Friday, February 24, 2012

SXSW 2012 Preview: Blood Orange

I wouldn't lump Blood Orange in with chill-wave artists because their music doesn't fit neatly in that package and also I hate the expression chill-wave. I would consider Blood Orange to be chill-wave adjacent. If you're a fan of Toro y Moi's latest record or Twin Shadow then you will probably enjoy music from Blood Orange. With hooky, sing-along melodies, moody vocals, lots of percussion and keyboard grooves that are reminiscent of 80's Prince, it's easy to see why this artist is coming to SXSW with so much buzz. You can listen to Blood Orange on Spotify and/or Soundcloud for a taste of what you can expect from a live performance.

Blood Orange - Forget It video via YouTube

The only official SXSW showcase listing for Blood Orange is on Wednesday night at Haven in the warehouse district. You can expect to see them perform at many day-parties and after-events as well though. Like I mentioned above the break, there is a lot of buzz behind Blood Orange, they had a very successful CMJ 2011 and I expect they'll have a very successful SXSW 2012. Check Show List Austin, Do512 or SXShhh for all things unofficial.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

SXSW 2012 Preview: POLIÇA

Just like yesterday's post, this post is going to pull double-duty. POLIÇA is a part of the musical collective known, to most, as Gayngs. Their debut LP, Give You the Ghost was mixed right here in Austin by Jim Eno and they are back in town on Friday. They'll be performing in one of the support slots for Har Mar Superstar to close-out his month long residency at the Mohawk. After their performance Friday, POLIÇA are back on the road for a bit before returning to Austin for SXSW where they will play loads of gigs, at least 2 of which are official showcases. My homegirl, Liz, just caught their set in Portland, Oregon last week and she blew-up my Facebook wall to make sure I was aware of the pure majesty that is a live performance from POLIÇA. Rather than try to paraphrase Liz's review on my Facebook wall, I'm going to let you read it for yourself, she attached a video, which is why she never says the band's name:
Just saw these guys- are you familiar? I WAS GEEKING THE F*CK OUT. So, so, so good. Two drummers, one bassist, bad-ass vocalist, no guitar. Damn!
If you want to GEEK THE F*CK OUT with POLIÇA at the Mohawk this Friday night, you best grab some tickets while they're still available.

POLIÇA - Amongster video via YouTube

I recommend you listen to the full album from POLIÇA on Spotify in preparation for their upcoming Austin performances. As I mentioned above the break, they have 2 official showcases planned for SXSW. The first showcase will take place on the evening of Tuesday March the 13th at Bat Bar and will feature an incredibly solid line-up including: Caveman, The Apache Relay, Yellow Ostrich and Ume. Your other opportunity to catch POLIÇA in an official capacity at SXSW 2012 is on Thursday the 15th. They'll be performing at the IFC Crossroads House at Vice at 7:00pm.

I would expect that you will also find POLIÇA at a few unofficial events happening during SXSW but they are in the middle of a tour so, who know if they'll play endlessly like some bands do. As usual, for all things unofficial look to the experts at Show List Austin, Do512, SXShhh and RSVPster.

POLIÇA - Lay Your Cards Out video via YouTube

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SXSW 2012 Interview: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

This post is going to pull double-duty. It will serve as a preview for a SXSW 2012 artist whom I want to highlight but it also will serve as a preview for an upcoming show at La Zona Rosa. Unknown Mortal Orchestra make fuzzy indie-rock for fans of all things jangly and psychedelic. They are on tour with Bloggy-favs Girls right now and that tour hits Austin on March 8th. Tickets for the show with Girls and Unknown Mortal Orchestra are still available right now but it's a hot ticket so, don't expect them to last. At SXSW you will find UMO at Lustre Pearl on Wednesday, March 14th. Don't expect the band to stick around a play lots of unofficial events because they have to be in Colorado to re-join Girls on Friday, the 16th.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Ffunny Ffrends video via YouTube

I had the chance to send some questions to UMO in anticipation of their upcoming Austin shows. You'll find that interview below the break.

