Posts Tagged ‘Bella Union Rcords’

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The London band Ultimate Painting were set to release a follow up to 2016’s well-received album “Dusk” via Bella Union but the band split up  the album was cancelled the release of new the record which was entitled Up! may never see the light of day.

“I’m very sad to announce that Ultimate Painting are no longer a band,” the band wrote in a statement on Facebook. “Anyone who has worked with us knows that the partnership at the core of this band has always been a very fragile thing, but due to an irreconcilable breakdown we will no longer be working with each other.

“Obviously if there’s no band, then it’s understandably not really in Bella Union’s interests to put out the previously announced album, therefore I’ve asked them not to release ‘Up!’ at this point in time, which they have agreed to. Thanks to everyone who bought our records and supported us. You know who you are.”

The news also results in a cancellation of tour dates that had previously been announced. Looking back, words from the band’s Jack Cooper last month signalled some disharmony: “If it ends tomorrow,” Cooper said in a press statement previously, “I’d feel really good about the work we’ve done together.

“There’s a cohesion to it but most of all they’re records that we made of music that we wanted to hear. We don’t really have an agenda other than that.”

Jack Cooper & James Hoare formed Ultimate Painting. The two had a fast friendship when Jack’s band Mazes were on tour supporting James’ band Veronica Falls, sharing similar tastes in music, art & films. It wasn’t until after returning home that a musical synergy was formed. After numerous demos were exchanged, a few casual jam sessions turned into something more; a partnership. Christening themselves after a piece of art by the Southern Colorado desert community “Drop City Collective”, the lads set to work recording their debut proper.

For the entirety of Ultimate Painting’s now tragically short run, the duo of James Hoare and Jack Cooper were routinely described within the context of their previous bands. Even in posts announcing their abrupt breakup this week, it was still “James Hoare of Veronica Falls” and “Jack Cooper of Mazes”—as if this were the side project, instead of the other way around. As if this was the band that wasn’t meant to be taken as seriously.

Ultimate Painting have been so productive, releasing one solid album every year since forming in 2014, their discography—2014’s “Ultimate Painting”, 2015’s “Green Lanes”,and 2016 “Dusk”, the wonderfully out-of-time third album by this East London’s band, and  then this year’s suddenly doomed “Up!”—represents one of the strongest four-album outputs of a rock group this side of The Velvet Underground. There isn’t a bad track in the bunch, and many of them, unassuming and glacial, are patently stunning. For my money, anyway, “Monday Morning, Somewhere Central” is among the top songs of the decade From their album “Dusk”, out now via Trouble In Mind Records

So what happened,  The new album was in the can, a UK tour was booked, a bio was written, advance promos were sent out. And then just like that, it was scrapped. Due to the usual irreconcilable breakdown,not only has the band broken up, but Up!’s release was completely cancelled as well. (Bella Union, the label set to release it, has confirmed Unfortunately, this doesn’t feel like one of those LCD Soundsystem “let’s make sure we go out with a bang breakups.

For now all we can do is take them at their word that it’s over simply because they can’t work together anymore.  Either way, though, this leaves us as listeners in the precarious spot of having to carry on their legacy retroactively—but that really shouldn’t be a problem, given what’s being left behind.

Looking at it as a whole, Ultimate Painting’s music has that rare quality of being universally appropriate.

Cooper and Hoare worked off of each other so tightly and so subtly, that their interplay often leads you to wonder who’s even taking the lead on any given song. This blending might come off as a boring  and monotonous in lesser hands, but it’s a testament to their strength of their songwriting that Ultimate Painting manage to keep the vibe simultaneously light, wavy and catchy as the best paisley meditations in time and space.

Guitar lines and vocal parts intermix freely throughout, and part of the charm comes from listening to the unified sound of a true duo; on any given track, it’s truly hard to tell which member is playing/singing what—and despite this, it’s all definitively UP. Both members put out albums separately from each other in the past year—Hoare with The Proper Ornaments and Cooper with his recent solo album “Sandgrown” in August of last year and while the projects were both inspired, they felt like they were missing something. It might have been each other.

