Thursday, March 15, 2012
Titus, Ettes, Elle King, Imagine Dragons, Stepdad, Hey Chica, The Growlers, Ringo Deathstarr and MORE- SXSW today
Some SXSW AP PICKS
courtesy of the official SXSW site: (excerpts from the Official SXSW site and American Pancake)
The Growlers: The growlers are a rock and pop group formed in long beach California in 2006 who are yet to became one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music. During their years of stardom yet to come, the band consists of Brooks Nielsen (vocals) Scott Montoya(drums), Matt Taylor(lead guitar, vocals) and Kyle Straka (keyboards, guitars.) They were managed by their own alter ego Epstein until his death in 2009. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1960s rock and roll and skiffle, the group works with different musical genres, ranging from ice flossing hip hop to psychedelic rock.
Ringo Deathstarr: Makin hits since 2007, Ringo Deathstarr is a Trio composed of Elliott Frazier, Alex Gehring, and Daniel Coborn. Screaming quietly out of Austin Texas, this gang has just finished a year of album releases and world touring taking them to europe and japan 3 times as well as a jaunt with The Smashing Pumpkins! 2012 may not really be the end of the world but Ringo Deathstarr will act like it is!
La Sera : La Sera’s Sees The Light follows 2011’s masterful self-titled debut with ten new tracks of peppy break-up pop brimming with defiance and bitter sweetness. On album opener “Love That’s Gone,” the vocals and drumbeat linger for seconds, swaying in the wind while the guitar cuts through, charming you, pulling you by your shirt and telling you that it is time to move on. This is a break-up album for the best kinds of break-ups. There's a lightness of touch, too, that surround the harmonies throughout and makes one yearn for the days of Donna Lynn, Julie Ruin and The Shirelles. But before you can settle into your seat, La Sera delivers a one-two punch - a rip of rolling snare and sending you speeding off in a fast car. Seize the light.
We Are Augustines : Drawn together by a continuing musical vision and mutual understanding, Billy McCarthy and Eric Sanderson, were also, on a more personal level, no strangers to turbulent waters. McCarthy in particular, whose volatile upbringing is candidly documented in the lyrics of his songs, has felt himself frequently capsized by the vagaries of life. Having spent much of his formative years in foster care a sense of self-reliance is perhaps more finely attuned in him than most. McCarthy’s enthusiasm for his current situation is addictive yet his affable characteristics also betray a certain gravitas. Like a child who’s been told one too many lies, there’s a sense of restraint – like the very fabric in front of him could vanish in a puff of dissolution at any time. He says the word ‘present’ a lot – though not the gift-wrapped kind – like a man holding on to the NOW with white-knuckle determination. He is also given to shaking his head, with cartoonishly grim disbelief, especially when hitting upon something fortuitous. Through all the upheaval and broken promises that have come, Billy McCarthy is a man who takes nothing for granted.
Ximena Sarinana: An early discovery of jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald ignited her love of music, and at age 15 she began studying at Mexico’s Academia de Musica Fermatta. At 17, she honed her vocal skills during a five-week program at Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music and then began fronting a jazz-funk fusion band called Feliz No Cumpleaños (Happy Un-Birthday), which “made a bit of noise in the underground,” as she puts it. She also brought together her loves of film and music on occasion, co-writing and singing three songs on the Amar Te Duele soundtrack (which stayed on the Top 10 Soundtracks list in Mexico for 10 years) and acting as music supervisor for several films.
