Joyous jamming: Preservation Hall Jazz Band swings into Austin

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Tell someone you’re from Louisiana and you’re bound to get a few questions: “Are there swamps everywhere? How about alligators?” The answers to these mostly disappoint for those who fancy the state nothing but Bourbon Streets and black bayous teeming with reptilian killing machines. Louisiana is complex, but there’s a simple sense of freedom and joy in the music of its most famous city.

Branden Lewis of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs in a street parade on South Congress Avenue to celebrate the world premiere of “A Tuba to Cuba” at SXSW on Wednesday March 14, 2018. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Peddling that pure, joyous Crescent City sound for a packed house at the Mohawk, New Orleans’ legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band delighted and dazzled dancing, adoring fans Wednesday night. Impeccably dressed in suits, ties, hats, and shoes of vibrant colors and outlandish patterns, the band got down to business just after 10 p.m.

PHOTOS: Preservation Hall Jazz Band at SXSW 2018

Employing percussion, two saxophones, trumpet, keys, trombone, upright bass and sousaphone (the massive wrap-around-the-torso tuba-ish instrument of marching band fame that was stolen from and just recovered by the band), the seven-piece band brought down the house, putting smiles on faces and making hands clap and feet dance. Preservation Hall Jazz Band is the ultimate pretense-free party band, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a crowd displaying such genuine enthusiasm for a show anywhere else at SXSW.

RELATED: Check out the 2018 SXSW unofficial party guide

With minimal vocals beyond short group-shouted refrains of “I ain’t mad at you” or “keep your head up high,” the instruments were the stars of the show, and they did shine. Each song served as a showcase for multiple solos—chances for the band to playfully one-up each other in improvisation before passing the spotlight to the next musician—with each solo testing how much further an already dropped jaw can drop.

Energetic and charismatic trombone player Ronell Johnson was a crowd favorite, spraying his trombone from side to side at the crowd like a brass bazooka, hamming it up for fans and roping them in with each slide and pull, and always keeping the crowd clapping along. Not to be outdone, 85-year-old saxophonist Charlie Gabriel dropped to his knees for a solo. Gabriel’s is an impossible cool that we are all either too young or too old to ever be but are welcome to witness in his unyielding, infectious smile, furiously flying fingers, and confidence on stage.

RELATED: So many bands! Our music team makes some SXSW recommendations

Preservation Hall Jazz Band takes its name from Preservation Hall, the legendary French Quarter home to live jazz nearly every night of the year. This sacred jazz site was founded in the ’60s by Allan Jaffe, whose son, Ben Jaffe, carries the PHJB torch to this day as the group’s tuba-toting leader.

Jaffe closed the celebratory set with a suggestion for fans looking to embrace a more jazz-inspired carefree existence. “Before you turn your phone on in the morning—turn your phone off when you go to bed, get an alarm clock… Wake up, take a deep breath, stretch and touch your toes, and put on Preservation Hall Jazz Band,” Jaffe said. “Start your morning right!”

Preservation Hall Jazz Band was in town for their lone day of SXSW 2018 performances alongside the SXSW debut of the documentary “A Tuba to Cuba,” which follows Jaffe as he travels to Cuba tracing the roots of New Orleans jazz. The band marched down the street following the film’s afternoon screening hours before their nighttime set at the Mohawk. “A Tuba to Cuba” plays again Friday afternoon at the Alamo Ritz.

SXSW 2017: Yes, Modern English will play ‘that song’

“Hang in there,” Modern English frontman Robbie Grey says kindly, humoring a screaming fan — the one who’s shouting for the band to play their big hit just minutes into their set, the one who’s somehow at every show for every band who’s ever had a big hit. Though, few bands can claim a big hit quite as big and with as much staying power as Modern English’s “I Melt With You.”

Grey, wearing a white T-shirt, rolled up blue jeans and black Converses, was surprisingly cool about the exchange. It’s likely one he’s had often over a career that’s lasted longer than many of his fans have been alive here on the Barracuda Patio this brisk SXSW Music Tuesday night. And when the band does finally close their set with that big hit, Grey and the band show no signs of disdain for or fatigue with the song. Introduced jokingly with, “OK, we’re going to play that song,” “I Melt With You” was effervescent and energetic, and even if one hadn’t heard it a million times before and didn’t associate it with warm waves of nostalgia from flowery feel-good love movie montages and awkward school dances, it’s one that would immediately grab your ear and cause you to look up from your beer.