But in the interest of the band not being forgotten, it’s all but criminal to withhold the release of Up! altogether, whether digitally, physically, or both. To prevent the last recording “Up” from release is frankly bizarre, as well as a tremendous disservice to those who would enjoy it. I can only hope that someone at Bella Union is looking for the fine print in the band’s contract that allows the label to press the record regardless.

Going back to the beginning, much of Ultimate Painting’s music starts abruptly. No count-in, no riff—just straight into the vocals of the verse. It’s a tough trick to pull off, but for songwriters with a gentle touch it’s a wonderful tool to make an otherwise quiet song feel loud and direct. It also makes the song feel like it’s perpetually being performed in the present tense. That’s going to be a big asset going forward now that this catalog has to fight for itself, without press cycles, without touring, without members that even seem to believe in it themselves. Ultimate Painting have gone out with an exclamation mark.

After the autumnal melancholia of 2016’s Dusk, the title of Ultimate Painting’s fourth album suggests a band leaving the past behind and ascending to another level, and to a certain extent that is the story of this record. Now signed to Bella Union, the record is a supremely confident and, at times, a radiant example of their song-writing ability but it also masks a more turbulent story. There were plenty of times when the question was not what it would sound like but would it even exist.

By the end of 2016, Jack Cooper and James Hoare – the band’s two equal but contrasting songwriters – were burned out and unsure of their next move. Releasing three albums in three years had taken its toll and they decided to take some time out to consider their next move. A good idea in theory but as it transpired a bad one in practice, as they immediately started to second-guess what to do next. “We both initially had the idea that we wanted to make a record that had more of an electronic element,” explains James. “We thought we’d try to go slightly more in that direction. Drum machines, synths and so on.” Jack adds: “We started to question what people wanted from us and in the process, I think we briefly lost the idea of what the band was.”

The confused sessions around this time – all of which occurred in the band’s own recording studio in North London – were further hamstrung by Hoare’s ongoing issues with depression. Eventually, an enforced halt was called due to live commitments in the US and it was while they were there, sat on a bench one morning in rural Pennsylvania, that the decision was made to scrap everything. It felt liberating…

Back in the UK in summer 2017, they immediately started over and with rediscovered confidence and momentum recorded a whole new album in just two weeks. The results convey something of that effortless spark as well as a reconnection with the bands’ innate Englishness.

This isn’t the midnight-black interior world of the third Velvets’ album (to which they’ve so often been compared); it’s a record that stretches out in different directions. One minute – on Foul & Fair – drawing from the 60s Brit-folk tradition of Fairport Convention, the next on – I Am Your Gun – channelling the luminous fairground psyche of the Pretty Things or Syd Barrett. It’s also the sound of a band obsessively honing their sound. They joke that it’s the most “Ultimate Paintingy” record they’ve ever made too.

When it was all finally done, though, they both realised all their tough decisions had been vindicated. Their best record to date, albeit the one that caused the most pain and indecision – they hope it will continue their steady ascent. Jack comments: “If it ends tomorrow, I’d feel really good about the work we’ve done together. There’s a cohesion to it but most of all they’re records that we made of music that we wanted to hear. We don’t really have an agenda other than that.”

Up! was to be released 6th April via Bella Union Reords.

thanks FloodMagazine

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South by Southwest’s annual music week invades Austin, Texas during March 13th- 19th this year  With each passing year of tacos and tequila and more shows than can actually be seen, we scour the music arena on which bands are impressing them at the moment. It’s not an easy task, however, as we try to avoid including bands from previous years’ lists. So, with all those factors in place, here are our recommendations you should be seeing at SXSW in 2017.

Ryan Adams
SXSW is so often filled with short, half-hour sets and running from venue to venue, but sometimes it’s worth it to treat yourself to a longer performance . Ryan Adams two-hour slotted set at the Moody Theater is one of those cases; it’ll be worth carving out the chunk of time in your schedule to catch Adams performing tracks from his recently released album  Prisoner.