Hey Chica: Hey Chica! is a band from Guadalajara, Mexico. They have been playing 3 years being four members and now they're a five piece band. In 2007 they released an EP "Do you really believe?" in which their songs presented more drum machines and lyrics in english. After several years of hard work, they released in 2011 "Lo que nadie ve"(What no one sees). In their first LP, they take the long road on composing lyrics in Spanish and involving different instruments in their songs. Tracks like "Feels like Sunday" and "Hasta el final" pretty much describes the whole album sound
Stepdad: Stepdad (Ultramark, Ryan McCarthy, Alex Fives, and Jeremy Malvin) will be creating their neon dreamscapes at SXSW. Their 2010 EP, Ordinaire with it's Nintendo meets 80's romance was deservedly well received. Songs like Jungles and Wolf Slaying as a Hobby feel like technicolor melodramas for cartoons yet to be rendered. My Leather, My Fur, My Nails is instantly infectious. The bendy synth lines and pumping beat definitely hit the 80's new wave feel dead on but the vocal melody and evocatively askew lyrics are what raise this song into pure pop electronica perfection.
The Jesus and Mary Chain: Like the Velvet Underground, their most obvious influence, the chart success of the Jesus and Mary Chain was virtually nonexistent, but their artistic impact was incalculable; quite simply, the British group made the world safe for white noise, orchestrating a sound dense in squalling feedback which served as an inspiration to everyone from My Bloody Valentine to Dinosaur Jr. Though the supporting players drifted in and out of focus, the heart of the Mary Chain remained vocalists and guitarists William and Jim Reid, Scottish-born brothers heavily influenced not only by underground legends like the Velvets and the Stooges but also by the sonic grandeur and pop savvy of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. In the Jesus and Mary Chain, which the Reids formed outside of Glasgow in 1984 with bassist Douglas Hart and drummer Murray Dalglish (quickly replaced by Bobby Gillespie), these two polarized aesthetics converged; equal parts bubblegum and formless guitar distortion, their sound both celebrated pop conventions and thoroughly subverted them.
The Ettes: Nashville has been the home of The Ettes for nearly three years now. The band started in L.A., when pals Coco and Poni were working a retail gig and decided to form a band. Inspired by the girl gang at the centre of the 1975 film, The Switchblade Sisters, they created a sound that mirrored the films' stars: sexy and tough as nails. New Jersey native Jem Cohen joined on bass and the group spent time in New York, LA and London before finding a home in Nashvegas.
Said The Whale: In the five years since Said The Whale formed, the band's hook-heavy, pop-rock sound has propelled them to successes that include a nationally televised documentary, a JUNO Award victory, and a seemingly endless series of tours around the globe. In an age of overnight internet sensations, theirs is a true grassroots success story.
With the new wave-tinged single "Heavy Ceiling" already making its mark on the Canadian rock/alternative charts and videos for all 15 album tracks to exclusively debut online, Little Mountain is shaping up to be one of the landmark indie rock albums of 2012. And if the last five years have taught us anything, it's that Said The Whale will continue to win over audiences the old fashioned way: with relentless touring, killer songs, and big-hearted passion.
Elle King: Elle King sounds like Billie Holiday having a shot of whiskey with Johnny Cash. She loves banjos and hobos. Born in Ohio and raised in Brooklyn, Elle retains her roots in a style that blends those worlds of both grit and mid-western charm. She ties her old soul, blues, and rock 'n' roll influences into a sound that’s all her own. She’s far from a bully but she ain’t a punk. To hear her is to believe her.
Imagine Dragons: Honing the restless energy of the city that never sleeps, Imagine Dragons’ sound is both anthemic and eccentric. By way of Vegas, the quintet's first release on Interscope/KidInAKorner Records will drop in February of 2012. Produced by grammy-winner Alex da Kid, the EP will be the band's most important statement to date. A short, yet impressive touring history includes sharing the stage with indie notables Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Neon Trees and The Temper Trap, opening for mainstream acts such as Weezer, Interpol and Blue October, and showcasing at the Bite of Vegas, Sunset Strip Music Festival, Bergenfest, and a host of other festivals.
Titus Andronicus: Titus Andronicus sometimes disagree on what is the right thing to do. Titus Andronicus like to scream and carry on at excessive volume. Titus Andronicus like songs which are fast more than songs which are slow. Titus Andronicus think slow songs are okay sometimes. Titus Andronicus never sing about love, only hate. Titus Andronicus have no hope for the future. Titus Andronicus believe only in nothingness. Everyone in Titus Andronicus was born to die. Titus Andronicus crave your approval but will settle for your utter disdain.
