Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SXSW 09 finds

SXSW gives you some nice opportunities to reconnect with old favorites- great sets from the recently reunited That Petrol Emotion (aka the band after the Undertones), Trail of Dead, Echo and the Bunnymen (sorry I missed Devo, not so Metallica). It's also a good opportunity to find out about new bands and one of the most promising ones I heard there was an Aussie duo called An Horse.

No, it ain't proper grammar and it's kinda awkward to say "I like An Horse's new album" or "I'm going to see An Horse." But that doesn't matter because Kate Cooper and Damon Cox make such catchy indie rock that you'd wonder why aren't more well known (even if they have appeared on Letterman).

Other SXSW good acts that deserve more recognition:

Rye Rye- 18-year-old M.I.A. protege, this Baltimore rapper's quick tongue matches a voice that's simultaneously kiddie and bitchy.

Dananananaykroyd- part of the Glasgow showcase at the festival, how can you not love a band whose name combines Bananarama and half of the Blues Brothers? Their crazed good time music ought to appeal to fans of Archeciture in Helsinki and Los Campesinos!

Micachu and the Shapes- I have a Spin review coming up about them so I'll just add for now that they're definitely talked-up, up-and-comers with skewed songcraft and daft beats.

Melissa McClelland- wonderful alt-country singer with a calm smokey voice plus a band that can rock out nicely when they wanna.

Hyperpotamus- bizarre Spaniard who multi-tracks his vocals into an accapella band.

Special Thanks- I first thought this Japanese band led by some sweet femme vocals was power pop but they're really just a great mall punk band (which ain't an insult, especially coming from a Green Day fan).

Dirtblonde- sad to say, their showcase set of this UK duo with a drum machine was painfully brief (20 minutes??) but the part that I did catch was great, catchy drone rock. Hope they come back soon and do longer sets.

the Knux- this New Orleans/L.A. rap duo easily did one of the best sets I saw at the festival. It wasn't just their enthusiasm or working the crowd well, it's also their damn catchy songs which recall vintage Outkast.

Titus Andronicus- my favorite release of this year is the reissue (from '08) of the debut from these boozy college boys. They slur, shout and wax poetic, part Replacements, part Pogues. Their excitable live show adds to their sweaty furry too. Sing a long now: "Your life is over! Your life is over!"


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