Friday, March 2, 2012

SXSW 2012 Preview: Eight and a Half

There are a lot of indie bands with names that are difficult to Google like Girls or Sports. Well Canadian duo, Eight and a Half have really upped the ante by requiring you turn SafeSearch on before attempting to find them on the internet. With a debut LP due out this coming April, chances are you haven't really heard Eight and a Half yet but they come with a pedigree. Based in Toronto this duo is made up of Broken Social Scene drummer, Dave Hamelin and Liam O'Neil of The Stills. It's, somewhat, difficult to feature a band that has only released two songs so far but I feel like those two songs are strong enough to warrant this post. You can listen to them both on Spotify or Soundcloud right now and keep an eye out for their full album, on Arts + Crafts, after SXSW

Eight and a Half - Scissors video via YouTube

It looks like Eight and a Half's only official appearance at SXSW 2012 is the official Arts + Crafts Showcase on Friday, March 16th. Let's face it though, Eight and a Half are not traveling from Toronto to play one set. Keep your eyes on the usual sources of unofficial information to find out when and where YOU can see Eight and a Half during SXSW.

Eight and a Half - Go Ego video via YouTube

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ultra8201 Turns Six

One, of the many, things I love about Austin is the collaborative atmosphere in the arts community. When I started this little blog a few years ago it was not met with resistance from the other Austin music bloggers, it was embraced. They posted links to my site on their site, they said hello at shows and they supported me morally and professionally. It is with this spirit that I jokingly refer to Richard from Ultra8201 as my blog-father. Ultra8201 was the first site to add Austin Bloggy Limits to their blogroll and Richard was the first person to introduce me to our fellow bloggers and tweeters and I will always appreciate that.

Politics - Live at Cheer-Up Charlie's video via Ultra8201

Writing of any sort can feel like sending a message in a bottle, you've put your words out into the universe but you're never really sure if anyone has received your message. That is why writing a music blog, consistently, for six years is quite a milestone. Ultra8201 brings lots of great content to the masses on a regular basis and they also put on great events. They have supported some really fantastic Austin bands when they were just starting out and helped to get their names recognized around town. Tonight is a celebration of great writing, great events and great friends. All of us in the Austin blog community hope that you can make it out to Swan Dive this evening to enjoy some great music from local artists and to celebrate six years with Ultra8201. Also, you should dress to impress because Austin's greatest party photographer, ulovei will be spinning tunes and capturing you with his camera as well. See you there!

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SXSW 2012 Preview: Caveman

If you have read this site in the last few months then you already know I adore, Brooklyn-based band Caveman. I named their album, CoCo Beware, my favorite LP of 2011 and I am outrageously excited to see them perform at SXSW this year. I had seen their name a few times before I took the time to listen to their music and I was really kicking myself that I hadn't paid attention sooner. When I finely became smitten with the music of Caveman I realized they had played SXSW 2011 and I didn't catch any of their performances. That is not going to happen to me twice! The band was recently picked up by Fat Possum Records and their brilliant LP was re-issued so, clearly I'm not the only one enthralled. If you still haven't listened to Caveman you can expect a rich, textured sound with pleasant harmonies lots of percussion and beautiful melodies that make you want to sing along. If you were sad that Grizzly Bear didn't release an album in 2011, CoCo Beware is the perfect stop-gap.

Caveman - Easy Water video via YouTube

You can hear all of CoCo Beware on Spotify to prepare yourself for the majesty of their live show. Caveman have two official performances lined-up for SXSW 2012. The first show is the first night of SXSW music, Tuesday the 13th. That showcase will take play at The Bat Bar and Caveman are scheduled to play a 40 minute set starting at midnight. I've featured a couple of bands from this Tuesday night showcase so this is where you'll find me. I'm, somewhat, confused about the second showcase. It's listed on the official SXSW site but it says it's happening at the Hype Hotel, which I THOUGHT was an unofficial venue. So, I'm not really sure what's the deal with that.

Chances are you'll have LOTS of opportunities to catch Caveman at SXSW this year, just keep your ear to the street. Or, you could also scour Show List Austin, Do512 and SXShhh. OR if you don't like scouring but still want to be RSVP'd to all of the parties happening during SXSW, then you better head on over to RSVPster TODAY because tomorrow they will no longer be accepting accounts. They do all of the RSVPs for you for a fair fee and today's your last chance until next year.

