SXSW is like a full blow band infestation. There is so much to see that it will drive those indecisive people literally crazy. You will see them stumbling around and mumbling to themselves by Sunday night.
Here are some AP picks (official showcases) for today: (courtesy of the SXSW official site. just click on the links for venue and show time)
Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers: Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers are a folk-rock-soul sextet of pan-Scottish provenance. Singer and guitarist Ali Downer assumed the moniker 'Woodenbox' , in a nod to influences such as King Creosote and ‘Bonnie’ Prince Billy and the addition of The Fistful of Fivers reflects a collective appreciation of Ennio Morricone’s scores for the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone.
UME: Formed in Houston in 2006, Ume have earned their stripes the old fashioned way, hitting the road and tearing down clubs with one incendiary concert after another. The three-piece throws themselves into every performance, whether playing a basement party or a festival and have earned a reputation for unleashing behemoth live shows. Rock icon Joan Jett, Gang Of Four’s Dave Allen and Of Montreal’s Bryan Poole all became championing fans and believers after witnessing the band’s sonic conflagration onstage. “Lauren is an enigmatic guitarist; all flailing hair, swinging arms, and wild movements,” Brooklyn Vegan proclaimed, adding: “If this band didn't have such catchy songs, you'd probably be content just watching.”
Tearist: (from wiki) Tearist is an American experimental electronic music and performance duo from Los Angeles consisting of Yasmine Kittles (vocals / percussion) and William Stangeland Menchaca (synthesizers / programming). Their self-titled debut album sold out within months and their live followup record, Living: 2009-Present, received mixed reviews due to the lo-fi quality of the recording. They were described as a "gothy electro-noise duo" by the Los Angeles Times music blog; and in a cover story on the band, the LA Weekly wrote, "Tearist could very well be the most crucial musical project to come out of Los Angeles in recent years."
Sharon Van Etten: A few things need to be made clear about SVE’s music. She’s not the type of “female singer/songwriter” who champions women-centric perspectives and denies personal accountability. Nor is she a strident provocateur. Rather, Van Etten is a performer who fully embraces her femininity while confidently expressing it through intelligent and mature perspectives on relationships. Those turned off by the provincialism of other performers will be pleased that you can identify with Van Etten’s incisive and universal observations about love and loss.
Screaming Females: Screaming Females' seven years as a band, four full-length albums and 700 globe-spanning live shows has made them difficult to miss. Through it all, the New Brunswick, New Jersey trio have continued to exude a frenetic energy which is built upon the zeitgeist of America's punk and indie underground yet has always remained forward-looking.
Robert DeLong: "Robert DeLong seems like one of those kids beamed here from a future world where all threads of music have been stitched together into some kind of vibrant cloth. His hybrid of electronica samples from pop, folk, house, dubstep and glitch... " -Kevin Bronson Buzzbands.la
Races: RACES exists as a result of artistic rebirth and personal rediscovery, but it all starts at a point in Wade Ryff’s life where motivation was at its most scarce. Disillusioned with music, beset with the bitter ending of a relationship with a real life witch and faced with the overwhelming stagnation of being a 23-year old in the sleepy suburban outpost of Van Nuys, during that time, Ryff wrote the pleading lyrics of “Big Broom” in the bathroom of his parents house. He explains the song’s message as “accepting that every ending is a new beginning, and even if we may have no control over when things are given or taken from us, we can always choose how to respond.”
Miracles of Modern Science: If you see Miracles of Modern Science loading their classical instruments into a New York rock club and mistake them for another band’s string section, they don’t mind. It makes for a bigger surprise when you hear what they can do with just mandolin, violin, cello, upright bass, and drums. Miracles of Modern Science push the limits of these antique instruments, reaching heights and depths unexplored by guitars.