Photo courtesy Modern English / Facebook

But “I Melt With You,” for all it does right as a supreme piece of pop music, isn’t really indicative of the rest of Modern English’s woefully overlooked catalog. Or so I was told…

Like many, I had no familiarity with the band beyond their massive hit. (Hold one moment, angry mob of Modern English diehards! Don’t sharpen your pitchforks and start drafting your outraged internet comments just yet.) I am of the belief that any rock band could be slightly improved by being a British rock band. And my first and fondest South by Southwest memories are of U.K. bands cut and copied from that new-wave cloth worn by Modern English and their ’80s post-punk ilk, so having an excuse to venture closer to the source of a sound that’s been so thoroughly tapped by bands ever since seemed a fine way to spend a Tuesday night.

What would this eager but clueless Anglophilic ignoramus take away from Modern English? Turns out I need to add some old Modern English records to my listening queue.

Set opener “16 Days” was brooding bass and sheets of static, droning and danceable. Next up was “Swans of Glass,” equal parts bleak and bouncy. Four or five newer songs that followed didn’t feel as urgent and stood out from the old stuff of the set’s opening, even to this listener who had no familiarity with either. On these newer songs, Grey occasionally referred to lyrics on a sheet of paper, which he endearingly British-ly referred to as “parchment.” Throughout it all, the five-piece still sounded great — even on the songs that were somewhat less than world-melting.

Modern English play again today at 3 p.m. at Waterloo Records and Friday at 6:15 p.m. on the Whole Foods rooftop plaza. Both shows are free and all ages; the Whole Foods show may require RSVP.

Austin Music Awards hit all the right notes to kick off SXSW Music Festival

Kevin Russell, in the orange suit, accepts the Best Blues/Soul/Funk award for Shinyribs at Sunday’s Austin Music Awards at ACL Live. Photo by Dave Creaney/For American-Statesman

By Chad Swiatecki, special to the Statesman

Awards shows – but music awards shows especially – are all about vulnerable moments and collisions between people who would not usually be in close proximity to each other.

The awards themselves are fine, but they’re mostly there to serve as the connective tissue between live music pairings that see experienced hands sharing the stage with new partners and featured guests, with fireworks and “wow” moments often to follow.

The 35th Austin Music Awards fit that paradigm perfectly on Sunday night, with a shiny new home at ACL Live at the Moody Theater serving as a dramatic upgrade from its recent home at the Austin Convention Center.

Charlie Sexton, serving his third consecutive year as the ceremony’s musical director, played laid back traffic director to the dozens of players and guests on stage for the nearly four-hour ceremony, with KUTX radio personalities Laurie Gallardo and Rick McNulty cracking wise, yucking it up and handing out the award hardware. For the full list of winners, skip to the end of the story.

What follows are some of the most endearing, humorous or “Wow!” moments from a night where Austin honored its own and prepared for the musical tidal wave of South By Southwest.

Chrissie Hynde sings the Tom Petty part in “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Stevie Nicks at the Erwin Center on Sunday night. The Pretenders opened for Nicks, then Hynde showed up at the Austin Music Awards at ACL Live. Photo by Scott Moore/For American-Statesman

Surprise showing: Warmed up and ready from leading the Pretenders earlier in the night at the Erwin Center – where that band opened for Stevie Nicks – Chrissie Hynde was the night’s biggest surprise guest. Leading the house band on gutsy, powerful runs through “Message Of Love” and “Middle Of The Road” during one of the final music interludes, she was every part of the rock legend that she’s earned. Her band’s “Austin City Limits” taping on the same stage Monday night should be a rager.

REVIEW AND PHOTOS: Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders at the Erwin Center

Insiders get it: Local booker/promoter Graham Williams won the unofficial best inside joke honor. During his tribute inducting punk heroes the Big Boys into the hall of fame, he dryly noted, “…and I know of at least one promoter who’s named more than one music festival after their songs.” Williams’ aside was of course referencing his now defunct Fun Fun Fun Fest and his new Sound On Sound Fest.

