March 12, 2013 by Steph
I’m not going to SXSW (le sad…) but I do want to listen to the best and the brightest of the festival. Usually it isn’t until after the Austin Madness that we can see clearly who makes the cut, but Time Magazine submitted their list of the 9 Must-Sees. I wanted to listen. Maybe you do too. Here’s a playlist:
Which other bands are must-sees at SXSW?
Tell me and I’ll make a playlist of your recommendations.
Category Tracks | Tags: sxsw | Comments Off on SXSW Bands to See (According to Time Magazine)
June 30, 2011 by Steph
A few weeks ago I had a pleasantly surprised to find an amazing band playing at Redwood when just grabbing a drink with a friend. As I saw them assembling their gear, I became more and more curious of the mystery band. A whole stage full of instruments that could belong to 10 bluegrass band players, Seryn finally took the stage. Their dynamics were amazing, building a complete soundcape with every instrument and vocal part intertwining intricately. It’s as if Freelance Whales decided to make a Mumford and Sons record with Greg Laswell as the front man (and it could not have been a better combination). I was so in awe of them live that I was completely fixated and harassed them the next day for a copy of their recent record This Is Where We Are. Although the record isn’t as visceral and tangible as their live show, both are supreme. I decided to ask Nathan and Chelsea of the Denton band a few questions…
Listen to “We Will All Be Changed” by Seryn:
S: So first off, I saw your guys’ set at Redwoods in Los Angeles and your live show is pretty spectacular and dynamic. Was a great introduction to the band. Had you played Los Angeles before?
Nathan: Thanks so much! Glad you made it out. We have never played in LA before, so it was a great first night there.
S: Did you get to do anything exciting while you were in town? Do any sightseeing?
Nathan: We spent a few hours down in Huntington Beach. We don’t really have Pacific Oceans in Texas, so it was a must.
S: You guys have been touring almost non-stop all year, including a highly-praised stint at SXSW in Austin. Is it taxing to be on the road so much or do you love it? And what have been some of the highlights? (more…)
Category Interviews, Live | Tags: Botony,indie folk,Seryn,sxsw,Texas | Comments Off on Interview with Seryn of Denton, TX
April 11, 2011 by Steph
Finally, I’m done with my SXSW features! yes, almost a month later. Don’t judge. Last of my favorite acts from SXSW is Sea of Bees. Sea of Bees is Julie “Jules” Baenziger (plus about 3 other performers for the live show). Her unique soprano vocals are in sharp contrast to her tomboyish looks. The songs were booming and haunting, with tracks like “Marmelade” and “Gnomes” as the stand-outs. Although a strange comparison, each sounds like it would work well as part of the soundtrack to a Western: untamed and heavy, spurs and all.
Jules commanded the stage with complete ease and her accompanying musicians were nothing to shake a stick at–the harmonies with the other girl musician were compelling. High praises have been sung for Sea of Bees’s Songs for the Ravens and it’s no wonder why.
…Oh yeah, did I mention that Bob Boilen from NPR was at this show?
MP3 of Marmalade
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April 5, 2011 by Steph
This guy won’t get you clean and he hails from the un-noteworthy land of Chadsworth, CA. Besides the fact that Baths was the only electronic act I caught at SXSW, he definitely caught my attention. Having heard his music played the week prior to SXSW by a DJ friend, when I noticed that he was playing so close I had to make it over. The bar was jam-packed with people standing on tables and each rhythmically connected to the music. Each note drags heavily into the next, but not in a tired way. Like running in water–pulling forward despite resistance. Baths doesn’t just beg you to move; it requires it. It’s no wonder why he’s already made it on Pitchfork, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, and the front page of The Deli LA this month.
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March 21, 2011 by Steph
I was able to catch these guys (and girl) at Maggie Mae’s on Friday at SXSW. They make some amazing folk-infused indie power pop will full vocal harmonies and charming lyrics, mostly about their homeland of Vancouver, Canada. Besides the fact that they rocked the stage, Said the Whale is so freaking nice. I <3 Canadians. While Tyler has the charming good looks of the band and a sweet tenor vocals featured as frontman on the majority of the tracks, it’s Ben’s sweet timbre that I enjoy the most on tracks like “B.C. Orienteering.” I can’t forget Jaycelyn, who rounds out the harmonies on songs like “Dear Elkhorn.” SO great live. Right now they’re touring on their sophomore album Islands Disappear but will be putting out a full length soon and while they’ve yet to receive the recognition south of the border as they have in Canada, I’m confident they will on their next release.
They’ll be playing a free show at 3 Clubs in Hollywood on Wednesday. See you there?
MP3 B.C. Orienteering
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March 20, 2011 by Steph
I’ve been a fan of The Jezabels for a while, but this Sydney band has never made it to LA before. So when I found out they’d be playing at SXSW, I knew I had to see them. Total, I managed to catch 3.2 of their 6 sets. My favorite was one put on by KVRX at Cheer Up Charlie’s, which was totally outside of SXSW on the east side of sixth street and full of college kids partying at their favorite local bar. Although vocalist Hayley Mary battled some feedback from the mic, the set was amazing. Hayley moved to the music in a completely organic way, singing songs like “The Man is Dead,” “Hurt Me” and the single from their most recent EP “Dark Storm.” Each song seems epic and profound; The Jezabels’ moody pop is hypnotizing.
Oh, yeah! They’re playing at The Satellite tomorrow (and Hotel Cafe on Wednesday) and I’ll be at the former. Besides The Jezabels as a draw, Damien Jurado will be headlining. Definitely a show not to miss!
MP3 “Mace Spray”
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March 20, 2011 by Steph
I’ll be featuring several bands that stood out from SXSW this past week. First up is an amazing seven-piece band called Rah Rah. I caught them at the Canada House as these kids are from Regina, Saskatchewan. One of my favorite tracks from them is about their hometown, which must be a new one because I can’t seem to find it online, but the lyrics rang something to the effect of “it’s okay to be single in a city, but not in a small town.” Their line-up was revolving, starting with a kick-ass girl drummer, who later moved to keys and vocals (whose vocals were mature and strong). Their sound is an orchestral indie rock, with the basics adding in violin, keys, and accordion on occasion. They ended their set with a blast of confetti, as if their set wasn’t fun enough already.
Basically, Rah Rah rocked live, kept it interesting and fun, and made me want more. This indie pop band will surely be gracing The States with more of their presence soon.
Category Features, Tracks | Tags: rah rah,sxsw | 2 Comments