The Drums

The Drums play an escapist collection of beach pop fantasies played out over longing lyrics about heartache and nostalgia. And, yes you can still dance to it. 

Vagabon
Few debut albums in recent memory have been as immediately impressive as Vagabon’s Infinite Worlds. Laetitia Tamko was born in Cameroon, but moved to New York in her teens and her music is filled gorgeous ruminations on where exactly she fits into this mess of life. A first listen to the album opener, “Embers,” for example, showcases what feels like a natural echo in Tamko’s voice, which serves as a spiritual guide through the rest of the album’s rattling drums and inquisitive distortion.

The Shacks

There’s a good chance that when The Shacks release their debut LP this year on Big Crown Records, they’ll find themselves up among other hallowed names in the Big Crown catalog like Lee Fields and Lady Wray. All the love of vintage gear and analog recording that the former Daptone/Truth and Soul Records brought over to their Diamond Mine Studio in Long Island City has a gorgeous effect on The Shacks’ brand of ass-wiggling AM radio pop and easy to love hooks. Shannon Wise’s voice is slight in its wispy airiness but disarmingly strong against a solid foundation of songs that could have been written 60 years ago. They too have pulled off the amazing move of only having one official show on the books this year, taking the stage at Javelina on Friday.

She Devils 

One of the acts that have been thoroughly recommended, She-Devils’ blend of glam, cabaret and French Yeye styled pop has powers. Rumors of a full-length album coming later this year notwithstanding, last year’s self titled EP and the single will have to do for now. “I’ve always believed in the idea that if you visualize or summon something, it will come true,” explained vocalist Audrey Ann Boucher when prodded to describe how the sonic pastiche she presents as She-Devils came to be. This is truly unique, transfixing stuff. She-Devils play six sets this year,

Lisa Prank
Seattlite Robin Edwards calls her solo pop-punk project Lisa Prank, a play on the name of ‘90s graphic and style icon Lisa Frank. The lo-fi songs on her second LP, last year’s Adult Teen, place heavy emphasis on her alternatingly revealing and sarcastic lyrics. But as a one-woman-show, expect Lisa Prank to bring a minimalistic, but bold performance

Maggie Rogers 

Ninety-nine percent of people who know Maggie Rogers know her because of a viral video where Rogers, as an NYU student, makes Pharrell (yes, that Pharrell) cry when he listens to her song, “Alaska.” That emotional reaction may have launched the promising young artist’s career, but her debut EP proves that “Alaska” is merely the tip of her creative iceberg. Out of all the artists on the list, Rogers is definitely the most hyped, yet she still manages to defy exceedingly high expectations. Go see her now before she’s all your friends’ favorite new singer. See her: March 17, 11 p.m. at St. David’s Historic Sanctuary

Las Rosa’s

The words “Brooklyn” and “Garage” might as well be peanut butter and jelly in Austin; we can’t tell you how many groups of longhaired kids with trust funds stop wearing deodorant and buy tight jeans as a “fuck you, dad!” statement of internalized otherness. But Brooklyn’s Las Rosa’s succumb to none of that shit.

Catching them opening for King Khan during Northside Fest was one of that week’s greatest surprises, and the band performed their paisley, catchy numbers with all psychedelic cohesion of a multi-sensory acid test cavalcade. Las Rosas also channel the swingeriffic swagger of Khan, serving up soulful pop tunes fit to soundtrack a night of boogie.