Random observation/show biz opportunity: Local keyboardist Oliver Steck needs a talk show, podcast or standup comedy career, on the double. Receiving his Best Keyboard award and speaking during bandmate Bob Schneider’s award for Best Rock act, Steck was a ball of wiry, nervous hilarity, like an entertainer playing with a Robin Williams starter kit. His extemporaneous rants defy easy quotation, but the guy is captivating.

SXSW GUIDE: Here’s what to put on your SXSW music schedule

Big winner: Hayes Carll, the night’s big winner of six awards, was not present and sent a slightly unprepared but affable Ray Wylie Hubbard to accept in his place.

Personality yin-yang moment: Leading Shinyribs on stage to accept the Best Blues/Soul/Funk award, showy front man Kevin Russell stomped up to the podium like he was fronting a New Orleans second line brass band, with an orange suit leaving no doubt he’d be the gregarious center of attention. Moments later, local synth stars Survive – whose star rose with their work on the “Stranger Things” soundtrack – accepted the Best EDM/Dance award with bandmember Adam Jones awkwardly remarking that “I’m really glad people just know who we are now.”

Beloved veterans: A pair of hall-of-famers made their marks in very different ways. Longtime music advocate and activist Rose Reyes’ lengthy HOF acceptance speech was simultaneously heartfelt and engaging, which is a tough balance to strike, as she paid tribute to her three decades of heroes and colleagues. By the end, there were lots of tears in the theater.

Terry Allen wrapped his acceptance speech going a cappella/hymnal style on “Bloodlines” before settling in behind the keyboard for a four-song suite – “Amarillo Highway,” “What Of Alicia,” “New Delhi Freight Train,” and “Gimme A Ride To Heaven Boy” – that saw him joined at turns by Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Buck Allen and the Trishas, among others. It was likely the longest music spot of the night, and had the musical firepower to earn every second of its time.

THE WINNERS

Musician of the Year: Hayes Carll

Best Band: Calliope Musicals

Best New Band: Jane Ellen Bryant

Album of the Year: Hayes Carll “Lovers & Leavers”

Song of the Year: Hayes Carll, “Sake Of The Song”

Best Avant-Garde/Experimental: Golden Dawn Arkestra

Best Blues/Soul/Funk: Shinyribs

Best Country/Bluegrass: Fingerpistol

Best Cover/Tribute: Suede

Best EDM/Dance: Survive

Best Folk: Hayes Carll

Best Hip-hop/Rap: Magna Carda

Best Jazz: Church On Monday

Best Latin: Gina Chavez

Best Metal: Dead Earth Politics

Best None Of The Above: White Ghost Shivers

Best Punk: (tie) Worm Suicide, Sailor Poon

Best Rock: Bob Schneider

Best Under-18: Tiarra Girls

Best World: Rattletree

Best Bass: George Reiff

Best Drums/Percussion: Mike Meadows

Best Female Vocals: Jane Ellen Bryant

Best Guitar: A.J. Vallejo

Best Horn Player: Ephraim Owens

Best Keyboard: Oliver Steck

Best Male Vocals: Hayes Carll

Best Miscellaneous Instrument: Jan Flemming

Best Songwriter: Hayes Carll

Best Strings: (tie) Warren Hood, Tosca String Quartet

Hall of Fame: Big Boys, Bobbie Nelson, Doyle Bramhall II, Ephraim Owens, Larry Monroe, Rose Reyes, Terry Allen

Mexican American Experience announces artist lineup

AJ Castillo will headline a show at the Mexican American Experience Festival.
AJ Castillo will headline a show at the Mexican American Experience Festival. Photo by Julia Robinson

While the crowds descend on downtown during South by Southwest, there’s a festival where you can enjoy Tejano and Latin rhythms for free while taking in the city’s awe-inspiring lakeside views and festive atmosphere.

Head to the courtyard of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center on March 16-17, where music kicks off at 6 p.m. with the Mexican American Experience festival. David Farias, who was the former leader of Tejano supergroup, La Tropa F, headlines on Wednesday night. Other featured artists that evening include Austin Music Award Winners A-T Boyz, Yayo Castillo y Rumores and Tejano Highway 281.

On Thursday, Tejano music star A.J. Castillo wraps up the festival. Performances earlier that evening will include Tejano Idol contest winner Monica Saldivar, singer-songwriter and accordion player Lucky Joe and rising star Angel Gonzalez y Vimana. Festival-goers can park at Martin Middle School and catch a free shuttle to the show.