  • Did you know when you entered the studio that you were going for the fuzzy, analogue sound aesthetic?
    I had that sound in my head when I started messing around.
  • What inspired that production decision?
    That's my favorite production sound.
  • What are some records that you listened to as kids?
    When I was younger my parents listened to stuff like Steely Dan, the Crusaders, Stevie Wonder. That kind of thing. My Dad was in Salsa and Jazz bands as well so there was a lot of that. My mother is a hula dancer so I heard a lot of Hawaiian music too. I think the first album I ever got was Michael Jackson's Bad.
  • The Wikipedia entry for Unknown Mortal Orchestra says you're an "American and New Zealand band," what exactly does that mean? Do you mail tracks across the hemisphere or did some band members move to Portland from NZ?
    I grew up in New Zealand but I live in Portland, Oregon now. The bass player and drummer I had last year were from Portland and my brother's been playing drums in the band this year and he lives in New Zealand. My brother and I are both dual citizens.
  • If you could marry your music to film, what genre or specific title would best suit it?
    The Dark Crystal? Just get blazed and watch The Dark Crystal with UMO over the top of it.
  • Who is the most responsible person when you're on tour?
    Nobody. That's kind of the problem with us on tour.
  • Who is the most likely to disappear at a party?
    All of us have done that! We disappear for different reasons.
  • Are there any lessons you learned while recording your first album that will inform decisions you make on your next album?
    I learned that you should make your album for yourself.
  • What are some occupations other than musicians that the group members have had?
    I was a dishwasher and an artist's assistant and an illustrator. Jake has been a recording engineer.
  • Who would you like to collaborate with, living or dead, from any genre or medium and what would you work on?
    Monty Python. I could do a soundtrack for a new movie. Or Louis CK if he makes a movie.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Bicycle video via YouTube

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

SXSW 2012 Preview: Rubblebucket

Brooklyn-based band Rubblebucket make quirky pop records where everyone sings at once and there are occasional bursts of trumpet emerging from a sea of keyboard gurgles and driving, live drum fills. Their bass-lines make your booty-bounce and their bubbly melodies make you want to sing and dance with all of your might. Their live show has been hailed as something not to be missed with 8 people on stage creating an intense party energy. Their latest album Omega La La was recorded and produced in the house of DFA Records but their sound is more akin to Stereolab than LCD Soundsystem. You can listen to the whole thing, along with a remix EP, right now on Spotify. Rubblebucket will be releasing a live CD/DVD you can Pre-Order now.

Rubblebucket - Came Out of a Lady video via YouTube

Something tells me that Rubblebucket will be highly sought-after for unofficial SXSW parties. With such fun songs and a reputation for a great live experience they are the perfect fit for almost any day-party bill Officially, you'll find Rubblebucket playing Friday night, March 16th at 10pm playing Beauty Bar's outside area.

Rubblebucket - Down in the Yards video via YouTube

Don't forget your official resources for unofficial events are all over the internet! You might want to look towards the folks at SXShhh, Show List Austin and/or Do512.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

SXSW 2012 Preview: The Apache Relay

By now you should know that not all artists who formed in Nashville make country music. However, I would say that if you're going to exist in the Nashville music scene then you're writing chops are seriously on point. This is certainly the case with The Apache Relay. Their most recent album American Nomad is 30ish minutes of tight song structures, textured production and terse musicianship. This is radio-ready music for the indie-roots music fan in all of us. If you've ever loved a song by Edward Sharpe, The Avettt Brothers or The Civil Wars then this is your band. They don't sound as old-timey as those artists but you can hear the old-timey influences in their songs.

The Apache Relay - Home is Not a Place video via YouTube

It looks like the first official SXSW for The Apache Relay will actually happen before SXSW music begins. They'll be playing Bat Bar on Tuesday, March 13th. If, like me, you only have a music wristband you'll have to wait until the first official day of SXSW music Wednesday, the 14th to see The Apache Relay on the rooftop of Maggie Mae's. There's not a specific time listed for their official sets right now but that information will continue to roll out this week so just keep an eye on the official resources. Speaking of keeping an eye on the official listings, I JUST noticed that the SXSW site shows the music portion starts on Tuesday this year. So, hopefully that means I'll be able to attend these showcases I'm seeing on Tuesday night.

For all things unofficial, SXShhh has officially launched and you can gain access to their vast database for the price of a beer ($5.) You can also register with RSVPster who will RSVP you with a +1 to every unofficial SXSW event. Lastly, you can do all of the research yourself over at Show List Austin and/or Do512.

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