PWR BTTM

One of the acts who sent a open letter to the festival about the contracts was PWR BTTM (15 March, 7.30pm, Stubb’s BBQ). They’ve had a busy 12 months and are playing multiple shows in Austin. Raucous, funny and painfully honest, they’re one of the must-see bands at the festival. Wear as much glitter as possible to see PWR BTTM. This queer, glam-punk duo is sure to shred, as Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins switch instruments and lead vocals for their two-to-three-minute songs set to power chords. But the genius of PWR BTTM remains in their lyrical doses of real life—from hilarious new single and 21st-century dating lament “Answer My Text” to the breakup song “C U Around” about seeing your ex in public off of 2015’s debut Ugly Cherries—that anyone anywhere on the gender spectrum can understand. The band’s newest, Pageant, is due out May

The Ceremonies

With their Instagrammable looks, big social media following and streaming-friendly ‘80s-post punk songs, The Ceremonies have been labeled with the “buzz band

Temples

Temples

Retro rockers psychedelic haze has the star-gazing, shoe-gaze quality of early Tame Impala, and the big hair is already rock star material.

Cherry Glazerr
Now this is what a modern L.A. band should sound like. Born from one of the nation’s most saturated scenes, Cherry Glazerr manages to make you feel like getting kicked out of a Silver Lake bar, only to make your way to Echo Park for last call, then a 2am taco truck, only to accept the fate of your hangover the next day, but be ready to do it all over again while wearing the same clothes. All of the jams on the group’s latest LP, Apocalipstick, have nasty shreds and dizzying effects. “Nuclear Bomb” builds into a menacing crescendo before descending into madness, while “Only Kid On The Block” is a powerful climax for the trio. This band will surely pair with many cans of Lone Stars beers.

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Stef Chura
Stef Chura’s star is definitely on the rise: The Detroit native recently released her debut, Messes, via Urinal Cake Records, an 11-song set of warbling guitar-pop anthems that showcase her husky, perpetually downturned vocals. She’s earned coverage across the web , and she can count Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good to Me) as a fan; the noted indie-rock vet produced and played bass on her first LP. Reflecting a post-adolescent period of trial and error, Chura’s debut appears to writhe with growing pains as she quavers to an unwilling crush, “Right when it starts to feel like home / It’s time to go” on album opener “Slow Motion.” The conflicts repeat on the withered follow-up, “You,” where Chura trills like skeptical Dolores O’Riordan: “Sick and tired / Always admired you from afar.” Chura’s internal debates, which are featured prominently on Messes, can also spill out in person. She admits to sometimes wishing she’d put more effort into music earlier in her 20s, despite her blossoming visibility (she’s about to tour with Washington D.C. punks Priests next). Then, just as suddenly, she changes her mind. “I think a lot of people think there’s these picture-perfect stories of someone getting really successful when they’re young,There’s no right age to be doing anything.”

Tim Darcy

As the frontman to Montreal’s post-punk group Ought, Tim Darcy ‘s wordplay was equally matched with clever arrangements and melodies that seemed to rise and fall in lock-step to his cadence. But on 2017’s debut solo album release Saturday Night  , Darcy dials up the intimacy while refusing to dial down the guitar noise.

Less polished but more immediate than his work with Ought, Saturday Night channels the same kind of street-poet chug that made Lou Reed and even Jonathan Richman so beloved, using Darcy’s often deadpan delivery against amp noise and room reverb to distinguish himself with a style entirely his own. Darcy’s has two currently planned sets at SXSW.

The Hoops

This band of young, wide-eyed slacker kids from Bloomington, Ind., make great lo-fi pop that you can dance to, lo-fi in the vein of Montreal’s Tops. Their recent signing to Fat Possum Records bodes well for their future, too, as they stand out from every other band of white males in T-shirts with songs that sound like they came out of a much more seasoned group. Hoops put on one of the best live sets I saw last year, too. They’re playing SEVEN sets at SXSW this year, so make sure you catch at least one of them.

Priests
The first album to completely blow me away in 2017 was Priests’ Nothing Feels Natural. The Washinton D.C. punk outfit can give you an accessible hint of balladry on the album’s title track, but come for blood on the Dick Dale-like twang of “Jj.” Singer Katie Alice Greer might as well be standing at the podium when we damn all the bullshit societal constructs to hell, with pianos and horns backing her every decree.

