Monday night I had the pleasure of hanging out with of my long-time friends and fellow music snob Tyler Jacobsen and his co-host of Danger Radio, Jake Ryan, to talk about our favorite subject: music. The good. The bad. The annoying. We bitched and moaned as usual about Lady Gaga and other wastes of airspace. But as always, we have a great time.
Oh, and I brought just a few (because my printed out SXSW schedule is pages long) of my picks for SXSW Music 2011 for Tyler and Jack to scrutinize. I’ve known Tyler for a while now and we’ve often bitched, moaned, and hailed a ton of music over the years. It’s what we do.
But in the end all the banter is just that. It’s relative. I can’t stand Lady Gaga. It kills me that Failure didn’t get its due. But that’s me. Music is such a personal thing; it’s like trying to convince someone that their favorite color should be blue, not green. And as music writers we try, in the best way possible, to translate the feeling this creative medium emulates, both good and bad, into words. Either you agree, you don’t, or you don’t care.
That being said, you can listen to Danger Radio Episode 98 here in all its ranting and praising entirety.
The SXSW tracks I brought into the studio include:
The Vaccines – Blow It Up
These lads from London have been getting their right share of attention and accolades (including a third pole position on BBC’s Sound of 2011), after only being around about a year and releasing one, wee 3-song E.P. And it’s because each of those songs are bangers. Jake felt, that although the band had only been out a year, they’ve already shot their wad because each of those songs is so good. The Vaccines couldn’t possibly have 7+ more in their pocket that could deliver. I have higher hopes.
So it may be an ironic coincidence that The Vaccines’ knew this going in when they titled the debut album, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? It is due for release through Columbia Records (straight to the major label, eh boys?) on March 21, 2011, the day when people begin to escape Austin and many babies are born nine months later.
The Vaccines SXSW performance schedule:
Wednesday, March 16 – 10pm – Club de Ville
Thursday, March 17 – 3pm – Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide – Cedar Street Courtyard
Friday, March 18 – time TBD – Spin Magazine Party (invite only) – Stubb’s
Friday, March 18 – 8:30pm – Stubb’s
Viva City – Flood
Viva City men can now consider themselves veterans of SXSW, having performed a number of gigs in Austin in 2010. Since then, the four-piece from Newcastle as been moving into its next musical chapter with many a stage appearance, including Glastonbury in 2010.
Phobia, the new 4-song album sampler, comes out on Vert Records in the U.K. and Canada and on March 14 in the U.S. “Flood” is from the new release, and along with the other Phobia tracks, shows the bands progression and evolution. The beats and dance hooks that plucked fan’s fancy on singles like “Hot Wax” still exist within the Viva City foundation, but the lyrical concepts and song orchestration feels more evolved, like a fine wine. And according to one band member, a repurposed bag made into a portable wine bar is a must for SXSW.
Viva City’s SXSW performance schedule:
Thursday, March 17 – 10pm – WeAre78704.com SXSW Party (306 Barton Springs Road)
Friday, March 18 – 3pm – Force Agency SXSW Party – Red Eyed Fly
Friday, March 18 – 9:30pm – Paper Garden & Lovely Hearts SXSW Party – Uncorked
Saturday, March 19 – 12pm – Yorkshire & North East SxSW Party British Music Embassy – Latitude 30
Twin Shadow – Slow
Twin Shadow, aka George Lewis, has been a busy Brooklyn boy. His debut album Forget on 4AD drew fans far and wide, resulting in a sold out European tour and a golden ticket invitation to appear on the recent NME Awards.
Recommended to me by my friend Jen, I agreed that this solo king of synth and retro dance beats had to be on my SXSW schedule. After Twin Shadow’s Austin gigs, George and the band will hop the pond once again to headline Scala in London in May as the start to another European tour, which includes the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona towards the end of May.
Twin Shadow’s SXSW performance schedule:
Wednesday, March 16 – 1:15pm – Austin or Bust – Mohawk
Thursday, March 17 – 3pm – Other Music & Dig for Fore presents the 2011 Lawn Party at SXSW – French Legation Museum (802 San Marcos Street)
Thursday, March 17 – 7pm – Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake, Riverside Dr & S 1st St)
Friday, March 18 – 12am – Central Presbyterian Church (200 E 8th St)
Friday, March 18 – 3pm – Emo’s
Friday, March 18 – 11pm – Maggie Mae’s Rooftop
Saturday, March 19 – 12pm – MOG at the Mohawk (with Big Boi) – Mohawk
Brahms – Toward The Ghost
I’ve had this one song, “Toward The Ghost,” from the Brooklyn duo Brahms in my iPod for a year now in the “SXSW 2010 bands that I wished I had seen” playlist.
So when I learned that Brahms would be at SXSW 2011 my heart went a pitter patter (it was also because I had just recovered from a run in the park). As with my other SXSW selections for Danger Radio, Brahms definitely leans in the dance and groove category, but it is the sweet vocal melodies that add icing to the musical cupcake.
Before heading to SXSW, Brahms perform at the Noen Reverb Festival in Las Vegas (3/11) and then play one-off gigs with Asobi Seksu, Starfuc*er, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Superhumanoids, The Joy Formidable, Fujiya and Miyagi, and Warm Ghost (most of these bands are also playing SXSW). After SXSW they head to Houston, Atlanta, Durham and Washington, D.C.
Brahms SXSW performance schedule:
Tuesday, March 15th – 3:30pm – Baeble Music Interactive Party – The Phoenix
Wednesday, March 16th – 3:45pm – Bridge Club Music day party – Liberty
Wednesday, March 16th – 5:30pm – Shout It Out Loud – Beauty Bar East
Wednesday, March 16th – 10pm – Maggie Maes
Thursday, March 17th – 1pm – KVRX day party – The Spider House
Thursday, March 17th – 3pm – SEA Now – Annies West
Friday, March 18th – 3pm – My Old Kentucky Blog – Peckerheads
Friday, March 18th 5pm – Redefine Magazine – House Of Commons
Friday, March 18th – 9:30pm – Big Ugly Yellow Couch / I Guess I’m Floating – Lipstick 24
Saturday, March 19th 2:45pm – Pure Volume House
Enter your email address to download four free songs on the Brahms’ website http://www.brahmsband.com/
Delorean – Stay Close
I often listen to BBC 6 Music and one day last year while I was painting my basement, Steve Lamacq played Delorean’s “Stay Close” from Subiza, which had just been released. From just the first few seconds of that song I had to stop in my tracks and listen, note for note. From the crisp, icy vocals to the electro hooks and samples, “Stay Close” definitely got under my skin. It was interesting to learn that Delorean had actually been around for ten years and the members had created their own club night in Zarautz, a Basque town, to meet their own desire for a proper dance club.
After the Danger Radio show, I was highly irritated when I discovered I was one letter off. The band playing SXSW is Dolorean with an “o”, not Delorean, with an “e”. Urgh. Delorean with an “e” is coming to the states to play Coachella in April. Needless to say I am bummed that I won’t see them, again, unless I head to Cali. If Coachella is in your plans, definitely include them in your gig schedule.