Two more days and something like 1,400 artists will infiltrate Austin for the South By Southwest Music Conference and adjacent events like Fader Fort.
While I'm personally looking forward to tacos, beverage and sunshine, there's also a slew of acts new and old(er) worthy of some extra minutes.
Rather, Secretly Canadian's Little Scream -- whose debut is produced by Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry -- is up again musical Wallpaper., who made the ultimate party silliness last year with a remix of Das Racist's "Pizza Hut & Taco Bell."
The poppier side of Kill Rock Stars is encapsulated in Thao with the Get Down Stay Down. Lift to Experience's Josh T. Pearson has himself a long lament but is balanced out by the bouncy joy of tUnE-yArDs (let that be the last time I oblige to type it that way). And yes, Smoking Popes are still at it.
SXSW Music runs March 16-20.
Thursday's mix included O'Death, The Dears and Class Actress.
Friday featured Liturgy, Joan As Police Woman and Omar Rodriguez Lopez.
Here is the tracklist for HitFix's 2011 SXSW Music Podcast No. 3:
Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, "When We Swam"
Little Scream, "Cannons"
Smoking Popes, "Punk Band"
Josh T. Pearson, "Women When I've Raised Hell"
The first time I ever laid eyes on The Low Anthem, they were playing on a bill with Midwestern troubadour Joe Pug at Chicago den The Hideout. They had what seemed like two dozen instruments on stage to share between the three members, each played with an equally mystic hand, hrmmming in harmony with the raspy voice of Ben Knox Miller, the angelic Jocie Adams and the background rumble of Jeff Prystowsky. They covered “Cigarettes & Whiskey” against the summer heat at the end of their set and the packed house sang, many with tears in their beers.
As we trudge closer to the opening of the SXSW Music Conference in Austin, we unveil Podcast No. 2 in our 2011 series.
Included on this Friday is one selection unintended for the faint of heart, Brooklyn's experimental metal outfit Liturgy. It's buttressed by sloooow surfgaze (yeah, that's a word) troupe The Diamond Center.
The shoulder-dancing contingency may be sated with sultry Joan As Police Woman and painfully hip We Are Enfant Terrible. The esteemed Omar Rodriguez Lopez -- frontman for At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta -- and Southwesternly broken-hearted David Wax Museum round out the list.
Thursday's mix included tracks from Class Actress and The Dears.
I will continue to post mixes now until the start of the fest, on March 16, with hopes to showcase some of what to expect from the eclectic event.
Here is the tracklist for Podcast No. 2:
Joan As Police Woman, "Magic"
David Wax Museum, "Born with a Broken Heart"
Omar Rodriguez Lopez, "Locomocion Capillar"
We Are Enfant Terrible, "Filthy Love"
The Diamond Center, "Caraway"
Liturgy, "Ecstatic Race"
Vinyl and Foo Fighters lovers rejoice: The rock act is releasing an entire set of covers in honor of Record Store Day this year.
"Medium Rare" boasts 13 tracks, from "Band on the Run" by Paul McCartney & Wings to "Darling Nikki" by Prince, and drops exclusively on vinyl LP on April 16. Foos have a long history of covers, having released some as B-sides, others as live set staples and bootlegs, the ilk. This is the first collection of this kind for them, and is the bow of two previously unreleased takes on Thin Lizzy's "Bad Reputation" and The Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year."
I'm particularly tickled to hear Hüsker Dü's "Never Talking to You Again"; I am mildly disappointed there isn't one single female musician in the list.
The announcement comes within the same day Dave Grohl & Co.'s new music video to "Rope" dropped. Check out what HitFix's Melinda Newman has to say about it here.
Foo Fighters' new Butch Vig-produced set "Wasting Light" arrives only a few days before "Medium Rare," on April 12. A documentary on the band, cleverly named "Foo Fighters," makes its bow during the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film festival in Austin this coming week.
I've been pleasantly surprised, so far, with the Foos' promotional campaign for "Wasting Light," with "Medium Rare" being one helluva pleasant surprise. As Britney Spears' snippet and full-song leaks continue, and Lady Gaga's slow world takeover rages on, the band has packed their spring with a lot to be proud of. While I have yet to hear the new studio effort, "White Limo" raged pretty hard (if at least with its Lemmy-starring video) and I'm intrigued about the inclusion of Krist Novoselic in the tracklist. The band proved again it could have fun as a crew with "Rope." Their take on the rock doc -- which may overshadow their more boring album contributions (*cough* "Echoes" and "One by One" *cough*) -- could be a great snapshot of a rock band in its testy middle age.
Here is the tracklist for "Medium Rare":
1. "Band on the Run" (Paul McCartney & Wings)
2. "I Feel Free" (Cream)
3. "Life of Illusion" (Joe Walsh)
4. "Young Man Blues" (Mose Allison)
5. "Bad Reputation" (Thin Lizzy)
6. "Darling Nikki" (Prince)
7. "Down in the Park" (Gary Numan)
8. "Baker Street" (Gerry Rafferty)
9. "Danny Says" (The Ramones)
10. "Have A Cigar" (Pink Floyd)
11. "Never Talking to You Again" (Hüsker Dü)
12. "Gas Chamber" (Angry Samoans)
13. "This Will Be Our Year" (The Zombies)
While there's somewhere between 700 and 1,000 acts showing up in Austin for official South By Southwest showcases, a number excess of that is far more accurate. It's overwhelming, on purpose.
