When you enter a venue and the audience are sitting on the floor waiting for their idol to come on stage, it's a pretty safe bet to say you haven't found yourself at a Metallica gig.
Ulrich Schnauss, however? If the shoegaze fits.
Schnauss was in town to play songs from his three albums Goodbye, A Strangely Isolated Place and Faraway Trains Passing By, as well as showcasing songs from his forthcoming album.
As he takes to the stage the crowd get off their feet, and Schnauss begins his set using ableton, a midi keyboard and a whole host of controllers, buttons and pedals.
He seemlessly blends reverb, White noise, drumbeats and squelchy synths into beautiful evocative soundscapes.
There is one Metallica moment in the set though, when a fight breaks out - it seems the line between being enthusiastic and being disrespectful is one blurred by noise.
Ulrich is joined on stage by Rob McVey from Longview for the sublime Shine, his vocals float above the soundscapes, he stays on stage to add noise through the rest of Schnauss' set.
Watching Ulrich is fascinating in itself; yes, he's just a guy with a laptop and some pedals but he is passionate about his music and creating sets that are gripping and urgent, and never quite the same as the last.
His passion is evident when a member of the SXSW staff flash lights in his eyes to signal that his time is up, but Ulrich is not the kind of artist to cut a well planned set short.
* What should Mark see tomorrow? Comment below or tweet @marksando
Patrick Wolf (that's him lounging about on the left) has been working with Alec Empire, which sounds like an inspired collaboration to us. Vulture, from his forthcoming album The Bachelor, is the result.
The video (below) heads into S&M territory (and why not?) and precedes the single's release on 20th April, with the album following along in June.
If you fancy investing in the album through Bandstocks, you have at the time of writing 34 days left to do so. More details here.
In Austin, Texas, is Mark Sando. He'll be checking in with occasional blogs during SXSW this week. At the moment I've no idea why the post says it's from me, as I'm not there and didn't write it. Technolobugglz. Michael
The Golden Filter first appeared in July 2008 under a cloak of
mystery. "We are super new and somewhat secretive" they said, causing
a flurry of excitement amongst blog readers who speculated that the
band was a vehicle for the side project of someone quite well known. Guesses ranged from her Madge through to Kylie, Blondie - and even
Little Boots gets a mention.
Some months on, and as The Golden Filter take to the day stage in
Austin's convention centre the enigma remains. The band's lead singer
is dressed in purple and gold, her fringe so long that you cannot see
her face - you wouldn't blame her for avoiding the gaze of her audience
- the setting is grey and corporate, filled with tables, chairs and
old men taking photographs.
Nonetheless, The Golden Filter begins to whirr and break into their
first track Favourite Things, owed to everything the band love in
life - vodka, whiskey, pretty dresses, New York, London and Paris
(well, who doesn't love all these things, really?).
The vocals are like that of a drunk and etheral sacharine coated
madonna and the energetic singer struggles to be heard above the
pounding drums and synth stabs of their moog prodigy.
Song two is a more dream like affair pairing whispered vocals with
understated keyboards and chimes.
The third and final track in their short set is Solid Gold or 'the
single' (literally, the single). It's a synth drenched ditty that
invites you to bask in the sunshine with the beautiful people.
The Golden Filter are also keen remixers and remixes of Peter Bjorn
and John, Little Boots, Cut Copy and Empire Of The Sun - maybe this gives you a good
idea of where their sound lies.
Keep an eye out for them in 2009, and let's hope the mystery is revealed.