When most people think of SXSW, they think of it as a showcases for up-and-coming bands – groups of youngsters who barely have recorded more than a demo and or first album, looking to “wow” the industry for a week and come away with a record deal. Steve Wynn is definitely not that. Steve Wynn has recorded over 20 albums and was ripping indie garage rock before many of those attending SXSW were born. Wynn came of age during the punk explosion of the late 70s and rose to prominence with The Dream Syndicate in the early 80s. After the Dream Syndicate disbanded in 1988, he recorded and toured as a solo performer until forming the Miracle 3 in 2001. 2010’s release Northern Aggression is his third album with the Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3, and the title refers to the toughened New York demeanor he brought south of the Mason Dixon line to Richmond, Virginia, where the album was recorded. Wynn’s chops as a songwriter are evident throughout the record, and it’s easy to see how he was able to make it as a solo performer for so long, and playing with The Miracle 3 results in a sound that is reminiscent of fellow New Yorkers Sonic Youth. Listen for yourself: “Resolution” was a KEXP Song of the Day last month.
As the first band today during our SXSW broadcast from Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, Steve and the band could be excused for taking it easy — but that was definitely not the case! Guitarist Jason Victor was like a man possessed as he flailed and wailed, while drummer Linda Pitmon and bassist Dave DeCastro proved a punishing rhythm section. Northern Aggression indeed. Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 are American rock at its finest, and these photos show it: