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SXSW Six Pack: Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes

Posted by March 18th, 2016 No Comments »

By Paul Stinson

Austin band Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes blur the lines between feedback and melody, masterfully vaulting back and forth between the two like a pysch-ward patient skipping their meds, tearing the Cosmos a new one at every turn.

Metz if they were interesting. The third and fourth side of Nirvana’s Bleach –but only if David Yow had crashed the recording and started yelling about cops instead of recess.

Counting Unwound, Sonic Youth, Jesus Lizard and Shellac among the illuminated statuettes in their shrine, CSSS is one of many head-turning examples of the city’s thriving postpunk/punk/teacherpunk scene that includes Super Thief, Borzoi, Xetas, New China, US Weekly and Leche –all of whom are capable of stealing the show on a home bill or away, jamming econo.

Fronted by Steve Pike and propelled by a rhythm section that is as much a surface-to-air anvil as it is percussion and bass, the songs balance caustic with purposefully chaotic. Guitar hooks dwell underneath the fury, punctuated by a hybrid of singing and calling you on your shit.

Following a 2015 that saw the band hit their first SXSW, CSSS are developing a modest following, commanding the attention of promoters, up-staging headliners Metz at Red7 last year while giving local big kahunas a run for their money.

“American Sharks is fucked,” a guitar player in a bigtime Austin band remarked to me after CSSS finished their set at a January Mohawk show.

American Sharks are a great local band, but the look on his face and the message was clear: “how the hell is anyone supposed to follow that?”

The band is set to release their debut album in May. You can get a little taste on their BandCamp page.



Uncle Doug and Aunt Karla’s Chili Dog Fest 7, 10:15 p.m.  

More SXSW Six Pack 2016 

SXSW Six Pack 2015 

SXSW Six Pack 2014 

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