Yawn: ribal tunes built upon yelps, nature sounds, and clattering rhythms, Chicago’s psych quartet YAWN have garnered almost unanimous comparisons to Animal Collective and Yeasayer." - Stereogum
"With a bit of a tribal vibe, a simple, repetitive beat and a soft round of vocals, we just can't get enough of this song [Kind Of Guy]." - NME
"clattering polyrhythms, sing-along harmonies, spare electronics, and some African guitar trills that place the band squarely along the latter-day AnCo/Yeasayer axis." -Pitchfork
Sundress: Sundress started to carve out their spot in the music world by receiving copious amounts of attention from the media and recognition as ‘Best New Act’ out of North Texas. Since their inception the band has played almost every major festival in Texas, supporting some of the most important new artists and even received a nod from The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne.
Their brand of ethereal dream-pop marries many different influences ranging from Pink Floyd and The Beatles but with the modern flavor of Slowdive and Sparklehorse.
Neon Indian: Neon Indian is the brainchild of Alan Palomo, who's 2009 debut record Psychic Chasms not only earned the 20 year-old a spot on numerous year-end lists, but assisted the forming of a genre that, though known by a few names now (hypnagogic pop, glo-fi, chillwave), summoned a very unique and specific electro-mangled sound. Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and SPIN all praised Palomo for his adventurous new sound, and he was tapped to perform at top festivals like South by Southwest, Bonnaroo, and Sasquatch and also scored opening slots for bands ranging from Massive Attack and The Flaming Lips to Phoenix and Chromeo.
DZ Deathrays: DZ DEATHRAYS are an Australian indie/thrash/punk 2-piece that have been creating a stir on the international scene. They graced the stage of SXSW in 2011 and are returning with a bucket load of accolades. They were recently placed at #4 in NME’s Top 20 Most Exciting Bands of 2012, after securing spots in the Top 10 Bands of The Great Escape 2011 (UK) from both NME and Q Magazine. Zane Lowe of BBC1 gave them ‘Next Hype’ and their new single ‘No Sleep’ received a world premier on the station with Huw Stephens. The single is the first off their forthcoming album, due for release mid-2012. It will also be available on an EP due for release on March 6th through 3QTR (USA) and Dine Alone (Can). They’ve toured the UK with Cerebral Ballzy and on the NME Radar tour with Wolfgang, as well as touring Australia with Foo Fighters, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Crystal Castles to name a few.
Hanni El Khatib: Hanni plays his own brand of striped down 50's influenced dirty blues rock with dashes of rockabilly and soul. "Loved One" full of testosterone and one two many beers feels like a car gunning it's engines before a street race. "You Rascal You" - with it's chunky over modulated sound and piercing lead jabs is slicked back and tattooed up and cruising for a bruising and "Dead Wrong" is a dancy doo wop skirt twister. Dirty guitar, sultry sandpaper vocals- awesome. - Adler Bloom
Nick Waterhouse: He's a tightly wound, meticulous rock & roll scholar who commands up to a dozen musicians onstage beside him with the authority of a seasoned bandleader. Innovative Leisure co-founder Jamie Strong remembers the exact second he knew he'd sign Waterhouse. "When you see an artist live, that's when you can tell whether or not they have it," he says. "Nick nailed it from the first note. No one knew who he was but everyone was so into it, dancing and just having fun. It was the real deal." - La Weekly-
Kat Edmonson: Kat Edmonson will self release her sophomore album Way Down Low on Spinnerette Records April 10. The native Texan makes not only her songwriting debut on the record but also co-produces the album. The album was recorded at the historic Avatar Studio and Capitol Studios with Grammy-winning producer/engineer Al Schmitt (Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke) and producer/bassist Danton Boller. The sessions also included input from producer Phil Ramone (Paul Simon “Still Crazy After All These Years,” Billy Joel “The Stranger”).