Saturday, March 6, 2010

SXSW 2010 Preview: Toro y Moi

Toro y Moi is the work of Chaz Bundick. The album, Causers of This is simultaneously drowsy, glitchy, hypnotic and somehow it all comes across as being really sincere and fun. His names seems to be on everyone's lips lately so you'll have more chances to catch Toro y Moi than you had with some of the other artists I've featured. I know last time I was at End of an Ear we were discussing how much equipment he might be bringing to perform in their store on Saturday the 20th. You can find their full in-store performance line-up here.

This track kind of gives me a Panda Bear meets Neon Indian vibe but keep in mind this is only one soundscape featured on the album.

Toro y Moi - Blessa video via YouTube

Figure out where you can catch Toro y Moi after the jump...

Per usual, I have culled these dates from the Do512 SXSW directory. It doesn't, necessarily, represent all of the shows the artist may or may not be playing. Think of this more as some ideas you might want to consider/keep in mind whilst wandering the streets of Austin.

Wed 03/17 @ the Mohawk. *Free Day Party*
Wed 03/17 @ Red 7. *Free Day Party*
Thu 03/18 @ Urban Outfitters *Free Day Party*
Fri 03/19 @ the French Legation Museum *Free Day Party*

It looks like Toro y Moi will also be playing a show the Monday following SXSW at a venue and time to be determined later. I'm pretty sure I won't have any issues with catching one of their many free sets. I plan to be downtown early on Wedensday (the 17th).

Toro y Moi - Talamak video via YouTube

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Friday, March 5, 2010

SXSW 2010 Preview: Morning Benders

It's hard to define the Morning Benders' sound. The more I listen to their upcoming album, Big Echo, the more influences I hear in it. The closest comparison I could make is that, like Spoon, these guys have etched out their own little sub-genre of rock. They are students of music and write excellently crafted tunes that stick with you for days later. In some songs you can hear a bit of the Walkmen then it breaks down into a lost Beatles song, with a Helio Sequence drum part. In any case you'll have a few chances to catch the Morning Benders during SXSW as the buzz about them builds into a deafening roar.

Morning Benders - Promises video via YouTube

Find their Austin dates as well as their complete tour schedule after the break. You can buy the 7" for Promises now, which features the B-side, Oh, Annie. The full album comes out Tuesday.

Once again, I've culled this SXSW info about the Morning Benders from my brethren over at Do512, they are ninjas of internet coding. At least compared to me, they are. So, here's where you can and will see the Morning Benders during SX:

Wed 03/17 @ Emo's *Official Showcase*
Sat 03/20 @ the Parish *Free Show*

Well, that wasn't as many shows as I had anticipated but it's HIGHLY likely they'll be playing more than those two. That's just what I've culled TODAY. For you, poor souls, who won't be in Austin during SXSW, or any other time in the near future, you too can catch the Morning Benders within your general vicinity.

March 10th || Jonny Brenda s || Philadelphia*
March 11th || The Black Cat || Washington DC*
March 12th || Local 506 || Chapel Hill *
March 13th || The Drunken Unicorn || Atlanta*
March 15th || The Bottletree || Birmingham*
March 17 || Emo's - SXSW || Austin
March 20 || The Parish - SXSW || Austin
March 23rd || The Rhythm Room || Phoenix
March 25th || Troubadour || Los Angeles#
March 26th || Casbah || San Diego#
March 27th || Detroit Bar || Costa Mesa
March 28th || Muddy Waters || Santa Barbara
March 30th || The Independent || San Francisco%
April 1st || Holocene || Portland
April 2nd || Crocodile Café || Seattle
April 3rd || Media Club || Vancouver
April 5th || Club Velour || Provo
April 7th || Hi-Dive || Denver
April 9th || The Vaudeville Mews || Des Moines
April 10th || The Maintenance Shop || Ames, IA
April 11th || Huckleberry's Pizza Presented by Daytrotter || Rock Island, IL
April 12th || Schubas Tavern || Chicago
April 14th || The Drake Hotel || Toronto
April 15th || La Sala Rossa || Montreal
April 16th || The Monkey House || Vermont
April 17th || TT The Bear s || Boston
April 22nd || The Mercury Lounge || NYC

