Posts Tagged ‘SXSW’

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A laid-back disco cool and bouncing bassline groove don’t make Natalie Prass‘ recent single “Short Court Style” seem like a natural candidate for quiet reflection — perhaps, instead, a hard-earned frolic betwixt lovers who work hard to make their love work. But then Prass shows up to her South X Lullaby session with keyboardist Jacob Ungerleider, slows down the tempo just a mood lighting dimmer and turns the song’s breezy funk into the soft murmurs of late-night devotion.

This version of “Short Court Style” was filmed in an interactive art installation by Caitlin Pickall called FEAST, which is part of the SXSW Art Program and was created as part of the Laboratory Artist Residency program in Spokane, Wash. Prass and Ungerlieder sit at a dinner table set with plates and towers of wine glasses, onto which images and patterns are projected. The projections are triggered by the movements of guests at the table, so the experience changes every time someone sits down.

Set List

  • “Short Court Style”
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For the final lullaby recording during South by Southwest 2018, the London-based singer Nilüfer Yanya for her performance in the memory-filled world of Uncommon Objects. It’s a shop in Austin, Texas dedicated to sentimental curiosities of a world gone by. With that in mind, the relatively new musician with a bright future tackles a tune about something old and familiar: fond memories overwhelmed by the pain of love gone wrong.

“Baby Luv” can be found on Nilüfer Yanya’s 2018 release Do You Like Pain?The EP’s title is a line she repeats multiple times on “Baby Luv,” while her choppy guitar punctuates a weary, clock-like rhythm. That ticking beat is then amplified by the saxophone of her bandmate, Jazzi Bobbi while a camera pans a literary world of books that all seem blood-red. Objects once shiny and proud are worn and somewhat torn, with a future as uncertain as the love in this song

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Our South X Lullaby Session with Soccer Mommy took us away from the frenetic world of the South by Southwest music festival and into the past. We ventured to my favorite store in all of Austin, Texas: Uncommon Objects, a self-described “one-of-a-kind emporium of transcendent junk” or “your eccentric uncle’s attic on steroids.”

There are 24 different antique sellers under the single, Uncommon Objects roof, and for Sophie Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, we found the perfect setting for her song “Wildflowers.” It was, in fact, filled with objects related to blooming flowers. The song from the Switzerland-born, Nashville-raised artist is, as I hear it, about finding your place in the world — to discover who you are and to blossom.

“Wildflowers don’t grow in the city
I dreamt the sidewalk broke in two
The earth was calling to me”

The song is from Soccer Mommy’s album Clean which was released earlier this month on Fat Possum.

Set List

  • “Wildflowers”

Watch Lucy Dacus perform a few new songs from her new album ‘Historian’ at the PledgeHouse day stage. The extraordinary singer songwriter Lucy Dacus, is one of the most heavily-buzzed acts playing Austin this week. Some artists just have a presence, captivating listeners from the first note, and Lucy Dacus is very much among them. Whether her songs come in a quiet wash or a rocking churn, her powerful and expressive voice cuts like an airplane wing through atmosphere, pulling the music up and up and up. Songs like “Night Shift” — the title track to her new album Historian reward the attention with uneasy, engaging lyrics.

You might not have caught the buzz for Lucy Dacus’s superb released 2016 album ‘No Burden,’ but you’d have to have your head in the sand to miss the wild anticipation for her sophomore LP ‘Historian.’ Her lilting and confessional brand of indie-rock will make for a riveting live set.

Historian is a record that’s great for introspection and Thinking About Your Life™, but it’s also the perfect kind of music for a late afternoon outdoor set in Texas, Lucy Dacus’s music can feel like a bit of a slow burn, but the layered, aching guitars sound like they’re a lost recording session from every influential guitarist from the 90s. It’s great.

Songs performed: 0:57 Historians 4:22 Nonbeliever 12:55 Body to Flame 16:32 I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore

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Wye Oak reimagined their expansive sound for an intimate, mellow sound at the PledgeHouse day stage during SXSWAustin! So excited to come through playing all-new material for the first time ever in our new power trio configuration holy shit!

Baltimore duo Wye Oak retooled their songs to soften the wall of sound to fit within Blackheart stage. Their expansive sound has been heard in TV shows including ‘One Tree Hill’ and ‘The Walking Dead,‘ so expect a distinctly cinematic sensibility at the PledgeHouse stage.

Songs performed: The Instrument ,Shriek The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs, I Know it’s Real.

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Independent record label located in San Diego, CA by way of Boston, MA. Started in 2006.

Hitting up South By Southwest this year? Topshelf Records will be returning to Austin Cheer Up Charlie’s for our official SXSW showcase on Thursday, 15th March. We have an awesome lineup this year featuring GulferQueen of JeansSpecial ExplosionRatboys, and No Vacation.

