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SXSW Music 2007: Thursday Recap SXSW Music 2007: Thursday Recap

SXSW 2007 Coverage

Dark Meat @ Flamingo Cantinas

After a late night at the Purevolume party, Mark and I dragged ourselves out of bed just before noon to make it down to Flamingo Cantina's for Team Clermont's party with much anticipated free shoes. As we were waiting in line, a rag-tag marching band stomped by before we could get a good photo (hey I said it was a late night). When we got inside, they had already ran out of shoes but we ended up catching the entire performance of that rag-tag marching band we found out to be the Athens super-group Dark Meat. Half rock, half party (in the good way, not the Andrew WK way) this group of 15(!) members knew how to get and keep the attention of a room full of schwag-hunters with dueling drummers, violin, sax, trumpet, guitars and dancer/back-up singers. So good, we went to see them again on Saturday night. It wasn't as good as the first time (probably because it was so unexpectedly awesome) but still excellent.
Photo by Alexadan

Kaki King @ Convention Center
sxsw-kaki-king.jpg
I have seen her before, so this was expectedly awesome. Unexpectedly after only 20 minutes of playing, a string broke and she improvised an amazing bit before leaving the stage (most musicians would've just walked off I think).
Photo by Sarah Monroe

Les Savy Fav @ CMJ Party

The last time I saw LSF was at the MoMA in NYC and was one of the craziest shows I've ever seen. I can't help but feel that it is God's ultimate desire for Tim Harrington to be a leader of a rock band. It would be a crime against humanity if he got stuck with any other profession. Back to SXSW, this show was the best yet. Antics included spitting water back and forth in fans mouths, giving birth to a pillow, and hanging, backwards, over the 2nd floor of the venue while singing upside down as I held one of his legs for dear life of killing one of my idols. There's not much more to say.

Continued after the jump...

My Hotel Year Reunion Show In May My Hotel Year Reunion Show In May

my-hotel-year.jpg

There were only really two local bands I really got into during college. Kitchens Of Soul** (who broke up in 2004) and My Hotel Year (who broke up in 2004 and are barely considered local because they are actually from Orlando).

Fortunately one of them has made me very happy. My Hotel Year is playing a reunion show at Club Firestone in Orlando on May 26th (Sunday). I'm excited! I've probably seen them half a dozen times during college (2001-2005). They were a punk-rock band who had catchy riffs and a lead singer that could scream his head off. I stumbled on them by accident during The Fest and was hooked. I know, doesn't sound that unique but just listen okay?

My Hotel Year - If Only I Spoke Russian

My Hotel Year - Breathing Patterns

** I ended up finding a Kitchens Of Soul CD @ Goodwill for $3 and it wasn't as good as I remembered.

Continued after the jump...

Music: RIYL:Thursday, Alkaline Trio, Against Me!

SJ Esau SJ Esau

SJ Esau has a new album coming out on Anticon soon called Wrong Faced Cat Feed Collapse. It's one guy who makes electropop reminiscient of Lymbyc System and Album Leaf.

The video for the track "The Wrong Order" sealed the deal for me:

The blog has been a bit slow because while yes I've been busy, I think the bar ended up being set too high for a blog entry. While I may not have an hour to sit and write a long detailed entry, that shouldn't stop me from sharing some really great stuff lately.

Check out his website for more free mp3s and an awesome colloboration track with Why?

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We both didn't get to SXSW We both didn't get to SXSW

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Forget bands with wintery-climate-and-primate-sounding names. I say one of the best bands from the Emerald Isle is The Frames.

I first saw these guys about three years ago in Beijing, when The Frames took part in some China-Ireland cultural exchange. The Frames was supposed to play last month at South By Southwest, but cancelled last-minute when singer Glen Hansard had to finish a movie soundtrack. Luckily the band starts its U.S. tour on April 6 in San Diego, ensuring the group's nice and fresh for the April 7 show in San Francisco. (Pathetic aside: Am I the only one in this town who thinks of MUSIC, not INTERNET, when hearing about SXSW?)