HitFix is heading down to the Texas capitol again this year, and it's my pleasure to help parse some of the clutter.
Each day leading up to March 16, SXSW Music's kick-off, I'll be posting a podcast featuring a handful of acts I'd recommend checking out.
Today (March 10) includes tracks from rockers Ice Black Birds, Nashville newcomer Tristen, dream-pop troupe Class Actress, Canadian imports The Dears, killer live act O'Death and Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Kokayi.
SXSW runs March 16-20.
Here is the tracklist for HitFix 2011 SXSW Music Podcast No. 1:
Ice Black Birds, "22.22"
Tristen, "Eager for Your Love"
Class Actress, "Careful What You Say"
The Dears, "Blood"
With nine Austin shows already on the board for South By Southwest, young'uns Yuck are already primed to be one of the belles at that ball.
Right in time, these rockers have released the music video to "Get Away." And they're doing nothing to shun their influences.
The road montage clip will have you rubbing your eyes and looking for J. Mascis or perhaps a peroxided Superchunk in the background. Their self-titled album -- released last month -- while green, was full of perfectly imperfect electric riffs, a cohesive tip of the trucker hat to '90s post-rockers. Frontman Daniel Blumberg, at the very least, has a serious case of the Malkmus.
Otherwise, the video is a very good excuse to cover an ivory-skinned beauty in veggie oil and to nonchalantly mutter the lyrics in your own detached manner.
Yuck are among the VERY good signings that Fat Possum has nabbed lately, with the most recent including legendary U.K. act Spiritualized. It was announced this week that the Jason Pierce-fronted crew will be releasing a new effort this fall, and that they're headed to London's storied Royal Albert Hall on Oct. 11.
Spiritualized last released "Songs in A&E" in 2008. They spent part of last year performing their breakthrough "Ladies and Gentlemen... We Are Floating In Space" in full during live shows.
Check out Yuck's "Get Away" video below, and stream their album in full below that.
[More after the jump...]
We're used to seeing John Slattery as a sad lovesick fool, but this time his powerful muse if one of presidential proportions.
The National have released the music video to "Conversation 16," culled from their 2010 album "High Violet"; the group even has a place in the clip, but much of the focus is on "President of the U.S." Kristen Schaal, Slattery on security detail and "Russian" leader James Urbaniak.
What surfaces are misty water-colored memories of Ms. President and Slattery's love affair, a executive branch thong, love letters with wax and staples and a nearly missed pardon for a Thanksgiving turkey. The "Mad Men" actor has a moment where he's forced to play dress-up, similar to a situation his TV character had at Cooper and Price involving a Santa Suit.
The clip was directed by Scott Jacobson, and the concept arose from an alcohol fueled chat with the comedienne.
[More after the jump...]
Okkervil River are returning with their sixth full-length "I Am Very Far" for longtime home Jagjaguwar, and, at least with the case of newly unleashed "Wake and Be Fine," the thing's starting with a bang.
Will Sheff's sounding unhinged (in the good way) on the track, available now for download via the rock band's website for the price of
your black heart your email address. It reminds me of Cursive frontman's Tim Kasher's fleshy and well-arranged solo projects, and even a little bit of the daunting growl that Conor Oberst used to nurture in his earlier years.
I don't know why such a Saddle Creek blaze was set in my head about it, but maybe it has to do with the start and stop manner in which "I Am Very Far" was recorded: Sheff "opted for a series of short, high-intensity sessions with a larger band in various studios. Sessions would, at times, find over a dozen musicians performing live in a single room." He apparently had a little fun throwing file cabinets around and recording that, too.
So pay attention to the percussion on "Wake and Be Fine, blaring in tandem with aux instruments like piano and a full horns section. This is a lush set, but it plays at 11 almost the whole time. Very freeing.
"I Am Very Far" is due May 10, with tracklist below.
The band has also announced extensive and some surprisingly big stops on tour, with killer openers like Titus Andronicus and Julianna Barwick.
[Check out the tracklist and tour dates after the jump...]
The current No. 2 Billboard 200 champs Mumford & Sons have hooked up with what I think is a perfect one-two combo of touring partners -- Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show -- for the world's most adorable little tour ever (of today.)
The three acts are all aboard for the Railroad Revival Tour, which has them traveling through the South and Southwest on a 1,500-foot train in vintage railcars. Granted, they won't be performing their (public) shows on there, but will be stopping off at "unique outdoor locations" like parks, train stations and the Arizona Railway Museum.
Each are promised equal billing and performance time, and you can bet your silver dollar there will be collaborations galore. Meanwhile, as the group lives on the train for a week, a documentary will be shot on the experience.
Tickets go up for the six stops tomorrow (March 9) at 12 p.m. EST exclusively through the Railroad Revival Tour website. Buyers will get a special-lookin' ticket and access to live recordings from the tour.
The saddest part of the world's most adorable mobile show is that its in so few stop-offs. But say what you will about Mumford or about Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros' frontman's solo effort, this run will have more energy than FIFA.
[Dates after the jump...]