For more information, click here.

Brutal Aussie crooner Kirin J Callinan transcends

Kirin J Callinan may be the devil, but he seems like someone you’d like to have over for a dinner party. With a Cheshire Cat grin he appeared in a comically thick cloud of smoke at the start of his midnight Sunday set at Red Eyed Fly. He sort of looks like Nic Cage, but maybe that’s just the appearance he chooses to take for me.

Kirin was shirtless with a tattoo reading “quesadilla” scrawled on the side of his lean, muscular torso. On his head was a silky, mullet-like ponytail, pencil-thin mustache paired with a petite soul patch, eyeliner, and earrings dangling. He was alone on the stage accompanied with electronics and a Caribbean blue Fender. The sound he makes is masculine and industrial, somewhere on the spectrum between Nick Cave and Marilyn Manson.

Like Cave or Bowie, Kirin is a bizarre but magnetic frontman who comes across as cool while doing things lesser performers couldn’t get away with in a million years. Callinan brandished the microphone stand like a pitchfork on the vocal-only set finale “The Toddler.” “I’m the toddler. I’m not a baby, not yet a boy. I’m the toddler,” he howled with a grin while snapily shifting from side to side. This was received like much of Kirin’s set, with stunned silence and chuckles — though to be clear the crowd was totally in to it.

On “Halo,” the closest to conventional-sounding song in his woefully short set, thick Depeche Mode synths and drum machine beats danced around bizarro Bruce Springsteen vocals.

Previewing his setlist, Callinan said, “I’m going to play a song some of you might know, then a song no one knows — but me — and then I’m going to play a song that’s questionable if it’s even a song at all.”

In a New York Times write up of Kirin J Callinan’s record “Embracism” the reviewer called it “one of the most unpleasant listening experience in recent memory,” which I don’t think they totally meant as a negative. The Australian crooner and guitarist is out there, and he’s not for everybody. But, hey, I never would have guessed listeners would have so enthusiastically latched on to the fantastic Future Islands, so I could be wrong — maybe the general public is more willing to embrace weird than I give ’em credit for. Either way, the people who Kirin is for (me, it turns out) will find him fascinating and unlike nearly anything else.

Kirin got a late start, giving him enough runway to get through just four songs before being gently carried off stage smiling by two older men in suits. I don’t know if they were security or what, but I’d like to imagine Callinan was gently packaged like high-priced audio gear in a TSA-approved sarcophagus to slumber until his next destination. Whatever that destination may be, keep an eye out for Kirin J Callinan.

As the set ended and the smoke cleared, one enthusiastic guy I overheard behind me summed it up as well as possible: “What the [expletive] was that? That was… transcendent.”

SXSW standout Fantastic Negrito celebrates life, exceeds hype

“What are you doing to me?” Fantastic Negrito playfully asked the sound guy as the volume on his microphone was cutting out early into the set. “I’m trying to live up to the hype. There’s a lot of hype going ’round in this [expletive].”

Xavier Dphrepaulezz, better known to those familiar with NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concerts as Fantastic Negrito, is a black roots musician from Oakland, Calif., Dphrepaulezz ended up being one of this SXSW’s most talked about artists after winning a contest with more than 7,000 other unsigned artists to perform for NPR Music.

“There’s only one Fantastic Negrito, and he’s in Austin tonight,” Dphrepaulezz said. His Saturday night SXSW showcase was at the Lucky Lounge, where a full house crowded in to see the charismatic blues man in the sharp three-piece suit and tie with a velvet blazer.

Even without knowing about his opportunity with NPR or his backstory involving a near fatal car crash that left him in a coma, it’s hard to not feel inspired when seeing Fantastic Negrito perform. It’s raw roots music with a positive attitude. “The name of this show is exorcise the demons, exorcise the [expletive] out of your life.” Exorcise and exercise, cause though there was barely room to scratch your nose in the tightly packed Lucky Lounge there was plenty of dancing.

Fantastic Negrito and his outrageously good band of four, each in their own snazzy-looking vintage threads, rocked though boogie blues with Dphrepaulezz front and center doing pelvic thrusts and James Brown spins and charming the crowd.