The band recently put out its latest worldwide release on Anti Records. It's an awful lot more quiet than the last album, 2004's Burn The Maps. Hopefully this review will make you wanna see them at the Filmore on April 7; you can also check them out at the Coachella music fest in the desert at the end of the month (if all goes well I should have some kind of interview with the band to preview the fesitval later on).

Because I've already seen/heard firsthand how great these guys are, I'm gonna do something different: write a review of the latest CD, The Cost, as I listen to it track by track. No post-editing other than to correct typos--I want y'all to read my primal reactions to the disc, which is probably the most honest way to present it. Before I begin, I just hope I can convey just how much of a cohesive force this band is. The violin is more like a second human vocal rather than a peripheral instrument. Ugh, hope the mention of "violin" doesn't make you think of some kind of stereotypical folk act. Really, these guys rawk freakin' harder than even some metal acts I've heard--even if the dynamics tend to travel to extremes within the same track. Live, they tend to launch into unconventional covers of the Willy Wonka movie tune "Imagination" and Annie song "Hard Knock Life." Well, here goes:

"Song For Someone": A pretty quiet way to start off a record, sure. But as is typical for these guys, the combo of emotional and instrumental crescendo comes pretty quickly.

"Falling Slowly": Very reminiscent of a track on singer Glen Hansard's solo album--a CD I've been wanting to review but which hit me at such an emotional level that I couldn't cheapen it by a critique. This track, though, gets the full-band treatment.

"People Get Ready": An outcry for people to quit being pussies and do what they know they should--though a pretty restrained one, despite the cool wall-of-sound technique that combines Sonic Youth with acoustic hippie sounds.

"Rise": It's around this track that I see the personal growth of the narrator in all Frames' music. When Burn The Maps came out, I was struck by the sense of profound regret. On this album, regret be damned--it's all about making things right no matter what the cost. Oh, and here's a great example of the violin making as emotional a plea as the vocals.

"When Your Mind's Made Up": A slow crescendo to a bunch of screaming guitars, which you never would've expected when the song first begins. Almost banshee-like cries--more so the instruments than the voice.

"Sad Songs": Kind of weird, psychedelic number--in the gothic organ-like keyboard and emotive violin more than some kind of faux LSD inspiration. But it turns pretty before you can think it strange.

"The Cost": Bluesey pre-Led Zepplin guitars open and sustain this title track, developing into a wail that perpetuates The Frames' ability to use instruments to convey emotion beyond the human voice.

"True": Like listening to all the voices in one's head when one is trying to figure out how to make things right. Only more rockin'.

"The Side You Never Get To See": Sad, yet also uplifting. Or vice-versa.

"Bad Bone": Quietly, these guys made me realize that I shouldn't hang onto the bitterness of most past personal relationships, lest my spirit die before it has a chance to flourish.

Gawd, I dunno if I did these guys justice. I suggest you find out for yourselves: The Frames play 8 p.m. Saturday, April 7 at the Filmore in San Francisco. If you see me, lemme know what ya think!

UPDATE: Fantastic gig. Really. Never felt like crying and laughing simultaneously at a show before. Those of you lucky enough to have Coachella tix (or to live in Europe where the lads play much more often) can bask in my jealousy :)

Music: RIYL:Troubador-style underground rock Rating:
Four stars/5 Stars

Tourfilter DJ Night @ Boston Tourfilter DJ Night @ Boston

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Tourfilter Chris is DJing tonight March 26 @ River Gods in Cambridge, Mass! It's a great idea that I've been wanting to do around Gainesville for some time, so I'm way jealous. If you love going to shows, tonight will be a great discovery and planning night for the weeks ahead.

Here's what Chris had to say:

I will be manning the decks this coming Monday night at River Gods in Cambridge for a special night dedicated to Tourfilter. It'll be kind of like a live version of the Tourfilter Mixtape! 100% songs by bands that have upcoming shows on tourfilter boston.

I've been listening to the mixtape non-stop and will bring you the best of what's there - rock, electronic, weird, jazz, whatev.

I'll be supplying a calendar handout in the bar so you can check off the shows you want to check out this spring. Come, listen, decide what to go see!

And bring friends - I'm hoping that if I get a big enough crowd the nice people at River Gods will ask me back!

