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.
Let’s get this out of the way up top: Urban Dictionary defines Hooka Hey (or Hoka Hey), as “something the legendary Sioux warrior Crasy Horse was shouting while going to war… interpreted as ‘It is a good time to die!’ or ‘This is a good day to die.’ By the time the dust settles at Brush Square Park, it’ll mean something else: badass fucking rock band from the homefront.
While thousands of bands descend on Austin from elsewhere for SXSW, it’s also a week for the sound of the Texan capital to blare loudly throughout downtown. And Hooka Hey seem up for the challenge — the Austin rock band churns out sludgy, riff-laden blues rock perfect for cruising through the Lone Star State. Writes KUTX’s Austin Music Minute: “There’s a reverence here for the kind of serious rockin’ out that leaves you sweaty, grimy and wanting more.”
Adds Culture Collide, which just premiered new EP Untamed: “It is a layered, dangerous ride hinting at Eastern mysticism and crazy, seductive Creole voodoo… Their work is urgent and unrelenting, possessing a musical confidence even early in the game. …And like any burning passion, they will leave you wanting more”
Hooka Hey’s rock shockwave arrives on the early side on March 19, so use the show as a lightning rod to the rest of your SXSW experience or the perfect way to blast out of that hangover stupor. Let’s see how the locals do it in Texas.