*Acrylics, #We Barbarians, %the Mumlers
Friends Miniature Tigers will be supporting the morning benders on all dates

Morning Benders - Waiting For a War video via YouTube

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

SXSW 2010 Preview: Surfer Blood

It should come as no surprise to you that I'm highlighting Surfer Blood as a band to catch at SXSW 2010. This band of youthful Floridians played that crap out of CMJ Fest last year garnering them much buzz and/or critical acclaim. I predict that after playing around 10 gigs during SXSW 2010 they'll be playing all the festivals and you'll start hearing their tunes during your favorite TV shows. While I'm on the topic I'm tired of people complaining when they hear, for instance, Phoenix in a Cadillac commercial. That's the new hearing your song on the radio. If you're a good band hearing your song on the radio, in a lot of ways, is the beginning of the end. You're old audience (hipsters) will turn against you and you'll get the Owl City treatment. If you want to keep your cred these days you remain in obscurity while attain financial success through licensing your songs for shows on E!, commercials, and movies (see Spoon).

Phew, now that I've gotten that rant out of the way I'll get to the key points re:Surfer Blood. They write rock tunes in the style of Rivers Cuomo with their own twist and modern-edge. Most of the band is too young to be a customer at the venues they play, which, to me, makes their sound more believable. It sounds fresh as opposed to simply ironic. Try whistling along, the melodies are killer even when they don't seem like they are.

Surfer Blood - Swim video via YouTube

I guess Surfer Blood is continuing the dudes in their underwear theme established during the Super Bowl, as well as the Frightened Rabbit post with that Swim video. Once again, I've culled this info from the Do512 profile for Surfer Blood. Keep in mind when bands book themselves at a lot of parties sometimes they miss some. Looking at you, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart last year they double-booked themselves at Emo's and Radio Room silly booking peeps.

Wed 03/17 at Wave *Official Showcase*
Thu 03/18 at Club de Ville *Free Day-Party*
Fri 03/19 at Lustre Pearl *Free Night-Show*
Sat 03/20 at Urban Outfitters *Free Day-Party*
Sat 03/20 at the Mohawk *Official Showcase*

I really thought they were playing more shows than that? Perhaps there will be more listed as the fest approacheth. I'm glad that Surfer Blood's final official gig will be headlining the Mohawk's outside stage. It's going to be epic with their reverb-soaked sound in a packed open-air venue with people staring down from every surface. Even though I'm all about enjoying SX in an unofficial way, I may try to get into that show...somehow(?) Here's one of my favorite tunes from their album, Astro Coast:

Surfer Blood - Twin Peaks video via YouTube

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

SXSW 2010 Preview: Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit is one of those bands who I have seen at SXSW's past as I wonder why aren't they famous yet? Especially given the bottle-rocket success that Bon Iver achieved following their SX performances, why so little love for Frightened Rabbit? Think, raw, emotional folk that turns upbeat and rowdy at points. All, while sung with one of the thickest Scottish accents I've ever heard in my life. Back in 2008 Pitchfork called the Rabbits song, the Modern Leper one of the best songs of that year and I whole-heartedly agree.

Frightened Rabbit - the Modern Leper video via YouTube

Find out when and where you can catch Frightened Rabbit at SXSW 2010 after the jump.

It seems a bit odd, but Do512 only lists one Frightened Rabbit show taking place in the evening and it's actually happening the Tuesday night BEFORE SX officially starts. So, for us unofficial types this means we will have several chances to catch Frightened Rabbit for free. Here's what's listed as of this moment for FR:

Tue 03/16 at the Parish Room.
Wed 03/17 at the Paste Magazine Party.
Thu 03/18 at the Austin Convention Center day-stage cafe.
Fri 03/19 at the Mohawk A.V. Club Party.
Sat 03/20 at Cedar St.'s Filter Magazine party.

Sometimes I get so caught-up in the sound of the Modern Leper I forget that Frightened Rabbit also express their sound in a legit, jangly, indie way as well. In person, it's that jangly side that sticks with you after the performance and makes you want to buy their merch...not that most bands bring their merch to SX, just sayin'.