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At SXSW on the Wednesday; this elder-statesmen Stooge owned the night. He hit the ACL Live at the Moody Theater stage in a sharp black suit and charged right into the tone-setting “Lust for Life” and “Sister Midnight,” and by the time the 68-years-awesome punk icon had finished his third song, the new track “American Valhalla,” he was shirtless – his famously gnarled, sinewy, constantly contorting, and occasionally stage-diving torso on proud display.

Incredibly, this was only the third show for Pop and his new all-star backing band – current collaborator Josh Homme, of Queens of the Stone Age; time-keeping beast Matt Helders, of the Arctic Monkeys; Chavez’s Matt Sweeney on bass; and multi-instrumentalists Dean Fertita (QOTSA, the Dead Weather) and Troy Van Leeuwen (QOTSA, A Perfect Circle, Failure). But they were a tight and aggressive unit, sounding like they’d been playing together for years. Together, they tore through 22 tunes, including Berlin-era-Bowie-esque tracks from the stellar new Homme-produced album Post Pop Depression (“Gardenia” “Break Into Your Heart”); solo classics like “Funtime,” “Nightclubbing,” “The Passenger,” and “China Girl”; and rarities like “Success” and “Baby.” The crowd went wild. At one point, when Pop taunted/tempted the audience by yelling, “Come up here and f— me!,” it seemed like he had more than a few volunteers.

Post Pop Depression might be Pop’s final album, according to his recent interviews – which is a shame, since, judging by his SXSW performance, he seems at the peak of his powers right now, his lust for life very much intact. (We don’t want to call this a resurgence, since he’s been “resurging” since the late ‘70s, really – but Post Pop Depression is the best thing he’s done in years.) However, if Pop does retire after this, he’s going out in style – and, thankfully, he has managed to completely reclaim his name, after a year or two when many people annoyingly associated “Iggy” with a certain Australian rapper. There is only one Iggy, and he ruled SXSW this year.

This 68-year-old man stage-dived. That man was Iggy Pop. It was, of course, incredible, as was the rest of his set with Josh Homme. The emphasis was on material from their album, Post Pop Depression, but there were plenty of Iggy classics like “Lust for Life,” “The Passenger,” “China Girl,” and “Nightclubbing” tossed in for good measure. Homme is the perfect musical partner for Pop, holding his own on the hits, and the new material sounded strong among the timeless stuff. Iggy seemed truly appreciative of the large crowd at the Moody—so much so that he ran about a half hour long.

He ended with an eight-song encore, and probably could have played another hour had it not been for the venue curfew. Make no mistake, Iggy Pop is back.

South By Southwest Music Festival
ACL Live @ The Moody Theater
Austin, Texas
16.03.16

Wirral alt. rock champions Hooton Tennis Club, Firm favourites of BBC 6 Music, the melodic slacker rock group have become a fêted live attraction, with a lengthy European tour behind them. On the road throughout the last quarter of 2016, with their brand new and critically acclaimed second LP Big Box of Chocolates, which has just been released. The follow up to rapturously received gloruis debut album Highest Point in Cliff Town, the new disc was produced by revered singer songwriter Edwyn Collins at his studio in Helmsdale, Scotland.

Signed to the wonderful storied indie label Heavenly Recordings, Hooton Tennis Club inked a deal with the set-up at Glastonbury Festival following a 2014 performance that won over label founder Jeff Barrett.

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Extreme planning during Austin’s SXSW can be a wonderful and terrible thing. Yes, you may get to catch all the bands on your “must watch” lists, but you might also end up losing out on everything else in between. During a year of careful planning, then stumbling into the Sheer Mag set was one of my best one-off moments. I had heard the band’s endlessly catchy track “Fan the Flames” before, but nothing could have prepared me for the live version. Christina Halladay’s epic, explosive stage presence and soulful vocals are something to behold, and she’s backed up brilliantly by catchy guitar riffs and an incredibly fun band. Definitely one to see as soon as you can!

Sheer Mag, “Fan the Flames”
Much like the band Beach Slang, Sheer Mag has built its power-pop revivalist rep on two incredible EPs. The second one, the pragmatically titled II, came out this year and sports the track “Fan the Flames,” a straight groove that recalls Alex Chilton if he were on Goner Records. And like all solid power-pop, it’s as unassuming as it is addictive. the band Sheer Mag blew everybody away at SXSW and haven’t stopped touring since. Unfortunately they haven’t signed a record deal either, meaning it’s unlikely they’ll be going overground any time soon. But the facts is this: Sheer Mag play punk rock the way it should be played, and they haven’t released a duff song yet. 2016 could be theirs… if they want it. Grab the EP’s they are becoming very collectable from a band to watch this year.