Delicate Steve
Steve Marion has been making voiceless guitar-based rock songs as Delicate Steve since 2011, but this year’s This Is Steve is poised to be his breakthrough album. The album’s rhythm guitar work is reminiscent of surf rock and garage rock, but Marion’s lead lines mimic the phrasing of vocalists. Although “no shirt, no shoes, no problem” might be the motto for some places during this crazy week,

Jay Som
After she drunkenly released her first album, Untitled, through Bandcamp on Thanksgiving 2015, Melita Duterte’s project Jay Som saw instant success—so much so that it overflowed straight into the following year. In 2016 she re-released said bedroom-pop album as the retitled Turn Into via Polyvinyl—a record on which she plays every instrument—and toured with Japanese Breakfast and Mitski. Her 2015 releases, plus hazy breakthrough track “I Think You’re Alright” and her 2017 Polyvinyl debut, Everybody Works, not only reveal a heady combination of fear and uncertainty, but also showcase a foggy, mature-beyond-her-years style that recalls classic and contemporary greats .

Hand Habits

Meg Duffy, who records as Hand Habits, is a breath of fresh air. On her gorgeously affecting debut Woodsist LP  “Wildly Idle Humble Before The Void” , Duffy channels her Piscean ways into a collection of pop songs that float through ambience and reward the time you spend with them. Hand Habits is playing five SXSW shows this year:

Eric Slick
Philadelphia’s Eric Slick no doubt has a lot of local name recognition thanks to his percussionist gigs with City of Brotherly Love standouts Dr. Dog, not to mention his work with co-founded power-pop project Lithuania. But now Slick, who recently moved to Asheville, N.C., is taking a turn away from the kit and releasing a solo debut called Palisades, out on April 21st via EggHunt Records. The result is a compendium of easy pop melodies encircled by discordant guitar-work and affable piano. Such good vibes should be a welcome respite from the near-anarchy that encircles SXSW at any given moment.

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Kane Strang

This Kiwi made his Stateside debut at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right last Friday, but his first North American release last year, “Blue Cheese” has already been charming the pants off anyone who’s spent time with it.

The buzz is strong with this one, and from what I can tell you about the new songs of his I’ve heard so far, the music is, too more complete and fully realized than the ramshackle pop on Blue Cheese, Strang’s found a way to retain his bedroom-recording quality while turning up the volume and polishing the production. This is chugging, hook-laden indie rock at its finest.

Dude York
The Seattle power-pop trio’s easy, rambunctious rapport, is as genuine as the title of their Hardly Art debut, Sincerely. The 13 tracks on Sincerely, are, in contrast to their booming, brash arrangements, plainly vulnerable, truthful and deal with familiar feelings of quarter-life malaise. Kicking off with chanting bombast, opener “Black Jack” is an open call for harmony: “Too afraid to ask for help / I tried to do it all by myself / Still believe in myself… As far as I can tell / Nobody does it all by themselves.” On the twisting “Tonight,” England matter-of-factly moves on from a relationship: “Clearly, we’re too different / I guess that means it’s the end… Let’s wrap this up, there’s somewhere else I’ve got to be tonight.” But the forlorn “The Way I Feel” directly contradicts the straight-up tone of “Tonight,” with Richards sounding despondent as he whines the titular lyrics.

Future Islands
Future Islands’ follow-up to Singles, The Far Field, and SXSW will be the perfect opportunity to watch Samuel T. Herring and company debut some new tracks live. If “”Ran is any indication of what we can expect, their set’s a must-catch of course.

Girlpool
Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker have signed to ANTI-Records for the forthcoming Powerplant, album their follow-up to 2015’s Before the World Was Big, out May 12th. This time around, the minimalist duo has added percussion to the mix, fleshing out their sound on tracks like the recently released ”123″. Crafters of simple indie pop. They made a name for themselves behind the raw strength of their vocals (always together, often in unison) and a notable absence of drums. Their new single, “123,” adds percussion that supplies even more oomph on top of what fans loved about Girlpool in the first place.