Girl in a Coma: San Antonio’s Girl In A Coma have left a permanent tattoo on the hearts of music lovers with their piercing songs and nuclear performances. They’ve blazed a singular trail since Nina Diaz joined the band at age 13 and have found champions and comrades along the way including Joan Jett who signed them, Morrissey, Sia, Tegan and Sara, The Pogues and Amanda Palmer who have hand selected them for tours. In addition, Robert Rodriguez asked them to compose one of the key songs for his film Machete last year. All the while, they have been building one of the most impassioned and diverse fan bases in music. Girl in a Coma are that rare feral band, unaffected by trends, that has managed to stay wild and thrill us at every turn.
Emperor X: Emperor X is a pop/noise/folk music project headed by American songwriter and sound artist C. R. Matheny. A former high school science teacher, he dropped out of a graduate physics program in 2004 to focus on music. Over the next eight years, he released a string of critically-acclaimed lo-fi speed folk and grabbed the attention of writers at NPR, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Said the Gramophone, and dozens of other music blogs. Reviewers compared Matheny's tracks to The Microphones, Black Dice, and early Modest Mouse. Salon.com ranked his Bar/None Records release _Western Teleport_ among the most overlooked albums of 2011 and termed his music "wonderfully bizarre...[and] triumphant in its deep empathy and humanity."
Allah-Las: Greil Marcus liked to refer back to “The Old, Weird America” when discussing a certain famous set of recordings that emanated from a Woodstock cabin basement. ALLAH-LAS sound like the Old, Weird Los Angeles: Strains of true surfing music, American harmonies, Sunset Strip backbeat, desert ramble filtered through Goldstar Sessioneers; That pre-fuzz pedal ‘electrified folk’ music and pop groups hitting that California sound with the tambourine on just the right beat. When you hear it, you see things — Venice’s arches lit at night with the ocean in the distance; mid-century hamburger stands and slow-moving main drags in residential nights; Teen-age revues at 400 person ballrooms; Ferus Gallery beatniks; bungalows in canyons; hidden deco stairsteps peeking from leafy hillsides; kustom kars and dovetails and chicks in OP shorts with long, long hair. Like a Dennis Hopper photo come to life. You look at their well worn Fender guitars, their real surfer tans, their dusty suede boots - and you see it’s a sound natural to them; This isn’t an act. - Nick Waterhouse (PRES records)
Feeding People: Beyond the real deal is the unreal deal, and therein lies Feeding People, a band of teenagers making some of the heaviest psychedelic around decades after the 13th Floor Elevators declared their hallucinatory sense of purpose. Feeding People founders Jessie Jones and Nic Rachman met at an Evangelical Church in Anaheim when they were just thirteen years old: the first songs they ever played together were in praise of Jesus in the Sunday School band. Six years later, they were plucked from the Orange County coffee house scene by Burger Records, home to the OC’s most talented young punks.
ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra): ALO, or Animal Liberation Orchestra, formed in the late 1990s while the band members were students at UC Santa Barbara, and has been touring and releasing albums steadily with this lineup since 2002. There’s a universal reach to California’s ALO, whose warmly inviting, delightfully malleable music stretches out an open hand to give you a twirl and put some swing in your step. Feeling really good is an intrinsic aspect of ALO, something abundantly clear in concert halls, where the band lights up audiences from the inside and artfully captured in the studio. Little bit of funk, a little bit of pop, a lot of energy and a big dollop of dance-worthy music - that's the recipe that's brought ALO a fan base far and wide.
Fiona Apple: (no description needed)
Joy Kills Sorrow: Joy Kills Sorrow brings together an eclectic mix of musicians who each have classical and/or jazz conservatory training, though collectively, they ambitiously utilize their years of study to hone a new acoustic territory yet discovered by many of today’s top artists. It’s an amalgamation of lamenting music of the heartland, singular stories of heartache and laughter, beautiful string arrangements, and five musicians who grew up listening to indie-rock, jazz, and pop music that churn out impressive tunes with an incredibly contemporary sensibility.
If you find these acts tame- head on over to the Get Bent Showcase at Spiderhouse: (click on pic to follow link)
AND Burger Records "BURGERSTOCK" AT TRAILER SPACE RECORDS