The annual SXSW festival has a fringe benefit for those of us not in Austin. Each year cool bands schedule tours taking them to Texas and back home again. 2 bands that were part of the New York “delegation” stopped at the Reverie Cafe & Bar on Tuesday night. Sharkmuffin and Ex-Girlfriends who by virtue of Tarra Thiessen, who is in both bands, travel as a pair.
It was my first time at the Reverie, cool place to see bands. Lights, as expected, were a challenge for photos so excuse the grain. Local band Murf kicked started the night with a rather breathtaking set. I have little knowledge of their music style but I messaged one of my writers who is quite into hardcore “Your people are here. The guitar is almost dead, and I think the drummers head will explode next”. The audience certainly seemed to like it just fine.
Ex-Girlfriends were next. If they are the same guy’s ex-girlfriends he sure has a varied taste in women. I hope it’s not the drummer – that would make for an awkward van ride. Their energy level picked up where Murf left off. The band is only a few months old but sounded tight. Heather Cousins ditched her guitar and moved into the audience (and out of the light grrrrr) pretty quickly. Their music is fast and even their song titles have a attitude.
After a short break Sharkmuffin threw me for a loop. “Hi we’re Ex-Girlfriends” – making me scramble for my notepad. They are close to releasing their second album “Tsuki” in May. Their sound blends punk at its core with glam, rock, grunge and even a bit of pop. Natalie Kirch on bass provides a calmer counterpoint to Thiessen making a great combo. They music has that gritty NYC punk feel I like and I loved some of their catchy bass lines. I for one, look forward to have one or both band back in Minneapolis hopefully soon.