Frightened Rabbit - Heads Roll Off video via YouTube

Here's the latest visual offering from Frightened Rabbit, what is it about 2010 and men in their underwear. Has this all of a sudden become hilarious again and I missed the memo?

Frightened Rabbit - Nothing Like You video via YouTube

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SXSW 2010 Preview: The Very Best

You may not have heard of the musicians who have dubbed themselves, the Very Best but if you're a fan of M.I.A, Santogold, or any of the Mad Decent family of artists then you're going to become a fan. The sound is world-beat samples with western influences to create a dance-able sound that straddles the line between electronic, hip-hop and tribal influences. The track you may be most familiar with features Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig who also guested on another electronic album this year by Discovery. This song is the title track from the Very Best and if it doesn't make you smile you should probably get your face fixed.

the Very Best - Warm Heart of Africa video via YouTube

Find out where you can catch the Very Best during SXSW 2010 after the break.

At the moment the Very Best only has two shows listed on the Do512 site but something tells me they'll be playing a couple of high-profile day parties as well. I'm going to surmise that they'll be making an appearance at the elusive Fader Fort. Also, we still haven't heard any details from a Perez Hilton party OR the always mythical Rock the Rabbit party.

If you're going SX in an official way you can catch the Very Best at either of these official venues. Both shows they'll be playing the 1am, headlining slot I expect some serious drunken dancing. Oh, and for the record the Very Best's Myspace page shows a third show on the 20th with no other details.

Thu 03/18 at Beauty Bar.
Fri 03/19 at Emo's.

I'm not sure, which Emo's stage they'll be playing but it you have a badge or wristband you'll probably be able to figure it out once you get there. This next song isn't the best track on the album but it's definitely my favorite after I got sick of that Ezra Koenig one. Sorry in advance for the non-video but I'm sure you wanted to look at the cover art for the LP, right?

the Very Best - Julia video via YouTube

Another thing the Very Best are known for is adding their own vocals to an existing track and making it their own. They broke onto the scene with a remix/sampling of Architecture in Helsinki. Their latest song in this style uses Yeasayer's Ambling Amp.

the Very Best - Mulomo video via YouTube

In an almost, totally, un-related note. Here's that song by Discovery, which also feature Ezra Koenig. In case you missed it somehow.

Discovery - Carby video via YouTube

Here's my favorite song from Discovery after I got sick of THAT Ezra Koenig song:

Discovery - Osaka Loop Line video via YouTube

For the record, Discovery will NOT be at SXSW 2010. However, Ezra Koenig will be at Stubb's with Vampire Weekend about a month AFTER SX so there's that.

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Monday, March 1, 2010

SXSW 2010 Preview: The Middle East

Ever since I heard the song Blood on satellite radio I've been in love with, Austrailian band, the Middle East. As far as I know, the only music they have available in the U.S. right now is a gorgeous 5 song EP. The EP is self-titled and I found my copy at End of an Ear for $3.99. A SXSW day-party isn't really the ideal setting for a band with a quiet, nuanced sound but I think the bursts of gypsy music mania will translate quite nicely in a live setting. If you haven't heard the song Blood yet you should check out this beautiful video. Also, I've listed some of the places you can catch the Middle East at SXSW below the break.

the Middle East - Blood video via YouTube

According to the info culled by Do512, the Middle East will be playing only four times during the festival. It looks like two of the events will be unofficial/free and two of the events are official, requiring a SX badge or wristband. As you may know, Bloggy only does SX in an unofficial capacity so you'll probably catch me, catching them at the Paste Magazine Party. But here's their full list as of this moment:

Official showcase, shows:

Wed, 03/17 at Club de Ville.
Sat, 03/20 at Maggie Mae's.

Free and/or unofficial shows:

Thu, 03/18 at Paste Magazine Party at the Galaxy Room.
Sat, 03/20 at Austin Convention Center day-stage.

Here's one more tune to sample from the Middle East:

the Middle East - Lonely video via YouTube

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