This post is bit of a diversion for this blog, which is usually me babbling on about tech.
SXSW starts this Thursday, and I’ll be attending. You can catch me speaking on a funny panel called “How not to be a Douchebag at SXSW”, which Ed Huntsinger is hosting. But hey, it won’t be about tech. So maybe you won’t like that.
SXSW Interactive is great, but it’s like work to me; I always have to be on and make connections with people for work. Sometime around next Tuesday, the music portion of the event will start, and it’s a blissful mix of music, people, and madness.
I’ve spent the last couple of days or so going through the torrents for SXSW Music. 646 songs on the first one, and another 309 on the second torrent.
You can grab both of them here if you want to download them. They’re huge, but worth it.
As is the case with most submissions, about 90% of it is crap, but if you’re willing to sit through and listen to the music there’s a wealth of wonderful artists here.
Here’s my top 15 or so, in no particular oder
Allo Darlin- My Heart Is A Drummer
Something like the 60′s, yet reminiscent of Sing-Sing and some of the more country inspired 4AD artists.
ELEW – Mr. Brightside
Eric Lewis, AKA ELEW is a mindblowing pianist, playing what he likes to call Rockjazz on piano, He’s played TED, our own DNA Lounge. This is his cover of Mr. Brightside by the Killers.
The Golden Filter – Hide Me
Blissful, female vocal based, bouncy disco-electro perfect for the dancefloor.
The Heavenly States – Oui Camera Oui
A terrible recording with little to no dynamic range that reminded me of early Julian Cope.
Kill The Noise – All Too Vivid
I’d expect to hear this song at 1015 (a house club here in SF) at about 3:30 in the morning. Incessant, bouncing, house beat with heavily vocoded nothingness on top. Who just bought an access virus? You did, yes you did.
Lights – Saviour
This is what it would sound like if Canada tried to produce the LA Wall-of-sound pop sound. Female Vocals, Big, big bridges and choruses. Expect to hear this on MTV soon. I love this piece of pop aside from the minor Auto Tune glitches that exist all over it. Nice harmonies, but the lyrics? Forget it. It’s pop.
Luder – Sing to Me
I think I picked these guys because I’ve been on a strange metal bent lately (I blame Jack Black and too many late night PS3 sessions of Brutal Legend). Unfortunately this sounds like a goth band trying to complete for vocal bandwidth with slayer. It sort of works.
Maren Parusel – Dear Love
The likeness of Maren’s voice to Feist is what does it for me here. Breathy female vocals on a solid rock background with minimal rhythm guitar. A string quartet pops up unexpectedly to lift the chorus.
Margaret Cho – Eat Shit and Die
Can’t go wrong with Marget Cho.
Minipop – Precious
Minipop is the sort of breathy, reverb laden beauty that attracted me to bands like Love Spirals Downwards and whatever Project Records was vomiting up in the 90′s. The thing here, is that Minipop throws away all of those pretentious for perfect, blissed-out shoe gazer wonderfulness. I saw them at the Independent in SF last year and fell in love with them on the first listen. It helps that the singer is a 5’2″ elf-like creature. Loads of delay, lots of chorus. Love it.
Noush Skaugen – Run Baby Run
Guitars meet keyboards with a driving bass that reminds me of early Jesus and Mary Chain, but there’s far too many drums to really make the comparison hold true. The sort of music you’d want as the wind rips through your hair at 80mph down the highway.
Resplandor – Downfall
A reincarnation of Slowdive. Wall of guitars everywhere. I feel like I’m back in 1992. Excellent stuff.
Ruby Isle – So Damn High (Will Eastman Club Edit)
Big, giant kick drum and vocal samples everywhere. Electro at it’s most base.
Sex with Strangers – New City Anthem
Think first album Shiny Toy Guns with far less production and a bit of Human League thrown in for fun.
Sofia Talvik – Jonestown
Think Suzanne Vega and the Sundays coming together, without all that needless strumming of the 12-string. I won’t go to see her play at SXSW, but I’d listen to it with the lights out.