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Girl Germs Messes with Texas: Day 1

March 21, 2011
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Howdy, pardners! Dana of Girl Germs here, reporting from Texas. I’ve had the privilege of seeing a plethora of lady artists while at the South by Southwest music festival. Here are the highlights of Thursday, my first day at the fest (hear more on one of our upcoming Girl Germs netcasts). More pictures coming soon!

I caught up with local ladies Is/Is at the Austin Convention Center. They were on the tail end of their West Coast tour, and had stopped in Austin to soak up some sun and music before heading north to Kansas, Iowa, Illinois and then home to Minnesota. They’re celebrating the release of a new 7″ at the Hexagon Bar in Minneapolis Friday, March 25.

Drummer Mara Appel just moved to Portland, while Sarah Nienaber and Sarah Rose still live in Minneapolis. They plan to keep touring and recording as they always have, with Appel coming to Minnesota to record for a week or so at a time and Nienaber and Rose picking her up in Portland when they tour.

“It feels natural,” Rose said about Appel’s moving across the country. “It doesn’t stop us from doing what we want to do. It’s a great excuse to see the country and to go hang out with [Appel]. ” Nienaber said that even in the couple days they spent with Appel in Portland, the band was able to hammer out some new material.

“When it happens, it happens,” she said.

The band had a lot of “interesting” experiences on tour so far, including getting busted for sleeping in their own van–and one show where audience creepers had cut their picture out of the local newspaper and brought it to the show.

“[In Monterey, Calif.] the first band was this one guy and his electric guitar doing Led Zeppelin covers,” Nienaber told me. “And then we played, and the last band was just all these dudes that were just way too into their guitars….It’s a common problem–just dudes wankin’ it onstage.”

The Is/Is ladies were excited to see Thee Ohsees and Kurt Vile while in Texas, and were headed off to see Kurt Vile at Auditorium Shores. After the March 25 release show, Appel will spend a week in Minneapolis and the band will record a few songs with Neil Weir at The Old Blackberry Way.

After spending some time at the Convention Center (and running into locals from The Current, the Cedar Cultural Center and Burlesque North America), I headed out to the Mohawk, where Doomtree, GAYNGS and some other Twin Cities bands were playing. I saw Girl Germs friend Machen at the GAYNGS merch table. The rest of the shows I saw this evening were mostly dude bands: Black Lips, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and Monogold, to name a few. Friday was a very lady band-centric day, though–with performances from Puro Instinct, No Joy, Hunx and His Punx and more!

Check back for recaps and photos of Friday and Saturday’s SXSW Girl Germs experience!

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