTOS: The Scene From Austin
1. Lionel Richie had so much fun during his debut SXSW gig at ACL Live, he simply did not want to exit the venue after his show was over. For over an hour after his set ended, Richie hung out backstage, graciously chatting with executives and snapping photos with fans and other artist on the bill, including The-Dream, who stuck around after his opening set to watch Lionel work his magic. Richie said he wasn't quite sure what to expect when he walked onstage at the gig, as the SXSW contingency is not his typical crowd. But the R&B icon was admittedly blown away by the response from the audience. "If this is 'indie,' why do they know all the words to my songs?," he said. "Now that I know what the room looks like, we're definitely doing this again."
2. Before taking the stage at ACL Live, The-Dream confirmed that his anticipated new album "Love IV" is right on track for a spring release, though he still hasn't settled on an exact release date. But that's not the only project on his always-full plate. "I'm hoping to go into the studio to work on a track with Shakira in a couple weeks," he said. And the artist on top of his wish list of potential collaborators? "I'd love to do something with Chris (Martin) from Coldplay. I think he'd be a really easy guy to work with."
3. As he prepared to play "Love is For Lovers," a song from The dB's 1984 album "Like This," on Wednesday afternoon at South By Southwest, a rueful Peter Holsapple looked a the crowd at Dogwood and noted that "some of you weren't born yet…" But Holsapple, fellow guitarist Chris Stamey and drummer Will Rigby (with Mitch Easter sitting in on bass for an unavailable Gene Holder) gave the Guitartown/Conqueroo Kickoff Party a refresher course on the reunited group's past, as well as its present and future. With "Falling Off the Sky," the first album from the original lineup in 30 years, due out June 12, the group stacked the first of its six SXSW performances with a preview of new material such as "That Time is Gone," "Before We Were Born" and "I Didn't Mean to Say That," all showing that the dB's ace pop melodicism and harmonic sensibility hasn't been affected by the break. And the older favorites - including "Happenstance" and "Neverland" - sounded as fresh as they did during the 80s. It was the return of an old friend whose sound hasn't aged a bit.
4. "I feel very nude without my band," Dum Dum Girls' Dee Dee said from the French Legation Museum stage on Wednesday. The indie-rock singer performed her afternoon set solo, showcasing her charismatic vocals and embryonic, sensitive versions of the band's ordinarily sharp-edged tracks. "Hopefully you can enjoy these songs in their original form," she added.
5. L.A.'s A House for Lions showed off a robust rock sound at Rusty's on Wednesday, adding garage ferocity to the softer, '90s-influenced alt-rock of debut EP "I Want Us to Be Remembered." The group just finished a new batch of demos, including electric scorcher "XOX," and hopes to record its debut album over the summer.
6. The three-part harmonies of UK folk trio The Staves might've been the prettiest part of SXSW's opening day -- had the boozy British Embassy crowd stopped talking long enough to hear them. "This is a quiet one, so do with that information what you will," the band informed the audience wryly before unveiling another ballad. The group's new material scored behind-the-boards work from Glyn and Ethan Johns, the first time the father and son producers have collaborated.
7. Spotted: Cloud Nothings singer Dylan Baldi wandering up and down 7th Street before the indie band's packed set at Beauty Bar, with the hundred-strong line too engrossed in their smartphones to notice.
8. Two of music's biggest names decided to pop in on other shows during day one, namely Bruce Springsteen (at the Austin Music Awards) and Kanye West (at the S.O.B. showcase). "Is there a guitar player in the house? We need another guitar player," Alejandro Escovedo asked the audience before The Boss emerged and played backup on several tracks. Kanye, meanwhile, spat a few lyrics alongside fellow rappers Big Sean and 2 Chainz. He also snapped photos with MC Hammer, so that happened.