SXSW Encore: Blitzen Trapper sends new music to the masses
A Portland band started by Eric Early and Marty Marquis in 2000, Blitzen Trapper came to SXSW, played an amazing 11 shows and still had time to stop by the Wheeler Brothers house to relax and play a tune for the UTOPiA sessions. The highlight had to be a set played at Stubbs where they were joined by members of Big Star and R.E.M. on stage.
Generally described as folk rock or alt-country, the five member combo manages to conjure comparisons to Joe Walsh and Neil Young. The group has released six full length albums and continues to grow fans as a mad touring band. Eric Early, Marty Marquis, Brian Adrian Koch, Erik Menteer and Michael VanPelt are Blitzen Trapper. Here they perform "Fletcher" off of their latest album American Goldwing.
The UTOPiA Sessions served as an oasis on the edge of SXSW craziness, providing top-quality bands we love with an opportunity to play in a welcoming and relaxing environment."The UTOPiA Sessions put bands in a state of euphoria," says Aaron Brown, director of Onion Creek Productions. "First we get them set up, then they get into the massage chairs and style salon. A few beard trims and bloody mary's later, we head into the very 'Wes Anderson' looking billiards' room. Each band plays a couple of songs, the Onion Creek boys film, Craig Lawrence records sound and we get a finished video about twelve hours later."
"Fletcher" by Blitzen Trapper
The UTOPiA Sessions is a co-production between Onion Creek Productions, UTOPiAfest, and Wheeler Brothers.
Onion Creek Productions is brothers Aaron and Jamie Brown, and Rob Seidel. We've been busy producing videos for several bands including Grupo Fantasma, Wheeler Brothers and Blitzen Trapper. Since we already were in the business of creating high-quality live and scripted live music videos, we had the opportunity to partner with Travis Sutherland, founder of UTOPiAfest.
Pat Cassidy is the Wheeler Brothers' manager and is the other producer of UTOPiA Sessions.
UTOPiAfest is an intimate campout festival in the most beautiful west Texas hill country — Utopia, TX. During the weekend of Sept. 28-30, over 20 top bands from around the world descend into the hills and end up in a secluded valley with vista's stretching for miles. There a lucky 1,800 people (capped audience) will enjoy a BYOB, free parking, free camping festival like none other. It's a magical location that has been the spot for many unreal music moments. UTOPiAfest last year featured bands such as Blitzen Trapper, Dawes, Keller Williams, Wheeler Brothers, Black & White Years, Grupo Fantasma, and Art vs. Science.