Caveman - Vampirer/Old Friend video via YouTube

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SXSW 2012 Preview: BeatauCue

Today we head to France to check out electronic-duo BeatauCue. Hailing from the Normandy country-side these two have made their mark on the European dance scene with high profile remixes by the likes of Major Lazer, Two Door Cinema Club, and Kylie Minogue. From what I can tell, their latest release is a single called, Kiho, which can be found on Spotify, Soundcloud, Beatport and their official YouTube channel. As you probably know, electronic music tends to be less album-oriented and more singles-oriented so, it doesn't look like BeatauCue has a full-length debut LP yet. Although, most of the information I have found is in French so I MIGHT be wrong about that. Regardless, all of the remixes and singles I've found have been really fantastic so I'm happy to listen to those for now. Just click the Spotify and Soundcloud links above and you'll find all kinds of great music to shake your ass to.

BeatauCue - Kiho (Teaser) video via YouTube

For their official SXSW showcase, you'll find BeatauCue playing at Malverde, Friday March 16th. As of right now, there is no official time listed for when they'll begin but you can bet your ass it's going to be a hell of a dance-party if it's going down at Malverde.

Unofficially, I haven't seen anything listed for BeatauCue yet but that doesn't really mean anything. You don't fly to Austin from France to play a 45 minute set at Malverde so keep an eye on Show List Austin, Do512 and SXShhh if you want to be sure to catch them while they're here in Austin.

BeatauCue - Disque Oh! via YouTube

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

SXSW 2012 Preview: Team Me

For today's featured SXSW 2012 band, we head back to Scandinavia. Team Me is a band based in Oslo, Norway and they are considered a pop band in their home country. In fact at this year's Norwegian Grammy's, Team Me won the Best Pop Group category. By United States' standards they have far too much live instrumentation to be considered a pop band. Their debut album, To The Treetops!, was just released, by Propeller Recordings, in the U.S. and it is a power-house of fantastic indie-pop tunes. Their melodies soar over lush instrumentation with textural electronic flourishes. If you can imagine members of Mew, MGMT and Passion Pit forming a new band and creating completely original material you might get something like Team Me. However, comparing them to all of those bands takes away from what Team Me is doing on their own and that is not my intent. They are a 6-piece band, with a big sound, fantastic songs and I want you to listen to them. If you can't make it to see them at SXSW you should at least listen to their music on Spotify.

Team Me - Show Me video via YouTube

The only official showcase listed for Team Me at SXSW is on Friday, March 16th. They go on at 10:15pm at The Loft on 6th street. I would expect that they're not going to travel all the way from Norway just to play one show so, keep an eye on Show List Austin, Do512 and SXShhh to find out all of the unofficial showcases and parties where you might find Team Me. I know that they will, definitely, be playing the Filter Magazine Showdown at Cedar Street at noon on Friday, the 16th. You can also just let the folks at RSVPster do all the work and you'll already be on every guest list for the unofficial side of SXSW.

Team Me - Dear Sister video via YouTube

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Monday, February 27, 2012

SXSW 2012 Preview: North Highlands

I am, pretty much, obsessed with North Highlands. I included their album Wild One as one of my favorite LPs of 2011 and I really want you to listen to it. You can hear the whole thing on Bandcamp as well as Spotify. Like many of the bands I've highlighted so far, North Highlands are based in Brooklyn and feature a female lead-singer. Their music is perfect, little, 3 minute pop confections that make you want to pogo in your living room and/or swoon depending on which track you've cued up. I'm really excited about North Highlands and I hope they have a very fruitful experience at SXSW. If you like what you hear, tell a friend and spread the love because right now they don't have as much buzz as I think they should/could.

North Highlands - Benefits video via YouTube

SXSW 2012 will be my first opportunity to see North Highlands perform since I became obsessed with their LP and I am VERY excited. As of this moment the band doesn't have an official SXSW showcase lined-up but they do have several events planned. Look for North Highlands at the following places around Austin:

Tues Mar 13 - Skinny's Ballroom (5:30p)
Thurs Mar 15 - Twentyfourbit/Rawkblog party @ The Jackalope (5:30p)
Fri Mar 16 - Wild Honey Pie @ Uncorked (TBA)
Sat March 17 - Music for Listeners @ Flat Top Burger (3pm)
TBA - Solid Gold @ Cheer Up Charlies (TBApm)
TBA - Shout It Out Loud party @ Takoba (TBApm)

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