Second-Tier SXSW 2011 / Favorite Stuff:
(For the top list of songs and an explanation of this list, go here. Suffice it to say these are songs 21-40 out of 1,700 sampled from the annual SXSW juke box.)
1. Elephant Stone – Strangers
Gorgeous pop with a psychedelic touch.
2. April Smith and the Great Picture Show – Colors
This one jumped out at my daughter. “I need that,” she said. I think we all do. Love the way this one builds. And what a voice.
3. Matthew and the Atlas: Come out of the Woods
I’m not opposed to this whole Mumford & Sons trend, but it better be good.
Nice version here, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K42pMUP7fuE
3. Who Made Who: Keep Me in My Plane
In that whole Daft Punk – LCD Soundsystem vein but from the Scandanivian underground, whatever that is. Great groove. Make me feel sane, keep me in my plane. Snappy video too.
4. Tecla: Good Hair
“Like the asian with the perm, foreheads curled and then they’re burned…
Just like everybody always wants what they don’t have..”
Attitude to spare, she of the three-tiered wedding cake of keyboards.
5. Broncho: Try Me Out Sometime
Clash Light with a ringing guitar come-on.
6. Lindi Ortega: Little Lie
From Toronto with Mexican-Irish roots. Channeling Austin, TX.
7. Wonfu: Do Re Mi
From Taiwan, channeling Shonen Knife or something more poppy? Don’t give up on this track until you hear the shimmering guitar lead toward the end. Not the lick, the lead.
8. Lucy and the Popsonics: Fred Astaire
9. Capsula: Under the Woods
They said it: “They love guitars, fuzz, distortion. Their name comes from David Bowie’s song Space Oddity, in spanish means capsule. They sound like mars, dreaming hawaii, a karate fight, flower crowns, vulcano, caramel, gigant waves, turtles in chile, kitten ears. They want to touch your lives and kiss your bones.” From Argentina.
10. Brooke Fraser: Something in the Water
A light ditty? Maybe. From New Zealand.
11. The Moondoggies: It’s a Shame, It’s a Pity
I get a CSNY vibe. The early stuff.
12. Suzanna Choffel: Animal
Jazzy poppy stuff. Almost mainstream. Almost. Is Austin just thick with talent? I suppose.
13. Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside; Danger
From their website: “Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside vigorously mines a sweet spot between modern and vintage. Sallie’s voice has elicited comparisons to classic jazz and blues icons, yet it is stoked with the fire of youth and rebellion, too, an instrument capable of conveying raw emotion and nuanced artistry in the same breath.” Yeah, pretty raw emotion.
14. Bell Gardens: Through the Rain
Beach Boys meets chamber pop and joins forces with Phil Spector. Gorgeous, seductive, surreal pop. Why is this not on the radio? I don’t know, either.
15. J-Live: The Way That I Rhyme
“Baby all I got sayin’
I’ll walk up in a show and my song starts playin’
I’m like dude…..hell is gonna do that tonight
DJ is looking like: Yeah, my bad, screw that
But all the .. the way that I rhyme
Someone asking: could you play some J-live?
I told them .. skip on that stress
Tell them real DJ don’t take request…”
And so on. Fantastic.
16. Leatherbag: Lines
Refugees from Houston now live in….wait for it….Austin. A power trio. From, yes, Austin. Again, Austin. I do not pre-screen “from” information when I listen to these 1,700 songs but Austin shows up over and over again, even on some of the so-called “International” flavor stuff. Not here. This is American rock and roll. From Austin.
17. Sinamantes: The Frog
From their site: “Created in the middle of the hot and rainy brazilian summer of 2010 by two brazilians and one argentinian, SINAMANTES comes to shorten and enhance connections between different aspects of latin-american pop music.”
Mission accomplished. And, please, don’t swallow the frog.
18. Cobirds Unite: Crown of Thorns
Good live clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw_pg5u15N4
I guess this is really “Rusty Willoughby” and he looks to be one talented individual. From his site: “Largely known for his work with the rock/pop bands Pure Joy, Flop and Llama, Willoughby’s mostly lo-key, often lo-fi and decidedly lo-electricity records have flown well under the radar for the last decade or so. Influenced by everything from Woody Guthrie to Jacques Brel…”
Note: not the Pearl Jam Song…