Har Mar Superstar
Har Mar Superstar never disappoints live, and SXSW always presents a unique opportunity to catch him at weird venues . Come ready to dance to favorites like “Lady, You Shot Me” as well as material from his latest, Best Summer Ever

Hurray for the Riff Raff
Alynda Segarra and company releases The Navigator today, and we’re excited to see how these songs translate to a live setting. The concept record is an exploration of identity, featuring new tracks and previously released one like “Rican Beach,” “Hungry Ghost” and “Pa’lante” (on which Segarra admits, “lately it’s been mighty hard to sing, just searching for my lost humanity”).

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Half Waif
“[I wanted] this EP to be a record of what my moods sound like, if I could pull them out of my insides and amplify them,” Half Waif’s Nandi Rose Plunkett has said of her latest song collection, “form/a”. The Pinegrove affiliate band member certainly gets her message across on the six-song set, which follows three prior extended plays (2013’s Future Joys, 2014’s Kotekan and last year’s Probable Depths. Each track comes straight from Plunkett’s unrepressed inner-monologue, with opener “Severed Logic” wryly noting, “My mood is a pendulum / I don’t think you could handle it” and the arrhythmic “Cerulean” returning to theme: “My mood has no form / It sits on my chest heavy and warm.” But it’s the Brooklyn singer’s glittering synth arrangements that tie the work together: “Wave” pulses with determination before devolving into a warm wave of vocal harmony, sonically signifying how quickly one’s temperament can shift.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Melbourne quintet Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever shows that there’s a distinct difference between American surf rock and the Aussie breed. There’s an utter lack of slackerdom in their polished riffs and vocals from this band, which also sounds like it took influence from Morrissey and Rachel Aggs of Brit-punk outfit Shopping. This determination, emphasized on the the eponymous single from their upcoming The French Press EP hints that they may be the next big thing to come out of Melbourne’s rich scene

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The Best Venue’s

Independence & Lagunitas Brewing Party

March 14-15, Scoot Inn
Independence and Lagunitas may not be Budweiser and Coor’s, but they are two of the biggest small brewing companies around. California-based Lagunitas, in particular, has become something of a staple at SXSW in recent years. In 2017, these companies team up to host two days of bands and beer, headlined respectively by Thee Oh Sees and Sylvan Esso, also featuring performances by Lizzo, Diet Cig and more.

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House of Vans at Mohawk

March 15-16, Mohawk, start time: noon 
Show up early is a general rule you should always follow during SXSW, and that goes double for the annual House of Vans official showcases. Day shows are free and open to the public, with bands like Black Lips, San Fermin and Sundara Karma taking the stage while the sun is out. For the night shows, concertgoers need a badge to see the Black Angels, Polica, Temples Savoy Motel and French Montana, to name a few of the groups playing into the night. 

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KUTX Morning Shows

March 15-18, Four Seasons Hotel
You don’t need an RSVP for NPR affiliate KUTX’s stellar SXSW bills. You just have to get up at the crack of dawn. These shows start each morning at 7:00 or 8:00 a.m., and cost $10, which includes a breakfast taco, granola bar, and coffee, and it benefits Seton Shivers Cancer Center. Win-win for everyone. Bands performing this year include Spoon, Temples, Real Estate, Molly Burch, and Middle Kids.

Waterloo Records Day Parties

March 15-18, Waterloo Records
For folks who prefer to get some sleep during SXSW, you can always count on Waterloo Records to provide some great daily lineups between the hours of noon and 6 p.m. This year’s in-store performances feature the great British wordsmith Robyn Hitchcock, Modern English (yes, the band that gave us “Melt With You” is back!), up-and-comers PWR BTM and Ron Gallo, and local favorite Spoon.  

