Watch The Rural Alberta Advantage perform fireside

The Rural Alberta Advantage
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Covering bands at SXSW is a bit like stepping inside a "money machine" game. While I feel giddy over the opportunity to see what feels like a million bands in one week, I’m also plagued with a sinking feeling that I will never be able to see even a fraction of the good ones.

It’s easy to hear 50 bands playing during a single stroll down the venue-packed Sixth Street at night. The sound from each stage fades into the next without a single silent moment in between. And while the thought of all of the missed potential-genius could get me down, there are also the moments when I feel as though I’ve caught a c-note. This year, the band I was happiest to watch was The Rural Alberta Advantage.  And what’s more, I got to see them beside a fireplace.
After hearing the trio's 2008 release, Hometowns, I hoped to experience The RAA live while at Austin, and maybe even record a song or two for Paste's A/V blog. When I called the band to see if we could set a time to meet, they suggested we come to the house where they were staying just outside of Austin and record an acoustic song or two. If the offer of an in-house acoustic performance weren’t exciting enough, the chance to step away from the insanity that is the streets of Austin, even just for a few minutes, seemed like a wonderful idea. So Gregg, my fearless A/V intern, and I hopped a cab and headed for the house. 

When we arrived, the three members of the band—Amy Cole, Nils Edenloff, and Paul Banwatt—were in the middle of deliberating what toppings to order on their pizza. After a short discussion, decisions were made, and the trio arranged themselves by the fireplace to begin their mini-set. And after only a few minutes of playing, the band was interrupted by the world’s fastest pizza-delivery guy. I answered the door while the band finished the song, but what I didn’t expect was that our pizza-delivery man would also be impressed with The RAA (and willing to talk about it, no less). But rather than go on any further, I urge you to watch the video, enjoy the music, and next time someone delivers pizza to your house, ask them what's on their mind.

Related links:
SXSW 2009 on
The Rural Alberta Advantage on MySpace

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