The band closed with the song that brought them here, as Dphrepaulezz put it, the fiery and undeniable “Lost In a Crowd” but only after managing to make himself even more likable. “I have terrible stage fright. I don’t know if any of y’all caught me, but I threw up three times before this.”

Pity Sex gives SXSW the late-night closer it deserves

No more Kanye rumors, no more rain, no more half-baked Miley cameos. The only way to send SXSW 2015 off in style was with a well-oiled, energetic noise monster like Pity Sex. The Ann Arbor, Mich., band closed out a Run For Cover Records showcase at Holy Mountain on Saturday night, and thus probably closed out the festival itself for many attending.

(Photo by Eric Webb/American-Statesman)
(Photo by Eric Webb/American-Statesman)

Opening with one of their catchiest, most melodic songs, “Wind-Up,” the band hit emotionally sensitive nerves through what they said were the biggest amps they had ever played with. The vocal interplay throughout the set between Brennan Greaves and Britty Drake, both of whom keep the vocals demure and low-key, grounded the loud electric sonic id shaking the stage.

If you want to get super over-analytical, it’s interesting that bassist Brandan Pierce and drummer Sean St. Charles were the most animated, reactive people on the stage. Even if the sometimes stoic singers were confessing “I wanna cry with you/I wanna die with you once or twice,” the musicians ostensibly providing the structure for the songs were full-body emoting like French mimes. Pierce is no stationary bassist, instead bouncing around the stage and throwing his body back and up like someone is pulling his string. And though drummers have license to go nuts, St. Charles heaved his whole body as he pounded, at one point resting his head on his kit like he was in the throes of ennui. Levels! Contrast! Rock!

A performance of “Dogwalk” put a bow on the night, diving headfirst one last time into a deafening whirlpool of feelings. Pity Sex’s huge, raw sound taps right into the heart of what SXSW can still be: brash and just off the beaten path.

Love songs: Katy Perry-approved R&B piano man Kevin Garrett

After spending far too much time for my own health on Sixth Street over the past few days, I ventured north to St. David’s, which seemed about as far away from Sixth Street as one could get by only walking two blocks. Up some stairs and through a room with divine-smelling chili cheese fries and ice-cold draft beer (“Am I back on Sixth? No, these bathrooms are much too nice.”) I made the trek to Bethell Hall. It’s a warm and spacious room with wood-covered vaulted ceilings, linoleum floors, bunches of fake plastic plants, rows of sturdy wooden chairs, and, tonight, one Kevin Garrett.

“This is our seventh show… ever,” Garrett said, before cracking a joke about it. “We’ve got a week under out belt. Never played music before and just decided to.”

I was drawn to see indie R&B newcomer Kevin Garrett from the two songs of his you can find online: “Control,” a slow jam that Katy Perry posted a link to on her Twitter account last night, and “Coloring,” a feel feelings heartbreaker I long to play on repeat in a dark room and weep over even on the happiest day.

Garrett’s a young guy from Brooklyn with a keyboard. Not exactly a unicorn in that regard, but what Kevin does with that ubiquitous hipster homestead staple is something remarkable. Garrett’s a piano man with a penchant for Frank Ocean-caliber head bobb-able melancholy. The James Blake is strong with this one. He was all falsetto all the time, and was joined by additional keys and a drummer. The sound was minimal but filled the packed silent room of seated fans with the soft sustaining hum of warm synth, poignant pauses, and a slow shuffling boom-boom-bap from the drums.

Garrett has a way with chord changes, where he drops a bomb on the black-and-whites a moment before you expect it and takes it in a lovely direction you never see coming. It’s beautiful stuff and played out even better than I hoped in person, but Garrett surprised with some silly deadpan banter between love songs. “This is another song we’re about to play. Isn’t this fun?” he asked in a low monotone.

No joke, Garrett’s got a good thing going on — at least Katy Perry and I think so. Garrett just finished a short tour with James Vincent McMorrow and will be playing on March 23 in Dallas.

Joywave reaches for the stars

Joywave is sitting on a gold mine. After being featured on a smash hit, Big Data’s “Dangerous,” the Rochester indie rockers have a second chance to break through to the big leagues with the infectious “Tongues” featuring DJ KOOPS. But both of those singles’ titles are followed by the word “featuring.” How does the band fare on their lonesome? I was curious, so I headed to the Pandora Discovery Den at The Gatsby this drizzly, dreary SXSW Saturday. Turns out, not too shabby.

Starting with good: The band sounds and looks the part of would-be alternative radio and summer music fest mainstays, largely due to vocalist Daniel Armbruster. With his pencil-thin mustache, big black-framed specs, a slouchy black cowl neck hoodie with thumb holes and a gold microphone in hand, Danny has a look on lock that guarantees he’s a future of being stopped on the street to pose for fan selfies.

Now the not-so hot: The band’s catalog is in need of songs with sharper hooks and higher energy. Joywave was at their crowd dance-inducing best when they were more electronic and less rock. When they brought in the diet disco drumming with a spotlight on synths and Armbruster’s falsetto, the dancing ignited. Still, even on duller tunes the packed house out back at The Gatsby kept their heads nodding and obliged a clap-along request despite the spirit-dampening dreariness.

The band joked about their success with Big Data’s single after asking how many people were familiar with them due to that song — to light applause. “We don’t play that because it’s a Big Data song, but our bassist, Sean [Donnelly], has been working on the riff,” Armbruster said, to which Donnelly jokingly butchered said riff. “He’s working on it. He’ll download the tabs for it.”

The band closed with singles “Somebody New” and “Tongues,” with a danceable earworm equivalent of “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega — though Joywave’s “doo doo”-based hook takes the form of a robo-babble scrambled vocal line.

Even if I left the show less than wowed, I think there’s plenty here to like for fans of Broken Bells, Passion Pit and other easy-on-the-ears indie rock acts with a side of electronica. Joywave’s new full-length “How Do You Feel Now?” drops on April 21.

Jack Garratt stuns with James Blake beats, guitar solos

Jack GarrattJack Garratt is full of surprises. The young ginger-bearded British fellow with a 5-panel hat and a humble grin is a singer/multi-instrumentalist/producer of the James Blake variety whose tracks sound as if they were pieced together tracks in his bedroom but are ready for the club. But this isn’t yet another sensitive R&B type dabbling in electronics (though I’ll take all of that you got). Just when you think you know where Garratt is going he zigs and hits you with a blow-your-hair-back lick of Prince-worthy guitar work.

Garratt’s early afternoon set Wednesday at Red 7 was my first SXSW performance of the year. Things quickly escalated, going from a subtle head nod and an “OK” to goosebumps and a breathless, slackjawed, “Holy crap. I’m in love.” I assumed Garratt was at an unfair advantage being the first up to bat on my SXSW to-see list, but even after two more days and dozens of other acts his set stands out.

First and foremost is Garratt’s voice — clear, powerful and soulful, with an electric falsetto that borders on a frequency only audible to canine ears. Next up, the beats and bloops were top-notch danceable and produced on the spot with a drum pad and other assorted gizmos. This is stuff for fans of SOHN or Chet Faker. But the live experience was at its greatest (and broke away from the comparables) when Garratt brought his guitar into the mix. You could almost hear the soft rustling of dozens of eyebrows rising in unison across the small early-bird crowd when he hit those first notes.

It was also hard not to root for Garratt. He comes across as genuinely grateful to be performing, but he kind of beats himself about the minor mistakes that pop up in any SXSW set. “I’ve had nightmares about this for weeks,” he said with a nervous smile as he battled with gear went back and forth with the sound guy.

Garratt tried out his new single, “Chemical,” live for the first time. It started with “Jesus Walks”-lite handclaps and chanting and seems like it’s going to be slow and serious. “My love is powerful, ruthless and unforgiving. It won’t think beyond itself, so don’t try to reason with my love,” Garratt sang; a couple moments of silence… and then bang — broadsided by a electro-banging house beat. More surprises were up next, when it goes spot-on James Blake and the mood gets soulful and sunny with some feel-good piano and distorted Burial vocals.

About one minute into his set closer “Worry” another technical issue had Jack on the ground pulling at cables while trying to keep some guitar noodling going with the beat “Well, my amp is broken,” he said to a sharp shriek of feedback. “I’m going to just do the final chorus and then a 20-minute guitar solo.” The sound guy shot him eyes. “Well, not 20 minutes.”

Jack Garratt is done at SXSW this year, but keep an ear out for his second EP, “Syntesthesiac,” due out in April.