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Fader Fort

March 15-18, 1209 E. Sixth St.
Year after year, the invitation-only Fader Fort has emerged as SXSW’s premiere unofficial party. With the Fort’s former location just east of I-35 now slated for major construction, the event is downsizing to create a “more exclusive and intimate” hangout, according to a press release. The bill is set to feature rising acts like Lizzo, Downtown Boys, and Young M.A. Undoubtedly, the venue for this year’s event is markedly smaller, and the mystery of exactly how the week’s marquee unofficial event will unfold makes this year’s event as exciting as ever.

Luck Reunion

March 16, “Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX”
Tickets for Willie Nelson’s annual hootenanny are pretty much sold out, but if you can get your hands on one, go! (Hopefully the weather will be more cooperative this year after last year’s nasty storm that ended up dampening much of the daylong event.) This year’s stellar lineup has Conor Oberst, Margo Price, Parker Milsap, Valerie June, The Wild Reeds, and more. Local acts on the roster include Austin Monthly’s Bands to Watch Paul Cauthen and Bee Caves.

Twin Peaks House

March 16-17, Clive Bar
Ahead of the return of David Lynch’s cult hit Twin Peaks, Showtime will host a hangout in the theme of the television show that chronicles the seediness and zany eccentricity of a small town in the Pacific Northwest. The event will be held at Rainey Street’s Clive Bar and opens as the “Double R Diner” at noon with cherry pie and coffee. Not into Twin Peaks? That’s fine because the concert bill is so good it doesn’t matter anyway. See a slew of solid bands: Real Estate, Julie Byrne, Neko Case, and Cameron Avery of Tame Impala, to name a few. RSVP here!

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Sound on Sound and Brooklyn Vegan’s Lost Weekends

March 16-18, Cheer Up Charlies
The original Lost Weekend was a ’40s noir novel, but music buffs know it as the period of debauchery that John Lennon spent separated from Yoko Ono. You have a chance at your own getaway of unhinged partying with three full days of music sponsored by Sound on Sound Fest and Brooklyn Vegan. This party is particularly exciting with the former being somewhat of a new entity and having a penchant for pulling in underground up-and-coming acts. Should mesh well with old-school favorites that Brooklyn Vegan has a history of bookings. The lineup features …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Big Thief, Jay Som, Beach Slang, SURVIVE, and many more. 

SXSW Outdoor Stage

March 16-18, 800 W. Riverside Drive
With a guest pass, non-badge holders can check out some great programming and the free outdoor concerts at Lady Bird Lake. This year, the Thursday evening show features an all-Latin lineup with Panteón Rococó, Residente, and Ozomatli, while Friday is the big Prince tribute with the legend’s bassist Dez Dickerson and Wyclef Jean among the many performers.

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United Nations of Music

Various times and locations
One of the great things that SXSW offers is the chance to see bands from around the globe in one spot. Wall? We don’t need no stinking wall to see great groups from south of the border at Casa Mexico SXSW’s free festival going on March 9-11. If you’re into the youthful exuberance of Korean music, there’s the fifth annual K-Pop Night Out showcase on March 17. Parlez-vous Francais? Find French bands at French House, which features sets by DJs Molécule and Jacques on March 14, and the POP Montreal showcase will host Best Fern and Forever, among other groups. Does the phrase “Cymru am byth” mean anything to you? Then check out the British Music Embassy’s showcases from March 13-18 featuring Welsh bands Casi and Chain of Flowers, as well as other acts from the U.K. The list of culturally diverse SXSW showcases goes on and on.

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This year’s music fest has an impressive selection of talks that should satisfy most musical tastes. There’s Nile Rodgers (15 March, 11am, Austin Convention Center), where he’ll talk about his career and position as one of the most sampled songwriters ever; while the Beats1 main man Zane Lowe (16 March, 11am, Austin Convention Center), will also talk shop at his keynote on Friday. Kesha’s discussion about how women can reclaim the internet should be interesting (14 March, 3.30pm, Austin Convention Center), and for those who don’t want to stop, Mick Fleetwood (15 March, 5pm, Austin Convention Center) will talk about his time in a little-known 70s rock act.

20 Bands to See at SXSW 2017