Welcome to the latest in a week-long series of spotlights profiling the bands and artists performing at the Boston & Beyond party at SXSW, a collaborative effort between Berklee College of Music and Vanyaland. Our second-annual event — and Berklee’s 10th SXSW party overall — goes down Thursday, March 19 at Austin’s Brush Square Park, 409 East 5th St., next to the Convention Center. The party is co-presented by Berklee Alumni, The Red Room @ Cafe 939, and Heavy Rotation Records, and is all ages and open to SXSW badge holders. The public can email firstname.lastname@example.org to attend free of charge. An oyster bar will be provided by Island Creek Oysters, and VanyaRadio will be streaming all the performances. More info and music links can be found here.
Last week we received a message from an old friend, a former beloved Boston radio personality who is now running shit down at a Richmond, Virginia, FM rock station. “Caught them last night,” he wrote with a link to a Spotify playlist. “Start with this track. And make sure you’re wearing your ’90s-UK-heroine pants.” He was referring to fuzzed-out rock and roll supergroup* Avers, and “this track” was the swirling psych-pop menace “Harvest”, off the band’s 2014 LP Empty Light.
We gleefully replied that Avers were not only on our radar, but performing at our SXSW party, which was met with appropriate approval (a simple response of “Dayum!”, to be exact).
We’re sure exchanges like that won’t be the last, because the music of Avers is the type that you heard in the early ’00s and couldn’t wait to tell your friends about. A rock and roll group in the age of the micro-genre, Avers’ Empty Light is the type of album you’d buy without regret at those old brick and mortar record stores we all used to shop at, the kind of CD that’d stay in your car stereo for weeks, the type of liner notes you’d get paper cuts from after leafing through the lyrics so many times. It’s a sound — Style Weekly just dubbed it “hypnotic, psych-pop blues”, and hey man that’s cool — that fills both stadiums and nightclubs with ease.
Pancakes & Whiskeycaught the band recently in NYC, reporting: “Their songs were incredibly melodic, and members of the band, visibly engrossed in the music, rocked out onstage without it ever becoming contrived or showy. They are definitely on my list of bands to watch in 2015 and beyond.”
*Avers are comprised of Alexandra Spalding and Adrian Olsen of HyperColor, Tyler Williams of The Head and The Heart, JL Hodges of Farm Vegas, James Mason of Mason Brothers, and Charlie Glenn of The Trillions — but that all gets lost when you listen to their music.