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« Preview: Wilco Drummer Glenn Kotche, Others Team Up for Improvised Set @ The Hideout, 3/16 SXSW 2013 Tour Diary, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, Day 2 »

sxsw2013 Fri Mar 15 2013

SXSW 2013 Tour Diary, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, Day 1

As they hit the ground running in Austin, we're just now catching up with neo-soul crooners JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound down at SXSW. Here's their recap from lead singer Jayson about their journey down south and first few hours in the fray. sxsw2013.jpg


Two days ago I was time traveling. I started just outside of Chicago. I closed my eyes for just a moment and when I opened them it was five hours later and I was thirty miles outside of St. Louis in the parking lot of a Schnucks where the mostly older patrons gave me raised eyebrows as if to ask "who is this stylish n-word*, and why am I uneasily at ease?"

I should have told them it's because I'm a herald of change, but I wasn't there to blow minds -I just wanted a salad...

After some light conversation I closed my eyes again, and this time when I opened them we were somewhere in Oklahoma and it was night. To the outside world hours had crept by, for me it was mere moments. At some point I took over driving -about ten miles before we passed a terrordome called "The Eatin' Hole". I stopped for a large coffee and after downing it promptly began having trouble keeping my eyes open. We made it to Motel Whogivesafuck without dying and the next day we were ready to be in Austin.

Andy n Kevin SXSW.jpg
"Andy n Kevin" (Photos courtesy JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound)

After a bit of time jumping (facilitated) by a cup of Starbucks we were at SXSW, we stopped for some Korean/Soul food fusion and checked in (which was far smoother and quicker than last year) and began hunting for the free drink tent. Blah, blah, blah disconap in the van; blah, blah, bourbon and pizza at Viceland; blah, trip to a Texas Walmart at 3am (which was less soul-crushing than it sounds); blah, dismantling, cleaning, and reassembling a Red Bull-soaked piece of electronic equipment. 6am. Sleep.

The band performs at a Brooklyn Vegan show at BarBarella in Austin

11am. Wake under duress. First day of shows. We shot a video with the guys (and gal) from Five Second Films. The premise was that we were all in a bed after a roofie-tastic night, so it ought to be amusing. Our first show of the festival was for Getty Images at a bar on 6th street called Bourbon Girl. The band before us totally fucked up the backline setup and we went on late because the sound guy had to rewire the whole shebang. It was and almost perfect show, the only thing were missing was the bass — we had it for about a third of the set but the rest of the time it was either crackling or entirely absent. We soldiered on. The next show was at a nifty little backyard patio called BarBarella for Brooklyn Vegan. This one was considerably better — sound was great, the crowd was thick and engaged, and people wanted to move. My job is considerably easier (and far less job-y) when people are already open to the connection and the energy, I can still work a crown that needs to be pried open but it often puts me in my head during a show — I prefer to be spread out on the crowd, utterly absent of myself except for the little spaces between songs...

JCBUS on Beats TV SXSW.jpg
The band recording for BeatsTV

After that we headed over to Viceland to do an interview and some photos with the BeatsTV to promote their new Pills speakers. It was a metric-ton of fun and they fed us booze and pork and gave us Pills to take home. Swag is good. After that, we came back to our home base -a HoJo off I-35, rested up and then headed down to the Continental Club for our Bloodshot showcase.

The show went well and we stayed around to watch John Langford and the Waco Brothers tear it up after us. There was a late night trip to Denny's where we were bombarded with notices of the most wonderful time of the year: Baconalia!, then it was off to bed for the night. Fight fought, day one.

I'm With Tha Band SXSW 2.jpg

JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound in Austin, TX at SXSW 2013:

Getty Images party
Bourbon Girl
212 E. 6th St.

Brooklyn Vegan Chicago/Epitonic party

Barbarella patio
615 Red River St.

Pandora/Americana Music Assoc. party

Antone's Porch Stage
213 W. 5th St.

Mighty Deadly/Chicago Mixtape/Wine from the Moon/AudioTree/do312 party

Papi Tino's
1306 E. 6th St.

Rolling Stone Rock Room party

La Zona Rosa
612 W. 4th St.

Bloodshot Records/Lagunitas Brewing party

Yard Dog Gallery
1510 S. Congress Ave.

JamBase SXSW showcase

Tap Room @ Six
311 Colorado St.

KDHX Twangfest party

Broken Spoke
3201 S. Lamar Blvd

MillerCoors Third Shift Amber Lager party

Holy Mountain
617 E. 7th St.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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