When: Monday March 26, 9PM - 1AM
Where: River Gods (125 River St, Central Square, Cambridge, Mass)

SXSW Video: Plus/Minus SXSW Video: Plus/Minus

SXSW 2007 Coverage

Cory and Alicia caught Plus/Minus at the Merge Records Day Party last week and had this to say about the show: "great bands and maybe 30 people there. free beer...nice day."

Here's Plus/Minus performing their awesome song Fadeout:

View on Vimeo

SXSW Interactive: Music Recommendation Panel SXSW Interactive: Music Recommendation Panel

SXSW 2007 Coverage
Analog vs. digital

The Ultimate Music Recommendation Smackdown promised to be reminiscent of a ringside event.

Find out which service creates playlists worthy of a veteran DJ, and which service recommends tracks like an iPod set on shuffle as they battle it out in the ultimate playlist smackdown. Based on audience feedback, trophies will be awarded.

The four competitors took their corners.

But no punches were thrown. No trophies awarded. No playlists were even created. Moderator Colin Brumelle asked each panelist to introduce another represented service rather than their own. No one was ever completely satisfied with the resulting description; they always added a few forgotten features. There was an apparent disconnect between their self-perceptions and what others see them as.

And that was about as interesting as it got. The closest thing to an argument was a discussion of algorithmic analysis vs. human recommendations. It ended up being little more than an exercise in public relations for the companies involved. Invaluable for them, no doubt. But I'm not sure how much the audience walked away with. The ultimate letdown indeed.

Bonus Fun Facts:
1. The Decemberists' bass player, Nate Query, was a music analyst at Pandora.
2. Last.fm has facilitated marriages.
3. If you like any band, you may also like The Beatles and Radiohead. Surprise!

Photo by Anthony Kerr

SXSW Music 2007: Wednesday Recap SXSW Music 2007: Wednesday Recap

SXSW 2007 Coverage

In chronological order:
Apes & Androids @ Austinist Party

This theatrical Queen-esque band melted glitz and glam all over dance-rock. The incessent doop doops and wah wahs get a bit repetitive after awhile, but they did a good job at getting the crowd moving. Photo by Patrick Dentler

Architecture In Helsinki @ Austinist Party

I wonder if they down 6 energy drinks before they perform or if they really are just that much happier and energetic than the rest of us. I love how everyone shares and switches instruments. Absoutely infectious indie-pop. Photo by Austinist.com

Hot Club De Paris @ Fader
Hot Club De Paris
ROCK.

Continued after the jump...

SXSW Music 2007: Goodie Bag SXSW Music 2007: Goodie Bag

SXSW 2007 Coverage

Winner of best goodie in the bag goes to Navarre for their Hangover Survival Kit which includes mouthwash, asprin, and an instant coffee packaged into a cool container. I don't know how long they have been doing it but I know they did the same thing last year too. Most disappointingly nobody provided a slick, tiny foldable map with their logo on it. I got one last year from Sony Music and have been using it all this week. Check out the large version.

This year's SXSW Music Festival Goodie Bag:

1. Austin Chronicle SXSW Film Edition (Newspaper)
2. 2007 Australian Music Guide (Newspaper)
3. Exclaim! (Newspaper)
4. Public Enemy - New Whirl Odor (CD)
5. Canon Records 2007 (CD)
6. Ani Difranco Carnegie Hall 4/6/02 (CD)
7. 10 Spot Sampler (CD)
8. Clash Magazine SXSW UK Invasion (CD)
9. Underground Kingz Snippet Sampler (CD)
10. japan Nite Sound Sampler 2007 (CD)
11. Voodoo Doll (Literally)
12. Ryko Sampler (CD)
13. Paste (Magazine)
14. Performing Songwriter (Magazine)
15. Music Connection (Magazine)
16. The Georgia Music Production SourceBook (Catalog)
17. Singer & Musician (Magazine)
18. The Duke (Magazine)
19. Filter's Good Music Guide (Mini-Magazine)
20. Lifebeat / Trojan (Flyer)
21. Trojan-enz Lubricated (Condom)
22. Get Nailed / Nail Distribution (Condom)
23. New Music From Wales (Guide)
24. I Love Ascap (Sticker)
25. Mojo (Button)

Continued after the jump...

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